What should Clark do?

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, November 18th, 2008 - 28 comments
Categories: activism, helen clark, labour - Tags:

There’s a lot of talk about Helen Clark leaving Parliament in a year or so to head for an international role. While Clark would obviously be more than capable of performing well at that level, I would prefer to see her do something completely different.

Labour needs to build its membership and its connections with the communities of South and West Auckland in particular. It is a disgrace that they are losing seats and party vote support in the heart of working class New Zealand. Labour needs to rebuild itself as the people’s party and build the popular demand for an improved social democracy. I would like to see Clark, MP for Mount Albert, lead that effort.

Now, some will say that if Labour has lost some connection with the working class it is the fault of Clark and her top-down leadership style. And I think there’s some truth to that. Certainly the Fifth Labour Government failed to take its opportunity to build political consciousness, public demand for improved social democracy. But she is still the person for the job of fixing that. She has the mana, she has the leadership and organisational skills. We also saw in the final days of the campaign that underneath the tough exterior, underneath the ‘strong leader’ image, that Clark needed to win and keep her positions as Labour leader and PM there is still an idealist very much connected to her social democratic principles.

Such a role might not have the profile of a senior UN position but it is just as important. If Labour can build and extend its base, raise the political consciousness of the working class, our social democracy will be protected against whatever populist rubbish the Right can throw at it. Now, that would be a truly great legacy for Clark.

28 comments on “What should Clark do?”

  1. Carol 1

    I think Labour does need to rebuild its base as you outline. But I think Clark can do more good in an international role. I think her support for a UN direction towards a Green New Deal, perhaps in line with some of the direction the US takes under President Obama, will be good for the world, and indirectly for NZ. This could also help in a positive but indirect way for Labour, taking the same direction, while re-building its grass-root support.

  2. I think Aunty Helen would fit in with the UN, she should be given a plane ticket to New York right away.

  3. Joe Blogger 3

    Just leave.

    I don’t care where she goes or what she ends up doing but the sooner she leaves the country the sooner the Labour Party can begin repairing the damage she and her inner circle has inflicted upon the party’s supporters.

  4. Stephen 4

    Dunno bout carting Clark around south and west auckland…you seem to discount any possibility that Labour lost seats because people didn’t like the Labour/Clark combination…? I know you have anecdotal evidence that people didn’t really feel like voting Labour ‘just cos’, but still. If she does do that, her first job might be to explain to people what the hell ‘social democracy’ is.

    She’d do a fine job overseas, if so inclined. One thing one can’t argue with is how well she has handled herself and represented NZ overseas.

  5. Ianmac 5

    Joe and Brett: Sounds like you are suffering from fear and doubt. Mostly ex-Prime Ministers fade away after losing the Benches, and you add credence to the belief amongst most New Zealanders that Helen is still a credible powerful and respected person.
    W’da’ya scared of?

  6. MikeE 6

    As much as I don’t like Clark’s policies there is no doubt in my mind that she has an immense love for New Zealand and would always go into bat for the good of the country on the international stage.

    I think the international stage option is good for NZ, your suggestion is potentially good for the Labour party. You make the assumption that what is good for the labour party is good for NZ, which might not be the case.

    NZ would be far better off if she chose an international posting, similar to that that Mike Moore or others have done in the past. Above all though, the choice should be hers, she has earn’t a well deserved break.

  7. Felix 7

    Well if all these righties want her to leave…

  8. gingercrush 8

    Interesting idea, certainly has its merits. Don’t wish to talk about Helen Clark since its a good idea but I can’t see it happening. But its the other stuff you mentioned. That being rebuilding membership and connections. Which I think is really pivitol.

    South Auckland except for Maungakiekie went to Labour. Maungakiekie has had some major electoral shifts and much of it went into areas that typically vote National. So while its a seat Labour can win, I suspect its a seat that if largely stays in the same area, will swing left to right depending on who looks to be leading the polls.

    Mangere the real problem was a significant drop in voter turnout. Manukau East and Manurewa also was plagued by drops in voter turnout. Therefore, South Auckland is an area where you have to get people to go out and vote. In 2005 they came out largely in fear of what a Don Brash led National would deliver. 2008 its likely that Key wasn’t someone to be feared like Don Brash and National looked far more likely to form a government and as such the voters decided not to vote. Critically though, that meant Labour lost more votes and thus they could not even come up with the numbers to form a government.

    Waitakere too had a seemingly smaller voter turnout compared to 2008. It went to the right this time but not by much. Some suggestions were made over talkback and the mass media that the anti-smacking bill upset voters there. Such an argument I would suggest is too simplistic. I don’t know West Auckland very well at all. Is there a shift in who is living there? Are the demographics more conservative? In 2005 Labour won that electorate but its an electorate that I though had a real chance to turn blue in 2008. In fact I’m quite surprised but my opinion of what was likely to happen between 2005 and 2008 turned out to be rather accurate. Its the same idea Manning over at the news website Scoop also had.

    New Lynn and Te Atatu however were complete surprises and I did not expect those electorates to have National leading the party vote. Its not an area I know terribly well so I’m not quite sure what type of people live there. They don’t seem to necessarily have the same values as South Auckland but still looks to be working class suburbs.

    So I certainly agree with your assertion that in West and South Auckland Labour needs to engage much more in its people.

    But where I have problems is that you center on West and South Auckland and don’t look at other more significant electorates.

    South Auckland is not going blue its a matter of getting people out to vote. West Auckland does seem to be having slight shifts to the right but I don’t think is yet in danger for Labour.

    I think there are questions over certain electorates in Auckland city itself. Those being Mt. Roskill, Mt. Albert and Auckland Central. Two of those went blue. Now one reason I argue Mt. Roskill did not go more blue was due to the strength of Phil Goff. Had he not been there I would think that would have been a much larger swing to the right. Likewise without Helen Clark being the electorate MP for Mt. Albert, there’s a question as to how that could shift to the right. Auckland Central in terms of red/blue went blue. But if you look at Labour-Green and National-Act votes. Labour-Greens are ahead by 2000 and that surely should increase with the special votes counted. So its not an electorate that went to the right. But I dont think its an electorate where Labour would want to lose the party vote to National. Those three electorates can expect further changes in the future when Helen Clark and Phil Goff eventually go and right now I would say its shifting right.

    But more critically I think is Christchurch. Christchurch you saw National swallow up large chunks of votes in Christchurch Central and Wigram. Ilam extended to the right. Port Hills went to the right. Waimakariri went to the right. And even in the more solid Labour electorate of Christchurch East significantly closed up with a difference of just 4000 votes. Christchurch has working class elements but is a complete different city than South and West Auckland. There isn’t a huge Maori population nor are there many Pacific Islanders. There’s a number of Asians and Indians however. I’m not sure what you could do in Christchurch. But to ignore Christchurch which is growing pretty fast and has become New Zealand’s second largest city is something that could do significant damage to Labour in the future. Also potentially in the long-term due to new housing developments Wigram could prove to become blue. Port Hills and Christchurch Central have a few areas that are set to really start pushing out working class homeowners.

    Dunedin and Wellington have shown that they continue to and will always be Labour unless a complete catastrophe takes place. Likewise,while you didn’t win the vote in Hamilton. I still see Hamilton as largely swinging left/right depending on who is leading. But at the same time I think Hamilton may ever slightly be shifting towards the right.

    But Labour’s most pressing issue are the provinces. North to South they went Blue. And while some like Clutha-Southland, Kaikoura, Rangitikei, Taranaki-King Country you expect to go blue there are several electorates that shouldn’t be that Blue and really should be red.

    Nelson and Invercargill both went blue this time. Invercargill is extending out and included areas such as Riverton and due to population growth is likely to extend further into Southland so its got potential long-term problems for Labour. Nelson if you crunch the numbers Labour-Greens got about 500 votes more than National. Suggesting its still likely to tend red and certainly centre-left. But likewise there is a chance shifting boundaries may bring in more National supporters.

    Other electorates where I think the party votes should be much closer if not red would be: Napier, New Plymouth, West Coast-Tasman, East Coast and Rotorua.

    The provinces are pointing to increasingly favour the right.

    —–

    Yes South Auckland and West Auckland are critical to the long-term success for Labour and ultimately the centre-left. But to ignore Christchurch, Auckland City and certain provinces in the North and South and you’re looking at real potential long-term problems.

    And for that it needs more than an inspiration leader such as Helen Clark. It means real grass-root organisations and different ideas and policies that are not just about the working class. Especially when Urban working class are very different to other blue collar workers.

    —-

    I know I’m often just talking about National and Labour and not thinking about voting blocs. Those being centre-right and centre-left but besides a few electorates the Greens and Act votes don’t make much difference.

  9. gobsmacked 9

    Clark should do whatever she wants. She owes the Labour Party nothing. She did more in nine years than Labour managed in the previous fifty.

    Labour voters will return because of what this government does, and because Goff is smart enough to know when to hit and when to hold off. National will lose 10% in the polls in six months, and never regain that support.

  10. Kerry 10

    Im torn somewhat……i think what you suggest is perfect for the future of the Labour party…but wonder whether it would be enought for Helen.

    Either way she was a person of morals and a bloody good leader…both of which we dont have under this shonk Nat/Maori/Act/United Future government with old “ï’ll say anything and smile at anything to be your PM Keys”.

    Shallow as puddles whose right wingers…..

  11. I have no fear or doubt, I just think Aunty Helen would fit in perfectly with the UN, it’s her type of people.

    Where else would she go? and what else would she do?

  12. gingercrush 12

    gobsmacked sorry but where do you see that 10% coming from? 2005 election Labour/Greens won 46% of the vote. 2008 Labour/Greens won 40%.

    2005 National ran a right-wing campaign and the left here including you are saying National is exactly that this year. But then a 10% can’t be possible. Even if you include those who chose not to vote and would have voted Labour/Greens you’re still missing about 2%.

  13. gobsmacked 13

    Gingercrush

    Lose 10% = National 35%, give or take.

    5% is natural drop-off, from people who just projected their own vague wishes onto the ballot paper. It happens to most incoming governments. It’s even more likely to happen when the Change message is so soft, that reality can’t hope to match it.

    5% is the economy. And lose an extra 5% if they stuff up badly on presentation and disunity (I think they probably will, but I’ve generously left that out of my numbers!).

  14. gingercrush 14

    I don’t really see how that works. And you haven’t included the change in leadership within Labour. Helen Clark always polled better compared to what Labour polled as a party. I’m not saying Goff and King are going to do much damage to Labour. I don’t expect much change. But I have to believe at least some Labour supporters remained loyal due to the Helen Clark factor.

  15. Felix 15

    gc,

    I think National ran a fairly left-wing public campaign (by promising to keep most of Labour’s policies and programs) with a simultaneous right-wing dog whistle campaign (hinting that they’d prefer to get rid of many of those policies given half a chance).

    The question is who do they stay true to – the traditional right-wing or the “Labour Plus” voters?

    I don’t see how they can maintain the support of both groups.

  16. gingercrush 16

    Well where are the traditional right-wing meant to go?

  17. gobsmacked 17

    GC

    Well, time will tell. We’ll discuss it in six months!

    John Key, yesterday: “We have to do more with less and that is the practicality of the economic circumstances we face. Every minister in my government has to front up to that.”

    This was not the message to voters before November 8. He didn’t “front up” himself. Now he has to deal with the consequences of raised expectations, for which he is personally responsible.

  18. randal 18

    gingacrucnh
    I read your material but there is never any conclusion
    are you just filling in space or do you have something positive to contribute
    ditch the waffle and lets hear it

  19. I know I would be very proud were Helen to be in a senior position in the UN, after all we’re going to need someone decent representing us what with Murray McCully just being appointed Foreign Affairs Minister.

  20. Felix 20

    gc,

    “Where are the traditional right-wing meant to go?”

    That is exactly my point – they go further to the right, to ACT – and giving ACT more power pulls National further to the right thus alienating the “Labour Plus” voters.

  21. gingercrush 21

    We’ll see though good point.

    The left thinks John Key and the National-led government has gone too far to the right and not nearly as moderate as they claimed to be. Thus they are questioning why mass media are ignoring what this government is doing. The right generally thinks so far Key is doing a job well done and some Act supporters are having orgies.

    And the ones who swing left/right are so far a mystery. Do they fall asleep after an election or keep following things?

    I only know one person who changed their party vote this time. Went from Green to Progressive. Reason was Kiwibank. We tend to forget Kiwibank was Anderton’s project.

  22. the bean 22

    god I am with gobsmacked on this one! Steve, I normally think you are pretty spot on but in this instance I have to strongly disagree.

    Firstly let Helen, and Peter for that matter, get on with the rest of their lives minus large burden of Labour party. I am sure Helen will always be involved in some capacity but she needs to move on to doing something totally different where she won’t have the abusive crap that has been leveled at her from some sectors in the electorate.

    Secondly the best way for Helen to retain her mana is to go gracefully- as she has- not to stick around and try to carry the Labour banner further. It is up to others in the party now and Helen shouldn’t sully her legacy by being a core organiser of a Labour renewal.

    Thirdly- and as already hinted at- reconnecting and renewing should be done by the new base (or the old new base depending on who you are talking about). There is major talent at all levels of the party and it is time for the work to be done by others precisely to ensure the future of Labour. If Helen keeps doing everything then the young talent will lack exposure and experience once she really is gone.

  23. ak 23

    Right on, bean. Hels has sacrificed more, worked harder and achieved more real gains for kiwis than any politician in living memory, and her legacy and stature will ensure that she stays right up there with Michael Joseph for eternity.

    And her reward? The most vicious, filthy, unfounded media-abetted campaign of personal attack and demonisation ever seen in this country, coupled with relentless and traitorous back-stabbing from former friends – the Moores, Ralstons, Shadbolts, Woodhams, Tamiheres, and their craven, egotistical ilk – culminating in the abject failure of those she has worked so tirelessly for to even get off their arses and vote.

    Her disappointment at the public’s reaction to the disgusting Orewa One racism was palpable at the time: its tacit acceptance of the disgraceful low-level misogynic “nanny state” campaign and their willingness to replace her with a grinning lobotomised car salesman should convince her that it’s now time for Helen.

    More than any other kiwi right now, she owes this country nothing. Your talent and dedication will forever be acknowledged Hels, but right now we’re still insufficiently mature to deserve you. Go and enjoy yourself girl, you’ve earned it.

  24. randal 24

    I think she should hang around till the snap election next november when natoinal will bite the dust

  25. Akldnut 25

    Yeah I agree with Randal. She should just “Hang with the peeps” and step in to cleanup the mess with Goff and crew in 12 months or so.

    Why go overseas and cleanup shit for Nat after all the bs and spinning!!!

    Nah! stay home and have a break.

  26. Sarah 26

    Oh the UN can have her. Hopefully it’ll bring down both of ’em at the same time.

  27. Felix 27

    gc,

    “And the ones who swing left/right are so far a mystery. Do they fall asleep after an election or keep following things?”

    Yeah I wonder that too.

    My feeling (and it’s just a feeling) is that swing voters are fairly apolitical most of the time and decide pretty late based on a range of emotional and brand-driven factors.

    Of course there are plenty who shift between Nat and ACT or between Labour and Green etc but those who actually swing between left and right surely can’t be too interested in politics generally.

    For example I heard tonight from a usually Labour voting friend who voted National for the reason that Helen Clark doesn’t have children. Whether she wasn’t aware of this salient fact at the last 3 elections or it suddenly became important to her I have no idea.

  28. Spectator 28

    Randal: don’t hold your breath waiting for an early election. Remember that turkeys don’t vote for an early Christmas. Unless Obama pulls off a financial miracle and staves off the looming recession in America, our economy will flounder along with theirs; and you can expect to see mass disaffection from people who notice that this Government will have promised much but delivered little.

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.