The leadership vacuum

Written By: - Date published: 1:32 pm, October 5th, 2010 - 35 comments
Categories: greens, helen clark, john key, leadership, phil goff, racism - Tags:

What’s happened to leadership in this country?

Paul Henry has a racist rant to the Prime Minister and what does John Key do? He laughs along and tries to make a joke. Later, Key refused to denounce Henry, label his comments racist, or call for him to face consequences. If he felt what Henry was saying was wrong, Key didn’t show it because he’s afraid of taking a strong stand on any value lest it lose him some votes.

You know that if Helen Clark were still around she wouldn’t have sat there weakly laughing. She would have been outraged by Henry’s racism and she would have told him so. She would have torn strips off the little racist bastard. There was a leader who was unafraid to take a stand for her principles.

And Phil Goff was no better saying “I think that was Paul Henry being Paul Henry”. A studiously ambiguous statement. Again, there’s a fear there of taking a stand. He should have said ‘that’s not OK, that’s racist. That’s not what I and decent New Zealanders believe in and TVNZ shouldn’t be employing bigots as presenters’.

Finally, on a note of political strategy, where the hell are the Greens? This is exactly the kind of moment that serves as a branding exercise – when Labour is weak, the Green’s show how the Left should act and win votes in doing so. But no, the Greens haven’t even commented. Under the Norman-ites the Green’s political management is becoming increasingly like the spineless careerism we’ve come to expect from the Goffice.

A PM that is afraid to be a leader. A Leader of the Opposition who is afraid of ticking off racists. A Green Party that is afraid of making a claim for the Left vote when Labour fails. Come back, Helen, all is forgiven.

PS. A friend writes:

Enjoyed this comment under John Drinnan’s piece in the Herald today.
As someone who shares John Key’s Central European Jewish background, I am disgusted by his inability to clearly condemn what can only be taken as a racist comment. I wonder what Key’s refugee mother would make of it.
You forget that the man is the son of a Jewish refugee who fled the Nazis. Of all people he should understand the importance of standing up to racism. He’s even more hollow than I’d thought.

35 comments on “The leadership vacuum”

  1. freedom 1

    ” Unite Union national director Mike Treen said he did not call for someone’s dismissal lightly.

    “However Paul Henry legitimises racism and bigotry in the workplace. I deal every day with problems associated with managers and even co-workers abusing staff because the look or sound different,” he said.

    Workers could end up “tormented and bullied out of their jobs by the so-called humour being practiced by Paul Henry”.

    “When we try to protect the workers, the inevitable response is ‘well, Paul Henry is allowed to use this language on national TV why can’t I?’ Paul Henry has become the poster boy for bigotry.” ”

    Combine these thoughts with the inaction of Smile and Wave and I believe it should become a discussion not only about racism but also about State funded propoganda

  2. toad 2

    Marty, go a bit easy on the Greens. Russel Norman blogged on it yesterday:

    To say that you are sorry if you offended someone is to say that you are not sorry at all. Henry shouldn’t be sorry for offence caused but sorry because what he said was racist.

    You don’t have to look and sound European to be a New Zealander.

    If Henry can’t recognise that his comments are racist and actually apologise then he isn’t the right person to front our only morning current affairs TV show. TVNZ is not Fox News, it’s owned by all of us not Murdoch. We shouldn’t have to put up with this crap.

    And Keith Locke did interviews with several media outlets yesterday and put out this media release this morning:

    “It isn’t just a matter of apologising to the Governor-General. Mr Henry’s comments have seriously offended the Indian community within New Zealand,” said Mr Locke.

    “Paul Henry was denigrating hundreds of thousands of our citizens who are not of European or Māori origin, and to him don’t ‘look’ like real New Zealanders.

    “Whether the TV host intended it or not, his racist stereotyping of who is or isn’t a real New Zealander encourages discrimination in employment and other areas of New Zealand life.

    “TVNZ should also rethink its stance. The state broadcaster should stop promoting its Breakfast programme as a platform for bigotry.

    “That is the only meaning that can be taken out of TVNZ’s defence of Mr Henry yesterday when its spokesperson said, ‘[Mr Henry] is prepared to say the things we quietly think but are scared to say out loud’.”

    [lprent: See the note here. ]

  3. gingercrush 3

    When was this post? In the last five minutes or was it prepared earlier and only made it to the site now?

    Just asking because the Greens did release something and Goff has since made a more thorough comment thought very political and rather petty since he could have said all that yesterday.

    [lprent: Most of the posts are scheduled. This one I remember reading in the queue late last night. It is just one of the things that readers have to put up with when you have a site of authors who work during the day.

    Unlike so many bloggers on the right, we have real jobs 😈 ]

    • r0b 3.1

      This post was written late last night and scheduled for now.

      Even if it has been overtaken by events the point is still valid – easy to jump on board the bandwagon now – where was the leadership when it was needed? In particular, Key was the man literally on the spot, and he did nothing.

  4. Gosman 4

    Helen Clark lost the last election in case you forgot. She’s happy in her retirement in New York and ain’t coming back, so get over it.

    • r0b 4.1

      And yet. oddly enough, the RWNJs just can’t get enough of slagging her off. Still terrified of her – tee hee!

      Oh, and – retirement? Far from it.

      • Gosman 4.1.1

        Whose slagging her off?

        anyway if that is an indication of someone being terrified of someone else then I shudder to think about the nightmares some of you people have over John Key.

    • Alwyn 4.2

      Losing the last election doesn’t seem to have registered with the idiot reporters for the Dom/Post
      Acccording to today’s paper (The Diary – page A13, which I don’t see online) Parekura Horomia, after flying from Gisborne to Wellington this week gave another passenger “a ride home in his ministerial car”.
      I realise the reporters can’t stand seeing the Labour Party out of office but one does rather wonder about their powers of observation.
      Mind you a couple of days ago, in the same paper the headline writer had Reefton as being in Southland.

  5. frog 5

    Hi Marty G,

    Over at frogblog we’d love it if you’d check your facts before hitting publish.

    Russel Norman wrote about Paul Henry’s racism and non-apology yesterday: http://blog.greens.org.nz/2010/10/04/paul-henry-should-actually-apologise-or-go/

    Keith Locke was in this morning’s Herald on the topic: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10678236

    And the Greens put out this press release earlier today: http://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/it-s-about-more-sir-anand-paul

    We also shared our views on PH’s racism with another 4.5 thousand people via Facebook this morning.

    Cheers,

    frog
    http://blog.greens.org.nz/

    [lprent: The post was finished at 23:37 last night and queued early this morning to appear after other posts. Some of us have to work on things other than politics during the day…. So the posts are scheduled.

    From memory of the post, it referred to Russel Normans press release from yesterday without any degree of enthusiasm, in much the same way that it referred to Phil Goffs response yesterday. Both parties appear to have gotten off their butts today. No doubt we will see follow up on that after the workday ends. ]

    • toad 5.1

      LP, Russel Norman actually got off his butt yesterday – the link I posted above and frog has linked to as well was to a blog post by Russel October 4, 2010 7:18 pm:

      To say that you are sorry if you offended someone is to say that you are not sorry at all. Henry shouldn’t be sorry for offence caused but sorry because what he said was racist.

      You don’t have to look and sound European to be a New Zealander.

      If Henry can’t recognise that his comments are racist and actually apologise then he isn’t the right person to front our only morning current affairs TV show. TVNZ is not Fox News, it’s owned by all of us not Murdoch. We shouldn’t have to put up with this crap.

      That’s pretty much the same line The Standard’s authors have taken, and a hell of a lot stronger and more principled than Goff’s pathetic effort yesterday (which Goff firmed up somewhat today after checking which way he wind was blowing).

      • lprent 5.1.1

        My apologies.

        I didn’t see that rather late press release yesterday (and I’d guess that Marty didn’t either). I suppose we should really get ourselves on the mailing list for press releases from the greens (and labour for that matter) and disperse them internally

        I’ll add that to my interminable task list…

  6. freedom 6

    What pisses me off most on this Paul Henry bs is that every politician and journo etc have an opinion on what is the right response and why we should all be outraged at this attack on New Zealanders. The MSM is overflowing with content dedicated to standing up for the values of New Zealand, the rights of people to be treated decently etc, etc, etc,

    Where the F*%K was their concern for New Zealanders when CERRA was given life?
    I am and will remain disgusted with all Members of New Zealand’s Parliament for this act of idealogical treason

    (Special mention goes to the Greens, who have failed more massively than the NACTs could ever have hoped for and are now working overtime on this issue to regain some footing)

  7. Raptor 7

    “Finally, on a note of political strategy, where the hell are the Greens?”

    HAHAHAHAHA. You so silly. Russ the Muss came out strongly against it straight up last night on Frogblog and Keith the Crusader put out a release earlier in the morning.

    Unlike Phil Goff who fudged the question just as bad as Key did.

    Also, it is worth pointing out that youse Labour people are quick to call for Henry’s head, not according him the benefit of the processes and laws to protect unfair dismissal which you’re so keen to protect. Hypocritcal much?

    My advice: check yo’ facts, fool.

    • freedom 7.1

      btw Raptor
      Making racist remarks is definitely grounds for instant dismissal in TVNZ contracts
      It is up to the employer to act or to let it slide, thankfully this time they acted, sort of.

  8. insider 8

    Helen Clark quite happily trooped onto Paul Holmes’s and Paul Henry’s programmes for patsy interviews for years with never a cross word spoken. I think you are overestimating what she might say. He response in the election debates in 08 showed she was not always quick on her feet in reading a situation.

  9. tc 9

    Nact are cruising towards next years election with a PR savvy leader, the spin, a docile MSM (helped along by the lapdog TVNZ) and an opposition that’s more piss n wind than fire n brimstone.

    Unless Phildo pulls his finger out, delegates to those in labour who can atriculate in 10sec soundbites and shows some spine I wish him well on the backbenches after election 2011.

    Phildo’s following a tough act and the cracks are showing as whilst he’d be a heap better PM than sideshow he’s got albatrosses like King/Mallard and his own persona to overcome.

    • pollywog 9.1

      In much the same way as a vote for Key in the last election was more a vote against Helen, i reckon come next election, a vote for Goff will be a vote against Key only no one really wants Goff to become prime minister…so then what ?

      It becomes a wasted vote ?

    • NickS 9.2

      Phildo

      Lawl, methinks I’ll use this in future if (or rather when) Goff fucks up.

      But yeah, Phildo really should have shown some bloody spine and cluebatted both our dimwitted PM and Paul Henry, instead the meek, pathetic response he gave, which I’m guessing was Phildo’s (or his PR advisor’s) brilliant idea to not alienate the fuck-tard and anti-“PC” vote. To which the question must be asked; “why does Labour want to court these drooling imbeciles?”.

  10. tea 10

    Helen never offended here Marty. What’s to forgive? It’s the ones left behind that are being constantly offensive. Perhaps she’s taken Bernard Hickey’s advice!

  11. Agreed Marty, at least viz Labour.
    It’s just too pathetic for words for Labour to eventually come out and condemn this sort of bullshit.
    It took Grant Robertson on Red Alert late yesterday afternoon to say something a bit more forceful – which Trevor Mallard has since managed to criticize today (yes, Trevor is now using RA to criticize his fellow MPs) in a belated attempt to try and out-outrage Robertson. Is there a rugby video someone could put on for Trevor to watch? Good on Grant for getting to the pumps only 8 or so hours after the fire, but I was wondering if anyone in Labour comms is familiar with the concept of media monitoring?

    To see Goff now come out today trying to catch the long since departed train of righteous condemnation of Key is just sad. And very annoying considering these people are supposed to be the bullwark between the People and Key’s neo-con agenda.

    This is so mind-bogglingly incompetent.

  12. just saying 12

    The grand coalition of the right that is parliament disappoints the left again. *Yawn*

    Let me know if and when any of them does something, anything, remotely principled, or vaguely left wing, (without the say-so of focus-group morning-teas held in the leafier suburbs).

    I know, I know, I’ll be swamped with all the heartening news.
    -Yeah right

  13. Tanz 13

    Helen is in New York, working hard apparently, and attending quite a few art exhibitions. She’s not going to come back, and I agree with some comments above, that she would also be as diplomatic as Key, in the same situation.

    • Blighty 13.1

      Key wasn’t being diplomatic, he was being a coward.

      yesterday, he wouldn’t say if henry should be disciplined or not. Now he says two weeks suspension is the right punishment. he just drifts in the wind.

  14. just saying 14

    If Goff actually cared about New Zealand and the Labour party he’d voluntarily step aside.

    Retiring to a hobby farm with some lucrative and prestigious sinecure would hardly be a a fate worse than death. Or he could stay in parliament – even in cabinet.

    But he won’t ‘man-up’, he never does – it’s all ambition and ego. He’s become one of the things he got involved in politics to fight against – a selfish apologist for privilege and inequality, desperately holding onto his stuff -and to hell with everyone else.

  15. Logie97 15

    Watch John Key being “taken aback somewhat” as he plays along with Henry – judge for yourselves.

    • marsman 15.1

      The pin-head wants to be Governor General, but not right now cause he doesn’t want to spoil his friendship with Key! ? Does he drool at the mouth when he looks at Key? like Espiner ? Boys Own stuff. Heroes and villains.

      • Hennie van der Merwe 15.1.1

        Why is no-one commenting on PH remark during the same program that he wishes for something to go wrong at the Commonwealth Games? I would love to hear him (and the rest of the country) rant and rave if an Indian journo should wish for next year’s Rugby World Cup to be a disaster!
        How can we get rid of this idiot?

  16. Amphibian 16

    “Finally, on a note of political strategy, where the hell are the Greens? This is exactly the kind of moment that serves as a branding exercise – when Labour is weak, the Green’s show how the Left should act and win votes in doing so. But no, the Greens haven’t even commented. Under the Norman-ites the Green’s political management is becoming increasingly like the spineless careerism we’ve come to expect from the Goffice.”

    Green is the brand of the environmental movement. If you want a left-wing party ask for the “Red Party”. To do otherwise is green wash (and that’s false packaging).

  17. Amphibian 17

    “You know that if Helen Clark were still around she wouldn’t have sat there weakly laughing. She would have been outraged by Henry’s racism and she would have told him so. She would have torn strips off the little racist bastard. There was a leader who was unafraid to take a stand for her principles.”

    Helen Clark confided “NZ is a deeply racist country and I’m going to do something about it” and she did she opened the doors of our racist little country to the worlds most populous (Asian) country.
    (titter titter).
    http://nbr.infometrics.co.nz/column.php?id=409

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 hours ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    12 hours ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    4 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    4 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    4 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    5 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    6 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    7 days ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    7 days ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED 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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.