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

  • 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 hours 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
    23 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    3 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    4 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    4 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days 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
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    7 days ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED 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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • US imperialism, Huawei, racism and imperial anxiety
    by Tony Norfield US political opinion against China has two solid bases. The first is the longstanding racist and protectionist sentiment in the white working class; the second is a more recent anxiety about China’s economic prowess in America’s ruling elite. This article notes some historical aspects of anti-Chinese racism ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.