The French Presidential Runoff

Written By: - Date published: 8:37 am, April 26th, 2017 - 79 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, democracy under attack, Europe, International - Tags:

Why is it so hard to conceive of a radical alternative to the kind of government on offer?

The French Presidential runoff, like the recent Dutch election and others, brings to mind the question of German sociologist a century ago when he asked: Why is there no socialism in America? Some of that is to do with the size of the country: shared purposes are hard to sustain on an imperial scale without a major loss of freedom. Then there’s their inherent cultural suspicion of government.

It is not by chance that social democracy and welfare states have worked best in small, fairly homogenous countries, where issues of mistrust and mutual suspicion do not arise so acutely. A willingness to pay for other people’s services and benefits rests upon the understanding that they in turn will do likewise for you and your children: because they are like you and see the world as you do.

Where immigration and visible minorities have altered the development of a country, we typically find increased suspicion of others and a loss of enthusiasm for the institutions of a welfare state. It is incontrovertible that welfare states face serious practical and political challenges today. Their survival is not yet in question, but confidence is weakening.

The French Presidential runoff between Le Pen and Macron is now starkly lit by the hard right populist – and failing – President Trump. He has been our best reminder that deeply radical governments are deeply unstable. The degree of instability is what people are voting for when they choose the degree of radicalism.

Macron, fully in the mold of Clark and Key, Gordon Brown, Hillary Clinton and Merkel, is a centrist who seeks to strengthen civic institutions and retain the push of global free trade. He’s pretty to look at, fresh within his own political party, and interesting. But he won’t change much.That is the best to hope for.

In this world where many democracies are sliding to the very hard right, we get to conceive radical alternatives in power. Right now that small c conservative position is a good thing.

79 comments on “The French Presidential Runoff”

  1. Fustercluck 1

    A Rothschild banker is a good thing?

  2. Glenn 2

    “I feel I am to the left of Obama”
    Marine Le Pen
    http://www.visualcapitalist.com/french-elections-macron-le-pen-eu/

    Comparing Macron and Le Pen is interesting. While Le Pen has been labeled hard right many of her policies are left of centre.

    Advocates 10%tax cut for lowest income tax brackets.

    Keep the 35 hour working week.

    Lower retirement age to sixty.

    Make overtime tax free.

    Advocates a bonus of 1000 euros per year for low wage earners and pensioners.

    National plan for equal pay for women.

    Calls for a move to zero carbon economy.

    Referendum on Europe Bring back Franc.

    Macrons policies.

    Keep the 35 hour week.

    Limit wealth tax to real estate.

    Cut government spending to 50% of GDP

    Cut 120,000 state jobs by not replacing state servants on retirement.

    Extend unemployment benefits to entrepreneurs, farmers, self employed and those who quit jobs voluntarily

    Implement universal pension.

    Close coal fired power plants.

    Stay in Europe.

    Hard decisions for the French Voter.

    • Bill 2.1

      The same was noted as regards the broad economic sweep of Sanders and Trump. the choice is more to do with breaking from that discredited centre in a direction of increasing democracy, or to break in a direction of authoritarianism.

      Neither of these French hopefuls offer up anything other than an opportunity for financial interests to consolidate their power at the expense of ordinary people and society at large.

      I’d bet Shauble is still nursing a hang-over from his celebrating of this result.

    • mikesh 2.2

      It is said that France’s departure from the eurozone could lead to a collapse of the euro; other countries, notably Greece, would probably follow suit. This would not be good for financial institutions.

      • Phil 2.2.1

        This would not be good for financial institutions.

        I’m sure there are plenty of people on this site who would not see that as a bad thing… I guess that’s exactly what you’re going for.

        But seriously, Greece and other smaller countries get relatively big EU-subsidies while their in the EU. The countries with the most to lose from Brexit and a potential Frexit are the larger nations with higher GDP per capital (i.e. the ones mostly footing the EU bill) like Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark.

        • KJT 2.2.1.1

          You mean the countries that are borrowing to buy German manufactured goods. I doubt if they have a net benefit from the EU. Greece certainly does not.

    • D'Esterre 2.3

      Phil:”Compared to a racist monster?”
      Say what? The racism epithet is just name-calling. As pointed out below, her policies lean to the left-wing.

      • peterlepaysan 2.3.1

        Please stop confusing mob populism with the left wing (whatever that term means).

        Le Pen is both a fascist and a racist.

        VIVA the Vichy Government! I do not think so.

        • Fustercluck 2.3.1.1

          Hey Peter.

          Ya got any citations for that fascist/racist thing or are you just re-labeling nationalism there, bro?

          • peterlepaysan 2.3.1.1.1

            Citations?
            Where precisely would I, or you, find, such citations.
            Which academic journals publish research papers on the conflation of racism, fascism and nationalism?

            The best known publication that conflated those ideologies was a (non academic) book called Mein Kampf.

            Obtw, what justification exists for nationalism?

    • Richard McGrath 2.4

      Both pleasingly have some smaller-government policies – tax cuts, reining in spending and putting a lid on the bloated public sector. Unfortunately, there are some stupid ideas such as a zero carbon economy (unless they beef up nuclear power and find some other way to power and lubricate machinery that doesn’t involve oil). To me, Macron seems the better choice. He’ll win in a landslide.

  3. Bill 3

    Macron is Hollande on steroids – Thatcher risen.

    Macron was Hollande’s finance minister and Hollande’s Socialist party died a death because of the liberal policies that were being enacted.

    The centre is collapsing in France just as elsewhere, but the sad and frustrating thing is that the right wing factions from within the so-called leftist parties that constituted that centre, are successfully heading off genuine left wing possibilities and, at least in the short term, getting away with promoting right wing individuals and policies.

    Of course, msm lends all the support it can by ignoring left wing aspirations and throwing up xenophobic bogey men to frighten people into voting for these radical centre candidates who are emerging from the corpses they’ve made of the sold out, washed up (once were) parliamentary parties of the left.

    It won’t last.

    A few short years back, there would have been no possibility of a Mélenchon or a Sanders or a Corbyn or any of the social movements and new expressions of politics we’ve seen in Spain, in Greece…

    In a few short years from now, those genuine and (mostly) social democratic expressions of leftist thought, will have broken through and be the new normal.

    Meanwhile, things are probably going to get quite ugly

    • ropata 3.1

      A few short years back, there would have been no possibility of a Mélenchon or a Sanders or a Corbyn or any of the social movements and new expressions of politics we’ve seen in Spain, in Greece…

      So true, we were in the grip of Blair / Clinton neoliberal “Third Way” BS

      In a few short years from now, those genuine and (mostly) social democratic expressions of leftist thought, will have broken through and be the new normal.

      I really hope so. Might be a decade or two, when the current generation die off and Millennials finally take power. Max Planck said (paraphrase): “Science advances one funeral at a time”

    • Ad 3.2

      Trump is the best illustration of the kinds of disruption that occurs when extremists get in.

      The hard right extremes are proving better at getting major chunks of electorates to vote for them than the hard left is. But there is now very little time for any remaining centrist democratic government to show that it can redistribute wealth sufficiently to put faith back into the functioning of ordinary government. It’s a decade since the GFC and class mobility has got worse every year.

      I can’t see how your trajectory of left radicalism could happen.
      But then, I’m sure the Commander of the Battleship Potempkin couldn’t see it either.

      It’s beginning to look like the years around Martin Luther.

      • Bill 3.2.1

        There is no such thing as a ‘hard right’ or a ‘hard left’ – just a left and a right (both authoritarian and non-authoritarian) that has abandoned the dying centre.

        Bankers are extremists (Macron).
        Trump used the rhetoric of Sanders and is no extremist (he’s an arse of an authoritarian).
        Neither Corbyn nor the SNP are expressions of ‘left radicalism’.

        This centre that you want to see preserved is inhabited only by the worst expressions of liberalism, peddling the most dangerous of radicalism and so far, successfully gaining power and simultaneously stymieing the left through fear-mongering.

        It and they can’t be dispatched quickly enough

        • Ad 3.2.1.1

          I just don’t get your taxonomy there.

          Bankers are extremists, Macron was a banker, therefore Macron is an extremist?

          Trump is not an extremist, but is an authoritarian?

          Corbyn is part of a ‘soft centre’?

          Is Melenchon ‘soft centre’ or ‘left’?

          Can you be ‘left’ and from an old party?

          What are your thresholds from ‘soft centre’ to ‘left’?
          Or from ‘soft centre’ to ‘right’?
          Or from democratic to authoritarian?
          When is an authoritarian not an extremist?

          • GregJ 3.2.1.1.1

            Perhaps Political Compass helps?

            US Presidential Election:

            https://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2016

            French Presidential Election:

            https://www.politicalcompass.org/france2017

            UK Political Parties 2015:

            https://www.politicalcompass.org/uk2015

          • Bill 3.2.1.1.2

            I was originally going to suggest with your terminology that you must have eaten a dogs breakfast, thrown it up and then stirred it around on the carpet before scooping it into a bucket and throwing it into a comment box.

            It’s all over the show.

            Most of what is bubbling beneath the surface on the left is simple, non-threatening, social democracy.

            This centre you seem to want to hold to is the extreme. Some call it neo-liberalism. And your banker fella is very much a neo-liberal.

            I suspect “The Troika” will be looking to beat a jubilant path to the door of the French National Assembly real soon – right after Macron has laid in the ground-work.

            Like I said above, Shauble will have been celebrating this result.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.2

        Trump is the best illustration of the kinds of disruption that occurs when extremists get in.

        He’s also an example of what happens when governments stop listening to the people and only implement policies that the corporations and rich people want.

        But there is now very little time for any remaining centrist democratic government to show that it can redistribute wealth sufficiently to put faith back into the functioning of ordinary government.

        True but if we don’t then society collapses. of course, that may be what’s needed as part of the necessary evolution of societies.

        • Ad 3.2.2.1

          What kind of collapse would you like, and for how long?

          • Draco T Bastard 3.2.2.1.1

            Who said I would like one?

            To put it another way: Death is as much a part of life as being born.

            • Ad 3.2.2.1.1.1

              “Of course, that may be what’s needed …”

              What would this death of society look like to you?
              Any major change in world history that you could compare it to?
              The Black Death?
              The decline and fall of the Roman Empire?
              The Russian Revolution?
              The French Revolution?
              World War 1?

              Which of those societal deaths were “as much a part of life as being born”?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Any major change in world history that you could compare it to?

                The collapse of:
                Ancient Greece
                Ancient Egypt
                Ancient Rome
                The British Empire
                The Ottoman Empire
                And the empires in Latin America

                https://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/14/nasa-civilisation-irreversible-collapse-study-scientists

                It finds that according to the historical record even advanced, complex civilisations are susceptible to collapse, raising questions about the sustainability of modern civilisation:

                “The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent.”

                By investigating the human-nature dynamics of these past cases of collapse, the project identifies the most salient interrelated factors which explain civilisational decline, and which may help determine the risk of collapse today: namely, Population, Climate, Water, Agriculture, and Energy.

                These factors can lead to collapse when they converge to generate two crucial social features: “the stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity”; and “the economic stratification of society into Elites [rich] and Masses (or “Commoners”) [poor]” These social phenomena have played “a central role in the character or in the process of the collapse,” in all such cases over “the last five thousand years.”

        • Bill 3.2.2.2

          Trump has caused bugger all disruption. The markets shot up. They’re happy. Business will continue as normal and they get a bit of banking deregulation into the bargain.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.2.2.2.1

            Trump has caused bugger all disruption.

            Of course he hasn’t:
            1. Individuals don’t have that sort of power even if they are ‘the president’
            2. He made it look like he was listening – doesn’t mean to say that he was listening

  4. You want to know why the French are sliding to the right?

    Because Hollande completely ruined it for progressives. You simply cannot have a 75% income tax – which Hollande did, and there were numerous articles showing he was as much as cause of the corruption and the problem the French have with their establishment as he railed about it. Smoking gun two faced hypocrite.

    This one from Der Spiegel is about a scandal in 2013

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/corruption-scandal-puts-hollande-and-france-on-their-heels-a-892965.html

    And this from the Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/29/francois-hollande-flopped-france

    I know nothing about Macron, but I hope he thrashes Marine Le Pen. Because if she is anything like her Daddy, she probably wants nuclear testing to resume in the Pacific – the elder Le Pen did when he won in 2001.

  5. In this world where many democracies are sliding to the very hard right, we get to conceive radical alternatives in power. Right now that small c conservative position is a good thing.

    Yes. This one makes Clinton v Trump look trivial. The question of whether or not you should vote for an investment banker rather than a neo-fascist shouldn’t be a difficult one. There’s a good opinion piece on it here, by a descendant of French Jews.

    The bit most relevant to the people dubious about Macron:

    The hard-left candidate, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, has, as yet, refused to endorse Macron. This is because he needs – in a move that further reduces the hard-left to its own self-parody – to consult the wishes of his supporters first. Yes, that’s right, he absolutely must have a collective debate about whether or not to endorse the candidate who has, as two of her closest advisers, associates of an unrepentant former SS member. Way to maintain the socialist dream!

    • Bill 5.1

      Why should he endorse either of them?

      • Psycho Milt 5.1.1

        Two reasons:

        1. If the question arises as to whether you’d prefer an ordinary conservative or a neo-fascist to run the country and you abstain, you’ve effectively said you don’t distinguish between conservatism and fascism, which declares you lacking in judgement and not fit to run a school gala, let alone a country.

        2. There’s a real danger of France getting a neo-fascist as President. An influential figure who won’t endorse the neo-fascist’s opponent clearly has no problem with that prospect. Not what I’d look for in a leader myself, but each to their own.

        • KJT 5.1.1.1

          Vote for an ordinary conservative and get poor slowly, or vote for a Fascist, get poor fast and recover again with the backlash.

          • McFlock 5.1.1.1.1

            unless there is no backlash, or you fail to survive it.

            • KJT 5.1.1.1.1.1

              We are not going to survive the “sane” conservatives.

              You know. The ones that responded to the Paris accord, on AGW, by issuing more oil exploration licenses.

              At least Le-Pen thinks we should do something about it.

              • McFlock

                Thing is, you’re weighing fewer people surviving in the longer term against the likelihood of more people surviving in the shorter term.

                It’s an interesting theoretical question as to whether murdering a few people for the greater good is justifiable (which is what we’re talking about when we’re talking about voting for the far right because their carbon plans are nice).

                But in reality, I’m not sure there’s been any real life occasion that it was the correct thing to do. At best there might be one or two occasions where I’d be inclined to say “I hope I’d have the strength to avoid doing that”.

          • Psycho Milt 5.1.1.1.2

            “Nach Hitler, uns!” That worked out so well for the left…

          • Bill 5.1.1.1.3

            I don’t know that people would necessarily get poor under fascism KJT. Roosevelt got the basic framework for the New Deal from Mussolini’s Italy.

            I think a more accurate comparison is that you get to choose to be free to be living under a bridge with financiers running the show, or you get to have basic social provisions and a bucket full of fear under the fascists.

            It’s all shite.

        • DoublePlusGood 5.1.1.2

          Or Melenchon can refuse to endorse either of them, and soundly criticise both of them at every opportunity. This builds Melenchon’s position for the parliamentary elections, and shows the electorates that both candidates in the second round are terrible for France, for different reasons.

          Basically you are saying that if you had David Seymour and Colin Ansell as the two candidates for president of New Zealand, then Sue Bradford should endorse David Seymour. A stretch of an analogy for sure, but I do it to point out the ridiculousness of expecting a socialist to endorse free market economics.

          • Psycho Milt 5.1.1.2.1

            Or Melenchon can refuse to endorse either of them, and soundly criticise both of them at every opportunity.

            He could. And if doing that discouraged a large proportion of the left from voting in the second round, the likelihood of a neo-fascist running France would increase dramatically. He’s either opposed to a neo-fascist running France and willing to do something about it, or he isn’t.

            Basically you are saying that if you had David Seymour and Colin Ansell as the two candidates for president of New Zealand, then Sue Bradford should endorse David Seymour.

            Nope. More like John Key vs Colin Ansell. If there are only two options, one of the options is fascism, and you refuse to take the other option, it means you’re not fussy about whether the country’s run by fascists or not. It amazes me how many people supposedly on the left fall into that category.

            • DoublePlusGood 5.1.1.2.1.1

              People will all know that the left will hold their nose and vote for Macron. That does not mean Melenchon has to endorse anyone.

              • Bill

                I agree.

                He could reasonably condemn both in those areas that they deserve condemnation. To endorse would be to self censor.

                Liberals might not like that the lesser of the evils is getting it in the neck along with the greater of the evils, but meh.

              • Will they hold their noses and vote for Macron? More to the point, will they do that if their preferred candidate makes it clear he wouldn’t? Actively working to suppress the vote for fascism’s opponent is actively supporting fascism as far as I’m concerned.

                • Bill

                  Actively working to suppress the vote for fascism’s opponent is actively supporting fascism as far as I’m concerned.

                  See that? We agree on something. So what to do with these establishment types and their ploy of talking up fascism while simultaneously working to marginalise left candidates before, they hope, hoovering up the vote off the back of the fear for a candidate they’ve hyped?

                  Endorse them because “lesser of two evils”? Vote for them because “lesser of two evils”?

                  edit – if you harbour doubts on that front, go back through the articles relating to the election and compare the coverage of Le Pen and Mélenchon – both in terms of sheer volume and content.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.3

          1. Is there a difference between conservatism and fascism? Because from where I’m sitting I’m not seeing any real difference.
          2. Why should we continue to ‘believe’ in leaders when they’ve shown that they’re incapable of leading?

          • McFlock 5.1.1.3.1

            1: seriously?

          • Enough is Enough 5.1.1.3.2

            Why don’t you lead then us Draco? You can be the answer – offer us an alternative?

          • One Two 5.1.1.3.3

            1. The same mentality and ideology has the levers of power today, that was in control the past few hundred years..let’s say

            They fund, train, supply and coordinate fascists of today, the same way they did business and funded , then extracted them out of Europe and placed them around the globe, starting Nasa and the CIA with nazis and fascists..

            No difference..

          • Psycho Milt 5.1.1.3.4

            Is there a difference between conservatism and fascism?

            Why am I not surprised?

            They fund, train, supply and coordinate fascists of today, the same way they did business and funded , then extracted them out of Europe and placed them around the globe, starting Nasa and the CIA with nazis and fascists..

            NASA and the CIA? Wasn’t it the lizard people?

              • Ah yes, the belated attempt to prevent the Soviet Union, that bastion of anti-fascism, from hoovering up all the top German scientists. At least we got a few of them, I guess.

                • McFlock

                  although the abwehr/ss crowd the CIA picked up turned out to be a dead loss.

                  But I guess by the measure of “how many nazis did we use”, the soviets were also conservatives. Hell, Peter Fraser might have picked up a couple for NZ for all we know.

                • One Two

                  ” at least WE got a few of them”

                  Just which war do you fantasize being part of?

                  Not widely read, and not very bright. No wonder you used the lizard people comment (again) and was not aware of ‘open secrets’ such as paperclip..

                  The ‘we’ you snuggle up to are fascists of the most sinister variety…they’ve managed to change colour so many times, most believe they are anything other than what they are!

                  Dupes and dumb people are harvested for energy in supporting the blood lust of ‘the neauvau fascists’

                  • I was aware of Paperclip, having read “Operation Paperclip” by Annie Jacobsen many years ago. That’s how I know it was a belated effort to prevent the USSR from getting all the top German scientists. I just hadn’t recognised that attempt to attract German scientists to the West in your bizarre comment about fascism being a conservative plot.

                    And “we” refers to “us, the members of those societies making up the group of allies that benefited from Operation Paperclip.” Sometimes “we” covers a pretty broad range of humanity, up to and including all of it.

  6. SpaceMonkey 6

    It is no longer a left vs right thing. It’s now an establishment vs anti-establishment thing. Macorn represents the establishment and if the French want more of what they’ve been getting for the past whatever years then they will vote for Macron. If they want change they will go Le Pen, irrespective of how unpalatable that might be.

    This was the same dynamic that saw Trump elected. But as we’ve seen after his first 100 days that it makes little difference overall as the Deep State has lots of leverage to ensure whoever is elected toes the line.

    The system is rigged.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      +111

      • In Vino 6.1.1

        Agree. Hate to quote the Daily Blog, but on a graph they had, Macron was more right-wing than Le Pen. Both were authoritarian, if I remember rightly. The site seems to be down at the moment. But the worrying thing is that we are so unclear about what Macron stands for.

    • peterlepaysan 6.2

      Who rigged the system?

    • peterlepaysan 6.3

      Who rigged the system?
      Why?
      If we follow the money where does it lead?

      Is the rigged system the same all over the world, rigged by the same people?
      Some evidence would be useful.

      • One Two 6.3.1

        Evidence. ..

        Take a closer look Peter, use your own mind and resources before asking others to do it for you..

        Goodness me, it’s not rocket science

  7. Ad 7

    Main Macron policies:

    • Local housing tax exemptions worth 10 billion euros ($10.6 billion)

    • Merger of myriad public- and private-sector retirement pension systems as well as a merger of unemployment benefit systems, which currently differ for regular wage-earners and the self-employed.

    • Broad financial targets include keeping France’s budget deficit below the EU-mandated 3 percent of GDP, lowering the jobless rate to 7 percent by the end of his potential five-year term from around 10 percent now, an investment plan of 50 billion euros and public spending savings seen reaching 60 billion annually by the end of the mandate.

    • Corporate tax would be cut from 33 to 25 percent.

    • The CICE tax credit system for firms would be converted into permanent payroll tax breaks for low-wage workers.

    • 35-hour legal work week would remain but negotiation of real work hours would be left to company level.

    • Low-wage earners would be exempted from certain social welfare levies, a measure that would put an extra month’s wage per year in the employee’s pocket.

    • 50 billion euros of public investment over five years, of which:

    – 15 billion for training/changing skill-sets to find jobs.

    – 15 billion on energy/environment targets: exit within 5 years from coal-based energy
    production, shift towards alternative, renewable energy sources, rise in carbon tax.

    – 5 billion in farm sector financing for environment-friendly projects, local production cooperatives and aid during price crises.

    – 5 billion for transport and local infrastructure, with a focus on renovating old train lines rather than building new ones.

    – 5 billion euros on health sector, including better reimbursement of glasses, dentures and hearing aids, plus move away from wasteful medicine packages that contain more pills than a patient needs.

    – 5 billion on modernization, computerization of public administration.

    • Halve number of early primary school pupils to 12 per class in 12,000 low-income zones, with teachers given a bonus of 3,000 euros a year to work in such areas.

    • All 18-year-olds to get a 500 euro “culture pass” to spend on cinema, theater and concert tickets.

    • Strict application of secular policy in public life. No ban on Muslim veil for university students, as envisaged by some candidates.

    • Asylum requests processed within six months.

    • State subsidy of 15,000 euros over 3 years for firms that hire people in 200 low-income neighbourhoods.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-election-macron-programme-fact-idUSKBN17G19H?il=0

    • McFlock 7.1

      well, that all just sounds like far right neoliberal insantiy, lol 🙂

      • Ad 7.1.1

        We have forgotten how far our social welfare system has shrunk, and how far the French one has expanded.

        With Macron, if I lived in France, I’d be able to get all my uncles fitted with new false teeth and hearing aids for free, and get my nephews to see some real culture for free to the tune of 800 Euros!

        Plus, work for 35 hours a week.

        Sigh.

      • Richard McGrath 7.1.2

        Partly: there’s nothing neo-liberal about paying people to go to concerts and manipulating the energy, labour, education and transport markets. But his other policies sound quite good.

    • Jesus, could we swap our neo-liberal extremists for French ones ASAP, please?

  8. adam 8

    This is why La Pen is going to win.

    Rather than work to offer somthing better, go for conservatism. That is not a winning formula.

    I think like trump, brexit and the rest – you are missing the point. People have had enough of this liberal experiment. Especially the failed free-market liberalism of the last 40 odd years.

    I’m very afraid that authoritarianism will win. Because no one is offering people any other chance.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    He has been our best reminder that deeply radical governments are deeply unstable.

    I’m pretty sure that the First labour government was, at the time, considered a deeply radical government. And I know the Fourth one was.

    The problem is, as you imply here:

    Where immigration and visible minorities have altered the development of a country, we typically find increased suspicion of others and a loss of enthusiasm for the institutions of a welfare state.

    is that the country is unstable due to poorly thought out policies by supposedly centrist governments.

  10. One Anonymous Bloke 10

    Has anyone described it as a “toxic runoff” yet?

    The toxic runoff of centrism, for instance.
    The toxic runoff of Neoliberalism.
    The toxic runoff of globalisation.
    The toxic runoff of the Sétif and Guelma massacre.

    Vive la revolution!

  11. peterlepaysan 11

    The NZ mmp system has blunted the edge of the volatile politics in the democratic secular states. Angela Merkal has survived under a similar system.
    What both Germany and NZ have lost has been a very active voting electorate. The number of non voters is a worry and the number of non voters has been increasing, sharply.
    This is only storing up trouble for the future.
    National and its parasites are cruising.
    If the opposition parties cannot galvanise the apathetic we will never build enough prisons gulags.

    Le Pen and Macron represent the disaffected non voting electorate. So did Trump and sanders, so did Brexi (and the Celtic states).

    We live in interesting times. (Curse it!)

  12. DS 12

    We’re actually extremely lucky it’s Macron vs Le Pen. Macron is a dull, inoffensive centrist. The true worry was Fillon vs Le Pen – an actual Thatcherite (and a corrupt one to boot) against a neo-fascist.

  13. millsy 13

    Macron = Blair.

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    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh This year marks the 20th anniversary of the La Gabarra massacre. The community organised an event to remember the most well-known of the horrendous heart-breaking events that befell the communities of this area of the municipality of Tibú: the massacre carried out on August 21st 1999. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 hour ago
  • A prediction
    There was another police chase in Christchurch this morning, resulting in a crash which killed one person and injured five more. Because someone died, the chase is being investigated by the Independent Police Conduct Authority. And based on previous reports by the IPCA, we know how it will go: the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 hours ago
  • Climate Change: The Zero Carbon Bill
    Just a month ago we saw the biggest protest in a generation as people marched to demand stronger action on climate change. A core demand of the protesters was to strengthen the Zero Carbon Bill's target to net-zero by 2040. So what is the government's response? Judging by the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    8 hours ago
  • Zombie ants, updated
    Back in 2010, I wrote about the strange tale of the zombie ants, which do the bidding of their fungal overlords. (They’re not an isolated example; a range of parasites change their hosts’ behaviour. See here and here for example – though as you’ll find, the toxoplasmosis story may be ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    10 hours ago
  • Paying For Our Pakeha “Guilt” And “Privilege”.
    Shouldn't That Be: "Wrong White Crowd"? Rather than apportion guilt, would it not have been wiser for the makers of Land Of The Long White Cloud to accept that the Pakeha of 2019 are not – and never will be – “Europeans”? Just as contemporary Maori are not – and ...
    11 hours ago
  • A Bodyguard of Truths.
    One, Two, Many Truths: With the collapse of “actually existing socialism” in 1991, the universities of the West found themselves saddled with a new mission. With their ideological competitors now soundly defeated they were no longer required to demonstrate the superiority of capitalist values. Their job now was to cement ...
    12 hours ago
  • A call to unionists
    by the Council of Disobedient Women   We call on the Council of Trade Unions to show some fortitude and take a stand with your sisters. Unionists know that there is a material world, otherwise workers could simply identify out of poverty. They could declare themselves Well Paid. Why stop ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Sophistry and bullshit
    I spent some time reading the Regulatory Impact Statement and Bill of Rights Act advice for the government's odious control order scheme today. I am not impressed with either of them. Starting with the RIS, it is built on some pretty questionable assumptions. For example:Unless individuals have been convicted of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • I’m so fly, I’m #NoFly!
    #NoFly: Walking the talk on climate change, by Shaun Hendy. BWB Texts, 2019. Reviewed by Robert McLachlan In June 2018, Swede Maja Rosén founded We stay on the ground with a pledge not to fly in 2019, and a goal of persuading 100,000 other Swedes to join her. In August, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • Punishing the young
    We all know that NZ First is a party of and for old people who hate the young. But they've topped their previous pedophobia with a proposal that all young people be forced to do 100 hours community work:NZ First wants all young people to do 100 hours of community ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Journalism, clickbait, & ideas of classical beauty – but not science
    A couple days ago the NZ Herald published a story with the headline, “Science says Bella Hadid is world’s most beautiful woman“, and followed up with the ridiculous statement that Supermodel Bella Hadid has been declared as the world’s most beautiful woman following a scientific study into what constitutes as ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 day ago
  • Is Simon’s Smile Sustainable?
    A Sustainable Proposition: With as much as 18 percent of the electorate declaring itself “undecided” about who to vote for, there is obviously plenty of space for a party like former Green Party member, Vernon Tava's, about-to-be-launched "Sustainable NZ Party" to move into. The most hospitable political territory for such ...
    1 day ago
  • What the actual Hell?
    Keir Starmer has hinted that Labour might vote in favour of the Johnson government's shoddy deal, with the proviso that a second referendum is attached:Speaking to BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We will see what that looks like but it makes sense to say that by whatever ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Dealer’s Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994
    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    3 days ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    4 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    4 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    5 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    5 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    5 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    6 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    6 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Police trial new response to high risk events
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