Why is it wrong to want a better world?

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, October 25th, 2011 - 37 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war - Tags:

“If you are under an illusion that class warfare is non-existent in our society, then look no further. Today an incredulous Deborah Hill Cone took aim at the Occupy Movement. She cunningly opens her piece with a suggestion that “I’d have thought Aotea Square was more an embodiment of what is wrong with socialist-type centralised planning.” From this opening position she descends into a one-eyed rant that can really sum up everything that is wrong in Modern New Zealand society.

Her first line of attack blindly follows the wider mainstream media reaction to the movement around the world,

I don’t have much of an inkling of what the Occupy This and That movement is really wanting. Do they have a clue? As some wag quipped at a few hundred ragtaggle people with signs saying “We are the 99 per cent”, it seems they are rather bad at maths.

 

After pointing out no facts, offering no logical reasoning, she goes on ask “why is it that I find myself thinking the protesters seem not inspirational but a bit brattish? Anyway, I suspect many of the Occupy protesters are not so much against capitalism per se, as feeling miffed that they personally are not rich capitalists.” 

But she reveals the ‘truth’ later in her rant,

Back in 1994 when The Bell Curve was published, Murray sounded a warning, arguing that those with high intelligence (the “cognitive elite”) are becoming separated from the general population of those with average and below-average intelligence, and this was a dangerous social trend. He was right, but it is probably not a conclusion the protesters in Aotea Square would like to hear. As T.S. Eliot said, humankind cannot bear much reality.

Can you believe this? Fortunate as I am to enjoy the luxury of conscious thought and a reasonably rational mind, I was skeptical. Then I remembered, just yesterday I’d read comments from one of New Zealand’s top academics, Dr Campbell Jones of Auckland University. The article is entitled ‘Occupy Wall St has a message for Kiwis’. In it, Dr Jones says,

“So what is this movement about? In part, the answer is quite simple. The Occupy Wall Street movement targeted the centre of financial power in the United States and indeed the world. In this sense “Wall Street” symbolises finance, the banking and financial services sector. So let there be no mistake – these occupations are opposed to the economic power of finance capital.”

 Dr Jones goes on to offer insight based on research, reason and facts,

“MANY people in New Zealand value equality, and think of this country as being egalitarian. The blunt reality, however, is that New Zealand has become one of the most unequal societies in the world, and is in the process of becoming increasingly so. Last week, Dame Anne Salmond called for a change of heart in our country, racked as it is with social and economic inequality.

A change of heart would, however, require changing the ways that we think. It would involve changing how we think about the 151 individuals in this country whose wealth expanded by $7 billion this year, while at the same time real incomes fell for almost everyone else. It would involve changing how we think about rising poverty and social deprivation. Such a change of thinking would enable us to see how 1 per cent can do very well indeed, while austerity and crisis are the fate of 99 per cent.”

So after a few moments pondering Deborah Hill Cone’s suggestion that the ‘cognitive elite’ are becoming separated from the general population, I asked myself; who does Hill Cone actually believe the cognitive elite to be? Obviously I assumed that, being the sharp and informed journalist she believes herself to be, and applying her superior cognitive abilities, she took it upon herself to research the issues behind the movement, and consider opinions of experts in related areas. If so, it would appear she has come to the conclusion that to be ‘cognitively superior’, you must have money and power. She appears to have concluded the reasoning presented by Dr Jones as misguided and ill-informed, which allowed her to affirm her belief in just who the superior ‘cognitive elite’ really are. Then I thought, well I’ll consider another view as well, since these two appear to be quite at odds.

Dame Anna Salmond is a great New Zealand writer and academic, she has excelled in her career and deservedly gained recognition. Last week she wrote ‘We could do with a change of heart

The problem, it seems, is a loss of balance. In the pursuit of profit, everything in the world – the earth itself, other species, knowledge and indeed, other people – has been turned into a “resource” to be exploited, often without care or conscience.

In the process, ideas of justice, truth and the common good have been undermined. Without these bulwarks, democracy falters, capitalism fails to share wealth and the distribution of income shifts dangerously out of kilter.

Since the 1990s, income inequality in New Zealand has soared.

She goes on to make a poignant observation, that I suppose Deborah Hill Cone dismissed as misguided and ill-informed,

The philosophies that persuaded many Kiwis to betray their own best values are bankrupt, and our future is at risk. A nation that does not care for its children has a death wish. A society that destroys the environment that sustains it will fail.

This, then, is the puzzle. Why do people support policies that are not in their own interests, let alone those of future generations?

Some suggest this is because the middle 40 per cent of income earners aspires to join the top 10 per cent and does not want the bottom 50 per cent to displace them. This may help to explain the rise in consumerism and household debt, but it is only part of the story.

People also have to be persuaded that there is no alternative to the policies that beset them, or that external factors are to blame, or the likely impacts on their lives are misrepresented.

Here, the freedom of the press is vital. If the independence of the media is compromised, the flow of information is in danger and independent voices are silenced. The press becomes a tool in the politics of diversion, with stories about celebrities and scandals displacing reporting on serious issues.

I’ll leave the final words to Deborah Hill Cone, she appears to be the authority,

The truth is, the world cannot be made perfect: the protesters are like toddlers having a tanty. “It’s not fair!” Why should some people be born into money while others are born into poverty? Why should some people be healthier or prettier or more charismatic than others?

I know how they feel, but let us try to face this reality together, like adults, rather than running away from home and setting up a tent at the bottom of the garden like sulky children.

New Zealand is an egalitarian society with no class divisions? Yeah, right. 

Rijab

37 comments on “Why is it wrong to want a better world?”

  1. deemac 1

    there certainly is something wrong with the world when a nitwit like DHC is paid big bucks to write her inane column!

  2. uke 2

    Could this be her Marie Antoinette moment?

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Oh, for full public ownership and operation of a nationwide newspaper and a nationwide TV network.

    • TightyRighty 3.1

      so you can distribute government propaganda against everyone’s will? even if you don’t like what the herald publishes, at least recognize the fact that is allowed to have an editorial slant, seeing as it is privately owned and all that. thestandard owns this website and is not subject to external editorial control, why should the herald? twat

      • KJT 3.1.1

        There should at least be a requirement that they do not lie.

        Having to reference News paper articles would be a good start.
        So we can see for ourselves how much they have slanted things from the source.

        • TightyRighty 3.1.1.1

          lies? i see no lies by dhc? just because mr smith belives that she is lying or mis-informed, does not make it so, even if you agree with him. or are you referring to david parkers guest post over on kiwiblog?

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.2

        so you can distribute government propaganda against everyone’s will?

        What’s the difference to distributing corporatist and bankster propaganda against everyone’s will?

        • TightyRighty 3.1.2.1

          Doofus. You don’t pay to produce the herald or the dom post whether you read it or not. If you don’t like whats written, don’t read it. if you have a real problem, don’t buy from those who advertise in it in protest. Just please don’t try and pull the wool over the eyes of intelligent people with your demands for a fully government owned newspaper network. we know it will just be a mouthpiece for the government of the day if it is set up under a left wing government. you already have a nationwide public tv broadcaster, as if you weren’t obviously stupid enough.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1.1

            🙂

            Rupert Murdoch’s getting fucked for his little game of political control by MSM.

            Don’t pretend that isn’t happening my friend.

            Public broadcasting all the way mate, push big money out of the MSM and out of politics.

            You don’t pay to produce the herald or the dom post whether you read it or not. If you don’t like whats written, don’t read it. if you have a real problem, don’t buy from those who advertise in it in protest.

            My protest is to fuck the corporate MSM. Do you have a problem with that? I’ll do a lot more than withold my $2 from the Dom Post lol

            • Gosman 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Yeah sure you are going to fuck the corporate MSM. I think you might be having a little attack of delusion of grandure Colonial Viper.

              How are you going to achieve this fucking exactly, by posting left wing comments on a left wing blog perchance?

              It would be sad if it wasn’t so damn funny.

  4. AndrewK 4

    “Oh, for full public ownership and operation of a nationwide newspaper and a nationwide TV network.”

     Trouble is the government of the day can control content by stacking the top management with running dog lackeys -National Radio and the appointment of Richard Griffin springs to mind. (I still listen to National Radio in spite of its banning of Martyn Bradbury, but I stopped reading the Listener after the great leap to the right- about the same time they got rid of Gordon Campbell.)

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      If you can protect the independence of the fraking Reserve Bank and of Stats NZ you can sure as hell protect the public news service.

    • Gosman 4.2

      What you want is to ensure those that work for a Government controlled media organisation thinks ‘correctly’. A few years in a re-education camp on the Chathams chanting the Communist manifesto should sort them out.

    • seeker 5.1

      Thanks for the link JS- have just copied this quote from its editorial:

      “We are not just a handful of dreamers – we are realists. We are not stupid – we know something is very, very wrong with the world. We are not cowards – we are stepping up and putting ourselves forward to take part in this movement. We are not naïve – we know the problem is not a few greedy people ruining the system, the problem is a system based on greed that ruins people.”

      I would love for Thatcher to read this just before she leaves this earth for good. So she can see what evil the system she set up has wrought on the society she said, for her own convenience, never existed.
      It was so much easier for profit to economically quantify everyone and say we did not exist,only as individuals or units. So much easier to reckon with. (Paula Rabstock uses this method.) What a waste of Thatcher’s life to have brought so much misery to so many people and all in the name of money!
      Well she will be going somewhere pretty soon where she will have to deal with an account she won’t be used to; an account of herself and her ghastly policies and actions.She will have to give this account to someone far more powerful than herself and it will have to be the truth whether she likes it or not.
      I hope Douglas, Richardson, Brash, Ashcroft, Key and his Blues band, PhilO’Reilly and the business roundtable, the Koch Brothers, not to maention the US republicans and Tea Partiesetc. note all this. Accounts will be required from them and they will be judged -pretty harshly I would imagine.-Because they have forgotten their neighbour ie.their fellow man and have worshipped money instead.Yuck!

      *My dad would not have been happy with what Thatcher and her ilk have done with the world over the last 30 odd years, especially as he nearly lost his life fighting for it in Europe from 1939-1946. He died just before she fully emerged from the woodwork in 1979. A great father and human being.

      NB I hope DHC reads this post -she might gain some insight and wisdom and thereby mature. If she gets a new hairstyle I will see this as a small sign of salvation occuring. At the moment her photo appears to reflect her thinking- lopsided and certainly outdated.

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        Do you mean read your comment or the post that this thread is about?

        Both are just typical left wing ranting at anybody who dares have an opinion contrary to the leftist world view.

        I’m pretty sure Thatcher and Hill-Cone woouldn’t be influenced at all by this biased nonsense.

        • seeker 5.1.1.1

          Gosman
          I was talking initially about Thatcher reading the quote I had extracted from the editorial of the first edition of the Occupied Dominion Post that JS 1.09pm comment5 had thoughtfully linked to and which I read
          .
          My “rant” was more supernatural than left wing – although the two do generally go together as my supernatural leaning tells us to treat our neighbours as kindly as we would treat oureselves which is more left wing and it is obvious that rightwing ideologies tend to put the individual first and are more akin to a nastier supernatural leaning which says “do what thou wilt.”

          My “rant” was about Thatcher and co’s ruinous legacy and her need to see it for what it was. This may help her, ‘cos even for Thatcher it is not too late to see how wrong her ideology had been and that she might, even at the last minute turn and say sorry.
          The others – and you Gosman- have a bit longer. However y’all still need to turn from the horrible errors of your ‘way’ and find a new one.Hopefully this Occupy Movement and articles like Dame Anne Salmond just might ignite a little spark of insight and remorse in your vain, hardened and almost, metaphorically speaking, dead hearts.

          NB DHC ‘s cynical article instigated parts of my diatribe Gosman , in case you thought I was off thread. And finally, I hope you are over what appeared to be early morning grumps today 🙂

  5. JS 6

    It is funny and sad how those at the top of the wealth and privilege pile like DHC just don’t have any insight into how the world is outside their little bubble.

  6. Uturn 7

    You’ve nailed it, Rijab.

    I find it unusual that the elite educated mind of DHC hasn’t learned that no matter what a person writes, their attitudes and perspective are revealed.

    As we so often see with the mindset of entitlement from the middle classes, “the world’s not perfect” does not apply to them. When their taxes increase, when super gets pushed out, when they have to abide by property laws, when they’re asked to consider those less fortunate, suddenly “world’s not perfect” just doesn’t cut it. Oh the squealing that ensues. They’ve worked hard, they own a business – why should they pay tax or abide by drink drive/speed laws – they’re owed a reward… aren’t they? World’s not perfect, don’t try to change it, don’t complain, take it on the nose… unless you’re one of us.

    The poor know it’s not perfect and they know the middle class upwards don’t give a damn.

    • KJT 7.1

      Actually a lot of people in the middle class do give a damn.

      Many of us support left wing parties.

      Samuel Parnell was a small businessman.

      Personally, my business/employment does a lot better when customers have decent wages and/or benefits are above subsistence..

      Apart from that. I benefited from cheap education, health care and infrastructure supplied by past tax payers. I do not think I have the right to pull the ladder up behind me.

      I believe a decent society looks after their children, elderly, sick and those who cannot find work.

      I have worked hard. but, I know that I would not have been able to achieve what I have in the USA or Somalia.

      DBH is typical of many wannabees I have met.

  7. The truth is, the world cannot be made perfect: the protesters are like toddlers having a tanty. “It’s not fair!

    That is the truth to an extent. The world obviously cannot be made perfect, far from it (but we can strive to make it better).

    To a degree there is some naieve “it’s not fair” among the protesters. When they get older they will learn that often life isn’t fair, and there’s sometimes nothing you can do about it.

    Occupy is making some valid points and raising issues that need to be addressed, but from what I’ve seen there’s an abundance of wide eyed innocence of youth idealism. I’m starting to see more realism emerge from some Occupy supporters, if there is some pragmatism and thought about possible consequences of major changes to business and politics then Occupy may gather some useful momentum.

    We can’t fix the world, but we can make it better if we are forceful but realistic.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      To a degree there is some naieve “it’s not fair” among the protesters. When they get older they will learn that often life isn’t fair, and there’s sometimes nothing you can do about it.

      In a past century, guillotines have usually started things rolling. As it were.

    • what a defeatist giver-upper – “we can’t fix the world, life isn’t fair, nothing you can do about it…” talk about a downer – no wonder they didn’t go for your plan, and thank goodness they didn’t.

  8. KJT 9

    What happens when the requirements, to be given crumbs from the wealthy table, is to suspend thought, ethics and concern for the results of your action

    The problem, as shown graphically by Coddington, is the, real, cognitive elite, who think deeply enough to care for the future, are being displaced in power and wealth by dimwitted puppets like Coddington, Brash and Key.

  9. Awesome post rijab and thanks for those links.

  10. Bill 11

    The second last line of her piece (also quoted in the post) is a kind of dead give-away.

    Why should some people be born into money while others are born into poverty? Why should some people be healthier or prettier or more charismatic than others?

    is basically equating an economic system to natural attributes or deficits that cannot be affected.

    She might as well have equated capitalism to ageing.

    So there is why it is ‘wrong to want a better world’. Our economy is a natural phenomena. And natural phenomena are…well, they just are.

  11. randal 12

    The problem is that we have constructed the wittgensteinian staircase but we haven’t climbed it yet.
    It was karl marx who first coined the term “false consciousness” and so far there are no signs that the proletariat let alone the born to rulers have any idea of what is in store when the shit hits the fan.
    We humans have an insatiable desire to acquire stuff for no bettter reason than to outdo the neighbours in petty vainglorious displays of gimcracks and gew gaws.
    then the whole dialectic goes out the widow when the struggle to survive becomes more insistent than ever.

  12. DeValera 13

    She is not worth the Oxygen of Publicity
    Resolution: ignore idiots, anything else only encourages them.

  13. DeValera 14

    Resolution No 2: Don’t argue with idiots: observers might not tell the difference between you.

  14. DeValera 15

    Resolution No 3:
    Never argue with an idiot: they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 hours ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 hours ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    8 hours ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    9 hours ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    13 hours ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    2 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    2 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    2 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    3 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    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
    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
  • 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
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.