Think big & embrace the rot

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, January 20th, 2013 - 43 comments
Categories: child welfare, Economy, exports, health - Tags: , ,

As reported this morning by Rob O’Neill on Stuff, the World Bank has recently issued a report saying NZ needs to focus more on being friendly to multinational corporations, and be less focused on supporting small NZ businesses:

Small businesses do not create jobs. They are less productive than big businesses. They are not the answer to New Zealand’s export challenge.

Instead of supporting small businesses, New Zealand should create an environment that is friendly to large multinational companies and fast-growing start-ups. We should cancel the myriad programmes currently in place to assist small businesses to become exporters because there is very little evidence they work.

The article also reports on the responses by various NZ “experts” such as Phil O’Reilly, chief executive of Business NZ, and John Banks, who generally agree with the World Bank argument, though quibbling on some aspects of it.  However, all their focus is on exports as the way to boost NZ’s economy, and none on the significant and long term costs to NZ’s economy and society.

Matt McCarten’s column today is critical of the impact of at least one big businesses in NZ.  He responds to comments by the “outgoing Coca-Coal boss, George Adams“, who he says, “lamented that we Kiwis didn’t have the same adulation for multinational corporations that they have for themselves.”

McCarten points out how much Kiwis have contributed to Coca Cola’s empire overseas:

New Zealanders front up over half a billion dollars each year for Adams’ employer and, in 2011, our patronage made his profits jump almost 50 per cent to a cool $66.6 million.

And, McCarten identifies some of the destruction that Coca Cola causes to the health of New Zealanders:

Let’s face it, Coca-Cola markets sugar syrup mixed with water to teenagers, rotting their teeth, giving them spotty skin and making them fat.

At the same time it brainwashes them through clever advertisements and branding campaigns using beautiful and cool peers with perfect smiles, unblemished skin and beach bodies to die for.

The message drilled into their naive subconscious is to be cool, popular and happy you have to drink this wonder drink.

Few pre-teens and teenagers can resist that siren call. It helps that once the sugar addiction kicks in, it can be as strong as tobacco dependency.

Every health professional knows the body doesn’t need sugar at all.

And this will impact on the costs to NZ’s health system and to the social costs related to it.  These are costs that don’t seem to be taken into account when estimating the economic benefits of big businesses.  Not all profit-making businesses are equal in their benefits to the countries in which they operate.  And many small businesses contribute to their communities in ways measured by export-focused analysis.

Also today on Stuff, as reported by Marika Hill, there’s a report on the widespread, preventable occurrence of tooth decay in children from all socio-economic backgrounds.  This is partly caused by the amount of sugar in their diets, especially that coming from sugary drinks.

A new government report on dental care has for the first time revealed the full extent of the problem: 34,000 children under 14 had teeth removed due to decay or infection in 2012….

Toddlers come in with teeth so rotten from sugar that they are no longer recognisable.

“Some of them have decayed right down to the gum level so it’s just roots. We can do a full clearance and take out all 20 teeth on a two-year-old.”

Poor dental hygiene is often to blame.

“Parents will give them biscuits and a drink in the middle of the night to keep them quiet. That’s the worst thing you can do.”…

Losing teeth at a young age can affect eating and speaking and cause poor self-esteem, Lingard said.

Dentures are not an option for children as their mouths grow too fast. Instead, children must wait for the second teeth to come through.

More focus should be on businesses that benefit Kiwis and New Zealand in diverse ways, than just on the short term financial benefits of businesses and exports.  Not all businesses are equal. Some are better for us than others.

43 comments on “Think big & embrace the rot”

  1. ropata 1

    I hope that in future we will treat sugar laden food additives the same way we treat tobacco now. in the mean time, watch this: http://youtu.be/HInOg12jMiY?t=6s

  2. Wayne 2

    So Coca Cola ha become the new tobacco, which is frankly ridiculous. A can or two of Coke every week would have absolutely no adverse effects on health.

    The World Bank is right. As you know this whole area of growth and innovation was a central concern of mine a while back. The big gap we have is building companies that have more than than $100 million in sales, mostly export sales.

    For NZ that is seen as a big company. That is typically a firm employing 200 or so people and is often family owned (by the founders and close associates). There are around 20 of them in NZ, but we need 50.

    We put a huge amount of support to small start ups. At one level that is good, some of them will become credible export firms – but many won’t. Most (if they survive at all) top out at $5million revenue, good for the owners, but not transformative for NZ.

    The new Callaghan Institute should help, but more needs to be done, especially around venture capital.

    Gordon Campbell has a perceptive article on this in relation to Peter Jackson. While I obviously don’t agree with everything he says in it – for instance the employment law reforms were much more important than he accepts, but I understand that is a bit of thing for the Left (especially the Alliance/Green end) – he is broadly correct.

    This whole area is still the big opportunity for New Zealand. Other smart smaller countries (Denmark, Finland, Israel, Singapore, Queensland) have done this – we are the laggard.

    • lprent 2.1

      We put a huge amount of support to small start ups. At one level that is good, some of them will become credible export firms – but many won’t. Most (if they survive at all) top out at $5million revenue, good for the owners, but not transformative for NZ.

      There isn’t that much support for export companies in the initial start-up phase (and I have been around quite a few since the early 90’s). Once people actually started exporting a reasonable amount then there was more. Most of the really useful parts are in MFAT which is currently in a state of turmoil and being cut.

      As you say, most exporting companies will top out somewhere around $5 million in revenue. The problem is that they’re usually in a vertical niche market worldwide. They don’t have the capital to develop a whole new market area. There aren’t a lot of sources of capital that don’t want to effectively take over the control of the company. The choice usually winds up as being to sell out the company overseas to a larger company in the market area or to list in an overseas exchange where the capital is available.

      The NZX is of course pretty damn useless to get any useful capital.

    • Colonial Weka 2.2

      “So Coca Cola ha become the new tobacco, which is frankly ridiculous. A can or two of Coke every week would have absolutely no adverse effects on health.”

      And a cigarette or two every week is unlikely to cause any more harm than a coke. What’s your point?

      As far as I am aware neither tobacco companies nor soft drink companies are content with occasional sales of their products. They both engage in practices designed to get as many people as possible to consume as much of their product as possible, with a special emphasis on people vulnerable to both the product and the advertising strategies.

    • Murray Olsen 2.3

      I’m not sure what Israel or Queensland have done that’s smart enough for us to want to copy. Israel manages to support high tech companies because it’s bankrolled in a very extravagant manner by the US and A. Queensland depends on mining and government investment in anything except property “development” and horse racing has been stopped since Bjelke-Newman was elected. The public service has been ripped to shreds. Ironically, there is a similarity in that both Bjelke-Newman and Bibi Netanyahu are in bed with some very dodgy property developers. Both also have a very dismissive attitude to human rights and the rule of law.

      • Wayne 2.3.1

        Essentially the Labour Govt in Queensland from around 1995 to 2008 had a “smart state” concept which boosted spending on higher education and innovation. The University of Queensland now ranks in the top 50. In contrast Auckland has been falling in the rankings. Queensland has annual revenue of $1.2 billion and Auckland is $800 million. Queensland attracts more research money and more top level academics.

        Queensland had a plan to attract a lot of international firms in pharmaceuticals, aerospace and IT (and this was done by a Labour govt). It is one of the reasons why Brisbane has grown faster than Auckland. Twenty years ago NZ and Queensland had the same living standards, now Queensland is 30% higher, and it is not just about tourism and mining.

        That is why I say the World Bank is correct. We no longer have any research centres of global pharma firms or IT firms. If we did they would generate start ups in the same sector.

        Otherwise we are just a market for the global firms, not generator of IP for them. All those other countries I named are, and have done better than we have.

        After all many dairy farmers still buy Danish dairy equipment, because Denmark consciously built a complete dairy ecosystem from cow to plate. I wonder if the Danes buy our dairy equipment? I know many people on the site do not like Fran O’Sullivan, but her article in the NZH on baby formula shows why we need to do better.

        • Colonial Viper 2.3.1.1

          Unions. Queensland has better and stronger unions and labour conditions than NZ.

          • Murray Olsen 2.3.1.1.1

            The Queensland unions haven’t been very strong in fighting Bjelke-Newman’s job losses.
            The Smart State program is dead under Bjelke-Newman.
            A lot of the success of the University of Queensland came from poaching academics from other universities. These poachees are paid at rock star rates while everyone else is neglected. UQ had the highest paid VC in Australia and the lowest paid staff, except for the rock stars.
            In Wayne’s World, success is defined a little differently than on mine.

            • xtasy 2.3.1.1.1.1

              Unions are being undermined worldwide, it happens all over “developed” countries, also in Europe. It is a sad fact, that proves again, a scientific finding decades ago, that 80 per cent of humans are COWARDS, complicit persons, rather choosing to buckle, go along with any pressured rule, and not take a stand.

              That is reality dear friends, the majority of people are COWARDS!

              That is also why NZ will NEVER see a revolution, and Key and his gang know this, same as wanker Shearer.

              People are vermon, like rats, and gentically the closest DNA humans have is that to rats, and rats are used for research for medicine and so forth, to test medication and so for humans.

              So when you have human cowardice, vermon and shit like that populate the globe, there will NEVER be progress the few idealists on this forum desire and dream of.

              It will NEVER happen, as long as the human majority is pressed, black mailed, estorted and held to ransom for income, jobs and livelihoods, that the capitalists offer them. Slavery and servitude are here to stay, because most are cowardly slaves and idiots.

              I am sorry to upset you, but this is the total and blunt truth about human kind. Forget humanity too, I just experience again this weekend, how someone was prepared to kill me, for no sensible reason at all. Humans are vermin!

              • Saccharomyces

                Actually, our closest genetic relative is the Bonobo Chimpanzee.

              • Draco T Bastard

                There are none so chained as those that think that they are free.

                And that is the true victory of capitalism as the majority of people actually think that they are free when they aren’t. They’re slaves to the capitalists without realising it.

    • Richard Down South 2.4

      “So Coca Cola ha become the new tobacco, which is frankly ridiculous. A can or two of Coke every week would have absolutely no adverse effects on health.”

      The amount of sugar normally in your body, is about 5g…. a can of coke has 39g of sugar. ever ponder why we have so many cases of diabetes in NZ?

      This makes for an interesting read http://www.kare11.com/news/article/1004378/391/Brain-image-study-Fructose-may-spur-overeating

  3. muzza 3

    Woops, the myth of the export lead recovery makes another appearance, this time from the World Bank. I believe there was some articles recently showing that while Oz has been exporting more than ever in its history (past decade +), their current account had blown out further – One country’s exports , in another county’s imports, you simply can’t have even export driven recoveries amongst trading partners, under the current systems!

    http://www.interest.co.nz/news/62640/big-aussie-trade-deficit-record-eu-jobless-markets-nervous-ahead-us-earnings-season-nz-da

    New Zealand Current Account
    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/current-account

    (extend Date Selection to 1965 from drop-down box)

    New Zealand Exports
    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/exports

    (extend Date Selection to 1951 from drop-down box)

    As is plain to see, the more we export, the GREATER our current account deficit gets.

    ________________________________________________________________________

    Was it not only a week or so ago, we had a report aimed at NZ by the IMF!

    Who’s picking up how these entities work – Show of hands..

    Perhaps its all just random publishing, of randomly *produced/written* reports!

    • Poission 3.1

      NZ has not had a current ac surplus since 1972,due to the repatriation of multinational investment.and excessive borrowing for non productive assets.

      Of the additional 51 billion of external os debt we have racked up since the GFC (2007) 80% is into additional household debt,and farmland purchase,.

      As these so called think tanks such as the IMFand WB bring very little to the table in as much as innovative thinking or solutions to the persistence of the GFC NZ should look at providing its own solutions.

  4. AmaKiwi 4

    + 1 to Poission

    We create innovative companies so foreigners can buy them up. The profits go overseas and we spiral deeper into financial slavery.

    “The power to tax is the power to destroy.” We can create tax structures which severely discourage the takeover of NZ companies by overseas powers. Until we do so, we will continue to be bled dry.

  5. Bill 5

    Small businesses do not create jobs. They are less productive than big businesses.

    How do they figure that? Putting the strange and stupid quasi- religious fixation on exports aside for a moment…a supermarket might employ a few hundred people. And take the place of how many potentially local and convenient gift shops, specialist stores, general grocery stores, green grocers, off- licenses, florists, butchers, bakers etc?

    According to the following quote from a UK study, quite a lot.

    In their Ghost Town Britain reports (2003), the New Economics Foundation (NEF) revealed that between 1995 and 2000 we lost roughly one fifth of our local shops and services including post-offices, banks, butchers and grocers. Furthermore, over the five yeats to 2002, around 50 specialist stores closed every week.

    And from the same report

    In 1960, small independent retailers had a 60% share of the food retail market. By 2000, their share was reduced to 6% while the multiples share increased to 88%

    Meanwhile the ” British Retail Planning Forum (1998), embarrassingly financed by the supermarkets themselves, discovered that every time a large supermarket opens, on average, 276 jobs are lost.”

    And on the questionable production side of things, I wonder if they had a blind spot for… ” Off Our Trolleys’ (see Further Reading) shows that a typical out-of-town superstore causes £25,000-worth of congestion, pollution and associated damage to the local community every week.”

    http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=2599

    • karol 5.1

      And with the closure of small stores, we lose a lot of the personalised service they provide. The staff there most likely come from within the local community, and can chat with customers.

      Now the post shops banks etc, within the malls and shopping centres, as well as adding to travel pollution, cost customers in time standing in long queues.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Small businesses do not create jobs. They are less productive than big businesses.

        This is standard bankster bullshit.

        Large companies DESTROY local jobs and replace them with miimum wage. Ask any small retail owner what happens when the large malls and corporate retail move in.

  6. Whom does the World Bank generate its money from?

    My perspective: The World Bank Report, funded by Multi-National Corporations, recommends that New Zealand support Multi-National Corporations (for a variety of specious reasons).

    Um…Is that a “report” …or a threat?

    In short I consider this “report” a load of rot.

    Monopolies are unhealthy for the proper functioning of the current system we have, so isn’t it about time that Multi-National Corporations were seen for the monopolies that they are? Stamp their monopolistic behaviour out and let us get on with it, I say.

    Additionally I agree with Bill @5’s comments.

    • fatty 6.1

      Um…Is that a “report” …or a threat?

      A report from the World Bank is always a threat

      • blue leopard 6.1.1

        …Well perhaps they should be labelled “a terrorist” and treated accordingly then…
        (heh)

        …I mean, don’t they know that making complaints to Governments is becoming illegal…?

        …Oh sorry, I forgot, that is only when common citizens make complaints and criticisms….not large organizations; they can say what they want, and it doesn’t even have to make any real sense(in the normal sense of the term “sense”)…..clearly; this “report” is illustrative of that.

  7. GeoffC 7

    500million spent by the consumer etc on coca cola products…what a waste of money.
    Perhaps time we calc amount of wasteful spending each year and in a social sense what that total collectively we could have done.
    Together we stand divided we are slaves.

    • xtasy 7.2

      GeoffC

      One must be a bit discerning though, you will perhaps not know, that even Coca Cola Amatil have diversified substantially. You will buy carbonated water, still water, juices and a range of other beverages here in NZ, which are now made by Coca Cola.

      It is a fact, that they do not just produce the black and brown coloured carbonated drinks now.

      Yet the control of a large sector of the market is the worry, and this is where corporates tend to strive for dominance.

  8. infused 8

    What small business support? I haven’t seen it.

    God damm I feel like a coke now. Seriously, tastes so good in warm weather 😀

    • karol 8.1

      What small business support?

      Ask John Banks, he’s the minister of small businesses. According to Banks, as reported in the O’Neill article my post links to:

      Banks said NZTE is focused on where it can have the greatest impact.

      “The agency works one-to-one with a core group of around 500 companies, including SMEs. As well as this core group, NZTE also engages less intensively with another group of about 1500 exporting businesses.

      “The focus of Government assistance is on providing the basic skills, information and advice that will give SMEs the best chance of harnessing their capabilities [in doing so increasing productivity] so that they are competitive once they start exporting.”

      It sounds like he’s reading from a pamphlet promoting his ministry – maybe like one of his pamphlets promoting Charter Schools? I wonder if he can actually explain the practical assistance to SME’s in his own words?

      • xtasy 8.1.1

        Small minds equal small business, or wannabe business. That is John Banks, the lone, memory lost, fighter for SMEs

    • xtasy 8.2

      Have your coke and choke, thanks best wishes.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      Seriously, tastes so good in warm weather

      Only if you’ve become accustomed to it. I haven’t so it still tastes like crap to me.

  9. RedLogix 9

    As usual John Michael Greer nails it.

    As the costs of empire rise, the profits of empire dwindle, the national economy circles the drain, the burden of deferred maintenance on the nation’s infrastructure grows, and the impact of the limits to growth on industrial civilization worldwide becomes ever harder to evade, they face the unenviable choice between massive trouble now and even more massive trouble later; being human, they repeatedly choose the latter, and console themselves with the empty hope that something might turn up.

    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.nz/2013/01/the-road-down-from-empire.html

    Along with Chris Trotter, these two are about the only people I can be bothered reading with the very limited time I have available these days.

    • karol 9.1

      Meanwhile, the maintainers of, and profiters from, empires like the US, and the UK (some people there still haven’t accepted they no longer have an empire), try to continually extend it’s reach through their multinational companies. Often these companies, as Greer says, peddle stuff we don’t really need.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Often these companies, as Greer says, peddle stuff we don’t really need.

        Or could do for ourselves.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2

        and the UK (some people there still haven’t accepted they no longer have an empire),

        It’s probably more that they have realised/accepted that the British Empire was passed on to the US after WW1. The empire still exists and the UK still belongs to it but it’s as courtier to the US rather than the leading role it used to have.

  10. Macro 10

    Wow there are 5, that’s FIVE!, jobs being advertised by Coca Cola! These big multinationals really generate the jobs don’t they.

    http://www.cokecareers.co.nz/search

    • @ Macro

      …the job creation cited probably includes the healthcare workers required to deal with the consequences of their products and all the pill-makers being employed to keep people happy despite job conditions and wages degenerating. And lets not forget all the WINZ staff to process all the unemployment monopolies-I-mean-Multinationals create….

  11. KJT 11

    Can’t anyone see the logical fallacy of the idea that every country is going to get onto a trade surplus and export their way to prosperity.prosperity.
    Not going to happen. Especially for the ones with the least market power.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      And that is the second biggest delusion of the entire market economy theory. The simple fact is that every country is perfectly capable of producing everything that it needs thoroughly undermines the possibility of exporting to prosperity.

      The biggest delusion is the idea that resources are unlimited and that we can export as much as we like without ever running out.

  12. So in other words, be a bigger corporate slut; even though it didn’t work in the 1980s-1990s?

  13. xtasy 13

    I know very few countries, that are like NZ, that are so “hospitable” and welcoming to international corporations!!!

    This stuff.co article belongs in the stuffed dust bin, for real.

    There are all the large US based retail fast food and “coffee” chains here, dominating the take-away business. There are numerous other retail and manufacturing companies, here, e.g. Coca Cola, who produce products for the local and even overseas markets.

    We have had a suburb of Wellington welcome a large tobacco corporation, to establish a production facility there to produce cigarettes, largely for export to Australia, using cheaper labour, while NZ governments are pretending to fight smoking.

    Most NZ banks are owned by Australian corporates.

    We have corporations invest in water supplies, electricity supplies, healthcare, transport and the works, and here we have some jerk complaining to stuff.co about NZ being not inviting enough of such self-serving “investors”.

    Get a bloody reality check, please.

    That is such a load of damned garbage, what else does the NZ crap media come up with next???

  14. Foreign Waka 14

    Considering that these companies pay neither tax here nor there, it should read “Think big and embrace the rort”

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    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    5 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    6 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    7 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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