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Reducing the prison muster rather than building a new prison

By   /  June 21, 2018  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  9 Comments

I am heartened by the way Labour and the Greens are talking up justice reform and the need to reduce prison numbers. Justice Minister Andrew Little told TV3’s Nation last week that everything is on the table, including reform of the bail, parole and sentencing legislation.

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Ardern wrong to “accept” US-led air strikes on Syria. The Greens get it right

By   /  April 16, 2018  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  67 Comments

Prime Minister Adern has made a serious mistake in saying that she “accepts” why the US, UK and France have bombed Syria.

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Why Green MPs shouldn’t give their parliamentary questions to National

By   /  March 19, 2018  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  33 Comments

There are several reasons why it is wrong of the Green caucus to hand over some of their Parliamentary Questions to National.

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Why NZ should withdraw its troops from Iraq

By   /  February 13, 2018  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  15 Comments

Prior to the last election Labour, NZ First and the Greens all opposed the current deployment of New Zealand troops to Iraq. Labour specifically promised to withdraw them, but nothing has happened yet. Now Australia is leaning on our government to extend the deployment beyond its current end date in November. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop made that plain during her visit here last week.

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Jim Anderton played a critical role in changing our electoral system

By   /  January 9, 2018  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  4 Comments

Jim Anderton made a great and irreplaceable contribution to our society and democracy. Without his leadership of NewLabour and the Alliance – and his support of MMP – we might still be stuck with a narrow, two-party, first-past-the-post political system – like Britain, Australia, Canada and the United States. We owe Jim a lot.

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$639 million upgrade poses question of whether we need frigates

By   /  December 15, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  19 Comments

The frigates Te Mana and Te Kaha are a huge drain on the taxpayer. They cost hundreds of millions of dollars a year in running costs and regular upgrades. The current electronics upgrade is now priced at a whopping $639 million.

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Kiwi prominent in ICAN, this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner

By   /  December 10, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  5 Comments

New Zealand has a long history of active anti-nuclear NGOs, several of whom are involved in ICAN via their international parent bodies. These include the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Pax Christi – all of whom are represented on the ICAN international steering committee.

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Golriz Ghahraman has answered her critics well

By   /  November 30, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  15 Comments

In summary, Golriz has never hidden her defence role in the Rwanda and former Yugoslavia Tribunals. She has spoken about those experiences many times, and put them on her LinkedIn CV. It has been good to see the legal experts such as Andrew Geddes and so many progressive people coming to her defence.

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Pitfalls for the Greens and NZ First in coalition discussions

By   /  September 26, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  20 Comments

One thing the Greens and NZ First won’t want to repeat is the Alliance experience in coalition with Labour from 1999 to 2002. With Ministers inside the Cabinet, committed to Cabinet solidarity, they had difficulty differentiating from Labour. This frustrated the party’s support base.

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Let’s make sure the Greens get well over the threshold

By   /  September 21, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  44 Comments

The Greens hold the key to this election. If the Greens don’t get 5% and leave Parliament its unlikely Labour will be in government. If the Greens get 5% (or 6%, 7%, 8% or 9%) a Labour/Green government is likely.

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Monarchy still constraining democracy in Tonga

By   /  August 31, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  1 Comment

Tongan politics are so poorly reported in New Zealand that it is hard to judge the actions of the various players in the latest political crisis.

However, we should be concerned that the monarch, King Tupou VI, has sacked the elected government headed by Akilisi Pohiva, an advocate of greater democracy.

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Some bold ways of funding Green election promises

By   /  July 9, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  6 Comments

Election promises can cost a lot of money. Here are some ways the Greens in government could raise some extra cash. All these proposals are consistent with existing Green policy.

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Why is NZ supporting US use of white phosphorus weapons?

By   /  July 3, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  17 Comments

New Zealand’s good name is being tarnished by comments in Iraq by Kiwi Brigadier, Hugh McAslan. In his role as deputy commander of the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command-Operation Inherent Resolve, McAslan is supporting the use of white phosphorus weapons, which have been widely condemned, including by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

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Defend Qatar, Defend al-Jazeera

By   /  June 26, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Media Watch, Most Recent Blogs  /  6 Comments

The Saudi-led blockade of Qatar should concern us all. It is virtually an act of war for one country, Saudi Arabia, to cut off all land access to another, Qatar, and then combine with two other countries, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, to restrict air and sea access.

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NZ’s cowardly apology to Israel over settlements

By   /  June 16, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  4 Comments

When challenged directly on Morning Report, Brownlee wouldn’t criticise Israel’s settlement building policy, saying it was a matter for the parties concerned. Why bother to have a foreign policy if everything is just a matter for the parties concerned – despite, in this case, one having all the power over the other. The theft of Palestinian land is backed by Israel’s huge military machine.

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A fairer electoral system would have helped UK Labour to power

By   /  June 11, 2017  /  Keith Locke, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  2 Comments

UK Labour did fantastically well in Thursday’s general election, despite Jeremy Corbyn being painted as an “unelectable” leftist by the media commentariat – and even by most of his Labour colleagues. Labour’s advance was not really a surprise. As I wrote in my Daily Blog post a year and a half ago, Corbyn’s “Keynesian policies are considerably more popular than the austerity championed by Cameron and the Labour right.”

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