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They got bailed out and we got sold out

Written By: - Date published: 12:05 pm, September 15th, 2018 - 56 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, class war, Economy, uk politics - Tags:

This column from Ros Wynne Jones in the Daily Mirror deserves linking to and repeating.  It is that damn good.  It is about the response in the UK to the global financial crisis and details how they missed a chance to put through proper reform of the banking system.

Her level of contempt clearly maxed out when she wrote this.  I can imagine her fingers pounding angrily and quickly on the keyboards of her laptop as she sought to capture the intense feelings the subject of her article generated.

She said this:

Ten years after the banking crisis and these people show no remorse – the Lehman’s cocktail party-goers, the Bob Diamonds and the Fred the Shreds.

Today, Diamond – the former Barclays boss and banking’s chief buccaneer until the banks blew up like a game of Buckaroo – marked the anniversary by feeling sorry for himself.

“The culture of banking now,” sighed the man forced to resign at the height of the Libor-rigging scandal in 2012, “is that if anyone makes a mistake they get fined.”

The collapse of Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008, unleashed the worst global downturn since the Great Depression. But apparently banks have done enough penance.

Diamond says it’s time to let “banks be banks” again.

Can you imagine the level of venom dripping from her as she typed and processed that thought?

She then said:

His words should still stick in the throat of almost every single person in the country – 99.9% of us – who have lost out because of bankers being bankers.

Then came the kicker.  The reality of what has changed since the GFC for the banks and for the rest of us.

This week, the campaign 10 Years On introduced website whatamiowed.org, which tells you exactly how much you personally lost in the financial crisis.

The campaign points out that since 2010, the Government has slashed almost £50billion from public services – and over £30bn more from social welfare.

It adds: “By comparison, the Big Four UK banks have paid out over £50bn in bonuses.”

The website whatamiowed.org has a very basic back engine that attempts to estimate what UK citizens have lost because of the need to bail out the banking system.  The backers of the site, 10 years on, are “working with a network of organisations to Change Finance: demanding a sustainable financial system where the banking sector first and foremost serves the best interests of people and the planet.”

It makes you wonder what the result would be in Aotearoa New Zealand if a similar calculation was made.  Our results were different, a number of third tier lenders went broke and took out millions of dollars from mainly retirees’ asset bases.  There was however the South Canterbury Finance payout where for reasons I still do not understand SCF was kept in the Bank Guarantee scheme, played fast and loose with loans and then was bailed out by the Government having to reward some pretty dodgy behaviour.

And there was the sell off of the power companies shares.  Last time I checked we had lost nearly as much as we had gained and the income was not coming our way any time soon.  Presumably by now we are in the red.

Fundamental reform of the world’s banking system is overdue.  But it seems clear that we have missed out on the chance to do so.

56 comments on “They got bailed out and we got sold out”

  1. alwyn 1

    “where for reasons I still do not understand”
    I suggest you should start your enquiry by asking Michael Cullen why he really thought he had to include SCF in the scheme.
    He must have had a bit better reason than he admits in this story.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12124686
    The problem with SCF was putting them into the scheme in the first place. Once they were in there was no way to exclude them at a later date without causing their collapse.
    Why did Cullen allow them in at the start?

    • dV 1.1

      May be so Alwyn, BUT who allowed the extension of the scheme to SCF in 2010/11?

      Lets see Cullen, NO
      Ha Key and English!!

    • RedLogix 1.2

      I recall an interview with Kim Hill at the time; Cullen was very aware of the potential problems and was quite reluctant to extend the scheme too widely.

      I think he believed that including the these tertiary lenders was the lessor of the evils. Especially given all the media drama at the time.

      • Ad 1.2.1

        Exactly.
        Saving any financial institution generated moral hazard.
        SCF was that hazard.

        NZ Governments of both stripes have bailed out far bigger institutions in the past.

        • Muttonbird 1.2.1.1

          Bigger than $1Billion to a bunch of farmers? To an institution which in no way was crucial to the overall economy? Nor an international flagship with a reputation to defend.

          The leeches who got the taxpayer funds from low income families on the breadline then used the the proceeds for dairy intensification and a poisoning of the environment.

          Apart from Erebus, Cave Creek, and Pike River, that payout by Bingles was the darkest day in NZ’s history.

          Yet you two shrug.

          • Ad 1.2.1.1.1

            The taxpayer has bailed out the BNZ, Air New Zealand, Kiwibank through recapitalisation, developers of leaky homes, bunches of polytechs, and bunches of other entities in its history.

            In this case, it also saved Timaru and much of Canterbury from going down. You can compare that to the Wahine or the Tangiwai if you like.

            There’s always line calls in public subsidy that people have 20-20 hindsight over. SCF was one of them.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      I suggest you should start your enquiry by asking Michael Cullen why he really thought he had to include SCF in the scheme.

      No, we have to ask Bill English and National. They’re the ones that kept SCF in the scheme despite knowing that they’d broken all the rules.

      Once they were in there was no way to exclude them at a later date without causing their collapse.

      Yes there was. They broke the rules of the scheme at which point they should have been removed. Treasury even advised it. Them collapsing isn’t anybody else’s problem.

    • KJT 1.4

      It wasn’t Cullen. It was National.

      Funny some insiders were telling me “Invest in SCF, you can’t lose”.

      Some people should have gone to jail over SCF, not Hubbard either.
      “Pump and dump” and insider trading with a government guaranteed profit.

      But. “New Zealand is not corrupt”.

    • mickysavage 1.5

      There were plenty of occasions where SCF should have been excluded from the scheme. Read any of a multitude of posts on this website for the how and why.

      Like this one:

      Key SCF excuses fall flat

      • alwyn 1.5.1

        The moment that the Government announced that SCF would NOT have remained in the scheme was the day it would have collapsed as everyone tried to withdraw their money.
        Keeping them in the scheme was, perhaps wishfully, trying to keep them solvent until they could get back on a level keel. Didn’t work and the prospect was rendered impossible by the founder’s business practices.

        Of course a lot of people took advantage of it. People do that sort of thing. Have you never been asked by a client about the ways of minimising their income tax?
        Look at all the MPs who belong to KiwiSaver schemes. When it started Cullen was at pains to try and argue that it wasn’t meant for people at their income levels. None of them took any notice except Joyce who never took advantage of the MP subsidy on Super. The only one I am aware of. It helped that he was pretty rich. The only problem the others are going to have is if they remain locked into the schemes when Robertson, as he is hinting of doing, starts specifying where they should be forced to invest.

        • KJT 1.5.1.1

          “Of course a lot of people took advantage of it. People do that sort of thing. Have you”..
          No. I refused as it was blatantly unethical. In many countries it is called “insider trading” and it is illegal.

          • alwyn 1.5.1.1.1

            There was no element of insider trading about it.
            The details of the scheme were widely published and there was nothing “secret” about it.
            Insider trading is only ever illegal if it is available to and known about by, a small group of people who are able to get this information only from someone who actually has access to what must be only available to “insiders”.
            The relevance of that scheme to SCF was widely known from the moment that they announced the companies on the list.

            I invested in KiwisSaver when it started even though I was retired, over 60 and was merely switching money from other investments. I had a friend who said she wasn’t going to go into the scheme because she thought it would be “unethical” and that it wasn’t meant for people like her.
            I told her that I thought the scheme itself was stupid and was merely an election bribe. It would have, as I would say has been proved, that it would have no genuine effect on the savings rates in New Zealand. Nevertheless it would be abject stupidity on her part not to join. Luckily for her, her Accountant agreed with my opinion and she did join. If someone is offering you money for jam then, in the absence of a David Clark desired “sugar tax” you are stupid not to indulge.

            • KJT 1.5.1.1.1.1

              Struck a nerve, did I.

              Nothing unethical about SCF being pumped up with insider investors, knowing that it was going to be bailed out including interest, long before any of the public knew?

              Yeah right!

              • In Vino

                I think alwyn is losing this one, and will therefore retreat to another thread.
                But I may be wrong..

                • alwyn

                  I think you are too stupid to actually be able to contribute to, or even understand this thread at all, but hey, half the population, like you, have below average IQ levels.

                  For KJT.
                  The public knew, at the time the guarantee list was published, and which included SCF that it would have its borrowing guaranteed, and that people who had loaned it money would be reimbursed.
                  The public, if they understood and read what the guarantee was, would have known just as much as the people who lent them money knew.
                  What part of the word guarantee don’t you understand?

                  Would I have included them in the original list? NO.
                  Once they were in would I have paid out on the guarantee? YES.
                  Anything else and the word of any New Zealand Government would be worthless.

                  • KJT

                    Is failure to read and comprehend a normal right wing trait?

                    Explains a lot.

                    • In Vino

                      alwyn is always punctilious about details that suit him, but does not appear to know when he is on a losing wicket. Well done KJT

                  • the other pat

                    I think you are too stupid to actually be able to contribute to, or even understand this thread at all, but hey, half the population, like you, have below average IQ levels…..wtf?……careful taking that step off your high horse…..seems a common trait with some of you here…..some DO NOT understand things straight away…..an old saying is that if your communication is is not understood then its you that have not communicated effectively.

            • Nic the NZer 1.5.1.1.1.2

              Kiwisaver can’t have any effect on NZ’s savings rate. That falls into the realms of the impossible thing (which didn’t happen).

              • alwyn

                KiwiSaver didn’t increase New Zealand Savings rate.
                True but that wasn’t how Sir Michael Cullen sold the proposal.

                • KJT

                  As usual a right winger takes a statistic which on the face of it seems correct, but if you drill down, you find they are basically, lying.

                  NZ savings rates were dropping, as people with no money tend not to save.

                  True, savings rates havn’t changed much since Kiwi saver stsrted. Saying Kiwi saver made no difference, which is what Alwyn is trying to say, is not accurate. Savings rate of decrease did change.

                  Much as I am against the privatisation of State super which is the real aim of Kiwisaver. Finance don’t get to cream off the top, of PAYGO, State provision.

                • Nic the NZer

                  Its not a matter of didn’t, its a matter of can’t.

                  If you net save your income then your expenditure falls by you additional saving. This then means someone else’s income falls by the amount you save. This chain of saving continues until somebody responds by reducing their saving, so in aggregate no net saving occurs.

                  The implications of this are as follows,
                  Including the public and private sectors together an increase in NZ’s savings rate is the same as an increase in the current account balance, and in reverse.
                  Looking at just the NZ private sector (because this is the sector which can go broke) the net savings rate is determined mostly by the inverse of the public net savings rate (plus current account as above). So while the government is running a surplus it is draining the potential for the private sector to net save, and in reverse for a deficit.

  2. roy cartland 2

    Here’s the link again (I got a 404):

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/banking-crisis-ten-years-on-13239615

    [Thanks now fixed – MS]

    • Dennis Frank 2.1

      “10 Years On, a social justice collaboration involving Positive Money, Unite the Union, the Robin Hood Tax campaign, Stamp Out Poverty, Christian Aid, War on Want, Jubilee Debt campaign and others, are calling for an increased stamp duty on shares – and an end to “too big to fail” banking. It calls for a transition plan for the end of fossil fuels, break-up of the mega-banks starting with RBS, and measures to tackle household debt and branch closures.”

      Good so see that. Reminds us that the left, once upon a time, organised themselves into politically-effective networks, and changed the world for the better. I appreciate that this example in the UK signals that the time for being impotent complainers is over, and armchair critics ought to get involved in support.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    MS: “Fundamental reform of the world’s banking system is overdue. But it seems clear that we have missed out on the chance to do so.”

    We actually never had the option you thought we had. Reform of the system is an option only available to those who own and operate it. Everyone else has this much leverage: zero. Since a decade has passed since QE saved the system, and since the consensus that it remains an effective stratefy is only slowly dissipating, it will take another gfc to trigger reform. We’re waiting for that.

  4. joe90 4

    Your Mirror link is jiggered.

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/banking-crisis-ten-years-on-13239615

    [Thanks had a stray apostrophe at the end. Now fixed – MS]

  5. Bill 5

    Yeah Micky, liberal politicians played ball and threw us all under the bus to keep the banking system going – and then made it bigger than it ever was.

    Who gutted banking regulations again? Oh, that’s right, was a bi-partisan project…whether we’re talking the US, here or the UK.

    You want the banking system brought back into line? You want the interests of society put before bank interests? Better vote for a party with social democratic leanings then.

    Just one small problem on that front as far as New Zealand is concerned – NZ Labour, National and the Greens are wedded to liberal economic orthodoxy. The frightening bit is, they didn’t need to be “bought” as per the charge so often made in relation to the US. They go along on as willing dumb fucks. It’s called “ideological capture”, and unlike the UK or the US, the political party that might lead a government that espoused social democratic policies is in total fucking lock down and not going to be shifting its ground anytime soon, if at all

    Here’s Dylan Ratigan from 2011. The basic thrust of his message translates to NZ politics, NZ politicians, their shared economic ideology and the shite state of affairs we’re in.

  6. Tuppence Shrewsbury 6

    The real villains are the governments who believed any bank was “too big to fail” and therefore needed welfare.

    If banking isn’t the most stunning indictment of the notion of welfare in its modern form, I don’t know what will convince people it doesn’t help, nurture or change behaviour.

    They should have all collapsed, we would have had a once in 90 years type depression then all would have been ok for 40-50 years, until the cycle started properly again. Not this 10 yearly pump and dump short term economy led by public service spending.

    • BM 6.1

      The real villains are the politicians that were “convinced” any bank was “too big to fail” and therefore needed welfare.

      • corodale 6.1.1

        Should politicians take that as a death threat?

        • BM 6.1.1.1

          I wouldn’t say death threat, but politicians have a far too much leeway and really need to be reign in.

          Example, 3 billion dollars for Peters to buy a seat for NZ First, it’s fucking criminal.

          • corodale 6.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, you single out the only MP I know of who has publicly talked of Social Credit (Peoples Public Credit he calls it). With his political experience, he is like a Death Knight. Worms like you will gain no substance on his flesh. In the financial crash, he will rise and become legendary.

      • Nic the NZer 6.1.2

        Even if some financial institution was too big to allow it to fail politicians could still have taken the trouble to sack, replace and prosecute those responsible. That was always the real political malfeasance here.

      • KJT 6.1.3

        The real villains were the capitalists who bought the media and politicians. fixed it for you.

    • KJT 6.2

      Capitalism needed to be bailed out by “socialism” again!

      Ironic.

      • Tuppence Shrewsbury 6.2.1

        Bullshit. Capitalism would have been stronger without the socialist interference. Capitalism survives.

        Politicians saw a chance to exert more political control over the economy for “societies” benefit. So socialism. And look where we are now.

        Don’t get too misty eyed about socialism. You’re too old to see how it will ruin the next generation

        • KJT 6.2.1.1

          I can see why you have a problem with socialism. Your education by the “socialist State obviously failed you. Or were you one of those hopeless cases who know better than your Teachers?

          If you are so keen on capitalism go live in a pure capitalist State. Someone with your level of comprehension, would be living in a cardboard box on the street. Haiti, Honduras, Somalia, Russia, Appalachia, spring to mind.

          • Tuppence Shrewsbury 6.2.1.1.1

            The old “give thanks to your socialist education system”

            The one that’s failing the poor kids miserably no matter how much money is chucked at it.

            The one the capitalist kids do better at striving for their own success.

            I give thanks I only came out a little bit behind the private school kids because of my own ambition.

            • KJT 6.2.1.1.1.1

              I thought you were on the benefit. self hating wannabees seem to be the most rabid right wingers.

              • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                How quickly the defenders of socialism cave and start attacking the messenger!

                • KJT

                  Because you don’t have any sensible arguments to counter. just mindless slogans.

                  • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                    what mindless slogans? Those statements were assertions of fact. The education system is failing poor kids. Ambitious, self motivated achievers are doing very well despite the socialists nature of our public education system and it’s main practitioners, teachers and principles.

            • KJT 6.2.1.1.1.2

              Half starved, cold and stressed children don’t do well, no matter how good the education system.

              doing noticeably worse, since right wingers fucked with our education system, of course.

              • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                Doing worse ever since the teachers cared more about there union protecting their patch than the education of the children.

        • the other pat 6.2.1.2

          capitalism survives because we SOCIALISED all its fucking debts!!

  7. corodale 7

    If the banks need money, why doesn’t the Govt fund the banks by buying a share of the banks?

    Would truly be that easy, except the rating agencies and international banks would slash the value of our dollar and buy all our assets at a bargain prices.

    The banking cartel is truly insolvent. QE is pure corruption at the highest level. By law, yes law, a share of the banking cabal must be nationalised. Those responsible for QE belong in jail.

    • Ad 7.1

      Our government does not need to buy a share in Australian-dominated banks.

      We have Kiwibank. Founded and formed by the revious Labour government.

      When it needed recapitalising, ACC and NZSuper bought a major shareholding.

      If you want to break the cartel of Australian banks, shift your banking to Kiwibank.

      • mike 7.1.1

        there would be a bank run if deposit holders pull there money from these banks
        while i totally agree with you having pulled all my money from the anz i think its impossible on a mass scale because the authorities will close the bank doors. its a case of do it as an individual and well ahead of the train wreak.

        • Ad 7.1.1.1

          I’ll take it as a sign of actual confidence in the strength of Kiwibank when the government shifts its own banking overt its own bank.

          Meanwhile, their market share is small but growing, which is good enough for me.

    • KJT 7.2

      Just need to run state bank, like north Dakota.

      Small local competing private banks and co ops, under state bank are fine

      • mike 7.2.1

        credit unions are local and provide low cost basic banking there not flash and not having branches everywhere doesn’t matter with apps and online banking

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    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    5 days ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    5 days ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    1 week ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    1 week ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    1 week ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
    As introduced, the Zero Carbon Bill included an expansive secrecy clause, which would have covered virtually all decisions by the Climate Change Commission over our most important policy area. The Ministry for the Environment admitted this was a mistake (or as they put it, an "oversight"), and the select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolutio...
    Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Referenda on Euthanasia – NZ First’s Victory – or a Major Miscalculation?
    . . NZ First’s success in putting the euthenasia bill to a public referenda may not be the victory they believe it to be. They may even have sounded the death-knell for a second Labour-NZ First-Green coalition. On 23 July this year, NZ First MP, Jenny Marcroft, submitted a Supplementary ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn the Mighty vs BoJo the Clown
    Interesting contrasting pictures in the Guardian:Corbyn gets the classic positive shot - low angle and a clear background, making him look authoritative (of course, being Corbyn, he doesn't do authoritative very well).Where as Johnson gets pictured with children at some sort of mad-hatters' tea party:Begging the question, who is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Public health, externality, and vaccination
    Paternalism is contentious. Arguments for state action to protect us from ourselves are fraught. I come down pretty heavily on the anti-paternalism side of the argument, but I’ve heard respectable defences of paternalism. But policy around vaccination is hardly paternalistic. There’s a clear market failure that could be pointed to ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Happy Halloween
    Its Halloween, so its time for annual pumpkin trepanning and chocolate eating ritual. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Twenty thousand leagues under the sea
    I’ve been reading Jules Verne’s novel Twenty thousand leagues under the sea, considered as one of the very earliest science fiction stories. In brief, Monsieur Aronnax and a couple of sidekicks are taken prisoner by Captain Nemo and his mysterious crew and treated to an underwater voyage around the world ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosing the risks
    The climate crisis is going to mean some pretty big changes in our country, both from its impacts and the policies required to address them. Most obviously, whole suburbs are going to be underwater by 2100, meaning people and businesses are going to have to relocate to higher ground. But ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • MPI fails again
    Yesterday a dairy company was fined $483,000 for repeatedly failing to report listeria in its facility. Its a serious fine for a serious crime: listeria is a serious disease, and they were effectively trying to kill people with it. But there's another story hidden in there, and its not a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Gay Men Address Gender Identity
    Gay men see the excesses of trans activism and are increasingly speaking out.  A new Facebook group addressing ‘gender identity’ and contemporary trans activism has been set up for gay men, by gay men. The following is the group’s Statement of Intent, Group Rules, and link to the group for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s Going Gangbusters.
    Criminal Enterprises: Gangs are not welfare institutions. Nor are they a substitute for the family their members never had. They are ruthless, violent, criminal money-making machines. That is all.OKAY, first-things-first. Gangs exist for one purpose – and only one. They are a sure-fired, time-tested institution for making crime pay – ...
    2 weeks ago
  • “Action for Healthy Waterways”: Some big ticket actions that the Government has neglected
    Prof Nick Wilson, A/Prof George Thomson, A/Prof Simon Hales, Prof Michael Baker The NZ Ministry for the Environment has produced a valuable discussion document with many good ideas for improving the health of waterways in New Zealand. But there are important gaps. In this blog we consider three big-ticket items ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • ADHD and fluoride – wishful thinking supported by statistical manipulation?
    Finding reality needs more than wishful thinking. The problem is that statistical arguments often provide a jargon to confirm biases. Image credit: Accurate Thinking Versus Wishful Thinking in Gambling I worry at the way some ...
    2 weeks ago
  • “Line the wasters up!”: Yes, NZ, it’s “bash the poor!” time again with ya mate Simon…
    This really shouldn’t need to be said, but hell… looks like we need to do it all over again: Simon Bridges, and the National Party shock politics doctrine, seems to demand every time that its Leader, its Party and anyone seemingly involved with it, cannot get real traction on real ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • A partial release
    The Ombudsman has ruled on the issue of Julie-Anne Genter's letter to Phil Twyford on the "Let's Get Wellington Moving" policy, and forced the release of some information. The Ombudsman's statement is here. The key point: the letter was written in part in a Ministerial capacity, and was official information ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: California burning
    Its fire season in California, and the state is on fire again, with tens of thousands evacuated and millions without power as forests and homes burn. And its so bad now that some are asking whether parts of the state are now too dangerous to inhabit:Three years in a row ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • To Save Democracy, We Must Make The Media Our Own.
    New Zealanders' Television: Obliterated almost completely from New Zealanders’ collective memory is the amazing collection of creative talent which was all-too-briefly assembled in the purpose-built Avalon television studios (above) situated ten miles north of the capital. If this period is recalled at all it is only for the purposes of ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    4 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    4 days ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    5 days ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Two years of progress
    This week, we’re taking action on climate change, expanding trades education – and celebrating two years of progress! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the Republic of Korea and Japan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week. “The Republic of Korea and Japan are two of New Zealand’s closest partners in the region with whom we share common values and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to lead Bougainville Referendum Regional Police Support Mission
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has announced today that New Zealand is leading a police support mission in Bougainville as the region prepares to vote in a non-binding referendum on its political future. “New Zealand has accepted an invitation ...
    3 weeks ago
  • We’re taking action on climate change
    “I refuse to accept the challenge of climate change is too hard to solve.” – Jacinda Ardern ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones annoyed at “elevated sense of entitlement from a lot of immigrant leaders”
    New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is defending Immigration New Zealand (INZ) after it instructed officials to stop granting visas as an exception to instructions. He has also lashed out at immigrant leaders upset with the tightening of the rules, saying they had an “elevated sense of entitlement”. Members of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand public likely to vote on euthanasia bill thanks to NZ First
    A change to the End of Life Choice Bill was passed in Parliament, meaning if politicians decide to vote for the law it must be approved by the public first. A binding referendum was a condition insisted on by New Zealand First, and Jenny Marcroft’s supplementary order paper (SOP) successfully ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Tairāwhiti Workforce development projects get $1.6m PGF boost
    Fletcher Tabuteau, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), through its skills and employment programme, Te Ara Mahi, is investing a further $1.6m into Tairāwhiti’s workforce development, said Parliamentary Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “This PGF funding follows on from significant PGF investment earlier this ...
    3 weeks ago
  • NZ First welcomes primary sector support for climate change plan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says the Government’s steps to reduce farm livestock emissions are necessary and timely. Today the Government and farming leaders announced a plan to measure and price emissions at the farm level by 2025. “Many farmers ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones hits back at activists upset with immigration changes
    New Zealand First MP Shane Jones has hit back at those who are upset over a change in approach to partnership visas. There has been a specific government directive to stop waiving requirements such as couples needing to have lived together for 12 months - a test Indian couples who have ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Next steps in Northland line upgrade underway
    The North Auckland Line rejuvenation kicks off with teams surveying the rail corridor and Northland construction contractors are showing interest in the project. KiwiRail provided an industry briefing for Northland contracting and construction companies about future work opportunities on rejuvenating Northland’s rail lines. The briefing session in Whangarei was held to ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    52 mins ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
    The review of Oranga Tamariki practice around the planned uplift of a Hastings baby in May shows significant failings by the Ministry and that the planned and funded changes to shift from a child crisis service to a proper care and protection service need to be accelerated, Children’s Minister Tracey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has wished students the best of luck for this year’s NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which start tomorrow. Around 140,000 students will have participated in 119 NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams by the end of the exam period on 3 December. “I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New High Commissioner to the United Kingdom announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of Bede Corry as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. “The appointment of a senior diplomat to this important role underlines the significance New Zealand places on our relationship with the United Kingdom,” said Mr Peters. “The United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Police recruits making Auckland safer
    An innovative approach to boosting the number of frontline Police has seen 20 new officers graduate from one of the uncommon training wings in Auckland. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of 20 constables today means that 1,765 new Police officers have been deployed since the coalition government took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Over 1.2 million hours of community work helps local communities
    Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the 1.2 million hours of community work completed by offenders in the last financial year has helped local communities right across the country. “Community work sentences are a great way for people to pay something positive back to society. There is a massive benefit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Te Huringa o Te Tai – Police Crime Prevention Strategy
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