GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – News that has brightened my Day


Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon has been arrested and charged with fraud over a fundraising campaign to build a wall on the US-Mexico border.

Bannon was a key architect of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election victory. His right-wing anti-immigration ideology fuelled Trump’s “America First” campaign.

Bannon and three others are facing charges that they defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors in connection with the “We Build the Wall” campaign, which raised $US25m, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) said.

The former investment banker was the driving force behind the right-wing Breitbart News website before serving in the Trump White House as chief strategist who was highly influential in many of Trump’s decisions such as the mid-2017 US withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.

Bannon’s arrest comes at the very time when the extreme right with their hate filled agenda are at their most dangerous. He has also been an influential supporter of forming a right-wing supergroup of populist parties in Europe which , if it succeeded , would usher in a very dark period in World history.

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We are an island nation but as Covid -19 has proved we are not immune to what happens in other parts of the world and to watch the politics of selfishness starting to crumble both internationally and at home gives me some hope that we may also yet see the demise of the economics of selfishness that is neoliberalism which, for the last 3 decades, has benefitted the self-centred, self- indulgent few at the expense of the many.

Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.


  1. “Darkness is good: Dick Cheney, Darth Vader, Satan. That’s power”
    …an actual statement by Mr Bannon.

    Bannon – who once claimed, “Darkness is good: Dick Cheney, Darth Vader, Satan. That’s power”
    and who last week appeared on Fox News to argue “Democrats want death and destruction,”
    proving how much he’s evolved –
    was taken off the 151-foot yacht Lady May, anchored off the Connecticut coast, early Thursday morning.
    The boat’s owner is a high-profile Chinese real-estate tycoon and possible felon who’s either an asylum-seeker or a spy; he’s also a member of Mar-a-Lago, which is why Trump reportedly stepped in to stop his deportation.
    More at this link: Abby Zimet, Common Dreams, 20th August 2020

  2. That place is a powder keg.

    – election close to call (similar to the Bush/Gore election), initially Democrats look to have won
    – by around December 9th Republicans appear to have won
    – whomever is inaugurated in Feb 2021 will not finish the term
    – immediately after the election and into the beginning of 2021 there will be widespread social unrest similar to BLM protests
    – as a result of all of the above NZ is in even higher demand as a place to live and our population rapidly expands

  3. to watch the politics of selfishness starting to crumble both internationally and at home gives me some hope

    Yes. Very much so.
    It’s been a long, long, long time coming, but maybe we (much of the world) really are beginning to emerge from the darkness of greed, selfishness and of power for its own sake.

    • ” It’s been a long, long, long time coming, but maybe we (much of the world) really are beginning to emerge from the darkness of greed, selfishness and of power for its own sake ‘
      I will believe that when i actually see it replaced with something much better until then its all a charade.

  4. Bannon represents the corporatist/ financialist right’s attempts to reorganize and defend its retreat, as neoliberal orthodoxy collapsed in the wake of 2008. Neoliberalism as a political-economic project has been over for some time, and everything we’ve seen over the last few years is the power struggle over which faction of the middle class will replace the neoliberal elites as the new ruling class(es), and whether those elites will govern at global, national, or local levels.

  5. Investment banker. Says it all. It could be a positive description of someone but would require a change to investing in people and giving them opportunity to advance themselves using their personal gifts.

  6. Jesus! What is it with mad Americans and their hair?
    I dated a Dr of Psychiatry for a while. Was interesting.
    She was awesome in a most complex way and I enjoyed our ‘relationship’ until it crashed and burned. That happened when she found me out after I let my guard down. I admit. I went full dumbass.
    To say this person was out of my league would be as big an understatement as saying donald seems a bit off today?
    I know, I read witty and eurodite but really? I’m dumb as a bed pan and as full of shit.
    But the world around me? Makes me look like a reincarnation of an Einstein/ Hawking prodigy clone.
    Steve Bannon? He’s so oily you could rub nuts and bolts up against him and they’d be good to go.
    Just look at him…? If you can. Is that the best that satan can do? I mean, really?
    Satan must be soooooo embarrased.
    But we don’t have to go to America, God bless, to find Satanic lunatics with mad hair. paula bennet? judith collins? david seymour? What’s that guys name with the bow tie who stymied the decriminalising of pot? With the hair swirl that said here comes a wave! Surf’s up! The Ren and Stimpy politician with zero charisma and the plus smirk? Peter Dunne! That’s him! Peter is the very embodiment of flake. Sorry peter. But fuck you.
    I have to ponder? Would we know a proper and straight up politician if we met one?
    The answer must be ‘No’. We wouldn’t.
    So we’re fucked then, am I correct while pondering the bed pan analogy above?
    We live in strange times. We’re a weird lot bumbling about fawning over nutters with mad hair.
    Don’t you think it’s about time we left the Americans to it? How about this? We ignore them? Lets try that?
    trump this? bannon that? How about if we simply didn’t care?
    There are other parts of the world with people in them, y’know?
    Lets go to Portugal? Lets go to Italy? Lets go all Scandinavian? Lets go to France? What’re those guys up to?
    Them Greeks with their hairy shoulders and friendly ways? What about them?
    Been to Croatia? I hear there’s this funny little place, a town really. A suburb of America. A small place, blink and you’d miss it. Called Europe? Mostly muddy with a few trees and some old buildings. Not much to see there so I hear. A bit of musty history and a few wars and that? A bit of art? But you can’t eat art, right?
    That was written here on TDB by a ding dong in a comment once.
    So? I’m sorry? But this bed pan must ask? Why are we soooooooooooooooo in bed, (pardon the pun) you know those round ones that vibrate? In those motels you can rent by the hour? ( Advice. You get a better deal by the hour. Half hours are a rip. ) with the ‘God Bless’ Americans again?
    steve bannon? Mate? Who cares? You greasy little pimple with your hair that tells me you got no balls son. ( Testosterone is implicated in male pattern baldness. Alcoholics, who’re fucking their livers and other organs which make testosterone have great hair but don’t expect them to keep you awake all night. Just sayin’. )
    Are we really just giving oily nuts too much air time?

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