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The Salvation Army’s Latest Report: Identifying the Sins – but not the Solutions

By   /  December 14, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  35 Comments

THE LATEST “State of Our Communities” report from the Salvation Army exposes a worrying fragility in New Zealand’s social relationships. Behind the happy multicultural façade so beloved of politicians and bureaucrats, racial animosities fester and tensions between competing ethnic communities multiply.

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Normalising The Unthinkable

By   /  December 11, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  12 Comments

It is the privilege of artists to think the unthinkable and imagine the unimaginable. Which is exactly what so many of them are doing in response to the deepening crisis of anthropogenic global warming.

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A Polish Joke – At The Planet’s Expense

By   /  December 6, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  54 Comments

KATOWICE, SILESIA. Polish humour, yes? To stage a critical conference on Climate Change in the heart of Poland’s coalfields just has to be a joke. Right?

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Raining On The White Tribe’s Parade

By   /  December 4, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  15 Comments

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? The people who decided it would be a good idea to take Santa out of the Nelson Santa Parade?

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From A Table By The Window.

By   /  November 30, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  14 Comments

HOW MANY YEARS has it been, I asked myself, since I climbed these stairs? That the little Wellington café was still in business after more than 40 years struck me as a miracle. And where better to meet the man who could still remember the events of 40 years ago – not least because he was there, in the thick of them?

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Winston Keeps His Pledge To The Small Businesses Of Small-Town New Zealand

By   /  November 29, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  25 Comments

WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT that the most accomplished class warrior to emerge from the struggle to improve New Zealand’s labour laws would be Winston Peters? No one else with a dog in this fight saw the class issues at stake as clearly as Winston Peters and NZ First. Not the employers; not the unions; and certainly not the Labour, National or Green parties

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The Case Of The Problematic Professor

By   /  November 27, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  39 Comments

Jacinda can’t really say “It’s about New Zealand First” – that could be misinterpreted, but if she were to say something similar in defence of her continuing silence vis-à-vis Anne-Marie Brady, then she would earn the respect of Beijing and Washington alike

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MUST READ: The Perils Of Inclusion

By   /  November 23, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  27 Comments

SHOULD WE BE SURPRISED that the rainbow community turned out to be so conservative? That the effort of the Pride Parade board to address the fear so easily triggered by police uniforms has provoked such a swift and devastating backlash? That so many people have forgotten what it feels like to be labelled, singled-out, trashed and excluded? That so many New Zealanders seem unaware that it is precisely those who dwell furthest away from the blessings of societal acceptance that have the strongest claim to our care and protection?

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Where Is The Mass Movement Against Climate Change?

By   /  November 22, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  57 Comments

WHEN JACINDA ANNOUNCED she was having a baby, I was thrilled. What better guarantee could we have of serious government action on the big issues than a prime minister with a tiny and vulnerable child’s future to protect? Well, Neve arrived safely, but the urgent action required to secure her future seems as far away as ever.

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Making It Through

By   /  November 20, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  23 Comments

CHRISTINE ROSE’s poignant post of 17 November, “Feeling Like A Stranger In A Familiar Land” requires a response more substantial than fatalistic resignation. Tempting though it is to bury oneself in the small delights of everyday life for as long as that avenue of escape remains open, it must be rejected. Something as big as the end of the world as we know it surely merits Dylan Thomas’s unforgettable commandment:

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MUST READ: What Is “Rogerpolitics”?

By   /  November 16, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  7 Comments

“ROGERNOMICS” is political shorthand for the neoliberal economic policies introduced by Labour’s finance minister, Roger Douglas, between 1984 and 1988. While most New Zealanders have heard of Rogernomics, nowhere near as many have heard of its inseparable companion, “Rogerpolitics”.

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Rating Reality Television

By   /  November 15, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  8 Comments

HAVE YOU EVER wondered what the enormous popularity of reality television reveals about contemporary New Zealand culture? Understandably, the nation’s cultural elites do not consider this to be an important question. What the lower orders choose to pollute their minds with is hardly worthy of serious consideration. The only social significance attachable to reality television is the extent to which it uses up space and resources that could, much more profitably, be devoted to genuine cultural production.

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A Diet Of Lies

By   /  November 13, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  40 Comments

Very few New Zealanders ever grasped what the rest of the world saw when it looked upon the British Empire: a huge blood-smeared lion whose sharp teeth and vicious claws struck terror into the hearts of all those too weak to resist them.

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MUST READ: The White, Male, Losers’ Liberator Wins Again

By   /  November 8, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  52 Comments

VERY LITTLE on this earth can match the agony of being trapped inside your own skin. To be aware that you are not what those whose opinions you respect wanted you to be. Your parents, your family, your pastor, your teachers, your boss, your friends: all of them at one time or another believed in you; thought you had what it took to succeed. Except you didn’t succeed, you failed. You are not a winner, you’re a loser. A loser trapped inside his own skin.

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MUST READ: Labour’s Dunedin Conference: Returning To The Scene Of The Crime

By   /  November 6, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  12 Comments

THE LAST TIME the NZ Labour Party held its conference in Dunedin the stakes could not have been higher. Those for whom the Labour Party represented democratic-socialism were pitted against those for whom the Labour Party represented electoral pragmatism and the fulsome praise of New Zealand’s leading capitalists. In other words, it was a straight-out fight between the Left and the Right.

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Why Lime Is Leaving A Sour Taste In My Mouth

By   /  November 2, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  15 Comments

WHAT DOES IT SAY about the times we are living in that electric scooters are permitted to share our footpaths? These vehicles are capable of speeds of up to 27 kms p/hr –  constituting a significant threat to the health and safety of riders and pedestrians alike.

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