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Pitfalls for the Greens and NZ First in coalition discussions

By   /  September 26, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  20 Comments

One thing the Greens and NZ First won’t want to repeat is the Alliance experience in coalition with Labour from 1999 to 2002. With Ministers inside the Cabinet, committed to Cabinet solidarity, they had difficulty differentiating from Labour. This frustrated the party’s support base.

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Let’s make sure the Greens get well over the threshold

By   /  September 21, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  44 Comments

The Greens hold the key to this election. If the Greens don’t get 5% and leave Parliament its unlikely Labour will be in government. If the Greens get 5% (or 6%, 7%, 8% or 9%) a Labour/Green government is likely.

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Monarchy still constraining democracy in Tonga

By   /  August 31, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  1 Comment

Tongan politics are so poorly reported in New Zealand that it is hard to judge the actions of the various players in the latest political crisis.

However, we should be concerned that the monarch, King Tupou VI, has sacked the elected government headed by Akilisi Pohiva, an advocate of greater democracy.

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Some bold ways of funding Green election promises

By   /  July 9, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  6 Comments

Election promises can cost a lot of money. Here are some ways the Greens in government could raise some extra cash. All these proposals are consistent with existing Green policy.

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Why is NZ supporting US use of white phosphorus weapons?

By   /  July 3, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  17 Comments

New Zealand’s good name is being tarnished by comments in Iraq by Kiwi Brigadier, Hugh McAslan. In his role as deputy commander of the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command-Operation Inherent Resolve, McAslan is supporting the use of white phosphorus weapons, which have been widely condemned, including by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

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Defend Qatar, Defend al-Jazeera

By   /  June 26, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Media Watch, Most Recent Blogs  /  6 Comments

The Saudi-led blockade of Qatar should concern us all. It is virtually an act of war for one country, Saudi Arabia, to cut off all land access to another, Qatar, and then combine with two other countries, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, to restrict air and sea access.

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NZ’s cowardly apology to Israel over settlements

By   /  June 16, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  4 Comments

When challenged directly on Morning Report, Brownlee wouldn’t criticise Israel’s settlement building policy, saying it was a matter for the parties concerned. Why bother to have a foreign policy if everything is just a matter for the parties concerned – despite, in this case, one having all the power over the other. The theft of Palestinian land is backed by Israel’s huge military machine.

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A fairer electoral system would have helped UK Labour to power

By   /  June 11, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  2 Comments

UK Labour did fantastically well in Thursday’s general election, despite Jeremy Corbyn being painted as an “unelectable” leftist by the media commentariat – and even by most of his Labour colleagues. Labour’s advance was not really a surprise. As I wrote in my Daily Blog post a year and a half ago, Corbyn’s “Keynesian policies are considerably more popular than the austerity championed by Cameron and the Labour right.”

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Criminalising thoughts not the way to combat terrorism

By   /  June 6, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  16 Comments

Theresa May’s “enough is enough” declaration was splashed across the front pages of the British dailies after the latest shocking terrorist attack. “Enough is enough” is a sentiment that resonates with the public, but many Britons are concerned about the new counter-terrorism measures the British PM is proposing.

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Could British Columbia now get proportional representation?

By   /  May 13, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  3 Comments

Electoral reform is not easy. It’s 24 years since New Zealand voted for MMP yet the four other “anglosphere” countries (UK, US, Australia and Canada) remain mired in First-Past-the-Post voting for their lower houses.

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Three strikes and Minister Brownlee should be out

By   /  May 5, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  16 Comments

In twelve days Gerry Brownlee has shown why he should never have been appointed Foreign Minister.

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Spying on Japan is hardly in New Zealand’s interests

By   /  May 1, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  4 Comments

New Zealand’s reputation in Japan has been damaged by revelations that our GCSB has been spying on its government communications. “New Zealand spied on Japan to help US at 2007 whaling confab” read the 26 April headline in the Japan Times.

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Novel art trail and auction for asylum seekers

By   /  April 22, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, The Liberal Agenda  /  Comments Off on Novel art trail and auction for asylum seekers

Today (April 22) marks the beginning of a novel online art auction to raise funds for the Asylum Seekers Support Trust, which runs an Auckland hostel for asylum seekers.

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The ugly side of win-at-all-costs sport

By   /  April 21, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  7 Comments

The Warriors rugby league club is to be commended for helping one of its star players, Kieran Foran, through his mental health problems. Foran has been frank about his gambling addiction and his suicidal feelings.

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Why Bill English is wrong to support Trump’s air strike on Syria

By   /  April 10, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  12 Comments

The rapidity with which Bill English fell in behind Trump’s unilateral strike on Syria shows how little the NZ government values the UN Security Council, despite just having completed two years on it. New Zealand sidelined the Security Council and supported a US strike contravening the UN Charter. Article 51 of the Charter allows one nation to strike another only in “self-defence”. America wasn’t being attacked by Syria.

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Keating and English’s colonial response to the SAS raid

By   /  April 6, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  18 Comments

Defence Chief Tim Keating and the Prime Minister exhibit the “colonial” reflex in completely ignoring the villagers as a source of information. Bill English looked at a few American videos of the battle and considered that to be enough to reject any inquiry. Keating didn’t consider evidence from the locals as relevant enough to mention.

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