The silence of the lambs

Written By: - Date published: 10:16 pm, September 4th, 2010 - 49 comments
Categories: Economy, greens, labour - Tags:

Where are the Greens and Labour on the South Canterbury Finance issue? Just looking at the sheer politics of the situation, this is something they should be all over. For Labour, this plays right into their ‘for the many, not the few’ theme (well, nominal theme). For the Greens, this is an example of the failure of unchecked international capitalism.

Incredibly, both parties snookered themselves in the opening move and have frozen up since.

The Greens’ Russel Norman said on Monday that the government should take a partial stake in SCF to prevent it collapsing. Which wold have been stupid, given what we already knew about how badly the company was being run. Buying out SCF entirely and putting it in Kiwibank’s hands might have been one thing, but being a partial shareholder in SCF would have been dumb.

Labour’s Phil Goff chose to use the SCF bailout on Tuesday to blame National for not making the economy recover faster. It was always a dumb and implausible angle. There’s no run in that line, it was never going to roll into a series of strikes on National, and it just doesn’t sound like something Goff would have genuinely believed. It sounded reactionary and opportunistic. And by trying to blame National’s economic handling, Labour has effectively said it absolves all the other players from blame.

Labour and the Greens should have started with ‘this is an enormous amount of taxpayer money. The Government needs to undertake an official investigation into how things were allowed to get into this position’. That’s a holding line while you work out the rest – the questions about why English extended the guarantee to SCF in April of this year, while his Treasury failed to kick SCF out of the scheme when it was in breach of the rules, how a few richlisters made millions off the bailout.

It’s not too late to ask these questions. And not only should they bloody well be asked in the interests of good government but any political party that wants to be the next government should be asking them.

Make no mistake, there is enormous public anger about the way the government could magic up $1.7 billion to help out its rich mates, when at the same time pleading poverty when cutting our vital public services. And there’s a lot of anger among media figures too – this is one of the few chances for Labour to get the media onside, rather than trying to bypass it.

The stage is set, the mood is perfect for being whipped into a storm of anti-National feeling. There are plenty of National voters who could be turned over this issue if Labour and Greens challenge both National’s management and the economic system underlying this disaster.

See, this is a great chance not just to make political attacks but to attack the system itself to ask why these things always end up with we (‘the many’) bailing-out the already rich (‘the few’).

With a little inspiration, Labour could argue that this shows the finance company system is broken and New Zealanders need somewhere safe to invest their money. Then, Goff could announce a policy for a Kiwi Future Fund, a publicly-owned investment vehicle that would buy New Zealand assets to keep them in Kiwi hands and give us the cpaital we need to develop, people could invest in the fund through Kiwisaver, Kiwibank, the Cullen Fund could put money in too. At a stroke, Labour will have seized the political agenda and left National looking like the party of bail-outs for its rich mates.

Will we see any of this? Or will all we hear be the silence of lambs who seem, against all logic resigned, to slaughter next year?

And don’t get me started about the pathetic response to Maurice Williamson calling Kiwis racist and the medical technicians’ strike. The first should be used to hound Williamson into the ground but all we got was a limp presser and the story didn’t even make the evening news. In the second, Labour should be laying the blame squarely at National’s feet – hell, if a sick woman in a hospital ward can do it on national TV, so can Labour.

49 comments on “The silence of the lambs”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    There’s something fishy going on with the SFC entry into and being able to stay in the GGRDI considering it’s business was, by all indications, quite dodgy and Labour and the Greens should be investigating as deeply as they can.

  2. just saying 2

    Key’s best charm offensive and msm has been unable to shut this down. NZanders have woken up. they are angry and want answers. This could be exactly what we’ve been waiting for. Labour probably doesn’t even deserve this second chance, and if they don’t use it I don’t see any alternative but to hunker down until 2015. Forget about politics, get a life. Start seriously thinking if i could stand the Aussie climate.

    Would a red-greeen bipartisan assault be too much to ask for?

    Your post is a beauty MartyG, why aren’t you on the opposition front bench?

  3. Loota 3

    Nail on the head again Marty.

    Why are we waiting, we’re all suffocating

  4. BLiP 4

    Who are the foreign investors for whom John Key bent the rules to accommodate within the agreement, when did they become involved in SCF, and how much were they paid out?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Yep, those are the questions that need answering. Another question is: How many blind trusts are involved?

  5. ak 5

    Too true Mart – the biggest gimmee lobbed up in years and the silence is ear-shatteringly deafening.

    Billions for fat-cat bailouts on top of tax cuts for the rich – just as home-help, childcare, health, et al are slashed – and both cockies and ACToids squealing “nanny state” and mouthing “Corrupt! Corrupt!”

    A perfect earthquake for the Left – but where the hell is it?

    It’s here: plaintively issuing press-releases but ignored by the totally-captured MSM on anything effectual since 2004 and buried on Scoop.

    Ignore the privately-owned MSM. It’s the enemy. Always was; but now utterly, irrevocably blatant.

    It’s down to the ‘net and the street.

    Remember Mt Albert and Mining:

    Rejoice, celebrate, learn, and ACT!

  6. Salsy 6

    The key person Labour need to push to the front on this issue is David Cunliffe. Goff cannot wade into this, he just cant compete with English and Key on finance issues.

    • Lazy Susan 6.1

      Completely agree. Cunliffe’s performance on The Nation a while ago was exemplary. Complete grasp of his subject. Clear, concise, straight answers and did not allow himself to be cornered or bullied. John Roughan, right winger from Granny, was thankfully speechless. I’ve seen Cunliffe perform several times and am always impressed.

  7. Cactus Kate 7

    Cunliffe has no balls. I even did the reading for him, posted the specific DoG’s, outlined the breaches and yes still Cunliffe has his hand up his backside in Auckland while Rome burns. Little wonder Goff isn’t getting rolled anytime soon.

  8. Jenny 8

    I have been coming to the conclusion lately, that the Labour Party are reluctant about winning in 2011. And would be happier sitting in opposition for another 3 years.

    This is probably a good strategy for Labour, because by the end of that time the National Party will be so hated that Labour will win by a Landslide and won’t have to bother talking with with third parties like the Greens or the Maori Party to make a government.

    A number of things have formed my opinion on this.

    But I might say to Labour Party supporters and members it may be all very well staying pure and sitting out the next National Party led term, but is this in the best interests of the constituency you are sworn to champion?

    • Lazy Susan 8.1

      Maybe you’re right Jenny but, judging by what they’ve done so far, give NAct another term and it will take at least a generation to undo the crap they will unload on us.

      • tea 8.1.1

        If this is the strategy- and I’ve seen no indication it isn’t- then they are no party of mine. Fight to win all the time. Who knows what damage might be done in 3 more years. Fight the issues with moral consistency and state our beliefs- don’t talk about maybe another term…

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      If that’s the case then everyone on the left will just have to vote Green. I have no issues with Labour becoming a minor party.

  9. Jenny 9

    Over at Red Alert.
    Commenting on a post on this issue by Trevor Mallard, Anne warns us of another possibility that could arise from the right of the political spectrum, if Labour continue to do nothing.

    Anne says:
    September 4. 2010 at 10:18 am
    Please Labour don’t drop the ball on this one. And don’t let Winston Peters get there before you. There are many of us who can smell the stench and with the facts starting to emerge, we expect Labour to be on the front foot – RIGHT FROM THE START.

    • john 9.1

      A comment made by someone I fully agree with is “Labour are Centrist Tossers”. They and Nact are almost like a Two-headed one party system.The same trick has been foisted on Americans for 65 years and they are paying big time now.

      • Loota 9.1.1

        You have a point, maybe this is why when someone needs to pull out a powerful Lefty quote or example from a Labour leader they have to go back 40 frakkin’ years.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1

          Yeah, been noticing that myself. The left truly crumpled when Labour went RWNJ in the 1980s. They’ve moved to the centre since but they’re still more right wing than left.

  10. Lazy Susan 10

    Completely agree Marty.

    Here are some questions the Opposition should be asking:

    1. Why was the scheme rolled over in April 2010 and why was “interest” included when the company was clearly in trouble?

    2. What questions were asked about the huge expansion of SCF’S loan book from the start of the scheme in November 2008?

    3.Why did the government just “hand-over” $1.7 billion when the amount of their obligations was not clear? Wouldn’t it be more usual business practice to unwind the company then decide who is obliged to pay what.

    4. Where is the $1.7 billion coming from – borrowing, cuts in public expenditure, increased taxes?

    5. Why have the government paid money to people they are not even obliged to ($20million to foreign investors)? Imagine the uproar from MSM if they paid extra money to the unemployed to stop them being a nuisance at the benefits office.

    6. Why was Kerr given preferential treatment?

    7. Who’s behind the “sharks” that are now circling the carcass?

    8. Finally, where are the skeletons? as there are bound to be some.

    There’s a stink around this matter and it crosses the political divide. Many of the right ideologically oppose the states involvement, many others will smell a big fat rat and don’t like their money being wasted.

    I do hope Labour/Greens are keeping there powder dry rather than rolling over. This issue will not go away and expect some real skeletons to show up in the run-up to the next election.

    Believe me, Winston will be all over this, it’s playing on his home ground. Didn’t issues of trust and honesty, whipped up by NAct, bite him at the last election? Revenge is sweet as they say.

    • Jared 10.1

      Kerr wasn’t specifically given preferential treatment. Torchlight had provided a loan facility to SCF, and by nature, preferential creditors considering the receivership structure, Torchlight would have been first in line under the receivership to be paid out. Remember, you are confusing the receivership and the deposit guarantee scheme. One is an incredibly regulated process to ensure creditors get paid according to their priority, the other was provided to reassure investors they wouldn’t lose their money.

      Now, you might argue there is a lack of congruence between the Retail Deposit Scheme and the Receiverships Act, but, Torchlight would have been paid out irrespective of the Retail Deposit Scheme, its how creditors are prioritised in a receivership. What the government did was utilise the Receiverships Act and paid out Torchlight so that they had clear rights to SCF’s assets. Plain and simple. Not paying Torchlight and other priority creditors OTHER than bond/debenture holders out when there was clearly the assets in the business to pay them (as they are entitled to under the Receiverships Act) would have been incredibly messy as Torchlight could have just called in their own Receivers and sold the assets off themselves in a fire sale.

      But hey, whats logical about that.

  11. Juan Manuel Santos 11

    Stop press!

    Goff has spoken out… on an issue that really doesn’t matter at all.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10671155

    • Jenny 11.1

      Well, in his defence, It was a rather shocking hat.

    • The Voice of Reason 11.2

      It may not matter to you, Juan, but it matters to me. I’d prefer my head of state to be a kiwi, not some German pensioner or her Greco/Germanic son. Bloody foreigners, coming here, putting their faces on our money. Next thing we know, they’ll be making us fight their wars for them.

      • Loota 11.2.1

        Pretty sure there are about four million kiwis out there who think that the price of petrol, meat and milk are more important than who we have minted on our coins.

        There is a new self appointed Aristocracy rising in this country which needs to be fought tooth and nail. But its not based in Buckingham Palace. Just ask the Right Honourable PM and his mates.

        captcha: million

      • Lanthanide 11.2.2

        Next thing we know, they, and the rest of their little commonwealth, will be defending us if we’re invaded from abroad.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.3

      I’m going to disagree with you there. Becoming a republic does matter but, at this moment in time, doesn’t matter quite as much as NACT giving $1.8b of taxpayer money to their rich mates.

    • Ari 11.4

      It matters, but it might not be the most pressing issue right at this moment.

  12. tc 12

    Nice work Marty, Jenny’s got it sussed….a disinterested lazy opposition who seem to be doing nothing to win back power in 2011.

    Labour have the talent but it’s being suppressed by the old guard who are enjoying their turn with the leadership titles. Carter had a point but went about it all wrong damaging the entire partys chances in the process.

    As I’ve said many times to some party faithful …..you know what it takes as the game’s changed but you persist with outdated tactics and people because that’s the Labour way….the public service of NZ politics….slow/process focused/too many factions all having their 5c worth.

    When Goff speaks he’s boring when he should be setting the place alight on any issue….FFS !!

  13. the sprout 13

    Have a listen to this interview with Goff on the matter…

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/national/fop/2010/09/focus_on_politics_-_finance

    Warning: It’s a depressingly lame, amateurish effort 🙁
    The nadir is when a reporter explains to Goff the Labour party’s policy on the guarantee scheme.

  14. I disagree with you Marty on this issue (I know, pretty predictable).

    Here is what Mallard posted yesterday on Red Alert. I will repeat it in full.

    At some stage an inquiry is going to have a look at the government’s actions in the Hubbard group case.

    Back in June when contrasting Hubbard and the Auckland wideboys I counselled caution until facts were known.

    I don’t want to get into too much detail while there are ongoing investigations, and hopefully even new investigations to be opened.

    and on Power :-

    I don’t think he had a real choice. Received advice. Could not ignore it in my opinion. Needed to pass regulation. Then it must be announced and he was Minister responsible. Statutory management can never be a secret.

    Bernard Hickey got into the Hubbards yesterday. He asks some fair questions.

    But the blogger who has got closest to the core issue is Cactus Kate. She points out :-

    “Bill English is incorrect (well let us face facts – teling porkies) in this interview. The taxpayer did not have to pay SCF anymore than they would have had to for Hanover or Blue Chip. SCF took deposits for and moved $700m (or 41% of total) of their lending to more risky criteria even into the the hyper-risk of mezzanine lending. They breached the guarantee and their own CEO said so.”

    It seems that English knew that SCF did not meet the criteria when its guarantee was renewed. If that is the case he is gone.

    Parliament sits this week. OIAs have been lodged. Expect to see something very soon.

    • the sprout 14.1

      Mallard putting a post on Red Alert is a thoroughly limp response Micky. It’s telling that that’s where to have to point to for evidence of a response from Labour, don’t you think?

      Someone should tell the Labour PR team about TV, newspapers and radio – they’re great for reaching a slightly larger and broader audience than the fawning few who bother reading Dead Alert.

      It’s pathetic.

      • tea 14.1.1

        If they can’t fight this, then there’s not much hope of them actually running a government

      • The Voice of Reason 14.1.2

        Yeah, sprout, the MSM are just gagging for the opportunity to publicise Labour’s position on everything, eh. Now that you’ve so succinctly nailed Labour’s failings, dya wanna tell us why the Greens are MIA?

        • the sprout 14.1.2.1

          who knows about the Greens, perhaps they’re similarly gutless or incompetent.

          i am vaguely familiar with the possibility the MSM are not especially interested in publicizing Labour’s position, but there’s one thing the MSM love more than neo-liberal policy, and that’s a ratings boosting, populist, fat cat ripping off the little guy story. especially when it has a whiff of senior politicians’ blood on it.

          there are nearly 2 billion reasons why Lab and Grn should be able to sell this story – so far there’s no evidence of either barely lifting a finger.

          here’s an angle: the same amount of money needed to rebuild our second largest city after its ravaged by a massive earthquake is being spent on English’s southland farmer mates and Key’s financial speculator mates. 2 billion for each. think that might fly in the media if either Lab or Grn could give a fcuk?

          • pollywog 14.1.2.1.1

            there are nearly 2 billion reasons why Lab and Grn should be able to sell this story – so far there’s no evidence of either barely lifting a finger.

            Whose job is it to rark up the press and write cutting soundbites ?

            Hope its not Fa’afoi…but if it is, then that explains why they’d want to move him on to the patsy role Laban vacated and get someone with some cojones in there, even if she be a female.

            I wonder if Cactus Kate would be up for a bit of moonlighting 🙂

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.3

        Yeah, that post by Mallard would have been better as a guest post on here. Red Alert isn’t dead but I’m sure that The Standard has more readers and a broader base.

        • mickysavage 14.1.3.1

          This is a slow burner of an issue and the public response is going to get worse and worse as the details emerge. Labour cannot go for it right now, after all they set the scheme up. When the “due diligence” analysis emerges there will then be an opportunity to go on the offensive.

  15. Anne 15

    You’re right mickeysavage, but what concerns me is that Labour will still miss the boat if they continue to be too cautious. I’m not suggesting they jump in at the deep end without the relevant material at their fingertips – and that takes time – but in the meantime it’s up to them to keep the issue alive and kicking. You can be rest assured Key, English and co. will do everything in their power to bury it.

    I see some (note some) parallels here with the Winebox Affair. Interestingly, that one also rumbled on under the radar for months before the shit began to hit the fan. Indeed, it was a satirical piece in the now defunct ‘Independent’ in 1992 that first brought that matter to public attention.

  16. Red Rosa 16

    Well said MS above, this is indeed a slow burner. Rod Oram really gets stuck into Hbbard in today’s SST

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion/4096745/The-harsh-truth-on-Hubbard

    and there is more background here

    http://www.lostsoulblog.com/2010/08/let-finger-pointing-begin.html

    SCF is just one part of the Hubbard house of cards, though. The statutory managers have found serious ‘shortcomings’ in the Hubbard-managed investment funds – HMF and Aorangi Securities. Investors in these are not covered by the GG and may get 50c in their $ back, or even less. It’s anyone’s guess at present, and there are hundreds of investors and serious money involved.

    And now we find something like 500 (!) registered companies owned or controlled by the Hubbards. Again, it’s anyone’s guess at present what has gone on with these. Then there are the charitable trusts……….

    It will take weeks of work by the SMs for all this to be fully examined. But the biggest political question remains -why was the GG rolled over in April, when alarm bells had been ringing publicly for months?

  17. Jenny 17

    Labour is not finished.

    If Labour come out strongly and make a stand on the things that really matter to their target constituents as well as agree to start talking to any other party that could help them form a majority to turf out the Nats.

    Even on current stats the possibility of forming a Labour led coalition in 2011 is a real possibility.

    All that is missing is the political will.

    capcha – “actions”

  18. Craig Glen Eden 18

    While I share everyones frustration, the attack on this needs to be managed well and Cunliffe will want to have all the info before he wades in.
    The msm are not exactly Labour and the Greens mates to be fair so they will probably only get one crack at getting it right. As Marty has pointed out the leaders of both parties did not do well on the first attempt, I just hope they leave this to Cunliffe to deliver, Goff needs to keep out of this.

    • just saying 18.1

      quote:”Goff needs to keep out of this”

      Remind me, why exactly is Goff leader?

      It’s a bit unheard of to hand the really big populist issues to someone else to front.

      If all else fails maybe and intensive course of acting lessons and a script might help.

      • Craig Glen Eden 18.1.1

        Goff needs to stay out of it because this is not his strong area (finance). A good leader (just saying) knows when to go to his or her team. Goff is the team captain he is not the team.

        As others have pointed out this will slowly unravel and then Goff can lob acid into the wounds created by Cunliffe and others.

        Leaders don’t have to be in the front of everything all the time. Its important that both Labour and the Greens work constructively together on this.If this opportunity is lost then the Nat’s will almost defiantly get three more years and if that happens this country is stuffed. Goff needs to show that he has a cabinet that can do the job, this strategy of Goff fronting everything has not and will not work.

        Labour and the Greens have to show they can work together and that they can govern this is just the kind of issue the opposition needed.

        • just saying 18.1.1.1

          Sorry that was a cheap shot. Just feel so damn frustrated about this.

          I agree with you about the team focussing on the matters in which they have portfolios or particular expertise. It’s just that Goff has particular powers as leader. For example it would look a bit strange if it was Cunliffe that called a press conference and demanded an independent inquiry.

          Would LOVE to see a red-green unified front on this.

  19. Jum 19

    Red Rosa,
    “Why was the GG rolled over in April, when alarm bells had been ringing publicly for months?”

    Reply: You know why…
    Land and assets. This is a wonderful way for Key to flick off our land and assets to his mates, both foreign and home-grown, while declaring with a bigger smile than usual, showing his shark teeth to their best advantage, that he’s SAVING us that money, that $400 per Kiwi, by getting a great portion back of the $1.7billion he’s given to the people who just stick it in their overseas banks along with their other billions.

    And everyone, every stupid New Zealander that will vote him back in, come 2011 unless we stop it, will think ‘what a great guy’. It makes me puke how stupid NZers are when it comes to the rich white male who turned us into serfs in our own country.

  20. KJT 20

    If it was an insurance scheme it is like offering insurance on a car after it has crashed.

  21. If people want a headline it is this:

    The amount paid to SCF financiers will be comparable to the cost of reconstructing Christchurch.

    Pretty chilling …

  22. Kleefer 22

    Well, the fact Labour set up the guarantee scheme in the first place makes it kind of hard to be holier than thou about the bailout, does it not? Hopefully it will teach them a lesson to think things through before they make rash policies… nah, doubt it.

  23. Anne 23

    You’ve gotta be a RWNJ with a pseudonym like that Kleefer. And you’ve gotta be uninformed ,stupid and ignorant to qualify as a RWNJ. Congratulations on both counts.

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    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
    2 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    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 ...
    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
    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
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago

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