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“Nothing Without A Demand” The Need For A New Union Movement

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

The rights of working people will thus be traded back and forth like chips on the political poker table. Neither National nor Labour are really interested in hearing how workers themselves would prefer the modern workplace to be organised, or in ways that the twenty-first century economy, with all its technological miracles, might be so regulated as to ensure that the benefits of robotics and artificial intelligence accrue to the whole population – and not just the shareholders of the transnational corporations who own the patents.

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A Rainy Afternoon In September

By   /  September 7, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  9 Comments

GEORGE LIFTED HIS HAND in greeting as Martyn entered the bar. At two o’clock on a rainy afternoon in early September the place was virtually empty.

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The Kiwi Doctrine: Upholding and Restoring Human Rights In The South Pacific

By   /  September 6, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  22 Comments

The New Zealand Government has repeatedly offered to take at least 150 of the refugees marooned on Nauru. The Australians have brushed aside all such offers with sneering contempt. After all, what can the Kiwis do about it? What can the Kiwis do about it? Nothing. What could the Kiwis do about it with a radically re-configured and re-equipped NZDF? Plenty.

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Transporting Aucklanders: Capitalist Cars versus Socialist Trains

By   /  September 4, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  19 Comments

WHY CAN’T WE get public transport right in New Zealand’s largest city? Visit any other world city and you will find buses, trams, light-rail networks and extraordinarily fast and efficient heavy rail services. Literally millions of people avail themselves of these services every day.

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Compassing The Economy’s Death

By   /  August 31, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  19 Comments

In the Middle Ages, rebellious nobles faced not only execution, but also the complete forfeiture of their estates to the Crown. Were such draconian powers still available to the leaders of today, then it is easy to predict the outcome of what most of the country’s leading economists have characterised as a completely unwarranted “Crisis of Business Confidence”.

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The Warning Bells Of Absurdity

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

HOW CAN YOU TELL when a system is falling apart? That the load-bearing walls of everyday reality are beginning to weaken? The simple answer is absurdity. Words spoken and positions taken that simply make no sense. Behaviour that raises suspicion of complete madness. Sums that stubbornly refuse to add up.

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Working For Families: Keeping The Wheels Of Capitalism Turning

By   /  August 28, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  35 Comments

St John is scathing in her condemnation of the purveyors of what she regards as the “subsidy myth”. Matthew Hooton, Eric Crampton on the Right; Bryce Edwards on the Left; and “others”.

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The Summit Of Folly: Why ‘Middle New Zealand” Will Have The Last Word On Crime And Punishment

By   /  August 24, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  54 Comments

If nothing else, the experience will have shown Little what he is up against. The anger and hurt of Maori. The radical programmes with which the latter propose to empty the prisons of their disproportionate ethnic muster. The anxious attempts of the various state institutions tasked with managing crime and punishment to generate outcomes that meet the often contradictory expectations of their political masters. And last – but by no means least – the inescapable reality of “Middle New Zealand’s” veto: it’s indisputable power and its implacable determination to have the final say.

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For all the displaced peoples of Planet Earth.

By   /  August 23, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, The Liberal Agenda  /  2 Comments

Evening On The Land

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This Is Your Green Captain: We Are Going Down.

By   /  August 21, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  53 Comments

GREEN POLITICS has never been about business-as-usual. Green politics has always been about the salvation of the planet and the reclamation of the human soul from the talons of the Capitalist death-machine. To reduce Green politics to mere environmentalism is to betray a complete misunderstanding of its raison d’être.

Sadly and predictably, however, that is exactly what the majority of New Zealand’s political commentators are doing. They are heaping their praise upon the Green caucus for taking the party back-to-basics with wonderful new policies about re-cycling car tyres and paying ten bucks to whoever before dumping your rubbish.

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Who Are You Calling “Evil”?

By   /  August 14, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  20 Comments

Evil looks nothing like the artist’s impression: there are no horns, no tail, no cloven hooves, no whiff of sulphur. Life would be so much easier if there were! No, if you really want to know what evil looks like, then examine the faces of the people who live next door; the people on the bus; the people in the lunchroom at work.

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The Government v. The Business Community: Playing Chicken Over Employment Law Reform

By   /  August 10, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  20 Comments

EVERY TIME the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance address the “Business Community” I wince. It’s painful to watch these two abase themselves in the way they do. As if their endless protestations of good will and their oft-repeated promise to “listen” will make the slightest difference. The Business Community is acutely aware that there is nothing with more potential to cause them harm than a left-wing government. If it cannot be tamed, then it must be broken.

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Better Health & Safety Laws Could Have Stopped The 1981 Tour!

By   /  August 9, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  15 Comments

The 1980s were such unenlightened times. The appalling events  of that era could never happen in the Aotearoa-New Zealand of 2018. Our health and safety laws simply wouldn’t permit it!

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How The New Zealand Left Transformed Southern And Molyneux From Unknown Rightists Into Free Speech Heroes

By   /  August 7, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  45 Comments

The debate stirred up by the repeated denial of both public and private stages to the pair on account of threats and intimidation has placed the issue of free speech squarely on New Zealand’s political agenda. The Left will find it much harder, now, to sell its arguments in favour of limiting New Zealanders right to free expression that would have been the case if Southern and Molyneux had simply been allowed to come and go without incident.

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“Who Are You Calling ‘Mate’, Mate?”

By   /  August 3, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  12 Comments

Right-wing Australia would like nothing more than to close its borders to these damned annoying Kiwis. Unfortunately, that would involve tearing up the Australian-New Zealand Closer Economic Relationship and toppling New Zealand into a full-scale economic and social crisis.

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The Politics Of Cannabis Law Reform

By   /  August 2, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  22 Comments

Far from promoting the liberalisation of drug laws, Labour contributed significantly to the dramatic expansion of the state’s powers of intervention in the lives of those Kiwis deemed to have deviated from the “caring” agencies’ expectations.

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