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The United States mid term Elections

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, November 9th, 2014 - 85 comments
Categories: us politics - Tags: ,

The US mid term elections were held this week and the general consensus amongst the main stream media is that the Democrats and in particular Barack Obama were humiliated. In the senate the Republicans gained seven seats and two further seats are still in play. They have a clear majority. In Congress the Republicans reinforced an existing majority. Obama faces two years where he has no control over either house.

I feel a bit sorry for him because he has been blamed for the result. He is not the only left leader in the world (in the very broadest sense of the term) to be facing pressure. In the United Kingdom Ed Milliband is under some pressure and elsewhere in the western world progressives are also struggling. There is this tension between playing the political game and winning support by triangulating issues and keeping support with the base and energising ordinary people with the promise of real change. It is clearly difficult if not impossible to do both.

What happened in the US? The reports are that young and latinos did not vote. This problem also occurred in the 2010 mid term elections. Maybe the Democrats will always struggle if there is not a presidential election happening at the same time to energise turnout. And maybe leaders need to deliver on the hope and change that Obama promised.

The impression I have is that Obama has struggled at both edges of his support. The right were attacking him for Obamacare which I think is a wonderful policy. When senior Republicans suggest that he is responsible for the appearance of Ebola in the United States you realise that things have turned really weird. And the opposition to doing anything about climate change suggests to me a level of belligerence and stupidity that cannot be matched and that is deeply damaging to humanity’s future interests.

The news is not all bad. Five US states had votes on whether or not there should be an increase in the minimum wage. Each proposal passed convincingly. These were not necessarily liberal states either. The results were Alaska (69:31), Arkansas (66:34), Illinois (67:33), Nebraska (59:41), and South Dakota (55:45). Three of these states returned Republican senators. Those basic decent policies can win every time no matter what is happening at a political level.

Ad submitted a guest post that expressed things far more eloquently than I could. Here it is …

The scale of the recent defeat by the U.S. Democrats resonates with the pounding Labour and Labor took in NZ and Australian elections this year. It’s rare to see parallel scales of defeat, common failings, and common lessons. Reviews months ahead becomes mere exercises in nostalgia.
Neither Labour, Labor, nor Democrats had a coherent set of policies, none were sold well, and all three political leaders were competent but quick to compromise. Resultant NZ government, federal Australian government, and U.S. Senate and Representative houses are shaping up as far more conservative than we’ve seen for decades. Across the western world we’re shut out, and it’s cold out here.

This is despite core policies associated with the losers working well and being remarkably popular. Obamacare has performed well. As has Kiwisaver. Nor was there lack of support for policies to campaign on. New Zealand’s public resoundingly opposed asset sales, and supported the Capital Gains Tax. U.S. state by state support for minimum wage increases was massive, even in staunchly conservative states.

Obama has two months and two years to govern, but his track record of egregious compromise has damaged any future legacy he might have and damaged his party such that by 2016 Republicans could well run all three governmental layers. Labour’s incoherence to the public remains such that National could run both New Zealand and Auckland within a single party by 2016. Did I mention the cold?

Looking back on Gough Whitlam, LBJ, or Clark, we can see that truly pathbreaking strides in Australia, the U.S., or New Zealand are highly concentrated in a few brief windows of overwhelming progressive dominance. We now also know that lasting progress depends on building on those foundations, and protecting them from erosion until the next opportunity for advancement presents itself. Through bold and quickly enacted policy, millions of lives were changed for the better.

At some point the left (broadly) will win again. We need a coalition primed for an uncompromising agenda push. The legacy of that first successful term will ensure the left’s revival for years afterward, and will spur us on to form a further clearly communicated and uncompromising policy enacted within that first window after election. After that, fate’s doors close hard. Democrats, Labour and Labour are all of us dealing with the aftermath of corrosive and sustained compromise, and that’s right across most aspiring progressive/left/social democratic parties in the world.

Voters have told the Democrats, Labour and Labor that we need no more fantasies that compromise will win the public back to our causes. What commenters see as over-defined or prescriptive, the public will read as clear and principled. We need more of clear and principled. It will win the public and it will win the media, and it will win the next term after that. That does not need to be confused with radical. We simply need to be uncompromising and clear, both to gain electoral power, and to sustain it once more. We’ll all be learning that for a while, out here in the cold.

85 comments on “The United States mid term Elections”

  1. BM 1

    At some point the left (broadly) will win again. We need a coalition primed for an uncompromising agenda push. The legacy of that first successful term will ensure the left’s revival for years afterward, and will spur us on to form a further clearly communicated and uncompromising policy enacted within that first window after election.

    That paragraph is the reason the left won’t be elected for a very long time.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Thanks for your advice BM.

      I presume you would prefer Labour to go back to the good old days where Rogernomics reigned supreme.

      • BM 1.1.1

        No, but I certainly don’t want radical change when the left get elected, massive change is bad for the country.

        For me that’s one of the reason Key has been so successful, he came in after nine years of Helen Clark and was smart enough to realize that labour had been in government because the voters liked some of their policies.
        National was labour light and for a very good reason.

        What he’s done is gradually pull NZ from the left to a more right wing mindset and he’s done it in a way where people have barely noticed, so it’s now become the norm for most people.

        Any radical change you guys propose will flow directly against mainstream NZ and your new left wing government will be lucky to survive a term.

        • Ad 1.1.1.1

          There are plenty of times the New Zealand public have voted for a clear and strong change in policy direction. You know that if you passed Year 11 Social Studies. And they will again, if a good majority of them believe it is warranted.

          • BM 1.1.1.1.1

            Yes, when governments have basically destroyed themselves.

            Unless National implodes and Key goes mad I don’t think radical change is what the people will really want.

            I think this is one of the major hurdles that the left face, all the left parties are full to the brim with old activists who’s thinking is out there on the fringe and completely disconnected from the mainstream voter.

            • Ad 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Being in power for its own sake is the preserve of the conservative end of politics.

              Being in power to change things is the natural impulse of the Left.

              Clearly you missed some of the subtext of the post above:

              In politics it doesn’t matter if you get in for three terms, or one term.
              In politics, for the left, it matters if you can look back and show real progress.

              -Whitlam “exploded”. And did more for reforming Australia than 6 terms of the Liberals.
              – LBJ “exploded”. And did more for reforming the U.S. progressively than anyone before him since Roosevelt.
              – Clark’s best days, even, were over once the ideological propulsion of the Alliance “exploded”.
              – Big Norm “exploded” by dying. But he’s still the bellwether of NZ’s international idealism.
              etc. etc. Which is my point about third form social studies.

              Cunliffe forgot that lesson. Clark in her third term had forgotten it. Obama never understood it.

              It’s simply time the Left understood that bold policy with no compromise is the only way to get the voter public’s respect back.

              • chris73

                I really hope you’re advising Labour because that’s the surest way to get National re-elected

                • Ad

                  The evidence from many elections in both NZ’s past, in the US, and in Britain, proves you wrong.

                  • chris73

                    It was also believed governments lost popularity yet National got more votes this time round also it was believed a political party would never govern alone in MMP yet again National came within a smidgeon of making it happen

                    The people of NZ do not want bold policy with no compromise, NZ wants left of center or right of center

                    • Ad

                      National will remain dominant until there is a real and compelling political reason to put someone else in. There is no motivation from the public to replace one beige bunch with another.

                    • chris73

                      There is no motivation from the public to replace one beige bunch with another.

                      – If that were true National wouldn’t have gotten elected, all Labour has to do is show NZ they’re united, know their policies and will only pull NZ to left of center not NZ as it was in the 70s

                      They do that they’ll get elected

                    • felix

                      “it was believed a political party would never govern alone in MMP yet again National came within a smidgeon of making it happen”

                      Another way of saying that is that according to you guys, National won the best win ever like the massive winners they are, and yet they still can’t govern alone.

                    • National has probably lost popularity among the general public, but has massively motivated its base, and has the support of the soft vote as they do not perceive Labour as a united party, and therefore do not perceive them as a credible government.

            • Tom Jackson 1.1.1.1.1.2

              The problem with this is that the mainstream voter is now tending towards crazy idiocy.

              When senior Republicans suggest that he is responsible for the appearance of Ebola in the United States you realise that things have turned really weird. And the opposition to doing anything about climate change suggests to me a level of belligerence and stupidity that cannot be matched and that is deeply damaging to humanity’s future interests.

              If parties can get elected saying stuff like that, then we’re truly through the looking glass, and left wing parties could promise the most sober, reality-based policies imaginable and still not get elected.

              • Ad

                What I think you are heading towards is the trick of a Left populism.
                It’s a hard trick to pull off, and there’s plenty of US party films about it (e.g. Bob Roberts, Mr Smith Goes to Washington), but it has been done (e.g. the Chilean “No” campaign against Pinochet’s referendum).

                Bob Harvey’s bell jar illustrations nearly got there.

                I see theming and packing as a neglected Leftie skill, but quite different to the lessons of the current electoral year.

                • If it’s just going to be duping people through populism, then there’s no point keeping democracy other than to keep people feeling as if they are in control.

            • Murray Rawshark 1.1.1.1.1.3

              Key is already mad with power. He thinks he is above morality and law. We all have feet of clay, but I think in his case the clay goes up to the armpits. Once people turn, his fall will be rapid. They’ll be more bitter than a husband who finds his wife has been unfaithful with the boss who just fired him.

        • chris73 1.1.1.2

          +100 BM

    • The reason that the left doesn’t win in the US is the Koch Bros.
      And that is why the Democrats have to compete for big money to win.
      95% of successful elections spend the most money.
      The game is not only rigged, the game is entertainment.
      Note the interview with Robert Kennedy Jnr on the Keiser Report
      http://rt.com/shows/keiser-report/203427-episode-max-keiser-677/
      Like NZ the majority supports left of centre economics.
      Politics however is owned by the ruling class.
      Capitalist democracy is a myth.
      Workers democracy is the answer.

  2. Ad 2

    BM you need to demonstrate knowledge of why Left-type governments are almost always different to Right-type governments. It will help you when commenting on this site.

  3. Bill 3

    And again…(I mean, fuck, I’m almost boring myself with this constant repetition of the bleeding obvious)… Miliband’s Labour, that is not a million miles away from NZ Labour, struggles to compete with the Tories in a UK context, but is arguably about to disappear where it’s pitted against a genuine social democratic left (The SNP in Scotland).

    And…again. The SNP won an absolute majority in an MMP environment on a turnout of around 50% before any independence referendum was on the table and are presently the third largest party in the UK on membership numbers (80 000+ members from a population base similar to NZs ).

    The parliamentary left tanking has nothing to do with either a non-sympathetic media or low voter turnout; the parliamentary left is doing crap because it’s crap.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1

      Give them time and the SNP will be crap too !

      Wait till Salmond goes to Westminister and has to be Labours poodle in government.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        You’re aware of that poll taken after Lamont’s resignation that indicated 50+ SNP mps voted into Westminster from Scotland against 4 or 5 Labour mps? Now sure, that poll was a one off at a particular time. But regardless, how or why would SNP mps in Westminster be Labour poodles? That assertion makes no sense.

        And of course the SNP will be crap too. All parliamentary parties go through a cycle that includes a dull conservative phase where they betray their roots. The trick is in being resurgent as opposed to dead.

        • Colonial Rawshark 3.1.1.1

          But regardless, how or why would SNP mps in Westminster be Labour poodles? That assertion makes no sense.

          Because in traditional Labour’s way of thinking (both here and in the UK), all “minor” left wing parties have to be subservient to Labour, as it Labour the “natural home” of the political left. Or some such.

  4. hoom 4

    To categorise Obama as Left really does a disservice to the term Left.

    Similarly to categorise the Republicans as Conservative is a disservice to real Conservatives.
    Neo-con are not Conservatives, they are very radical which is the opposite of Conservative.

    The problem with Obama is that he was the big Hope for Change from the creeping further & further Corporate Right Neo-Con crap.
    Yet he either was really a Neo-Con in hiding or has been utterly captured by them.

    The Change that Obama has brought is a restart of the Cold War & a whole heap of new small wars rather than the peace he promised & won Nobel prize for.
    Domestically corporate neo-cons are even more powerful, the Billionaires far richer, the poor even more poor, freedoms eroded & the criminals who caused the GFC unpunished.

    And thats the ‘good guy’ so who are you going to vote for in protest?

    • Ad 4.1

      Agreed, but each country has a different sliding scale from left to right.

      Even taking that into account, there are common lessons to be drawn right at this historical moment.

      • Colonial Rawshark 4.1.1

        The “sliding scale” metaphor is good, but neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party is worth supporting with even a single dollar or minute of time. Supporting a less far right party to get in, in order to prevent a more far right party getting in, is a waste of time and energy.

        And either consciously or unconsciously knowing that, that’s why the commoners stay at home.

        • Ad 4.1.1.1

          You may feel differently if you lived there.
          There aren’t any easy choices – in fact they are getting narrower and harder.

          • Colonial Rawshark 4.1.1.1.1

            In the US there is the choice of supporting independent or Green Party candidates, but those options are rendered totally invisible and impotent by the corporate MSM. The Democratic Party will go so far as to attack and cut down truly progressive independent candidates like Ralph Nader, because they show up the Democratic Party for who they really are.

  5. Michael 5

    The US Democrats also have voter turnout and gerrymandering to deal with. For example, in the 2010 House elections, only 40.9% of people turned out. (A majority of the rich turn out and the poor don’t.) And the Democrats actually won the popular vote, however the Republicans took a majority in the House due to gerrymandering and FPTP.
    And let’s not forget that $3.7 billion was spent, with a lot of it by corporations, on the 2014 elections. (!) And guess who has the most money to spend? The right.

    • joe90 5.1

      Same old.

      Propane Jane ‏@docrocktex26

      This is what 2.8 million extremists making decisions for a state of 28 million ppl looks like. Fucking insane. #TXGov

    • Ad 5.2

      Other than further redistricting (which is now entrenched through recent Supreme Court decisions), what do you think would concisely increase voter turnout?

      • ghostwhowalksnz 5.2.1

        changing to a sat election date. A lot of people are at work on a Tuesday.

        • Colonial Rawshark 5.2.1.1

          Nobody in power or with money wants to increase election turnouts. The aim is to decrease voter turnout. Ensuring large numbers of people were disenfranchised was a primary goal of the “Founding Fathers.”

    • Colonial Rawshark 5.3

      And guess who has the most money to spend? The right.

      The Democrats are also Right wing, and since Clinton gave in to banking and corporate interests, Democratic fund raising is often neck and neck with the Republicans.

      • Ad 5.3.1

        Every nations political spectrum shifts over time – ours sure has and is.

        • Colonial Rawshark 5.3.1.1

          I prefer the physics approach to spectra. If you’ve moved out of infra-red into the blue end of the spectrum, then you’re blue, and not infra-red any more.

      • Michael 5.3.2

        That’s true, although there are factions in the Democrats.

        There’s the “centrist” Democrats (which are on the right in actuality i.e. Clinton), and the “Progressive Caucus”, which are decent social democrats with an actual left agenda. (For example, Elizabeth Warren).

        Here’s a very good conversation between Elizabeth Warren and Thomas Pikkety: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tMXA9slQo4 – Elizabeth is the de facto leader of the Progressive faction, and many Democrats want to see her run in 2016.

        There was another video (I forget where), where she addressed unions, and she had the union members standing on their seats clapping! There is a credible left faction in the Democratic party, but it only controls about 1/3 of the party which isn’t a lot.

  6. Ad 6

    There is no motivation from the public to replace one beige bunch with another.

    – If that were true National wouldn’t have gotten elected, all Labour has to do is show NZ they’re united, know their policies and will only pull NZ to left of center not NZ as it was in the 70s

    They do that they’ll get elected

    (sorry run out of Reply function)

    Unity is the political baby-steps to political success.
    Labour in NZ have to achieve, in order:
    – Unity, then
    – Bold Policy, then
    – Passion, then
    – Funding, then
    – New Candidates, then
    – Campaign Platform

    I am not trying in the post above to roll out the entire renewal platform for Labour here.
    What I am showing is a few common lessons to the Left right now, and right across many other democracies.

    • chris73 6.1

      You do know that what you’ve said is far more demoralizing to left wing supporters then anything I could come up with

      For Labour (especially) Unity is a herculean task by itself but add in funding and a campaign platform…

      • Ad 6.1.1

        As I point out above, this is about the worst electoral year the global left has had in multiple decades. The task is still the task.

        • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.1.1

          And what if both the organisation and the organisational culture is not fit for purpose? Those steps you have listed are merely the ABCs of winning (excuse the pun) but Labour struggles to even put two ticks on its election signs, let alone anything more complex.

          • Ad 6.1.1.1.1

            Either:
            Refuse to learn lessons and retreat from political activism, realising that Labour will continue without us

            Or:
            Start your own, knowing the risks are high and likely rewards v small

            Or:
            Reform from within.

            Which comes closer for you?

  7. barry 7

    I think there is not much equivalence between what happened in America to whathappened in NZ/Australia. Obama is not really left he just looks like that compared to the crazies that captured the Republican party.

    It looks like the Republicans have tamed the tea party a little bit so that they are not so scary, but really the story of these midterms is the low turnout. Basically Democrat supporters couldn’t see any reason to bother voting this time.

  8. TheContrarian 8

    Say hello to one of the new GOP lawmakers:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/anti-gay-gordon-klingenschmitt-elected-colorado-house

    John Key is positively angelic by comparison. The USA is, by no small measure, fucked.

  9. Chooky 9

    From the American horses’ (commentators’) mouths on the mid term Elections

    http://rt.com/shows/crosstalk/202943-obama-elections-us-government/

    “What is widely deemed as a resounding victory for the GOP and humiliating personal defeat for Barack Obama, this cycle of mid-term elections leave the Republicans in charge of legislative branch of government. Will this change anything in Washington?”

    CrossTalking with Don DeBar, Daniel Faraci and Stephen Yates.

  10. joe90 10

    Eisenhower called it.

    .

    The voters who put Barack Obama in office expected some big changes. From the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping to Guantanamo Bay to the Patriot Act, candidate Obama was a defender of civil liberties and privacy, promising a dramatically different approach from his predecessor.

    But six years into his administration, the Obama version of national security looks almost indistinguishable from the one he inherited. Guantanamo Bay remains open. The NSA has, if anything, become more aggressive in monitoring Americans. Drone strikes have escalated. Most recently it was reported that the same president who won a Nobel Prize in part for promoting nuclear disarmament is spending up to $1 trillion modernizing and revitalizing America’s nuclear weapons.

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/10/18/vote-all-you-want-the-secret-government-won-change/jVSkXrENQlu8vNcBfMn9sL/story.html

    .

    The Deep State is the big story of our time. It is the red thread that runs through the war on terrorism, the financialization and deindustrialization of the American economy, the rise of a plutocratic social structure and political dysfunction. Washington is the headquarters of the Deep State, and its time in the sun as a rival to Rome, Constantinople or London may be term-limited by its overweening sense of self-importance and its habit, as Winwood Reade said of Rome, to “live upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face.” “Living upon its principal,” in this case, means that the Deep State has been extracting value from the American people in vampire-like fashion.

    http://billmoyers.com/2014/02/21/anatomy-of-the-deep-state/

  11. Murray Rawshark 11

    “Looking back on Gough Whitlam, LBJ, or Clark, we can see that truly pathbreaking strides in Australia, the U.S., or New Zealand are highly concentrated in a few brief windows of overwhelming progressive dominance.”

    WTF? The Clark government entrenched a lot of the main ideas of Rogernomics and made them respectable. It did very little to even roll back the absurdities of Douglas and Richardson. Goff closed schools. WFF meant that a line was drawn down the middle of the working class, with beneficiaries forever defined as somehow less worthy. WFF also meant that employers got to keep more of the profits, as the taxpayer topped up wages. Helen also ran such a tight ship with everything centred on her, that the remaining non-entities (with few exceptions) didn’t have a clue what to do once she’d gone.

    LBJ did a fair bit domestically, but will always suffer from what Kennedy leaving him with Vietnam. His influence on Latin America was also far from benign. I don’t think either of these two can be compared with Gough Whitlam.

    • DS 11.1

      Helen Clark was Labour’s Keith Holyoake: a long-serving pragmatist who basically governed within an overarching consensus (in Holyoake’s case it was the social-democratic consensus, in Clark’s case it was neoliberal). Certainly, both were electorally successful, but neither transformed (or even sought to transform) the country they governed.

      • Ad 11.1.1

        Note I specifically focussed on Clark’s first term and attributed its strength to the Alliance-Labour coalition agreement. Once the Alliance collapsed, so did the force and conviction of the government.

      • Murray Rawshark 11.1.2

        Yep. I spoke with her briefly in 1985 and she was of the view then that a government was powerless to change very much. She was hardly going to be a crusader with that attitude.

  12. boyonlaptop 12

    “New Zealand’s public resoundingly opposed asset sales, and supported the Capital Gains Tax.

    We need a coalition primed for an uncompromising agenda push.”

    So I am glad to hear you’ll be ranking Little last then? Considering he wants to scrap CGT and NZ Power?

    • Ad 12.1

      How do you draw the conclusion that this post favours any Labour leadership candidate?
      Or are you simply seeking to derail the post?

      • boyonlaptop 12.1.1

        Because the author is a staffer of David Cunliffe and has been supportive of Little on other posts on here? Plus I don’t see how this derails the post at all when the post explicitly mentions the NZLP.

        • Ad 12.1.1.1

          Neither writer has been a “staffer”.

          I don’t favour any candidate.

          The post isn’t about the leadership contest. There are other posts on that.

          It is about common lessons from common international movements.

    • bruhaha 12.2

      Scrap NZ Power? Really? Stop making stuff up. I’m amazed at how many of Grant Robertson’s supporters are now targeting Little with smears. I’ve heard it in the real world in the last few days as well as on social media.

      It has been a really clean race up until now. I’m starting to wonder if Robertson’s team is feeling like victory is slipping away and have decided to start playing dirty. I really hope not. We need unity after all of this.

      • boyonlaptop 12.2.1

        “Little signalled a major shift in direction if he won the leadership, including the likely ditching of unpopular policies such as raising the pension age.

        At a press conference today, the former union boss also signalled a rethink of a capital gains tax, power reforms and free doctor visits for over-65s.”
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10597711/Andrew-Little-confirms-Labour-leadership-bid

        Not making anything up, wish I was.

        Totally agree we need unity after this and will happily support Little for PM in 2017 should he win but lets not whitewash over some pretty nasty dog-whistle politics. Little himself has definitely presented himself well thus far but unfortunately the same can’t be said for a minority of his/Cunliffe supporters.

        • bruhaha 12.2.1.1

          Little has said he wants all the policy reviewed. You’re spinning. It’s unpleasant and I don’t believe you will support Little if he wins.

          With this claim and the false claim Mickey Savage is a Cunliffe staffer you’ve shown a distinct lack of good faith twice in one comment thread. That doesn’t engender any trust in you at all when it comes to unity.

          • boyonlaptop 12.2.1.1.1

            Oh that’s completely disingenuous to suggest he doesn’t want the CGT or NZ power scrapped. It’s exactly the same language Cunliffe used about reviewing the GST on fruit and vegetables as well as the tax free threshold when he ran. He’s used the same language in referring to NZ Power as he has to the CGT which he referred to yesterday “enough to stop people even considering what we have to say any more.” The CGT is a progressive well thought out concept and Little all but suggesting it is the reason Labour isn’t in government is narrow-minded and concerning.

            Sorry, he worked for Cunliffe in establishing a trust for the leadership election and was actively involved in Cunliffe’s campaign for the leadership. Not that there’s anything wrong with that at all but he has worked for Cunliffe and as I’ve said has frequently defended Little on here to suggest that the leadership race isn’t relevant to this piece is ludicrous.

  13. Sable 13

    Interesting article but I think you will find the real problem is Obama looks more like a Republican than a Democrat. Guantanamo Bay was to be closed, the Patriot Act given its marching orders and the general warmongering and cruelty of the Bush years abolished.

    This has not happened. Indeed drone strikes have increased and Obama has instigated more global conflict/antagonism (some of them-Russia and China potentially very serious) than his predecessor.

    Its the same issue we have in NZ and the same issue in the UK. The divide of philosophy between the so called left and right of politics has blurred leaving people disillusioned and disgusted with the whole process.

    • Ad 13.1

      It’s indeed pretty easy to confuse left-right spectrums from one country to the next.

      The job’s harder since almost all left parties worldwide post Berlin Wall have got softer, and with far less principle against which to evaluate them.

      But Labour, Labor and the Democrats remain the default option as dominant party against conservative parties. They remain united by what they are against.

      Of course, that’s a further part of the problem, but there’s only so much one can address in one post.

      For a more thorough exploration of the above, have a good go at Tony Judt, “Ill Fares the Land”. Pretty fantastic.

      • Colonial Rawshark 13.1.1

        But Labour, Labor and the Democrats remain the default option as dominant party against conservative parties. They remain united by what they are against.

        Whose default though? Ever shrinking numbers, by the sounds of it. Ed Milliband has got a bullseye on his forehead now; his senior caucus members want him gone, just months before a general election.

        In the final analysis it’s not our job to prop up dead political establishments who no longer represent the interests of the mass of people; it’s our job to torpedo them.

        • Ad 13.1.1.1

          From the poll out today by UMR, Labour is the default opposition.
          Not saying its socialism, just the default opposition to Natiobal.

  14. Brian Biggins 14

    Who do the voters get their political messages from? The MSM. The NZ MSM is confirmed as supporting right wing political parties/government. Witness the MSM attacks during Clarks reign for pathetic reasons such as signed paintings, eco-light bulbs, smacking (Nanny state), but complete silence or cheerleading on issues that will negatively influence NZ now, and in the future, such as asset sales, external deficit blowout, cooking the stats, dirty politics…the list goes on. If the messenger is allowed to continue with the propaganda, I believe the left have a big problem.

  15. Brutus Iscariot 15

    It’s laughable to suggest that the Democrats are a progressive party, or that Obama is a progressive President. Both major parties are controlled by business interests and beholden to the deep state.

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    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    14 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 13
    . . April 7: Day 13 of living in lock-down… and unlucky for those who are superstitious. A day when there was a ray of sunshine from an otherwise bleak day of worrying signs. Today, as RNZ reported; Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield reported 54 new confirmed and probable cases ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    17 hours ago
  • A UBI in Spain
    So far, universal basic income policies, which see people given a regular income without any conditions, have been trailed only on a small scale. But now, Spain is introducing one nationwide as a response to the pandemic: Spain is to roll out a universal basic income (UBI) “as soon as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 4: Till et al (2020)
    Paul Connet, head of the anti-fluoride propaganda group, Fluoride Action Network, claims that the IQ of children bottle-fed in fluoridated areas drops by 9 points. But he misrepresented the research. There is no observable effect. For earlier articles in this series see: Part 1: Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only ...
    21 hours ago
  • The Role of Government
    The Queen’s coronavirus broadcast, with its overtones of Winston Churchill and Vera Lynn, prompted me to reflect on the tribulations my parents’ generation suffered during the Second World War – and I imagine that those parallels, given her own wartime experience, were very much in the Queen’s mind as she ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    22 hours ago
  • How to complain about MDC’s unreasonable LGOIMA charging regime
    Back in February, the Marlborough District Council increased the mount it charges for LGOIMA requests. I used the LGOIMA to poke into this, and it seems the case for increased charges is unjustified: the supposed increase in request volumes it rests on is an artefact of the Council suddenly deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 12
    . . April 6: Day 12 of living in lock-down… Another day of a near-empty Park N Ride carpark; . . And another day of near-empty Wellington streets; . . . Light traffic on the motorway. No apparent increase in volume. Commercial vehicles sighted; a gravel-hauling truck; McAuley’s Transport; a ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A Lamentable Failure of Imagination.
    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    2 days ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    2 days ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    3 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    3 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    3 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    4 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    7 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    7 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    7 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
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  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
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    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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    2 weeks ago