web analytics

We need more radicals coming here

Written By: - Date published: 7:31 am, August 9th, 2018 - 68 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, Deep stuff, democracy under attack, labour, Left, socialism, Unions, workers' rights - Tags:

There were two successive decades in which radicals came into New Zealand with the intent of focusing latent societal rage into wholesale changes of our democracy and our society.

They started arriving before World War One.

These people were militants and proud of it. They filled halls and declaimed shouting against oppressors, against the Police, against the state, against the Chinese, against the ruling class, and boy did they get noticed. They were smashed up time and again by Police on horseback acting from real concern that their societal order was under threat.

Those radicals became popular and formed the New Zealand Labour Party. They became the Labour Party. They formed the entire union movement. They also, in time, became the government.

Thank God society’s pearl-clutchers of the day didn’t succeed in banning them from venues.

It was from that radical incursion of unwelcome foreigners that New Zealand under Labour had decades of prosperity and stability.

We need more radical voices again here. But it’s like MMP has turned us once again into the passionless people. It always looks like “hate speech” when you hate it.

Back in the late 1970s there was no problem with the left bringing in radical speakers. From that decade was a huge liberative explosion of ideals and protest and experimentation in environmentalism, anti-war and peace efforts, feminism, anti-imperialism, anti-racism, Maori liberation, and more. That foreign-influenced radicalism also formed the Values and then the Green Party.

But radical ideas have to really work to get popular here.

The 1984 bombing of the Wellington Trades Hall killed one person, and no one even bothered to claim responsibility.

Forty years ago we had the National Socialist Party of New Zealand, and it vanished in 1980 with almost no trace.

When the last Right Wing Resistance rally was organised in Wellington in 2013, 40 people turned up.

The best the Communist Party ever did, while waiting to unite the proletariat to violently overthrow the bourgeoisie, was 5,000 votes nationwide in 1961. Their current Facebook site doesn’t even get 200 likes.

We are shit radicals. And we’re fine with that.

At the absolute fringes of our society, we already have hundreds of people who radically act against society for their own ends, and they are dealt with appropriately by the Police. They are gangs. When the state even thought they had something approaching a radical group in the Uruweras a few years ago, the state made such a hash of it they had to spend years apologising.

So why does political extremism have such a hard time in New Zealand?

Some of it is absence of scale: there’s not enough like minds who are that nutty.

Some of it’s just-get-along: everyone’s related to everyone else, and it’s best not to annoy the parents and relatives of the one you have your eye on. Same with getting a job, leaving a job, and finding another: we know everyone so you just can’t piss anyone off.

We’ve lost our empathy for the radicals, because they don’t sound the way we want. Hint: they never do. But we need radicals. Even foreign radicals. Even foreign radicals who charge for tickets. Even foreign radicals who charge for tickets and say stupid things. In 1912 those foreign radicals all sounded stupid to the Waihi miners … to start with.

We have possibly the most have boring and managerial government I’ve ever seen. The idealistic Greens have had so much colour washed out of them, they look like they’re made of gelatin. That’s because there are no radicals to challenge or provoke with tough ideas. We have made ourselves merely managerial with a complacent righteousness. We have almost no local radicals making any dent in public discourse.

We need more foreign radicals speaking in New Zealand.

68 comments on “We need more radicals coming here”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    You think Marama Davidson’s not a radical?

    • corodale 1.1

      It’s got to start from outside the political parties,
      Playcentre has the anarchist institutional structure we’re looking for.

    • adam 1.2

      Marama Davidson is a moderate and you know it Robert. Bloody nora, you’re a wet fish, but at least you proved Ad’s point.

      • Robert Guyton 1.2.1

        “Wet fish”: there are dry fish?
        Could I be one of those instead?
        Marama seemed radical to me when I spoke with her on Saturday.

  2. Gosman 2

    But Marama Davidson wants to reclaim the ‘C word’. Isn’t that radical enough for you?

    😀

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    One second, Gosman!

  4. Carolyn_Nth 4

    I’m all for more radical left speakers and views. And especially on the left.

    But I call bullshit on you slipping in a little Green Party bashing – in doing that, you contradict yourself and ignore many realities.

    When Metiria Turei stood up for beneficiaries, and in a pretty out there way before last election – she got a lot of support from many people including many long ignored on the margins, and ignited “we the beneficiaries”. But many on the left joined in with the corporate media and the right in hounding her out of the House – blaming the Greens for a “strategic blunder”.

    At last Friday’s rally celebrating multiculturalism and protesting against imported racism, Marama Davidson was the only MP to speak out against racism and misogyny of the new right. She did an excellent speech. She talked about how her stand against the Canadian pair has resulted her getting death threats and misogynist and racist trolling on social media.

    And brown women in the Greens get the worst of vitriolic hate speech and trolling. Women on social media get some of the worst misogynist hate bile. And Davidson decided to bring it out from the shadows and stand strong against that hate-mongers. As part of her speech, she decided to dis-empower the word “cunt” – a word school children learn to use in the shadows as the most abusive of words. And it continues to be used left and right in the shadows, carrying the message that women’s anatomy is the worst of sins.

    And as Davidson said, it’s the word for a good thing: a woman’s vagina, and without it none of us would be here.

    I have seen many guys use that word on TS in the past as a term of abuse. And yesterday on Daily Review some were moaning about Davidson’s use of the word in her speech.

    The Greens will never win with many on the left: if they speak cordially and aim for consensus, they get hammered for being weak. If they speak truth to power in a very out there way, whether it’s the bennie bashers, racists or misogynists, some on the left will hammer them.

    • Ad 4.1

      Go right ahead and change the world by calling everyone a c*** then.

      Radical change can come from the weirdest of places.

      • Carolyn_Nth 4.1.1

        Ah, no. I’ll just use the word “cunt” positively for what it literally means.

        I had a friend and colleague in the UK (a radical, working class feminist) who was on a one woman campaign to reclaim the word “cunt” back in the early 80s. She used it for “vagina”.

        Too good a word to waste on men – especially old-guard left wing men operating in mid 20th century paradigms.

        PS: just following your call to speak more radically. We’ll see how that goes down – especially when I do it in a way that you weren’t asking for.

        • Dennis Frank 4.1.1.1

          I thought her rationale for liberating the word from suppression made sense. Haters calling her that apparently triggered her stand, understandable. Still a huge conservative majority out there though, both left & right, so I can see why James is looking rather spooked.

        • marty mars 4.1.1.2

          Good comment Carolyn thank you.

      • Sabine 4.1.2

        and why not Ad?

        Cunts are a good thing. Warm, nurturing, birthing tunnels for the next generation.
        In fact, the whole world, all current 8 billions and those already past where born to one.

        so why is the word then used as a derogatory term that so many seem to fear and loath, and so many use to call a women.

        Same with bitch.

        Why the visceral reaction of those that would have no issue uttering the word under their breath in polite company to call women like Helen Clark, Jacinda Ardern, Marama Davidson or me?

        Cause make no mistake, i have been called both words by men, and they never used it as a compliment.

        So yeah, many times i am a bitch and i am a cunt too.

        • solkta 4.1.2.1

          “Bitch” would seem to me to have some basis as a derogatory term as female dogs will so dominate other females in a pack that the low ranked females stop menstruating.

          “Cunt” is such a short sharp word and great to swear with. It is a shame it doesn’t mean something else.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.3

        Way to miss the point.

        It’s not about using it to abuse people but to use it appropriately when talking about a female’s genitalia:

        But when he dared to talk about it, he discovered that female friends were already embracing the positive power of cunt. Writer Katrin Redfern, who co-hosted the c-word episode with him, had already thought a lot about this topic, for example. Redfern read Inga Muscio’s 1998 book Cunt: A Declaration of Independence and it changed her life. She came to understand that the word is only an insult if you think strong women with sexual desire are a bad thing.

        Why do you think that strong women with sexual desire are a bad thing?

      • greywarshark 4.1.4

        Trouble with the trigger words they divert attention from the less overtly sexual things that really bother me all the time, ongoing and apparently structural. How to break into the dialogue as it passes by. From the pavement you might look up and say – Can I have a word for me when you have finished having your
        hot time sorting out the current talking point.

      • Robert Guyton 4.1.5

        Who’s calling everyone that, Ad?
        Are you just frothing your milk?

    • Gosman 4.2

      Somebody could well have stood up for beneficiaries and done so effevtively. That person was not Metiria Turei, at least not by using her own personal experiences.

      • solkta 4.2.1

        So do tell, who and how?

        • Robert Guyton 4.2.1.1

          “Somebody”.
          Prolly Soimon. Or Paula. Or somebody. Not Metiria. ‘Cause. Green. Maori. Woman. Radical.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2

        How could anybody do that without referencing experience? How could she point it out that the only reason why she was where she was then was because she had to break the law earlier because the law was not feeding her children?

        Why do you demand that people who do what they need to to feed and look after their children should hide that? Is the truth of the ruin that your preferred policies brings about too hard for you to bear?

        • Gosman 4.2.2.1

          No, her ex-partner’s family was feeding her child.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2.1.1

            So you admit that the law wasn’t and that she had to do under the table stuff to ensure her children were fed and cared for?

            • Gosman 4.2.2.1.1.1

              Ummm… having her ex-partner’s family providing support for their son’s child is not under the table stuff. She tried to imply she received little support from them. That was not true.

              • Stuart Munro

                Which would be because the Winz regime would try to divert that support away from her child and into their coffers – an inversion of the social support function for which they were created.

  5. marty mars 5

    Lol we have radicals mate they just don’t go to your wine bar.

  6. Doogs 6

    You are right Advantage, but I must agree with Carolyn on your jibe at the Greens. It is unfortunate that while in coalition they have watered down their message in some important areas. But that is so also true for NZF and labour. This both a positive and a negative of MMP coalitions.

    As to the free speech aspect of the right to propound views of whatever colour – it’s complex. Just look at it in its purest form.

    Freedom to spread your message should in fact be absolute. Whatever your view, whatever your take, whatever your bias should be you need to have the right to express that wherever and in whatever form you like.

    But hang on, what if this stirs up racial hatred? Can you still speak your piece then?

    Of course, because you have the freedom to do that.

    But hang on, what about hitting on gays and transsexuals and others like that? Is it OK to stir up crowds against them?

    Of course, because you have the freedom to do that.

    But hang on, how about ranting on immigrants, surely that’s OK because they’re not us, are they? They don’t belong here to take jobs away from NZers?

    Of course, because you have the freedom to do that.

    But hang on, what about these dole bludgers who don’t want a job and are sucking on the public teat? They’re just lazy aren’t they? Can’t we shout out about them?

    Of course, because you have the freedom to do that.

    So you see what happens . . .

    It is complex. It requires an analytical and thoughtful approach. Southern and Molyneux were dangerous. Don Brash is past it. The last whimpering vestige of old man bias. He is only a damp squib now.

    I don’t have a set of criteria, a yardstick to measure the dangerousness or otherwise of people with alternative views. However, the values and mores of a fair and just society dictate at least some of yardsticks we should use. Radicals who stir up thinking about injustices we need more of. The others can go to hell.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Marvellous how readily the left will shit on anyone just because they’re male, white and older than they are. The lack of self awareness is not only sad, but invites the right to play exactly the same identity politics game in response.

      Only we’re socially progressive heroes when we do it, they’re hate talking Nazis when they do it.

  7. “The best the Communist Party ever did, while waiting to unite the proletariat to violently overthrow the bourgeoisie, was 5,000 votes nationwide in 1961. ”

    Far from the truth. The CP enjoyed wide popularity in the thirties and forties, and got respectable results in local body campaigning, with Johnny Mitchell and George Jackson getting 6500 and 7000 votes in the Auckland city council elections in 1944. Two party members were also elected to one of the Auckland councils (Onehunga?) in the thirties as part of a united front campaign with Labour. Later on, Bill Andersen also got 7000 votes standing for Ak council in the early sixties.

    The CP chose not to run full campaigns in general elections, often only standing a handful of candidates in selected seats, so a ‘nationwide’ result of 6000 in a first past the post general election is nothing to be ashamed of.

    Bear in mind, the leaders of the CP were regularly fired from jobs, harrassed and imprisoned (in the mid thirties the entire central committee were jailed for writing about Marx) and the popular leader of the party in the 40’s, Gordon Watson, died in dubious circumstances in the latter days of WW2.

    While a certain amount of ignorance about historic matters is understandable, to write off the efforts of thousands of genuine kiwi radicals who have fought for their pro worker beliefs is kinda sad. Votes for women and Maori, decriminalising homosexuality, going nuclear free and opposing racism, fascism and bigotry are all hallmarks of successful radicals doing often initially unpopular work.

    Anyhoo, here’s an interview with one of the finest radicals I ever met, Tom Spiller:

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/spanishcivilwar/20111103

    • marty mars 8.1

      Thanks trp – good comment.

    • gsays 8.2

      Thanks TRP, for that wee synopsis.

      Sometimes when I am feeling optimistic, I dream of an organisation like the wobblies re-emerging.

      Unfortunately as neo liberal politics has been around for three decades now, it’s tentacles have found their way into how we view and treat each other in society.
      By that I mean, ‘blow the bridge, I am over’.
      We struggle to come together and stick together. Witness the recent industrial action by nurses. The union recommended the same offer rejigged 4 times.
      Signing the accord during negotiations seemed dodge too.
      Where was the planned next strike?

      Anyhow, rant over.
      Thanks again for the potted history.

  8. corodale 9

    RBNZ is the obvious location for Welz,
    And the private banks, the big four, Ozzie-state/Rothschild.
    Work the anti-Australian govt sentiment,
    Go visual on their crimes against refugees and immigrants,…
    And time it will some dodgy sport from the Wallabies.
    Educational attack on global QE stealing our houses, while our RBNZ does nothing!
    And blame austerity and climate change directly against the banks, with un-swaying one-eyed conviction.

    That’s the best I got, team. Keen on revolution, but not available till mid November. To that Westpac bank manager who spat “fuck-off you deluded-communist” at me outside GreenDrinks that evening… Time for your customers learnt about your crimes against humanity!

  9. Bill 10

    Nice article here on foreign and domestic radicals… (some pertinent snippets)

    In just a few fiery years the left wing of New Zealand’s labor movement had been reshaped from a timid collection of mainly craft unions working within the state-run arbitration system to a powerful federation of openly radical industrial unions winning their own terms of employment and confidently propagating a worker-run future for the country. The Wobblies were at the hard edge of this movement…

    Slowly, from about 1920, the remnants of New Zealand’s Wobblies began to reassert themselves. A One Big Union (OBU) Council, opposed to the parliamentary ambitions of the newly formed New Zealand Labour Party,…

    …however, the OBU did not long survive the formation in 1921 of the New Zealand Communist Party, which assumed the leadership of the extreme left and opposed syndicalist views almost as strongly as the Labour Party

    Seems some things never change.

    Today, we have a Labour Party looking to reintroduce an arbitration system and people thinking it’s a “good thing”. And a few on the left are, not just disenchanted with the parliamentary ambitions of the Labour Party, but basically opposed to the entire notion of politics via parliament, and authoritarianism. But I digress…

    Read the piece. It’s well written and informative.

    • greywarshark 10.1

      Well what a bunch of twerps those radical unions were. Constant efforts to screw employers and deny services to the ordinary people who were less ordinary than their union copatriots, such as on the ferries, or stopping work on a major government building like the boilermakers, for three years. Worker-run, they would just end up as fractious between each other and angling for executive jobs as those in private industry. and let’s not foget, nepotistic – the wharfies,

      I believe in the need for unions, but also the need for their top functionaries to keep humble, and as they try to know more about business systems and profit-making, that they don’t get captured by the business class although they understand their thinking and problems.

      One thing we now know if we are interested in learning (as some seem allergic to) is the effect of higher wages on worker community if not solidarity, and bracket creep not only in money but also in class consciousness with often a drop in belief in respect for all people.

      • adam 10.1.1

        greywarshark did you miss the whole anti authoritarian statement in what bill said, if you run with one of those models then there is not going to be an “top functionaries”.

        This is one of the problems we face, whole generations of people who can’t think outside the limits imposed by liberalism.

        • greywarshark 10.1.1.1

          I notice with every system there are problems and assumptions that have to be identified. adam. That is my karma.

          I am uncomfortable with recipes offered too confidently. This did it –
          to a powerful federation of openly radical industrial unions winning their own terms of employment and confidently propagating a worker-run future for the country.

    • “Today, we have a Labour Party looking to reintroduce an arbitration system and people thinking it’s a “good thing”.”

      Not actually happening and no real relation at all to NZ’s historic IC&A Act, which was progressive for the time, but effectively eliminated strikes.

      The actual proposal is for something close to the current Aussie system where all workers in an industry can be lifted to reasonable minimum standards, and unionised work sites can bargain (and strike) for more.

      • adam 10.2.1

        And looking in the mirror and saying Biggie Smalls 10 times – well it will be a bit like labours reintroduction of an arbitration system. Utterly pointless and quite destructive in the long term.

        But sure, hand power to faceless bureaucrats in the trade union movement, not like they sold working people down the river before – why does Mark Gosche comes to mind. Mmmmm

      • Bill 10.2.2

        I get the attempt to lift minimum conditions across sectors, and that’s why I conditionally support it. Also pretty sure that strike action is prohibited in relation to those negotiations – or at least Jacinda Ardern gave some “assurance” on that front.

        But given that I’m not being overly attentive to domestic NZ politics, there may have been developments on the prohibition of strike action that I missed.

        Any useful link or info on that front?

        • te reo putake 10.2.2.1

          There’s no change at all to the law around strike action, Bill. What will change, assuming it gets through Parliament*, is the Fair Pay provisions. They’re intended to get agreed common standards in an industry so rat bag employers can’t undermine worker’s rights and, as often happens, undercut their competition.

          https://www.labour.org.nz/workplacerelations

          Fair Pay Agreements would set minimum conditions such as wages, allowances, weekend and night rates, hours of work and leave arrangements for workers across an industry. Tied with the strengthening of collective bargaining rights, and the lifting of the adult minimum pay rate, this should tip the employment playing back toward level. Maybe not far enough, I guess, but definitely in the right direction.

          The Aussie experience suggests the model works well, with unionised workers still getting the best of both worlds, where they can, and despite the anti-union coalition government:

          http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-22/enterprise-bargaining-collapse-behind-wage-weakness/9348070

          And one of the weird thing about the Australian awards is that they are catching up with union negotiated agreements at the low end of the pay scale:

          https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/domino-s-abandons-enterprise-agreement-with-shoppies-union-20180326-p4z69v.html

          In simple terms, Fair Pay agreements will deliver for tens of thousands of kiwi workers who have no individual ability to improve their own wages and conditions. That’s pretty cool.

          *Talleys, who hate workers rights, own a couple of NZ First MP’s, so it might be a struggle getting the numbers.

          • Bill 10.2.2.1.1

            There’s no change at all to the law around strike action, Bill.

            I’m missing something then, cause the following looks like change around NZs already ridiculous anti-strike culture –

            The Herald – …under Fair Pay Agreements, action by either side, such as strikes or lockouts, would be banned during negotiations.

            NewtalkZB – Unlike existing collective bargaining, industrial action (strikes and lockouts) will not be permitted in negotiations for a Fair Pay Agreement.

            TVNZ – Unlike existing collective bargaining, industrial action will not be permitted in negotiations for a Fair Pay Agreement.

            That aside, yes, workers have lost an immense amount of power these past 20 to 30 years. That’s why I’d support the Fair Pay stuff, but only in the short term. There needs to be a sunset clause or else all that’s going to happen is that a clique will get cozy, and no worker will be any more empowered than now.

            • Te Reo Putake 10.2.2.1.1.1

              Bill, there’s no change. The right to strike remains exactly as it is now. You need to think about who the fair pay agreements are for, which, primarily is the powerless.

              If you want to extend the right to strike, that’s a different discussion. But from a practical point of view only unionised or similarly organised workforces can strike effectively. Its not an option for most kiwi workers.

              • Bill

                The right to strike has been eliminated from (not included in) the new bargaining environment, and so yes, you might say “the right to strike remains exactly as it is now”. But that’s hardly an accurate take on things.

                I know the workers that Fair Pay Agreements are intended to address. And I agree with you when you say they have been disempowered. And I think it’s right and proper that they get a boost in their pay and conditions, and I don’t really care how that comes about – so the Fair Pay framework has my support on that front. But only short term, because longer term it locks workers into the position of being powerless spectators of the “good and the great” dispensing just rewards (or crumbs) to them.

          • WILD KATIPO 10.2.2.1.2

            Interesting to note that John Howard tried to introduce the counterpart to the Employment Contracts Act 1991 in Australia.

            From memory it was called ‘Work Choices’.

            But the Australian workforce saw what had happened in NZ , and opposed it.

            [ ‘ It also made adjustments to a workforce’s ability to legally go on strike, enabling workers to bargain for conditions without collectivised representation, and significantly restricting trade union activity ].

            If fact , – even the media got in on the act in opposing it, as a consequence, massive rally’s were conducted in all the large centers as well as smaller ones , the campaigning lasted for around 6 months and Howard’s attempts were defeated. In fact,… it was around 6 months later that the Howard govt was voted out , with many attributing that event as a major causative factor.

            WorkChoices – Wikipedia
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WorkChoices

            This is one of the reasons why , – there are now 650,000 NZ’ers calling Australia home because of the ECA ,- and the Australians rejecting its counterpart in their country.

            The Aussies have a tradition of standing up to unfair govt moves, at least when it concerns them. They are far more vocal and less willing to be pushed around. But the rot really set in here when we let the Rogernomes and then Bolgers Finance Minister Ruth Richardson to get away with disenfranchising us.

            It was after that era that we noticeably became the compliant , docile little lambs they wanted us to become.

  10. greywarshark 11

    I forgot about The Passionless People and have been thinking it all out for myself when it has been done before. Having considered ourselves the inventors of the pavlova, we have settled down nicely murmuring ‘Our job is done’!

    But I’ve even got the book by Austin Mitchell? Will dig it out again. Time to put some passionfruit on that pavlova. Thanks for the reminder.

    • halfcrown 11.1

      With respect grey, I think you will find the original ‘Passionless People’ was written in 76 by Gordon McLauchlan. What Austin Mitchell wrote was ‘The Half Gallon Quarter Acre Pavlova Paradise’ both reasonable reads.

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        Thanks
        I dub you full crown.

        • halfcrown 11.1.1.1

          I hope this is not transferred to Open Mike as being off topic. If it is I apologise to the moderators.
          Thanks, Grey. Wow, my value has gone up from two shillings and sixpence to Five Shillings. (a crown) My wealth has increased by 100%
          May have to change my name to Five Bob
          Talking about books I don’t normally recommend books as we all have our different tastes in literature but as you are an avid reader I thought these may be of interest if you have not already read them. I have just finished reading Conn Iggulden’s ‘Conqueror’ series of novels, all about Genghis Khan and his sons and grandsons including Kublai Khan I found them interesting, lots of snippets of useless info like Kublai Khan started the Yuan Dynasty which is the name of the Chinese currency today.

  11. Dennis Frank 12

    “We have almost no local radicals making any dent in public discourse.” Yeah, but I’ve been trying. Bit late for Shadbolt to come out of retirement. An interview to get his take on the issue would be interesting though.

    William Pember Reeves was described as “a radical New Zealand politician” by the publisher of my reprint of his classic history of Aotearoa (1898). That liberal govt he served as three different ministers in appears to have performed more radical surgery on this country than the first Labour government did. Eliminating the colonial oligarchs was a massive endeavour alone, they made us first in the world to give women the vote plus innovative industrial relations & agrarian reforms.

    Reeves introduced an Undesirable Immigrants Exclusion Bill. Now there’s an idea! His boss commented that if it had been the law when he arrived here, he wouldn’t have been allowed in. Not a goer. They didn’t call him King Dick for nothing.

  12. mauī 13

    No we don’t. We already have Donald Trash and SeeMore “Over exposed” David.

  13. RedLogix 14

    There will always be contentious issues that cannot be indefinitely ignored. There are only two ways to resolve them, talk or violence. Whenever we put constraints on the former, we create a potential default to the latter.

    Not complicated really.

  14. Stuart Munro 15

    Contemporary Left radicalism is often at odds with democracy. Consider the identity politics folk – their object was to drive particular issues in their chosen direction in the absence of public support. They succeeded to some degree, but not without consuming much of the heritage of credibility of the Left.

    It is democracy that lies at the heart of the Left, when any group finds it inexpedient they consume Left support. And democracy is radical – proper representation does not lend itself to tragic compromises with the 1% like the TPP or asset thefts or the OIO or ‘heroic’ poisoning campaigns on the scale of agent orange.

    Contemporary left radicalism does not deserve grass roots support, and thus the pallid Blairite “Left” parties struggle to attract and retain support in spite of the wretched state of the opposition, which has grown weak and bloated from want of actual competition.

    Treasury is a good example of something no democracy need tolerate. Stacked with farcically extreme ideologues by Don Brash, producing predictions with a confidence interval less than chance, its auguries have not advanced us beyond chicken entrail mysticism. It lies athwart the path to every socially responsible or even medium term economically responsible initiative. And its not even on the agenda of the self-styled Left.

  15. tsmithfield 16

    This is the problem with the current state of free speech. When it is radicals from the left, there is widespread support here, which is fair enough. When it is radicals from the right, many are calling for them to be banned.

    This just serves to demonstrate how our own inherent biases can lead us to view radical speech and action very differently so far as its right to be expressed, depending on how it correlates with our own world view. So, it is very easy to defend free speech when it is views we agree with.

    Hence the reason why we should be defending the right for people to say things we consider abhorrent if we truly believe in free speech

    If we all take that approach to free speech then free speech will be in a very healthy state.

    • Dennis Frank 16.1

      Very well reasoned. Political psychology, partisan behaviour, group-think, bias. Lots of commentators seem unable to put it all together to deduce the likely mass effect of stances taken thoughtlessly. Focus ought to be more on whose interests are served by a political stance. Sectarian interests or our common interests?

      • Stuart Munro 16.1.1

        Popper’s paradox – that a tolerant society must be intolerant of intolerance:

        Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.

        https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/25998-the-so-called-paradox-of-freedom-is-the-argument-that-freedom

        • Pat 16.1.1.1

          “Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance
          Key word ‘unlimted’….and theres a very important rider….”I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. ”

          It certainly would be unwise…as it is proving to be.

          • Stuart Munro 16.1.1.1.1

            I’m not sure I agree.

            Brash position is not principled, as other posters have pointed out his suppression of Hager’s reportage. So when he starts blowing the free speech trumpet it’s time to blow raspberries back. Don’t fall into the trap of imagining he has validated anything but his hypocrisy here.

            • Pat 16.1.1.1.1.1

              “Don’t fall into the trap of imagining he has validated anything but his hypocrisy here.”

              What does that even mean?…..if you are going to quote Popper, at least attempt to understand what he has to say.

              • Stuart Munro

                Right over your head I guess.

                And if I spell it out it’s patronizing. It’s a matter of consistent standards, not the unlimited test you propose.

                The Right do not love freedom of speech. Examples like the teapot tapes are a dime a dozen. Brash himself has multiple instances of suppression.

                It is unwise to humour their pretense.

                • Pat

                  it has nothing to do with whether ‘the right’ love freedom of speech or hypocrisy….its about functioning society.

                  If hypocrisy were so damaging everything would have collapsed on about day two….and so far over my head its in orbit

  16. Brilliant article, Ad !

    Glad to see you came through!

    When I was a young worker in the ARA , we had to go to union meetings occasionally, we’d all be sitting there, the older blokes listening, sometimes asking questions of relevance. Me , – I was waiting for the meetings to be over so we could buy hot meat pies when in transit to our next job in the bush ( Waitakeres). A typical early 20-something, at that time I wasn’t politicized. Even after 1984 … it was sporadic. It wasn’t until I got my first computer around 2005 and by then neo liberalism was so entrenched that I had access to really do the research on what had gone on in NZ.

    I was going to suggest yesterday about the protesters opposing the ‘Bill’, – the Employment Contracts Act , – and thought exactly the same about the 1913 Great strike. In the former- those thousands of normal Kiwis who took to the streets protesting the disgusting evil of Ruth Richardson and the (then called ) Business Roundtable , not radicals by nature, – but forced to be demonstrators because of the hideous loss of incomes, wages and conditions by that right wing cabal.

    The latter, – those standing up for fairness in the workplace yet finding themselves intimidated by Massey’s Cossack’s,- again, – just normal workers who had had enough , standing against line upon line of mounted deputized farmers and farm-workers armed with meter long manuka batons who were chaffing at the bit to tear into their fellow New Zealanders with those clubs.

    And in both cases these movements were often led by foreigners who were designated ‘radicals’ by the authority’s at the time. Particularly in the 1913 Great strike ,- those from Ireland, Scotland and England.

    Trade Unionism and fairness / equity for all workers is the main area I am concerned about , – with the environment being a close second.

    And this is what I meant by doing a post about ‘ nice ‘ radicals. These were the people who were the good guys. They had something good and right and proper to offer society. Despite the duplicity and objection of the far right wingers and their Business Roundtable ( now called the NZ Initiative ) backers lobbying and opposition.

    These are the sort of radicals that we need, – either home-bred or foreigners.

    Contrast THAT, – with the divisive, unhealthy , irrelevant and dangerous radicalism of Lauren Southern and her little buddy … a destructive element that could, – if they were allowed to generate such feeling, – have produced nothing but the above negative consequences for NZ. They had NOTHING GOOD to offer at all. Nothing but destruction.

    They are a classic example of the not – very – nice – radical.

    We don’t want them here.

    It is arguing semantics to say one size fits all under the law. It doesn’t. A simple litmus test is to ask oneself, – what is going to be the fruits of this persons message?.. are they going to be for the ultimate betterment of society ? Are people going to be harmed by that betterment? Is the end result a positive and good thing for people? Prosperity , happiness, security ?

    Qualities that Lauren Southern and co were not even remotely interested in. And in our freedom to choose, – our freedom to express what we thought , … they met with a resounding ” We ,… are not amused ” when they came here. Despite the excessive and negative protests of some elements… they got the royal bums rush and rightly so.

    Good job.

    It is just a shame that the public sector unions voted against the private sector unions in opposing the Employment Contracts Act 1991 with a general rolling nationwide strike and instead capitulated to the far right wing Business Roundtable and the stooge of the Mont Pelerin society , Ruth Richardson.

    Perhaps the nice radicals would still have a chance if the two faced public sector union heads hadn’t sold out to the far right wing. I think much is credited to those Benedict Arnold’s in the public sector unions for the state of docility and compliance we see today in NZ.

    Essentially ?- they sold us out for mere trinkets from the far right wing.

    ———————————

    New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?
    http://www.newrightfight.co.nz/pageA.html

    Defeat the Bill! The struggle against the Employment Contracts Bill, 1991
    https://iso.org.nz/…/defeat-the-bill-the-struggle-against-the-employment-contracts-bill-…

    1913 General strike – relevant to us in 2013? | Aotearoa Indymedia
    http://www.indymedia.org.nz/articles/635

    The 1913 strike in Auckland – The 1913 Great Strike | NZHistory, New …
    https://nzhistory.govt.nz/politics/1913-great-strike/auckland

    ——————————————————–

    In memory of Ian Wells.

    Our ARA Trade Union Rep for the Water Headworks sector,
    ( WHISKY )

    A good , decent and witty bloke.

    ——————————————————–

  17. Gabby 18

    I guess we’ve become too used to seeing radicals doing very nicely thank you out of the establishment while those who trusted them, not so nicely.

    • Incognito 18.1

      I have many thoughts on the topic of this Post but no time to write them down 🙁 However, your comment aligns with some of my thinking.

      I think there will always be radically-inclined people among us. However, I believe many are channelled away from politics and socio-political issues into what might be described as entrepreneurial disruptive innovators. In other words, these people focus on their own good first and foremost and less so on the greater good. For this reason they also could be called neoliberal radicals; it’s turned into a business/commercial proposition, perhaps not from the outset but sooner or later they all succumb to the lure of money & fame (‘success’) and with that comes of course the huge ego-boost. Traditional radicals are a dying breed. Maybe more thoughts on this in the weekend …

      • WILD KATIPO 18.1.1

        That may be true in some sectors,… however I believe its all about economics and thus ‘class’. And no I am not a communist.

        There’s a lot of old union folk who have never forgotten what Douglas did to this country. Or his Nat counterparts and the treason they performed like weasels hiding behind the very democracy they sought to undermine.

        Remember the massive protests against the ‘ Bill’ ( ECA 1991 ) that they ignored. Those ongoing protests dwarfed anything before or since. Yet they rammed through their agendas and didn’t give a damn about the voting populaces wishes.

        And most of those old union folks are still poor or died poor.

        I believe if there is fairness in the industrial sector, and equal opportunity’s no matter who you are, – you automatically solve many of the dis-empowerment issues of a minority group. You create a genuine ‘ level playing field’ – unlike the bullshit mockery of a ‘ level playing field that the neo liberals talk about. You create a wealthy prosperous society that can indeed challenge subversive corporate agendas.

        And they know that and they fear it.

        Some may be tempted to sell out, – but that is only after the fact of a neo liberal victory.

        Billy Bragg – Which Side Are You On? – YouTube
        Video for billy bragg whose side are you on you tube▶ 2:35

        • WILD KATIPO 18.1.1.1

          And one me son loves to play… because of the unrepentant fighting spirit it conveys. And because we are Scots/ Irish / English descendants and proud of the fact.

          Kiss My Irish Ass ~ Keltic Cowboys – YouTube

  18. Philj 19

    “We need more foreign radicals speaking in New Zealand”
    We need more alternative voices speaking out in our MSM. We get Hosking, Du Fresne, et al. When did you last hear of any New Zealander called an intellectual? Are there any in NZ? Dumbed down media is another reason for a poorly informed public.

  19. R.P Mcmurphy 20

    are there any left?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Those people deserve a flat white
    The pandemic has shown us how effective our public service is. They've pulled together a massive policy response, from a lockdown to economic support to healthcare to planning how to keep everything running when this is over, and done it in next to no time. They are heroes, who have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 hours ago
  • Halfway there (maybe)
    New Zealand is now officially halfway through its first 4-week lockdown period. The good news is that it seems to be working - people staying at home has reduced the potential for the virus to spread, and we've had steadily decreasing numbers of new cases over the last few days ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 hours ago
  • A pandemic Peter Principle.
    In 1968 Canadian sociologist Laurence Peter coined the phrase “Peter Principle” as a contribution to the sociology of organisations. It explains that in complex organizations people rise to the level of their own incompetence. That is, they get promoted so long as they meet or exceed the specified criteria for ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 hours ago
  • Hard News: Music is coming home
    The practice and business of music has been one of the sectors most gravely impacted by the virus sweeping the world. The emphatic nature of our government's response, necessary as it was, has slammed the industry and the people who work in it.There are New Zealand artists – Nadia Reid, ...
    8 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 14
    . . April 8: Day 14 of living in lock-down… The good news first: the downward trajectory of new cases appears to be a real thing. In the last four days, since Sunday, new infections have been dropping: Sunday: 89 new cases Monday: 67 Tuesday: 54 Today (Wednesday): 50 The ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    9 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 5: Don’t censor yourself
    The anti-fluoride movement wants to restrict your reading to “just four studies.” They actively ignore or attempt to discredit other relevant studies. Image credit: Censorship in media. For earlier articles in this series see: ...
    13 hours ago
  • “Lord, give us Democratic Socialism – but not yet!”
    Not Now, Not Ever, Never! The problem with Labour's leading activists is that there is never a good time for democratic socialism. Never. They are like Saint Augustine who prayed to the Almighty: “Lord, give me chastity and self-control – but not yet.” In the case of Labour "junior officers", however, ...
    15 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #14, 2020
    16 hours ago
  • The Few are on the run, again, it still won’t stop reality catching up…
    We are seeing what has been termed “a greater challenge than the crash of 2008” by a growing number of economists and more rational, sane commentators, because whilst that was a shocking exposure of the levels to which hubris had sunk, right down to the blank cheque given those who ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 day ago
  • Speaker: Locked down in Jersey City
    I am a Kiwi living in Jersey City, New Jersey. Jersey City is the second-largest city in the state and is located directly across the Hudson River from downtown Manhattan. Locals call it New York’s sixth borough. More than 350,000 New Jersey citizens, including myself, commute to New York daily ...
    1 day ago
  • Expanding houses
    It’s  a beautiful autumn afternoon, we need to get out of the house, and so our bubble sets off on a bike ride around our local neighbourhood, Cambridge Park. The bikes come out of the garage, and, being really certain we have a front door key, close the garage door ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 13
    . . April 7: Day 13 of living in lock-down… and unlucky for those who are superstitious. A day when there was a ray of sunshine from an otherwise bleak day of worrying signs. Today, as RNZ reported; Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield reported 54 new confirmed and probable cases ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • A UBI in Spain
    So far, universal basic income policies, which see people given a regular income without any conditions, have been trailed only on a small scale. But now, Spain is introducing one nationwide as a response to the pandemic: Spain is to roll out a universal basic income (UBI) “as soon as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 4: Till et al (2020)
    Paul Connet, head of the anti-fluoride propaganda group, Fluoride Action Network, claims that the IQ of children bottle-fed in fluoridated areas drops by 9 points. But he misrepresented the research. There is no observable effect. For earlier articles in this series see: Part 1: Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only ...
    2 days ago
  • The Role of Government
    The Queen’s coronavirus broadcast, with its overtones of Winston Churchill and Vera Lynn, prompted me to reflect on the tribulations my parents’ generation suffered during the Second World War – and I imagine that those parallels, given her own wartime experience, were very much in the Queen’s mind as she ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • The irreversible emissions of a permafrost ‘tipping point’
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr Christina Schädel Across vast swaths of the northern hemisphere’s higher reaches, frozen ground holds billions of tonnes of carbon.  As global temperatures rise, this “permafrost” land is at increasing risk of thawing out, potentially releasing its long-held carbon into the atmosphere. Abrupt permafrost ...
    2 days ago
  • How to complain about MDC’s unreasonable LGOIMA charging regime
    Back in February, the Marlborough District Council increased the mount it charges for LGOIMA requests. I used the LGOIMA to poke into this, and it seems the case for increased charges is unjustified: the supposed increase in request volumes it rests on is an artefact of the Council suddenly deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 12
    . . April 6: Day 12 of living in lock-down… Another day of a near-empty Park N Ride carpark; . . And another day of near-empty Wellington streets; . . . Light traffic on the motorway. No apparent increase in volume. Commercial vehicles sighted; a gravel-hauling truck; McAuley’s Transport; a ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A Lamentable Failure of Imagination.
    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    2 days ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    3 days ago
  • Could the Atlantic Overturning Circulation ‘shut down’?
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr. Richard Wood and Dr. Laura Jackson Generally, we think of climate change as a gradual process: the more greenhouse gases that humans emit, the more the climate will change. But are there any “points of no return” that commit us to irreversible ...
    3 days ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    3 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    3 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    4 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    7 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago