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Is The Government’s TPP “Solution” Too Good To Be True?

By   /  November 2, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  26 Comments

The ISDS provisions of the TPP are the ones permitting foreign investors (a.k.a huge multinational corporations) to sue the New Zealand Government for imposing legislative and/or regulatory restrictions on their existing or proposed investments. Such litigation to occur not in a New Zealand courtroom, in front of a New Zealand judge, but before an international tribunal staffed and adjudicated by the sort of lawyers more usually to be found working for – you guessed it – “huge multinational corporations”.

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Who Is Craig Renney, And What Is He Advising Grant Robertson To Do?

By   /  October 31, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  39 Comments

But what, exactly, does that mean? Is Craig merely putting flesh on the bones of Grant’s, and the Labour Policy Council’s, ideas? Or, are Grant and Labour merely repeating ideas and policy positions fed to them by Craig? And, if it’s the latter, then what are the ideas and policies our new government is being asked to swallow?

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Socialism and Populism: The Party is Just Beginning!

By   /  October 28, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  67 Comments

ZACH CASTLES is sitting, gutted, in a café overlooking the Thames. The former “National ministerial adviser”, no longer having any National ministers to advise, has clearly relocated himself to a more promising political marketplace. Even so, our brave young capitalist has taken the time to share his thoughts with The Spinoff. (Who else!) And, oh, comrades, what thoughts they are!

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Strategies Of Right-Wing Resistance: It Can Happen here

By   /  October 26, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  21 Comments

CAN WE REALLY DO THIS? As the euphoria of victory wears off, and the sheer enormity of the challenge confronting progressive New Zealand reveals itself, it would be foolish not to feel just a little bit daunted. We face an economic system without the slightest idea how to solve the problems created by its discredited […]

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Dark Transactions: Winston Peters Decision To “Go Left” Has Already Set His Enemies In Motion

By   /  October 21, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  76 Comments

IN ALL ECONOMIES, and in every political system, there are roped-off areas of shadow and hidden places swathed in deliberate darkness. In these light-starved locations all kinds of disreputable economic and political transactions take place.

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Winston’s Dream Can Only Be Realised By Putting New Zealand Second

By   /  October 19, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  9 Comments

WHAT DOES NZ FIRST WANT? More than anything else, NZ First and its leader, Winston Peters, would like to reconstruct the New Zealand economy of the 1950s and 60s. Given that these were years of extraordinary economic and social progress, during which more and more New Zealanders were lifted into relative affluence, and the country’s […]

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The Maker Of “Men” – Masculinity and its Origins

By   /  October 16, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  37 Comments

WHO MAKES “MEN”? With the behaviour of movie magnate, Harvey Weinstein, dominating the headlines, the nature and origins of masculinity have become a hot topic. At issue is whether all expressions of masculinity are to a greater-or-lesser extent “toxic” – or only some? And, whether the ultimate liberation of womankind is contingent upon the unequivocal elimination of the culturally constructed beings we call “men”?

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Dainties and Chains: Progressive MPs and the “Wellington Bubble”

By   /  October 14, 2017  /  Martyn Bradbury, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  20 Comments

EVEN IF WINSTON VEERS LEFT, the progressive New Zealand community still has a problem. Their new political representatives: the people upon whom so many progressive voters have pinned their hopes for meaningful change; will soon discover that the speed at which they, themselves, are being transformed is far outstripping any changes in the wider world. […]

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Talkin’ ‘Bout A Revolution – Or Not?

By   /  October 12, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  27 Comments

“THESE TALKS ARE ABOUT A CHANGE in the way this country is run. Both economically and socially.” That is how Winston Peters characterised the government formation negotiations currently drawing to a close in Wellington. But, what could his words possibly mean, in practical terms?

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The Hallelujah Song

By   /  October 10, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  37 Comments

In the absence of the Left’s uplifted voices, Winston will take what he can get from the Right. Better to deal with people who have never known that such transformational music exists, than be disappointed by Labour-Green politicians who no longer consider the Hallelujah Song worth singing.

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Adults In The Room?

By   /  October 7, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  67 Comments

WHAT’S GOING ON, JACINDA? Why has the former Labour Finance Minister, Sir Michael Cullen, and Helen Clark’s former Press Secretary, Mike Munro, been invited on to your team of negotiators with NZ First? And, while we’re on the subject of Labour’s Rogernomics Generation, why was Annette King sent to ride shotgun alongside you for the duration of the election campaign?

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Bryan Gould To Labour: This Is No Time For “Conventional Answers”

By   /  October 5, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  46 Comments

BIG UPS TO BRYAN GOULD. Perhaps anticipating a disappointing choice from NZ First on 12 October, the former Vice-Chancellor of Waikato University has put the rhetorical boot into Labour’s fiscal and monetary caution.

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The Difference Between Jeremy And Jacinda, Is The Difference Between Government And Governance

By   /  October 3, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  62 Comments

Even if Winston Peters deigns to make her our next Prime Minister, Jacinda has made it very clear that she hasn’t the slightest intention of frightening the Establishment’s horses; and that her own – and Labour’s – determination to provide good and responsible governance to all New Zealanders, from the top down, will not falter.

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The Last Thing Progressive New Zealand Needs Is A Coalition Of Contradictions

By   /  September 30, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  47 Comments

IT IS POSSIBLE to want something too much. The New Zealand progressive community’s hunger for power – so shamelessly on display since Election Night – has led it to treat Labour, the Greens and NZ First as unambiguously progressive entities capable of working together without fault or friction.

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MMP With FPP Characteristics: New Zealand’s DIY Electoral System

By   /  September 27, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  34 Comments

MUCH HAS BEEN WRITTEN about who “won” the 2017 General Election. Sharp differences have emerged between those who have judged the outcome as a clear National victory, and those who insist that Labour, with the assistance of the Greens and NZ First, has every right to anticipate forming a new government.

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What If? Some Random Thoughts about The Next Three Weeks

By   /  September 26, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  12 Comments

WHAT IF, three weeks from today, National decides that an acceptable deal with NZ First just isn’t on “the cards that count”?

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