This is not business as usual. This is not some hippy over-reaction. This is serious shit!

Written By: - Date published: 4:18 pm, December 11th, 2014 - 55 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, climate change, community democracy, cost of living, democracy under attack, Dirty Politics, election 2014, Environment, minimum wage, poverty, Privatisation, social democracy, socialism, Spying, sustainability, war, water - Tags:

Ten weeks ago I became a granny. I must admit, before this beautiful little boy was born I worried about the ethics of bringing another child into the world, just as I did before my own hormonal drive overtook my intellect 29 years ago and produced the original beautiful little boy who has now grown into a loving new father. But now I’ve seen my grandson I wouldn’t wish him away for the world – I am entranced by him, find myself gazing at him with a doting smile for ridiculously long spans of time, watching him soak in everything around him with such intensity I can almost see his brain fizzing beneath his downy scalp. What hasn’t gone away, however, is my deep concern for the world he will be growing up into, and the world my son and his wife will have to do battle with to ensure his ongoing well-being.

The thing is, I don’t trust the people in control. I want to. I want to be able to put politics from my mind and get on with living my life. But I not only don’t trust them, I loathe their values. For me it’s people over money every time – and the environment over money too. I find it incomprehensible that our current government are not only ignoring the apocalyptic onset of climate change, they are also actively working against the vital remediation necessary to temper its very real and terrifying effects. Not only our government, of course: there would appear to be a concerted effort by the leaders of the world’s biggest economies (and satellite economies like our own) to down-play the potential impacts and to undermine the real policy changes necessary to make a real difference.

I find it bizarre and incomprehensible those of us concerned for the health of our planet and who want to ensure we clean up our act and learn to live sustainably, are considered fringe, suspect, the loony left. While those at the very top of the pecking order might be insulated enough to survive the global devastation that we are rushing towards at break-neck speed, the rest of us are sitting ducks. And as the climate changes really start to hit, myriad other problems will rear their ugly heads as well. Floods, fires, water shortages, food shortages, climate refugees, boundary and resource wars, new illnesses, mass extinctions…. This is not business as usual. This is not some hippy over-reaction. This is serious shit!

Yet our government are building roads! They’re sidestepping emission-lowering measures. They’re continuing to think like petrol heads, riding rough-shod over environmental safeguards and, in the process, dooming my children and their children to ever increasing misery as the world heats up. They’re selling the environment out for the last few drops of oil and coal too: drilling in our precious waters, dredging our sea-beds for iron sand, fracking, destroying unique and irreplaceable habitats for commodities such as coal that will only add to our misery as they are consumed. And they’re signing up to secret trade pacts that will make climate change measures even harder to implement – and selling out our sovereignty to giant corporations. All this is madness. Lunacy. Ignorance and arrogance.

All this is due to their pursuit of the dollar. Their own ethics of greed, whether for power or wealth accumulation, are committing the rest of us to the eventual flames of climate hell. And that’s only the big picture… meanwhile, here in little old Godzone they are de-constructing the very social democracy that has enabled them all to climb the ladder, deftly pulling it up after themselves so my grandson will never have the kinds of benefits our current politicians took for granted in their youth. The equitable, excellent free education they all received, for instance, has been undermined, underfunded, and disastrously tampered with. Will my grandson be able to study at university in the future? It’s looking much less likely.  And, even if he can get in, at what cost? Already his parents are crippled by student debt. Owning their own home – the kiwi dream – goes straight out the window when you’ve got a mortgage-sized debt to repay before you even start – and, even if you’re not fettered by student loans (and are lucky enough to have employment), who the hell can pay the kinds of housing prices we are seeing now? My kids are having to face the very real possibility that home ownership might never be within their reach.

What about if my grandson needs some kind of social or health-related support (god forbid)? Where once the government supported people in vulnerable positions, many of these services have been so seriously underfunded they are dying or have disappeared – or been handed over to private companies whose bottom line is profit, not human good. They’ve sold off our power companies; are privatising our prisons, schools, healthcare, insurance… in short, all our safety nets have been shrunk or punctured full of holes. Heaven help my grandson should he need mental health support or rehabilitation. All our most important agencies, the ones that really are dealing with the dire day to day problems of this country’s most vulnerable and needy, are so strapped for cash they are unable to deliver the services many people need. The government is relying on communities picking up the tab while our communities are already in crisis and stretched to breaking point.

But it’s not just the lack of concrete needs that this government is responsible for. My grandson will be growing up in a climate of manufactured fear – designed to keep the populace in check and to justify the draconian and deeply undemocratic practices they are currently passing under urgency at every available opportunity. He will grow up with less privacy, less democracy, less trust, less freedoms, less ability to dissent, less concern for his personal human and civil rights. If he has the audacity to speak out against such practices, he’ll likely find himself running foul of a politicised police force – those very same cops who recently spent 10 hours searching my brother’s house while the real criminals and liars destroyed all evidence then walked away free.  All this, too, is really scary. With our media now under the corporate thumb, and our govt. politicians up to their armpits in dirty politics and cynical spin, what hope is there that dear Leo will grow up in a country where his interests are put before those of multinational corporations, bankers, weapons manufacturers, and self-serving power junkies?

What I don’t fear for is his personal sense of self: he is growing up loved and nurtured and we will all make sure his needs are somehow met and he is kept as safe as we are able. And he does at least have one bonus – the fact he’s male (sorry, guys, though you fellas don’t like to hear it, inequality is alive and well in Godzone. Need proof? Just look at the rabid misogynists who crawl out of the woodwork every time the words ‘feminism’, ‘sexual harassment’ or ‘rape culture’ are uttered from a woman’s lips.) But we’re still going to have to fight for him. I have no faith in this government’s commitment to his future. They have proved themselves to be serving much bigger masters: the mighty war machine of the US – and corporate greed. They lie. They cheat. They smirk out of the corner of their mouths as they pretend to care, juggling a knife behind their backs.

So that’s why I’m speaking out now, every opportunity I get. Not because I like the exposure (shudder), but because I love this tiny little person and I will fight for his future, come what may. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the decent, human thing to do. I need to know that when he grows up and asks how the people of my generation could have let this terrible state of disaster, fear and repression develop, at least I can say that I tried to stem the flow. What about you?

55 comments on “This is not business as usual. This is not some hippy over-reaction. This is serious shit!”

  1. r0b 1

    Great to have you aboard as an author Mandy. And congratulations on becoming a grandmother! It is the children, and (maybe) grandchildren that drives me too – and I suspect many on the political left. It mystifies me that the political right is so short term in its thinking.

    (I’ll add an image and some except text for the front page to this post.)

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    If your parents ever discover how lame you are, they’ll murder you in your sleep.

    Frank Zappa (to the audience).

    You’re right Mandy, it’s absurd.

  3. BLiP 3

    Yep. Its about the grandkids not the grand in the bank. Would someone please tell John Key.

  4. Mandy also wrote a searing denunciation of Patrick Gower & news media uselessness:

    Mandy Hager sends Patrick Gower to the Spin Bin

    Of course, Gower is not the only one. And it doesn’t take much to see why he and others who started their careers as well-meaning journalists are sheltering behind snide remarks and lazy reporting: if we look back over the most recent past term of this government, we can see that those who have tried to question the government and its policies have been disposed of, one by one. TVNZ 7’s excellent news and documentaries were the first to go, and now we are seeing the devolution of Maori TV’s fantastic current affairs broadcasting. This is happening at a time when toxic right-wing luvvie-boys have been put into positions of immense power by the state broadcaster (yes, I’m talking Hosking and Henry – equally vile, vitriolic little men, who are more interested in sneering at those who hold genuine concerns for the state of our country, and propping up their own ‘celebrity’ status, than actually delivering unadulterated news.) They are our pseudo-Fox News presenters, self-absorbed, with little genuine concern for their fellow NZers or the ethical health of our current politicians, using the poor young women who have been partnered with them as mindless Barbie dolls who are presumably there in order to reflect their ‘glory’. It raises bile just to watch.

    Yup. Read the rest at Spin Bin

  5. NZ Sage 5

    Wonderful piece from the heart Mandy.

    I too became a grandparent for the first time this year and I too share your concerns for his future, particularly as my wonderful grandson was born Down Syndrome.

    Thankfully my daughter lives in the UK where she has access to excellent publically funded practical and financial support systems.

    The limited support services here in NZ means it is unlikely my daughter and grandson will be returning home anytime soon.

  6. karol 6

    Welcome Mandy.

    I also never understand why people who want a sustainable world with supports and opportunities for all, is considered some sort of “extremist”, “loony” left.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      “Considered”? It’s abuse, ie: tacit (although hardly substantive) surrender, not consideration.

  7. Jenny Kirk 7

    Totally agree with you, Ms Hager.

    I feel tired, aching, no longer up to protesting physically, somewhat depressed at what our world, what our country has come to, and those unknown “masters” overseas who want to take us over totally.

    But then I look around me, and I see others like you – people actively opposing the draconian impositions others want to put us under ; people joining together to support each other in their various battles against dictatorships from up high ; people planting up previously scrub land with strong permanent vegetation; or showing the way by cleaning up a local stream or river; others building a community place to nurture their cultures for the coming generation; still others giving the knowledge of their life experiences and expertise to younger people.

    And I also see a younger generation coming through readying themselves to do “battle” against all the ills you have so aptly defined.

    And that’s when I feel hope.

    And do what I can.

  8. Red delusion 8

    Peak Oil anybody, I see this is no longer a poster child by the left for a fossil fuel free environment

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      I see global warming deniers are still delusional.

    • mhager 8.2

      I think the point is that peak oil is just part of the climate change debate – weaning off fossil fuels is the only solution for many of our global problems, including conflict

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Heaven help my grandson should he need mental health support or rehabilitation.

    I’d just like to point out that NZ’s mental health support has always atrocious. We’ve pretty much just ignored it and hoped it would go away.

    • northshoredoc 9.1

      “I’d just like to point out that NZ’s mental health support has always atrocious. We’ve pretty much just ignored it and hoped it would go away.”

      I just like to point out that your comment is absolute rubbish. While mental health support can always be improved it is light years ahead of where it was 30 years ago.

      • Molly 9.1.1

        It may be, but I have contact with some that have been unable to access the care needed for their family members and have it provided in a sustainable and long-term manner.

        For those people, “better than 30 years ago” is an irrelevant comparison.

        For those people, it is atrocious.

        • mhager 9.1.1.1

          I agree Molly – improved from 30 years ago it may be – but just this morning is another story of a family and their loved on let down by the lack of resources for mental health support : http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/261565/dhb-admits-it-didn%27t-listen-to-family

        • Augustus 9.1.1.2

          As parent of a seriously ill child (now adult), I can tell you that the child will get most of what it needs in NZ quite freely. However, if as parent one is not well off to begin with, there is absolutely nothing in the way of financial support (for the parent, not the child). Everyone I’ve ever had the displeasure to deal with at Work and Income think they can target assistance at the child only, poor parents are deemed to be unaffected and left to rot in their own misery.

          • A VOTER 9.1.1.2.1

            Yes it is to keep the parents powerless so the Fascists dont need to deviate from the govt rules and can feel safe in the fact that their carrots wont be denied so they can sleep at night happy in the fact that they dont need a conscience about carryout Bitchyfits policies

      • Murray Rawshark 9.1.2

        Funny you should mention 30 years ago. It was something very close to 30 years ago that a friend of mine got a job as a caretaker of an apartment building in Western Springs. I think it was a leftover from some Commonwealth games. Anyway, the idea of community care had just been imported and the building was full of people who’d been kicked out of Carrington. Most of them had no idea how to keep themselves alive and the fortnightly visits they got from caseworkers did nothing to help. My friend ended up feeding them and paying their bills, as well as simple things like opening bank accounts.

        It’s not hard to be light years ahead of that. Your statement is also at odds with the experiences of the smallish number of mental health patients that I know. Doctors might feel that things have improved, but the patients I know certainly don’t.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.3

        Just because it’s improved doesn’t mean to say that it’s good enough to be adequate.

  10. Lou 10

    Mandy, you certainly have a way with words! I have not reached the happy stage of being a granny yet, but am looking forward to it……………but I do share with you all of the concerns you expressed. Things have got to change, in our world, and in the world our grandchildren will grow up in. Somehow, I have some confidence they will, as if they don’t, this whole planet is doomed!

    • North 10.1

      Yes Mandy you write beautifully, movingly, inspiringly. The lending of the gift of it in service of “the decent, human thing…….” uplifts this reader very considerably. I thank you.

      Best to you – indeed best to all !

      PS: May you positively taste the deliciousness of all that “goo goo gaa gaa” bizo with the wee one Granny !

  11. philj 11

    Thank you for a clear exposition of the state of mankind. It gives cold comfort to know that you are not alone in your thoughts and actions. The right wing dominated media needs cauterizing, and a common good broadcaster established by the good people of Aotearoa. Kia Kaha. A true peoples voice arise! tHE GOVERNMENT IS NOT SERVING MOST PEOPLES INTEREST. Form an alternative government! Remember ONLY 33% of eligible voters voted for this brand of shysters.

  12. mickysavage 12

    Welcome Mandy. TS’s gender equity has improved dramatically!

    • mhager 12.1

      Thanks – glad my XX chromosomes are useful!

      • karol 12.1.1

        Well, TS has been noticeably weighted towards male authors. You are the third female author to have been added in about a week.

        And all excellent authors they/you are, too!

        PS: This was not a planned thing. We have some male authors we would like to be added, too. But the 3 this week are first off the blocks.

  13. Cheer up Mandy, it may not be as dire as you have been led to believe.

    Climate scientist Judith Curry walked off the ‘consensus reservation’ five years ago following the revelations of ‘climategate’, and has subsequently expresses some hope for the future based upon the good things that have happened in the Climate Science community since then.

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/12/01/the-legacy-of-climategate-5-years-later/

    • e-clectic 13.1

      About the time that Judith Curry is able to change (diminish) the heat absorptive properties of carbon dioxide and the other significant greenhouse gases I’ll be paying attention.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1

        Judith Curry has decided that she is now a sociologist. The article waffles on and on and on, perhaps to give the tl;dr deniers the impression that it contains something of substantive relevance to Climatology.

        It doesn’t.

  14. Maui 14

    Brilliant post, absolutely true. I’m in my early thirties, and I grew up as a bit of a dreamer, believing you could make the world a better place if you really wanted to. New Zealand I thought was a perfect country that could help you in this goal, a country with a laid-back and innovative attitude to things, that could help in getting the best solution in a practical way.

    What I’ve found say in relation to things environmental is that you can make some progress yourself, and there maybe be tentative help from a local authority for your idea. But all the while central and local government is selling your idea down the river. In one case I’ve had to put in many hours of my own time to protect the environment because of the weakening of environmental protection by National. There is every chance that my volunteered hours will be meaningless, when I go to the local Council and get stonewalled, and no action is taken by them. So I too do not trust the people in power. Both of these systems are screwing over my environmental protection ideas because of money, not because they were voted in with a mandate to degrade the environment.

  15. David Owen 15

    Go Mandy ! It’s time for all of us to speak out about the direction, our so-called representatives are leading us into. Climate aside, we are fast approaching a Police-State, dictated to ,by America. The TPPA pretty much guarantees that, and all we get from our illustrious leader, is; LIE and DENY….. text-book CIA training….. Really John ? Do you really think Your Masters are going to give you a seat-on-the-bus, for handing us over to them on a platter ? Why dont you have the decency to crawl back under that rock in Hawaii, and let moral human beings run our country… David Owen

  16. Brigid 16

    Twas so pleased to see this. Thank you Mandy. I too am so frustrated and so angry and I feel so powerless. I think we’ve got a long fight ahead of us.

  17. venezia 17

    You echo my thoughts, observations and feelings about this government and about my concerns for my grandchildren Mandy. Sometimes I feel quite depressed and dismayed that NZers could allow so much of this to happen, then vote again for the same pack of shysters to continue to destroy the fabric of our society, and risk the future of our planet. I hope to see more of your posts. It gives me hope when these concerns are expressed with such clarity.

  18. Pat O'Dea 18

    The Imperative to Leave it in the Ground

    “The problem with solely pursuing climate policies which seek to reduce fossil fuel demand is that even when they are successful, they simply push fossil fuel prices down, creating a cheap energy supply that is hard for renewable energy sources to compete with.”
    TARSH TURNER
    NZ Youth Delegation member at the climate talks in Lima

    The logic of this approach is unassailable.

    And the real world proves it, as falling demand sees huge drops in the price of oil and coal

    Which is why Greens and Mana policy is, “No New Coal Mines”

    Contrast this with the National and Labour Party policy position of regulating emissions, which seems almost designed to fail, and in practice is failing.

    “There needs to be a simultaneous push from the other side, cutting off the supply of fossil fuels and creating a strong impetus for change.”
    TARSH TURNER
    NZ Youth Delegation member at the climate talks in Lima

    Sordid Energy

    Technically insolvent Solid Energy were given a government grant of $103 million to rehabilitate their old disused mine sites because they didn’t have the money to honour their contractual arrangements to clean up after themselves. This grant was on top of $150 given Solid Energy by taxpayers last year to bail them out of bankruptcy. But instead of cleaning up their old and abandoned mine sites, Solid Energy is massively investing in reopening the huge old abandoned open cast Kopuku 1 mine workings in Maramarua that used to supply the old Meremere power station that closed down in the early ’90s. I suppose, Solid Energy could make the claim, that by reopening these old closed mine works, they are rehabilitating them. Another interpretation is that Solid Energy is moribund and corrupt in abusing the public’s trust, in using taxpayer support to continue needlessly polluting the environment.

    Business As Unusual

    Solid Energy gets $103 million to clean up old mine workings

    September 18, 2014

    The Government will provide cover worth $103 million to Solid Energy for restoring mining land and to avoid its technical insolvency.

    Finance Minister Bill English and State-owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall said today that the state-owned miner needed the indemnity to keep it in “positive equity” and to sign off its accounts.

    Negative equity means a company has more liabilities than assets and is technically insolvent.

    English said government officials were working with the company to extend its remediation indemnity, which would meet the future costs of restoring the mined land to its previous state.

    Stuff.co.nz

    “Governments simply cannot continue to consider their model of economic development apart from their commitments to tackle climate change. The longer this divide exists, the more the problem worsens, and we will only become further locked into dirty energy infrastructure. Nations need to face up to the crux of the climate problem and address the issue of continued extraction.
    TARSH TURNER
    NZ Youth Delegation member at the climate talks in Lima

  19. les 19

    and of course there is not much chance the grandson will ever own his own home ,at least in Auckland the way things are panning out , to quote Jesson in this ‘triumph of venality’!

  20. Tracey 20

    Great post and a great thread. Your message of beginning to lose hope leaves me paradoxically hopeful.

    there are many ways to parent that dont involve giving birth. i support many mentally ill and disabled people and try to fight on their behalf.

    we are an army not driven by self interest.

  21. Rosemary McDonald 21

    My eldest is the same age as your eldest Mandy, and I confess to occasionally berrating myself for having brought him and his two sibs up to value honesty and honour above all else.

    Tell the truth…no matter what, because the truth will ALWAYS come out.

    Then your lies will be exposed and you will no longer be trusted by those whoes opinion matters most to you.

    Lying kills trust….

    However…in the real world, it seems most people lie….or give a watered down version of the truth. This has become normal behaviour…..to the point where a person is criticised if they do tell the truth.

    It is easier to lie, be evasive, exploit the ‘loopholes’ that the rest do, and there is a kind of dishonourable honesty amoungst the liars and the theives.

    Those who “take the moral high ground” will pay the price.

    Never seeming to quite fit it…and not trusted by collegues….because you’re honest.

    Crazy.

    P.S. I read this out aloud to my partner Mandy…we both ended up in tears.

    ” I need to know that when he grows up and asks how the people of my generation could have let this terrible state of disaster, fear and repression develop, at least I can say that I tried to stem the flow. “

  22. Ennui 22

    Nice one Mandy: Your questioning of the forces driving the human economic patterns as we know them reminds me of an event years back wen I was working in a tannery. We had a boss who insisted that the new machine to shear the wool from pelts was a true wonder, and he demonstrated it to all and sundry.

    One day whilst demonstrating it to a group of engineers his tie flopped forward, got caught in the rollers and hauled him toward the blade. He could not reach the large red safety switch, disaster loomed until one of the engineers dived over and hit the button.

    We are that engineer, but our machine is so badly designed that there is no off switch.

  23. Thank you for your post. Intergenerational inequality and the world/society the kids will inherit worries me. Driving in the car recently my little daughter announced, “Mummy when I grow up and have a house, I’m going to paint it bright blue!” I felt so sad. She won’t have a house if she chooses to live in a major city in our country. This housing investment madness must be stopped for the sake of the children.

  24. greywarshark 24

    All true Mandy. This quote below resonates with me.
    The thing is, I don’t trust the people in control. I want to. I want to be able to put politics from my mind and get on with living my life. But I not only don’t trust them, I loathe their values. For me it’s people over money every time – and the environment over money too. I find it incomprehensible that our current government are not only ignoring the apocalyptic onset of climate change, they are also actively working against the vital remediation necessary to temper its very real and terrifying effects.

    That is how I have been all my life, thinking that others knew what they were doing usually, and wanted to do the right thing for the country and citizens that elected them to government. Now I know that democracy must be nurtured, watched and maintained. If it grows up and seems ready to leave home, we actually must keep it close, we mustn’t let it go so far that it is out of sight. It’s just an innocent that can be carried off by the greedy and criminal, and we can make mistakes in our regime of country-care too.

    We can do stuff together and learn how to support each other and take cuttings of our democracy plant and grow them on in many different places. It is happening and I am sure we can achieve many things. My approach now is – don’t expect too much from government, and don’t believe their promises. First look at what they expect to get out of each project supported. I suggest checking the Alex cartoon in the DomPost business pages, as his creators understand the cynical self-promotion that reflects many of our pollies in gummint these days.

  25. Barbara Strathdee 25

    How quaint – to be worrying about house prices for the generation now only in its infancy. With the western ice shelf of Antarctica due to collapse and cause massive sea rise Auckland will largely be under water.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 25.1

      Four feet won’t deliver that outcome. The entire WAIS would have to collapse, not just the Amundsen Sea region.

      Four feet (~1.45m) will be disruptive enough, though.

  26. Kattykat 26

    I feel ya!!! Thank you.

  27. Phillip Mann 27

    Hello Mandy, A superb article. You have expressed my own feelings and fears exactly, but with a clarity of expression that I could not have managed. I too have a young grandson of 2 years, and as I watch him play I worry that the world he will inherit will be impoverished in the ways that you describe. Thank you for having the courage to speak out.

  28. Barbara Strathdee 28

    I am not able to add to Mandy Hager’s bold and eloquent article but want to add a link to my own comment above. This is an article written by Chris Mooney and Joby Warrick for the Washington Post on 4 December with the title Research casts alarming light on decline of West Antarctic glaciers: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/research-casts-alarming-light-on-decline-of-west-antarctic-ice-sheets/2014/12/04/19efd3e4-7bbe-11e4-84d4-7c896b90abdc_story.html?Post+generic=%3Ftid%3Dsm_twitter_washingtonpost
    I have been fearful of being dismissed as a catastrophist but realise that the only thing to do is show disdain for all those who prevaricate. And speak. Mandy and Nicky are our leaders.

  29. A VOTER 29

    Brilliant piece It is Rome 21st century thats how little things have change in reality

  30. For those of you who are expressing concern for your children’s future, can I commend supporting the ‘Wise Response’ appeal. The text of the appeal http://bit.ly/wiseresponse reads:
    “Symptoms too serious to ignore: a call to face up to NZ’s critical risks.

    Appeal to Parliament for a NZ Risk Assessment.

    As demand for growth exceeds earth’s physical limits, causing unprecedented risks, what knowledge and changes do we need to secure New Zealand’s future wellbeing?”

    Connect with us via our Facebook.com/wiseresponse, and sign the appeal as a supporter via the link to the appeal text above.

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    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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    4 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    7 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

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