TPP to criminalise ordinary viewers

Written By: - Date published: 2:44 pm, March 10th, 2016 - 53 comments
Categories: capitalism, Globalisation, Media - Tags: , , , ,

A lot of people out there couldn’t give a stuff about the TPP because they don’t see it affecting them. This might change their minds:

Watching US Netflix looks set to become an offence

Getting around blocks on overseas online television services such as the United States version of Netflix looks set to become an offence.

Commerce Minister Paul Goldsmith said the Government needed to change intellectual property laws to fulfill the country’s obligations under the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement.

A discussion paper released by Goldsmith proposed that people would continue to be allowed to circumvent “geo-blocks” on physical items, for example regional blocks on DVDs. But the discussion paper proposes no similar exemption for breaking regional locks on digital services, such as online television services.

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment is inviting submissions on the proposals by March 30.

More to come

Update: Note that since the version quoted above, the piece has been updated to play down the threat.

53 comments on “TPP to criminalise ordinary viewers”

  1. adam 1

    And back comes pirating.

    Many better ways to do it now.

    When the services offered are sub par, what do these people expect?

    Oh wait kiwis = we do as we are told.

  2. framu 2

    “But the discussion paper proposes no similar exemption for breaking regional locks on digital services, such as online television services.”

    so how do they tell? – would they make the use of VPNs illegal? or use a similar method as the piracy three strikes approach?

    i know we dont really know the answer just yet – more verbally scratching my head here

    all this will do is encourage more piracy and the use of free tv streaming sites

    • Liberal Realist 2.1

      “all this will do is encourage more piracy and the use of free tv streaming sites”

      Agreed. It’s worth noting that free tv streaming is not illegal at present. If they make that illegal how the hell will they enforce it? Presumably they’ll force ISPs to block such sites – we all know how effect that has been to prevent peer to peer piracy.

      As for outlawing VPNs, good luck with that!

      The best way to tackle piracy is to make global content available at a fair price to all, however that approach doesn’t fit with content owners out-date business model.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        The best way to tackle piracy is to make global content available at a fair price to all, however that approach doesn’t fit with content owners out-date business model.

        QFT

        • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 2.1.1.1

          This show what sort of BS modern free trade agreements have become. Old fashioned free trade agreements were about consumers being able to get the lowest priced goods in all the countries within the agreement. That the TPPA allows ‘regional’ pricing just shows how meaningless words like ‘free trade’ have become.

  3. Malconz 3

    Ah well, that will be the end of my Netflix sub. Screw them all.

  4. aerobubble 4

    Two degrees of warming by 2030. TPP is irrelevant. Warming buckets cool faster, strong cooling storms produce faster cooling of northern continents. Warming won’t just raise our seashore but will create massive global displacement, from hotter summers and colder winters send more tv viewers are way, sitting new homes on new sofas. Netflix oh poor you, the whole notion of keeping up with tv shows shown in the US was said to be about people talking about the shows being in sync, lol, no its all about a shift to control content, limit access and so raise fees on the minority who have all that spare time for tv watching, overpaid tv and radio presenters. Most people are in their cars commuting, or something, tv is just a big con, its supposed to be the era of tv and there is sd all on freeview because of this nonsense design to hide price rises on tv shows. If we all turned off broadband tv and just sat to wait for the shows then we’d get them for free, duh. Its the 1% driving the prices up and then geting windfall profits.

    • aerobubble 4.1

      Instead of we all being picked off one by one by tv fees why dont we pharmac it, or better fund a public broadcaster to pick the best and just freeview them. We’d all get better tv if those putting thrir hands in their wallets gave the money to a free broadcaster and so reuce the outflow of money from nz, good for the economy, duh.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      Could you link to your statement on 2 degrees of warming by 2030?

      I personally think that climate change this century is going to be far more severe than punters suspect but 2 degrees by 2030 would be catastrophic

      • aerobubble 4.2.1

        yes, given chinas expansion, the trend of increasing warmer years, last 14 of 15? is a sure bet the next fifteen will.. but im no expert

      • Pasupial 4.2.2

        CV
        I haven’t read through the linked original study yet (and this is way off topic), but this Guardian piece mentions that scenario:

        University of Queensland and Griffith University researchers have developed a “global energy tracker” which predicts average world temperatures could climb 1.5C above pre-industrial levels by 2020.

        That forecast, based on new modelling using long-term average projections on economic growth, population growth and energy use per person, points to a 2C rise by 2030.

        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/10/dangerous-global-warming-will-happen-sooner-than-thought-study

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.2.1

          Thanks Pasupial.

          I think it will take a decade longer than their estimate of 2030 because they have used a projected high level of economic growth from the ‘golden era’ of the last 60 years.

          Of course anyone in the real economy that is not supported by a financial bubble will have realised that the stagnant last 7-8 years where per capita economic growth struggles to reach even 1% might very well be the new normal.

          Still 2040 for 2 deg C rise means we’re all screwed as that puts us on track for a 4 deg C rise by about 2060.

          • Stuart Munro 4.2.2.1.1

            It likely won’t be linear – ice melt suppresses temperature rises in oceans – once most of the ice goes the rise will be steeper.

            • aerobubble 4.2.2.1.1.1

              And all that trapped carbon in ice melt and release from once ice cover tundra warming… …oh but will thatbe balanced by forest growth in Antarctica

      • JonL 4.2.3

        “I personally think that climate change this century is going to be far more severe than punters suspect but 2 degrees by 2030 would be catastrophic”

        It will be. Few signs of cutting back, we’re showing about 5-7 yrs behind emissions in the temp record.the heat is pouring into the oceans – when that sink starts to fill right up, it’s all on…..I reckon 2C by 2030 will be about right, if not conservative.

        • aerobubble 4.2.3.1

          Its like talking to a child. You are forcing the climate to heat… ..child, “not me daddy”.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Notice how the corporations love globalisation – except when it isn’t on their terms.

    And Labour – you guys fucked up by being soft on the TPP. Stringent opposition would have won a shit tonne of votes as more of this bad news leaked out over time.

    But you were too busy cosying up to the corporate establishment to prove your credentials as a safe pair of hands.

  6. saveNZ 6

    Warners Bros takes legal action against Maori TV

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11603350

    Now that our government has spent 5m at least on prosecuting Dotcom on behalf of Warners et el so they don’t have to bother themselves with their own cash or lawyers by making it a criminal change instead of civil dispute, changed our employment law for them for lord or the Rings so people have less rights under contract and given them extra tax breaks, they now take exception to Maori TV….

    Roll on TPPA – lets give these guys MORE POWER than they already have to micro manage our information and use our police and court services… sarc.

    • Chooky 6.1

      pretty pathetic!…really imo it will give the rest of the world a creative boost and may even encourage a boycott of anything to do with Warner Bros and Hollywood….it may even make USA’s best and brightest creative writers move away

      …also ironic considering that much of the profits of the USA film industry is derivative on appropriating the creativity of others around the world and not necessarily making a good job of it eg Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ ( the books are way better than the films)

      … descriptor terms that spring to mind are …schmaltzy, cartoonising, vulgar overuse of visual effects, lack of subtlety

      • Stuart Munro 6.1.1

        Not to mention dwarf jokes, major plot changes, and above all crumbling masonry. The dwarves build fortresses on which armies break like water but in Moria, their capital, building standards weren’t enforced 🙁

  7. b waghorn 7

    So a company wants to stop people stealing their stuff??
    I personally have no problem with that.

    • Pasupial 7.1

      b waghorn
      No; a trade agreement that isn’t even in force yet, is used by our government to legally restrict the content available to NZ viewers. This will have the effect of encouraging pirating of viewing content (arguably theft), rather than preventing it. The people who view content via overseas sites still pay subscription fees at this time.

      • b waghorn 7.1.1

        Please bare with me I’m not being a smart Arse!.
        Netflix has blocks in place to stop nz viewers getting access to stuff they are not paying to watch, therefore they must have the right to stop people circumventing those blocks.
        Saying that making it illegal will cause more people to nick stuff shouldn’t be a case for not doing it surely ?

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          therefore they must have the right to stop people circumventing those blocks.

          What the hell kind of logic is that.

          Just because a farmer puts a gate across a road doesn’t mean he’s allowed to, or that he’s allowed to stop public access to the road.

          Corporations are using the TPP to defend their profits and maximise the money they can pull out of every consumer market.

          The Agreement is doing exactly what it is designed to do.

          Labour know full well that the TPP will increase profit extraction out of NZ by foreign transnational corporations, whether they are the banks or Hollywood.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1

            +1

          • joe90 7.1.1.1.2

            Just because a farmer puts a gate across a road doesn’t mean he’s allowed to, or that he’s allowed to stop public access to the road

            He’s not allowed to restrict access to those who have the right but he most certainly is allowed to negotiate different rates for different buyers of the stock he produces.

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Can that farmer also charge tourists travelling along the road for taking photographs of his alpacas?

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.2.2

              Not really. If he’s selling an item for $10 in one place and then turns around and tries to sell it for $100 dollars in another place then those in the latter place are going to buy from the former place. Simple free-market actions really.

              The problem is that the TPPA is making those simple free-market actions illegal. In other words, it’s operating against free-trade.

        • No.

          Netflix has blocks in place to stop people who ARE paying from accessing stuff licensed to a different country than the one they reside in. (because practice used to be to license things country by country, and for some reason nobody is negotiating international licensing for streaming services yet) Critically, they are paying the US fees, therefore there can be no arguement that any of the US content is not included in their payment or not licensed to them.

          There is absolutely no stealing involved. Netflix gets paid to deliver the content, and the license-holder gets their cut from the licensing deal. Technically, it may violate the terms of their agreement if there is to date no license to show said content outside of the US- but here is the important part- the content is still bought and paid for.

          What Pasupial is saying is that this sort of geoblocking-due-to-licensing difficulties problem is what we call a “service problem.” In that consumers are tired of licensing being done on a per-nation basis, so are voting with their feet by circumventing geoblocks, or if they can’t do that, simply pirating the content.

          If consumers aren’t able to legally access the content they want, they will either circumvent geoblocking (which they are now proposing to make illegal, despite the equivalent for disc-based content being explicitly legal) or outright pirate the content, and if both those two are illegal, it becomes a much higher incentive to pirate the content, because if you know what you’re doing, piracy is easy for the consumer, and generally has a high availability of content.

          Basically, National thinks it’s allowing content owners greater control over how their content is used by making it a crime to circumvent geoblocking. What they’re actually doing is encouraging people to pirate things instead of paying for the content, because if both actions are illegal, the comparative moral cost of piracy lowers, and then it’s an equation between “free, relatively convenient content” and “expensive, relatively convenient content once I set up a way to bill from an overseas credit card and fake billing address.”

          Regardless of whether content-owners have the right to set up restrictions like this, it’s bad business, and we shouldn’t be helping them encourage piracy by making new offenses for them to enforce their failed business model. We should be encouraging them to modernise their licensing deals to be international.

          • b waghorn 7.1.1.2.1

            Thakyou that helps

            • Matthew Whitehead 7.1.1.2.1.1

              No problem, I figured you were probably confusing piracy with circumventing geoblocks. Geoblocks are things like when YouTube says “this content is not available where you live.” They have no relation to the business model of the service using them, and are purely in place because of stupid, region-specific licenses and media company BS.

              • b waghorn

                If only my teachers had had your patience back in the day ,hell I might of got through collage.

                • I like debating with right-wingers. (at least, when it stays intellectual rather than emotive) You kinda have to have some patience to get through an exercise that masochistic. 😉

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      People aren’t stealing their stuff. They’re getting it legally and paying for it.

      It’s more that the company is looking to boost profits by limiting access and decreasing competition.

      • Bob 7.2.1

        “They’re getting it legally and paying for it”
        If they were getting it legally there would be no issue. They are getting access to content that only has rights paid for US viewing, by circumventing this people are actually hurting the artists who act in/write/produce/direct/create the shows.

        What you are advocating is akin to one person paying for Sky TV, then letting everyone else in the world to pay a nominal fee extra each for multi-room. You are still paying for the service, but well below the required rates to cover the cost of the shows on the service. Either the quality/quantity or rights paid to artists has to drop to cover for this illegal practice.

        Of course you would be up in arms if, lets say Warner Bro’s tried to pay artists less because of their drop in income, wouldn’t you? You can’t have it both ways.

        • Actually, at the moment there is nothing illegal about paying for an overseas service and circumventing geoblocking. You might be misrepresenting yourself, but you are still paying the same amount as anyone else for the service. Now, the distributor knowingly allowing you to use that content against their license is illegal, but you haven’t notified them that you would cause a problem for their license. Arguably it’s immoral because you’re violating the license-holder’s rights, but that’s if you believe it’s actually moral to distinguish licensing by country as opposed to, say, by language. (Distinguishing by country makes sense for physical products that need to be shipped to stores. It makes little sense for digital products where small changes need to be made for local regulations and billing, but not in the actual content or the service)

          This is NOT akin to getting a second house on your sky account and calling them “another room” so that you can get sky for $10 a month. This is more like Sky making a decision that they don’t want to operate outside of Auckland, and you getting them to connect up a service to a house inside of Auckland using someone else’s address (and possibly name, but with their explicit consent), and arranging to extend their cables to wherever you live yourself, and paying the full fee to Sky yourself for the service. Nobody is cheating anybody out of fees that make their business work. The only thing you’ve technically done “wrong” is give them incorrect membership information, but then again, you’ve only had to do that because they’ve made a business decision that discriminates against you as their potential customer.

      • Bob 7.2.2

        Also, “It’s more that the company is looking to boost profits by limiting access and decreasing competition”
        This is exactly the opposite of what is happening! Local companies such as Lightbox and Neon have been able to secure the rights to content in New Zealand where this content may be licensed to Netflix in the US. By circumventing geo-blocks, people are effectively helping to create a global monopoly by cutting out the NZ competition.

  8. Neil 8

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Warner Bro’s convinced their puppet John pony tail puller Key to get rid of free to air TV.

    • tc 8.1

      A state broadcaster would do just fine thanks.

    • Richard McGrath 8.2

      User-pays TV might be a good thing – the ins of thousands of Sky TV customers seem to think so.

      • Lucy 8.2.1

        The version we have is really bad but free to air has been gutted so much that something is better than nothing

      • David H 8.2.2

        Sky?? Really they charge you a fortune for what??? more AD filled rubbish. Exactly like free to air. So why would I want to pay $50 per mth for more AD riddled rubbish?

      • The future is with streaming services like Lightbox or Netflix, where you can watch what you want on-demand. Sky will either expand into that area or die soon enough.

        Arguably there’s room for differentiation around streaming vs downloading, (streaming is better for mobile access, downloading gives you more control over the content and the ability to access it if your connection is down) but that’s about it. In the future TVs are going to come with ethernet cables and hard drives, and they’ll act as streaming devices, maybe with some download capacity. Private network TV is likely to go away within a matter of decades.

  9. Richard McGrath 9

    I don’t think it’s so much circumventing the blocks on U.S. Netflix that’s the issue, but breaching copyright and evading paying royalties where they are due. If TPP helps those who have produced TV shows and deserve to be paid for it, then I’m OK with that.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      I don’t think it’s so much circumventing the blocks on U.S. Netflix that’s the issue

      That’s exactly what the issue is.

      If TPP helps those who have produced TV shows and deserve to be paid for it, then I’m OK with that.

      It doesn’t. In fact, it pretty much ensures that they’re lose income from their work because less people will be buying it.

    • When you circumvent geoblocking, you are still paying Netflix, who will either pay the license-holder royalties, or have already paid them a lump sum. Money is still changing hands.

      Now, if circumventing geoblocking is made illegal, it will encourage piracy. Why?

      Because of the economics of consumer morality and convenience. Imagine there are three costs to buying something- $C, (the money cost) $I, (the inconvenience cost) and $M. (the moral cost)

      If the content is available legally through a NZ-based streaming service, the cost works out to $C = (your subscription fee), $I = 1, (a nominal amount, setting up an account and paying the bills regularly) $M = 0. (negligible, unless you have a moral problem with any of the companies involved) For people with disposable income, they will almost always use the streaming service if it is reasonably priced, has a good array of content they want, and is convenient to use.

      If the content is only available through a US-based service, they will often use that service instead. Both tho license-holder and the distributer (netflix in this example) get paid, although the terms of their license are unknowingly breached, as they’re not supposed to be showing outside of the US. Because it’s currently not illegal for a customer to do this, this is mainly an inconvenience cost, setting up means to spoof the distributor, in top of paying them and signing up for the service, raising the $I cost. Due to exchange rates, $C is a bit higher, most likely. $M is either a small cost, or nothing, depending on whether you feel bad for breaking Netflix’s license with the license-holder.

      If circumventing geoblocks is made illegal, the $M and $I prices for US-based streaming services will rise for New Zealanders. This is a very bad thing. Why?

      Because there’s a third option, piracy. It has no $C cost at all, (so people who don’t have disposable income will pirate things they couldn’t have afforded anyway) and due to torrenting websites, $I is pretty low once you find a website that archives torrents. $M is probably quite high for most consumers, as you know nobody is getting paid for making or distributing the content, but here’s the thing- if you’re facing a high $M price for circumventing geoblocks anyway, and the content isn’t available in NZ, then you might not care about the moral cost. You might just pirate it.

      This law will upset the moral costs of paying for content, and drive more people to piracy. It’s actually straight-up bad for licence-holders, they just don’t realise it. And it’s bad for people who enjoy good content, which sadly doesn’t always get licensed to be consumed in NZ, and when it does get licensed, is often significantly delayed so that we get the content months or years later. That sort of thing simply doesn’t fly in the modern world, as for many consumers, a delay is a $I cost.

      Who is it good for that content gets licensed per-nation? Mostly lawyers, as the deals will need to be customised for each nation. Basically everyone else wins if the license-holder and distributor can agree to license things internationally instead- then it will pop up in the NZ version of Netflix without a problem.

  10. Observer (Tokoroa) 10

    Hi

    Given that American films are mostly about guns and unremitting violence, what would happen if the NZ Government were to ban the purchase and screening of such vile stuff?

    Would our Government be indicted by the American Producers?

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    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 ...
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    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
    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
    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
  • 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

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