Why they burn cars in France & we protest peacefully

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, October 22nd, 2010 - 30 comments
Categories: activism, democratic participation, International - Tags:

Vernon Small had an atypically disappointing piece in the Dom the other day that basically concluded everyone must be happy in New Zealand because the 20,000 protesters who turned out on October 20th did so peacefully and legally, whereas in France there is rioting in the streets.

I/S at No Right Turn explains why people have to take to the streets to get affect political change in France:

“The French government, in an effort to save money and lower taxes for the rich, wants to raise the retirement age. The people don’t like it. And so they’ve responded the way the French do, with marches, strikes, and blockades. Things are now getting serious – the country is running out of petrol, the electricity system is collapsing, and there have been riots. Faced with this level of protest and public opposition – 71% of people are apparently against the change – any normal democratic government would have seen the writing on the wall and buckled. So why haven’t the French?First, there’s the normal insulation of the government from the people. The strikes and protests don’t affect them. There is always petrol for government Ministers, they can always fly wherever they want, they are always protected by their security detail and staff from ordinary life. They don’t buy their own coffee, they don’t do their own shopping, they don’t drive their own cars, and this effectively makes them immune to the pressures of ordinary life. But more importantly than that, unlike Westminster systems like New Zealand, Ministers are not elected. Under Article 23 of the French Constitution, they cannot be members of the National Assembly or Senate. They depend for their position solely on the Prime Minister. Their political careers aren’t on the line. And this makes them immune to popular pressure.

So what about the individual legislators who are actually passing the bill? Well, its currently before the Senate – who are also not directly elected. Instead, they’re elected indirectly by 150,000 local officials (mayors, city councillors and the like). Worse, they serve a nine-year term. With their next election in 2017, they really don’t have to give a shit what the people think.

And that’s why France is such a mess at the moment, and why large protests there almost inevitably escalate to rioting: because they have an unresponsive government, constitutionally insulated from popular pressure. The people can’t credibly threaten to vote them out. Which leaves burning stuff as their only way of getting their point across.”

I would add to I/S’s comments that the French President is also elected for a very long term – 5 years, formerly 7 – and only one incumbent President has been defeated since the end of World War 2.

In New Zealand, we have the real opportunity to change the government within a reasonably short period of time. You can credit that to a long history of British elites who have realised that the best way to retain privilege is to mete out some power to the masses.

We don’t need to riot, we can kick out the government. The way things are going, we’ll be doing that within a year.

30 comments on “Why they burn cars in France & we protest peacefully”

  1. In New Zealand, we have the real opportunity to change the government within a reasonably short period of time.

    There’s arguments to be made in favour of longer terms, so that politicians aren’t constantly in point-scoring election mode. With three years they get a one year honeymoon in which they can get away with murder because people are sick to death of politics after an election campaign and aren’t ready to re-engage. Then there’s about a year of “proper” governing. Then they spend the third year doling out pork to get elected, so everyone becomes blissed out on tax cuts or whatever bribe is being offered.

    I quite like the Australian Senate system (although it’s not unique to them) of longer terms but half-Senate elections, so the personnel changes every three years but not in its entirety.

    You can credit that to a long history of British elites who have realised that the best way to retain privilege is to mete out some power to the masses.

    And when they invented it, representative democracy via the Westminster system was the best way to give power to the masses, given the limitations (or non existence) of technology, widespread public education and a host of other things. But not any more. Our Parliamentarians don’t travel days by horse to the next session, nor do they wait a month to receive by messenger a missive from a constituent.

    We might have a better system than France, but it’s far from perfect.

    • And when they invented it, representative democracy via the Westminster system was the best way to give power to the masses

      Insofar as “the masses” meant a small clique of rich landowners. And even after the Great Reform Act, only one in six adult males could vote (increasing to 40% in 1867). It was the French and the Americans who gave power to the masses, not the British.

      • Yes sorry I/S I should have said “Parliamentary system” rather than “Westminster”. I was including Britain in that, but not exclusively.

        You’re right, the franchise was restricted… as it was in the US of course till the Civil War.

        But let’s not let my historical imprecision muddy my point – that representative democracy in its present form, regardless of who claims credit for it, has had its day.

        Fascinating analysis of why France is as it is, BTW. I knew the Cabinet were appointees, as in the US (who mostly seem to avoid car burnings, interestingly… there’s undoubtedly some Gallic passion at work) but didn’t know that “representatives” were elected in that way.

        • KJT 1.1.1.1

          No such thing as “representative democracy”. Democracy is rule by the people for the people.
          Not rule by 120 largely self selected incompetents who cannot get a real job.

          Though maybe, judging from today, some people in the news media who actually think about what they are saying.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      I quite like the Australian Senate system (although it’s not unique to them) of longer terms but half-Senate elections, so the personnel changes every three years but not in its entirety.

      An interesting idea but I don’t think it could be worked with an MMP system.

      • Separate elections for half the electorate MPs + party vote, then at the next election the other half our MPs + a party vote? If a party’s party vote dropped then some list MPs would be gone in half a term, but too bad I say 😛

        List MPs would be safe (unless the party vote dropped) for a full term of two cycles, with the new blood coming in to fill vacancies created by an increase in the party vote, so I don’t see that as insurmountable, if we wanted to go that way.

    • felix 1.3

      “Then there’s about a year of “proper” governing. “

      Do let me know when that starts, won’t you Rex?

      • Any minute now… wait for it… oh hang on, we’ll just deal with Paula Bennett… okay we’re all ready… oh damn, Anne Tolley… righo that’s sorted now… oh FGS David Garrett now?! Where were we…

  2. insider 2

    Maybe they just burn cars becuase it is a tradition? A bit like 21sts.

  3. Chess Player 3

    Popular post, this one…

    • Vicky32 3.1

      Just wait, it’ll come!
      Deb

      • I dunno that it will. Yesterday a similar post on protesting drew 10 comments (three from me!) and one on this bloody Hobbit posturing drew 512.

        Same is happening today, with 153 on yet another Hobbit post (as I write this) and bugger all on this.

        Yet te issues raised by Eddie yesterday and I/S today are about the way we do (or don’t do) things in NZ, how we bring about change, what might need to change in the national psyche if protest is to be more effective… all issues which, while more cerebral than where some Hollywood drivel gets made, have far greater long-term relevance.

        Bread and circuses, as they say…

        • wtl 3.1.1.1

          Somehow people have very strong opinions about the hobbit issue. While I can understand the RWNJs going overboard using the opportunity trying to hammer their point home (which comes down to ‘unions bad’!), won’t I don’t get is why everyone else is so caught up in the issue. I guess if we knew how knew the answer to that question, it would be simple to get large protests started 😉

          • Rex Widerstrom 3.1.1.1.1

            Elect short protest leaders with big ears?

          • lprent 3.1.1.1.2

            I’ve been surprised about the extent of interest in the issue myself. It has generated what must be a few thousand comments over the last weeks in a series of posts. Irishs post of a few days ago has more comments than any post done in this sites three years of history.

            But what is interesting to me is reading the stats of who is reading the post. Looking at the backend stats I usually look at pageviews vs unique page views. The former excludes as far as is possible people revisiting the same page.

            With the most popular posts over the last 3 years like the sprouts one on Paul Henry (top in unique page views in our history) or my one on Chris Carter (top in total page views) we usually get a ratio of around 1.5 or lower for page views / unique page views. This is pretty consistent amongst all of the posts with high page views and indicates a wide readership with a large number of people reading the posts and their associated comments.

            But Irishs post on the Hobbit dispute has a quite different profile. It has a ratio of 1.94 which is also unique amongst posts with a high page view (in fact I can’t see one in the top 50 that gets anywhere close to that). To push the average like that, it means compared to normal high volume post there was a quite small group repeatably viewing the post presumably to respond to other peoples comments.

            This is borne out when I look at the entrance paths to this post. A whopping 39% of all entrances to this post were from people already reading this post. The norm is usually more like 15%-20% even for high volume posts. The Chris Carter post mention above appears to be the next highest at 34% in recent times. In fact you have to go back to a guest post on the looney lord before finding a post with such a high re-entrance level. I guess it is just a sign of a divided partisan war in the comments section..

            Of most interest for me was that the server survived the onslaught in Irishs post without really bothering to get warm in terms of CPU usage. I’m sure that there were times when it slowed down because I could see a few 100% CPU spikes lasting for some seconds and a proliferation of worker threads and processes. But it didn’t get close to hitting resource limits for any duration. Bloody good thing as well, I’m right in the middle of the final weeks of the current project heading to the first deliverable. I don’t have time to fix the server…

          • Roflcopter 3.1.1.1.3

            There’s so much at stake here, for NZ as whole, this eclipses anything Chris Carter brings to the table.

            • lprent 3.1.1.1.3.1

              I’d agree with that comparison, but I’d also say that this isn’t that important an issue compared to others of more pressing concern. It is pretty strictly a sideshow. I’m only really concerned that it will be an expensive sideshow. To me it looks like a tax break negotiating stance that seems to be escalating out of control.

  4. Bill 4

    By the logic displayed in the post, the USSR should have been a 70 year riot fest and China a 24/7 firecracker.

    Unaccountability does not lead to an outpouring of expressions of grassroots democracy. Tradition, ongoing organising and a lack of ‘rightful’ fear do.

    Questions. Can the reactions of people in Greece be explained by the same logic? Was the blockading of major oil refineries in Britain a couple of years back because of the unaccountability of British MPs?

    Given the misplaced and widespread respect for authority in NZ, I’d suggest that protest in NZ is law abiding because NZ is comprised of a largely cowed populace. Sadly.

    • Vicky32 4.1

      The sheep may safely graze, is how I tend to see it, and I find it sadly frustrating, especially compared to what my Italian friends (those here in NZ, and those still in Italy) tell me,
      I remember the one who has been in NZ for 30+ years, talking about gleefully jumping on cars (though not burning them) when he was young back in Italy, and the like…

  5. Rich 5

    It comes down to how capitalism dodged Marx’s predictions of collapse by creating a large and comfortable middle class (which didn’t exist in 1867) that has the illusion of ownership and control. In NZ, this was done very successfully and we have a large number of the population that are deluded that they have an identity of interest with the ultra-rich.

    In France, that clearly hasn’t worked as well and people still see themselves as part of the working class, and hence rebel against having their rights taken away by the state.

    This is going to happen in more and more places as globalisation, resource shortage and climate change remove the ability of the ruling class to cushion the lot of the middle class.

  6. Jeremy Harris 6

    “The French government, in an effort to save money and lower taxes for the rich, wants to raise the retirement age.

    Or could it be that when people are living till 80 retiring at 60 is unrealistic…

    • Vicky32 6.1

      I don’t think it’s so much the retirement age issue, as the principle of the thing, changing the social contract so suddenly..
      Deb

    • Bill 6.2

      Retirement was the deal. Work your way to freedom was the carrot…buy your ticket.

      Are you saying that freedom under market capitalism is unrealistic? Then what do you suggest we do? Dump freedom? Or dump market capitalism?

      • Carol 6.2.1

        Actually, I saw a young French woman protester being interviewed on AlJazeera NewsHour. She was asked why she was protesting. She said they were cutting pensions now, but it is only the beginning & they will cut more welfare state stuff next & that’s why she was protesting.

  7. Eddie,

    In a word bullocks and if you’d ever been to France for an extended period of time getting to know the French you would have known.

    The French have a special day called “jour de la Bastille” and it commemorates the French Revolution.
    I thought I didn’t want to bother clearing up your confused reasons for why the French revolt when the revolt so to speak but than Mike Whitney did it in such a spectacular way I did not want to deny you his insight.

    Why do the Kiwi’s demonstrate peacefully? Because like the Americans and the English they still live under the illusion government gives a crap and they are all still in for being part of the elite one day if the are obedient and work hard that is.

  8. Swampy 8

    As usual IS is light on the facts. Like most countries the President has to get a law through the elected House, which is like our House, politically accountable to the electorate, and this is the case in this situation. Claiming their senate is unaccountable is basically nonsense because New Zealand doesn’t even have this check on the power of the lower house that so many other countries have. In addition the Senate’s powers can be overridden by the Assembly.

    The truth about the situation in France is that their labour laws give their unions far too much power, the kind of power our unions used to have before National put in the Employment Contracts Act. This has fostered the involvement of hard core communism in the union movement there with extremist activism against the government which is anti democratic. France actually has such rigid labour laws blocking young people from getting into the workforce that they have high youth unemployment. I guess that there must have been a youth minimum wage policy like the silly one that Labour put in here.

    • Swampy,

      Did you know that the descendants to the French throne still lay claim to that throne. The same throne the “Rabble” threw them off of and their ancestors lost their heads over.
      I reckon you’d be clamouring for them eh?

      In France, you see, everybody knows they are just the rabble and that’s why they support those of them who take action.

      The French know what real Democracy is. It is to be vigilant against the ruling elite and if necessary get out the guillotine and take out the undemocratic bits and for some reason that always turns out to be the ruling elite.

      In France the “Rabble” (Or hardcore communists or whatever name you care to give them) take care of their own. They know nobody else does.

      Just some bits to relieve you of the notion that strong pro-rabble laws are bad: France has the highest productivity even though the have the strongest labour laws and the lowest pension age of the industrialist countries.

      Capcha: vacations. Yeah, and those too.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Climate Change: We must do more
    Like many people, my submission on the Zero Carbon Bill urged more ambitious targets. And if the select committee was in any doubt, they're needed:An assessment backed by the world’s major climate science bodies has found commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions must be at least tripled and increased by ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 hours ago
  • Cracking down on mining
    NZ Energy and Environment Business Week reports (in Scoop) that the government is finally moving on reforming the Crown Minerals Act, including banning mining on conservation land and repealing the hated Anadarko Amendment:The Government is planning to change the Crown Minerals Act’s purpose from “promoting” mining in light of changing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 hours ago
  • Fluoridation – A new fight against scientific misinformation
    Anti-fluoride campaigners think a new Canadian fluoride IQ study is the best thing since sliced bread but the scientific critiques warn they are wrong. Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty The new Canadian ...
    4 hours ago
  • GM Strikers Are Waging a Battle on Two Fronts
    Reprinted from Jacobinmag by Jane Slaughter and Chris Brooks Almost 50,000 UAW workers are on strike against GM and a two-tier labor system that undermines worker solidarity. But members may need to wage a battle on two fronts — against the company, but also against their own union leadership. Forty-nine ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    19 hours ago
  • Who Will Be Fed Next To The Hungry Gods Of Politics?
    Before Jacingrant There Was Gracinda: Grant Robertson and his 2014 running mate, Jacinda Ardern. She stood at his side: loyal and obliging, as she had ever been. The media dubbed this duo “Gracinda” – a sort of political “Brangelina”. The other young people who worked alongside Robertson were also ambitious ...
    1 day ago
  • Simon Bridges: the 15 March Christchurch massacre and winning at any cost
    . . Just when you thought Simon Bridges couldn’t sink any lower – he has. After the March 15th  Christchurch terror attack, the (current) Leader of the National Party issued strong committments to support urgently needed gun law reform; “We will be ready and prepared to be constructive and to ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Only the least intelligent students, with bad parents, will attend the nonsense climate strike
    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    5 days ago
  • 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 week 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 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.