Vulnerable Children: The big picture

Written By: - Date published: 9:29 am, September 18th, 2013 - 43 comments
Categories: activism, class war, greens, hone harawira, labour, mana, paula bennett, phil twyford, poverty, same old national, unemployment - Tags: ,

Yesterday Paula Bennett introduced the First Reading of the Vulnerable Children Bill.  There is no doubt action is needed to deal with New Zealand’s appalling record of violence against children.  However, as opposition MPs argue, it needs to take into account the bigger picture of poverty, social context, and state agencies such as WINZ being in need of vast improvement.

It was hard to take Bennett’s expressed concern for anyone that is vulnerable, let alone children, following her ongoing attacks on beneficiaries.

Yesterday Sue Bradford’s post (Beneficiary ‘impact’ demonstrates reality of Nats’ war on the poor: but will Labour under Cunliffe do any better?) reported on last week’s AAAP, Impact advocacy action in New Lynn. She describes the desperate conditions in which many low income people are living, and the ways in which WINZ is not coping with pressing needs.

I met a number of sole mums living in horrendous conditions – overcrowded, cold and hungry, washing clothes by hand in the middle of winter and bunking down with their babies and young children in cramped, pest-infested accommodation not fit for humans.  It is no wonder so many children – and their parents – suffer chronic major illness.

It is hard not to feel angry when you find Work and Income turning people down for desperately needed food, clothing or appliance grants; not informing people of their full entitlements; and leaving seriously ill or disabled people on worktested benefits.

Opposition parties will support the Bill to committee stage. As Green MP Jan Logie said in her First Reading speech, the Greens will be guided by the submissions in their decisions about whether to give any further support to the Bill. Logie argued that the Bill doesn’t look at the wider social environment, but focuses on individuals in isolation.  She said there is a need to resource families and make it as easy as possible to get help, while inequalities distance people with the least from the mainstream. Logie also pointed to the problems of social workers being overloaded with cases.

In a press release, Hone Harawira says that

“Government wants to up the reporting of child abuse, even though Child Youth and Family admit that they haven’t even got the resources to deal with their current caseload” said Harawira.

“They’re talking about vetting hundreds of thousands of government workers, which is going to cost millions in itself, without even knowing if it will actually help protect our kids. “

And they want to sack anyone accused of offending against children – no investigation, no trial, no appeal – that’s a recipe for persecution if ever I heard one, and no guarantee that kids will be better protected. “

And all of that simply reinforces the belief that government is happy to take the stick to poor families, but won’t help them by increasing the minimum wage, or investing in job creation, or backing a feed the kids programme in schools, or even letting them stay in their state houses.

“I don’t doubt that the Minister is sincere in wanting to protect vulnerable children, but it all rings hollow when her government’s only measures are all punitive.

Jacinda Ardern’s press release says that,

“We still have major concerns around the risk predictor model and will confirm our position on the Vulnerable Children’s Bill following public submissions and the select committee process.

“We also believe more work needs to be done on the wider issues of child well-being, including child poverty.

This makes similar points to those given in her speech at yesterday’s First Reading.

Phil Twyford’s speech was particularly significant.  He pointed out that the government speakers for the Bill were at pains to distance themselves from issues of poverty and inequality. Twyford argued that social context, poverty and income inequalities, while not specifically causing child abuse, were underlying risk factors.

Links between child abuse, poverty and inequality are shown in the UNICEF 2006 report on violence against children (pp.30-2). It explains that measures to counter violence against children should include the reduction of:

[…] social and economic inequalities. Governments should analyse the impact of public policies on the vulnerability of communities and their children to violence, and commit substantial investment to the implementation of social, housing, employment, and quality education policies and programmes. Priority should be given to approaches that focus on poverty and improving linkages, participation and social networks within and between different community groups, thereby fulfilling economic, social and cultural rights; …

Social and economic risk factors are also addressed in a submission to the UN, coordinated by UNICEF New Zealand.

The relationship between poverty and violence is associated with the increased stresses that arise out of poverty, with the social alienation that accompanies poverty, with reduced access to supportive services and with lack of information about personal rights and entitlements.

Addressing violence must include a focus on addressing socio-economic disadvantage.

Green MP Catherine Delahunty’s speech, in talking about vulnerable children in a “holistic way”, focused on our violent society.  She also pointed out the links between violence against children and domestic violence against women. She is critical that the Bill does not address the issue of poverty and extra vulnerabilities of many women and children trying to escape from an abusive partner/father.

Delahunty’s argument is supported by domestic violence statistics as reported by NZ Women’s Refuges.The UNICEF NZ submission to the UN, also reported on the link between “domestic (or partner) violence and violence to children”:

Violence to children is closely linked to interpersonal violence between adults.

There is a need to scrutinise the progress of this Bill carefully and critically, so that the government does not get away with separating vulnerable children from issues of poverty and income inequalities. Furthermore there needs to be on-going pressure to improve the capabilities of  agencies such as WINZ.

43 comments on “Vulnerable Children: The big picture”

  1. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1

    The person I really feel sorry for is James Parker. So much deprivation led him to the sorry situation he is in today. I am just glad someone is brave enough to speak out for him.

  2. One Anonymous Knucklehead 2

    Prof. Sir Peter Gluckman’s recent report identified MSD as wanting evidence for their policies.

    No wonder the Tories are in denial.

  3. Ad 3

    Ardern and Twyford should stop dicking around and support this bill. Labour gets on the wrong side of this they will get minced by Bennett. Select Committees these days change very very little other than a brave little minority report. Time we put the precautionary approach into managing children.

    • karol 3.1

      It’s not just Ardern and Twyford that are giving conditional support to the Bill, but Harawira and the Greens.

      They all state clearly they think something needs to be done to protect vulnerable children, but they have concerns about the means of achieving it via the Bill. these need to be highlighted.

      Ardern is calling for a plan that gets cross party support – Bennett is rejecting that – she is the one that should be minced.

      From Ardern’s press release – linked to in my post.

      “Not only is Labour committed to establishing a Ministry for Children, a Children’s Minister and a greater role for the Children’s Commissioner, we also remain committed to a cross party approach to child wellbeing and protection.

      “While the Government has, so far, not accepted several offers from us to work with it on the Children’s Action Plan, submissions on the Green Paper for Vulnerable Children overwhelmingly supported a collaborative approach to policy in this area.

      “Accordingly I have written to Social Development Minister Paula Bennett today, outlining Labour’s intention to support work being done on the Plan, specifically around children’s teams.

      “We still have major concerns around the risk predictor model and will confirm our position on the Vulnerable Children’s Bill following public submissions and the select committee process.

      “We also believe more work needs to be done on the wider issues of child well-being, including child poverty.

    • Time we put the precautionary approach into managing children.

      Or, to put it another way, “Time to ditch the rule of law and the presumption of innocence.” It’s always that time if you’re an authoritarian, but hopefully not if you’re a Labour MP.

      As to poverty as a major risk factor for violence against children, yes it is and everyone knows it. But would you really want a National government coming up with policies based on the assumption that the poor are more likely to be child abusers? They wouldn’t be very pleasant policies, you can bet.

      I certainly agree that “Governments should analyse the impact of public policies on the vulnerability of communities and their children to violence…” In this country, that would result in some recognition that policies that have brought us to having large numbers of children exposed to the most serious risk factors for neglect and violence (those being: raised on a benefit; living with an unrelated male adult) are perhaps not in society’s best interest. Where that would lead us would probably also not greatly enthuse Sue Bradford.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 3.2.1

        @ Populuxe,

        You make an extremely good point here, however can you take a look at your conclusion?

        “Where that would lead us would probably also not greatly enthuse Sue Bradford.”

        There just hasn’t been enough emphasis on the people in our economic approaches. How humans respond and are effected have been categorically denied.

        Now your comment seems to suggest that if these effects, the impact of policies, were finally looked at, that draconian ambulance-at-the-bottom-of -the-cliff measures are the only response possible.

        You are presenting a no-improvement-possible scenario. “If the problem is looked at draconian measures will ensue; that would be no good, so lets all go back to shutting our eyes.”

        There is another option here. The impact of policies could be assessed and there could be a shift in the policies pursued toward policies that rate human factors as important.

        • Populuxe1 3.2.1.1

          Um, not me – I think you mean Psycho Milt

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 3.2.1.1.1

            Eek, yes I mean Psycho Milt, sorry Populuxe1, how absent-minded of me!

        • Psycho Milt 3.2.1.2

          I’m just saying be careful what you wish for. If we start to analyse what policies are putting children at risk of violence, we’ll need to figure out whether any public policies are encouraging the raising of children on a benefit and the presence of non-related adult males in their homes, and what could be done to discourage those things. I guess there are ‘positive’ things we could do, but most of the things that spring to mind fall more into your category of ‘Draconian.’ Personally, I don’t mind which category we go for, as long as we do something at least.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 3.2.1.2.1

            @ Psycho Milt (got your name correct this time!)

            Yes, it is very good to keep an eye out for unintended consequences and reminding everyone of such is a good activity. I do believe that prior to this government, that part of the process regarding consequences was taken very seriously!

            Despite taking considering-the-consequences seriously, however, I do think that successive governments have focussed on quick-fix ambulance-at-the-bottom-of-the-hill type remedies, so-much-so that they have been blinded to more productive answers. (Perhaps this has been due to too much influence from certain sectors who pressure governments to keep wages and working conditions low.). Blinded, also to the way their wider policies may be creating high levels of unemployment.

            Short-term approaches such as how DPB recipients have been given a way harder time for way longer than a single unemployed person. (I have usually concluded that this must be to try and get them off a benefit so that their children don’t get to be ‘normalized’ to such.) And the draconian measures they take toward cutting assistance to those in relationships and on welfare.

            Sadly these above approaches leads to more likelihood of the type of poverty trap that leads to a cycle of dare-I-say-it ‘welfare dependancy’.

            While members of government continue to believe that people ‘stay’ on benefits because they are lazy or ‘wrong-minded’, and omit to realise it is due to some people having more obstacles than others and that their own policies are creating poverty traps, poor working conditions, lack of jobs and ever-increasing obstacles toward up-skilling, then I daresay we will continue along the track of draconian measures.

            • Greywarbler 3.2.1.2.1.1

              I think when one looks at how DPB beneficiaries were treated (I understand it has now been changed greatly), it is necessary to look at the moralistic, blaming and shaming attitudes that became prevalent when Jenny Shipley was PM.

              Just dealing with the job of assisting single/solo parents to be good child raisers, and to keep in the work force to some extent increasing as the children get older, is of little importance in its totality. The WINZ approach is based on the idea of DPB people being immoral, feckless, irresponsible leading to the judgmental model of old-fashioned cold charity.

          • miravox 3.2.1.2.2

            ” the presence of non-related adult males in their homes, and what could be done to discourage those things.”

            There’s a serious problem of making public policy so draconian, and so discriminatory that children may be in at least as much risk from being raised in violence due to the presence of a related adult male in their home because there is no means to leave.

  4. Rogue Trooper 4

    Dear Poorlah, past behaviour is a correlated, though insufficient predictor of future behaviour. There FIFY!

    Individualistic approach- tick
    social work overburden- tick
    women abuse children- tick
    violent society- tick

    NB: It is predicted that 50% of the youth in some regions will be of Maori ethnicity in the coming decades

    However, I’m cool with this Bill (not the bs rhetoric necessary to pass it) and if it were not for Mercy, would seek the placement of a Child Harm Prevention Order on somebody I know quite well.
    Still, Mercy before Judgement, and don’t trust the Law Enforcement agencies. 😉

  5. Ad 5

    I can’t think of anything more weasly than setting up a Ministry for Children, or an upgraded Commissioner for Anything. Purest duck-shoving. Of course poverty is about everything, everything must be done. But that’s nothing to do with this bill in reality.

    Not a time to be weak about a basic protection measure. The progressives should get on board.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1

      Not a time for macho-wanker posturing that will achieve sweet fuck all, either, so what’s your excuse, chump?

      • Ad 5.1.1

        Let me introduce you to Common Accountabiolity Platforms. The last time Labour tried anything remotely as good as this was in the Growth and Innovation Framework – which was largely economic devleopment in focus. Common accountability means everyone’s at-risk components are at risk, everyone actually has to act toegther and sign off on single plans, no new bullshit weak-ass Departments or quangoes are formed, and everyone gets to put up common budget bids – that’s what sends a ripple up Treasury and the Minister of Finacne when it comes to the real resource share. That also means Ministers are forced to work together if they are going to get the resource at the Cabinet table, and everyone’s ass hangs out in front of the media for stuff-ups.

        And then they are commonly accountable for the results.

        “The Bill introduces a new requirement for certain Chief Executives to collectively develop, and report on a vulnerable children’s plan.

        That plan must set out how these agencies will work together towards collectively achieving the Government’s priorities for vulnerable children.

        Chief Executives will have to report annually on the plan and answer to the responsible Minister on whether, or the extent to which each agency has implemented the plan for these kids.

        The plan will be made public.

        Do not underestimate the power of this unprecedented move.

        Never before in this country have the Chief Executives of Health, Education, Police, and Justice had this specific accountability for vulnerable children.

        Now they will, alongside the Ministry of Social Development of course.”

        If Ardern or the Greens had come up with that scale of cold hard machinery I would be singing their praises. What they do not need to do is whine right now. They need to see the scale of it.

        • karol 5.1.1.1

          The opposition parties are supporting it in the first instance. It is the role of opposition parties to subject government policies to in depth scrutiny.

          That’s not whining, that’s democracy in action.

          This government’s past record shows a disregard for democracy and wide public scrutiny of the proposed laws.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1.1.2

          Ad, sure, that’s what the government and opposition are doing, but I was talking about you.

          • Rogue Trooper 5.1.1.2.1

            lol (sorry Ad, yet I was really enjoying your explication and confirmation) Thank-you.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1.1.3

          PS: you’re joking, right? How will “accountability” fix the economic pressures that cause the problem? Is it going to stop the National Party slashing wages and attacking beneficiaries?

          • Ad 5.1.1.3.1

            No but it will do its intended job of making children safer from deviants, dorks, and childhood-destroyers. I am sure you have a glorious silver bullet for solving poverty. So go right ahead. Meantime, there’s your explanation of what the bill actually does.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1.1.3.1.1

              Here’s how “accountability” will work in practice: when someone’s employment suffers because they’ve been held “accountable”, their lawyer will point out that violence against children is driven by inequality, not accountability, and the employment court will agree, and award compensation.

              Still at least they’re “getting tough on crime”, eh? Jesus wept.

            • karol 5.1.1.3.1.2

              In her speech at the First Reading, linked in my post, Ardern agrees on the importance of the overall plan. She says Labour supports it, but will aim to revise and develop the plan when in government. She agrees that it needs cross party support. however, she says she wants it links more to Labour’s plan to work to alleviate poverty. There needs to be a targeted plan for this.

  6. tricledrown 6

    Meanwhile in the UK the libdems have finally got their policy to feed every child at school up and running.
    Research has shown their is a 20% increase in learning.
    Mean while Blame the parents is the only policy Nact have.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Clegg trying to shore up the remnants of his social democratic credentials. Lib Dems have previously opposed Labour city councillors from introducing similar programmes.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 6.2

      “Research has shown their is a 20% increase in learning.”

      Ya hungry there, yourself, tricledown?

  7. ghostrider888 7

    Let me tell you a little secret from the other side, cos’ the people whose abusive behaviour arising from their need to beat small children, or use them, including their own children, for sexual gratification has not been observed , are very deceptive, to others and themselves.

    • Ad 7.1

      Agreed. This needs to turn into the GCSB for the protection of children.

    • miravox 7.2

      +1 ghost. Deceptive and others are wilfully ignorant. Too quick to explain away what is staring them in the face.

      Unless vulnerable children legislation is going to deal with deceptiveness – and it can’t -, it may make kids lives worse as possible whistleblower adults look for greater proof before dobbing or keep away so they can remain wilfully ignorant.

      I’m also not sure how the legislation would define vulnerable children. As others have said there’s context to this. Some legislation already conflicts with the puported aim of this govt to keep children safe. Not just social welfare stuff, but also housing, legal aid, relationship counselling, women’s refuges and access to drug and alcohol treatment, just for starters.

      • karol 7.2.1

        I was listening to RNZ when I was driving this afternoon. On the Panel (yeah, I know), they had a lawyer interviewed who had read the Vulnerable Children Bill. He said that there would be an escalation in admin under this Bill should it become law as it is. It would be up to teachers, health staff, social workers etc, to manage claims that a person wasn’t safe to be around children. It wild involve lots of meetings etc. It would be a very costly process.

        So, basically, it would be up to the professionals to decide which “children”, apparently under 18 years, who would be designated as vulnerable to abuse.

        Then there’s also the problem that people will be designated as unsafe to be around children, without the need for legal level of proof.

        • Ad 7.2.1.1

          Survey New Zealand’s landscape of sexual abuse, child violence, rapes and molestations that never go to trial, and of those that do the miniscule level of convictions, and ask the hard question: is it still not time to act on clear suspicion – and continue New Zealand’s violence record on a world leading scale … or is it time at least to start with every single relevant government department was jointly held accountable for their safety?

          This culture shows no signs of believing what children say happens to them, so something else has to happen.

          We still (currently) have an RMA and biosecurity Acts with precautionary approaches to the environment, but not a precautionary approach to the safety of children?

          It’s time we challenged that. This bill does.

          • miravox 7.2.1.1.1

            “We still (currently) have an RMA and biosecurity Acts with precautionary approaches to the environment, but not a precautionary approach to the safety of children?

            It’s time we challenged that. This bill does”

            This bill is the equivalent of arresting someone for bringing in an apple off a plane. If you want full the RMA and biosecurity precautionary equivalent you’ll be looking at UNICEF submissions the post has linked to.

            A GCSB equivalent won’t fix it either, unless you’re going to put hidden cameras in every private space.

        • miravox 7.2.1.2

          Thanks Karol,

          Seems to me they’re not dealing with the ordinariness of reckless, stressed and plain nasty adults, in shitty situations, who have access to kids every day and that’s what the submissions you’ve linked to highlight.

          However, the Children’s Action Plan is extensive and important in many ways. But – is the Risk Predictor Model the major concern for Labour? Jacinda’s press release needed to be clearer about the issues with this. It means nothing to most people, as written, and the model is probably is part of the equation – if the data is there to safely predict at risk children, then use it (but don’t rely on it).

          Where as the risk predictor model is simply a tool, other parts of the plan actually change the direction of child protection quite dramatically without addressing the causes or necessarily creating lasting solutions.

          The biggest problems is context of people’s lives. There’s not a lot to address social as well as financial problems – poor lives, poor housing and rundown neighbourhoods with vulnerable people squashed into them, also stressed lives and ignored lives (at any income level). Funding for addiction problems and leaving or repairing failing relationships safely need to be boosted, not reduced. Current government moves in these areas have increased the likelihood of vulnerable children, imo.

          The action plan also dishes out response plans to charities and purchasing services for them (see how well this has worked in aged care). It’s a massive ideological change in it’s own right that will bring in all sorts of people into children’s lives and this is where the panel discussion you mentioned is important. No wonder the government feels the need to bring in the vetting legislation first.

          • karol 7.2.1.2.1

            I understand many people are concerned about a risk predictor approach to potential perpetrators of child abuse. The concern is that it doesn’t require a legal level of proof, but a suspicion and judgment by social workers, teachers etc.

            This quote from the Harawira pres release is relevant:

            And they want to sack anyone accused of offending against children – no investigation, no trial, no appeal – that’s a recipe for persecution if ever I heard one, and no guarantee that kids will be better protected. “

            Yes, miravox, everyone agrees that something needs to be done, and that there is possibly potential in Bennett’s Bill, but there are also many concerns that need to be looked at.

            • miravox 7.2.1.2.1.1

              I’m not sure Hone and Jacinda are talking about the same thing.

              Hone’s issue seems more specific to vetting. Clearly there is overlap. The risk predictor model, if it’s the one I think Jacinda is talking about, is more likely to identify parents at risk of abusing children, I would have thought.

              Hone’s comment is, however a good example of explaining how he sees the vetting problem. And he’s right, can you imagine the effect if a perfectly innocent person had to go about their life with this label attached? Or on children if say, a parent was accused in malice? Now that’s how to make a vulnerable child and vulnerable adult.

              Jacinda’s otoh, simply says they have major concerns about the risk predictor model – based on what? She doesn’t say. I’m assuming it’s this page of the children’s action plan

              And what’s the counter? The government can just roll out this MSD page:

              Ministry of Social Development commissioned the University of Auckland’s to consider how predictive modelling could be used to target early intervention to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect, and improve outcomes for children and young people.

              The University of Auckland’s research developed a predictive risk model for children in a cohort who had contact with the benefit system before age two. These children accounted for 83% of all children in for whom findings of substantiated maltreatment were recorded by age 5.

              This research indicates that predicting risk modelling had a fair, approaching good, power in predicting which of the young children having contact with the benefit system would be the subject of substantiated maltreatment by age five. This is similar to the predictive strength of mammograms for detecting breast cancer in the general population

              Whose side will the public be on? ‘Oh, the model can identify a few adults that can be tagged as potential abusers… collateral damage,’ they may say.

              NB – note that the model was tested using beneficiaries data. The report says it may be difficult to increase it to cover the wider community due to data limitations (see page 33 of rprt. Link on the MSD page above) – more stigmatisation and gaps in the whole programme if this is the case. That’s a big problem, I reckon. I wonder if Jacinda thinks so too.

              • karol

                miravox, I think Hone’s point about the risk of false accusations and Ardern’s reference to the risk-predictor model are linked. If a child is considered at risk, then they must be considered to be at risk of abuse from someone.

                In her speech, linked to in my post, Ardern talks about the risk predictor model then later says their concerns about this will be dealt with more by Andrew Little in his speech. She talks about the concern around the proposed new civil orders for child harm prevention orders. (about 7 mins 50). Labour will be looking for evidence that such orders will protect children from harm. The concern is particularly that overseas, no such order can be issued where there has been no criminal conviction in place.

                Little’s speech deals with the problem of protecting children, while ensuring that innocent people are not accused of being potential abusers.

                Earlier reports on the risk predictor model being used in the bill, describe the use of a database to track about 30,00 children deemed to be at rish=k:

                NZ Herald, Oct 2012.

                Ms Bennett said she was confident that the plans set out by the paper – including a Vulnerable Kids Database of up to 30,000 children considered to be most at risk of maltreatment – would work, and results would be seen almost immediately.
                […]
                The database of about 30,000 “at risk” children is to be created and accessed by health, school and social workers without parental knowledge as part of a huge overhaul of laws tackling child cruelty.

                Teachers, doctors, community organisations, Child, Youth and Family workers and others will have access to the database and be able to add to individual children’s records. High-risk adults will also be added to the database so they can be tracked and an alert given if a child moves into their household.

                My bold. So the judgement about a child being potentially at risk from abuse, will be linked to judgement about adults judged to be at risk of abusing children.

  8. Murray Olsen 8

    I can’t help thinking that action by conservative governments on the issue of child abuse have a habit of squeezing the abuse into unforeseen directions. They never try to understand the factors behind it and aim for a society where it will be stamped out. Their first instinct is to go for a police state type solution, clamping a lid down on the problem. This usually leads to some “experts” being imported, much like the doctors advising WINZ and ACC on “benefit addiction”. The Kiwi child psychologists and social workers, or a significant number of them, are all too happy to listen to these experts and we see rubbish results such as the Peter Ellis case. I’ve seen any number of child welfare reports which bear no relation to anything that actually happened.

    I do not want to see the government giving itself more power to invade our lives. I don’t think it will help at all. In fact, I’d put money on it making the situation worse.

    The real answers are much harder and go against the neoliberal orthodoxy. They recognise that society exists and aim to help build a more inclusive version, one where people’s first reaction is to help their fellow citizens rather than to call the Armed Offenders’ Squad on them.

  9. Tanz 9

    good on Bennett, she’s right re this. Not all child abuse is about poverty. Ask our grandparents, when welfare barely existed.

    • miravox 9.1

      “Ask our grandparents, when welfare barely existed.”

      No, not all child abuse is about poverty, but if I could ask my grandparents they’d say it wasn’t all rosy back then, either. They were poor, itinerant and had kids sleeping in sugar sacks.

      But at least they kept the kids, many couldn’t when welfare barely existed. Throughout Pakeha NZ history there have definitely been plenty of neglected, abandoned and ill children “suffering from the inadequacies of their parents or environment”, as the government worded it, who the education and child welfare systems set aside resources for. Start here for the list of children’s homes, health camps, industrial schools, special schools etc. and think about what proportion of kids it took to fill them, given the population. We all know there have been some horrendous abuses that have come about in these institutions.

      My grandparents eventually got state housing and in my parents day state housing, full employment, and an egalitarian society, with good public health checks through the education system and Plunket appeared reasonably important for a healthy childhood – didn’t work to fix domestic violence and sexual abuse though. That would have needed the DPB, so my mother could leave with the kids instead of leaving us to ourselves (but that was a few years away). That was pretty standard where I come from. And of course, in the worst cases of the domestic child abuse and neglect the kids that came to the attention of the authorities were trucked off to the institutions and other places. Potentially for a bit more of the same.

  10. xtasy 10

    ‘The Vulnerable Children Bill’ – as discussed on ‘The Panel’ on Radio NZ National on Wednesday, 18 Sept. 2013, on audio here:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/2569736/the-panel-with-jonathan-krebs-and-neil-miller-part-2

    Listen from 09 min and 45 sec. onwards, where Jim Mora discusses this with guests Gordon McLauchlan and Jonathan Krebs, and also legal expert Gary Gottlieb, commenting on this by phone.

    It is not a positive feedback the bill gets in its present form.

  11. lenore 11

    I would like to make a plea to the Labour and Green MPs in regard to the employee screening. Please ensure that there is an independent authority set up to screen employees and do not leave it in the hands of the police and their vetting system. there have already been cases of the police red flagging people unfairly and the vetting arm (which is within the Police) not questioning the cops. There needs to be an independent group to keep the checks and balances and not leave it up to the Police!

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  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    24 hours ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    1 day ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    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
    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
    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
  • 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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

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