The British Election

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, April 4th, 2015 - 67 comments
Categories: International, Politics, uk politics - Tags: ,

Britain is going to the polls on May 7, 2015.  Current polling suggests that the main parties are neck and neck. But the vagaries of FPP and a surge of nationalism in Scotland mean that the result is becoming utterly unpredictable.

The one and only leader’s debate has taken place.  The video is above.  There was some controversy as Labour’s urging for a Miliband Cameron debate was turned down by the tories. They opted instead for a folksy interview and this latest multi leader debate.

I suspect Cameron preferred this because he calculated that Labour faced the greater risk of leakage than the Conservatives if the minor parties were given exposure although to be fair the situation appeared to be complex with threats of legal action possibly having an effect. After watching the debate I think Cameron’s calculations may be right.

The leaders of some of the minor parties were very impressive. Natalie Bennett of the Green Party was principled, and Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru was passionate. But to my mind Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party was the standout performer. She was tough and determined and more than held her own against her better known opponents.

Nigel Farage was as disgraceful as I thought he would be. Talking about immigrants suffering from HIV showed a complete lack of humanity and the responses from the others were totally appropriate.

Nick Clegg was missing in the debate.  He may be in danger of losing his seat.

The dynamics of the election are interesting.  Labour and the Conservatives will have many more seats than their polling deserves.  The Greens are polling at about 6% but are predicted by the Guardian at this stage to only win one seat.  The Lib Dems are polling at about 7% and are predicted to pick up 25 seats.  Dare I say this but even though it is polling at about 15% the UKIP is predicted at this stage to only pick up four seats and this does not seem fair.

The really interesting result could be in Scotland where the SNP is predicted to win up to 56 seats, with many of the gains coming from Labour.  William Wallace would be proud and Labour must regret the way it handled the Scottish Independence referendum.  It will also have to make peace with the SNP.  The predicted seats are double the number of seats that the SNP would win if representation was proportional.

The current prediction is that Labour may need the support of the SNP, Plaid Cymru and Sinn Fein to get to the magical number of 326 seats.  Celts of the world would celebrate such a Government.

Miliband’s ruling out going into coalition with the SNP is farcical.  The numbers clearly suggest that a progressive government will require SNP support.

67 comments on “The British Election”

  1. Bill 1

    A couple of things worth mentioning Micky.

    The SNP has ruled out a coalition with Labour too (Trident renewal being a bottom line). They’ve also basically ruled out a ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement. Now I’m guessing the reason for that is that they’d be bound to vote positively on Labour austerity budgets which is anathema to the SNP who want fiscally responsible spending increases across the board. They’ve stated they’ll lock the Tories out of government if they (the Tories) are the largest post election party. They’ll give an initial vote of confidence to the Labour party and then proceed on a vote by vote basis.

    Sinn Fein boycott Westminster and I honestly can’t see that changing. Also, the chances of their vote being needed is fairly slim.

    And although the SNP may hold the balance of power, Nicola Sturgeon will have little to do with how that operates. The SNP has a Westminster leader and Sturgeon isn’t standing in the UK elections. Alex Salmond has said he won’t punt for the position of SNP leader in Westminster if he wins his seat, but regardless, Westminster parties are going to have rings run around them by the SNP who will be the only party in Westminster who have recent experience of minority government and the plays and ploys that make or break it.

    Maybe also worth noting that google apparently had a lot of searches on whether people in England could vote SNP after that debate (they can’t) and SNP membership rose by a further 1800 during the debate to now stand in excess of 100 000 – which isn’t bad given Scotland’s population base.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Thanks Bill. Your understanding of UK politics is much deeper than mine.

      So Labour will obviously have to make peace with the SNP. And if the price of this is no Trident renewal and no austerity budgets then all good!

      I was trying to think of a similar situation in New Zealand politics. Perhaps the Labour New Labour difficulties back in the early 1990s were similar.

      • Bill 1.1.1

        Labour won’t agree to no Trident renewal. So…there won’t be a coalition. With no ‘confidence and supply’ agreement, the SNP can force modifications on Labour’s austerity focused budgets…or Labour can turn to the Tories for support.

        There was an odd law change around UK elections that might allow the SNP to simply vote against budgets without triggering a new election…The Fixed Term Parliaments Act. It looks as though Parliament cannot be dissolved without 2/3rds of the members voting for dissolution. (Section 2 of the Act)

        Anyway, that as it may be, I guess the illusion of left and right as represented by Labour and the Tories is about to vanish under the spectacle of those two propping one another up in vote after vote after vote.

        What I mean by that is that any informal, or ‘vote by vote’ agreement presented to the public will be an SNP/Labour one, but that most votes could be passed by a pro-austerity Labour and Tories voting in concert.

        • ScottGN 1.1.1.1

          Are you saying that the Fixed Term Parliaments Act would override the constitutional framework common to all the Westminster parliaments ie that the Budget is a simple majority confidence vote and failure to win that vote requires the Sovereign to either call another election or invite a different party leader to try and form a government that can win the confidence of the House?

          • Bill 1.1.1.1.1

            The Sovereign no longer has the power to recall or dissolve parliament. Outside of the statutory fixed term, it takes 2/3rds of seats (vacant included) to dissolve parliament.

            edit : as Alex Salmond has said, it seems nobody bothered to read the fcking thing. That, or they were so stuck in FFP head space that certain scenarios simply never occurred to who-ever drafted or passed it.

            • ScottGN 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Having a very cursory look at the act it seems that in addition to the 2/3rds majority to dissolve parliament for an early election, section 2, subsection 4 of the act allows for the government to fall if a confidence vote is lost in the House. Supply bills are always confidence votes. Therefore if the SNP was to vote down a Labour budget my understanding is that unless the government can win another confidence vote within 14 days of the initial vote (subsection 5) that would trigger a dissolution of the House and an early election.

              • lurgee

                The governement that wins a motion of confidence 14 days after losing one need not be the same government, if you follow me. If the SNP brought down a Labour government, they might find themselves facing a Tory Lib-Dem administration, or a Tory-Labour unity administration to ‘see out the term’ and ‘protect Britain’s parliament’ from interference from ‘Nationalist wreckers.’

                The SNP will have to play their hand carefully, and cynically.

        • lurgee 1.1.1.2

          I think it is far more likely that the SNP will find it in their hearts to compromise on Trident.

          In spite of their good running, they are actually in a tricky position.

          If the Tories are the largest party in in a hanged parliament, and the SNP are in a position to stop them getting into power, but do not, the SNP will be abjured by the Scottish voters. The Scottish public will not countenance a Tory led government being tacitly supported by the SNP over something the Scottish public aren’t quite as vehement about as the SNP are.

          It is also worth pointing out that many people in Scotland have jobs that depend on military spending. I grew up in Helensburgh, beside the Faslane submarine base. We didn’t like having it there, but we didn’t like the idea of not having it there either, as it brought in so much money to the town.

          It is (slightly) interesting that the SNP boost is not coming entirely at Labour’s expense. A lot of it seems to be the anti-Tory, anti-Labour, anti-Nats who have traditionally voted Lib Dem, which is the bloc that has resulted in the Lib Dems always being over-represented in Scotland.

          The reality is that the SNP will be under immense pressure to support Labour, because a lot of their support is former Labour that will be disgusted if the SNP do not help Milliband into Downing Street and help keep him there. About 12% of the SNP vote (according to polling analysis) is from Labour, and it is the most volatile. They aren’t interested in Independence, but are interested in pushing Labour into power and pushing Milliband to the left – it’s a tactic to outflank the still powerful Balirite pseudo-conservative, anti-progressive right wing of the party.

          The other 12% of the SNP’s new support is largely drawn from the Lib Dems, who have always enjoyed an unusually high degree of support in Scotland. That’s largely because of the peculiar nature of Scottish politics.

          No-one is suggesting, I think, that the Highlands and Islands are havens for those concerned with Gay rights and electoral reform. But they are full of people who won’t vote Tory (too English in profoundly conservative rural Scotland), won’t vote Labour (too urban in profoundly conservative rural Scotland) and won’t vote SNP (too nationalist in profoundly conservative rural Scotland) so they schizophrenically vote for the Lib Dems. Now that vote seems to have shifted to the SNP – along with a fair chunk of Labour’s vote.

          It looks like being the most interesting election in aeons, or at least since 1997.

          The SNP and the UKIP are wild cards, but of different sorts. The UKIP may critically injure the Tories in crucial constituencies, allowing Labour or the Lib Dems to win what should have been unwinnable seats. But they (UKIP) won’t win many seats at all, just make it harder for the Tories. The SNP, on the otherhand, probably will win a lot of seats, mostly from Labour.

          But as the only option for the SNP is to work with Labour, formally or informally, that doesn’t hurt Labour nearly as much as the UKIP hurts the Tories.

          Also, Miliband has shown he’s not useless in debates, so he’ll be getting lots of good coverage over the next few weeks. Cameron, on the other hand, is coming across more and more as a loathsome toff turd – A “bunch of hypocritical, holier-than-thou, hopeless, sneering socialists” indeed. Dave, apart from the last word (which hardly applies to Labur, alas!) you just described your own party. Too a hypocritical, holier-than-thou,, hopeless, sneering tee.

          • Bill 1.1.1.2.1

            The SNP have already stated that they will ‘lock out’ the Tories if the Tories are the largest party by voting them down after the Queens speech (or whatever it’s called). They have asked the Labour Party to make the same commitment so that the numbers are assured. Labour won’t make the commitment. The SNP have also stated that they will vote in favour of a minority Labour-led government.

            Neither the SNP nor the Greens (they are campaigning together on the issue) have any reason to back down on trident.

            edit : And from the horses mouth… In the meantime, I repeat my challenge to Ed Miliband: if together our parties have the numbers required after 7 May, and regardless of which is the biggest party, will he and Labour join with us in locking David Cameron out of Downing Street?

            Nicola Sturgeon is first minister of Scotland

            http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/04/nicola-sturgeon-snp-anti-austerity-message-tories

            • lurgee 1.1.1.2.1.1

              It’s easy enough for Nicola to strike these postures; harder for Labour to signal support. The SNP are unlikely to lose ground by collapsing a parliament. Labour will, as their soft right wing defects and the tories point to the SNP and bray about how this is what happens when the Nationalists are given the reins of power and the only solution is a strong Conservtive majority … which, in turn won’t hurt the SNP but will mean five more years of lives being blighted by the Tories.

              The SNP can make intransigent noises about Trident just now, but expect to see them ameliorate their position as necessary if the numbers dictate it. I admire Sturgeon and think she is to smart to destroy a parliament and set up a Conservative victory over something than can be conveniently dropped into the basket labelled “We’ll do this when we have independence” basket.

              • mickysavage

                Of course if Labour came out and said no to Trident they would save considerable expense and contribute to world peace at the same time. I don’t know what the polling on the issue is like but it could be a way to improve relations with the SNP.

                • Bill

                  Labour. Trident. NATO. ‘In the club’.

                  They can’t say no to trident having committed to a supposedly independent nuclear defence option decades ago…unless the left of the party enjoys a resurgence.

                  Now. This ‘fear’ that the SNP will push Labour to the left….

              • Bill

                You’re ignoring general Scottish sentiments there (as well as SNP and Green party ones) and propagating a Tory meme there Lurgie. (Collapsing a minority Labour government and allowing the Tories in)

                Lets be clear. If the SNP allowed the Tories to ‘take the benches’ at Westminster, the SNP would be finished. It’s that simple.

                Independence may or may not be a campaign issue come the Holyrood elections in 2016. But, and I think the SNP have made this clear, it’s got fuck all to do with Westminster elections. (Securing the conditions made in ‘The Vow’ that the ‘No’ side put out a couple of days before the independence vote? Yes.)

                On Trident. The SNP have against trident for many, many years and was a major theme in their ‘Yes’ campaign. It’s not some opportunistic, vote catching nonsense.

                • ghostwhowalksnz

                  Anti Trident has been a small party vote catcher for many years in UK.

                  This from Lib- Dems

                  “Britain’s nuclear deterrent, which consists of four Trident submarines, is out-dated and expensive. It is a relic of the Cold War and not up-to-date in 21st century Britain. Nowadays, most of our threats come from individual terrorist groups, not communist countries with nuclear weapons.
                  The Liberal Democrats are the only main party willing to face up to those facts.”

                  The post script is that they are sitting on the fence, some replacement, occasional patrols. hahaha.

                • lurgee

                  You’re ignoring general Scottish sentiments there (as well as SNP and Green party ones) and propagating a Tory meme there Lurgie. (Collapsing a minority Labour government and allowing the Tories in)

                  Lets be clear. If the SNP allowed the Tories to ‘take the benches’ at Westminster, the SNP would be finished. It’s that simple.

                  When I referred to the SNP destroying a parliament and setting up a Tory victory, the scenario I am envisaging is an early dissolution and a second general election in late 2015 or 16, with the Tories triumphant. Some in the SNP would actually quite like that, I suspect. Sturgeon, I think, is not one of them. She probably actually wants to make some changes, rather than pull faces from the opposition side. Sadly, many Scots are so used to being gubbed we think that face pulling actually counts as some sort of victory.

                  Sturgeon’s problem is if she gets what she wants and Labour need her to form an administration. She’ll probably be forced to confront the Trident issue. Labour just need to put it into a budget and if the SNP refuse to support it, down comes the government; then either we end up with a Tory administration, and the balme directed at the SNP, or another election, leading to a probable Tory majority.

                  Actually being in power actually has some degree of responsibility. That’s another reason my feckless country men enjoy the face pulling – it carries no direct and obvious burden of responsibility. I’ll wager devo-max will be traded for Trident.

                  A few nukes is a small price to pay for not having the Tories in power.

                  • Bill

                    …an early dissolution and a second general election in late 2015 or 16,…

                    Except for the small detail that it takes 2/3rds of the total number of seat to vote for a dissolution of Parliament if a vote is lost. And the SNP simply are not, not ever going to go down that path of being responsible for allowing the Tories in. But sure. Apart from that, it’s a fine theory.

                    Devo-max/home rule or whatever term you prefer was a part of ‘the vow’ made by the ‘No’ camp. The SNP have said their intention is to see it fulfilled.

                    And again Trident. The SNP simply won’t vote for renewal. Labour with Tory support will ensure that vote goes through.

                    • lurgee

                      You’re overlooking the 14 day automatic dissolution. Expenditure votes are automatic confidence votes, if the government can not pass them, then it automatically falls. If the Tories aren’t in a position to forma government, then parliament is dissolved and there’s another election.

                      If the SNP won’t vote for a budget that includes Trident, it is unlikely the Tories will either. Why would they? It isn’t in their interests to keep Ed Milliband in power. The Conservatives can happily let a Labour administration fall, looking forward to winning an election on a “We’ll do the job properly, unlike that parcel of rogues” ticket and present their own budget with Trident front and centre.

                      Which is a lose-lose situation for the SNP. Out of power, discredited, and still with Trident. Make that a lose-lose-lose situation. Pragmatism would turn two of these losses into wins.

                      (Which is as close to outright victory as any Scot can hope for.)

                    • Bill

                      Expenditure votes are automatic confidence votes, if the government can not pass them, then it automatically falls.

                      Nope. Not any more. They might trigger a confidence vote…that needs 2/3rds of all seats (including those that are vacant) to vote ‘no confidence’.

                    • lurgee

                      You’re confusing confidence votes in the current government and votes to dissolve the current parliament.

                      A no confidence vote, on a simple majority, dissolves the government, but not parliament. All supply bills are automatically confidence votes, because if you can’t pass your budget, you obviously don’t have the confidence of the house.

                      A vote to dissolve parliament early requires a 2/3 majority, or 14 days with no new administration being formed.

                    • Bill

                      Budget fails. Confidence motion called. SNP back confidence in Labour. -end-

                      Yes, I was confusing two issues, but it doesn’t alter the facts.

                      Here’s the legislation.

                      Early parliamentary general elections

                      (1)An early parliamentary general election is to take place if—

                      (a)the House of Commons passes a motion in the form set out in subsection (2), and
                      (b)if the motion is passed on a division, the number of members who vote in favour of the motion is a number equal to or greater than two thirds of the number of seats in the House (including vacant seats).

                      (2)The form of motion for the purposes of subsection (1)(a) is—

                      “That there shall be an early parliamentary general election.”

                      (3)An early parliamentary general election is also to take place if—

                      (a)the House of Commons passes a motion in the form set out in subsection (4), and

                      (b)the period of 14 days after the day on which that motion is passed ends without the House passing a motion in the form set out in subsection (5).

                      (4)The form of motion for the purposes of subsection (3)(a) is—

                      “That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government.”

                      (5)The form of motion for the purposes of subsection (3)(b) is—

                      “That this House has confidence in Her Majesty’s Government.”

                      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/14/section/2/enacted

                  • lurgee

                    Yeah, but as I understand it, budget motions are automatically confidence motions. It indicates the house does not trust the government to spend money, i.e. has no confidence in it.

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

                    So if the SNP vote against a bill allocating funds to Trident, then a minority Labour government falls (unless the Tories decide to save it, which seems very much against their interests). Then a new administration forms or the house dissolves if that is not possible.

  2. Bill 2

    And as an indicator of the dumb-arse shit being flung around by…well, I would say the Labour Party, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, but it’s essentially the British establishment, this unsubstantiated and simply not credible piece lands in ‘The Telegraph’ claiming that Sturgeon told the French Ambassador that she’d prefer Cameron to be PM over Miliband.

    edit: Christ on a bike! Riding in tandem with ‘The Telegraph’, The Daily Mail has a front page headline proclaiming Sturgeon as ‘The Most Dangerous Woman in Britain

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 2.1

      essentially the British establishment

      Many parts of the Fourth Estate, including The Torygraph, are part of the establishment of course.

    • mickysavage 2.2

      Wow. Makes our media look responsible and restrained …

      • Bill 2.2.1

        The bit that makes me laugh is that no-one in Scotland will be buying into that shit. That voters in England and Wales may buy into it is neither here nor there in terms of the prospective SNP vote.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 2.2.1.1

          Well they wouldnt have that on the front page of Scottish editions !

          Daily Mail- serving up alarming tory nonsense for over 70 years

    • ScottGN 2.3

      I’m a bit puzzled by this gambit by The Telegraph really. It seems to run counter to what the Tory strategy has been so far this election. They haven’t got a show in Scotland (and they don’t care anyway) so they’re happy for the SNP to take seats off Labour (lots of seats it seems) and then they can frighten wavering English voters back into the Tory fold by claiming that Miliband will be in the pocket of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon. Maybe they just couldn’t help themselves. Maybe polling is showing that British voters outside of Scotland are getting to know Sturgeon a bit and quite like her.

      • Bill 2.3.1

        I’m guessing that in their out of touch way, they were hoping to scare Scottish voters into simply not voting SNP. Preserve the cozy old boys club of Westminster. Both the Tories and Labour are fucked if the SNP wipe the board in Scotland and wield genuine power in Westminster.

      • lurgee 2.3.2

        The Telegraph has simply gone mad, recently. I dont know if any more complex explanation is required. It was always a bit of a reactionary uncle who drinks too much and holds forth endlessly and embarrassingly at family occasions sort of newspaper, but I think in the last few years it has genuinely lost the plot. I think it has tried to ape the success of the Daly Mail, and this has mortally offended the principled conservatives who worked there and the professional journalists.

    • ScottGN 2.4

      Great comment in the Guardian with this
      “The Telegraph ‘story’ has the fecal traces of Skidmark Crosby smeared all across it.”

      • mickysavage 2.4.1

        Yep talk about Dirty Politics UK style. And the fact that everyone in the meeting denies that the comment was made shows how bizarre the claim is.

        I expect there will be ads showing two rowing boats soon with the Labour/SNP/Green/Plaid Cymru resembling the local version from last election.

        I expect the target is to scare swinging English voters from “putting it all at risk” by giving the Scots too much power.

        • ScottGN 2.4.1.1

          The Tories main concern is that there are almost as many marginal seats in England that they and the LibDems are in danger of losing to Labour as there are Labour seats in Scotland that may go to the SNP. Consequently their strategy has been to portray Miliband as beholden to Salmond and Sturgeon (the campaign poster of Salmond looking down at a mini Miliband tucked in his breast pocket was really rather good). In the wake of the Indyref while the English were a bit shitty about what they saw as Scottish have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too it worked. Now however Sturgeon has gate crashed the election campaign and polls are showing that english voters actually quite like her (and her anti-austerity message). Hence the leaked ‘fake’ memo from the French Consul. It looks more and more like both Labour and the Tories have seriously under-estimated Nicola Sturgeon.

  3. Bill 3

    The predicted seats are double the number of seats that the SNP would win if representation was proportional.

    Of course, another perspective is that a political Treaty of Union predicated on equality should have meant that 50% of Westminster was comprised of Scottish based MPs…

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1

      Treaty of Union meant 50% ?

      Dont know where you got that from ? At the time they had the trump card in the Stuarts replaced the English ruling family.
      The English cut the head off one, and then sent the last one packing.

      The Guelphs have been a largely nondescript borderline insane group.

      Electress Sophia was head and shoulders above all of them, and she was really a Stuart.

  4. Penny Bright 4

    Any summary of POLICIES and PROVEN TRACK RECORDS of the major parties in the upcoming UK election?

    Penny Bright

    • Bill 4.1

      A summary?

      Labour, Conservatives, UKIP and Liberal Democrats are all pro-austerity to one degree or another as per neo-liberal economic dogma.

      The Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru are all anti-austerity.

      I mean, I know that’s very basic, but everything else flows from there.

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 4.1.1

        Sturgeon was a clear stand-out especially when she said:

        “We need to invest and grow our way out of austerity.”

  5. mikesh 6

    “The predicted seats are double the number of seats that the SNP would win if representation was proportional.”

    Presumably they would still have the same number of seats, but with a 28 seat overhang.

  6. Ecosse_Maidy 7

    Sturgeon debated in a forthright style with a human touch.

    She held the Westminster Old Boys Club to account especially Cameron and it showed. It showed in bright relief there is an alternative to the menu of cuts, austerity, more cuts all aimed at the lower end of the society, not because of need yet because of Ideology, especially of The Tories.

    Cameron under the strings of Crosby will pull out all the dirty tricks to smear the agenda of hope over cuts. They will use, and are using the right wing press and soon no doubt big industry to demean Sturgeons Hope agenda. They will raise the spectra of a Millibland Labour- Sturgeon,Salmond SNP, ,understanding pact, confidence and supply, call it what one likes, as a bad thing for Democracy in “Britain”….This means translated a bad thing for them…Tory South East based England. They will try and weaponise this tactic, to try and get people in England to tactically switch in swing seats away from a potential Labour vote to Them, under the mantra of keeping Sturgeon-Milliband out of power and influence.

    Now Sturgeon is used to this sort of treatment from the establishment, especially during the referendum campaign and despite a NO Vote, it was shown that you can navigate round big business threats and Westminster smears. Hopefully this will occur again and also that people in Wales, Northern Ireland, England will perceive Strurgeon for what she is, a progressive politician with a message of hope and competence.

    Only time will tell.

    The only thing more despicable at how the Tories/Crosby are painting the Rise of Sturgeon and a potential SNP/Labour co existence is the Tories haven’t ruled out a coalition, pact, alliance with Farage’s Racist UKIP. Oh the whiff of rank hypocracy!

    The surge in Scotland is no surprise, the only surprise is it hasn’t happened earlier, under New Labours promises of Jam tomorrow. Yet Sturgeon offers a form on pragmatic socialism that Labour sold out on….yet Scots have and are still buying into this via the SNP

    The SNP will have a have a much larger proportion of MPs at Westminster, its just about the numbers now. And I feel that Sturgeons Party will be in a position of influence, not only to set an alternative agenda of Hope over Austerity, Improved fiscal autonomy for Scotland yet to offer the other nations within the UK also an alternative to The Tories One Trick Pony Mantra of Balancing the Books to being nothing more than a cover for their Ideological Attachment To Slash & Burn anything that is not of their making.

    The SNP will be the voice of reason, saying that the spending of £100 billion on a replacement for Trident is abhorrent….Odd how Cameron says its the UK’s Independent Nuclear Deterrent yet those outside the Club Of Big Boys Toys whom try to procure them they are Weapons of Mass Destruction.

    I hope that Sturgeons SNP hold the balance of power, not just for Scotlands Interests….yet for the rest of the UK’s too and the wider world.

    Its just a pity, that we don’t have a similar sort of True Left of Centre Party in NZ with advocates like Sturgeons & Salmonds SNP,

    They show there is a better way to engage people in politics, which values all and strengthens society and does not try to break it.

    If they can do it, we can do it…Why not?

  7. Sable 8

    Milliband’s refusal to deal with SNP is no surprise. It echo’s our own Labour party’s attitude towards potential alliance partners and I suspect, for similar reasons.

    Labour in the UK these days has a lot more in common with the Tories than genuine left leaning parties. They are an ersatz left party, that is really moderate right

    That said, the alternative for the Brits, with the Tory’s return to office is akin to our own misfortune, with another three years of US neo con, boot licking, not to mention environmental and social mayhem from the nasty Nats.

    • Bill 8.1

      Milliband hasn’t refused to deal with the SNP. He’ll have to or, and bye-bye UK Labour if he does do this, allow the Tories back in as a minority government.

      • ScottGN 8.1.1

        I reckon Labour and the SNP will come to some sort of C & S minority government arrangement after May 7 if that’s the hand voters deal them. You can’t really blame Miliband for downplaying that prospect at the moment though, he’s under severe pressure in Scotland and trying to win a whole swag of marginals in England. As for Trident – I can’t see a compromise either side really, positions have been too entrenched for too long. The best that can be hoped for is some sort of ‘agree to disagree’ situation whereby Labour will have to look elsewhere in the Commons for votes on that matter. A bit like the way agreements have developed here in NZ. In fact negotiators for the Cons/LibDem agreement after the elections in 2010 spent a lot of time looking at how C & S agreements have been reached in NZ since we moved to MMP.

  8. millsy 9

    Bill said:

    “Labour, Conservatives, UKIP and Liberal Democrats are all pro-austerity to one degree or another as per neo-liberal economic dogma.

    The Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru are all anti-austerity.

    I mean, I know that’s very basic, but everything else flows from there.”

    I think that it is a pretty accurate description.

    Labour has ruled out renationalising the railways, for starters, leaving in place the horribly complex system created 20 years ago (I am pretty sure that was deliberately done to make it hard to be undone). Its welfare spokesperson has also declared that Labour ‘doesnt want to be the party of the welfare system’.

    Like most right wing parties in Trotter’s Anglo Saxon fist, the Conservatives have an ideological opposition to government services, welfare and trade unions. 5 more years of Tory Government will probably lead to a public sector that is less the size it was before the Boer War.

  9. adam 10

    I’m hearing from Scotland, that there is a lot of love for the SNP – more so after the failed vote for Scottish independence. Especially, how the SNP have conducted themselves after losing – it went down well.

    Even those who are hard core labour members, over there are giving up on labour and moving to SNP.

    I got an email from one of the more conservative labour supports I’m friends with, he stated there is no future for labour in Scotland, as they have burnt to many bridges. I was shocked to read that in his email – truly shocked. He even felt disgruntled with the labour party – is still a member – but has not decided how he will vote.

    I Just hope not to many people burn themselves out over this election – it is really the bonfire the left get burnt on, time and time again.

    • lurgee 10.1

      I think people feel it’s safer to support them now, with independence off the table for a decade or so.

      • ScottGN 10.1.1

        That’s probably true but I do think that some credit needs to be given to Sturgeon (or maybe I should just say ‘Nicola’ since she seems to have joined that small group of politicians who come to be know just by their first name). She’s become a very popular First Minister since she took over from Salmond notwithstanding the lunatic rantings of the Daily Mail.

  10. Anne 12

    Wow! Thanks to all of you and mickysavage for your well informed comments. I didn’t understand the political implications of this election (having not taken too much interest up until now), but I will be following it with fascination from now on.

    • mickysavage 12.1

      Thanks Anne. If you want to keep up with UK politics from a Scottish progressive view there is this fascinating website that reminds me of the Standard in both philosophy and approach …

      http://wingsoverscotland.com

  11. tracey 13

    Thanks to all. Thoroughly enjoyed reading your to and fro.

  12. Anne 14

    My parents were born and bred in London. My father (former British military) had a colourful political past. He and a mate joined the Oswald Mosley Party (didn’t use the N word deliberately) in the mid 1930s because they wanted to find out what it was all about. Went to a few meetings – including a trip to Germany – and was horrified at what he saw even then. Left England with his young family and settled in NZ in 1939. Fought in the Pacific and found the Americans obnoxious. It turned him off them for life. Then he did a 180 degree political spin and joined the NZ Labour Party and voted for them the rest of his life.

    On the basis of the above comments I think he would be rooting for the SNP if he was still around.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 14.1

      Ah the SNP.

      Thank god they didnt have independence before the GFC.

      With Scottish banks supposed to even more larger part of the economy than Ireland it would have been a disaster par excellence as the French would say.

      The Spanish regions like Catalunya have even greater control than Scotland currently has, ended up even greater disaster.

      • Bill 14.1.1

        Thank god they didnt have independence before the GFC

        Yeah, because that would have meant tax-payers from various nations bailing out various banks associated with other nations…as happened. (US taxpayers bailing British banks for instance)

        • ghostwhowalksnz 14.1.1.1

          Royal Bank of Scotland – owned by taxpayer

          Bank of Scotland, the Jacobite bank, pushed into merger with Lloyds.

          The connection with the US is because they had subsidaries operating in US.

          Scotland would have gone cap in hand to be saved by England, or faced a bigger financial catastrophe than Ireland.

          • Bill 14.1.1.1.1

            So, from your comment it appears you understand that a bank retrieves its losses from tax-payers across a number of countries it operates in and with the compliance of that country’s government to a bail-out formula and not wholly or even possibly greatly, from the country it’s historically associated as coming from.

            .

  13. Ecosse_Maidy 15

    Thanks Micky for this article.

    You might like to have a read…..of the link below in regard to a recent “Bombshell”claim by the Torigraph (aka The Telegraph) in the UK.

    So starts the attacks upon the SNP and Sturgeon…who has the Daily Fail (aka The Daily Mail ) calling her the “Most Dangerous Woman in the UK”.

    Not that she wouldn’t be expecting it and will weather the storm ( goes to show how worried they are )

    http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2015/04/04/british-state-spin-and-lies-exposed/

  14. Cantabrian 16

    I was not impressed by Natalie Bennett in the debate. Sturgeon and Leanne Wood were outstanding. Bennett seemed to grate somehow – much more than our NZ Green leaders do. I will be interested to see if she wins her seat.

    • ScottGN 16.1

      It’s unlikely. The Greens looks set to win only one seat which is the one they have in The Commons, Brighton Pavilion which is held by Caroline Lucas.

  15. ScottGN 17

    The Guardian’s poll projections today show Labour and the SNP on the verge of a majority.
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/ng-interactive/2015/feb/27/guardian-poll-projection

    • Bill 17.1

      Plaid Cymru are unlikely to go backwards. On current numbers that’s (I think) three mps buried in the ‘others’ total. Then add the one from the Greens.

      So, by my reckoning, the majority is there on that survey – and it comprises of three anti-austerity parties and Labour.

  16. ScottGN 18

    The Times is reporting that Ashcroft polling shows Labour has increased its lead in English marginals they need to win to take government.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Hard News: Dealer’s Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994
    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    1 day ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    1 day ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    2 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    2 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    3 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    3 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    3 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    3 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    4 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    4 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    6 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    6 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago