MEDIAWATCH: Robert Reid launches devastating counter strike against Chris Trotter

Chris Trotter's reoccurring nightmare of Māori revolution

Interest had to allow a right of reply to Chris Trotter’s latest attack on the Left. Chris has a new reactionary Platform/NZ First audience to appease now and seems hell bent on siding with this Government to defend Winston no matter the damage to his once mighty Left wing reputation.

You’ll note we don’t post him or Democracy Project any longer on TDB.

Look, I’ve been critical of the woke and identity politics, but I’m not siding with this fucking  hateful hard right racist climate denying Government because of it!

Chris’s defence of the utterly unacceptable means he has to expect criticism coming back the other way now.

Pimping for American War is as ugly as it gets.

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Robert Reid hits back at ‘blistering attack on me and my integrity’ by Chris Trotter

By Robert Reid*

It was somewhat strange being sent a few messages on the morning of 15 January 2024 telling me to have a look at the website where I would find a blistering attack on me and my integrity by columnist Chris Trotter.

Strange as even in retirement, I was still in “holiday” mode.

Strange as a so-called left wing commentator was attacking me for being … “left wing”.

And strange because as my twitter intro says, I was “once a panellist”, I have completely retired from my trade union positions, and have just last week been sacked by the new Government from the last of the board and advisory group positions that I previously held.

I thought my days of public life were over and now use twitter (or that awful X nomenclature) for my post public life therapy where, as an individual and without the constraints of any collective responsibility, I can tweet into my dotage.

By Christmas 2023, I had watched too many images of the genocide taking place in Gaza and was appalled at how the US, UK and most of the West (including NZ) were turning a blind eye to, or even supporting, the weeks (now months) of Israeli attacks on the people and infrastructure of Gaza.

However, I was encouraged by 2 events; the South African Government taking Israel to the International Court of Justice and the Yemeni Houthis taking matters into their own hands and attempting to cut off the shipping lanes to Israel that provided oil, arms and consumer goods to that apartheid state.

I had been critical of the “see no evil” stance of the new NZ Government although encouraged by the statements from Te Pāti Māori, Greens, and some in Labour such as Damien O’Connor, David Parker, Rachel Boyack as well as former Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta and former Prime Minister, Helen Clark.

I was therefore outraged to see the US attempting to cobble together a group of countries to militarily attack the Houthis while ignoring or even supporting the genocide in Gaza that the Houthi actions were designed to disrupt.

The US had 3 attempts at this. First was the announcement by the US in mid- December of the Operation Prosperity Guardian to “protect the shipping lanes of the Red Sea” from “Houthi Terrorists.” NZ rushed to join the group of 12 (including all the 5 Eyes countries) under US and UK military leadership. Interestingly most EU countries, including Spain and France who were much closer to the theatre chose not to participate.

A second attempt, again by-passing UN Security Council debate and endorsement, was made on 3 January when the US made a joint statement with 12 countries (not all the same but still including NZ) threatening military action if the Houthis did not desist in their targeted actions against some Red Sea shipping.

Finally, on 11 January 2024, after further Houthi drone attacks on some ships in the Red Sea, NZ joined the US, UK and (only) 7 others (Belgium, Italy and Japan had pulled out, South Korea had joined) to endorse the US and UK air attacks on Yemen on behalf of the coalition of 10 that NZ had signed up to.

In my view NZ had gone to war against Yemen. It did not matter that NZ provided no troops, logistics or military hardware at that stage. The military attacks on Yemeni soil were done in our name.

So I tweeted:

I was quite chuffed that the tweet had 19,000 impressions, 1,120 engagements and 475 likes and 118, mostly favourable comments.

However, my tweet seemed to disturb the equilibrium of your columnist who called my tweet: “hair-raising”, “jaw-dropping”, “excitable”, full of “egregious errors”, and making “loud alarums” (I had to look up the dictionary for that one) and “inflammatory claims”.

Chris quotes one of the two joint statements released by the US on 11 January that names the 6 nations that were physically involved in the military attacks on the Houthis and Yemen but ignores the “on behalf of statement” of the same date (referred to above) that names NZ as a willing coalition partner.

There is a saying on twitter that a tweet doesn’t age well. However, it seems that mine did.

On 22 January 2024 following the first cabinet meeting of the year, the PM, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence in a somewhat bizarre post cabinet standup confirmed that not only was NZ part of the coalition at war with the Houthis, but also that NZ would now be “deploying a Defence Force team of six “highly trained” people to the Middle East to help provide maritime security in the Red Sea”.

In my view if NZ is part of a military coalition and has made a deployment to this coalition, then NZ is at war as my tweet stated.

Interestingly respected Otago University academic Robert Patman, 36th Parallel director, Paul Buchanan, and a number of others have come to similar conclusions or at least expressed similar concerns.

But the shit show of western deception continues. We have had the first ruling on “interim measures” of the South African Government’s Genocide case against Israel by the International Court of Justice.

However instead of Israel and its Western allies taking note of the decision and working on its implementation we find a side-show being created alleging that 12 of the 13,000 UNRWA employees in Gaza may have been involved in the Hamas outbreak and shooting of Israelis on 7 October. This has now lead to a frenzied withdrawing of financial support for UNRWA by around 9 countries including 4 of the 5 Eyes (at the moment NZ, to its credit, stands apart). This completely goes against the decisions of the ICJ by again dishing out collective punishment to the people of Gaza.

In a tweet directly criticising Australian Labor Foreign Minister, Penny Wong, former NZ PM Helen Clark said:

The rest of Chris Trotter’s piece then descends into a rabbit hole of accusations and ending up at the strange terminus of attacking those left wingers with an anti-imperialist perspective as being trapped in “identity politics”. I am sure that Lenin, the author of “Imperialism the highest stage of capitalism” would be bemused by this “analysis”.

Perhaps Chris should put his pen down for a while, have a wee rest or a cup of tea. For it now seems with every column, he further trashes his own history and brand.

And while this somewhat petty scrap between Chris and myself goes on, so do the horrific events in Gaza, whether you call them a genocide or not. As I finish writing this piece international media report that over 26,000 have been killed and over 64,000 injured in the current Israeli attacks on that small piece of land, as well as the brutal oppression of Palestinians on the West Bank.

This is heart wrenching. This must stop now!

*Robert Reid is a retired trade union leader, advisory board member and was a regular panellist on TVNZ’s Q+A. In his youth he was a campaigner against the war in Vietnam and apartheid in South Africa. This was republished with his permission.


Let’s get this completely straight.

Winston who loves America almost as much as he loves himself plus a Minister of Defence with the nickname ‘Crusher’ who has a long and twisted history of abusing political power are fecklessly leading us into an American War and any criticism of bombing one of the poorest people in the world is “hair-raising”, “jaw-dropping”, “excitable” and full of “egregious errors”???

Why the fuck are we pretending Winston and Judith and a weak Luxon sending Military personnel to select targets for America to bomb is reasonable and normal?

We should all be deeply alarmed at where Winston and Judith are leading us and all those who defend their actions are covered in the same blood splatter.

This isn’t normal, and it should be criticised fiercely.


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  1. Chris Trotter is a refreshing voice of reason in the whirlwind of woke bullshit that we now all find ourselves enveloped in.

    • Chris Trotter has been a fat stale pale white male sell out for a very long time. It’s just now become so obvious that people can’t ignore the turning of coat. I’ve been saying for years that he was barely Left anymore.

      It’s one thing to critique Woke-ism & Identity Politics I do too, but he gave up on Economic Leftism a long time ago as well. He became just another self-satisfied Fat Cat tool of the Capitalist Class just like many Union Bureacrats.

  2. We had to expect a National led government to swing in line with what the USA tells us to do but the the speed at which it happened is still surprising. So once again we are sending our soldiers to the Middle East to kill more Arabs.

  3. Might be time for Mr Trotter to turn off the MacBook for a while, when you get down to the level of criticising a working class stalwart such as Robert Reid it is obvious he is not just erratic and vacillating, but joined the ranks of right opportunists. Sad, knew Chris well during his union days, but he has clearly been unhappy for a while and if he has thrown his lot in with reactionaries best he admit rather than playing all sides.

    Robert has been a Marxist internationalist for many decades, known around Asia Pacific in particular in such circles. From car industry struggles to TUF to building unions in the Pacific, and running First Union, he has done more than most NZ online pundits could imagine.

    This country had no hardware to smash into one of the poorest countries on the planet along with the heroic poms and yanks–but–we are fully complicit thanks to 5 Eyes connections. Our involvement will help target people to be killed–sounds like participation in armed conflict to me. US Imperialism always wants cover, the “willing” and it is shameful indeed that this Govt. has given it to them during one of the worst examples of genocide since the WWII Warsaw Ghetto.

    • All a bit sad really (re Trotter). The guy has clearly got issues. I wonder if the loss of his mate Gerry has caused his increasingly erratic musings. No one left to provide affirmation for his ‘left wing creds’.
      There have been a few though that’ve gone down the rabbit hole. Some of them were never really that genuine to begin with bu Trotter is a bit of a surprise.

      • Actually the Soviets developed the eastern European countries and began the industrialisation of China up to the sino Soviet split. I have talked to a number of Afghans and they say good things about the Soviets who tried to modernize the place and bring in education for women, whereas the Americans just drop bombs and promoted Islamism

        • No, the “Soviets” did develop their Client-States. They sucked them dry as a Vampire-Parasite. A number of Afghans? Are you kidding? Most Afghans supported the Mujahideen then the Taliban.

    • Oh Please no-one forced the Houthis to launch attacks. They chose to at behest of Theo-Fascist Iran & behind them Black Fascist Russia. Who launched an unprovoked attack into Israel killing 3000 Civilians? Hamas.
      They started this Conflict & now they’re going to cry about it? Israel is a democracy, flawed but a Democracy & you want to support the two Police-State Dictatorships of Gaza & West Bank instead? Instead of blaming Israel & West for their problems maybe those Palestinians should’ve focused on overthrowing the Islamo-Fascists of Hamas & the Pseudo-Stalinists of Fatah.

      You’re so obsessed with US “Imperialism” that you’re blind to the Imperialist endeavours of Iran, Russia & China.

  4. Are you not surprised Chris Trotter has lost his left wing mojo, best he quit while he’s ahead me thinks the right wing shock jocks have messed with his head.

  5. Normally I would agree with Chris’s musings on most matters but not on this Government following the Americans into another war. Whilst innocent women and children die and starve in Gaza Crusher’s and Chris’s main concern is the cost of NZ shipping it’s goods. Nothing from them regarding the last 50yrs of the Palestine people living in a apartheid system – shame on you and all your bastardry. Chris enjoy your time on the Platform and all your right wing mates.

  6. Devastating? Not really. What the Israeli Defence Force is doing to Gaza is devastating. Robert’s riposte barely rattled my windows. Still, Tiger Mountain is correct: Robert was once a force to be reckoned with (which I acknowledged in my post) but, sadly, times have changed – and Robert hasn’t.

    • And here I thought you intelligent Chris. Tiger used the word ” he” in referring to you Chris.

      “it is obvious he is not just erratic and vacillating, but joined the ranks of right opportunists. Sad, knew Chris well during his union days, but he has clearly been unhappy for a while and if he has thrown his lot in with reactionaries best he admit rather than playing all sides.

  7. If we had of brought the four ANZAC Frigates like we were supposed to we wouldn’t have to have been dragged into this mess.

  8. Hobsons choice. A pair of old Leftists bashing away at each other, how embarrassing. Singing, “Solidarity for ever…”.

    Grow up the pair of you. Seymour and LuxFlake will be loving your spat.

    • Chris Trotter hasn’t been a Real Leftist for years. I disagree with Robert Reid on a lot but he’s as least stayed true to himself/to a vision of the Cause. Christ Trotter became a Hollow Man a long time ago.

  9. Fantastic stuff @ Martyn Bradbury. I’d like to see the MSM try to equal that.
    What the Hell’s happened to Chris Trotter? A blow to the head? Iffy Pot?
    Chris? We bumped into one another at Galbraiths once. You’re awesome! What happened? Advice. Get a blood test.

  10. I think that the left may be in a train wreck but not know it as they have put padded hoods over their heads. No-one can be sure they are right (with a small r) these days. I prefer to think that Chris Trotter has dug out some Sun Tzu* ‘s thoughts and is trying some of that, mixed with things we know from modern psychology as well historic annals.

    Wringing our hands and crying at the moon won’t get us anywhere. Arguing what is right humane behaviour won’t get us anywhere. claiming the Rights of Man – and Woman – and Children – and dogs – and pigs -and birds etc. won’t; well we are trying but we are reverting to a new past; the past as one never knew it but still parallel.

    I am reading lately of great people who behaved in noble ways, and were not recognised – got poor treatment from those in power. And they aren’t guaranteed better treatment from the Left. Frankly we are all strange no-one can look deep into our present lives in the world and see them matching up to our supposed principles and expectations of people, whether ‘raised from poverty’, well off or not, even low income people don’t necessarily kind-heartedly pull together.

    Is Trotter trying to attach to some hidden lever in the brains of National? And hang and swing on the end of it to open up to some citizen based good for NZ/AO. And ACT; their unmitigated narrow thinking which appeals to the insatiable money collector sitting within his or her web so sticky. They don’t know what being human is, I have been reading about men who as boys were sent to boarding establishments. Probably never knew a slight embrace, a kiss on the forehead – you’re a good boy, the warmth between people at a small, non-sexual level which is what binds us. We are being governed by heartless drones, male and female. Get a drone for yourself and send it up looking for the odd real thinking, kindly person.

  11. Trotter has gone down the rabbit hole of “woke” and “identity politics”, forgetting that if minorities got the same results from the political process as everyone else, identity politics wouldn’t exist. It was identity politics that got women the vote, it was identity politics that got black people civil rights in the US. And while class-based politics did do something for Maori economically, it has done nothing for language and culture, which Maori also quite rightly regard as important. I’ve been pointing this out for some time to little avail, but the end came for me when he accused me – without being elder provided sceptic of evidence – of supporting the killing and rape of innocent civilians by Hamas, and implied that I was anti-Semitic. It’s bad enough to be accused of anti-Semitism by Zionists, who use it as a label to shut down any debate – but to be accused by someone who is allegedly one of your own. I went back through my comments, and not only did I not support Hamas – particularly as their religious nut cases – but I also said this on his site. So just at the moment, fuck him.
    One thing that does piss me off about the “anti-woke” crowd is that they do a lot of nut picking. In other words they’ll find some lunatic fringe nutcase, and assume that we all agree with whatever it is they say. It’s always been common on the right. But all you can do is point out what they are doing. Doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference of course they’re all lunatics these days.

    • leftist causes are clumped together are a bit like conspiracy theories. If you believe one you believe em all.

    • The usual illuminating truth I expect from you GS. Which Martyn here also needs to hear.

      Glad you didn’t take my advice to go back to Bowalley Rd. He is still very strong for the people generally while having a downer on Maori movements and an upper on Israel (?!). That last is what made me go. We left for that same post I think — it was so ludicrous.

      • What really annoyed me, was that after implying that I was anti-Semitic the very next day he let a blatant anti-Semitic remark go by without comment.

        • The pro-Israel thing is about his new ‘faith’. But to assume good faith, sans reference to his personal quirks, he went Right for free speech and the over-emphasis as he saw it on Maori self-rule and influence. Still good about our reality but not willing to think it above those qualms. Like the Right will deliver to the neediest? He also thinks climate change opposition is hopeless. Reality is central to everything let alone the Left who are ruled by it. It is pretty hopeless, but we must fight like the devil for our descendants.

          The ‘art of the possible’ sent him away into no use to anyone.

  12. I’ve been reading richard prebble’s book I’ve been thinking.I picked it up at the local church fair for two dollars.Its only 113 pages long.In it he says leaders need courage and that david lange should not have displayed this attribute and had his famous cuppa.He remarks that workers wanted to get rid of penal rates and their allowances.Basically its self righteous bullshit designed as an apology of sorts for fucking things up so badly when as he states in his own words “I became the biggest businessman in the country”.In charge of privatising twenty state owned enterprises.The post office that became telecom and the most efficient railways in the world as he describes tranzrail.It’s delusional but my stockpile of other books I bought at the garage sale are so he’s first off the block.Labour party devalued the currency out at the mangere bridge.It was treasury from whence Bernie Galvin came and Spencer Russell from the reserve bank but Rod Deane had a bit role as his deputy.Floating the dollar and devaluation by twenty percent amounted to the same thing.
    Lloyd Burr off drive on today fm described Chris Finlaysons rate of treaty Settlements as alarming just so the shift to Right Wing comments in the media in general.I didn’t have access to my ontological vocation too become more fully human until I went to university and now I know what my real job or true career should be.We didn’t have a private collection of books but relied on the local library.When the public is private we all lose out.Recently I sold my own collection of books as an adult and received one hundred dollars for over three hundred books.It’s sometimes wrongly imagined that cosmologists and evolutionists must be serenely unconcerned about next year next week and tomorrow. I conclude with a cosmic perspective which actually strengthens my own concerns. The stupendous timespans of the evolutionary past are now part of common culture.Maori are tangata whenua the people of the land and therefore have a moral right and precedence in Aotearoa.That right has largely been ignored by the Pakeha.Progressively and partly by force of arms but much more by legal, financial and legal chicanery have sought to dispose the Maori of their birthright to the land and the arguments between Pakeha and Maori goes right back to the beginnings of european settlement.Many Pakeha today sympathise with the view of history now being taught in our schools for the first time properly that Maori have had imposed upon them a law, a culture, a religion, a system of values an education and a language alien to their own.

    • How to deal with past wrongs and mistakes in a timely fashion in the now, and use that to bind people together ather than fund them to go off and do their own thing. And actually there needs to be a bit of both for true success. I’ve never believed that somebody could walk a tightrope high from a skyscraper or over the misty, wet environs of Niagara Falls. But they say it happened.

      So maybe we could find our balance and look each other in the eye and accurately assess worth from strength of character and style of humanity combined with knowledge and practicality. We can’t have everything we want but it would be good to have a choice of a few good things. I think we should try. I broke the new guidelines this morning and asked a couple where they were from. Malaysia originally but been here for long time. We could talk, looking at differences in perceptions and parted pleasantly. Could we have another partner in Asia in Malaysia – we have Singapore connections, China of course and Malaysia could give us a good trivet – they mentioned the mix of cultures there getting along reasonably well.

      We have climate change to be annoyed about – apparently we need to be annoyed about something all the time – let’s get annoyed at money-obsession and how Big Business wants to get money – more – all the time, which leads to increased climate problems. Money is a sort of magic. (Queen made up a song that resonates here.) Money can be anything that we want it to be – has to fit certain criteria that’s all.

      Make up your own local currency and have local-yokel fair days with stalls and try the theory out. Needs rules, like any game. Local money could be offered as a discount which could be used by the stall holder later for a period at a certain place for something useful. Maybe we need to provide competition in monetary dealings of civil life, as fiat money has all the power at present.

      What Is Fiat Money? Fiat money is declared legal tender by the government that issues it. This includes money in circulation such as paper money or coins. Fiat money is backed by a country’s government rather than by a physical commodity or financial instrument.
      Fiat vs. Representative Money: What’s the Difference?
      Investopedia › Economy › Economics

  13. Meh – Houthi outrage at US inaction on Israeli genocide, while understandable, was focused unwisely. They needed to drive a wedge between the US and Israel – attacking US shipping was not such a wedge. On the contrary, it moved the US and Israel closer together. The US was never going to tolerate attacks on their shipping – why would they?

    • Critiques are informative, criticism appears clearly justified, but if it is not a secret, what could the Houthis have done to drive this strategic wedge?

    • So Stuart, the Houthi took “unwise” action? Seems to me they did outstanding work merely setting an example of responding against the genocide. They actually did what public opinion in the USA wants their government to do, that is to intervene to stop the violence.

    • You give Houthi too much Credit. As Shiah they don’t give a shit about the Sunni Palestinians just like Sunni Muslims don’t give a shit about Shiah …in fact opposing them for their own interests eg Saudi Arabia.

      What they did give a shit about was orders from their Instigators/Pay-Masters, Iran who in turn do the bidding of Russia.

      Hamas initiated this round of Violence so I’m not crying when they get stomped by Israel. I’ve been Pro-Palestine/Anti-Israel for the last thirty years right up until the Hamas Terrorists crossed the border into Israel to murder Civilians deliberately targeting women and children. Now Gazans die as collateral damage while Israel roots out Hamas who hide behind their peoples skirts? Boo Hoo! Gazans had a choice to accept Islamo-Fascist Hamas Rule or fight for Democracy & Real Freedom. They chose wrong. chose Israel as an Enemy instead of the actual corrupt oppressors ruling over them.

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