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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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    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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
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    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story 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... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week 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
    6 hours 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
    21 hours 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
    22 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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