UK election goes down to the wire

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, June 5th, 2017 - 57 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, International, iraq, uk politics, war - Tags:

Who would have thought even two weeks ago that Labour had a chance of winning the UK election.

It was meant to be a foregone election.  Theresa May’s Conservatives were meant to crush all before them, achieve an increased majority and then proceed to dismantle the last vestiges of the UK’s involvement in the Common Market not to mention the Labour Party.

And Labour would then have a terrible choice.  Continue with Corbyn after the election despite his clear shortcomings or dump him and install some careerist Blairite.  Either choice it was predicted would result in the devastation if not the destruction of Labour.

But some strange things have been happening.

First of all and no matter what happens this has been Corbyn’s campaign.  He has done something very simple.  He has gone out and talked to the people and presented a comprehensive progressive policy platform.  Memo to all wanna be politicians.  Be yourself, talk about what you want to achieve and keep it simple and honest.

In stark contrast Theresa May has attempted to run the most sterilised of campaigns.  She has held herself out as being a strong leader while refusing to engage in any debates.  She has stuck to her strategy despite it clearly not working.  Her policy platform which contained for a short while the much derided dementia tax has not helped and reinforced the perception of the Conservatives being an uncaring party only interested in improving the plight of the rich.

And even the terrorist attacks on London and Manchester may not been helpful for the Conservatives in the way that such attacks traditionally benefit the tough right wing pro tough on terrorists party.  Because one of Corbyn’s main campaign themes, that is the damage being caused by austerity, is very relevant when it is considered that the Conservatives have cut thousands of police jobs and run down the health system.  There is nothing more likely to show the importance of these areas of public infrastructure than a terrorist attack that results in multiple fatalities and injuries.

And this next point needs to be repeated and repeated as Corbyn has been doing for many years.  The most sure fire way of creating terrorism is to oversee the destruction of countries.

Theresa May also has some questions to ask. Since 9/11 Saudi Arabia has been implicated in all sorts of action including support for Al Qaeda and ISIS yet America and the United Kingdom continue to have very cordial relations with that country. And a report prepared for the UK Government on this very issue will almost inevitably be buried at least until after the election.

From the Guardian:

An investigation into the foreign funding and support of jihadi groups that was authorised by David Cameron may never be published, the Home Office has admitted.

The inquiry into revenue streams for extremist groups operating in the UK was commissioned by the former prime minister and is thought to focus on Saudi Arabia, which has repeatedly been highlighted by European leaders as a funding source for Islamist jihadis.

The investigation was launched as part of a deal with the Liberal Democrats in exchange for the party supporting the extension of British airstrikes against Islamic State into Syria in December 2015.

Tom Brake, the Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesman, has written to the prime minister asking her to confirm that the investigation will not be shelved.

The Observer reported in January last year that the Home Office’s extremism analysis unit had been directed by Downing Street to investigate overseas funding of extremist groups in the UK, with findings to be shown to Theresa May, then home secretary, and Cameron.

However, 18 months later, the Home Office confirmed the report had not yet been completed and said it would not necessarily be published, calling the contents “very sensitive”.

A decision would be taken “after the election by the next government” about the future of the investigation, a Home Office spokesman said.

Donald Trump’s claim that more permissive gun laws would have prevented the attack and his criticism of Labour London Mayor Sadiq Khan may not be helpful to May.

https://twitter.com/stavvers/status/871147509145645056

And the polls continue to narrow. The latest Mail on Sunday Survation Poll has the Conservatives ahead by only 1%. Yougov’s latest analysis has the Conservatives ahead by 4%.

Nate Silver has reviewed recent polls and still thinks that the Conservatives are likely to win.  But his post shows how split recent poll results are.  While there may be a liberal bias in the polls and May is safer than people think the mere fact that the polls are all over the place suggest that nothing can be taken for granted.

In recent election after recent election we have seen dramatic swings and unpredictable results.  Politics as usual is no longer working the way it used to.  And this week who knows, Jeremy Corbyn may have a chance of forming a Government.

Who would have predicted this three weeks ago?

57 comments on “UK election goes down to the wire”

  1. saveNZ 1

    Good luck for a win for Corbyn and a reversal from right wing politics that is making the world a more dangerous, divided, polluted, less transparent, more corrupt and poorer place….

    • 808state 1.1

      A reversal from Globalist politics you mean.

      Corbyn is the Bernie of Britain, who was the Trump of the American Left.

      And just like Bernie and Trump, Corbyn is not suppose to be in the game.

      A win for Corbyn would be another blow to the Globalists from the rising force of Populism.

      Western democracies will see a continuing rise of Populism as voters swing wildly Right and Left as they reach for a big stick to punish the unresponsive technocratic elites for the intractable crisis they create/can’t solve – flatlined growth, 3rd World immigration, environmental degradation etc.

  2. Ad 2

    Mickey, could you organize a bar for us to consider the results?

  3. saveNZ 3

    Faces of the mega-rich Tory donors helping raise £19,000 an hour to get Theresa May back into power

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/mega-rich-donors-helping-tories-10447619

    • weka 3.1

      Remember the MMP paper bags on heads? Money can’t save these selfish fucks now.

  4. Andre 4

    It could indeed be that Corbyn is the right leader for Labour to get a boost from the attacks.

    He’s got a long consistent history of advocating a different approach than blowing shit up in other countries and screwing over the strugglers trying to make a new life in the UK. If the mood in the UK becomes “time to try something different coz more of the same isn’t working”, he’s got the record to be a credible different alternative.

  5. Bill 5

    Who would have predicted this three weeks ago?

    A-hem. And now I’m away for a happy play in me sand-pit 🙂

  6. gsays 6

    ” Labour would then have a terrible choice. Continue with Corbyn after the election despite his clear shortcomings or dump him and install some careerist Blairite. Either choice it was predicted would result in the devastation if not the destruction of Labour.”

    What I don’t understand Mickey, is why going with Corbyn as leader will destroy the Labour party.
    Despite the noise and ignorance from guardian reading, Blair fan MPs, surely these polls show the great unwashed are sick of the status quo.

    What is so wrong about having key industries nationalised? E.g. power, gas, water, internet, prison services…
    Maybe, as Jonathon pie has pleaded, people are voting for policies.

    • weka 6.1

      Blairites within Labour hate socialism and would rather the party suffered than be changed.

      • Andre 6.1.1

        You really reckon that’s the source of opposition to Corbyn within Labour? Or maybe it’s just a deeply held belief that overt socialism is unelectable and therefore an overtly socialist leader makes Labour unelectable and that a slower centrist path is the much better chance to make progressive changes? (A belief that’s hopefully about to be proven wrong)

        • weka 6.1.1.1

          By Blairite I was short-handing people who believe socialism is unelectable and want a centrist platform. Do you think there is a difference between third way people and those who prefer a slower centrist path to progressive change? (I’m sure there are subsets to those who oppose Corbyn). I’m not sure progressive change is possible via a centrist position, isn’t it by definition status quo?

          • Andre 6.1.1.1.1

            “I’m not sure progressive change is possible via a centrist position, isn’t it by definition status quo?”

            Well, look how far NZ has shifted with 9 years of a “centrist” government. If it can go one way slowly and steadily, it can go the other way slowly and steadily.

            Personally, when the indications are that a party wanting to take a big leap is unelectable, I’ll swallow hard and accept the slow patient route as a better choice than moving the wrong way. So I’m not about to bag elected representatives that take that approach. But I’d be delighted to be proven wrong, and I suspect most of the centrist Labour representatives would be too.

            That view kind of evolved out of seeing Hillary try the big leap approach with US healthcare (and fail), and the Democrats getting hammered for it in the next mid-terms, then Bill developing the “triangulation” approach to try to get some movement in a progressive direction.

            • weka 6.1.1.1.1.1

              National aren’t a centrist government. The Overton Window and how it has shifted tells us that, but do do National’s policies.

              Tell me, if you were able to vote in the UK who would you vote for?

              • Andre

                As far as I can tell, in the electorate National are generally seen to be centrist. And in politics, image is just about everything.

                Who would I vote for in the UK? I would really want to vote Green, but in the end I would vote for whichever candidate out of Greens, Labour, LibDem, SNP that was most likely to beat the Conservatives (or UKIP if they were a leader) in the electorate I was in. Even if that meant voting for a recidivist Blairite (with my hazmat gear on).

                • mickysavage

                  Haha in Scotland I would almost vote SNP. Otherwise Labour mostly …

                • weka

                  “As far as I can tell, in the electorate National are generally seen to be centrist. And in politics, image is just about everything.”

                  Sorry, but in the context of this conversation that is a nonsense. You’re saying that there is no political reality beyond the image. So policy, where NZ has been in previous decades, how NZ fits into an international political context, none of those things matter. The party with the biggest budget for PR gets to define what is left or right.

                  I don’t believe that in the electorate that is true. You’d have to ask people about things like values and history. What you’re talking about is MSM infotainment and spin, that’s not actual politics despite how much it affects politics now. And sure, Corbyn’s lot have got some good PR people now, but the reason they are shifting things is because of social democratic policy (or whatever it’s called) and because he is a genuine person.

          • Incognito 6.1.1.1.2

            I’m not sure progressive change is possible via a centrist position, isn’t it by definition status quo?

            That’s an interesting point weka.

            I am no political purist or pedant and I have always associated “the centre” with being ‘moderate’, i.e. not necessarily against (progressive) change but in small measured steps if you know what I mean. I thought the centre would thus be the base or starting position from which change could or would come. In addition, the (political) centre is not an immobile, inert and absolute point but itself changes over and with time. I guess I’m showing my (political) naïvety again 😉

            • weka 6.1.1.1.2.1

              I’m thinking centre in this case is Peter Dunne, who by definition doesn’t want progressive. He wants to hold the left and the right in balance, and he wants to stop the Overton Window shifting back left again.

              My own view is that change comes from the edge, and the centre adapts around those new ideas and actions. Conservatives (where the centre is currently) resist that because they are by nature conserving the status quo and uncomfortable with radical change. There is value in that when the centre is further left, but not when it is as far right as it is currently. So in that sense I understand what you mean about change being able to happen slowly from the centre, just not when the centre is off balance.

              I suspect that the flaw in this discussion is trying to argue on a flat line. We call neoliberalism RW, but I think it’s something else entirely. Third way perhaps, and we still haven’t come to terms with it.

              • Andre

                Seems to me Dunne is the ultimate example of a status-quo-ist. He found a comfy spot with Labour and was able to slide that over into a comfy spot with National. He doesn’t want to move anything anywhere.

                Whereas Key was quite happy and effective in moving things with slow steady pressure from a centrist position, so he never appeared to be very far from a centrist position. But look how far he shifted the centre. ACT out on the edge weren’t driving any change, Key just used them as a useful tool to justify some of his faster moves further from the centre.

              • Incognito

                Thanks.

                It seems to me that it is entirely possible to be a centre party and make policies that go in either direction whilst the political ‘centre of gravity’ doesn’t move (too) much. Some ideas, for want of a better word, are orthogonal to the political Left-Right axis.

                I think many people are quite moderate in their beliefs and actions with the odd ‘solar flare’ at the edges of their thinking & behaviour; a loop that is fixed at both ends. This metaphor could easily be taken further …

        • swordfish 6.1.1.2

          Andre “You really reckon that’s the source of opposition to Corbyn within Labour?”

          Blair (in the run-up to the 2015 Labour Leadership Election):

          The Independent: Tony Blair says he wouldn’t want a left-wing Labour party to win an election

          Tony Blair has said he would not want a left-wing Labour party to win a general election. The former prime minister said that even if he thought a left-wing programme was the route to victory, he would not adopt one.

          The wonderful old showbiz chanteuse also suggested:

          The party is walking eyes shut, arms outstretched, over the cliff’s edge to the jagged rocks below … If Jeremy Corbyn becomes leader it won’t be a defeat like 1983 or 2015 at the next election. It will mean rout, possibly annihilation.

          And, if I remember rightly, he and other Blairite / Brownite critics of Corbyn put a specific figure on that putative “rout”, suggesting he’d drive Labour support down well below 20% at the following Election if he was still leading.

          • Andre 6.1.1.2.1

            It takes a really special kind of arse to direct his intelligence agencies to sex-up the dossiers to justify going to war with a dimwitted Alfred E. Neuman lookalike.

            I suspect most of his acolytes aren’t in that league of arsery. Just entranced by his (former) ability to generate electoral success.

    • mickysavage 6.2

      What I don’t understand Mickey, is why going with Corbyn as leader will destroy the Labour party.

      I should clarify this. Corbyn’s clear shortcomings are his inability to play the game. If he wins being himself then great. If he loses then he is not good at playing the game, no matter how decent he is.

      If he loses badly then the Blairites will be after him and will stop at nothing. Civil war is likely to destroy the Labour Party.

      If he loses honourably then they will not be able to do this.

      And I agree with you about the policies …

      • Incognito 6.2.1

        By “playing the game” do you mean uniting the caucus?

      • weka 6.2.2

        Micky, do you believe it is a short-coming of JC’s to not be good at playing the game?

      • gsays 6.2.3

        Cheers, Mickey.
        For me one person’s ‘shortcomings’ are another’s breath of fresh air.

        As opposed to Mays Crosby textor scripted utterances, clearly out of her depth if spontaneity should occur.

        I get Corbyn can come across as not all over all detail, however in the few times I have watched him, his sincerity shines through.

        ‘It’s the vibe’.

  7. dukeofurl 7

    What hasnt worked for the Tories is a campaign designed by Crosby where the Conservatives push so called ‘red Tory’ or ‘labour Lite’ policies designed to capture labour leaning voters- while all the while having the usual harsh measures against working people hidden behind the curtain.
    Lot of publicity material apparently doesnt even mention the word ‘Conservative’ , instead focusing on May’s name and image

    The poor Tory polling in the last weeks of the campaign will have sent national in NZ into a bit of a spin as they have done much the same- from the same advisors.
    While the electorate system may yet save May, in NZ MMP works differently
    ( stangely Scotlands parliament version of MMP ended up giving the SNP more seats than their share of the vote as they used a regionalised list MPs)

    • mickysavage 7.1

      If Labour in the UK wins then Labour in NZ needs to get real staunch real quickly. And mean it.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 7.1.1

        ….and even if UK Labour only nearly wins, NZ Labour has a HUGE lesson to learn.

        Turn left (or at least socialist) for victory!

      • Bill 7.1.2

        On the basis that politicians and their views/prejudices are a wee bit more set than say if we were asking what they’d like from today’s menu at the restaurant, – what you reckon the chances of a shift with that 40% controlling “lock” in place?

        Every instance of a shift (with the exception of Trudeau’s “rhetoric and no substance” outflanking the left in Canada) has come from an influx of members who have been able to exert real influence.

        To (ahem) labour the point, anything over 40 members in NZ Labour is a waste of time and energy because that “lock” means they can never have any influence exceeding that would be had by 40 members. (Best scenario is 40 members who are all reading from the exact same page – and even then, they will not be able to push change)

        Is there anything on the cards that is going to remove that 40/40/20 piece of nonsense?

  8. Adrian Thornton 8

    Has anyone heard anything from Little or NZ Labour regarding Corbyn of late?
    Would be interesting to hear what they are thinking about this turn of events…

    • Anne 8.1

      I suspect they’re waiting to see what happens Adrian. If UK Labour wins or comes within a whisker of winning, I’m looking forward to NZ Labour showing less timidity and coming out fairly and squarely on the side of socially progressive policy. They’re more than halfway there (thanks in part to David Cunliffe) so they haven’t too far to go now.

  9. esoteric pineapples 9

    I predicted about a week ago that if the race continued to be close, to expect to see more terrorist attacks, which there has now been. Serious thought has to be given as to who is behind these attacks and why an Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organisation would prefer to have a hardline government in power in Britain. With the exception of acts of lone individuals, terrorist groups need a patron to support and assist them. Who are the patrons for these attacks. Saudi Arabia, Quatar and Turkey are among the states supporting ISIS. When I think of Saudi Arabia, I think of arms sales and oil. Would Saudi Arabia prefer a Conservative or Labour government? I would think the former. Just speculation but given Britain is now the second biggest arms exporter in the world and one of the major suppliers in the Middle East there would be a few people who want the election to go a certain way.

  10. mosa 10

    The only way of helping rid the world’s social democrat parties of neo liberalism including our own is a strong clear result for a socialist alternative that is elected and supported by the people in the British general election.

    That would be a start.

  11. David Mac 11

    Policy aside, I wonder if there is a world wide fashion for favouring the underdog. All cultures do to a degree but is our median mindset sliding that way?

    Back the ‘They haven’t got a hope’ for no better reason than ‘They’re not supposed to have a hope.’

    I’m not suggesting Corbyn’s platforms aren’t stimulating voters, I think there is an underdog factor at play too. After the treatment he received from his party and he has hung in there, it’s a good underdog story.

    Same as here, the man in the street can’t name 3 key Labour policies, I think the give terrier Jeremy a go aspect is a factor in his new found popularity.

  12. David Mac 12

    I think the same dynamic can be applied to Andrew but for all the right reasons. Rather than withstanding a volley of 1000 arrows from his friends. Andrew has brought a culture of unity to the Labour Party that it hasn’t seen since Helen.

    There is an important difference between the 2 ways Helen and Andrew instill harmony. Both are effective but one has a life-span. Fear works great, for a period. The opposite of fear is love. Nobody is scared of Andrew, he needed to do it with love.

    Wow there are some strong spirits in that Labour shadow caucus. All pushing and pulling in different directions under the roof of our broad whare. I’d struggle to get 2 of them seeing eye to eye. Little has done it. Brought unity and love to that band of hot-heads. Anyone that can do that, running a country is easy.

    • Anne 12.1

      Andrew has brought a culture of unity to the Labour Party that it hasn’t seen since Helen.

      He has indeed and he did it despite the volley of a 1000 arrows from the MSM. They willed him to fail and he didn’t. If he can wield together a disparate party like Labour into a cohesive force for good, then he can do it for the country as a whole. He has the makings of a strong and forceful leader and – like Helen Clark – he doesn’t abide fools. A point (imo) which is very much in his favour.

  13. Ad 13

    “We just needed another four weeks”
    (Drink)

    “It was The Guardian’s fault”
    (Drink)

    “It was the Blairite’s fault”
    (Drink)

    “It was MI6 planting the terrorist attacks that did it”
    (Drink)

    “We were never going to win against the media”
    (Drink)

    “They just don’t understand”
    (Drink)

    Could be a long night.

  14. Sanctuary 14

    Central to the revolt against the managerialist liberal centre in Europe and the USA is the impact of the GFC. It cannot be overstated how well NZ came through this crisis compared to Europe and the USA – largely due to the financial stewardship of Michael Cullen, remember Brash was screaming for tax cuts and he would have blown the lot and borrowed for more just as the crisis hit. Europe, especially the PIIGS, and the US was badly hit. Ten years on and all that can be promised is still endless austerity. After ten years of little or no recovery, the precariat and the poor is now in open electoral revolt against the technocrats and managers of the middle class across the US and Europe.

    Isolated from the great centres of ideas, with an intellectually sterile cadre party model, hobbled for the last decade with neoliberal deadwood and with no great choate engine of popular anger the NZ Labour party is becalmed ideologically in the 1990s and, as it sees it, without any great economic crisis to undermine the validity of the current ruling consensus it still sees itself merely as alternate managers the neoliberalism.

    It is a pity, because the public is (and always has) been hungry not just for sterile messages of technocratic competence but also for messages of hope. More to the point, socialism can only exxist with hope for a better future. What is socialism, if it isn’t about a theory of scientific progression to a better future? As demonstrated by Corbyn, all Labour has to do to get out of the polling doldrums is announce a few actually socialist policies aimed at the vast bulk of the population.

    • Bill 14.1

      Putting aside the analysis that the GFC may well have simply been a N. Atlantic FC, and also putting aside notions of socialism in a parliamentary setting…

      Maybe that’s all that “they” have – sterile messages of technocratic competence?

      You can’t fake values and conviction. Anyone who ever tries gets tripped and hammered because their ‘nice sounding’ stuff has no anchor or grounded reference point. That has huge implications for the notion that “they” simply roll out policies aimed at the vast bulk of the population.

      The fact that “they’ve” happily played the role of being alternate managers the neoliberalism these past however many years, strongly suggests “they” simply don’t possess suitable values (values don’t get put in a drawer and packed away for a rainy day).

      So we’re back to a possible influx of politically engaged people getting into parties and forcing various hands or wedging factions or whatever – but in the case of Labour, any influx thumps against that 40% mechanism that serves as an effective means of containment (vivre le status quo!) 👿

    • RedLogix 14.2

      Nicely written Ad.

      But as Bill says, they lack all conviction.

  15. Phil 15

    In stark contrast Theresa May has attempted to run the most sterilised of campaigns. She has held herself out as being a strong leader while refusing to engage in any debates. She has stuck to her strategy despite it clearly not working.

    Regardless of Corbyn’s pros-‘n’-cons, it’s apparent now that the Tory’s have run a terrible campaign and May has, to put it bluntly, shit the bed.

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    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 ...
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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