WHY ISN’T JACINDA ARDERN channelling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC)? This is not a frivolous question. Labour found itself swept into a winning position at the end of 2017 almost entirely on the strength of Jacinda’s extraordinary appeal – especially to voters under 40.Read More →
BACK IN THE DAYS when I boasted much more hair and carried far fewer kilos, I was right into (as we said back then) writing songs. One of those songs, The Other Side of Town, opened like this:
Well, the street has been my teacher
And poverty my nurse
Oh dear, how my family and friends chortled. “You wouldn’t know how to live out on the street if your life depended on it!”, snorted one.Read More →
WHAT IS IT? This weird, emotionally energetic style of politics that promises “transformational” change and then, mysteriously, fails to deliver it? What should we call it? Something less than the old-fashioned left-wing populism of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn. Much more, however, than the cynical deployment of standard PR techniques. It is a style which […]Read More →
The carrying of the resolution thus represented a rare assertion of the interests of private sector workers within the CTU – as well as an important breaking-of-ranks within the usually dominant “Big Four” public sector unions. Together, Wagstaff’s opponents have delivered a stunning blow to his presidential mana, greatly reducing his chances of being re-elected to a second term as leader of the CTU.Read More →
The questions that arise from the Hanoi Summit are all about diplomatic and journalistic consistency. The United States and the Western news media both need to explain why the measured diplomacy and largely accurate reporting on display in Hanoi, has been so conspicuously absent with regard to Venezuela. The naked diplomatic aggression and outright lies which have characterised the West’s treatment of the Venezuelan Government could hardly be more different from its handling of the DPRK’s “Supreme Leader”.Read More →
So overwhelming was this sudden depopulation of the Americas that it ended up affecting the global climate. Human communities across the Americas had relied upon wood for heating and construction. Forest clearance was also necessary for the cultivation of crops. The sudden elimination of millions of human beings, leading to the disappearance of entire communities, led to the rapid advancement of forests across thousands of square miles on both continents. The increased sequestration of carbon which resulted from this natural process of reforestation lowered the level of atmospheric CO2 and triggered what became known as the “Little Ice Age” of the Seventeenth Century.Read More →
POLICE NUMBERS just topped 13,000. Forty years ago there were fewer than half that number – considerably fewer. Astonishingly, we now have almost as many cops as we do soldiers. At last count the New Zealand Defence Force numbered 14,921. Put those numbers together and the state’s coercive potential turns out to be not far shy of 30,000 highly-trained and fearsomely-equipped men and women. Those who allow expressions like “revolution” and “class war” to trip so merrily off their tongues should be required to explain where their 30,000 highly-trained and fearsomely-equipped men and women are currently hiding – just waiting for the word.Read More →
What the world is currently witnessing in the UK, is the “pre-emptive split” that simply has to happen if the looming, uncontrolled, disintegration of the British Right, and the left-wing victory such an unmediated break-up would permit, is to be circumvented.Read More →
THE LABOUR-GREEN TECHNOCRATIC LEFT is clearly preparing to die in the very same ditch in which the Right hopes to bury the proposed Capital Gains Tax (CGT). This is unfortunate, since one of the more annoying, if unintended, consequences of such folly is likely to be the fall of the Coalition Government. Assuming, of course, that Winston Peters and NZ First are willing to die alongside their Labour and Green comrades. The sheer improbability of that happening is really the only ray of hope illuminating what is otherwise a pretty dreary situation.Read More →
LATER THIS WEEK, the recommendations of the Tax Working Group will become public. It is highly likely that a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) of some description will be near the top of the Working Group’s “To Do” list. How should Labour handle this extremely hot potato? The tax which all the experts tell us we have to have has much to recommend it theoretically, but, in the bluntest of practical political terms, it could very easily destroy this government.Read More →
David Clark does not appear to have a metric for moral force. The calculation of our health system’s ethical obligations seems beyond him. How, when all is said and done, does one measure a family’s sorrow, or calculate a young doctor’s dedication?
What is the market-price of kindness?Read More →
ONE OFFICIAL ERRUPTION of imperialistic bile in 72 hours could be dismissed as coincidence; two looks like a plan. The first spewed from the mouth of Gavin Williamson, the United Kingdom’s Secretary of Defence, on Monday (11/2/19). The second came today (13/2/19) from Admiral Phil Davidson, Commander of the newly minted United States Indo-Pacific Command. Williamson was delivering a speech to the Royal United Services Club. Davidson was testifying before the US Senate’s Armed Services Committee. The principal target of both men was the Peoples Republic of China.Read More →
POLITICAL COMMENTATORS tell us a great deal about themselves when they turn their gaze away from home, and towards events unfolding overseas. Domestic politics inevitably presents a rather muddied picture. There is so much happening: so many players – all with competing agendas – that achieving clarity is extremely difficult. With events overseas, however, there is much less in the way of clutter. The issues seem so clear, and the players so compelling, that the temptation to apply only the brightest primary colours to one’s analytical canvas is very hard to resist. Muted palettes are best reserved for the politics of one’s own homeland.
The commentary currently being offered up to New Zealand readers on the crisis playing-out in Venezuela strongly confirms these observations. And nowhere is the tendency to apply the brightest colours with the broadest brushstrokes more in evidence than in the commentaries of Liam Hehir.Read More →
MUST READ: Harrowing Statistics – The Left’s Supposed To Shrink The Social Hell Of Joblessness – Not Expand It.
THE RISE in the unemployment rate, from 3.9 to 4.3 percent, may not sound like a lot – but it is. Not only because it represents a further 10,000 New Zealanders officially without work, but also because it’s the sort of news no genuine progressive government ever wants to hear. If progressive government is about anything, then it’s first and foremost about constantly expanding the number of citizens in good jobs with good pay. Any progressive government confronted with a steadily rising tide of joblessness should expect to drown.Read More →
VENEZUELA DESERVES DEMOCRACY, but that is not what Venezuela is going to get. What it will get – as the whole world is currently witnessing – is a brutal assault on its people by the world’s most powerful nation. Venezuela is being threatened with economic strangulation, civil war and, should these stratagems prove ineffective in dislodging the government of President Nicolas Maduro, a full-scale military invasion led by the United States itself.Read More →
How different is today’s Green caucus from the “magnificent seven” Green MPs who entered the House of Representatives so triumphantly in 1999. The New Zealand establishment recognised those Greens for what they were: enemies of the status-quo and certainly not the sort of people this country’s capitalists (not even those in the Labour Party!) felt the least bit comfortable about doing business with. Red-Greens they were called: a label which MPs Sue Bradford and Keith Locke wore with pride. Today, to be branded a Red is simply embarrassing: proof only of outdated thinking.Read More →