Why wasn’t Brownlee sacked?

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 am, December 19th, 2014 - 49 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Gerry Brownlee, john key, national, Politics, same old national - Tags:

gerry brownlee trust me

This Government has three different techniques when it wants to bury adverse news. For run of the mill reports they are released on the Friday at the beginning of a Parliamentary recess period. For bad reports they tend to dump them on days with other notable news events happening. And for the really bad reports they wait until just before Christmas.

By this measure the report into Gerry Brownlee’s breach of security at Christchurch Airport is a doozy.

It was originally going to be released on the same day as the announcement of the new Labour Party leader. Even then John Key expressed surprise at how long it had taken. Stuff reported him as saying this:

Mr Brownlee was advised today and so I’m sure there will be a statement tomorrow … don’t forget it’s got nothing to do with us. We are actually amazed that it’s taken as long as it has. I mean, it’s two months since the election.”

Key’s amazement should by now verge on incredulity.

The decision that Brownlee had been fined $2,000 for the security breach was announced at the time but the report was not released. Some commentators expressed surprise, after all according to Brownlee’s explanation the door was opened for him by the security officer and the definition of the infringement he had been charged with had a defence if Brownlee entered the area with a boarding pass and with the intent of catching a flight.

This morning’s Dominion Post refers to the now released report and has the following passage:

The airport employee “decided to swipe his security card to release the door, open it and explain to Mr Brownlee and his associates that they could not enter the sterile area using that door and would instead have to proceed to the security screening area”.

By the time the airport employee got to the door, one of Brownlee’s aides had already pulled the security door open, something Brownlee has never revealed before. The three then walked through the door.

The airport employee claims Brownlee then said “sorry to do this but we’re in a hell of a hurry”.

The report adds that the trio then walked passed him.

“Mr Brownlee and his aides considered [the airport employee] had agreed to, or at least acquired in, their entry through the Koru exit door” although the officer “does not accept that”.

When the events came to light, Brownlee told reporters that he had not barged passed security.

“No I didn’t barge past security … I went through a door that I shouldn’t have gone through,” Brownlee said.

“We knocked on the door and I said to the guy ‘we’re in a terrible hurry, can I go through here?’ He said ‘okay‘.”

Someone is telling fibs. My bet is that it is Brownlee.

The report is apparently heavily redacted. I have not been able to find it either on the CAA website or on the Beehive website.

The disclosure raises an issue about why Brownlee was treated in the way he was. Section 54 of the Civil Aviation Act 1990 makes it an offence to refuse to leave a security area. If the Security Officer was able to tell Brownlee to go then he should have been charged with this offence which is theoretically punishable by a jail sentence.

The event reinforces the well earned perception of National arrogance, that the rules do not apply to them and they enjoy privilege the rest of us do not.

The timing of the release and the redacting of the report raises serious questions about the CAA’s independence. And Brownlee should have been fired as a minister. After all John Key said in 2008 “I expect high standards from my Ministers … if they don’t meet the standards I set then obviously I will take action if necessary.”

49 comments on “Why wasn’t Brownlee sacked?”

  1. Why were the police at the airport not called by security staff? Was the pilot of the plane told that three passengers had evaded security? If so, why did that pilot take off? Is airport security for real? Or is it a joke?

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      “Was the pilot of the plane told that three passengers had evaded security?”

      While this is of course true, you do also have to look at the reality of the situation: how likely is it that an unmistakable government minister (given his size) going to commit any sort of terrorist or harmful act while on the plane?

      • Wensleydale 1.1.1

        The fact that Brownlee is a government minister is a terrorist act.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          😈

        • McFlock 1.1.1.2

          chortle

        • mac1 1.1.1.3

          “In 1999, Brownlee was prosecuted and fined $8000 for assaulting an environmental activist at a National Party conference. Neil Abel, 58, a sympathiser of the Native Forest Action Group, said Brownlee grabbed him by the belt, thrust his knee “up my backside”, and manhandled him from the venue. He said Brownlee then threatened to throw him down a staircase, and that he feared for his life during the scuffle.”

          This from Stuff in 2014, listing Brownlee’s top ten gaffes.

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10306756/Top-10-Gerry-Brownlee-gaffes

          You would fear for yourself if you knew Brownlee’s record and were confronted by him at a doorway, with his two ‘minders’.

          Brownlee’s behaviour at Christchurch Airport is not atypical of the man.

      • McFlock 1.1.2

        Even if Brownlee was known, the people with him weren’t.
        But the real issue is that any compromise of a security system degrades the effectiveness of that system by setting a precedent for informal/non-procedural work-arounds.

        One incident isn’t fatal. But when you get a culture of this sort of shit, sooner or later something bad happens, and it’s never the people in charge (who let it get like that) who bear the brunt of it.

      • wtl 1.1.3

        …how likely is it that an unmistakable government minister (given his size) going to commit any sort of terrorist or harmful act while on the plane?

        Probably not a lot less likely than any other person would commit such an act. Consider this: What if some ill-intentioned people were holding a family member of Brownlee hostage and were forcing him to do something he wouldn’t normally do?

        • Lanthanide 1.1.3.1

          “What if some ill-intentioned people were holding a family member of Brownlee hostage and were forcing him to do something he wouldn’t normally do?”

          I think he’d talk to the police, rather than perform any sort of terrorist act against his country. Pretty quick way to lose your job and end up in prison, that.

          • Stephanie Rodgers 1.1.3.1.1

            It must be nice to be able to assume you’d act perfectly rationally under extremely stressful/dangerous circumstances.

            • Lanthanide 1.1.3.1.1.1

              If someone has checked in to fly and their luggage is on the plane, the plane doesn’t leave until either the passenger gets on board, or the luggage is removed (which is time-consuming, so they don’t like doing that). That is to prevent people from putting bombs in the bags.

              So, given that, if someone were using duress to get Brownlee to commit an act of terrorism against a plane, he would have to be on the plane himself. Again it seems unlikely a government minister would knowingly act as a suicide bomber no matter what duress someone was trying to put them under.

              So if we take the plane out of the picture, Brownlee could be under duress to do any sort of criminal or other activity – but you could do that anywhere, like a shopping mall, it doesn’t have to be an airport.

              • wtl

                So, given that, if someone were using duress to get Brownlee to commit an act of terrorism against a plane, he would have to be on the plane himself. Again it seems unlikely a government minister would knowingly act as a suicide bomber no matter what duress someone was trying to put them under.

                There is a very good reason why airport security does not make exceptions for ‘trustworthy people’ and that is that any assumption made about what someone would or would not do is an extremely dangerous thing to do. The reality is that if there are loopholes in airport security, it is not unlikely that a committed terrorist group that has planned their attack would take advantage of these loopholes, one way or another.

          • Sabine 1.1.3.1.2

            You might think the sky is green or blue or pink. Who really cares. 🙂

            We the peeps of this nation and others have to take of our shoes, have to take of our belts, have to be screened, wanded, x-rayed and have to be polite when uniformed others go through our panties and socks. It is called Airport Security, and it is all there to keep us safe.

            now, we are still a democracy, we are still a nation of laws, and as far as I know we are still a nation of law for all and not just for some.

            Brownlee is a citizen of our nation and as such is subject to the same set of rules as you and I. If he was in such a hurry, someone could have called airport security and let them know that the most important Mr. Brownlee is late and needs to be fast tracked to catch his plane. That would have been the correct course of action.

            All your posts are nothing but very boring apologies for something that you and I could have spend time in prison under our current set of laws.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      Why are you trying to shift the responsibility for Brownlee’s actions on to airport security?

      • Sabine 1.2.1

        that poor airport security might have been a labour or green fellow.

        Or, Mr. Brownlee is part of the National Party Machine, and as such is infallible, and always right.
        Ergo, it is Airport Security that needs to be crucified.

    • Murray Rawshark 1.3

      A cop boarded the plane to tell the pilot that Brownlee and his goons had bypassed security. The NAct voting pilot replied that he wasn’t worried because there was a regulation exempting Ministers from security requirements. There isn’t.

      The NAct voting pilot who doesn’t follow security regulations should be sacked along with Brownlee.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11376880

    • Kevin 2 1.4

      Why was Goff not sacked for pre-empting the release of the so-called ‘black-ops’ report, and for lying to his leader about same???

  2. RedLogix 2

    On a scale of 0 -10 of Ministerial offenses – surely this rates a 2 or 3 three at worst?

    It’s the kind of stupid thing busy people do when they are running late or under pressure. But nothing was actually broken here. No-one was harmed. The idea that the Deputy PM somehow represented a potential security threat is risible.

    Yes Brownlee did the arrogant born-to-rule twit thing here, and it’s ok to play that up.

    But demanding a resignation? That just devalues the meaning of it.

    • Kevin 2.1

      Really?

      I wonder what the reaction/consequences will be for me if I try and pull the same stunt on my way to the South Island tomorrow.

      • RedLogix 2.1.1

        Likely you will be pinged and fined $2000. If you’re not the Deputy PM you will probably miss the flight.

      • Paul 2.1.2

        These Tories believe they were born to rule and that society’s rules don’t apply to them.

        • RedLogix 2.1.2.1

          Maybe. But it’s worth keeping in mind that Brownlee must have been through ChCh airport many hundreds of times. This seems to have been the one occasion he (or his entourage) stuffed up.

          Running late, under pressure – didn’t think it through. Let the importance of his office and responsibilities run away with him. A mistake and a very human one.

          There has to be a valid response to this incident that lies somewhere between rabid frothing and pretending it didn’t happen.

    • mickysavage 2.2

      I thought that at the time. But the subsequent handling of the matter, the burying of the report until Christmas and the indication that Brownlee may not have been telling the truth to the media makes this more serious IMHO.

      • RedLogix 2.2.1

        Yes and that could be the somewhat substantive issue here.

        But on re-reading the accounts – it appears that the employee did open the door so that in that sense Brownlee’s recollection may well be true.

        That the employee intended to prevent Brownlee from entering but didn’t get the chance to do so may not be Brownlees’ fault.

        Fuck it – I don’t want to be maneuvered into defending the man here, but if we are going to fire ammo – lets get the target sorted first?

        • Lanthanide 2.2.1.1

          +100 Red.

        • McFlock 2.2.1.2

          Brownlee didn’t notice he was barging past someone to whom both parties agree he said something along the lines of “sorry to do this but we’re in a hell of a hurry”?

          Nah.

          And he certainly wouldn’t think that anybody who says to airport staff “we’re in a hurry” would get to bypass security.

          He used his position to intimidate a person into allowing a violation of security procedures. This, from a government that is so paranoid it wanted to legalise warrantless surveillance of any NZ citizen.

          • emergency mike 2.2.1.2.1

            Agree with McFlock. One of his aides pushed open the security door ffs. Plus there’s the point that big Gerry not only sorry but yeah nah’d his way through airport security, he took two other people with him.

            That’s not how airport security is supposed to work and he knew it. These are the clowns we are being asked/told to accept greater spy powers. Nick Smith resigned because he used the wrong letterhead.

    • aerobubble 2.3

      Clark driving speeds similar level of executive arrogance.

      • Crashcart 2.3.1

        Clarke wasn’t driving. They didn’t force anyone trying to stop them to get out of the way. It was the sort of thing Key was referring to when he said he would expect a higher standard from his ministers, yet he then does not.

        Honestly if you are a believer in the old “well they did it so I can” way of thinking then you should feel happy breaking all laws because at some stage they have all been broken and someone got away with it so you should be allowed to

      • tc 2.3.2

        but but labooouurr did it too…so sad and missing the actual context of Gerry’s actual offense V Clark’s driver and not Clark being the one speeding it’s almost funny.

        Can santa bring us some better wingnuts in 2015 please.

        • aerobubble 2.3.2.1

          Clark needed to get to the rugby, she’d missed the chch flight. Police were speeding to a new trans cook transport. Police were taken to court.

          Brownlee orders security to let him in. The security fearing for his job allegedly swipes him in.

          Now sure its harder to prove it was Clark, or a staffer. And sure not many terrorists are ministers who may even have lawful rights of entry to secure areas for testing security. And for sure police did endanger the PM by speeding.

  3. tc 3

    because he knows where the bodies are buried having served under brash and has fair knowledge of the chch plunder.

    So the last they want is an idle sgt shultz so best keep all those PR spin doctors being a minister brings bolted on keeping him in check.

  4. coaster 4

    Irrelevant of him being recognised, were the other 2 with him?. If brownlee was being forced to go through there against his will and one of the other 2 had a gun or bomb we would be calling for the security to face charges.

    the plane wouldnt leave any faster, unless it was a charter, so how could being in a hurry matter?.

    Personally I dont have an issue of mps going to the front of the line, but the line is there to keep us all safe.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      “the plane wouldnt leave any faster, unless it was a charter, so how could being in a hurry matter?.”

      Er, the point is that he was late and may have missed his flight. That would usually mean waiting 2-3 hours until the next departure, and hence missing meetings or other scheduled activities at the destination.

  5. mac1 5

    Gerard Brownlee has a defence! It wasn’t him! The Minister is Gerald Brownlee, according to his swearing in.

    “…… it is worth noting that Brownlee was the first MP in more than a 100 years to be sworn into Parliament under the wrong name. Parliament called him “Gerald”, but his birth name is actually “Gerard”.”

  6. Skinny 6

    Little surprise that Brownlee cops a slap with a wet bus ticket considering the dirty tricks exposed by the book Dirty Politic’s. The effects of which are clearly shown here.

  7. Scottie 7

    Sorry Greg, Nobody is really interested.These days Unfortunately many politicians from all parties would be arrogant enough to behave in this manner. It was dealt with, he was fined. Time to move on.

    • McFlock 7.1

      Unfortunately many politicians from all parties would be arrogant enough to behave in this manner.

      [citation needed]

    • Always telling which stories the rightwing newbies jump into to declare “no one’s interested”.

    • greywarshark 7.3

      @ Scottie
      Are you putting your point to Micky Savage? That is the pseudonym of the person running this post and those who come to this blog understand his choice of name. It’s the name under the title.

  8. tracey 8

    isnt it at least possible the security guard could have fibbed out of fear of losing his job if found to have been so aquiescent?

    • Murray Rawshark 8.1

      My instinct is to take the word of an honest proletarian before that of a lying, anti-democratic and imperious NAct minister. It’s interesting that you are going to such lengths to defend Brownlee.

      • RedLogix 8.1.1

        And the evidence is that if you ask ten people to give their recollection of an event they all saw or participated in – you will get at least eleven or twelve versions of it.

  9. Andrea 9

    “I went through a door that I shouldn’t have gone through,” Brownlee said.”

    End of story.

    Is there no number for Very Impatient People to call to ask the plane to wait? I would have thought the wannabe ‘elite’ would have jacked that up long ago.

    Or a ‘once a year’ hire-a-plane card for our short term public servants (aka politicians)? Or would that give them ideas above their station?

    Wanders off thinking wistful ‘Hindenburg’ thoughts…

  10. hoom 10

    Meanwhile in Herald land

    ‘Photo Op with famous people hat’ Key family meets Katy Perry aka ‘look the other way’
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11377456

    ‘Infamous PM dash car sold’ aka ‘see its not only us Nats that have transport related controversies’
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11377436

    And of course a dig at Len just because they can
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11377485

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     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 ...
    6 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 ...
    7 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    7 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    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

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