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Teaching Their Parents Well

By   /  March 27, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  20 Comments

Forty years of right-wing counter-revolution has left its mark on the Baby-Boomers. For too many of them it proved a lot easier (and much more profitable) to give up the fight for a kinder, gentler America. For those “of tender years”, the trick will be to convince their parents and grandparents that the March For Our Lives is a march for their lives too.

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Are Labour and NZ First Partners in Populism – Or Not?

By   /  March 23, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  39 Comments

POPULISM VERSUS RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT. The Regions versus Metropolitan New Zealand. NZ First versus Labour. Shane Jones versus Grant Robertson. “Oh yes, Ladies and gentlemen, there’s Trouble: Trouble with a capital ‘T’; and it’s brewing right here in Political City!”

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The Political Economy of Mainstream Political Journalism

By   /  March 22, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  5 Comments

FEW WOULD ARGUE that journalism is not in crisis. Beset by the manifold challenges of a global on-line culture, journalists struggle to keep pace with the demands of readers, listeners and viewers whose tastes they once led but now must follow. The mainstream news media’s dwindling share of the advertising dollar drives it inexorably towards the sensational, scandalous, salacious and bizarre “clickbait” upon which its profitability increasingly depends.

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Questioning The Greens

By   /  March 20, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  45 Comments

If the Greens really were determined to subject the Labour-NZ First Coalition to the scrutiny of the most informed, articulate and progressive members of the House of Representatives, then they would hardly have given away the chance to do exactly that to Parliament’s most ill-informed, inarticulate and reactionary elements. Progressive Kiwis have only to ask themselves: “Who would we rather held this Government to account: Chloe Swarbrick or Mark Mitchell? Golriz Ghahraman or Judith Collins?” – to realise that the justification advanced to them by Green Party co-leader, James Shaw, is pure, unadulterated, bullshit.

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The Theory And Practice of Plausible Deniability

By   /  March 16, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  13 Comments

WHY HASN’T ANDREW KIRTON been sacked? By any common-sense definition of accountability, the actions of the Labour Party’s General Secretary offer ample justification for dismissal.

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MUST READ: A Fork In The Road

By   /  March 15, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  27 Comments

Over the course of the next few days, Jacinda Ardern and Winston Peters must decide whether the international relationships and economic interests of New Zealanders are to be decided in Wellington, by the government they have democratically elected, or in London and Canberra by politicians, spies and soldiers over whom they exercise no control whatsoever.

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A Very Special Sort of New Zealander

By   /  March 13, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  16 Comments

WHENEVER A POLICE CHASE ends in tragedy, a very special sort of New Zealander steps forward into the spotlight. The contribution offered by this kind of Kiwi never varies. What happened is all about “The Law”. The offenders, otherwise known as the dead and horribly injured, are solely to blame for the tragic outcome of their offending. They chose not to stop when ordered to do so by the Police – a crime. As law-breakers, they simply had to be apprehended and punished. Any other course of action is unthinkable. The Law is The Law.

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Still Looking For A Compatible Rabbit

By   /  March 9, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  19 Comments

New Zealanders haven’t “moved away from representative democracy”, Mr Sutton, representative democracy has been moved away from them. A necessary precaution, lest ordinary people get it into their heads to take on the greatest “power-hungry despot” of them all: the totalitarian ideology we call Neoliberalism.

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Bridges and Adams trapped in the Ghetto of the Comfortable Third

By   /  March 7, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  19 Comments

Anyone seized with the notion that the Nats new leadership team might actually make a serious effort to face up to the enormous challenges confronting New Zealand and the world should now un-seize themselves. Adams has made it very clear that National will be governing, as it has always done, for the only New Zealanders who have ever counted for anything in their political universe – farmers and businessmen.

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Out of the Goodness of the Employers’ Big, Generous Hearts

By   /  March 6, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  17 Comments

To anyone not already sold on neoliberalism, the answers to those questions are blindingly obvious. Gouwland’s indignation is, however, a useful pointer to just how much reliance employers now place on the agencies of the state to defend the “reforms” of the 1980s and 90s from any attempt to roll them back.

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“A Giant Beast Called The Government”

By   /  March 2, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  5 Comments

SOMETIMES the mask of politics-as-it-is-officially-presented slips and the true face of the political class is revealed. A particularly serious slippage occurred quite recently in a Spinoff feature  about “partisan lobbyists”.

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MUST READ: The Making Of A National Party Leader

By   /  March 1, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  14 Comments

That Bridges was willing, coolly and efficiently, to curtail New Zealanders’ protest rights, would not have gone unnoticed by his political patrons (among whom were John Key and Steven Joyce). They had set him a test – and he had passed it with flying colours. In order for Bridges to become a successful statesman, his political peers needed to be convinced he had it in him to put his most cherished ideals to the sword without flinching.

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Note To National MPs: Pick Judith, Or The Members Will Pick Her For You

By   /  February 27, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  13 Comments

THE NATIONAL PARTY CAUCUS should make Judith Collins Leader of the Opposition. They should, but they won’t.

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Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord!

By   /  February 23, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  16 Comments

WHOEVER EMERGES VICTORIOUS from National’s leadership contest will face the challenge of re-defining their party’s core political mission.

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Too Little, Too Late: The Opportunity To Stop the CPTPP Has Passed

By   /  February 22, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  4 Comments

“TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE.” That’s what I would say to David Parker on the day he released the text of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). With the signing ceremony due to take place in the Chilean capital, Santiago, on 8 March – a mere fortnight from the document’s release – the time available for thorough public scrutiny and debate is simply too short.

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National’s Moderates May Win This Leadership Battle – But Can They Win The War?

By   /  February 20, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  12 Comments

With the serried ranks of the now largely unified National Caucus arrayed against her, Collins could elect to either fight it out to the bitter end, or, to lower her banners and join in Adams’ victory feast.

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