Beltway blues: serving the public interest?

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, March 10th, 2014 - 32 comments
Categories: accountability, business, child welfare, class war, david cunliffe, Hekia parata, labour, news, poverty, same old national, tv, workers' rights - Tags: ,

Truth to Power: serving the public interest

A 4th Estate media should be, in Hagar’s terms, serving the public interest, informing the public on crucial issues. This often means speaking truth to power on behalf of the less powerful section of the public.  There are many pressing issues for New Zealanders that should be front and centre of most political coverage: the inequality gap, low wages, high power prices, child poverty and abuse, unaffordable housing, the possibility that NZ’s rockstar economy is actually built on sand…..

As geoff posted yesterday, too much of the media coverage of politics is in a B-Hive-Media Loop (otherwise known by the more US-relevant term, the “the beltway”).  Too often, they cheerlead John Key, failing to challenge him or mention that he is very polarising; more often than not they endlessly repeat the NAct spin on the economy and other issues.

The mainstream media has had a horror start to the year. These days, too much political coverage by the mainstream media (MSM) is focused, US-style, on politics as a game, a chessboard of strategic maneuvers, and a personality contest of its leaders.

Once one Hive-Media journalist starts a headline grabbing attack, the rest seem to follow like a pack of baying hounds. So it has been over the last month or two, with opposition leaders being  subjected to more distorted attacks and beat-ups than government ministers.  Often Patrick Gower has lead the running with his vindictive, distorted persecution of David Cunliffe.  The focus has been on over-exaggerating relatively trivial issues, such as an omission in one version of the Best Start policy for young children, Metiria Turei’s clothes, and Winston Peters’ and Russel Norman’s perfectly understandable visits to the Dotcom Mansion.

B-Hive-Media Loop: From The Nation to Qu & A

Having become fed up with Patrick Gower’s attention-getting, “gotcha” reporting, I am now focusing more on TV One‘s news and current affairs coverage.  That said, Gower has gone some way to providing balance by doing his gotcha interview of Key on The Nation.  He continued to take that line in reporting on it on 3 news later on Saturday, saying that Key, like Cunliffe, is also being “tricky”.  However, for me to return to watching 3 News, Gower and TV3 need to do much better, be more informative on a range of significant issues, continually hold the government and Key to account, not just the opposition, and move away from the sensationalist focus on personalities and game playing.

This weekend, it turned out that, while One News and Qu & A aim to be a bit less one-dimensional than 3 News, they also follow similar lines within the Hive-Media Loop, with a strong focus on the perceptions of “Business” and the comfortable middle classes.

It was hard to keep watching this weekend’s Qu & A after the first few minutes: it was a B-grade-Hive-Media recycling of pro-John Key spin – of his (allegedly) uncontested “popularity”, Nationals’ (allegedly) great handling of the economy and David Cunliffe’s media- manufactured “problems”.

There was an attempt at balanced debate, but it still oozed comfortable middle class condescension, not helped by Susan Woods’ smug charmlessness.  Then we had Hekia Parata given much leeway to spin her education policies, with Dann being far more lenient on her than he  later was on Cunliffe. This was followed by the panel: Fran O’Sullivan, followed by Raymond Miller and Nick Leggett unashamedly cheerleading for Parata. TV One needs some fresh blood from outside the Hive-Media Loop – some of the young, the marginalised and the precariously discontented.

The Cunliffe Interview: speaking through the Hive Media for the less powerful

David Cunliffe meeting

Then came Woods’ negative introduction to the David Cunliffe interview. Corin Dann’s opening questions focused on Cunliffe’s alleged “horror” last week.

DANN: Going back and researching this interview, all the interviews seemed to be about this conundrum of David Cunliffe. Where is, where does he sit on the political spectrum? He comes from a business background, and he’s got wealth and yet he’s championing the working class?  Can you understand that the working class voters, perhaps a lot of the affiliates who put you in this job,  are looking at you going, why does he have all these trusts?

So, Dann shows he has only looked at previous media interviews, or maybe media representations of these interviews.  He seems to have done little research on issues important to the less well of and less powerful sections of the “public”.  The question he asks about Cunliffe’s politics, has already been answered many times by the Labour leader.

There seems to be a stubborn Hive-Media spin: that it is incomprehensible that someone with money can’t campaign against poverty and inequality; can want to do public service to help other people; and work to provide more opportunities for all New Zealanders, especially for “working and underprivileged New Zealanders”.  Why is that such a mystery to the Hive-Media mind?

Short clip from the Cunliffe interview.

Cunliffe did well to patiently repeat his statements about his politics, while also outlining his values and referring to various Labour policy areas.

Chauvel-Cunliffe-2 maritime union

Dann went on to ask why “people” are confused about where he stands politically, then emphasised it by saying,

Why is Business confused?

He quoted Doug Heffernan, chief  executive of Might River Power, reportedly saying that, “he wasn’t getting enough information” from Cunliffe on Labour’s Power policy. Dann doesn’t seem to have looked for the views of  “working and underprivileged New Zealanders”.

Dann continued in an increasingly combative mode, while Cunliffe continued giving clear and non-confusing answers, showing how he is approaching making New Zealand a fairer place.  Dann continued to contest Cunliffe using points of view expressed from those in powerful positions in the Business world.  Cunliffe, unfazed, answered with reference to some of his plans to provide digital access to New Zealanders and protect them from invasive surveillance.  He mentioned using services like those of the People’s WiFi networks and public libraries.

Corin Dann’s report of it on One News last night was a bit of an improvement on Gower’s one-dimensional sensationalism.  Dann’s report followed another report on rising power prices – definitely an issue in the public interest. The anchor’s introduced Dann’s report by saying that Cunliffe talked about Labour’s ICT policy and providing internet access for all Kiwis. Dann then said the start to Cunliffe’s year had been a “horror” one.

No, Mr Dann, it has been the MSM that has had a horror start in their political coverage. However, Dann gave a fairly full report of the content of the interview, including mention of Cunliffe foregrounding his move to front big policies, such as Labour’s ICT policy. Nevertheless, Dann still framed this in terms of B-Hive-Media issues, focusing on Cunliffe’s current position within the game of politics.

Speaking-Truth-to-Power

Out of the Hive Media Loop, towards the (working class and underprivileged) public interest

We need a strong (new?)media stream that steps outside the B-Hive-Media loop, and reports by, from, and for the public interest, – and especially in the interests of working class and underprivileged Kiwis.  The comfortable middle and Business classes have far too much say within political discourses.

32 comments on “Beltway blues: serving the public interest?”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    His response to the question about business being confused should have been.

    I don’t care if they are confused. The Green/Labour Government will serve the workers and unemployed. If business don’t understand that they need to change their excutives within the next 6 months so that they are across what is coming. They need to prepare themselves for real change.

  2. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2

    Hi Karol, great article, thanks. I believe the subject matter of your article can’t be repeated too often.

    I find TV1 News far more balanced than TV3 ‘News’ (yeah, this isn’t hard to achieve , however many political programme appear to ‘struggle’ to do so). I agree that they do still appear to focus on ‘business’ opinion and do not balance such out with information and comments of the realtime effects of this current government’s policies for people.

    I do not, however like Q&A. The interview style – is too aggressive; interrupting the interviewee so much that they rarely manage to get anything said. The interviewers come across as more delighted in and promoting their own selves rather than interested in eliciting information out of the interviewee for the viewers.

    Incidentally Susan Wood was provided as an example of someone with a very unprofessional – i.e. ineffective – interviewing style in a media course I attended a few years back.

    As for the choice in their ‘panel’ it begs the question is there so few people who are knowledgeable and capable of analysis in this country that they have to rummage up right wing spin doctors for the job? (Who provides neither knowledge or analysis – solely spin). The panel come across as being full of people who don’t want to ‘rock the boat.’ If someone does break out of the mould and challenge the banal tract the conversation is flowing along – Susan Woods interrupts and brings the conversation back to mediocrity.

    It appears that this programme is not intended to inform viewers – rather ensure that any interviewee doesn’t get to inform the general public and that the programme’s director gets to shape their opinions instead. What a bore.

    [I just posted a very similar comment and it completely disappeared – if it shows up I would appreciate you deleting one of them]

    [karol: done – and thanks]

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2.1

      Cheers Karol 🙂

      • Tim 2.1.1

        God strewth!! don’t get me started on some of our supposed ‘interviewers’. You’re correct in that Susan Wood is a good (i.e. BAD) example.

        I have to say that many of the media pundits who make proclamations as to who and what good interviewing styles are, do so mostly on the basis of said interviewer’s longevity.
        I’m thinking Brian Bloody Edwards for example – quite a good interviewer himself if you care to go back to “Gallery” days … but holding up the likes of Paul Holmes as a good example. How is it they usually put it?? …. something like “the consumate broadcaster” – which generally means a self-promoter and egotist.

        Holmes: the foreskin of the leading question more concerned (like a Mora) of promoting themselves through appearing empathetic with an interviewee. Like asking the rape or burglary victim … “I suppose you’re feeling violated?”. God how I used to wish said victim would have said “No, not at all Paul …. because I realise this is all about YOU and my feeling violated would merely be violating your headspace and God-given right to promote yourself to star quality”
        Unfortunately there are fuck all good interviewers left in NZ – we’re now even exporting the dross.

        Part of it of course is environment – particularly the fact that their is no PSB platform (other than MTS and RNZ – excluding Natrad afternoons – which is more like an old ZB commercial network sounding board for the cult of bloody boring personality)

        • Tim 2.1.1.1

          “something like “the consumate broadcaster” above ….. looks like I left out an “M” in “consummate:.
          That’d be the “M” that stands for ME ME ME I I I ME ME ME ME ME

  3. Tracey 3

    thanks karol.

    replace the sun with money and all this makes perfect sense.

  4. Ad 4

    I can sense your frustration Karol. I see vast reams of commentators about how unfair the media is. Please. We know its stacked, work within that context.

    And the alternative has arrived, and it’s us.

    There was an interesting exchange yesterday on Open Mike about the future of progressive blogs that are more populist than this one, as compared to the growing power and MSM competitiveness of Waleoil. Whaleoil is a dump truck more powerful than Mike Hoskings.

    Imagine a Whaleoil for the Left (is it really The Daily Blog? It sure ain’t Scoop).

    Imagine the power it would have, to contest not only newspapers, but tv itself.

    That is the opportunity.

  5. JustLikeTigerWoods 5

    Yeah, it’s all the media’s fault. I mean, they never – never, ever – have a go at National.

    It’s just not fair.

    • karol 5.1

      JLTW.

      I didn’t say anything like “they never – never, ever – have a go at National.” I also did say there were some good things about One News last night.

      Did you read the post about how Qu & A was slanted to a particular perspective? Anything to say on that?

      For instance, why do you think Dann and the rest of Qu & A were following a lot of the recent media lines, and only addressing the interests of “Business”?

      • JustLikeTigerWoods 5.1.1

        You mean Dann isn’t a Labour Party member? He practically winces each time he reads out poll results.

        I think you hear what you want to hear. You ignore the bias and hyperbole against National, but only pick it up when they’re talking about Labour.

        .

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5.1.1.1

          JLTW,

          You are attempting to present the view that the media contain rightwing bias as a case of opinion vs facts You require some proof to present this case plausibly to avoid doing exactly what you are accusing Karol of: ‘hearing only what you want to hear’.

          Please supply links or information to when National had stories that attacked them based on nothing other than fantasy or opinion or both.

          Labour and the Greens have recently been accused as being ‘hypocrital’ and/or ‘Tricky’ throughout most mainstream media sources – based on very implausible -unfactual – grounds. This is understandable if it were reported on National propaganda sites or presented as National Party spin – this was not the case though – it was presented as a genuine issue – which it was not.

          Please supply an instance for when this has occurred for National since they have been in power.

          Thanks

        • Tim 5.1.1.2

          Christ JLTW!!
          Next you’ll be trying to convince us all that Kathryn Ryan is a leftie (whereas we all know she’s utterly fair and balanced and just you’re really work-life-balanced regular gal).
          I’ll admit there’s something about her that’s definitely not right, but she sure as hell isn’t left. Dann – same shit different stink.
          Perhaps one of the biggest problems with our MSM journalists is that (either by luck, or personality, or salesmanship, or other), they’ve simply managed to carve out a comfortable little niche, and like the used car salesman … they’ve learned all the buzz.

  6. fender 6

    Great post Karol.

    I genuinely believe the msm organisations and reporters are scared of critiquing Key and his policies in a thorough manner because they are afraid of the consequences of exposing the lack of substance.

    Even when Gower interviewed Key about him being ‘tricky’, Key got that ‘I will have you killed’ look in his eyes to remind people that he’s an ‘assassin’.

    • Chooky 6.1

      Fender…..agreed msm are scared of critiquing Key and his policies

      +100 Karol for a great post …this needs to be sent to Editors of both paper and air/tv and radio

      …New Zealanders are sick of the media beat-ups on David Cunliffe and the Left ..It undermines democracy in this country …and it undermines the taxpayers and voters rights to get a fair hearing from politicians and get the facts !

      (…on the positive side there was a hell of a beat up on Winston Peters and a pollster beat up as well….and his voters were not fooled !….but the pollsters and the political commentators were shown up for the spinning fools they were)

  7. TightyRighty 7

    If labour didn’t fuck up so much, the media wouldn’t be able to report all the fuck ups. Hardly rocket science. Key and co fuck up less, so less gets reported. Alternatively, labour plays gotcha politics and fucks it up because either they get themselves too or get it wrong. Getting themselves: accusing jk of living in a leafy suburb and being out of touch. Dc lives in a leafy suburb and talks bro to try and fit in. Getting it wrong: what’s the government going to do about the manufacturing crises? What manufacturing crises?

    • Enough is Enough 7.1

      What does “talks bro” mean you racist waste of space?

      • Anne 7.1.1

        There seems to be a stubborn Hive-Media spin: that it is incomprehensible that someone with money can’t campaign against poverty and inequality; can want to do public service to help other people; and work to provide more opportunities for all New Zealanders, especially for “working and underprivileged New Zealanders”. Why is that such a mystery to the Hive-Media mind?

        Why is that such a mystery…? Simple. People tend to judge others by themselves. It happens all the time both at a collective and personal level. In this instance the “Hive-Media mind” is turned in on itself. They have no compassion, they don’t care if others are hung out to dry… they care least of all about the true facts of a case. All they care about is climbing the slippery media ladder and getting a cushy number in a cabinet minister’s office as a press secretary.

        They simply cannot conceive of someone like David Cunliffe actually caring about the people he purports to represent.

      • TightyRighty 7.1.2

        it’s a dialect of New Zealand english. plenty of people of all colours speak it you dumb shit.

        it’s even been exported to places like london, hong kong, marseilles and bondi. it’s spoken by the “power kiwis” those who have taken the most identifiable parts of new zealand yoof culture with them. A love of all bands kiwi, shapies, katchafire, shihad etc. prominent displays of kiwi tattoo’s, southern cross, stylised tribal symbols, outlines of NZ. kiwi beer, kiwi movies. shit, sounds like prime labour territory. the only thing they have in common though is the fact they are from NZ. And David Cunliffe tries to talk like them when he thinks he’s in the right spot for it. yeah boi.

        if you weren’t so quick to be offended, you might not look like a total arse. too late though.

        • framu 7.1.2.1

          yeah, your describing kiwi culture, which pretty much all NZers who are overseas do to some extent – especially the young OE-ers – and thats not “talking bro”

          talking bro would be using words like… um… bro, cuz, chur – that sort of thing. And yes, given that, and possible past statements from yourself, could you see how someone might think your being a bit racist-y?

          nice try – but i would rather be accused of talking bro than sounding like ive had a few at lunch – you do know who sounds like that dont you?

          this “cunliffes faking his accent” thing is really weird – i honestly dont see where you lot get it from

          • RedLogix 7.1.2.1.1

            this “cunliffes faking his accent” thing is really weird – i honestly dont see where you lot get it from

            It’s a social marker, snobbery thing. Very important to righties.

            • framu 7.1.2.1.1.1

              yup – sure is. I just dont see how they actually joined the dots on that one

            • Anne 7.1.2.1.1.2

              It’s a social marker, snobbery thing. Very important to righties.

              And yet every time they open their mouths they expose themselves for the cretins/philistines they really are… starting with their beloved idol, John Key.

          • TightyRighty 7.1.2.1.2

            But they do use those words framu? bro, cuz, chur, yeah boi. i hear it all the time from people in professional occupations in london, sydney, hong kong, paris. so what i’m describing is what i’m describing. not just kiwi culture, but POWER kiwis. it almost seems a parody until you realise they are serious. it’s not limited by the colour of their skin. these are people my age too. late twenties, highly educated, from all kinds of back grounds.

            i don’t really care for what you would rather be accused of. if you want to talk like that fine, but David Cunliffe doing it? seems very much at odds with the face he likes to present to the rest of New Zealand.

            • framu 7.1.2.1.2.1

              starting to sound like a race thing buddy

              “A love of all bands kiwi, shapies, katchafire, shihad etc. prominent displays of kiwi tattoo’s, southern cross, stylised tribal symbols, outlines of NZ. kiwi beer, kiwi movies”

              hmm – looks like a kiwi expat culture description to me. (words being a subset of that)

            • felix 7.1.2.1.2.2

              So now your issue with Cunliffe is that he talks like “people in professional occupations” do, like “POWER kiwis” do?

              It’s still not clear. Keep explaining please.

        • Enough is Enough 7.1.2.2

          I wasn’t offended. Stop being presumptuous.

          One can identify racism without being offended you ‘dumb shit’.

          Now back to your bollocks.

          Where the fuck are these ‘bro talk’ examples of David’s?

          • framu 7.1.2.2.1

            “Where the fuck are these bro talk examples of Davids?”

            yes – please point them out

            if anyone could be accused of “talking bro” surely len brown would be further up the list than cunliffe

        • Murray Olsen 7.1.2.3

          TR – to be offended by you, someone would have to care about your opinion. I don’t. I think you’re a pathetic racist, but more than anything else, I think you and the other fools who run off to WhaleSpew and KiwiBog telling how they dealt to the Liebour retards at the Standard are just a joke. A bad joke, but the punchline is coming on the 20th of September. I suppose you’ll always be able to move to far north Queensland and impress the bogans with stories of the old days, “when we…”

    • framu 7.2

      “Key and co fuck up less, so less gets reported. ”

      yeah – thats bullshit mate

      “Alternatively, labour plays gotcha politics”

      Exactly who pays whalespew and the penguin again? Just who do you think has been playing a very active role in the media feeding frenzy about cunliffe? Just who said they had a whole drawer full of interesting info?

      yeah the ABCs are probably in there to – but come on man, you do your self no favours

      This “labour are the nasty party and national are totes honest and play a fair game” meme is rediculous

      yes labour have some clangers – but to sit there and pretend that national dont, and the media havent been giving key a soft ride for years is staggering in its lack of connection to reality

  8. ianmac 8

    How soon will it be before John Key be interviewed again by Paddy?

    It was the first Key interview where he was actually held to the topic and none of his deflections worked. Imagine if we had interviewers who knew their subject and pressed Leaders for credible answers. For instance the shallowness of the “recovery” would become evident.

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    . . 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
    5 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

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