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NZ’s “Non-Negotiable” Mythology: Deconstructing The Dairy Industry’s Latest Propaganda Campaign

By   /  March 15, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  28 Comments

NEW ZEALAND’S DAIRY INDUSTRY was recently compared to the NRA. A better comparison would be the United States oil industry. Like the National Rifle Association the US oil industry’s lobbying power is legendary. To set one’s face against either group is generally considered to be career suicide – especially if you’re a career politician.

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Why is the Neoliberal Establishment so Pissed-Off with Bill English?

By   /  March 11, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  17 Comments

IT’S DIFFICULT TO AVOID THE IMPRESSION that the neoliberal establishment is very pissed-off with Bill English. His handling of the NZ Superannuation issue has been an unmitigated disaster from beginning to end. The media wasn’t briefed. National’s surrogates in academia and the business community weren’t primed. The public was not prepared.

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A Gut Feeling

By   /  March 8, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  77 Comments

AM I GUILTY of wishful thinking, or are the times really a-changing? If I still took any notice of opinion polls, the answers, respectively, would be “Yes” and “No”. There is, as yet no empirical evidence of a major shift in electoral allegiances. Unfortunately, in these times, that sort of data only seems to become available after the electoral picture has been radically defaced.

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Dorkland, Dorkland Über Alles!

By   /  March 4, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  32 Comments

PLEASE NOTE: This is satire. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or to real events, is entirely accidental.

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Fortune’s Favourite: The Rise and Rise of Jacinda Ardern

By   /  March 1, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  13 Comments

The last conspicuous veteran of the plague years of the 1980s has bowed to the irresistible logic of Jacinda Ardern’s by-election victory and announced her retirement. Part of that logic, undoubtedly, was the reaction of Annette King’s caucus colleagues to her spittle-flecked outburst to the NZ Herald’s deputy-political editor, Claire Trevett.

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Hey, Shamubeel! – Why Are You Rewriting Our History?

By   /  February 26, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  27 Comments

HOW DO YOUNG NEW ZEALANDERS view their country’s recent past? In the 33 years since the Fourth Labour Government unleashed “Rogernomics” on an unsuspecting New Zealand, how have the “Children of the Revolution” been encouraged to characterise the society it replaced?

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Labour’s Not Burning Crosses – It’s Gathering Votes

By   /  February 23, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  9 Comments

If Jackson’s recruitment encourages other Maori to speak out in similarly blunt terms about the true agenda of the Maori Party and the Iwi Leadership Group, then the electoral dividend for Labour will be substantial.

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Little’s “Broad Church” Widens Labour’s Appeal

By   /  February 20, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  39 Comments

The question that cannot be avoided, however, is as straightforward as it is disconcerting: How many more percentage points might Labour have advanced in the Colmar Brunton poll had “discontented party activists” not spent the week prior to its execution demonstrating rank disunity and ideological extremism?

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The Wrong Sisterhood: Forgotten Lessons of the 1984 Women’s Forums

By   /  February 19, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  24 Comments

Sisterhood is, indeed, powerful – but only when your sisters can be relied upon to vote the right way.

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Too Little, Too Late: Rachel Stewart On Climate Change

By   /  February 16, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  64 Comments

Neoliberalism has immobilised humanity in the manner of those parasitic wasps whose offspring excrete a chemical which fatally overpowers their host’s self-protective reflexes. Aware that we are being destroyed, we are nevertheless incapable of resisting our destroyers effectively.

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Breaking Point

By   /  February 11, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  62 Comments

Though they could not admit it in as many words, their loud and very public rebellion against the recruitment of Willie Jackson made it crystal clear that if the choice was between winning the election, or compromising their social liberal ideology, then they were willing to give up winning the election.

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Freedom of Expression and Its Discontents

By   /  February 8, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  33 Comments

The liberal tradition of responding to the expression of ideas with which you disagree with a reasoned, evidence-based argument in rebuttal no longer seems to fall within either the ideological of intellectual repertoire of today’s left-wingers.

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Conflicting Priorities: Has Poto Williams just cost Labour the 2017 Election?

By   /  February 6, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  59 Comments

At a stroke, her ill-disciplined and (presumably) unsanctioned outburst has undermined the positive perceptions created by the joint Labour/Green state-of-the-nation event of 29 January. All of those “good vibrations” (to quote TV3’s Patrick Gower) have been drowned out by the high-pitched screeching of identity politics.

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Only A Matter Of Time: American Fascism Awaits Its Marching Orders

By   /  January 26, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  98 Comments

President Trump will denounce his political opponents as enemies of free speech and democracy. Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies will crack down hard on anti-Trump agitation. More ominously, the President’s most vociferous supporters will militarise themselves into special protection squads. Presented to the American public as “self-defence” organisations, the actual purpose of these goon squads will be to intimidate and/or terrorise progressive individuals and groups into silence.

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Mastering Trumpian Arithmetic: Why, in the New Political Order, 2+2=5

By   /  January 23, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  65 Comments

ONE OF THE MOST CHILLING ASPECTS of Donald Trump’s political style is its sheer, amoral audacity. Like all the truly great political manipulators, Trump understands that whether or not something is true is a question best left to the philosophers. What matters in politics is what people believe to be true. And, when it comes […]

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All Changed, Changed Utterly: Thoughts on the Eve of Donald Trump’s Inauguration.

By   /  January 21, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  63 Comments

I have long considered those who cry “Godwin” to be not only foolish but dangerous. Anyone who attempts to prevent people learning from one of the most terrible periods of human history is, objectively speaking, a fascist. Genuine progressives do not obey “Godwin’s Law”.

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