Wednesday, February 26, 2020
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Dow Jones plummets another 880 points – Soooo can we start panicking about the Wuhan virus yet or is that still racist?

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Those Kiwisaver accounts are feeling bashed this morning aren’t they and they’re about to get another beat down, because after yesterdays 1000 point drop in the Dow Jones, the Dow Jones plummeted again today another 880 points.

The markets are now realising what a pandemic from a novel virus will actually do.

Soooooooooo can we start panicking about the wuhan virus now or is that still racist?

Remember back in the day (January) when da woke be screaming it wasn’t as bad as the flu & any criticism was xenophobia?

Oh the lolz.

This isn’t a fucking Identity Politics issue you woke clowns, this has always been a public health emergency and economic meltdown moment, we didn’t need Chinese repression to hide this, we just needed virtue signalling woke activists to censor it.

As I pointed out yesterday, the virus compounds economies that were already faltering economically so this possible pandemic on top of that manufacturing contraction could be the Black Swan that we’ve all feared that triggers a full blown global recession.

China was always lying about the enormity of this novel virus and we must urgently move to protect ourselves now.

As TDB pointed out when this first emerged, Wuhan Virus ain’t nothin to fuck with.

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MEDIAWATCH: How much does the National Party want to suppress the Māori vote? This much

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Of all the reasons to be against same day enrolment in an election, surely the National Party’s development spokesperson’s comments that to do so would reward a lack of personal responsibility is perhaps the most outrageous…

Too slack to enroll, too slack to vote

National’s Māori development spokesperson says same day enrolling and voting rewards lack of personal responsibility.

National is opposing the provision in the Electoral Amendment Bill setting the rules for the September 19 election.

Jo Hayes says the existence of a large number of provisional votes by people who have enrolled that day could mean the result isn’t known for another 10 days after the election.

She says people should get onto the roll before election day.

“If people get it into their heads to get enrolled before that, then there’s increasing participation that way. For somebody to roll out of bed on the day of the election and think ‘I don’t know if I’m enrolled or not?’ – is that personal responsibility? I don’t think it is,” she says.

…as a liberal progressive Democracy we want EVERYONE to participate, same day enrolment would allow that to occur and that would help minority voters in NZ to have their voices heard and feel involved in the outcome. Why hold onto a rule that actually stops more people from voting based on some weird moral belief that doing so erodes personal responsibility?

What the actual?

National are frightened that same day enrolment would attract a large percentage of disengaged voters that don’t vote for them and building some moral argument of personal responsibility to defend that is atrocious.

Good to see Waatea News once again leading the agenda with this great interview.

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Majority of Kiwis who have attended rodeo events support a ban – new poll – SAFE

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New poll figures reveal that more than half of New Zealanders who had attended a rodeo event supported a ban on rodeo.

A recent Horizon Research poll commissioned by animal rights organisation SAFE shows that 60% of those polled who had attended a rodeo in the previous 12 months supported a ban on the use of animals in rodeo. Overall, 60% of New Zealanders agreed that rodeo causes pain and suffering to animals, and it is therefore not worth causing this just for the sake of entertainment.
SAFE spokesperson Will Appelbe says the new figures are an indictment of New Zealand’s rodeo events.

“It’s clear that when most people see rodeo cruelty firsthand they are appalled,” says Appelbe.
“Rodeo events put animals at risk of injury and death, and subject them to cruel treatment. Most Kiwis recognise this, including those who have attended a rodeo recently.”

The poll figures also showed that 69% of New Zealanders who had attended a rodeo supported a ban on the use of calves. A recently published Australian study highlighted the distress calves experience in the calf rope and tie event. The findings indicated that calves in roping events feel several negative emotions, which the authors say raises serious concerns as to the continuation of these events on welfare grounds.

“The use of calves is generally considered the worst form of rodeo cruelty and these new poll results support that. The Labour Party campaigned last election on the promise that they would ban the use of calves, as well as flank straps and several other aspects of rodeo if elected. With those plans seemingly off the table it’s become increasingly unclear what Labour’s position on rodeo actually is.”

“We’d like to see this Government make a commitment to helping animals and to follow through with it.”

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The 3 reasons why the Politics of Kindness is failing children in poverty 

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The latest child poverty stats are out and nothing is changing…

Child poverty: Rising housing costs punish children as more kids in ‘material hardship’

Rising rents and mortgages are helping to push children below the poverty line as the Government’s welfare efforts are yet to make a significant difference. 

The latest child poverty numbers show a slight reduction in the number of children living below most poverty thresholds. 

But there has been an increase in material hardship, with 4100 more children living without such items as two good pairs of shoes, and fresh fruit or vegetables in the home. 

…there are 3 reasons why the Politics of Kindness is failing children in poverty.

Legacy – NZ never recovered from Ruth Richardson’s Mother of all Budgets that slashed benefits and caused the entrenched poverty we live with now. Not many NZers know this, but the cruel logic Ruth Richardson applied was they worked out the minimum calorie requirements of an adult and set the benefit just below those requirements. The belief was that if you made beneficiaries hungry, that would incentivise them to go to and get a job.

We’ve never recovered from this spite as social policy decision and we live with atet legacy today.

Cultural – The 36 year neoliberal experiment in NZ had to impact everything. Politics, economy and most importantly cultural. if you succeed, it is TOTALLY your own to use as you wish, but if you fail, well that’s your problem and the state doesn’t need to care for your poor choices. In practice the de-unionised working classes have had pittance instead of real wage growth so they look at the welfare payment with envy and this envy is manipulated by the Right into voting resentment.

Political – The neoliberal welfare agencies are there to terrify and destroy the vulnerable who are unlucky enough to need assistance. Punitive sanctions, debt loading and sadists staffing the offices of misery all combine to ensure there is enough fear to push the vulnerable away. Labour had no idea they had won the 2017 election and so had no 100 day plan in place to reform the toxic cultures inside the public service with a mass purge.

Labour’s cowardice to anger the Public Service unions is their main reason why their policy is gong no where. After a decade under National, these departments are riddled with right wing sadists who get glee out of denying the vulnerable.

Because Labour failed to purge, the same toxic neoliberal cultures exist and that is the major reason why no policy Labour are promoting is gaining any traction because the toxic neoliberal cultures just have to wait this Government out and go right back to the damage they cause under National.

If and it is a big if, IF Labour get a second term, purging those toxic cultures must be a priority or all they will do for another 3 years is pay lip service and spin to explain why poverty isn’t being reduced.

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Government spin can’t hide lack of progress against poverty

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Jacinda Adern released a press release today that trumped the success of the government in lifting 18,400 children out of poverty.

To be honest, I would have been embarrassed by such a number. It is within the margin of error for the hundreds of thousands of kids in some form of poverty.

In the year ended June 2019, about one in seven New Zealand children (168,500) lived in households with less than 50 percent of the median equivalised disposable household income before housing costs are deducted.

After housing costs have been deducted, the number of children living in New Zealand in relative poverty rises to one in five children (235,400). This measure, accounting for both inflation and the impact of housing costs, shows about 20.8 percent of children live in households with an income below half the 2017/18 median equivalised disposable household income.

As well as looking at incomes before and after housing costs have been deducted, Stats NZ reports on material hardship, which indicates the number of households missing out on more than six of the 17 basic things most people would regard as essentials.

Examples of material hardship include the respondent reporting not eating fresh fruit or vegetables, putting off a visit to the doctor, or not being able to pay the gas or electricity bills on time,” Mr Broughton said.

Looking at that material hardship measure, in the year ended June 2019, about one in eight children (13.4 percent) lived in households reporting material hardship. There was no significant change from 2017/18 to 2018/19 in material hardship rates.

The Child Poverty Action Group noted that “the hardship measures have not changed for the last six years, while those in severe hardship may be worse.”

“Overall, CPAG says child poverty requires urgent and immediate action. Meaningful adjustments to the benefit system and working for families must not wait until after the election for implementation. We know any delay impacts severely on children and can have lifelong effects. The obvious first step is to extend the In-Work Tax Credit to all low-income children. This would cost $0.5b and would reach those children living in the worst of poverty.”
At a time when the government is running surpluses in the billions, there is no need for continuing tight-fistedness when those reliant on a benefit are concerned.
Similarly it a welcome step that the main benefits are now to start increasing from April 1 according to movements in the average wage rather than the Consumer Price Index. The real value of basic benefits remains half their value in relation to average wages after 20 years of increases tied to the CPI rather than average wages. The last two decades have also seen escalating rental costs and the lowest 20 percent of earners spend nearly 60% of their income on rent compared to only 30 percent in the late 1980s.
Overcoming entrenched poverty and inequality requires a Prime Minister and a government willing to do much more than spin pathetic numbers.
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CAFCA SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: THE MONEY BEHIND THE MESSAGE

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This article by John Minto will be published in the April issue of Foreign Control Watchdog.
We are releasing it now because it is newsworthy now.
Because donations to political campaigns and political parties are very much in the news now.
Dalziel’s campaign funding – the subject of this article –  has been referred to the Police.
The Serious Fraud Office has laid criminal charges against four people in connection with donations to the National Party.
And the Serious Fraud Office is investigating donations to the New Zealand First Foundation that should have been treated as donations to the New Zealand First Party. 
The other reason we are releasing this article now is because it contains material not previously made public, specifically:
John Minto’s submission to the Justice Select Committee review of electoral law.
And the final section, which deals with the quite extraordinary reaction from former Christchurch Mayor, Garry Moore, to this criticism of Dalziel’s campaign fundraising.
As for the 2019 Minto For Mayor campaign – there is no secret or deception about where the money came from. The single biggest donor ($2,500) was the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA), which was proud to do so and proud to have it known.
The one constant in national and local body politics is the length to which politicians go to hide the identity of their big donors. They don’t want us to know where their big money comes from. National Party figures are currently embroiled in a court case where it is alleged two donations of $100, 000 were deliberately split into amounts that would come under the $15,000 limit above which the donors to political parties must be identified.
New Zealand First is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office in a similar situation where large donations were channelled into a “New Zealand First Foundation” and then used to pay election expenses. Christchurch local body politics has its own example from the 2019 local body election campaign.
Final Day For Expenses Returns
December 13, 2019, was the final day for local body candidates to send in their election expenses return for the 2019 local body elections. All candidates are required by the Electoral Act to provide the names, addresses and amounts of any donors who contributed more than $1,500 to their campaign. Christchurch’s successful Mayoral candidate, Lianne Dalziel, left it till the last day to provide her return which duly appeared on the City Council Website. It made a mockery of her claim, made just a month before, that she has “high expectations of openness and transparency at Christchurch City Council”. Her claim hid the identity of her major donors. The relevant section of her return is here:
Dalziel claimed her husband, lawyer Robert Davidson, donated $1,000 worth of items which were auctioned and brought in $39,100 in income for her campaign. It was the same strategy she used in the previous Mayoral race in 2016 when a fundraising auction brought in $25,000 which was all attributed as a donation from her husband. Successful bidders who paid more than $1,500 above the market value of any auctioned items should have been identified as per Electoral Act requirements.
Stretching Credibility To Breaking PointI stood as a Keep Our Assets Canterbury (KOA) candidate in both the 2016 and 2019 elections* and I was uneasy about her 2016 return but didn’t raise it as an issue. I should have. I put out a media release challenging her 2019 expenses return saying: “It stretches credibility beyond breaking point to suggest none of the items was purchased for more than $1,500 when the total raised was $39,100”.  

It was duly reported in the Press newspaper and the Mayor was challenged on the issue. Initially she said she had been assured no-one paid more than $1,500 above the market value of any auctioned item so the return was accurate. However, when journalists began questioning people who were at the fundraising dinner the Mayor then said she would check with her husband. 

Dalziel’s Big Donors

Several days later she provided an “updated” return which identified six donors who paid more than $1,500 above the market value of what they bid for. In summary her big donors were:

Wei Min Lu ($17,850 donation) 

Yong Jiu Chen ($3,920 donation)

Zhi Cheng Tan ($2,800 donation)

Jianping Wang ($2,350 donation)

Grandland Investment/Bing Chen ($2,950 donation)

Yang Xia Wu ($1,750 donation)

There is no suggestion that any of the donors acted improperly or illegally but the Mayor’s failure to identify them in her expenses return naturally leads to suspicions. The donors include people with big property interests (Council subsidies to property developers building in the central city have been a sore point with many city residents), water bottling interests (this has been a hugely controversial issue in Christchurch in recent years) and one is associated with the Christchurch Adventure Park which was controversially bailed out by the Council in 2019.

A Scenario Ripe For Corruption 

It’s not possible for voters to hold public officials to account or to ensure “conflicts of interest” involving elected officials are dealt with if we don’t have the knowledge of the big money donors behind a campaign. In this case the public has to be doubly alert because Dalziel’s husband’s law firm, Davidson Legal, was caught out offering to arrange “lobbying access to local body politicians” for Cloud Ocean, a hugely controversial water bottling plant in Belfast, north of Christchurch.

If all this smells unhealthy it should do. It’s a scenario ripe for corruption. At the time of writing the local Electoral Officer, Jo Daly, has handed this issue of the Mayor’s false expenses return to the Police to investigate and that process is continuing. What this process has identified are serious weaknesses in electoral law. I have helped prepare a submission to the Justice Select Committee calling for changes to electoral law as a result of this issue arising in Christchurch. A summary of these issues follows:

Changes Needed In Electoral Law

  1. A Council employee, the local Electoral Officer, should not be expected to hold the Mayor to account for breaches of electoral law. Breaches should be dealt with by the Electoral Commission.
  2. Only New Zealand citizens or permanent residents should be able to contribute to local election campaigns (foreign donations are effectively banned for national elections after legislation was passed late in 2019 but not for local body elections).
  3. It is often unclear who the people are behind a donation if it comes through in the name of a business. Only individuals should be permitted to contribute to election campaigns.
  4. The penalties for non-disclosure of donations are not a deterrent to candidates skirting the law. They need significant strengthening, so candidates take them seriously.
  5. The current donation limit of $1,500 after which donors should be identified should be lowered to $50.
  6. Donors to campaigns should be identified publicly at least a week BEFORE the election rather than after. Big donations would not be allowed to be received in the last week of a campaign. This was important in Wellington for example where a single major donor, Peter Jackson, had a dramatic impact on the 2019 Wellington Mayoral campaign. In the Wellington case the public found out about the donation before the election but in Christchurch the two leading Mayoral candidates (Lianne Dalziel and Darryll Park) refused to name their donors before the election when approached by the media.
  7. All candidates should be required to ensure actual addresses are provided rather than local “addresses of convenience” (in at least one case a candidate living overseas provided a local Christchurch address for the expenses return).

Former Mayor Spits The Dummy

One of the surprising reactions to this expenses’ fiasco has come from former Mayor Garry Moore (1998 – 2007) who was angry and upset that KOA should challenge the current Mayor. When we first questioned the Mayor’s expenses’ return, he sent this email to KOA Convenor Murray Horton (16/12/19):

Hi Murray, The campaign’s over. Let’s make the City great again. What’s more important, playing political games, or getting on with things? Like keeping our assets… I thought you guys didn’t believe in playing conventional political games. Maybe I was wrong. Cheers, Garry Moore.

KOA members made principled responses to his email but then after more publicity, he emailed Murray again (28/1/20).

Keep going Murray. Keep up the hate. John’s doing really well. Another non-story. Nothing positive. Nothing adding value to our City. No new ideas. Nothing creative. Just hate. Does this make you feel better? You are a decent man. Think about the damage you guys are doing to the City and to Lianne. When we have a Rightwing Mayor you can sit back and feel satisfied you have succeeded. Will you only be happy when you have got rid of the Mayor you have labelled as “not left enough”? Oh, how the Left has so much to learn about loyalty from the Right. Cheers, Garry.

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The malfeasance of NZ First 

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There have always been two distinct NZ First electorates.

The first are conservatives who have felt left behind by neoliberalism and culture change and cling to Winston as their saviour. For them NZ First is a grassroots movement powered on cake stalls, raffles and knitting fundraisers. They have parochial values and a fear of eclipses.

Then there is the other electorate. The behind the scenes regional power houses and economic industries who are drawn to a State that intervenes on their behalf against an ocean of transnationals. It is this class of regional self interest that bankrolls NZ First and Winston has always known this. Chris Trotter does an incredible job of highlighting this dynamic in his must read blog yesterday.

Getting caught out serving two masters, provincial conservatives and regional crony capitalism is as politically embarrassing as it gets.

With the constant drip of insider information to the alpha shark of the Press Gallery – Radio NZs Guyon Espiner, the damage to the NZ First brand can not be over estimated.

From NZ First’s donations from Talleys that saw Shane Jones boasting about being the Ghost Fishing Minister and had the Government turn down a critic from fishing industry oversight, stopped cameras on fishing boats and intervened in a fishing boat caught illegally fishing is as damning as Jones helping out his Trucking mate up North.

Being investigated by the SFO is just the icing on top of a shit cake.

On top of their crony capitalism, NZ First has been a hand break for any real progress on a  myriad of fronts from electric cars to a Capital Gains tax to dumping the 3 strikes legislation.

Labour cut a deal with NZ First in 2017 because we had no choice if we wanted National out, as the 2020 election approaches and NZ First sinks below the 5% threshold, it would be best for the progressive movement if NZ First were gone altogether.

The hopes of a second term Government now rest on Labour+Greens+Māori Party.

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Political Caption Competition

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The quick silver dog jumps over the hazy red fox

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The Daily Blog Open Mic – Wednesday – 26th February 2020

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Announce protest actions, general chit chat or give your opinion on issues we haven’t covered for the day.

Moderation rules are more lenient for this section, but try and play nicely.

EDITORS NOTE: – By the way, here’s a list of shit that will get your comment dumped. Sexist language, homophobic language, racist language, anti-muslim hate, transphobic language, Chemtrails, 9/11 truthers, climate deniers, anti-fluoride fanatics, anti-vaxxer lunatics and ANYONE that links to fucking infowar.

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Let those without sin cast the first Waltz and Foxtrot – why I don’t care about bloody Dancing with the lacklustre Stars 

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Social media has helped me despise people on my own side of the idealogical fence in ways I never thought possible.

The banality that consumes us belittles us.

I don’t give two shits about bloody Dancing with the Stars.

I think I’ve watched it once, and even then it was for like 20 minutes.

The woke care. They’ve been up in arms about Mediaworks weird decision to add Hannah Tamaki to their list of faded and lacklustre dancing stars.

I say weird, because people who believe in a flying magical invisible wizard, who blame natural disasters on homosexuality and who literally believe the planet is 7000 years old aren’t people you want to give any oxygen to for the same reason you ignore flat earthers, climate deniers, chem trailers, 9/11 was an inside jobbers, anti-vaxxers and libertarians.

But Mediaworks are a private media company, and if they want to invite someone with inane beliefs on their dancing show, I don’t care.

The woke cared. The Mummy Blogger Temperance Union over at The Spinoff were beside themselves with outrage, which is difficult because they are perpetually outraged every day of the week.

It’s just so fucking tiresome.

The reason I can’t get worked up is because this is all such trite bullshit.

Do you all get that the fucking planet is melting?

The melt of Antartica is now inevitable, Antarctica is experiencing a fucking heatwave and Scientists say highly dangerous 2- 4C temperature rises are unavoidable! China, Iran, India, Pakistan, Iraq, Bangladesh, Nepal, Yemen, Oman, Libya, Tunisia, Kuwait, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain, Qatar and Sudan will all experience heat waves that no human can survive from 2029 onwards, we are currently at 1.3/1.4C above pre Industrial heats and at 1.5°C we trigger irreversible processes leading to a self-reinforcing warming cycle that could ultimately make the planet uninhabitable.

And you want to jump with glee because you deplatformed a woman who says stupid things and believes in medieval Christian values from a fucking reality dance show?

If your activism doesn’t have the climate crisis at its source every single day of the week, then all you are doing is self congratulatory virtue signalling wank.

If you watch Dancing with the Stars for your ethical and moral role models, maybe you need to look beyond reality TV for your standards?

The woke social media mob have lynched themselves a rainbow hater. Fine, yay you, can we all please move onto preventing the extinction of our species now?

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

PSNA welcomes the withdrawal of “anti-semitism” resolution from tomorrow’s Wellington City Council Agenda

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The Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa welcomes the withdrawal of the hugely controversial resolution on anti-semitism from the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting.

It is a victory for free speech and human rights.

PSNA looks forward to working with other organisations and human rights groups to develop a comprehensive anti-racism resolution which can be passed unanimously by the council.

In case any media are unaware of the issues around the resolution we have pasted below the letter we sent to the mayor and councillors on Saturday.

John Minto

National Chair

PSNA

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa

22 February 2019

Andy Foster

Mayor

Wellington City Council

Wellington

Email: mayor@wcc.govt.nz

cc Wellington City Councillors

Kia ora Mr Foster,

Re: Proposed resolution on antisemitism

I’m writing on behalf of the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa which advocates for Palestinian human rights and which is also strongly opposed to racism in all its forms – including anti-semitism.

Our members have protested against racist spray-painting attacks on Jewish graves and synagogues just as we have marched in support of the Islamic community after the horrific events of March 15 last year.

However, there are serious problems with the proposed resolution and we are asking that it be withdrawn from the council agenda and replaced by a resolution which condemns all racism such as islamophobia and white supremacism as well as anti-semitism.

The problem with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-semitism, which is the focus of the proposed resolution, is its use in many US states and some European countries to claim Palestinian human rights activists are anti-semitic when they call for action against Israel until it complies with international law and United Nations resolutions. It is being used as a weapon to deny free speech and freedom of political action to those standing up for the victims of Israel’s brutal military occupation of Palestine and ongoing theft of Palestinian land.

The IHRA definition was always intended as a guideline for researchers, not as a prescription for a resolution or legislation. The main drafter of the resolution, Kenneth Stern, has cautioned against its use in resolutions or legislation and is quite emphatic that it must not be misused as is proposed in the Wellington City Council resolution.

Here is what he has to say on the IHRA Wikipedia page:

“The main drafter of the working definition and its examples, Kenneth S. Stern, cautioned against the free speech implications of its use as a legal tool.[26] He has opposed efforts to enshrine it in legislation[98] and wrote a letter to members of the US Congress warning that giving the definition legal status would be “unconstitutional and unwise” in December 2016.[99] In 2011, he co-authored an article about how the ‘Working Definition’ was being abused in Title VI cases, because it was being employed in an attempt to “restrict academic freedom and punish political speech.” In November 2017, Stern explained to the US House of Representatives that the definition has been abused on various US university campuses. He warned that it could “restrict academic freedom and punish political speech” and questioned whether definitions created by minority groups should be legislatively enshrined, giving as one of several examples.[26]

“Imagine a definition designed for Palestinians. If “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist” is antisemitism, then shouldn’t “Denying the Palestinian people their right to self-determination, and denying Palestine the right to exist” be anti-Palestinianism? Would they then ask administrators to police and possibly punish campus events by pro-Israel groups who oppose the two state solution, or claim the Palestinian people are a myth?”[26]

He states that the definition was created “as a tool for data collectors in European countries to identify what to include and exclude from their reports about antisemitism, and to have a common frame of reference so that data might be compared across borders.”[98] He “encouraged the Department of State’s first Special Envoy for Antisemitism to promote the definition as an important tool.” He used it effectively as the framework for a report on global antisemitism. He added: “approaches to antisemitism that endorse and promote academic freedom are more likely to work, in part because they underscore the academy’s goal of increasing knowledge and promoting critical thinking…. approaches that explain academic freedom away or harm it will not only fail, they make the problem worse.”[26]

We do not want the council to “make the problem worse” and pass a resolution which will be used to attack and demonise those who stand up for international law and United Nations resolutions and work hard for Palestinian human rights.

For example the City Council in Munich, Germany, has used the IHRA definition of anti-semitism to condemn Palestinian activists calling for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against Israel and have denied the use of city council facilities to Palestinian human rights organisations.

Palestinian activists here in Wellington have already faced attempts by pro-Israeli groups to deny them access to facilities for meetings and events and last year a local school faced a determined attempt to stop me speaking after I had been invited to do so with students at a lunchtime meeting using baseless claims that I was anti-semitic.

These pressures will increase dramatically if this resolution is passed as it is.

Meanwhile Jewish groups in New Zealand and around the world have spoken out strongly against the misuse of the IHRA definition and in 2018 over 40 Jewish groups expressed their support for BDS and attacked attempts to equate calls for boycotts of Israel with anti-semitism.

An open letter from these Jewish groups said in part:

“As social justice organizations from around the world, we write this letter with growing alarm regarding the targeting of organizations that support Palestinian rights in general and the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, in particular. These attacks too often take the form of cynical and false accusations of antisemitism that dangerously conflate anti-Jewish racism with opposition to Israel’s policies and system of occupation and apartheid”

Similar sentiments have come from Nobel Peace Prize winner and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu who says the world should call out Israeli policies towards Palestinians as “apartheid” and implement a boycott of Israel. New Zealand has a proud history of standing up in support of the struggle against South African apartheid and we must do the same against Israeli apartheid.

It is surprising that none of this deep concern and controversy about the misuse of the IHRA definition of anti-semitism was included in the council’s background paper on this resolution. It should have been.

It would be tragic if, on the back of the horrific events of March 15 last year, a resolution was passed by Wellington City Council which will be used to deny freedom of speech to members of the Islamic community in Wellington and New Zealand, some of whom are Palestinians, when they speak out against Israeli apartheid.

It would be a dark day for democracy, free speech and human rights if the resolution is passed as it currently stands. It would put the council on the wrong side of history.

We therefore respectfully request that the resolution be withdrawn.

We would be very happy to work with the Jewish Council, the Islamic community and other minority groups on a resolution which condemns the poison of racism in all its forms and calls for community solidarity as the best way to protect all of us.

In solidarity against racism.

Nga mihi mahana,

John Minto

National Chair

PSNA

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Dow Jones plummets 1029 points, will the Wuhan Virus impact NZ election and why Mike Hosking is an arsehole

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Damien Grant and I have been pointing out on Magic Talk Radio to anyone who will listen that the Wuhan Virus is far more dangerous than being anticipated and will have an enormously negative impact on the global economy.

In short, we are all underestimating the impact of a pandemic.

Today as the enormity of what a pandemic will look like starts cutting through into the markets, the Dow plunged 1029 points alongside global markets all falling which coincides with major slow downs that were already occurring in most developed economies…

Some of the world’s biggest economies are on the brink of recession

Take Japan: The world’s third-largest economy shrank 1.6% in the fourth quarter of 2019 as the country absorbed the effects of a sales tax hike and a powerful typhoon. It was biggest contraction compared to the previous quarter since 2014.

Then there’s Germany. The biggest economy in Europe ground to a halt right before the coronavirus outbreak set in, dragged down by the country’s struggling factories. The closely-watched ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment in Germany decreased sharply for February, reflecting fears that the virus could hit world trade.

Bank of America economist Ethan Harris points to the number of smaller economies that are hurting, too. Hong Kong is in recession and Singapore could soon suffer a similar fate.

Fourth quarter GDP data from Indonesia hit a three-year low, while Malaysia had its worst reading in a decade, he noted to clients on Friday.

Meanwhile, engines of growth like China and India slowed in 2019. Fourth quarter GDP data for the latter comes out this week.

…the woke be screaming on twitter that any criticism of the wuhan virus is xenophobic and racist and that it doesn’t kill as many people as the flu blah blah blah.

I’d humbly suggest to the woke that this isn’t a bloody identity politics issue, it is a public health issue and economic emergency.

The truth is that the virus is far more infectious than anticipated, it can hide without symptoms, it is more lethal than the flu and the global nature of supply lines means infection in one place has impacts everywhere.

The WHO have already today warned that we are talking about months, not weeks to stop the virus and that doesn’t take into account if it becomes a pandemic, which it most certainly looks like it will.

This is going to hurt NZ because we have put all our cows in one Beijing paddock and because Australia, who is our second largest trading partner after China, has put all their mines in one Chinese paddock as well.

Our cow has fallen down their mine.

This hurts our tourism, our exports and of course the actual cost of the sickness on productivity and quarantine disruption not to mention 1% of the population dying.

This means that come the election, there is s very good chance of there being a recession.

Our reliance on simply being the producer of raw materials to one market has bitten us in the arse.

Luckily, the Government has the capacity to borrow far more than most of our trading partners so the home fires can stay burning, which brings us to Mike Hosking being an arsehole.

Today he bemoaned giving a pittance of an increase to beneficiaries by arguing...

Most who got a 3 per cent wage rise did so because they did something productive. They made more, produced more, worked more – that’s the productive side of the economy. That’s how you incentivise people: there is reward for work

Beneficiaries got the same rise, that’s the non-productive side of the economy. Nothing more was produced, but more was put into it. And that is why the money is gone and we are borrowing.

Economies grow because of productivity not because of non-productive spending. You need one to fund the other, and one must be stronger than the other. That’s how you move forward, run surpluses, and afford to cover difficult days.

A level of redistribution, the likes of which we are currently experiencing, leads nowhere sound fiscally. It makes us increasingly vulnerable to global shocks, and we are too small to be running that risk.

…listening to multimillionaire Mike Hosking’s thoughts on beneficiaries is like listening to Trump’s views on feminist folk music.

With an economic recession looming because of the virus, the poorest will need MORE support, not less and that support is going to be required by everyone, not just beneficiaries.

This Government was founded in 2017 under the shadow of an expected market correction which would allow Winston to make large structural change to the neoliberalism he detests, (although as Chris blogs today, that desire to fight neoliberalism is driven by protecting crony capitalism) so the Government does have a blueprint as to what to do if the opportunity of a crisis presents, so who should Labour save if the recession hits?

Dairy Farmers: They are up to their eyeballs in debt from dairy intensification. To get them to agree to helping everyone else, you need to help them and this could be a once in a  generation move to get them to change their allegiance to National. Underwrite all Dairy farm debt on the agreement that they revert from Dairy to planting forests.

First home buyers: You can’t leave them for the wolves of the Market, underwrite their mortgages through Kiwibank.

Mum and Dad’s investment property: You can’t wipe out an entire generations wealth base, again underwrite one property over the family house through KiwiBank.

Corporations: They will turn up with their golden begging bowls and beg for bail outs. Fuck em, let them burn.

Banks: Only save Kiwibank, the others can burn.

Property Investors: Anyone with more than a family house plus one property investment can burn.

Tax amnesty for small and medium business: They are the ones who will suffer the most, allow a tax amnesty with the usual penalties cancelled.

Welfare: Everyone will be scrambling for some type of welfare, it will need to be increased, and the draconian punitive crap dumped.

Immigration Freeze: We will need to freeze immigration at a time of economic crisis because everyone will be fleeing.

Rent Freeze: Don’t allow greedy Landlords to benefit from a crisis.

Remember, with the climate crisis producing cheek to jowl overcrowding and biosphere degradation, the ease with which viruses can jump between species is increasing. This pandemic is the future under catastrophic climate change.

Buckle up.

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Labour give beneficiaries a pittance increase per week – if only they could save children in poverty with the speed they saved Concert FM

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Fuck the hungry kids! Gimmie my Concert FM!

I can’t believe the audacity of Labour increasing the pittance beneficiaries are paid by lifting benefits adjusted for inflation and then wanting a standing ovation for granting that pittance…

Government’s 3 percent main benefit increase: How will it affect you?

Main benefit recipients will receive a 3 percent rise on April 1 as the Government’s decision to link rates to the average wage comes into effect.

…bloody John Key raised benefits higher than Labour have!

Because the de-unionised working classes have had crumbs instead of real wage growth, they look at the welfare payment with envy and this envy is manipulated by the Right into voting resentment.

Labour are too frightened of triggering that resentment with a benefit increase and they don’t have enough control over the Ministry to try and force a change of culture so we are left to cheer for pathetic increases rather than actually alleviating poverty.

If only Labour could save children in poverty with the speed they saved Concert FM.

A second term Labour led Government MUST have a purge of the neoliberal welfare complex in their first 100 day program or it will be another wasted opportunity to reform the corrupted public services that sadistically treat the most vulnerable amongst us with such contempt.

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MEDIAWATCH: Oh look at that, South American cartels selling pure meth through the 501s, you know, like TDB pointed out 7 months ago

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National's Task Force Raptor

Cough, cough – as TDB was pointing out 7 months ago, the 501s are using South American  Cartels to source their meth and the meth they are bringing in is far more pure than the domestic gang Chinese sourced meth…

Mexican drug cartels Sinaloa and CJNG could try to corrupt NZ Customs and police – report

The New Zealand Drug Intelligence Bureau has warned two of the world’s biggest drug cartels could be trying to infiltrate our police and Customs services to corrupt their staff.

…this has an enormous health impact because local meth users who have a tolerance to the dirt cheap Triad shipped meth are totally  unprepared for the purity of product the 501s are selling.

This is creating a spike in brain bleeds and strokes that are overflowing our health system.

The 501s are shipping the meth from America to American Samoa and then to NZ from there.

The fuckwit politicians who spend so much time screaming about ‘da gangs’ have no comprehension of real violence by real criminals. The 501s and their South American cartel connections are a level of uber violence well beyond the capacity of the domestic gangs and because this is such a unique situation we need unique solutions. We’ve never had 1500 violent criminals imported to NZ in such a short period of time before and this has spawned a level of gang war tensions we are seeing play out i  the headlines right now that has every potential of spinning out of control.

What does the Government need to do?

1 – Demand a review of intelligence values, are the Police actually pursuing active crack downs on the Australian gangs or are they just observing? The Killer Bees were taken out as a force because all the old gangs narked on them and gave the Police the ability to completely take out the leadership. Police need to think seriously about cutting the same deal with the domestic gangs against the Australian ones, because it is the Australian ones generating the violence.

2 – Meth rehabilitation services must get an enormous boost in resourcing for any chance to cope with the wave of addiction that is coming.

3 – LEGALISE CANNABIS YOU MORONS: Allow the domestic gangs to legally produce cannabis so that their revenue stream is through a legal means rather than the meth, which is happening because of competition with the Australian gangs.

4 – Sit down with domestic gangs and agree that the 501s are the danger here and get the entire criminal fraternity to turn evidence on the 501s and take out the entire leadership in one move and create a specialty prison just for the 501s.

National’s farcical ‘Task Force Raptor’ is to convince the Sleepy Hobbits of Nu Zilind that something is being done, that’s why Bridges announcement of returning Australian criminals will find electoral support, but real solutions are needed here, not get tough on crime rhetoric.

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Sustainability NZ not sustainable

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Sustainability NZ on life support

Surprise, surprise – the Sustainability NZ Party isn’t sustainable…

Sustainable NZ leader Vernon Tava accused of ordering membership records ‘doctored’

Yet another party’s facing a political financing scandal and this time it’s Sustainable NZ – a would-be coalition partner for National.

The party’s former secretary Helen Cartwright has told Newshub she was asked to doctor membership records so the party could be registered.

…the purpose of the Blue/Green Sustainability NZ Party was never to get to 5%, it is a spoiler Party to just drag the Greens under 5% so National can win the election.

Unfortunately like most National Party black ops, this one has failed to launch due to bewildering incompetence.

That’s not to say it can’t still spoil the Greens, with the Greens barely above the 5% threshold themselves, all Sustainability NZ has to do is steal .1% of the vote and that could be the difference between Greens returning or being kicked out.

In 2017, the Matt McCarten strategy for Labour was to amputate National Party support Parties (Māori Party and United) so that Labour were in a position to woo NZ First.

It took us 3 terms to figure out that strategy.

In a mere 2 years out of power, National have taken that 2017 strategy and are using it themselves against Labour by knocking out NZ First and trying to undermine the Greens.

Blue/Green is the ugly colour Capitalism’s bruise leaves after it punches the environment in the face. Free market global neoliberalism is the exacerbating factor of the climate crisis, not its fucking saviour.

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