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Charter schools – using the poor to advance the agenda of the rich

By   /  February 12, 2018  /  John Minto, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  31 Comments

The ACT Party were out on the weekend with 100 people supporting their Auckland march to oppose the closure of charter schools.

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100 days and the first broken promise

By   /  February 6, 2018  /  John Minto, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  55 Comments

In their first 100 days Labour has offered us “not-National” policies but little else – unless a Woman’s Weekly Prime Minister is considered in the common good.

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Labour Party’s Tax Working Group stacked 8 to 2 with corporate representatives

By   /  January 18, 2018  /  John Minto, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  37 Comments

Most of these people spend their working days earning fat salaries advising wealthy corporates and rich listers how to minimise their taxes.

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One of Maggie Barry’s tracks

By   /  January 12, 2018  /  John Minto, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  16 Comments

DOC has great people doing a fantastic job but it’s had nasty, venal ministers like Nick Smith and Maggie Barry who have done their best to drive it into the ground.

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After Lorde’s courage, why has WOMAD invited Israeli singer to New Zealand?

By   /  December 31, 2017  /  John Minto, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  34 Comments

Israeli singer Victoria Hanna is due to perform at the New Plymouth WOMAD festival (17-19 March 2018). She should never have been invited to come. Hanna is currently based at the University of California as part of the Visiting Israeli Artist Programme of The Israel Institute who describe their role in these terms –

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Compulsory Maori language in New Zealand schools

By   /  December 4, 2017  /  John Minto, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  56 Comments

Brash’s comments criticising the use of the Maori language on Radio New Zealand are childish and pathetic. And that’s before we get to the underlying oppressive racism.

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Michael Cullen and New Zealand workers

By   /  November 27, 2017  /  John Minto, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  6 Comments

Can we expect any significant change from the Cullen tax working group?

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Why would any self-respecting New Zealander oppose the TPPA when National was in government and then excuse Labour for signing up to it?

By   /  November 20, 2017  /  John Minto, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  19 Comments

Labour says it has negotiated a softening of some of the most odious of the TPPA’s provisions, but this doesn’t pass the sniff test. The ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement) process remains intact. All that has been negotiated is a small reduction in the circumstances where it can be used.

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Capitalism, tax and New Zealand

By   /  November 13, 2017  /  John Minto, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  6 Comments

It was sad reading Stephen Hickson’s defence of capitalism in the Press (25 October 2017). Sad because capitalism has delivered so much outright misery to so much of humanity over the last 300 years that it’s hard to believe anyone could be so blinkered.

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TPPA – Jacinda Ardern’s foreshore and seabed moment

By   /  November 6, 2017  /  John Minto, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  20 Comments

It’s like watching a car crash in slow motion.

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Avoiding another pledge-card government

By   /  October 30, 2017  /  John Minto, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  10 Comments

There are some encouraging signs this Labour-led government will not be a “pledge-card” government. If it can develop and maintain programmes of change across housing, health, welfare, the environment, employment rights etc then while it will never be a revolutionary government, it could be a transformational government.

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A breath of (almost fresh) air

By   /  October 20, 2017  /  John Minto, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  22 Comments

The most interesting aspect of Winston Peter’s announcement of a coalition deal with Labour was his acknowledgement that capitalism had become the enemy of so many people. He said he wants a government of change which, among other things, will do something real about poverty.

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Urewera 10 years on – any lessons to remember?

By   /  October 16, 2017  /  John Minto, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  7 Comments

On the 10th anniversary of the Urewera raids we should recount the lessons – and we should remember. Breathless police and media commentary about a cocktail of napalm bombs, terrorist cells, guns, ammunition, Maori extremists, guerrilla warfare, assassination threats against politicians, greeted the public on the 15th October 2007. You name it – the police claimed it and the media hyped it.

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Galipolli or Mangatawhiri? – selective memory of war

By   /  October 9, 2017  /  John Minto, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  16 Comments

It would be much more appropriate for New Zealand to scrap ANZAC DAY (25 April – dated for the landing at Gallipoli in World War I) and shift our national remembrance of war to 12 July – the day in 1863 that imperial troops crossed the Mangatawhiri River and the great war for New Zealand began.

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A victory for lies, media thuggery and lazy prejudice

By   /  September 25, 2017  /  John Minto, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  58 Comments

The vilest incident of the campaign was not red-neck farmers protesting their right to pollute and degrade our waterways at our expense. It didn’t even involve the National Party directly. It was the vile, despicable, media-run campaign to denigrate Green MP Metiria Turei and drive her from the co-leadership of the party.

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Who to vote for?

By   /  September 18, 2017  /  John Minto, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  31 Comments

Voting involves a moral choice.

In a capitalist economy you either vote with capitalism’s winners or with the losers. With those who have used the system to enrich themselves at the expense of others or those forced to struggle at the margins.

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