web analytics

The Humanity.

Written By: - Date published: 10:59 am, April 15th, 2018 - 160 comments
Categories: International, Politics, Propaganda, Syria, uk politics, us politics, war - Tags: , ,

So there we have it.

Launching missile strikes on three pieces of infrastructure is an act of humanitarianism. The US is ready to do it again if anyone says “Boo!” to a monkey. The UN Security Council has endorsed itself being by-passed by countries (or at least by some countries) wanting to unleash military strikes against other countries they are not at war with, and that constitute precisely zero threat to their own national security.

So is the UN broken? I don’t know.

Is military action ever humanitarian? Well, I guess it could be, but I’m not readily thinking of the circumstances where that would be the case. Certainly not this instance where action has been taken off the back of a tweet; where nothing has been verified (ie, video footage etc) and where no evidence has been collected or evaluated.

And I’m curious about those pieces of infrastructure. According to the OPCW – the internationally recognised body responsible for overseeing the implementation of the CWC treaty that Syria signed up to, Syria had destroyed all of its chemical weapons back in October 2014. Are we now to believe that wasn’t the case and that the OPCW are chumps?

So what was being targeted?*

I haven’t had time to hunt through decent or informed opinion yet, but I’m taking these claims about chemical weapons research and storage facilities with a dose of salt. Every country in the world has chemical factories and chemical research facilities, and a large part of me wonders if we’re just seeing a Bill Clinton/Sudan redux – when in 1998, he launched cruise missiles to destroy the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical facilities, that incidentally provided 50% of Sudan’s medical supplies, on the grounds that it was producing the nerve gas VX. It wasn’t.

So bang some missiles onto an innocuous chemical facility, claim it was also producing something else “on the side”, and conveniently take out whatever it was that was the intended target; the target that couldn’t wait until any evidence of a chemical attack (if there is any) was processed; the target that couldn’t even be held back on for a few days so that (in the case of the UK) proposed military action was put to a Parliamentary vote.

Some members of the US Congress are less than impressed with Trump’s unilateral, hasty decision making too.

Anyway. Just as well “our” glorious leaders remembered to not say they were launching missiles to help bring about democracy. That might have been a bit of a sell given how they’re acted.

* Scientific Studies and Research Centre compound in the Barzeh district, north Damascus. It was the countries leading research facility, and since Syria signed up to the CWC, probably focusing on it’s civil goal of (from Wiki) “advancing and coordinating scientific activities in the country. It works on research and development for the economic and social development of Syria, especially the computerization of government agencies”.

According to the Financial Times, “The second [target] was a chemical weapons storage facility at Him Shinshar west of the city of Homs which the US said was the primary location for the Syrian manufacture of the nerve agent sarin. The third was a chemical weapons bunker facility close to the second target”.

Pass the salt.



160 comments on “The Humanity.”

  1. AsleepWhileWalking 1

    Needs more than a dash

  2. cleangreen 2

    “So bang some missiles onto an innocuous chemical facility, claim it was also producing something else “on the side”, and conveniently take out whatever it was that was the intended target; the target that couldn’t wait until any evidence of a chemical attack (if there is any) was processed; the target that couldn’t even be held back on for a few days so that (in the case of the UK) proposed military action was put to a Parliamentary vote.”

    That says it all now doesn’t it Bill,

    Thanks for keeping this subject alive as some want it buried ASAP it appears they must be suffering from self induced guilt now perhaps for supporting this crazy missile attack..

  3. Carolyn_Nth 3

    I think the UN, and international law is broken. Whatever the justification in humanitarian concerns, the US-UK-France, etc are selective about which dastardly regimes they attack on humanitarian grounds.

    The security council is a flawed concept and needs to be replaced. The US president has gone rogue, and the UK Tories and Macron have supported it.

    • james 3.1

      Actually it was also supported by Canada, Australia, NATO, Turkey with the EU standing by them and NZ accepting of the raids.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Was it NZ accepting of the raids or just the politicians?

        There’s a difference. One is democratic, the other authoritarian.

        • Incognito

          Accepting is not supporting, is it?

          • James

            Try reading her statement and it will give you what you need to know.

            • Incognito

              Hmmm, the way I read her statement is that NZ is not supporting the strikes as such.

              The reason I asked is whether this is a known and accepted subtlety in the language of international diplomacy. I was hoping Draco would know and answer …

            • Carolyn_Nth

              The PM was being diplomatic so as not to upset allies. She would prefer the UN to resolve such issues through diplomatic negotiations at the UN rather than conflict.


              She blamed Russia for using their security council veto – but, basically she wants the UN to have a stronger role in resolving such conflicts:

              Ms Ardern said it’s important not to give up on the UN as being the way in which the international community can respond to this and the best way to stop seeing civilians hurt would be to use collective action.

        • James

          The accept it on our behalf.

          That’s how our system works.

        • JohnSelway

          But authoritarian is ok – as long as Draco is the authority

          • Draco T Bastard

            Can you just fuck off with that BS already?

            It’s already boring.

            I have authoritarian tendencies – I’m not authoritarian.

            • JohnSelway

              Why should I fuck off? You sit on this site and go on and on about how authoritarian National are, how people who disagree with you are stupid, RWNJ, how much of genius you are etc etc and I am calling you out for your BS.

              If you are bored stop responding.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I am calling you out for your BS.

                No you’re not – you’re just using typical, fairly stupid, RWNJ ad hominem attack.

                • JohnSelway

                  No I call you out because you drop some whoppers from time to time. That’s not an ad hom. I attack your arguments, not you

                  And your calling me a RWJN (green voter since 1999 my man) is your own ad hom. You frequently use RWNJ = your argument is invalid. An ad hom – what you are doing now

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I attack your arguments

                    No you don’t. Once you pointed out I was wrong which was my fault as I was unclear in my first point.

                    All other times you’ve simply attacked me.

                    And your calling me a RWJN (green voter since 1999 my man) is your own ad hom.

                    Not really. You act like a RWNJ so I point that out. If you don’t like it then I suggest you stop acting like a spoiled brat.

                    An ad hom – what you are doing now

                    Except that I didn’t.

                  • Ed

                    Your opinions don’t tally with being a Green voter….

            • McFlock

              I’m not an authoritarian either, but I did experiment with it a bit at university. I don’t really hang out with those guys these days.

              • JohnSelway

                I hung out with a bunch of skaters, stoners a ne’er do wellers.

                Don’t see many of them these days anymore either

      • reason 3.1.2

        You’d hate to have James on a jury with his cavalier attitude to actual evidence….. as he’s shown before with some of his ‘flame posts ‘ …

        Some types of child abuse are ok with him too … specifically the the types failed politicians John Key and David Cameron worked to spread and entrench

        “the architecture of wealth extraction that has been systematically built up in every country around the world. I use the word ‘architecture’ intentionally here for two reasons: (1) to remind us that there were architects who intentionally created this exploitative system (it did not arise naturally or by accident); and (2) the purpose of this system was to hoard as much wealth as possible in the hands of a tiny elite.”

        both warmongers too …. “The Arab coalition – backed and armed by the UK ”


    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      The US has been a rogue state for some time now. The UK and France just joined them.

  4. patricia bremner 4

    Sadly yes James, but that doesn’t make it right.

    • james 4.1

      I disagree – I believe that it is the the right thing to do in this instance – but only based on the little I know.

      However – I understand that it is an extremely difficult and emotive subject over there and (lets face it) – all of us are shot on facts compared with the people that make these decisions.

      I can see why people think its the wrong thing to do.

      Im not going to get into a debate on it – because I can accept I don’t know enough about it – they wont stop some others (not saying you) who also know very little about it being very vocal and demanding that their views on this are right and everyone else is an idiot.

      edit – so I respect your view, but Im popping out of this thread now.

      • cleangreen 4.1.1


        James doesn’t ever see anything he/she doesn’t choose to want to see patricia.

        However this view may help james see who those ‘rose- coloured spectacles as he/she cries; – “I see a a brighter future”


        Thi is a balanced assessment of the bombing of syria at present as it achieved nothing but pain and misery for syrian citizens only.

        No wonder why the US are now very hated elsewhere what were they thinking?

        [The personal stuff. I asked you to dial it back yesterday. A whole stream of bullshit has just been deleted from Open Mike that you were a part of. There won’t be any more warnings] – Bill

      • AB 4.1.2

        “all of us are short on facts compared with the people that make these decisions.”
        That’s uncharacteristically naïve of you James. You assume that the people making this decision are interested in or motivated by the facts.
        You old softy you!

      • D'Esterre 4.1.3

        James: ” I believe that it is the the right thing to do in this instance – but only based on the little I know.”

        Bombing another country which poses no existential threat to the attacking countries is a priori wrong. You don’t need to know anything at all about the situation to know that. It is what many of us pointed out before Bush GW launched his insane adventure in Iraq.

        “all of us are shot on facts compared with the people that make these decisions.”

        That’s what the US told us about WMDs, despite the protestations of many of us. Turned out that we were right and all those “well-informed” international leaders were wrong. There were no WMDs.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.4

        all of us are shot on facts compared with the people that make these decisions.

        All of the evidence I’ve seen indicates that the people who made the decisions are short on facts as well. Hell, they don’t even know if it was a chemical attack or not.

  5. JohnSelway 5

    Putin and Assad should be added to the ‘this lot’ also

    • joe90 5.1


      When Bush 43 and the PNAC neocon mob decided to do an end run around the US constitution by outsourcing their crimes, Assad, with his and his father’s regime’s long history of using torture against its opponents, was one of their go-to men in the administration’s extraordinary rendition and torture programmes.

  6. Kay 6

    The Humanity is a very apt title.

    Total peace could break out in Syria tomorrow but it won’t be over for the civilians caught up in it. Not for generations, not those still in the country nor the refugees.
    The psychological suffering of World War 2 is still going on, now into the 2rd, 3rd generation. Diminishing with each generation, but still there. A lot of people with parents/grandparents caught up in the hell of Europe during those years, and those who became refugees, we can tell you about how their trauma has become inter-generational. And that’s what will happen with the Syrian people. That’s what I haven’t stopped thinking about since the refugee stories hit the headlines.

    I said in a comment yesterday I don’t understand the politics despite trying to. But I do understand the consequences of war on the innocent populations that want nothing to do with it and didn’t ask to be there. They were my immediate family a few decades ago.

  7. timeforacupoftea 7

    All of them together are almost as bad as Obama !

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    So what was being targeted?*

    Competition for US Big Pharma corporations?

    Can’t have anywhere not dependent upon US drugs.

  9. D'Esterre 9

    Bill: “Pass the salt.”

    Coupla handfuls at the very least.

    Apropos matters chemical:

    This is a very good series.

  10. Incognito 10

    Good post, Bill, thank you.

    To complement and juxtapose the title of the post I’d like to suggest this caption for the photo: Three Wise Monkeys.

    I’d also like to draw to the post by Ken Perrott that popped up in the Feeds about 2 hours ago: https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/opcw-on-salisbury-poisoning-one-step-forward-two-back/

    It is factual without the usual speculative BS that we get fed through MSM.

    • Bill 10.1

      Jesus wept.

      2 pages (how many more “dossiers of evidence” and such like are we going to get that could fit on a cigarette paper?) – where the OPCW merely says the results from its samples coincide with the results from the UK samples that it also had at its disposal.

      That’s meant to mean anything? That’s it!?

      It’s like teacher marking homework and writing in the comments to “wee Johnny” that yes, given his working out, his answers get a tick.

      Nothing at all about the working out or the conclusions themselves though.

      Anyway. Tiz for another thread on another post. But thanks for the heads up.

      • dukeofurl 10.1.1

        Notice how they have moved the ‘goalposts’.

        They are now saying missile airstrikes were on chemical weapons facilities

        Its just impossible to keep up with the ever shifting ‘facts”, which is of course the whole point.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    <a href="https://twitter.com/NaomiAKlein/status/985145051410989057Naomi Klein:

    1. When missiles start flying, the casualties are more numerous than those in the immediate target range. Also blasted out of existence are the many human emergencies that are suddenly demoted in the public debate, treated as inconsequential in comparison to the adrenalin of war.

    Which is a valid point: What is the US/UK/France trying to distract us from?

  12. gsays 12

    Thanks Bill for your mahi on this subject.

    As others have said there is so much commentary, ‘news’ and opinion out there.
    I do appreciate reading your view of these things and trust your instincts.

    As I said last night somewhere there is a sickening familiarity to these events.

  13. Matthew Whitehead 13

    Cheers for posting on this Bill, was just thinking I should do so today.

    It’s absolutely nuts to think bombing chemical weapons will protect people in Syria. This is about punishing the regime, and maybe indirectly punishing Russia.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      It’s absolutely nuts to think bombing chemical weapons will protect people in Syria.

      And there’s still nothing to say that they were producing chemical weapons. They may have been producing the antibiotics and what not to keep their soldiers and people healthy.

      This is about punishing the regime, and maybe indirectly punishing Russia.

      IMO, It’s about carrying out war for the benefit of the US corporations.

      • Matthew Whitehead 13.1.1

        I make no determination as to whether the weapons were actually there or not, but fair call on that wording. The bombing started before inspectors could actually confirm anything, so it does suggest they might be worried that they don’t get to strike if they let inspectors go in- the same “mistake” that was made with Iraq, and almost made with Iran.

        Punishing regimes that don’t co-operate with the US is absolutely of direct benefit to multinationals based in the US, yes.

        BTW: Golriz has commented on this on behalf of the Greens, for those interested: https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/14-04-2018/bombing-syria-will-never-bring-peace-nz-must-stand-up-against-ad-hoc-violence/

        • McFlock

          Dunno about “worried”, I just don’t think they give a shit.

          3 targets says that basically they’ve done the absolute minimum they think they can get away with in order to say “we frown on such weapons, aren’t we noble”.

          The distraction is nice, but the Falklands worked because it turned anti-Thatcherites into staunch “patriots” in time for the election. This seems more half-arsed to me and won’t change anyone’s mind domestically.

          Not so much the sabre-rattling of the braggart so much as the shivering of a gutless coward who is too scared to fight and too scared to walk away.

          • JohnSelway

            “3 targets says that basically they’ve done the absolute minimum they think they can get away with in order to say “we frown on such weapons, aren’t we noble”.”


      • Stuart Munro 13.1.2

        It was a demonstration. Whether it will have the intended effect remains to be seen. For my part I’d rather see institutions or airfields flattened than residential areas gassed. If that’s the choice.

        • Draco T Bastard

          We don’t know if any residential areas were gassed and if they were who it was. This is the problem with this attack. It doesn’t stand on any principles.

          It was, by your own admission, a terror attack.

          • McFlock

            You and I don’t know.
            That’s not the same as saying the yanks, brits, uk, assad, and russia don’t know to a reasonable level who done what.

            Maybe it was a false-flag self-gassing, or even a completely invented event (pointless though either might be).

            But maybe the yanks etc actually do know pretty solidly that assad directed gas to be dropped on residential areas, and they want to do the minimal amount that will stop chemical warfare being in daily use, but don’t want to bomb so much that russia feels it has to respond.

            Now, it being an exclusively principled response? About as likely as a false-flag self-gassing, to my mind. But either way, you being ignorant of facts doesn’t mean other people are acting without any principles. Just as me being ignorant of motives doesn’t necessarily mean the actors involved weren’t motivated to do X.

            • Draco T Bastard

              That’s not the same as saying the yanks, brits, uk, assad, and russia don’t know to a reasonable level who done what.

              No it’s not the same but then the information that is available tells us that don’t really know any more than we do.

              With them acting so precipitously before any investigation can be done tells me that they don’t know either. In fact, it tells me that they didn’t want to know and that the attack was thus a foregone conclusion. Which leads to the conclusion that if it was a gas attack perhaps it was done by the Americans.

              • McFlock

                No it’s not the same but then the information that is available tells us that don’t really know any more than we do.

                So there’s absolutely no way that, say, three top-level spies in different parts of Assad’s regime have provided dovetailing reports to the yanks (or I suspect the British are better at it) detailing different aspects of a secret Assad CW program, the US has tapped innocuous orders deploying named low-level staff to the area and those staff were deployed to the areas of previous cw incidents just prior to those incidents, satellite imaging showed a few trucks going from the suspected CW plant to an area suitable for deploying the latest attack, and a thousand other small intelligence dots that lead to a larger picuture, none of which would be supplied to an international body let alone the global public? You’re absolutely sure that the yanks and brits and french can’t be sure there was even a chemical attack in the first place?

                And frankly, if they’d wanted to bomb they would have done the usual and levelled every ministry building in Damascus, including the sewage plants. They did the absolute minimum.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  So there’s absolutely no way that, say, three top-level spies in different parts of Assad’s regime…

                  Possible but unlikely after so many years of war. Anyone even remotely suspect around Assad would most likely have been removed.

                  Remember, Assad has Russia on his side and the Russian counter-intelligence is probably working quite well.

                  They did the absolute minimum.

                  Or they did the absolute maximum that they thought that the general public would wear if they used your logic.

                  • McFlock

                    So, in order, your categorical claim that “they don’t really know any more than we do” was actually “it’s unlikely that they know much more than we do, but possible”.

                    As for “what the general public would wear”, don’t make me laugh. You’re assuming the public care, and you’re assuming that the governments give a shit what the public thinks about geopolitics. We’re talking trump, FFS. May’s solid for at least another 4 years, and Macron’s fresh off an election, too.

                    They didn’t take a pot-shot at Assad. They didn’t attack much if anything in the way of airbases. They don’t seem to have done much of muchly, and you think that’s the most the populations would tolerate? What exactly would the populations do about it?

    • Andrea 14.1

      I wonder what the several million spread across Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan were running from, then.

      I also wonder at Father Daniel’s term ‘terrorists’. Who are these people?

      There’s the before and after picture: how did that happen? Fireworks?

      Something about ‘the first casualty of war is truth’ and that’s accepted, along with all those refugees in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and places in Europe. If the regime is so kind – what are they running from? Generic terrorists?

  14. Morrissey 15

    Bill, in your otherwise well argued piece about Obama, you write:

    Notwithstanding his illegal drone programme that targeted US civilians abroad in a series of extrajudicial killings

    This gives the impression that you object to Obama’s illegal drone program because he targeted U.S. citizens. Most of the thousands of civilians killed by this massive terror campaign were non-U.S. citizens, but they were civilians. Surely that is what counts, not whether or not they were U.S. citizens. What right did Obama have to order the extra-legal destruction of ANY person?

    • dukeofurl 15.1

      US drone program with missiles also breaches INF treaty , as when they travel over 500km they become prohibited ‘ground launched winged weapons systems.’

      This is also the reason why the drones strikes are officially a very high level official secret in spite of them being an open secret.
      You would never hear Obama talk about it on the record although he did mention it only in broad terms

  15. Ad 16

    A way to think about the Syrian war over the last week is as a weapons showcase. Small arms, tanks, chemical, air bombardment, naval and land based missiles, drones both surveillance and armed, naval air forces from UK, Russia, US, and France, cruise missiles sea and land borne, antimissile defences, all in quite a show.

    The five permanent members of the UN Security Council are the five biggest global arms exporters.

    On show over this week from almost all of those exporting countries, is the best and the worst weapons the world has to offer.

    Like a great big sale.

    • Incognito 16.1

      More or less what I said @ 8.1.

      If anything is clear is that war, any war, is not a lose-lose situation; there are always multiple parties with invested interests that do very well from the killing & maiming of fellow humans, if not during the war but also afterwards. War is a sure-fire way [very bad pun] to kickstart a flat economy or to distract from internal socio-political issues. And let’s not forget the MSM thriving on human misery too. In short, the worse it is, the better it is, for some … It gives you reason to pause and think, doesn’t it?

      • Ad 16.1.1

        Sorry I missed 8.1.

        It’s the best US Presidential kick-start over everything since … the last one.

        Unless you’ve got your Kiwisaver loaded Growth into shares. In which case its a rollercoaster.

        • Incognito

          No worries 🙂

          I try not to think about my retirement savings in $$ and I am not with KS but that’s really a moot point.

          What do the Three Wise Monkeys have in common?

          Isn’t our Opposition surprisingly quiet about NZ “accepting” the unsanctioned immoral and inhumane air strikes? Maybe I’ve missed some murmurs because I’m partially deaf in my right ear.

          • Ad

            National always fall in with the US. Political viagra.

            It’s not quite heading into the week following 9/11 in terms of being required to pick sides, but it may well end up that way in the next 6 weeks.

            There won’t be any more well-oiled half-Judokas from Winton Peters over Russia after this one, no sirree. Bolton and Haley will be putting the calls out to all their Five Eyes and NATO equivalents to buckle up or buckle down.

            Ardern herself will be getting it in every port of call now that she’s in Europe and the UK.

            So easy throwing red meat to your base banning offshore oil exploration. Now comes the kind of pressure Lange faced. We’ll have to see if she’s good for more than one “Anti-Nuclear Moment”.

            • Ed

              Organising a flight back via Moscow and Teheran would show her independence.

              • Ad

                If this government couldn’t even assist that inbred fool Barry Soper with the consequences of his Iranian escapade, they won’t be trying any more such hijinks.

              • Incognito

                There’s independence and there’s foolhardiness that sows distrust among allies and the NZ people alike …

            • Incognito

              We’ll have to see if she’s good for more than one “Anti-Nuclear Moment”.

              I hope so but she can’t do it by herself; she needs a strong reliable team for back-up & support and by that I don’t mean only from Labour …

              National always fall in with the US. Political viagra.

              I agree although the comparison I’d use is holding P in front of a P-addict.

              That said, National could have asked for a stronger endorsement from Government but they haven’t as far as I know. Who’s their spokesperson for this? Did they hang up by any chance?

    • Andrea 16.2

      How you do cheer one!
      Wasn’t it David Cameron who toddled off to Saudi Arabia touting British arms?

      And look what then happened to Yemen…

  16. Ed 17

    No, this is what it is really about.



    Filthy lucre.

    For the corporations who make and sell missiles.

    “Raytheon stock surged Friday morning, after 59 of the company’s Tomahawk missileswere used to strike Syria in Donald Trump’s first major military operation as President.”


    • Incognito 17.1

      And there you have Beneficiary #1 …

      Obviously, these doom merchants never see themselves as “beneficiaries”, God forbid!

      • Ed 17.1.1

        Eisenhower warned us.

        • Incognito

          Yes, straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

          Problem is that nobody (except Trotter and certain people banging on about Roger Douglas) seems to pay any attention to History anymore 🙁

          • Draco T Bastard

            Problem is that nobody (except Trotter and certain people banging on about Roger Douglas) seems to pay any attention to History anymore 🙁

            Have they ever?

            If everyone paid attention to history we’d have got rid of capitalism centuries ago.

            Still, with the new information superhighway people may actually start doing so.

            • Incognito

              I’d like to think that if we had paid any attention to History we wouldn’t be fighting wars anymore. Perhaps there is a link with that “capitalism” that you mentioned, but I wouldn’t dare to comment …

  17. Ed 18

    George Galloway nails it.

    “George Galloway says that both the alleged gas attack in Syria and subsequent US-led missile strikes this week were a “deliberate fabrication” meant to distract from a number of domestic scandals in the coalition member-states.
    Galloway, a former MP-turned-broadcaster, spoke to RT.com about the latest US-led strikes in Syria, the pretext behind them and the potential consequences for both the Syrian people and the international community. Like many political commentators, Galloway questions both the timing and the authenticity of the reports on a gas attack in Douma outside of Damascus earlier this week.”

    “I believe that the entire Douma chemical weapons attack story is a deliberate fabrication… if Britain was involved in that fabrication I would be shocked but not surprised,” Galloway said. “It stands to reason that you can’t risk, even if the risk is small, the OPCW behaving with professional integrity and saying that there is no evidence of such a chemical weapons attack and certainly not one by the Syrian regime.”

    “You can’t risk that so you have to, in Noam Chomsky’s words, ‘manufacture consent,’ for an attack and then launch the attack before that manufactured consent begins to dwindle away.”

  18. JohnSelway 19

    In this game no one wins

  19. Ovid 20

    The United Nations Human Rights Council provides this graphic outlining chemical weapons attacks between 1 October 2016 and 8 July 2017. 34 of them.

    Most of them have been identified as government attacks, generally using chlorine. But sarin was used in April last year, which you’ll recall the US launched a retaliation against. The OPCW has dispatched a fact finding mission to Syria on this so clearly they have yet to make a determination about the source of this attack.

    Scepticism is healthy, especially when lives are on the line. But because Galloway was right on Iraq doesn’t mean it follows that he’s always right.

    • Stuart Munro 20.1

      OPCW FFM’s don’t assign responsibility. That’s why they didn’t finger anyone for Khan Sheokhoun – their job was to establish what and how, not who.

      • Brigid 20.1.1

        They didn’t apportion responsibility because the inspectors weren’t able to visit the site of the alleged attack because it was unsafe to do so.
        It’s all in the report.

        • Stuart Munro

          There’s more to it than that – assigning cause had become too fraught: there was no difficulty with the technical aspects however, so assigning blame was kicked upstairs to the security council.

          It’s an irony that will of course be lost on the Putinistas that Russia opposed the renewal of the OPCW’s mandate, which expired in December 2017.

    • Ed 20.2

      I’d trust Galloway over May and Johnson every day.
      And I respect the views of the ex Ambassadors of Kazakhstan and Syria more than Trump.

  20. Brigid 21

    I’m not surprised Russia apposed the renewal of the OPCW’s mandate.
    While they were not able to have inspectors visit Khan Sheikhoun, they accepted evidence supplied by those who made the area too dangerous to investigate.

    Yet “The Director-General stated: “The OPCW FFM has confirmed the use of sarin, a nerve agent, at the 4 April incident in Khan Shaykhun in Syria. I strongly condemn this atrocity, which wholly contradicts the norms enshrined in the Chemical Weapons Convention. The perpetrators of this horrific attack must be held accountable for their crimes. In this context, the work of the Joint Investigative Mechanism assumes high importance.”


    The OPCW are an embarrassment to them selves and a danger to the rest of us.

    As an exercise, replace the words ‘Syria’ and ‘Khan Sheikhoun’ and replace them with any country and town of your choosing.

    • Stuart Munro 21.1

      Actually the OPCW are hard working professionals – which makes them the natural enemies of rent-a-Ahmadinejads, who prefer to operate in an entirely fact free environment.

      • Ed 21.1.1

        What/who is a ‘rent-a-Ahmadinejad’?
        Are they the same as ‘Putinistas’?

        • Stuart Munro

          Not quite – it is possible to support Putin without being a blithering idiot, if you still require facts (though of course progressives will be reluctant to back an invading statist authoritarian).

          Ahmadinejad was a successful publicist given what he had to work with, but the situation of his regime forced him to lie so often he made himself a joke.

          So it is with people claiming the US raid was premature because the OPCW hadn’t investigated who then went on to slag off the OPCW because its findings do not exculpate Assad.

  21. Jenny 22

    Did the rebels gas their own children?

    The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggests that a conspiracy was behind the gas attack on rebel held Douma.

    Lavrov claims that the gas attack on Douma was a staged “ploy”.

    Lavrov’s statement seems to be an admission from him that a gas attack did take place. The implication being; that this gas attack was conducted by the rebels and/or their allies on the children and civilians in the area under their control, as a “ploy” to draw retaliatory attacks on the Assad regime.

    Lavrov’s statement could also be read as, no attack took place, and the video of children and infants suffering breathing problems and being treated for gas poisoning were crisis actors.

    Lavrov’s statement statement implying that the gas attack on Douma was a conspiracy staged by the rebels and their Western allies, was backed up by other Russian officials.

    Lavrov cited “irrefutable data that [this] was yet another staged event and staging was done … by the special services of one of the countries at the forefront of the anti-Russia campaign.”…..

    Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, said Britain was “directly involved” in the Douma episode but didn’t elaborate or provide evidence.


    The chemical weapons investigators being sent to Douma are charged only with seeking evidence that a gas attack actually took place, and have been given “no mandate” to look for evidence of who was responsible.

    On the very likely outcome that a gas attack will be confirmed, I expect conspiracy theorists will go into hyperdrive to pin this gassing on the rebels. Or maybe they won’t, and instead just quietly drop the whole thing at the risk of looking like idiots.

    • mikesh 22.1

      “On the very likely outcome that a gas attack will be confirmed, I expect conspiracy theorists will go into hyperdrive to pin this gassing on the rebels. Or maybe they won’t, and instead just quietly drop the whole thing at the risk of looking like idiots.”

      It is hard to understand why you be dismissive of the “false flag” theory. In the absence of concrete evidence one way or the the other, a “false flag” explanation seems far more likely than the claim that “Assad did it”, for two reasons:

      1. The Russian army’s chief of staff Valeri Gerasimov claimed to have “documentary evidence”, obtained during a raid on rebel held areas, that the rebels were planning such an attack.

      2.Trump had apparently announced a withdrawal of US troops from Suria; Assad is highly unlikely to provide him with reasons for keeping them there. Assad may be a bad guy, but Jubilation T Cornpone he ain’t..

      • Ed 22.1.1

        Yes and I reckon the Saudi Crown Prince’s visits to London, Washington and Paris have some relevance to the real narrative.

      • Stuart Munro 22.1.2

        1. If Valeri Gerasimov actually produced this “documentary evidence” we would be in a position to assess the validity of his claim – but until he does so, the claim is empty.

        2. If Assad were not “Jubilation T Cornpone” he’d be able to govern without military assistance from Russia, and without needing to bomb or gas citizens whose preference is for a better or a different government.

        • mikesh

          Failure to produce evidence is not an argument You’ll need to prove that he is lying if you want to convince anybody. I prefer to take his claims at face value until they are proven false. Let’s face it, the very fact that a CW attack took place would suggest that what he said was true.

          I’m pretty sure Assad is quite capable of governing his country without military assistance from Russia. However, defending his country from ISIS, and from illegal invasions by USA, GB and France are another matter.

          • Stuart Munro

            Failure to produce evidence is no evidence at all.

            You take Valeri Gerasimov’s “claims” at face value because you’re credulous and biased.

            “However, defending his country from ISIS, and from illegal invasions by USA, GB and France are another matter.”

            It’s not his country – bombing your people is not consistent with a democratic mandate.

            ISIS was centred on Mosul, it’s not even in Syria.

            Dead civilians don’t become Islamists just because Assad says so.

            The US is not invading or Assad and his murderous rabble would be long gone.

            • mikesh

              “You take Valeri Gerasimov’s “claims” at face value because you’re credulous and biased.”

              Rubbish. I take his claims “at face value” because no evidence has been produced to refute them, and because a chemical weapons attack has occurred (though admittedly we cannot be sure of that as yet). Also, unlike you, I am not a Russophobe who makes the a priori assumption that Russia is an “evil empire”.

              “It’s not his country – bombing your people is not consistent with a democratic mandate.”

              Democratic mandate is not the only way of conferring legitimacy. There are other ways. And he hasn’t bombed his own people – he has bombed various Islamic invaders who are trying to topple him and set up a Wahhabist caliphate similar to that of Saudi Arabia.

              Anyway his government is recognised as the legitimate government both in Syria and internationally.

              • McFlock

                You’re credulous because you don’t seem to have considered the possibility that Gerasimov did indeed have prior warning from perpetrators of a chemical weapons attack. Not captured in a raid, though, but freely offered by a vassal seeking permission from Russia.

                • mikesh

                  I had actually considered that possibility, but rejected it on the grounds that Assad has no need of CWs at this stage of the battle. And in any case I’m sure Russia would not have given “permission”.

              • Stuart Munro

                Nonsense – you swallow unsupported Russian claims, but resist the claims of anyone else. Your credulity only extends to Russia – for anyone else you display a modicum of reserve, but if Valeri Gerasimov asserted Syrian gas attacks were the work of moon Nazis you’d swallow it whole.

                “Democratic mandate is not the only way of conferring legitimacy” – Indeed – Putin, Assad and Kim Jong Il use a quite different process, one which, unfortunately, is not legitimate among progressives. No concern for you of course.

                As for your “Islamic invaders” that has become a euphemism for his civilian murder toll. He need only raise Islamism and nodding dogs like you are okay with him killing absolutely anyone. You don’t require any proof from him – you’re fine with murder – they’re only brown people eh, untermenschen to you.

                As for Russia being an evil empire if Chechenya had voted for Putin you’d never have heard a peep out of me. But Russia killed literally half the population. Of course you’re down with that too – Putin can kill as many brown people as he likes – in fact the more the better eh.

                • Ed

                  The only claims being made are by the US and its mates.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Nonsense – Valeri Gerasimov claims to have documentary evidence. Fine – so produce it. If he can’t maybe it’s because he doesn’t have it.

                • mikesh

                  “Nonsense – you swallow unsupported Russian claims, but resist the claims of anyone else. Your credulity only extends to Russia – for anyone else you display a modicum of reserve, but if Valeri Gerasimov asserted Syrian gas attacks were the work of moon Nazis you’d swallow it whole.”

                  I give cogent reasons for the things I “swallow”, and for rejecting the things I reject. Which is more than I could say for you.

                  ““Democratic mandate is not the only way of conferring legitimacy” – Indeed – Putin, Assad and Kim Jong Il use a quite different process, one which, unfortunately, is not legitimate among progressives. No concern for you of course.”

                  I think you misunderstand the term “legitimacy”. A government is legitimate if its people accept it. And they don’t actually have to like it for it to be legitimate.

                  Queen Elizabeth is the unelected ruler of New Zealand, even if, by convention, she accepts the advice of our PM.

                  “As for your “Islamic invaders” that has become a euphemism for his civilian murder toll. He need only raise Islamism and nodding dogs like you are okay with him killing absolutely anyone.”

                  When it come to atrocities I’m pretty sure the Islamists give as much as they get. Actually, I’m not happy with killing, but this is a war and therefore people are going to be killed – on both sides.

                  “As for Russia being an evil empire if Chechenya had voted for Putin you’d never have heard a peep out of me. But Russia killed literally half the population. Of course you’re down with that too – Putin can kill as many brown people as he likes – in fact the more the better eh”

                  What I said above about killing and war applies as much to Chechnya as it does to Syria.

                  It’s about time you came up with some decent arguments. Your efforts so far have been pretty pathetic. I’m getting tired of having to refute arguments which have no real substance, but are largely ad hominem attacks.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Your reasons are not cogent – you don’t even know what Gerasimov’s alleged evidence is – his merest suggestion is sufficient to convince you.

                    Assad is working on legitimacy by killing those citizens who are dissatisfied with his leadership. Historically effective but genocidal. You can support than of course – murder is fine by you.

                    “People get killed on both sides” So what you’re saying is that Assad and ISIS are moral equivalents. How did you choose between them? Flip a coin? Of course not – Gerasimov told you what to think. 😀

                    Before you offer another fatuous “opinion” cribbed from RT or Sputnik or some other wretched propaganda site, how about you do some homework. These are serious issues and your injection of bullshit disrespects both readers and the dead.

                    We do not come here to read your prejudices – vagrant opinions loitering without means of support.

                    • mikesh

                      You are imputing to me positions which I have never adopted. That is not a legitimate form of debate.

                  • McFlock

                    A government is legitimate if its people accept it. And they don’t actually have to like it for it to be legitimate.

                    What does the presence of a civil war indicate about the population’s level of acceptance of a given government?

                    • mikesh

                      “What does the presence of a civil war indicate about the population’s level of acceptance of a given government?”

                      Not much when the “civil war” is not supported by the vast majority of the population. In this case the majority of civilians support Assad.

                    • McFlock

                      And yet a lot of them are still fighting against him.

                      I guess he’s just not “legitimate” in some parts of syria

                    • Ed

                      A lot of the ‘rebel’ fighters come from outside Syria.

                    • McFlock

                      So do a lot of soldiers for Assad.

              • Jenny

                he hasn’t bombed his own people – he has bombed various Islamic invaders who are trying to topple him and set up a Wahhabist caliphate similar to that of Saudi Arabia.


                That’s a good one Mikesh

                Assad bombs “invading” city.

                A headline suitable for The Civilian


                • mikesh

                  The caption to the photograph says it all. Homs was a “revoution city” that was recaptured by the government.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    You mean Homs was a city that revolted against Assad’s tyranny – but you, being a lick-spittle lackey of authoritarian regimes, condemn the victims rather than the tyrants themselves. No-one is bombing Assad’s home.

                • Ed

                  The Guardian ceased to be a reliable source of information on some issues 5 years ago.

            • Ed

              ISIS stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

      • Jenny 22.1.3

        Hi Mikesh, what do ‘you’ mean by a “false flag attack”?

        (a) Actual video footage of a real gas attack carried out by the rebels against civilians, carried out in rebel held territory and filmed for the express purpose of discrediting the Assad regime?

        (b) Or, a mock up filmed using crisis actors?

        Both scenarios have been put up as possible alternatives by Assad apologists.

        Which one do you subscribe to?

        • mikesh

          “Which one do you subscribe to?”

          I have no particular preference. I suppose either could be true.

        • mikesh

          Mike Smith’s posting (above) labeled “Photoshop Wars”. seems to suggest that there was no chemical weapons attack; though this doesn’t mean that the video was a “mock-up”. It just means that what were taken as illnesses caused by nerve agent were, in fact, cases of hydroxia caused by excessive dust in the atmosphere.

          What are the biggest eggs you can think of? Dinosaur eggs, perhaps? No doubt these are the sort of eggs that will be found on the faces of Trump, May and Macron.

          • mikesh

            Oops! I should have said “hypoxia”, not “hydroxia”. Sorry about that.

    • Andrea 22.2

      There are people who would definitely be capable of committing such a move and calling it ‘collateral damage’.

      If you’d been living in a brutalised state for the past few years, and you knew surrender was not a safe option – anything is possible.

      The twentieth century is full of such delights: from the Boer Wars through to Cambodia, Rwanda, and assorted skirmishes right to the moment the century clicked over.

  22. cleangreen 23

    Yes Jenny,

    This show of naked aggression was a carefully staged attack on a sovereign nation that the global oil giants want to get a hold on Syria’s oil reserves.

    This I believe is what is behind all of this ‘charade’ and show of aggression.

    • Ed 23.1

      It was to stop Trump pulling out US troops from Syria.
      He is now a captive of the globalist deep state.

    • joe90 23.2

      Syria’s oil reserves.

      We export more petroleum products than Syria and the UK has more proven reserves than Syria.


  23. Peter Wilson 24

    All this whilst Israel gets on with its crimes against humanity unchallenged by the same western powers that howled to the moon about Assad.

    • Ed 24.1

      Don’t say that. Criticising the apartheid domestic and aggressive foreign policies of Israel will have you labeled an anti Semite….

      • reason 24.1.1

        To true Ed …. James tried to float that boat here at TS …. against Britians Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn…. it sank .

        And there was a lot he left out

        “A large number of those who have been making Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s life a misery belong to Labour Friends of Israel. They are the same MPs who have been talking up an “anti-semitism crisis” in the Labour party – based on zero tangible evidence – since Corbyn became party leader”

        ” In part four, the senior political officer at the Israeli embassy in London discusses a potential plot to ‘take down’ British politicians – including a minister.” https://www.aljazeera.com/investigations/thelobby/

        “Al Jazeera’s secretly filmed footage shows, Israeli spies like Shai Masot can readily meet and conspire with a Tory minister’s much-trusted aide to discuss how best to “take down” the deputy foreign minister, Alan Duncan, over his criticisms of Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied territories.” https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2017-01-08/how-many-british-mps-are-working-for-israel/

        • Ed

          Not a coincidence that the Israeli airforce has been part of the foreign imperialist effort over the past week.

  24. mpledger 25

    How safe is it to bomb a poisonous gas facility? Or was Assad given a warning so he could get all the poisonous gas out in time.

    • Ed 25.1

      We have been lied to again.

      Cui bono?
      What are each parties’ motivations?

      Macron, May and Trump – all domestically very unpopular and under siege over new labour laws, BREXIT and the Stomy Daniels affair respectively.

      With the UK, should we link the Skripal incident as part of the investigation into this murder scene?

      The US/UK globalist deep state – to take out Syria as an outpost of opposition to their desire for world hegemony.

      Israel – to tie the US further to its own interests.

      Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince – to advance the cause of Sunni Islam over Shiite Islam.

      All have motives. And none have plausible alibis.

      As Hercule Poirot would say, we now need to use our grey cells.

    • Stuart Munro 25.2

      It depends on the gas – with sarin it effectively destroys it, it’s quite unstable. Chlorine might be fairly safe too – if it exists as precursor chemicals.

  25. mikesh 26

    I have just come across another article, on Global Research, which provides an account of chemical weapons activity in Syria since about 2012, when CW use started to be reported. The reports suggests that all that, in probability, CW activity was down to the rebels, and not to the Syrian government, thus giving the lie to the notion that Assad “has form”.


    I realise that that Stuart Munro et alia will roundly rubbish and condemn it as arrant nonsense, but I put it on the table anyway.

    • Jenny 26.1

      The reports suggests that all that, in probability, CW activity was down to the rebels, and not to the Syrian government,


      So Mikesh you do believe in option (a) that the rebels have been gassing themselves to discredit the regime.

      • Ed 26.1.1

        The extremist jihadists are capable of gassing the victims.
        To call them rebels is a misnomer.

      • Bill 26.1.2

        Head chopping Jihadist motherless fucks would gas anyone bar themselves.

        And they have plenty of people to choose from…Shi-ite, Christian, Alawite, non-headfucked Sunni, atheists…a long, long list.

        • Ed

          Calling these butchers rebels gives them a glamour they don’t deserve.
          They would happily kill or maim anyone, including children, to further their cause.

          • Stuart Munro

            Calling them rebels allows Assad to kill a great many people who are in no way affiliated with ISIS without condemnation from a surprising number of people who claim to be progressive.

        • Jenny

          Hi Bill, would you consider Leila Shami to be one of what you term, “Head chopping Jihadist motherless fucks”?

          According to her bio: Leila Shami is a British Syrian who has been involved in human rights and social justice struggles in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East since 2000.

          A founding member of Tahrir-ICN a network connecting anti-authoritarian struggles across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

          Co-author (with Robin Yassin-Kassab) of Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War (Jan 2016)

          Contributor to Alford, Wilson (eds): Khiyana-Daesh, the Left and the Unmaking of the Syrian Revolution (April 2016)

          Writing about people like yourself Bill, Leila Shami is a little harsher than me.

          The ‘anti-imperialism’ of idiots
          April 14, 2018 by Leila Al Shami

          This left exhibits deeply authoritarian tendencies, one that places states themselves at the centre of political analysis. Solidarity is therefore extended to states (seen as the main actor in a struggle for liberation) rather than oppressed or underprivileged groups in any given society, no matter that state’s tyranny. Blind to the social war occurring within Syria itself, the Syrian people (where they exist) are viewed as mere pawns in a geo-political chess game.

          They repeat the mantra ‘Assad is the legitimate ruler of a sovereign country’. Assad – who inherited a dictatorship from his father and has never held, let alone won, a free and fair election. Assad – whose ‘Syrian Arab Army’ can only regain the territory it lost with the backing of a hotchpotch of foreign mercenaries and supported by foreign bombs, and who are fighting, by and large, Syrian-born rebels and civilians.

          It’s only the complete dehumanization of Syrians that makes such a position even possible. It’s a racism that sees Syrians as incapable of achieving, let alone deserving, anything better than one of the most brutal dictatorships of our time.


          There you have it Bill in a nutshell.

          I know you won’t read it.

          But I urge others to read Leila Shami’s full essay on the racist Left who use language similar to Bill’s to dehumanise all Arabs in Syria opposed to Syrian fascism.

      • mikesh 26.1.3

        “So Mikesh you do believe in option (a) that the rebels have been gassing themselves to discredit the regime.”

        The article is making factual claims the veracity of which I have no means of assessing. When I say that the CW attacks are “down to the rebels” it is because that is what the article seems to be implying.

        • reason

          Careful Mikesh …. questioning the western medias justifications for waging war on Iraq will see you labeled as a conspiracy theorist or Saddam apologist ….

          Whoops… sorry the new script nowadays is Syria and Assad of course …. with a good dose of Putin bot as a side order…. I’m sure you’ve experienced these standard war propaganda innuendos already

          What the pro-war posters here want us to forget is that Russia entered the fight against the throat slitting sex slave taking Jihadist motherless fucks / Rebels ….

          Is that Syria was about to suffer Libyas fate….. As the u.s.a, Israel britian, Saudis and their ISIS, Al-Quada fighters were well on the way to achieving this end……

          What the pro-rebel posters also never refer to ….. is that no ‘rebel’ area is held by anything other than some group of sponsored Head chopping Jihadist motherless extremist fucks…..

          In these areas An infidel like Jenny could be taken as a sex slave … which is a fate she seems to ignore for non Sunni women in these areas … Stuart, AD and other infidel men would just get their throats slit or a bullet to the head …

          But the posters wanting to drag out the bloodshed for the Syrian people are not over there …… so don’t have to worry about things like that.

          Wikileaks and history shows who is behind the 400,000 or more dead Syrians …. Along with a million dead Iraq people … and Libyans …. and the Afghanistan people….. not to mention the destruction / elimination of Palestine.

          Martin Luther King would be slagged off and probably murdered today ….the same result for speaking the same truth …. of his country “being the greatest purveyor of violence in the world”.

          All wars I’ve listed stem from a very sick racist place ………

          • reason

            I forgot to mention Yemen as well …. mass starvation and the cruelest deaths for children …. both the usa and britian are making a real killing out of that one.

            Dead children smell like money if you’ve got the right nose.

    • Stuart Munro 26.2

      As usual it contains no evidence, only innuendo.

      The report it refers to is flagrant nonsense because sarin at least is not a substance that will produce an effect like the attack from a bombing of stockpiles. Sarin is stored as two separate precursors, which would mix poorly if bombed. The high temperatures of explosions and possible fires would rapidly destroy any that was produced.


      So once again you have floated a set of arrant lies, and to your shame, you’re not even sorry for trying to mislead people in this fashion.

  26. mikesh 27

    “So once again you have floated a set of arrant lies, and to your shame, you’re not even sorry for trying to mislead people in this fashion.”

    Actually, and as mentioned in my comment, I am taking no position on the article’s veracity, but only pointing out what the article implies if what it says is true. I drew attention to the article because I thought it worth consideration.

    As I expected, all you’ve been able to muster by way of an argument is your usual load of ad hominem crap.

    • Stuart Munro 27.1

      You don’t understand why floating fatuous lies might be considered offensive?

      It’s very impolite to lie to people Mikesh. Even spreading other people’s lies is bad manners.

      How about you behave like an adult for a change and select a few sources for veracity instead of floating this crap like turds in a spa pool and blaming me when I point out that it stinks?

  27. mikesh 28

    “How about you behave like an adult for a change and select a few sources for veracity instead of floating this crap like turds in a spa pool and blaming me when I point out that it stinks?”

    I have never criticized you for pointing out that something “stinks”, only for your ad hominem arguments.

    Incidentally, you have failed to show that that the article is “crap like turds in a spa pool”.

    • Stuart Munro 28.1

      Piffle – like all your other piffle.

      I explained in a way accessible even to the meanest intelligence – your problem is your bias.

      Since you lack the capacity to think these things through rationally on your own, you should just accept whatever I say – same as you do with Gerasimov.

      • mikesh 28.1.1

        It’s easy enough to someone of bias. But even if I was biased (though I’m not) that fact alone would not disprove anything I claimed. And how about looking t the plank in your own eye, rather than criticizing the (alleged) mote in mine – you bloody McCarthyist, Russophobe.

        • Stuart Munro

          Mikesh, you tragic ignoramus.

          I’m not afraid of Russia – but I haven’t been suborned by them like you.

          Every day you come here to float your blithering idiocy, to forward the cause of murderous assholes. But that’s not enough for you – you also want to sell your delusion, that apologizing for Putin or Assad is in some way defensible. That you’re a perfectly reasonable shill for their illegitimate regimes – a nice fascist – a fine humanist worshipper of genocidal dictators – an Ahmadinejad with a human face.

          It simply won’t wash.

          You can claim to be an ignorant fool.

          Or an accomplice.

          But you cannot support these people in any credible fashion without providing a great many facts that clearly you do not even begin to command. Continuing to argue ad ignorantium is doomed to failure.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    3 hours ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    10 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    11 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    11 hours ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    14 hours ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    15 hours ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    15 hours ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    16 hours ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    17 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    17 hours ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    23 hours ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 day ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 day ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 day ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 day ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 day ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    2 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs 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 unexpectedly missing or ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    3 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    3 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    3 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    4 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    7 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    7 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago