The many bail out the few

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 pm, August 31st, 2010 - 51 comments
Categories: class war - Tags:

In the comments section today George pointed out the numbers on the bailout:

That’s a $400 loss per taxpayer.

Or an average $48,500 gain (including 8.5% return) for SCF investors. Meanwhile. teachers are being refused flu shots because they cost too much.

I get slightly different numbers: about $380 for every man, woman and child in NZ a little over $55,000 on average for each of South Canterbury Finance’s 30,000 investors.

Even if you buy the government’s line about getting a billion back over four years it’s still a huge transfer of cash from the many to the few. The only thing that will dwarf it this term will be the hike in gst to pay for tax cuts for the rich (unless they start privatising before the election).

That this wealth transfer has been so blatant is probably why Bill English announced it this morning only after it was done. He probably figures it’s a lot harder to make a long-running story out of something that has already happened.

But what is particularly galling is to hear John Key defend this rip-off just a day after he said teachers are disconnected from the real world.

It’s nice to know the government can scare up a spare billion and a half for a handful of rich investors while telling the people who teach our kids to go f**k themselves. It shows exactly who they are ambitious for.

51 comments on “The many bail out the few”

  1. lprent 1

    I saw that comment as well. Why exactly am I forking out for this?

    How is it going to help the country? I can’t see the rationale…..

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Ask Labour? They’re the ones who put in the original bank guarantees. Not sure who’s idea it was to extend it to the finance companies but doing so was obviously a rort. Once allowed to do so 7 (iirc) promptly joined up to the scheme and then fell over within weeks.

  2. Jared 2

    Hold up the bus. I cannot find a single reference to teachers being denied the flu vaccine in NZ. Can someone please enlighten me? until then, stop scaremongering.
    The Retail Deposit Scheme (enacted by Labour) had $900 Million or so already provisioned for this type of default, in reality, a receivership and fire sale of SCF assets would have had a disasterous impact on rural NZ where SCF had loaned much of its money to.
    But don’t worry about semantics, keep running the line that its rich pricks getting a pay out and that the firm should have failed. Im sure you would have had plenty to say about National when those employed by the defaulting loan companys hit the dole queue.
    Damned if they do, damned if they didn’t.

    • The Voice of Reason 2.1

      Damned? I suspect history will agree with your assessment. Jared. As for the flu shots, they are a health and safety based claim in bargaining from the teachers, which is being denied by the employer.

      • Rharn 2.1.1

        And take into consideration Key’s idea that ‘one’ day off will require a med. certificate and you can see just how mean spirited this government really is.

    • IrishBill 2.2

      Flu Vaccine? Ah. That’s not the part of the comment I was interested in. I thought they got flu shots paid for anyway.

      The retail deposit scheme enacted by labour was for banks only. It was extended to finance companies under National. This money has not come from that fund but the fund appears to be being used to guarantee it.

      And I never said the firm should fail. I don’t like having words put in my mouth.

      Frankly I could have lived with a partial bail-out of debtors. There would still be moral hazard but it would have been attached to borrowing to grow and make things rather than to speculating on things. As it stands this is nothing but a wealth transfer. The rural sector will still suffer from the receivership. It will just be a less steep curve than it might have been. The only winners are the wealthy investors.

      • Herodotus 2.2.1

        From my experience Primary school boards in the main do pay for flu jabs, I take it the same would apply to high schools, so all the union is doing is formalising this practice, so ther emay in reality be less a story than what is being promoted.
        IB you are soulding a bit Michael Cullen, in reality you will find that there are many elderily with their life savings being hurt by this and other finance coy collapses. Young upstarts in their pin striped suits were and are very gifted in understating the risk and emphasising the rewards to nieve old people. Whilst there will be some rich who benefit the vunerable elderly (We all god willing will be in this caes sometime, IB you and I will become that dottery old fool, that can be conned by a smart talker and sign our wealth away). I still think that govt help should not have been given to any finance coy(like stage 1 economics day 1 teaching of the supply /demand curve there is also risk/return), but also that there should be real firepower provided by govt agencies with real power to oversee this industry and for real failure, punitive ramifications for breaches. Not the 300 type hours of community work for the Petroviches for failure to disclose, as 100’s of millions are lost into thin air.

      • Jared 2.2.2

        Wrong, non bank deposit taking institutions (finance companies) were included from the start. It wasn’t the extension from National that allowed finance companies, they were allowed from day one.

        Also, I think you will find most schools already pay for flu vaccines regardless of its inclusion in the bargaining on the table at the moment, at least the ones I have been involved with pay for them regardless. Its a small price to pay, and I haven’t heard of teachers complaining of it not happening.

        • IrishBill 2.2.2.1

          No, you’re wrong, they were added in November of 2008.

          • Jared 2.2.2.1.1

            http://beehive.govt.nz/release/deposit+guarantee+scheme+introduced
            12th October 2008

            “The scheme will cover all retail deposits of participating New Zealand-registered banks and retail deposits by locals in non-bank deposit-taking entities. This would include building societies, credit unions and deposit-taking finance companies,” he said.

            You said that when Labour introduced the scheme it was for banks only, you were incorrect.

            • IrishBill 2.2.2.1.1.1

              That was the expectation but they were not officially added to the scheme until November. From memory I think it was the 10th. I’m pretty certain that banks qualified straight away.

              • George

                Thanks for hattip!! National renewed SCF in the scheme in April of this year despite knowing the company was shaky. The responsibility for this definitely lies with the current government.

    • Loota 2.3

      Sorry OT. Who even cares about the flu vaccine? Every research study shows that its helpful effect on number of sick days taken is small to zero. It is just not that effective. Especially if they guess the season’s virus mix wrong and then its totally useless.

  3. so you’re saying the retail deposit guarantee scheme, as announced by Helen Clark and Michael Cullen on the day of Labour’s 2008 election campaign launch, was a mistake?

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0810/S00259.htm

    Covering finance companies was among the criteria set by Labour at the time – And I don’t recall any of the authors on this site at the damning it as a mechanism to transfer wealth to the well off.

    • IrishBill 3.1

      Continuing the scheme past the credit crunch was a mistake. Adding finance companies to it was a mistake.

      But fundamentally Helen and Mike’s biggest mistake was allowing the system to get to the point there was so much private debt that needed to be underwritten was their biggest mistake. And that’s about their failure to alter monetarist policy. Despite having nearly a decade to do so.

      I’m also pretty sure I had a few hard words for it at the time.

  4. B 4

    Yes, although it is sickening to see the huge amounts involved (when compared to hugely important services that national has cut eg ACE 50m, TIA 1m etc etc), it would have been worse had they backed out- its a guarantee scheme-it only works if the govt upholds their end.

  5. Scott 5

    So your suggestion is that the Government should have reneged on its binding contractual obligations under the retail deposit guarantee scheme?

    Wasn’t that scheme set up under Labour?

    • IrishBill 5.1

      Nope, my argument is they should have invested in the company to avoid the receivership (and thus the triggering of the deposit guarantee scheme), forgiven some of the debt, managed investor expectations down to burn off the speculators and bought some time for the company to be sold on.

      They should then have closed the deposit guarantee scheme down.

      • Scott 5.1.1

        I suspect they looked at those options and decided the net cost to the taxpayer was going to be much the same, if not worse.

        • nzfp 5.1.1.1

          Yeah they looked at the options alright, they looked real close at what Summers, Rubin, Geithner et al are doing in the USA and decided to do the same here…

          1. Bail out the wealthy investors in the failed financial corporation – make sure you pay them out dollar for dollar and make sure you make the tax payer foot the bill.

          2. Spin some B.S. about how you have to sell the newely aquired assets to recoup the costs. Make up some more B.S. about how you have to sell at 70c / 50c / 30c on the dollar because of the state of the economy. Make up some more B.S. about how we have to come together as a nation and shoulder the loss collectively.

          3. Set up the sales in such a way that you sell the assets to the same group of weathy investors you bailed out at dollar for dollar in step one.

          4. Presto Change-O magic Bill English – voila you just gave away a whole swag of New Zealand to a bunch of rich F**Ks at the tax-payer expense. I bet there will be no Kiwi/Iwi or even better “The Haves and the Have Mores…” B.S. all over the corporate media after that.

          • Scott 5.1.1.1.1

            Pardon me, but bollocks to your paranoid conspiracy theories. The retail deposit guarantee scheme was a Labour creation, and the government was merely fulfilling its obligations under that scheme.

            • nzfp 5.1.1.1.1.1

              “The retail deposit guarantee scheme was a Labour creation” rolled over by Bill English – making it a National government (ponzi) scheme now. Wow Labour or National take your pick – both look exactly the same to me – maybe Kiwi/Iwi should be Nationalabour. Funny thing is there could have been 1.6 BILLION better ways to handle this.

              I mean seriously “the effects of all of them falling over overnight, as investors frantically tried to pull their money out, would have been potentially catastrophic” demonstrates that you understand that “credit” evaporates in a recession/depression. That should be enough of a clue for you to think of alternatives that don’t involve wealth transfer from labour/middle class to the “Haves and the Have Mores…”.

            • RedLogix 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Lets get one thing absolutely straight.

              The retail deposit guarantee scheme we are talking about was introduced during the global financial crisis at a time when the govt had virtually no option not to.

              Every other major trading partner had introduced something similar and NZ’s failure to do the same would have triggered a massive pull-out of short-term funds from our banking system. Dr Cullen had no realistic alternative at the time.

              In fact I recall Dr Cullen interviewing with Kathryn Ryan on RNZ saying that he was very unhappy about having to make this move, because he could foresee that it would have “perverse effects at the margins” (I think that was his exact phrase.)

              So lets lay off any attempts at re-writing history. The scheme was an unfortunate necessity at the time, and some of the predictable unfortunate consequences have come home to roost today. This omlette was made from eggs broken long before Dr Cullen came to the table.

  6. nzfp 6

    Treaty of Waitangi claims have been capped at one Billion. Waitangi Tribunal claims take years – I know, my family have been involved in a claim against the crown (not private New Zealand citizens) for years, a claim that will likely take years to resolve. The corporate media has a field day drumming up racial hatred whenever the crown settles in a court of law with Iwi.

    Anyone heard the bullshit Iwi/Kiwi meme?

    Bill English just gave away 1.6 Billion dollars in one morning.

    Maybe it should be “The Haves and the Have mores…”

    1.6 Billion to a private corporation in one morning.

    Yeah one law for one side of the fence and a whole other kettle of fish for the rest of us … Maori treaty of waitangi claimants, teachers, two income families, the middle and lower class, the parents of young men who have died fighting George Bush and Barak Obama’s heroin wars in Afghanistan (click HERE if you really want to know why our youth have to die in Afghanistan), the overwhelming majority of us New Zealanders.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 6.1

      1. Its not going to be $1.6 bill. SCF has an awful lot of assets. Selling the land off slowly will avoid a property crash which would have precipated a whole lot more mortgagee sales.

      2.The money wont disappear into thin air it will help keep the South Island econmy going through the recovery.

      3. Allowing half of the population of South Canterbury into bankruptcy would have enormous social and economic costs.

      4. Labour started the govt commitment. To renege would be highly irresponsible and dishonest.

  7. Fisiani 7

    So IB would prefer to wreck the South Island economy and deny the life savings of thousands of small investors to make a political statement. Seriously sick even for the Standard. This is a fantastic decision by the Government. Don’t take my word listen to Brian Gaynor on Checkpoint “what a good job this government has done” then grovel.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint 18.07

  8. TightyRighty 8

    It’s disgusting. truly and absolutely disgusting. already the apologists in the pubs are saying things like “the real liability is only going to be between $250-$600m”.

    it’s not the point, that money could be better spent in so many more ways than bailing out the greedy and stupid. in fact it would be better spent not spending it all. socialism in it’s most pernicious form. I have said this before, but i’ll say it again. National have lost my vote, and with the act party having lost it’s moral authority, i guess you could almost say i’m a swing voter. time to change the moniker again.

    • BLiP 8.1

      Hefty Lefty ?

      • TightyRighty 8.1.1

        whoa slow down there. my vote might be up for grabs but the principals remain.

        SwingKing?

        • Descendant Of Smith 8.1.1.1

          You must be confusing this post with the teachers strike.

          (Homo)PhonyTony

          • TightyRighty 8.1.1.1.1

            nice one douche. no need to bring the conversation down to your miserable level of existence, where everyone you don’t like is a homo. you sound like those bum-slapping jocks who shower together. is your little secret poking it’s nose out of the closet?

            • Descendant Of Smith 8.1.1.1.1.1

              You’re so wrong on so many counts. I weighed up a short response versus a long one and decided on medium. Short’s no good cause if you didn’t get it the first time you won’t the second.

              1. Just because a word starts with homo doesn’t mean it has anything to do with sexuality or sexual preference
              2. Consider the context in the first instance around the comment you made and the response – in particular the reference to principal in your comment and the reference to the teacher’s thread in mine
              3. Consider the overall context of any comments I have ever made – have any ever led to any sort of conclusion that I am some sort of right wing homophobic individual. I think not.

              To deconstruct the subtle humour:

              1. What does the word ‘homophony’ means? ‘Homo’ means the same and ‘phon’ means sound. Homophony then refers to the phenomenon of words with different meanings having the same sound. Those words are called homonyms or homophones.
              2. Principal. Head of a primary or secondary school
              3.principle. A fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning. A rule or belief governing one’s personal behavior.

              Having understood since primary school what synonyms, antonyms and homonyms were it never occurred to me at all that what I wrote could be misconstrued in such a way.

              Still I did assume that given your normally lucid posts that the use of the incorrect principal was a simple typo / haste error. It may be of course you didn’t at all recognise the error and therefore jumped to such erroneous conclusions.

              I draw no further conclusions from your response.

              The Tony by the way was simply chosen because it rhymes with phony. The brackets simply join the PhonyTony to parallel TightyRighty.

  9. Herodotus 9

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10670179
    ‘…The Government paid out $30 million to $40 million to cover deposits by foreigners that it legally did not have to, he said…”
    So we with yours and my taxes are underwriting money that we dont have to pay regarding SCF. Who has the authority to spend $30+m of our money and what was the logic, perhaps to keep our internation reputation intact, but I would like to know if anyone out there knows more bout this, as I have not come accross sthis before.

  10. Fredeick 10

    Wealthy investors. How do you know. Some will be (like other those who have lost money in other finance companies) retired folks who have invested some of their life savings in this company. If they had also lost their hard earned savings I imagine you would say “tough luck old timers – get over it”. And I thought you were the caring party

  11. BLiP 11

    What we haven’t heard enough detail on are the foreign investors for whom John Key “bent the rules” to pay off – who are they and how come he’s giving them my money? Also, how do the owners of the leaky-homes feel about this?

    • Jared 11.1

      The reason why they paid out the foreign investor was to avoid problems surrounding asset ownership and receivership rights. By paying the extra $30-$40 Million the Government has avoided a ton of potential problems by securing full security over their assets.

      • BLiP 11.1.1

        That’s certainly the National Ltd™ line on the matter – but given Bill English and his chronic mendacity, show me the paper work.

        • The Voice of Reason 11.1.1.1

          I’d be keen to see the paperwork too. Be interesting to see how many Tory faux blind trusts have just made a tidy profit thanks to the taxpayer.

  12. Descendant Of Smith 12

    As it’s public money being used their should be a comprehensive list of all payments made and to whom and when the assets are sold a comprehensive list of all sales and to whom and for how much.

    While I don’t think any money should have been used – particularly those who invested for high returns after the guarantee was given – there should at least be complete openness and transparency about who gets the money and who buys the assets, including all and any trusts and who is behind them.

    I didn’t think the guarantee extended to the interest either – I had understood from all previous reporting that it only extended to the money actually invested. I would have thought at the very least the investors should carry the interest lost – not the tax payer.

    Obviously there is more to come as it seems there is already a possible buyer according to the rumours – seems to be another railways sale where the taxpayer carries the cost and private enterprise gets the assets. Hope there’s no blind trusts buying the assets……

    • just saying 12.1

      http://www.treasury.govt.nz/economy/guarantee/retail/qanda/claims/index.htm#2.2

      DoS, the above is the link, and below is the part about the interest. I’m disgusted that finance companies were covered by guarantee – beyond disgusted that the then govt saw fit to cover the interest. What the hell were they thinking??

      Quote:
      2.2 What payments are covered if an institution defaults?

      Updated 23 December 2009

      If an institution defaults and the guarantee is called upon up to 12 October 2010, for eligible deposits or investments the principal sum borrowed will be paid back plus any interest required to be paid under the terms of the institution’s indebtedness to the depositor or investor. However for deposits made (including re investment of maturing deposits) from 1 January 2010, the Crown may decline to accept liability for interest if a notice of claim is not submitted within a reasonable period of time.

      For deposits or investments made from 1 January 2010 up to 12 October 2010, the Crown will not be responsible for any liabilities to eligible retail investors assumed by a participating institution under a moratorium that are assessed by the Crown (acting reasonably) to be additional to the liabilities of that institution, to those investors, if the moratorium had never been made.

      The current scheme expires on 12 October 2010. For any institution participating in the extension scheme for the period from 12 October 2010 to 31 December 2011:

      * depositors have no right to be paid interest after the date of the default event; and
      * the Crown will not be responsible for any liabilities to eligible retail investors assumed by a member institution under a moratorium that has not been first approved by the Crown.

    • Descendant Of Smith 12.2

      A third string to the public information should be who the money was lent to that has turned toxic. Who took out these loans, what were they for and where has the money gone?

      It seems that as investors moved to invest here so did the shonky operators wanting someone to finance their dodgy ventures. Who were these people, what has happened to their businesses that they borrowed for. Follow the money to see where it has gone?

      Are there investors who also borrowed (maybe in another capacity / under a business) and defaulted on their loans thereby benefiting at both ends?

      Openness and clarity is needed.

      \

  13. Rharn 13

    In the Press today Tuesday, (August 31, 2010) Key is waffling on about how good the teachers deal is and is on par with both the nurses and police awards. Don’t know much on what the nurses side of things but it appears the Police sided for a pay increase at the expense of resources. One of the resources that was canned was a reduction in patrol cars. I got this on pretty good authority from a union official who is aware of the background details of the last award talks for the Police

    So if you are a chemist facing a burglar expect to be told that your call has been placed on the lower end of the priority list.

  14. treetop 14

    Brash has stated that he does not think that NZ will catch up with Australia (re difference in wages). When it comes to the government paying out people who infested in South Canterbury Finance (SCF) perhaps this is the only example of catching up with Australia as the interest being paid is about twice that a NZ bank would pay.

    See the brain wave to Australia is now from tradesmen and they can earn 60 % more a week than in NZ. Next will be more teachers e.g. kindergarten level, then more medical staff e.g. radiographers, lab technicians, specialised nurses. Retaining a work force is my priority over attracting overseas infestors as I think this is where the money is being wasted.

  15. Jenny 15

    Why is there no money for healers and teachers but there is hundreds of millions available to gift to unproductive speculators?

    I would rather the government had put that money into health and education. And then have had to go to the shareholders and financiers of South Canterbury Finance, and say, ‘Sorry guys but there isn’t any money left for you, we have decided to spend it on saving lives and educating our children.” Key could soften the blow, by giving the lecture, so far, only reserved for working class New Zealanders, about “tightening your belts,” and “Living within your means.” and “not being too greedy” and “not having un-realistic expectations” and “the Government must be fiscally responsible during this difficult financial time.” etc. etc. etc. ad nauseam.

    It’s time to expose the lies.

    The indecent haste and the eye watering amount, given to (mostly) rich shareholders to cover their losses at South Canterbury Finance, while starving the public sector of funds, is a message from the National party to the rest of us, not to expect any decency or justice from this ‘government of the rich’.

    For productive working people to get anything approaching justice or fairness for our side means that we will have to be even more united and determined than ever before, wherever this struggle between the elites and their government breaks into the open. Whether it is on the picket line or in the streets or on the hustings.

    capcha – ‘cost’

    • just saying 15.1

      Quote: “For productive working people to get anything approaching justice or fairness for our side means that we will have to be even more united and determined than ever before, wherever this struggle between the elites and their government breaks into the open. Whether it is on the picket line or in the streets or on the hustings.”

      Been thinking this more and more over the past week. Fact is, though we on the left disagree about many things, this next election is going to be the fight of our lives. And even if we don’t get on, we need each other. I like to think of us standing shoulder to shoulder in the coming year, maybe sharing cough lollies at a march in the rain….

      So maybe we’d better start with the solidarity stuff sooner rather than later, myself included.

      • pollywog 15.1.1

        All very well but until the standardistas move beyond bitchmoaning on the net and get visible in real life, mobilising the productive working people who don’t have internet, couldn’t give a shit about facebook groups or flashmobbing via twitter…

        …ain’t a damn thing gonna change and that’s what the right are counting on.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 hours ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 hours ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 hours ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    9 hours ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    10 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    10 hours ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    12 hours ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    21 hours ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 day ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 day ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    2 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    3 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    3 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • “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
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.