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The Far Right’s Winning Narrative Superiority

Written By: - Date published: 10:43 am, September 7th, 2019 - 132 comments
Categories: australian politics, boris johnson, Donald Trump, Politics, uk politics, us politics - Tags:

Why do they win?

Why is it that the far-right populists have done so much better than the left out of the rolling GFC and government spending austerity-induced rolling crises across European and U.S. society? The French Rassamblement National (formerly Front National), the Dutch FreedomParty, the German AfD, the Italian Lega, and other in Hungary, Poland, Austria etc, have all mobilized voters across the political spectrum and have all made actual government very unstable. They even took a big chunk of the European Parliament this year.

There are few left equivalents, with exceptions.

After the rise of Trump, Cameron and now Johnson, milder conservative parties have successfully adopted hard-right nationalist narrative techniques.

Why?

Is it really a great backlash against inchoate social grievances?

Did the near-death of European Christianity and death of Communism form a resonant void of value that liberative movements since the 1970s have not replaced, a need so great that only nostalgia for unconfused power and ethnic purity can successfully respond? (In Italy they even revolt against the Pope for being too liberal).

Surely the left was better positioned to rise in response to sustained economic and social crisis and loss of centres of social value and coherence?

Why, instead, has the strong left shrunken to near-nothing most everywhere?

Time and again, the rise of far-right populism is a generation-altering lesson in which messages are shaped to make them more appealing to broader and broader sectors of the population. Trump’s team learnt their winning lessons from Europe’s own hard-right successes, and now lead a Republic Party more extreme than UKIP.

The implications for the last remaining movements of the global left are of paramount importance: instead of co-opting or imitating far-right populists under the false assumption that their success simply mirrors the will of the people, we need to get underneath the car to figure how parties themselves shape popular demand.

(I’m certainly not making any points about their success forming governments or implementing policies. Generally so far they fail.)

Far-right populism is not simply demand-driven. Multiple insecurities – including cultural as well as economic and personal – indeed drive voter preferences. While these insecurities offer opportunities for political parties, however, they are not enough in themselves to warrant a party’s success. This is where supply comes in: how parties seize these opportunities is crucial in understanding the electoral appeal of far-right populists across a broad range of social and attitudinal groups.

It’s the messaging that is key to understanding the breadth of their electoral appeal. Certain far-right populist parties in western and northern Europe have proved able to tailor their message to extend support beyond their secure voting base of ‘angry white men’ in precarious employment with low levels of education, through a normalisation strategy. This distances them from fascism and association with right-wing extremism, so that they appear legitimate to a spectrum of voters, including those who would be uncomfortable opting for an explicitly racist party.

While diverse, these parties share an important commonality: they all justify a variety of policy positions on socio-economic issues on the basis of an ideology which draws on purported faultlines between the ingroup and outgroups. They advance a vision of democracy which prioritises the in-group, in terms of policy and provision of common goods. And at the core of this argument is civic nationalism.

What makes far-right populist parties successful is precisely their nationalist message – more specifically, the ways in which they justify the exclusion of the outgroup. This is no longer in terms of ascriptive or genetic criteria (as deployed by fascist or conventional extreme-right parties) but rather is done through civic distinctions – seeking to exclude those who supposedly do not espouse ‘our’ values of democracy and tolerance. Through this civic-nationalist narrative, far-right populists normalise exclusion: they offer solutions to voters’ multiple insecurities by using a rhetoric that excludes a variety of population groups on the basis that they are a purported threat to society’s value consensus, and hence to stability and prosperity.

The adoption of this form of civic nationalism, which excludes on the basis of ideological rather than biological criteria of national belonging, is the far-right populist party’s new ‘winning formula’, permitting it to appeal to a wide spread of social groups with different backgrounds and preferences. From Marine Le Pen’s embrace of French republicanism and laïcité to the AfD’s anti-Muslim campaign, what these parties have in common in the way in which they present culture as about adherence to
purportedly national values.

This makes them harder to beat, and helps explain the surging support for some of these parties across multiple countries in the last three years in particular. (This does feel pretty weird from New Zealand, which uses hyper-tolerance to mask some of the deepest social problems in the developed world. Our own repressed national narrative of virtuous tolerance makes for a somewhat of a lonely archipelago. We launched the Team New Zealand boat yesterday and we’re two weeks from a Rugby World Cup, without a flicker yet in the national pulse).

The European and U.S. far-right populists are certainly unstable, and
as in the U.K., their extremism can be successfully co-opted by the
larger conservative parties. Check this out from 2015: David Cameron
whipping up a particular kind of divisive nationalism, not caring if
it splits the country. And so it goes.

They learn, and they win or get close, again and again.

Not all far-right populists have adopted the civic narrative. They differ significantly in agenda and policy – especially economic and welfare policies – as well as on their stance towards democracy and the extent to which they employ violent practices. More extreme instances, drawing on ethnic-nationalist discourses, still compete in a number of European countries, mainly in Eastern Europe. Hence far-right populist parties are significantly ideologically divided.

But this isn’t about why they are so shit. This is only about why they rise and win.

While not a new phenomenon, (some) far-right populist parties present a new social challenge through their adoption of civic-nationalist narratives. As opposed to fascist parties or extreme-right variants, which tend to be ostracised and isolated, they are able to permeate the mainstream and in many ways drive party competition. Scapegoat the out group, justify its exclusion on (seemingly) non-racist grounds, legitimize positions, appear to mirror popular demand. Wrinse and repeat.

The problem is not only these parties’ electoral gains – which vary across country and time – but also the increasing consensus that to defeat them we must imitate them. This is deeply problematic. Those opposed to far-right populists need to understand this new winning formula and recognise their own ability, as well as responsibility, to frame an effective alternative political narrative, rather than sanitise the populists.

The search for a winning formula for the remaining left parties found one glimpse this year when the Social Democrats won in Denmark this year. “Dear young people, you made this election the first climate election in Denmark’s history,” 41-year-old leader Mette Frederiksen said in her victory speech in front of a cheering crowd on Wednesday night. It was also however the acceptance of a very anti-immigration stance by the left and by a great majority of voters.

They got the youth with climate, but they won by stealing votes from the Danish People’s Party.

The right now wins by redefining the nations’ exclusionary borders within the civic imagination.

That’s the formula.

132 comments on “The Far Right’s Winning Narrative Superiority”

  1. UncookedSelachimorpha 1

    Very interesting post, and an excellent question.

    Resources probably play a significant role, especially living in an age when public opinion is quite easily bought, via influence of social and other media. The right (you can arguably include the current establishment democrats, and even NZ Labour to a large extent) usually operates in the interest of entrenched wealth and so tend to have a lot more money available to achieve their political goals and desired societal opinions.

    Also the right have been brilliant at making simple (even if wrong) arguments that appeal to instinct rather than intellect. For example "low taxes put more money in your pocket" sounds instinctively right. Never mind that the actual result might be to put far less resources in the pockets of most – that is true but takes a lot more explaining!

     

     

    • Anne 1.1

      The right (you can arguably include the current establishment democrats, and even NZ Labour to a large extent) usually operates in the interest of entrenched wealth and so tend to have a lot more money available to achieve their political goals and desired social opinion.

      Oh come on. Labour might not be far enough left for some people, but to claim they operate in the interest of entrenched wealth and so have a lot more money available is plain nonsense. Labour has always struggled to have enough money to run successful election campaigns – one of the major causes of the demise of left-of-centre, social democratic parties around the world.

      They can't compete with billionaires' funding right-wing campaigns of lies, false premises and praying on the fears/prejudices of a fickle and gullible public. 

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.1.1

        Labour do attract donations from business and the super-wealthy (e.g. Owen Glenn), although much less than National, and I suspect Labour get more from those sources than 'lefter' parties such as the greens. I know a few wealthy CEO / executive types, most adore National, dislike Labour and all absolutely detest the Greens.

        While Labour continue to do little to seriously address poverty and inequality – then yes, they are acting in the interests of entrenched wealth, in my opinion. The RNZ article today on the coalition's performance in relation to poverty and welfare describes how little they are actually doing.

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight/audio/2018711947/solo-mums-on-benefits-having-to-decide-between-food-and-fuel

        I completely agree Labour is a significant improvement on the previous National crowd – but that is a very, very low bar.

        • Anne 1.1.1.1

          So, what is holding up this Labour-led government?  Two words – NZ First.

          Now we had better shut up because we're veering off track. 🙂

        • Ed1 1.1.1.2

          It may be a low bar, but the current government has significant restraints on moving quickly across a wide range of areas that were neglected during the Key/English governments. In particular the self-imposed (but arguably critical to election) promises regarding tax rates and borrowing restrict action in this term, but there have also been surprises such as the mouldy hospitals and now the $1 billion for Southern Response. Add in that National's asset sales represented a transfer of wealth from government to wealthy individuals, many of them overseas – that reduced government capacity to deal with the unexpected, and the worsening international position.

          So it is easy to say that the relatively large transfers of spending to areas of high need are not good enough, but if you want more spending on say solo mums benefits, then where would you reduce government spending to enable that to happen?

           

          • Ad 1.1.1.2.1

            Labour will still lead a second term here no problem. 

          • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.1.1.2.2

            “but if you want more spending on say solo mums benefits, then where would you reduce government spending to enable that to happen?”

            Actually I would increase government spending overall, not reduce somewhere else. Only need to cut if you have imposed some arbitrary rules on yourself that are based solely on myths and ideology (fiscal responsibility rules ring a bell?).

            It is true some of the resources of society may need redirecting – and to the extent the government does not have access to those resources, targeted revenue raising may be necessary. Bank profits in NZ are about $14m per day and the richest 10% of kiwis own 50% of the wealth. So there is plenty of scope to raise revenue while having only modest impacts on only those who can readily afford it.

            • Pat 1.1.1.2.2.1

              Thats true enough (with caveats),,,,but there is no sign any (major) party is willing to offer that as an option

    • Adrian Thornton 1.2

      "The right (you can arguably include the current establishment democrats, and even NZ Labour to a large extent) usually operates in the interest of entrenched wealth and so tend to have a lot more money available to achieve their political goals and desired societal opinions.""

      You are exactly right , except there is no argument about it.

      Just look at Milt/Andre etc begging on bended knees for Labour in NZ to really get in and lick the arse of 'middle NZ' to stay in power, it is people like them who are the problem on the Left, the youth, the poor and working classes don’t trust NZ Labour for good reason.
      It is very simple, the institutions of the western Left were taken over during the late seventies and early eighties by a hostile foreign entity in the form of  the Liberal ideology, that political ideology that is nothing much more than a political ponzi scheme has run it's course.  It gave a lot working class and middle class of people wealth that they would never have achieved otherwise, but that is over..now we are only left with destructive fallout out from such a short sighted and selfish ideology…that is why the Right resonate..except of course were there is a viable real Left alternitive, ie Corbyn/Sanders who have both proved to be able to get plenty of cut through to the under 50's, but of course all the third way Lefties can't or won't admit this obvious fact.

      • Andre 1.2.1

        So if there's this vast unmet need for a political party with policies lefter than Labour, and that Labour isn't adopting those policies is depressing Labour's vote share, how about starting up a party to meet that need?

        It's not hard in New Zealand, all you need to get is 5% of the vote (that's going to be just a bit over 130,000 votes), or win an electorate. If those lefty ideas are so popular, then winning a lefty stronghold with an uninspiring incumbent shouldn't be that hard. Say Dunedin South or Wigram.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.2.1.1

          Left-wing ideas tend to be popular among voters, but supposedly left-wing parties not so much.

          The Sanders / Corbyn voting phenomenon (unsuccessful to date, but more popular than expected) may demonstrate there is a demand for left-wing policies – but no 'mainstream' parties have had them on offer previously.

          • Andre 1.2.1.1.1

            Five years ago Labour went into the election with the leftest leader and leftest policy platform they've had for a long time. How'd that work out for them?

            Two years ago Labour had quite a lefty leader that looked committed to old-skool lefty ideas and policies. Then they changed to a committed liberal incrementalist. Do you recall why they made that change and what happened to their popularity before and after?

          • KJT 1.2.1.1.2

            Exactly why we should be able to vote for policies.

            Being able to change the label on the Dictatorship is not, Democracy.

        • Adrian Thornton 1.2.1.2

          There is a vast unmet need for a Left Labour alternative in NZ.

          I, like many were hoping to see Helen Kelly wrest back control of the party, as Corbyn has done in the UK, and hopefully we will see Sanders do in the US, I have no idea how or who will lead that inevitable shift Left for Labour, but it will come.

          BTW..It is not a matter that Labour isn't " adopting those policies is depressing Labour's vote share " they can't adopt the polices of a real progressive traditional Left party because they are not one themselves..they are Liberal Third Way, that is the overarching ideology that directs and governs every policy that they have and will create, end of story.

          • The Al1en 1.2.1.2.1

            Unmet by who? Given labour and the nats poll in and around the 40% mark and the greens and nz1st pick up 10 to 15 percent, where's the constituency for your "Left Labour alternative" coming from?

          • Andre 1.2.1.2.2

            So if Labour aren't a "left" party and won't ever be because, well, they aren't left, then why try to "Turn Labour Left"? Trying to get them to be something they aren't just isn't going to work, phonyism is hardly ever a successful strategy.

            When it comes to the idea of a vast unmet need on the left side of politics, the best way to prove your point is to, well, prove your point. Stop whining and start doing. By your reckons, there's hordes out there just waiting for someone to raise the banner they will rally to. Go and be the banner-raiser.

            • Adrian Thornton 1.2.1.2.2.1

              Man that's a pretty infantile response…don't like it, go and start your own party, really?

              You are right about one thing though, " phonyism is hardly ever a successful strategy." yep, just look at your third way liberal Labour now, struggling against a National Party with the most unpopular leader in probably their entire history.. which is actually unsurprising as who the fuck knows what they stand for?…a phony Labour that becomes more and more irrelevant and discredited with NZ citizens with each passing week…a party that offers little vision no answers and inspires no one… "relentlessly positive" what a joke.

              https://www.colmarbrunton.co.nz/what-we-do/1-news-poll/

               

  2. Stuart Munro. 2

    Hmm – civic nationalism, if it has escaped your attention, is the job of a democratic government. You are NOT appointed to advocate on behalf of other polities or populations, but to govern responsibly on behalf of your extant citizens.

    When kiwis see Wellington bus drivers lose their jobs and replaced by Filipinos by a fith council, who somehow corruptly obtain work permits for them in spite of the manifest fact that kiwis were and are available to drive those vehicles if you pay them, without a comeuppance, well, you lose votes by the truckload. And by golly you deserve to.

    This is what drives popular support for the likes of Brexit – irresponsible, feckless government, without a plan and without apology.

    There's nothing right wing about that – you've been stuffing a policy down public throats without the ghost of a mandate or a thought to the consequences.

     

    • Ad 2.1

      That paragraph on Wellington's Filipino bus drivers is one of the most textbook pieces of civic othering I've seen in recent years. 

      But top work for the lack of irony or a mote of self-analysis.

      • Stuart Munro. 2.1.1

        And your reply is classic irresponsible governance – othering the kiwi drivers who you've thrown out of work, for no fault.

        It doesn't matter whether the replacements are Filipino or Pakistani or Tajikh – it matters that the people you are paid and sworn to represent have lost their jobs to a corrupt employer's preference for cheap foreign labour.

        On your watch, and you not only don't give a fuck, but actually have the colossal arrogance to blame anyone who criticizes you for your manifest irresponsibility. 

        Who do you suppose those kiwi bus drivers and their families are going to vote for? Do you expect them to thank you for screwing them over so that you can pretend to some form of internationalism? Reckon they won't.

        • Ad 2.1.1.1

          OMG you have taken a post which went to some pains to show that New Zealand was an outlier from the entire European and U.S. political theatre and so far the argument about the far right doesn't apply to, and turn it into something about Wellington bus drivers. 

          That is impressively dumb. 

          If you want to try applying the argument I went through above about Europe and the U.S. to New Zealand, you would have to start by answering some of the rhetorical questions that you raised yourself. 

          Go right ahead.

          • Stuart Munro. 2.1.1.1.1

            Actually the boot is on your foot – to show us how we differ from the errors the Left is making abroad. Polish plumbers/Wellington bus drivers/US steelworkers the issues are the same, and the governments ostensibly of the Left making the same mistakes, then blaming the victims that complain.

            • Dukeofurl 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Wellington Busdrivers – US steel workers?

              I think you dont know the difference  between service workers and  those that make basic commodities.

              What is important is the ' work visa' bus drivers are  just following an old tradition of  imported indentured labour for the  Company.

              The Pacific has a long history of that ( without looking to Poland or US for a dubious comparison)

              • Stuart Munro.

                The Pacific traditions are neither here nor there, and we're probably going to need to prepare to accommodate a large cohort of Pacific climate refugees in any case.

                The issue is the fraudulent abuse of Immigration rules, which require that no suitable local workers are available before permits are granted, and the impact of this on the inoffensive local drivers who lost out.

                • Ad

                  Our system of immigration is another excellent reason there's so little political discord in New Zealand politics.

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    Not really – the reason is collusion in the systematic defrauding of it by the major parties. The Gnats are enamoured of cheap foreign labour for dairy and horticulture (and fishing), sufficiently so to arrange that large scale systematic breaches were never addressed while they were in power.

                    Labour is silent on the subject, trying to get industry onside by causing as little disruption to existing practices as possible (even when they're illegal), and strong arming NZF to toe that line.

                    The only losers are NZ workers, and anyone foolish enough to imagine that the law as written will be followed in any way shape or form.

                    NZ has four times the per capita immigration rate that causes massive problems in the UK and US, and the only reason that hasn't caused equivalent problems is that, contrary to Taika Waititi's assertion, NZ is not "as racist as fuck", but remarkably tolerant by international standards. That tolerance is being exploited by our feckless corporates and their political toadies.

                    • Ad

                      New Zealand social tolerance is important to immigration, but it's not some innate local character. It certainly doesn't bother us enough to show up in any political policy or populist uprising. 

                      Last time we had a politician do a reasonable tilt at ethnicity in general was Don Brash's Orewa speech in October 2004 15 years ago. 

            • Ad 2.1.1.1.1.2

              We're doing fine, our government is doing fine, and  there is no complaints anywhere: the government is popular, and delivering, and prepared for the next recession. 

              There you go. 

              The Clark government set most of the recovery from structural adjustment up, and New Zealand recovered from the GFC with a boom that lasted a decade and is only now going back to a simmer. 

              So our politics reflect all of that. 

              If you can show me some grand rise in the hard right here as you are claiming, you need to provide that evidence.

              • Stuart Munro.

                Hey – you posed the question.

                No, we are not doing fine. The structural economic injustices that are dehousing New Zealanders haven't stopped. I'm not even sure they've slowed down.

                You asked why the hard Right prosper – it's because the traditional representatives of the Left are not offering economic and social justice. Not all those affected will swing Right – plenty simply won't vote. Or kill themselves.

                You might consider how many of the breaches of Immigration rules discovered on the change in government resulted in serious punishment to the wrongdoing employers. A few fines were doled out, but many got off with a temporary suspension of access to foreign workers – hard to imagine a wetter bus ticket to slap them with.

                • Ad

                  We're doing fine enough to have our only political shift across any one year being 3-4% between the two centrist parties, and .5-2% among the minor parties. 

                  No one is bothered by immigration to make any note in political support, and absolutely nothing near the kind of extremism that has arisen in Europe, UK, and the U.S.

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    There's your problem right there – you need to follow the dissatisfaction at the human rather than the numerical level.

                    The immigration rate is wildly excessive and brings with it a number of related problems – housing shortages and unaffordability. Declining working conditions like split shifts for bus drivers and stagnant median wage growth. Falling productivity and underinvestment in technology because cheap labour is readily available.

                    The political class aren't losing jobs to migrants, only everyone else.

                    And Australia is no longer serving as a safety valve for those appalled by the lack of local opportunity.

                    • marty mars

                      (sorry I don't normally reply to you but I feel this point must be made)

                      No. Immigration and the effects of it are the RESULT of the policies enacted not the CAUSE of the issues related to the policies.

                      The immigration rate is not excessive. The policies that allow the issues to happen (low pay rates, exploitation etc) are the problem and that is where it should be addressed imo not attacking those being exploited – citizen or otherwise.

                    • Incognito []

                      Sorry to intrude here, but instead of thinking of it as replying to a commenter one could see it as engaging with a comment rather, which might be a subtle but non-trivial difference nonetheless. I’d view this comment as a nice example of engagement, which is why I took the liberty of commenting.

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      I think Marty, that immigration is only supportable if it is conducted responsibly, for example, in this instance without supplanting locals with low-wage unskilled migrants. Since that responsibility is not being met, immigration is not tenable.

                      It's a bit like if your neighbor collects old tyres for recycling – none of your business, unless he starts burning them and causing harm and nuisance to his neighbours. As long as he doesn't burn them, who cares, but if he has before you might oppose his collection of more.

                • New view

                  Stuart you say the left  doesn’t offer enough social justice. I believe they offer too much. So much that it’s not believable. The conservatives offer little social justice but underline the economic sense in what they preach. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying they’re right, although I’m from the right. I’m saying they come across as more economically believable. Labour is desperately trying to do its best to be socially responsible but to me it promised too much and so therefore is unbelievable. National promise fuck all but make sure they come across as economically responsible. It seems a formula that works a lot of the time. 

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    National just lie there arses off – they don't have the economic sense to come in out of the rain, much less run a country. The coalition have been in a while now and barely scratched the surface of Gnat screw ups. They are useless – contemptible charlatans who couldn't get a job in economics anywhere else, which is why their former poster boy little Billy English is working for Nathans in Oz – no transferable skills whatsoever.

                    • New view

                      It could be said that Labour lied it’s arse off in the most cynical way by promising to build thousands of houses on a yearly basis. Half of NZ was gullible enough to believe them and half of NZ wasn’t. The list of broken promises is long Stuart. Coming back two years later and saying “but we tried “ doesn’t cut it with me. Any body can promise anything to get elected. It’s called a lie. You can bang on about National until there’s no cows but they’re not the Government. The only reason you and others keep on about National is to deflect the bullshit your coalition has served up for two years. 

                    • It could be said that Labour lied it’s arse off in the most cynical way by promising to build thousands of houses on a yearly basis.

                      Given that this government (ie not just Labour) is building thousands of houses on a yearly basis (state houses), that could indeed be said but would itself be a lie.  The failure of Kiwibuild reflects incompetence rather than lies, and incompetence is a feature of all governments at some point – eg, National's achievement in creating this horrendous housing crisis certainly wasn't a reflection of competence.

                    • New view []

                      No it was incompetence. But not a lie

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      @ New View

                      The list of broken promises is mostly invented by far right trolls scraping to find traction against a government that is manifestly better in every respect to National.

                      Incompetence? No. Ideological failure – trusting in the market mechanisms that have ruined New Zealand for most of us to correct those problems is merely repeating tragedy as farce.

            • Ad 2.1.1.1.1.3

              Mashing Polish plumbers and Wellington bus drivers together as evidence that there is a growth in the hard right that means that the hard right is rising and the left is declining both here and in Europe was not something I argued. 

              It seems to be something you want to claim. 

              But no hard right party has emerged here. Act doesn't even get close. No evidence of any political impact about Wellington bus drivers whatsoever. 

              Anywhere in the country in fact. 

              How the left differs from European and US versions would need a completely different post. 

              • roblogic

                Maybe because NZ started from a place of one of the most equitable societies in the world a few decades ago, but that social capital is quickly being destroyed.

                Per the comments on this article at interest.co.nz,

                "Labour said they would get numbers down to 20,000. I voted labour. I was lied to."

                "If reasonable politicians won't listen to the people, they will vote for unreasonable politicians."

                "And then, one day as if for no reason at all Trump became president."

                "Rents across the country are still rising much faster than both wages and CPI."

                "Agree. I voted National because JK said he would do something about the housing crisis, didn't realise he meant he would pour petrol on it."

              • Pat

                unemployment 3.7%

              • Stuart Munro.

                You don't see the emergence of a hard Right here? Perhaps you explain the Gnat adoption of NRA attack lines, or the suborning of the MSM until morons like Garner or Hoskings monopolize vast expanses of it differently.

                They are the local Fox news, the only conditions required for as rough a beast as Yeats predicted to slouch into power here, just as they have in the US & UK.

                 

          • Adrian Thornton 2.1.1.1.2

            @Ad, That you can't see the relationship between workers losing their jobs to foreign workers especially brought in to the country to under mine local workers wages and conditions speaks volumes to your position on this subject…it is exactly the type of political and ideological blindness that lead directly to Trump..not the Russians.

      • Dukeofurl 2.1.2

        Dont forget the  Bus tender was awarded  by the previous Regional council to this one under Nationals 'lowest price ' not best value tender rules.

         

      • Psycho Milt 2.1.3

        That paragraph on Wellington's Filipino bus drivers is one of the most textbook pieces of civic othering I've seen in recent years.

        And there we have it in a nutshell: the answer to your question of why far-right parties are doing so much better with voters than the left in a lot of places.  When people are angry that wages and conditions have been driven so low that the employers have to import third-worlders to do those jobs, the right-winger expresses sympathy with them and purports to share their anger, while the left-winger tells them they're a bad person and should be ashamed of themselves.  Which of the two are they more likely to vote for?

        • Ad 2.1.3.1

          Who is angry?

          No political party in New Zealand is. 

          False binary, and no relevance to New Zealand.

          • Psycho Milt 2.1.3.1.1

            The binary is from your post – relative popularity of far-right parties vs left ones.  Of course people have more voting options than those two, but those two were the subject at hand.

            It's also quite relevant to NZ as it was a NZ example Stuart Munro gave.  It may not (yet) be that relevant to us in terms of electoral outcomes, but it's very relevant in the places where right-wing populism is making gains at the expense of the left.  If we keep down this path of replacing low-paid workers with migrant labour, expect to see it become relevant here too.

        • greywarshark 2.1.3.2

          Just looking at PMs binary thinking of voters, it sounds exactly what would be going through many people's minds, despite what theories might posit.

          We need deliberate and definite lines from government, not left to the Immigration Service which is probably hated in every country, and our Department has overseen one that has been running empty on principle and practicability for years.   Let's stop these empty marriages for a start, five years of marriage together as a basic say, outside of NZ!

          Immigration offering slightly better conditions than at home, dragging in hopefuls in a similar way to that of our gold rushes in colonial NZ. It's not good, and not fair to NZs pushed out of jobs because the government doesn't want to spend the money on training them.   That's the basis of it all.   The people with dollars for eyeballs don't care a hoot about young NZs;   they want to import them from somewhere using some agency, open the parcel, and have them ready for use when required.   No batteries required.   

          When NZ citizens want immigrants to stay, when they have proved worthy and been accepted and even treasured, the Immigration authorities may still send them away.    We have all heard of cases like that.    These people have too many powers, and are too little controlled, and their decisions should be able to be over-ridden by some Ombudsman for immigration who can intervene when there are reasonable grounds such as when a group of good citizens consider they are needed and are good citizens.

          Here is a link giving details of latest problems here in the immigration field.   https://www.nzami.org.nz/news.php    It would provide background to the real problems that hapless immigrants have;   like moths to a flame they will keep coming trying to better themselves.    And we just swat them on a random schedule.   It's no way to treat people.   

  3. Dukeofurl 3

    The Social democrats only made slight gains in Demarks general election, getting an extra seat ( to 48)  depsite a small drop in its vote ( 25.9%).  Social Democrats increased its seats in the 2015  election too.

    Overall number of seats is 179.

    Compare to the right, Venstre ( plus 9 seats) and Conservative Peoples Party (+6)which doubled its vote.  The far right Danish Peoples Party  dropped  21 seats

    Previous minority government coalition was Venstre, the Liberal Alliance and the Conservative People's Party.

    The real result was  new  Majority Coalition consisting of :

    Social Democrats, the Social Liberals, Socialist People's Party, the Red–Green Alliance, the Faroese Social Democratic Party and the Greenlandic Siumut

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Danish_general_election

  4. Pat 4

    thats the 64000 dollar question….I suspect that the reason a strong left has not appeared is its dearth of an alternative economic paradigm….it is after all the basis of everything else.

    The right won when the social democrats accepted neoliberalism and now any state that attempts to buck it will suffer the consequences…damned if you do, damned if you dont.

  5. Bill 5

    I'm confused that this apparently taxes the minds of so many liberals.

    Liberalism is dying a death. After decades of treading water and going backwards before the onslaught of liberal economic ideology, 'no-one' wants a bar of it any more.

    Trump only got elected because people were desperate enough to opt for "anything that's not this again".

    And the social democratic left (UK Labour, Sanders' "democratic socialism" etc) get ghosted and hammered in mainstream or corporate media on a regular basis while liberalism, that has no answers to peoples' disenchantment, constantly builds right wing bogey men hoping that'll be enough to keep people milling around the liberal status quo.

    I wouldn't have thought any of it's rocket science. Just open your eyes wide enough to look and you'll be able to see it for yourself.

    • Ad 5.1

      Plenty of places that's simply not true. 

       

      • adam 5.1.1

        Where Ad, where.

        If you're in the west the media is in the hands of very few, and that media is pushing tight well constructed propaganda. Most of it to discredit anyone who is social democratic or even more radical.  

        Just a example off my head, the whole BS about Corbin being  anti semitic –  proving Gobbles right about bigger the lie. You lived under Key, that man was a master of lying BIG.     

        Mind you, seeing as this is the second post where you  push an anti-immigrant narrative, begs the question – how did your family get to Aotearoa? Migration by any stretch of the imagination? Just wondering, or was it by magically fairy dust?  

            

        • Ad 5.1.1.1

          I usually think of "liberalism" the way Bill invokes it as meaning a pretty small state that only regulates at the extremes and enables inequality to grow, with centre-left and centre-right parties regularly changing hands across that (I'll leave the degree of democratic reflexiveness implied in the definition up to you). 

          Plenty of countries fit that bill and are doing fine politically.

          In that bunch you can put Canada, Australia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, New Zealand, Vietnam, etc.

          Try and play the ball if you can. 

          • Bill 5.1.1.1.1

            I usually think of "liberalism" the way Bill invokes it as … I've been explicit on a number of occasions that I simply mean the managerial framework applied to capitalism following the demise of social democratic modes of governance across the Anglosphere from around the late '70s.

            Of course, the liberalism that was imposed on 'us' was just the same crap that the Global South had had pushed on them by 'our' social democratic governments' foreign policies that embodied such wonderful little nuggets such as SAPs.

             

             

             

      • Bill 5.1.2

        Well…it's true in the UK and the US and NZ. The same dynamic also applies to Canada and France. But sure. I dare say you can name places it doesn't wash – like Russia for example.

  6. The Right have a clear narrative, as stupid and as mean spirited as it may seem to us.

    The Left also have a narrative, one that could resonate with voters, and does to an amazing degree given the duplicitous and 'selective' of reporting offered by the so called Liberal media. 

    More importantly, and most unfortunately The Left is tied to its centrist 'friends' of the broad church, who offer

    a) no distinctly new let alone honest narrative, just some vague niceties 

    b) would rather spend their energy destroying/undermining and vilifying their Leftish 'friends' rather than achieve power.

  7. seeing as nobody else has stated the bleeding obvious..

    the left has failed since it embraced neoliberal-incrementalism (in nz post-douglas.)

    the left/labour in nz abandoned those who got them there in the first place – the workers..

    (and of course rt the same time labour and the tories drove sole-parents etc into dire poverty – and since then have done s.f.a. for them..(aedern govt gave them a little more..just a little..)

    labour/the left has helped the tories cement in a low-wage/high cost of living society..

    which is what we have now..

    (and of course labour with their third-way bullshit/lurch to the right has echoed other left parties in britain/europe..)

    and in a nutshell labour/the left in nz has failed to deliver on the promises that founded it..

    and now they wonder why those people who they have done sweet f.a. for – for so long – no longer vote for them..(that is some serious denial going on there..)

    and are able to be seduced by someone offering something/anything..as long as it is different from the (non-delivery) shit they have been getting from labour/left parties..

    for a brief moment i thought this latest iteration was different – has learnt that lesson..and i believed their promises to be transformational..

    more fool me…eh..?

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 7.2

      Pretty much!!

    • roblogic 7.3

      More fool you, and a lot of other left-Labour voters. No capital gains tax. Tiny incremental changes to renter's rights. MAF failing to enforce the law on fishing, going for self regulation instead. No change to the numbers of homeless. Kiwibuild failure. No slowdown of our world beating immigration rate. Auckland ruined and among the least affordable places in the world. 

      But hey Wellington politicians are all doing OK 

      • phillip ure 7.3.1

        and the promised welfare-reform..turned out to mean some pot plants in winz offices..

        bugger all else has changed..

        (and yes – before anyone veers over there – they aren’t as bad/venal as that other bunch if useless bastards..

        and they will probably scrape back in again…

        and then spend their second term trying not to offend anyone…

        so just more incrementalist bullshit to look forward to..

        how fucken de-pressing..

        the times/urgencies call for so much more..

        don’t they..?

        • Psycho Milt 7.3.1.1

          …and yes – before anyone veers over there – they aren’t as bad/venal as that other bunch if useless bastards.

          In other words, you're bitter that the government recognises that voters didn't give it a mandate to implement a radical left-wing policy agenda, and are berating them for not implementing that agenda despite it being irrational to do so, and despite the fact that "the perfect is the enemy of the good" is a well-known recipe for failure. Congrats, that's a lot of wrong to fit into one simple blog comment.

          • phillip ure 7.3.1.1.1

            no – just expecting them to keep the promises they made..

            not my 'radical left-wing agenda'..

            just what they said they would do..when they were campaigning for our votes

            mm-kay..?

            not a 'radical left wing agenda'..not mine – nor nobody elses..

            (congrats – that's a lot of wrong to fit into one simple blog comment..eh..?)

            • Psycho Milt 7.3.1.1.1.1

              Which promises? The ones made by Labour, which were supported by only 30-something percent of voters?  Or the ones made by the Greens, which were supported by only around 6% of voters? If you think about it, you might be able to figure out why it's difficult to implement a policy agenda that has only minority support. 

              • KJT

                Polling shows that "left" policies, including CGT, before the massive right wing campaign, have majority support.

                Which is confirmed by both the main parties promising all sorts of "left" policies in election year. Because that gets votes. We see National promising more money for health, right now, for just one example. Listen to both parties on housing, and mental health.

                Labor will be out of office some time in the next 6 years, because they have failed, in making peoples lives better, yet again, due to their adherence to Neo-liberal failure.

                Labor is not exactly following "left" policies. Current Labour would fit nicely with post WW2 National.

                It is not lost on people that National did raise benefits and the minimum wage.

          • adam 7.3.1.1.2

            So by psycho milts logic the 4th labour government was what exactly – becasue it definitely not what the voting public voted for. Nor did it have a mandate, nor was working for the good of the people. 

            Too soon…

            • Psycho Milt 7.3.1.1.2.1

              By my logic the 4th Labour government was a fine example of what's wrong with implementing a radical agenda that you didn't get a mandate for.  That one managed to get a second term by hoovering up right-wing votes from National, but the party suffered a lot of damage from it.

              • can we just boil down this 'radical agenda' bullshit you keep trotting out/accusing me of..

                dunno about anyone else – but my 'radical agenda' is to feed the hungry and house the homeless..(as being the first/prime priority of any govt..

                didn't they used to be (pre-neoliberal-incrementalism) labour party ideals/policices..?

                i repeat – at this moment what i am talking about are the promises labour made pre-election..

                (what they had a clear ‘mandate’ to do..)

                and what they have since ignored/broken..

                this is my 'radical-agenda'..

                (hope that clarifies that for you – and obviates the need for you to just repeat that lie again and again..eh..?..)

                • dunno about anyone else – but my 'radical agenda' is to feed the hungry and house the homeless..(as being the first/prime priority of any govt..

                  Labour is dependent on centre voters, and to a lot of them yes that's a radical policy agenda.  Reality has many depressing features, this among them.

                  (what they had a clear ‘mandate’ to do..)

                  36.3% of the vote isn't a "mandate," let alone a "clear mandate." It's also not a parliamentary majority.  If you want Labour to take a bolder approach to this, it would make more sense to encourage people to vote Labour or Green so the left parties get the voter mandate and the numbers in Parliament to implement their agenda.  All you achieve by discouraging people from voting Labour or Green is another National-led government.

                  • re 'mandate'..

                    kinda disturbing how you use that 'only 36%' = no mandate' rightwing meme..

                    the fact is the combination of the three party votes is their mandate..

                    (it's called mmp – there – p.m…)

                    and if i could just pull you up on another lie of yrs..

                    in no way am i trying to 'discourage people from voting lab/grn'..

                    mm-kay..?

                    my current gripes are with their broken election promises..

                    and i understand you saying that about me as some sort of smear tactic to undermine what i am saying..

                    but it just ain't true..

                    so if you cd park that one also..?…ta..

                    • I referenced Labour's vote share because you specifically referred to Labour in your comment. 

                      The fact that this government has a mandate to govern isn't in dispute.  However, it only just managed to scrape together a majority across three parties with sometimes-conflicting policy agendas.  In relation to your comments on this thread, that means three things:

                      1. The Ardern government doesn't have a mandate for any policy that isn't endorsed by all three parties.

                      2. It only just has a majority in Parliament, so it has to be careful about exceeding its mandate because it can't afford to alienate voters.  

                      3. If we want a bolder policy agenda, we need to increase the vote share of the two parties least unlikely to implement that agenda: the Labour Party and the Green Party.  You might find achieving "least unlikely" to be a not-very-inspiring goal, but reality isn't going to present you with happier options.  

                      in no way am i trying to 'discourage people from voting lab/grn'..

                      I assume that's not your intent, sure.  But it's the effect of the things we say on our listeners that count – have a read back through your comments and consider their likely effect on people who might be tossing up whether to vote for one of the parties you're berating.

                    • @ pm..

                      i don't resile from anything i have said on this thread..

                      and i don't think it is my mutterings that will lose votes..

                      but continued over-promising/under-delivering sure as hell will..

                       

                  • KJT

                    Funny that National's most successful attack line, at present, is that Labour has "failed to house the homeless"0

  8. Gabby 8

    The Murderoch machine just lies its arse off and gets away with it. That doesn't help.

  9. McFlock 9

    When the elite do so much oppression that they are in danger of losing power, the danger comes from the left and the right. So they cut a deal with the far right, usually in the belief they can maintain control over those guys.

    And the left can't appeal to nationalism, whereas the right can always push that button.

    • witness h.clark choosing that oppurtunistc toe-rag dunne over the greens…

      • McFlock 9.1.1

        I was thinking more about the King of Italy inviting Mussolini to take charge, or the junkers financing the Nazi party, or the Repugs leveraging the teabaggers for twenty years and getting drumpf all over their face,

         

        • phillip ure 9.1.1.1

          so in our case it isn't so much an individual in that pact with the elite..

          (that has so fucked us over..)

          but that poxy bastard of an ideology..neoliberal-incrementalism..

          doesn't matter whose in power – neoliberal-incrementalism still serves our elites well..

          coddles the banksters…

          keeps the boot on the workers' throat..

          scare the others into submission with the threat of ending up in that (scapegoat for all) underclass..

          that gets you a nicely cowed population..

          take a bow..!..neoliberal-incrementalism..!

          • McFlock 9.1.1.1.1

            Oh, piss off.

            The post is about the far right. The anti-immigrant, line-people-up-against-the-wall fuckers.

            Neoliberalism is the power elite winning. The far right is who they turn to after they begin to lose again.

            Clark went with Dunne not as an elite turning far right to preserve power, but as an incrementalist who was burned by the Greens and Dunne was the least-right option that remained.

             

            • adam 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Wow revisionist history 101. 

              • McFlock

                Hey, I could be wrong about Clark. We'd never know that from your contribution, though.

                I seem to recall the Greens making a big deal about GM, and fair call being pissed about backing the yanks, which basically ruled them out as coalition partners from boths sides of the equation. 

                Do you have an actual contribution to make?

                • adam

                  The greens played politics (badly) – however,  labour, like always – went right. 

                  Do you have anything but revisionist bs? 

                  • McFlock

                    Without the greens, what governing or coalition options did Labour have?

                    • adam

                      They could have worked with the greens, but they chose not to. And instead went to the right and stay with status quo. Which in turn is why we have the mess we have – labour do this all the time. 

                       

                      You saying the greens was not an option, is the revisionist clap trap I calling out.  

                    • Dukeofurl

                      Heres  a bucket of cold water to your own  revisionism Adam

                      In the own words of Fitzsimons – who was there

                      https://www.noted.co.nz/currently/currently-politics/jeanette-fitzsimons-the-greens-turned-down-two-chances-to-be-in-government

                      "And I thought, no, Rod and I have to put our time into the caucus and build a strong Green Party in Parliament and not be the sole dissenting voices in a Cabinet that would override us anyway. 

                       

                      And again at the next election

                      'We will not support a government on confidence or in coalition that lifts that moratorium and allows GE crops to be grown around the country,

                       

                      The real issue back in the 2000s

                      "Policy-wise we were far closer than either Winston or Peter Dunne. But we had a few core principles we weren’t prepared to back down on."

                       

                      Dont you just love it when the Revisionists havent checked their primary sources 

                    • McFlock

                      ooo, a revisionism slap-back with sources! 🙂

                    • adam

                      Thanks Dukeofurl proves my point, so rather than work out a deal  with the greens (the only party to the left of labour) they went right with NZ1st and a member of parliament whose claim to fame is he gave the country synthetic weed epidemic. 

                      Labour does not know how to go left, the alliance proved that. And in case you forgot the last 9 years of national was built on the back of labour and it's commitment to a hard right economic ideology.

                      Edit: Stop blaming the greens for having principles and bottom lines. Without those we are stuck with the status quo – which quite frankly is not working.

                    • McFlock

                      So to be clear: the Greens ruled themselves out over GE, so you blame Labour for forming a govt with the next closest party?

                      Because the Greens are allowed to have bottom lines, but Labour aren't?

                       

                    • adam

                      The greens ruled out any compromise on GE crops. They also said they didn't want to be in a cabinet full of ideologies who would just use cabinet rules to overrule them. At that point labour chose the status quo and went right rather than work out some sort of deal.

                      As for Labour's bottom line – it seems to be the support a fubar economic ideology at all cost. 

                    • McFlock

                      Well, we come back to the core problem: when the greens ruled themselves out, what were Labour supposed to do? Run back to the Greens and say "oh it's okay, we'll give you whatever you want because that's how compromise is supposed to work"?

                  • Rae

                    Adam, we need to distance ourselves as far as possible as we can from GE crops etc. There is very pragmatic reason for doing so, more than one, even.

                    It will not be long before lab grown food will be widely available and its consumption will be taken up, and it will be taken up by the masses, but there will still be plenty of people who will seek out the real thing, and they will be very discerning, and will be seeking organic food. 

                    Our distance from markets puts us at a disadvantage, just about the only advantage we can play to is being unique, and non GE food will become more and more so. 

                    Staying away from it is likely to become our saviour.

  10. SPC 10

    Baby boomers. 

  11. vto 11

    People are worried. When people are worried they head for the conservatives. The right does a better conservative.

    end

    • SPC 11.1

      Those who have and those who are old are natural conservatives – there are a lot of old people because of the baby boomers. 

      • vto 11.1.1

        SPC, "those who are old are natural conservatives"… nup

        Don't agree with that at all.

        People may become more 'careful' as they age, but that is because they understand more consequences, having generally experienced more consequences. This does not make for a conservative. It is a different thing.

        I will tell you this though – imo the young of today are conservative. Well, more conservative than recent generations at the same age. Which will likely lead to more Victorian times as they fill through.

        • SPC 11.1.1.1

          Care to explain the old people who voted Brexit and Trump? The old white people retreating into gated community nationalism? 

          And here the old people who mostly prefer National, despite the way its MP's vote on social policy issues? 

          Totally disagree about young people being more conservative – not so on environment and carbon use and totally adjusted to a multi-cultural diverse community compared to baby boomers (and in the USA less religious than the olds). 

          • Rae 11.1.1.1.1

            You are right, but there seems to be a rise in conservatism among the younger, is this perhaps the result of them being raised minus much of the physical risk of previous generations? 

            These are funny old times, alright, though.

      • Rae 11.1.2

        Well, I am pretty old and to this day cannot stomach conservatism, I find it the worst kind of politics. Give me new ideas and thinking any day. I like my politics as I like my music, interesting.

  12. Climaction 12

    could it be the right have used our foibles on the left against us? The carbon emissions involved in having climate conferences? Criticising anyone who was sceptical of all the accusers in the #metoo movement as enablers, yet not being able to keep our own house clean? 

    Has the public turned against the left narrative because of high profile inconsistencies as opposed to being supportive of the rights aggressive anti-liberal stance on first principles?

  13. xanthe 13

    At root the problem is not the ascent of the right but rather the descent of the left.

    I believed and still believe that the adoption of "positive discrimination" by the left was ethically and organizationally wrong.

    So here we are.

  14. Gabby 14

    It's the Arsehole Effect. The arsehole have worked out that there are a lot of other arseholes out there.

  15. Ad 15

    The Guardian's view today on challenging the nationalist ethnic purity line of the hard nationalists – noting Victor Orban or Hungary, but quotes Australian ex-PM Tony Abbott:

    “It will require some force; it will require massive logistics and expense; it will gnaw at our consciences – yet it is the only way to prevent a tide of humanity surging through Europe and quite possibly changing it for ever.”

    The prediction relies in part on undeniable demographic reality: the population of parts of the developed world is shrinking, while that of the poor world is growing. This is happening just as the climate emergency makes the most populous parts of the world less habitable. With the best will in the world, these changes will lead to strains and tensions. And the best will – even goodwill – is in short supply in the world at the moment.

    In the past, the left has responded to the anti-migration rhetoric of the right with economic answers. These are important but not sufficient, as the rise of anti-immigrant populists has shown.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/06/the-guardian-view-on-demography-and-politics-nationalist-narratives-must-be-challenged

    • SPC 15.1

      The nostalgia of the baby boomers for the era of their family security 1950's/1960's – and a world centred around that cultural regime. One threatened from outside by more diversity/immigration and relative economic decline (in both the national sense and for the next generation).

      This insecurity results in a less confident milieu (note Germany’s fiscal prudence is harmful to itself as well as the EU).

  16. NZJester 16

    The reason they are winning is the right have the money to hijack the Main Stream Media and pay for the political bribes, as well as no conscience to do what is un-ethical to advance their views. It is difficult to be ethical and poor and try and combat the extream greed-driven policies those on the right are pushing for.

    • Gosman 16.1

      Where is the evidence the media in the UK is dominated by the right wing? There are a huge numbers of diverse media outlets in the UK. 

  17. gsays 17

    My two cents worth: the right are prevailing because of othering.

    As we are all aware, most of policy is polled to the nth degree before being released.

    The parties are reacting to what they think we want.

    The series, Century of the self, outlines how billions of dollars have been spent telling us how important we are and how our wants are needs.

    Couple that with the demise of institutions like churches and community organisations that would remind us of things bigger than ourselves.

    So if there are others who threaten what we perceive to be our entitlement, we vote accordingly.

    This is not to deny media ownership or the neo-liberal sell-out of NZ play their part. 

  18. JohnP 18

    The right's incorporation of wedge politics has been one of their most successful tactics, because it drives a log laden sixteen wheeler directly at – often – a minority community. The right wouldn't have counted on any votes from this minority community in the first place, and recognise that by forcing their opponents to defend them they are creating a tension between the majority community (ok, it's white people usually) over 'whose side are they really on?' which plays into the centrist narrative about having to reach out to those on the right in order to be the sensible ones.

    Instead of making a full throated defence of these communities, centrist politicians try to do what they've always done and 'find the middle ground' – which invariably means ceding political ground to the right in order to satisfy them, except of course, the right cannot be satisfied by ceding ground to them because their entire aim is power, and so slowly getting the centre-left to drift right merely means eventually the right becomes more palatable as a 'decisive' version of the drifting and incoherent centre left.

  19. KJT 19

    Many people vote for the far right in so many countries, for the same reason so many working people voted National in 1984 and 87. 

    When the parties which are supposed to represent you, turn rogue, and work for a few wealthy people instead.

    Under Western voting systems, what the fuck else can you do?

  20. Wayne 20

    Cameron and Morrison are not far right. Johnson and Trump are populists (which Cameron and Morrison are not) though that does not necessarily make Johnson and Trump far right.

    • Ad 20.1

      Cameron acceded to extreme nationalist sentiment and so initiated the separatist referendum in the first place.

      So he co-opted the support of the right.

      Morrison did the same by building on the more extreme Abbott and successfully co-opting the One Nation vote of Queensland.

      Same as Cameron.

      They are really clear about what they are doing, and both won elections that the left could have won.

  21. Michael 21

    I think the problem with the political left in Aotearoa-NZ is that its officer-holders no longer represent that position. For whatever reason, these people have no empathy with the proletariat (whether working or lumpen) because they are far too bourgeois and unwilling to develop solidarity. Until the Labour Party genuinely repents and atones for its neoliberal sins, both historic and ongoing, it cannot be a credible expression of centre-left politics. As a result, the proletariat (which actually includes many people who imagine themselves to be middle-class, or even rich, but are not) find the populist alt-right, with its narrative of hatred for the "other", more attractive than the pallid variety of neoliberalism Labour offers them.

    • In Vino 21.1

      I agree with your phrase 'pallid variety of neo-liberalism' but I believe that anyone naïve enough to vote far right as a result of that is a shallow, thoughtless individual lacking a great deal of historical knowledge.  Are the vast numbers of voters so ignorant as you suggest?

      Well, maybe they are..

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    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    4 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    4 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    5 days ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    5 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    5 days ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    1 week ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    1 week ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    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 How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National supports slavery
    Meanwhile, while the government is planning to restore voting rights to prisoners, National is promising to turn our prisons into US-style slave-labour camps:The Opposition is proposing compulsory education, training or employment for prisoners who are serving sentences of two years or more. [...] On Sunday, National Party Leader Simon Bridges ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Erasing the infamy
    Last year, the Supreme Court confirmed that National's prisoner voting ban - a law so shoddily passed that it brought Parliament into disrepute - breached the Bill of Rights Act. This year, the Waitangi Tribunal added that it also breached the Treaty of Waitangi. And now, the government has finally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Trade unions that never fight the sex industry bosses
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the second part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • A Team Approach to Tackling the Psychology Replication Crisis
    Dalmeet Singh Chawla In 2008, psychologists proposed that when humans are shown an unfamiliar face, they judge it on two main dimensions: trustworthiness and physical strength. These form the basis of first impressions, which may help people make important social decisions, from who to vote for to how long a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Big Pharma has failed: the antibiotic pipeline needs to be taken under public ownership
    Claas Kirchhelle, University of Oxford; Adam Roberts, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and Andrew Singer, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Antibiotics are among the most important medicines known to humankind, but we are running out of this crucial resource. Decisive action is needed if we are to retain access to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago

  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
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    5 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
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    5 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
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    5 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
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    5 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
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    6 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
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    6 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
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    6 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
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    6 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
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    6 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
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    7 days ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
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    7 days ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
    The Government is taking action to protect New Zealand from foreign interference in our elections by banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this afternoon and passed under urgency. “There’s no need for anyone other than New ...
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    1 week ago
  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
    Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. The workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications. Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs will ...
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    1 week ago
  • Cancer Control Agency to drive improved care
    The new independent Cancer Control Agency has formally opened today, delivering on the Government’s plan to improve cancer care in New Zealand.         Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Health David Clark marked the occasion by announcing the membership of the Advisory Council that will be supporting ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting small business to prosper
    Small businesses who deal with government departments are set to be paid faster and have improved cash flow as a result, under a new strategy released today. The Government is backing recommendations from the Small Business Council (SBC) and has agreed to implement three initiatives immediately to support business and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Bill has biggest education changes in decades
    The Education and Training Bill 2019, introduced in Parliament today, proposes the biggest education changes in decades and is an important step towards improving success for all our learners, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “The Bill’s rewrite of education legislation is long overdue. Indeed one Education Act, parts of which ...
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    1 week ago
  • Bali Democracy Forum to focus on democracy and inclusivity
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Bali to represent New Zealand at the 12th Bali Democracy Forum that will be held on the 5-6 December. “The Forum is a valuable opportunity for Asia-Pacific countries to share experiences and best practice in building home-grown democracy and fostering ...
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    1 week ago