The bludger paradox

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, September 24th, 2010 - 81 comments
Categories: class war - Tags: ,

So. If you’re too poor to afford house insurance and you’re left homeless by an act of god, the government won’t help you.

But if you’re rich enough to own a farm, then one year you get hit by an act of god, the government will come running to your aid.

81 comments on “The bludger paradox”

  1. BLiP 1

    But if you’re rich enough to own a farm, . . . and leveraged the equity to the max and then decide to have your lambing at the bottom of the South Island in the middle of September . . . then one year you get hit by an act of god . . . aka Spring equinox . . . the government will come running to your aid.

    FIFY

    • Bored 1.1

      Its a biblical problem…Matthew 25: 29 For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
      You would never guess which political freaks adopted this little nastiness?

      capcha Shame

      • bingo 1.1.1

        Yeah but that guy wasn’t talking about material wealth. Try taking the bible literally and you’ll get into all kinds of confusing knots. Just look at the christians!

        • Vicky32 1.1.1.1

          As a Christian, bingo, 😀 I was just about to point out, that the text Mt 25:29, is not to be taken as being about the literal, physical world, in fact AFAIK, it’s purely spiritual…
          Deb

    • sally 1.2

      Yeah, farmers get ‘hit’ by that ‘act of God’ every year.

    • Vicky32 1.3

      It happens every year! I remember having seen sad stories about dead lambs in snow ever since I first got a TV set in 1992!
      Deb

  2. Disengaged 2

    So farmer automatically = rich and mortgage free home owner automatically = poor?

    Chances are they are both asset rich, but cashflow poor.

    Your argument may have some validity, but your class war rhetoric destroys any credibility.

    • Supermaorifella 2.1

      I agree Disengaged, an over-generalised assessment of the average farmer by BLiP. I guess everyone likes to rant sometimes…

    • Blighty 2.2

      if you think they’re basically both in the same situation, why should farmers get a bailout and not people without home insurance?

      • Disengaged 2.2.1

        I don’t think either should be bailed out.

        For the farmers it is an unfortunate cost of doing business in regions prone to snow.

        Whereas uninsured home owners took the calculated risk that they could avoid insurance because the chances of having to make a major claim was small.

        • BLiP 2.2.1.1

          And, even though they are pretty much last stop before the penguins in a region prone to snow, the farmers took the “calculated risk” of an early lambing period despite repeatedly having suffered significant losses for doing the same thing in previous years. Rather than getting a government bail out, they should be pilloried for gross incompetence and putting export returns at risk. If Southland was a business, they’d all be sacked.

          Where’s Dipton, again?

          • the sprout 2.2.1.1.1

            there are ethical issues too.
            the thousands of dead Southland lambs are not an “unfortunate act of god”, they are an inevitable and avoidable consequence of those farmers chosing early lambing to maximize profits.

            • uroskin 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Why aren’t those farmers prosecuted for animal cruelty? At least in a sow crate the lambs would have been warm and sheltered.

              • indeed uroskin.
                amazing what can be overlooked when it’s done in the name of farming.
                inseminating stock so they birth when it’s still snowing buckets, leaving lambs to freeze to death in the snow.
                can’t dare question their practices be cause alternatives might be… less profitable.

            • Herodotus 2.2.1.1.1.2

              September is not early for lambing, September like April are more settled weather months. When would you like lambing to occur given that ewes unlike us are not able to be in season 12 months a year. From memory ewes come into season from March – June, then there is the timing for the farmer re making the ram available, also the later the ram and ewe unite the is the increased % of barron ewes and single lambs to that of twins. If copulation is delayed then lambing would occur at Christmas, then we have droughts, so a lamb dying from lack of pasture growth is more acceptable?
              Unfortunately farming is more of managing what mother nature throws at it.

              • Supermaorifella

                Well put herodotus. I tihnk the a lot of the comments are being made by people without any knowledge of farming. Were Labour in power I’d imagine a 50 year event like this would trigger a central government response as well, much as the droughts in Hawkes Bay did.

                • Lanthanide

                  Listening to the farmers on the radio this morning, this is more of a “first time in recorded history” for such a heavy snowfall.

              • MrSmith

                As the scientists predicted these events will become more common, but that’s right the farmers don’t believe in climate change. So now there chickens are coming home to roost, but they don’t need to worry as they will get another hand out just like last time they had a flood or a drought, they are such a bunch of hypocrites.

        • bingo 2.2.1.2

          You don’t think they should be bailed out but gosh darn you’re just too busy to make an effort to change it. It’d be too ethical… none of your business.. too socialist… too progressive… to interfereing… too uncomfortable… .

          • Disengaged 2.2.1.2.1

            Sorry? I’m not quite sure what you’re expecting me to be able to change. When farmers choose to lamb, where they choose to farm or whether they insure themselves against risk? Or whether homeowners should have insurance.

  3. Pat 3

    If you’re too poor to afford house insurance…you should sell your mortgage free home, invest the proceeds in the Bank, and rent. A better option than getting a Reverse Mortgage.

    • Blighty 3.1

      Why shouldn’t farmers have to insure themselves too?

      the question is who gets the bailout and why.

      • Disengaged 3.1.1

        They should. I work for a fairly sizeable export business. We have insurance to cover product loss, freight damage, credit risk and exchange rate fluctuation. This is just seen as a cost of doing business. Why are farmers different?

        If it is too expensive to get insurance because the risk is deemed to be too high, shouldn’t that be seen as a sign that you are farming in the wrong place? Since when is it the government’s responsibility to prop up a flawed business model?

  4. tsmithfield 4

    The difference is that farming is one of the major industries that helps pay the income subsidies the poor receive.

    • comedy 4.1

      Bullshit, they should insure themselves like the rest of us, it is a cost of doing business and it is after all tax deductible.

      http://tower.co.nz/farm/Tailored/

    • Supermaorifella 4.2

      And farming provides down-stream revenue for others in their community/region; the fact that Southland has been so bloody hard hit by the worst storm in at least 50 years affecting the output of both dairy and sheep farms makes it a nationally significant problem. Not as bad as the earthquake further north, but still a major issue that will have people feeling it’s pain for at least a couple of years.
      As an aside, don’t farms have insurance as Blighty mentions? I would have thought they did, but it’s something I’ve never had reason to consider before. Anyone know?
      Re: Comedy’s post: so there is insurance cover at least, do most farmers have it or not?

      • uroskin 4.2.1

        The premature lamb massacre by late snowfall seems to happen every couple of years, so maybe insurance companies have stopped offering cover.

    • Kaplan 4.3

      So by that logic those left homeless should be nicely ensconced in homes with food on the table, courtesy of their local farmer shortly?
      They only real trickle down I have ever seen is in the form of an obnoxious sludge in our local river.

    • fermionic_interference 4.4

      Actually 70% of NZ’s Sheep and Beef farmers make a loss.
      Unfortunately I don’t have a link to this, as I read it this summer, in the Farmers Weekly I believe.
      So it would appear these industries may not make such a large contribution to the income subsidies the poor receive, as you seem to believe.
      Also a large section of investment in these industries was based on making a tax free capital gain upon sale due to the rapidly increasing land prices through the 1990’s and the early 2000’s.
      Which again means a low level of responsibility to our society by a select few, whom search for the easiest way to make a tax free profit.

      Also if someone could find a link to this “70% of NZ’s Sheep and Beef farmers make a loss.” that would be much appreciated.

      • RedLogix 4.4.1

        They make a loss because their costs exceed their incomes.

        The biggest part of their cost increases was mortgage interest. This because for most farmers their retirement scheme is the capital gain in their land, not the cash flow from their agricultural operation.

        The biggest reason why their incomes have failed to keep pace with their costs is that sheep and beef farmers are mere price takers at the farm gate. For decades they have been told to get on board with the co-operative model that has generally been so successful for the dairy farmers…but they are simply too proud. They prefer poverty to acting collectively.

  5. KJT 5

    What about the drainlayer who went bust due to a winter of constant rain?

    Farmers are a business. Not a special case.

    • Supermaorifella 5.1

      I would have thought a drainlayer would have been extremely happy with a winter of constant rain, but I take your point. Again, does anyone know if farmers are insured, in general, or are they under-insured as a group?

      • BLiP 5.1.1

        No insurance company would touch them as far as their early lambing practises are concerned. Would you bet that’s not going to snow for a week in Southland in the middle of September? I would’ve thought that might have been an early indicator of the need to re-think the farm time table. I guess you don’t have to worry too much when you’ve got National Ltd™ not only paying your carbon tax but also acting as a free, default insurance service.

  6. burt 6

    So what is the alternative ? What sort of message do we send to people if the tax payers start bailing out people who didn’t have house insurance ? How many people would cancel their house insurance if that happened?

    However I guess the left would love it if all house insurance was socialised into taxes, along with car insurance & life insurance. Nothing better than state control via monopolies for lovers of inefficieny and one size fits all.

    • just saying 6.1

      Yeah, and what sort of message are they sending the farmers Burt?

      • Supermaorifella 6.1.1

        Individual household – personal responsibility for insurance – minimal flow-on affect if uninsured owner folds

        Individual farm – personal (or group in some cases) responsibility for insurance – some flow on affect to local community

        Regional farming area affected by worst storm in 50 years – massive impact on local economy, impact on national GDP – may require some govenrment assistance,

        • mcflock 6.1.1.1

          an individual household might be a smaller economic unit than a farm, but they still provide ongoing maintenance work and resource purchases and have an economic importance to the nation.

          Wasn’t the catalyst for the US credit crunch thousands/millions of individual households collapsing financially?

          • Supermaorifella 6.1.1.1.1

            Granted, houses (and those in the household) provide ongoing economic stimulus but it’s the scale that’s the key, as you point out. How many households were uninsured? I’d assume that the majority of owners and landlords insure their property, as they are a substantial investment. Those that aren’t (due to negligence, poverty, or some other factor) will have to reap what they have sown. I’d use the same argument for an individual farmer, or group of farmers as well. Unfortunately this has affected an entire region, which will impact that regions economic output and the national economy, making it a rather more drastic issue. Again, I don’t know if there are a lot of farmers without insurance, I’d assume the majority if not all do have cover for themselves and their property (if not they’re just as idiotic as anyone else without insurance). Christchurch, with all due respect to those inconvenienced or worse, is not New Orleans post-Katrina. Infrastructure is still to be rebuilt, some people are dislocated from where they live, a LOT of work still has to be done. But on the plus side construction will boom again in the city and the net gain could well be considerable for Christchurch in the long run. That isn’t to belittle those who have suffered loss in any way.
            The storm that is STILL affecting Southland is destroying the profits for an entire farming region, one of the main blocks of dairy farming in the country (always has been) and with substantial sheep farming in the high country (again, always has been). Even if idiotic farmers don’t have insurance (again, I would assume most do), the fact economic flow on effects from this event will affect the region (quite a bit) and the country in general for years to come as farming is still our countries largest revenue source.
            Disengaged’s comment above still holds weight in this argument, a lot of commentators seem to be assuming every farmer is some rich fat cat lording it over the area and greedily awaiting a government hand-out.

            • mcflock 6.1.1.1.1.1

              The fact is that the quake and the cold snap are probably comparable in economic to private property and the number of people affected.

              If the private insurance industry has to foot the bill for the majority of damage in either area, they’ll just hike up insurance premiums to cover (or use it as an excuse to increase) their profits. So everyone who can afford insurance pays extra, and those who can’t have to take the risk (the trouble with the poor “reaping what they sow” is that often it wasn’t them who did it).

              The govt might as well step in and thereby acknowledge that we’ll all end up paying for it one way or another.

      • the sprout 6.1.2

        umm Burt.. this just sends a message of welfare dependency to farmers

    • burt 6.2

      Yeah I never understood why farmers get handouts either. I think like any other business they should have insurance to cover such events and if they can’t afford insurance they could always sell the farm to somebody who can actually afford to run it and cover the risks associated with it.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.3

      burt – competition doesn’t automatically induce efficiency. If anything, it does the reverse with massive amounts of duplication. The US health system costs three times more than ours because of the inefficiency of the insurance industry.

    • bingo 6.4

      dunno, give them a bailout and when things get good ask their industry to make sure cheese, milk and lamb is affordable in NZ? No wait that would be too interfering. Ah well, just give them a bailout and when things get good they can keep the profits and come on the internet all puffed up and call loser and bludger at everyone else. Business as usual.

  7. Zaphod Beeblebrox 7

    Maybe we can ask the NFF to help us speak out about this outrageous imposition on the public purse. Isn’t welfare dependency one of their pet hates?

  8. RedLogix 8

    Sighs….too many folk missing the point. Much of life is about managing risk. Insurance is simply a way of ensuring that one a single adverse event does not wipe a person, a business or a nation out. In essence ALL insurance is simply a way of spreading risk collectively.

    Like many things, this collective risk management is best done with a mix of public and private provision. Some insurances, like property and life, tend to work ok with private provision. The acturial risks are fairly straightfoward to predict and consistent, so that private companies can structure their offerings in a way that ensures they make a profit.

    Some insurances are unatttactive for private companies, because either the actuarial risks are less predictable, or tend to come in large lumps. For instance, an earthquake wiping out a city, a major depression causing massive unemployment, a storm affecting thousands of farmers simultaneously, an epidemic killing millions…. are the kind of events that would potentially break a private insurance company because of the immense hit on their liquid reserves. They tend to call these kinds of events “Acts of God” and explicitly exclude them from their cover.

    Developed societies recognise that simply allowing people to go under when hit by these large scale ‘Act of God’ events is hugely unproductive. The need for collective action to spread the risk remains, even though private providers are either absent the market, or excessively expensive.

    That is why governments still step in to ‘bail out’ all sorts of people. From banks, finance companies and farmers, to the ill, the disabled and unemployed. It’s called a ‘social contract’.

    What stinks though is the hypocrisy from the right, while happily holding their hands out for their ‘corporate welfare’, endlessly moan and whine about the rather mean provision we stingily dole out to the poorest and weakest in our society.

  9. MrSmith 9

    What about the shop owner in central Christchurch who’s takings are down 60% since the earth quake , this guy has insurance for lose of income, but if his doors are open that doesn’t apply. so he is screwed. If he was a farmer he would get a hand out. Farmers used to be known as the back bone of the country now they should be known as the back-side of the country , they pollute our air and water then pay little tax, let them sink I say, but that will never happen on this governments watch will it!

  10. Jeremy Harris 10

    What is going on in the South Island..?

    SCF – price: $1,700,000,000
    Earthquake – price: $4,500,000,000
    Weather – price: $X00,000,000

    Southerns owing the NI a debt of bailout gratitude………………… priceless…

  11. Zaphod Beeblebrox 11

    In Australia- where all the states (big and small) have equal Senate representations, rural conservatives do tend to be over-represented in influence. But under MMP this shouldn’t happen. A regions influence should be proportional to its population. Or is it that old habits are hard to break for the Nationals.

  12. Logie97 12

    @ Herodotus at 3:11 pm

    What happened to the months of October and November in your year?

    “Surprise events…” I think not. Have seen programmes like Country Calendar informing us of businesses that depend on these “Surprise events” – the slink skin industry. They are expecting such snow storms…

    The “slink” lamb skins originate principally as natural casualties of the world’s sheep populations. During lambing season weather conditions unfortunately lead to many deaths. Previously left in the fields, they are now collected and processed into one of the most sought after leathers.

    • Herodotus 12.1

      The later that the Ram is introduced the reduced lambing % of twins and the increase of barron ewes, resulting in a reduced lamd count.
      I also remember that there are more profitable times for lambs to be sent to the freenzuiing works to “meat” export deadlines.
      re later lambing there is also the reduced moisture soil levels resulting in reduced grass growth.
      I am sure that most farmers take great efforts in managing the welfare of their stock.

      More I think that this is a obnormal weather pattern and that many city people have distanced themselves from the reality of where our food comes from.
      And wihth the timing of sow creates, treatment of calfs by dairy, city people are being confused by poor farming practices and the reality of good pracices that due t the weather have unpleasant appearances but are NOT bad farming practices.
      Next thing slaughter yards will be in the spot light. This for the young maybe a bit squeemish, but old timers may remember this from the Skeptics

  13. jbanks 13

    Farmers contribute significantly to NZ’s economy. Idiots without insurance do not.

    • felix 13.1

      You say that as if they’re mutually exclusive groups.

      • jbanks 13.1.1

        Farmers without house insurance don’t get free houses either. However when their business gets damaged by the worst storm in a generation, it’s a good investment to help them out.

        • Logie97 13.1.1.1

          Farmers – pretty general catchall isn’t it. One assumes there are the hard working small family concerns and the less than hard working small family concerns. The mortgaged and the freehold. First, second, third generation and more. The near retired. The young graduates starting out. The tenanted. The cooperatives. The larger corporations. And in there, there will be the competent and the incompetent. Yet farmers seem to have this “they-are-the-backbone-of-the-country they-can-do-no-wrong” air about them. I’ll bet there aren’t many “farmers” who have much sympathy for the city dwellers who find themselves unemployed suddenly. And they probably have their own generalised opinions about teachers and other government employees as well.

        • felix 13.1.1.2

          Banksy you’re such a card*

          You said “Idiots without insurance don’t”.

          Now you’re saying farmers without insurance do.

          So either everyone without a farm is an idiot, or you don’t know what “mutually exclusive” means.

          (*fuckwit)

          • jbanks 13.1.1.2.1

            I think you better pass on the weed dopey, you’re running low on brain cells.

            We’re talking about personal home (idiots without insurance) vs business (Farmers contribute significantly to NZ’s economy)

            NOBODY gets a new personal home. Yes some idiot farmers might not have house insurance but what the hell has this got to do with their business?

            • felix 13.1.1.2.1.1

              So uninsured house owners are idiots but uninsured business owners are awesome.

              p.s. here’s what you wrote:

              Farmers contribute significantly to NZ’s economy. Idiots without insurance do not.

              Why all the weed related comments from you today, banksie?

              • jbanks

                What particular insurance policy should farmers have had here?

                This was a 1 in a 100 weather event with huge losses not seen since before most of these farmers were even born. The situation has even been officially declared an “adverse event”. Get real puff daddy.

                • felix

                  Fuck you’re slow. I’ve quoted you twice now and you still don’t see the contradiction in what you wrote.

                  Want to let me know why you’re insinuating I smoke pot? Fuckhead.

                  • jbanks

                    Look Cheech, you’re the one saying that farmers should have been insured for this “once in a generation” catastrophe. I’m telling you this is ridiculous and so there is a world of difference between uninsured home owners and the affected farmers.

                    • felix

                      Mind pointing out where I said that, genius?

                    • jbanks

                      Mind pointing out where I said that, genius?
                      Got short-term memory loss? You’ referred to ‘farmers without insurance’ and ‘uninsured business owners’.

                      Obviously it’s unreasonable for farmers to have insurance in the context of a one in 50 year event. So you’d have to be high to lump them with the ‘home owners without insurance’ idiots.

                    • felix

                      banksie. You wrote:

                      Look Cheech, you’re the one saying that farmers should have been insured for this “once in a generation” catastrophe.

                      Now I either said that or you’re a liar. So if you can’t point to where I said it I’d like an apology.

                      (wtf is with the short term memory loss? I’m the one constantly reminding you what you’ve just written. Pretty obvious who has the memory issues)

                      Now put up or apologise, crackhead.

                  • jbanks

                    This is for covering a few livestock for certain events. Not for literally hundreds lost in an ‘adverse event’.

                    Nice try though. Shows you’re at least thinking.

  14. OleOlebiscuitBarrell 14

    If you’re too poor to afford house insurance and you’re left homeless by an act of god, the government won’t help you.

    Anyone with a mortgage is going to have to have insurance because the mortgagee will require it.

    So it seems the underprivileged group of people you are asking us to help are the poor people who own mortgagee-free homes.

    How many of those do you think there are?

  15. Kleefer 15

    Simple answer – neither should get any taxpayer-funded assistance. Ever heard of the term ‘moral hazard’? National clearly haven’t.

  16. prism 16

    When it comes to contents insurance – that would be needed by all occupants, house-owners or renters. It was not regarded as a necessary expenditure for those on benefits by the Soc Welf last time I heard, and also for those on low wages also termed ‘the working poor’ which is a sizable group, they may have had to drop insurance because of more urgent costs. These people shouldn’t be condemned as stupid, they are just trying to manage with little to spare after the main bills are paid.

    I was just thinking about the USA and its hurricane area. It must be killing for people in the south trying to improve their lot to have their homes, then their trailers and possessions wiped out on a regular basis, not once in fifty years like this earthquake.

  17. jbanks 17

    Now I either said that or you’re a liar. So if you can’t point to where I said it I’d like an apology.

    You’re a typical stoner trying to sneak out the back door when called up on your drug hazed crap.

    Now you’re trying to tell me that this comment from you was actually NOT implying that farmers should have been insured.
    So uninsured house owners are idiots but uninsured business owners are awesome.

    DIAF

    • felix 17.1

      What I was pointing out, my dim-witted little friend, and what I’ve tried to point out to you several times since is that you made a stupid statement which claims a mutual exclusivity where none exists.

      Does DIAF mean “die in a fire”? Are you that angry?

      Lay off the crackpipe and have a nap, fuckwit.

      • jbanks 17.1.1

        And you are utterly wrong.

        I referred to “farmers” and “idiots without insurance”.

        These groups ARE mutually exclusive groups, because as I’ve pointed out (and what you seem to have agreed on) is that it’s unreasonable to expect farmers to have had insurance in the context of the catastrophe.

        Next time you wanna challenge me you better bring your A-game chump.

        pwned

        • felix 17.1.1.1

          You’re putting words in my mouth. Saying I said things you want me to have said because it would validate your preconceptions.

          It’s transparent and stupid. And don’t say “pwned”, you’ve only made a fool of yourself.

          I’ll talk to you again when you come down, crackhead.

          • jbanks 17.1.1.1.1

            When I suggested that you don’t think farmers should have been insured ie
            you’re the one saying that farmers should have been insured for this “once in a generation” catastrophe.

            You denied this.
            Mind pointing out where I said that, genius?

            So I suggested that you actually don’t think that farmers should have been insured
            I’ve pointed out (and what you seem to have agreed on) is that it’s unreasonable to expect farmers to have had insurance in the context of the catastrophe.

            you also denied this
            You’re putting words in my mouth

            Well which one is it smokey? Should they have been insured or not?

            As long as you keep posting on here the Standard will continue to be a joke. Thank you.

            • mcflock 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Jb, did you just quote yourself in an attempt to demonstrate that felix said something?

              Felix wins.

              You got pwned, byatch! Run home to your mama and cry now – or do you want us to call a waaaahmbulance?

              Word.

              kthxbai

              ps: yes, I too speak lingua adolescentii.

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    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
    1 day 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    5 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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