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Dr Liz Gordon: The Covid election

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So it has come to pass that this election has been anointed, by our great leader, the Covid election. And it is further declared that the Covid will be served up with a range of piquant sauces in small quantities to delight the senses. Perhaps a little pinch of education there, a health sauce and a side of employment assistance.

There are at least three factors at play here. The first one is the need to keep New Zealand as a little oasis of paradise free of the rampant virus sweeping the world.  The numbers internationally are not good, increasing throughout Europe and parts of Asia and rampant in the Americas. Politically, this translates into a message to New Zealanders that, as someone once said, “the price of safety is eternal vigilance”.  And our government’s record to date on this is unmatched, and continued messaging is reassuring.

Very handily, we have the Victoria case close to home to show us what happens when we, as a nation, relax our guard.

The second factor is the known is better than the unknown.  Einstein once said (a mantra for the ages) that “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” The flip side of this is that doing the same things again, when they have worked incredibly well, is just very sane.

Finally, just getting political here, why would you not campaign on a record that is superb and world-leading. Getting into policies in any depth risks people who support Labour and would vote for them on Covid, rejecting them on a policy platform.

Every time Jacinda plays the Covid card, she looks virtuous.  For some reason, Judith Collins has morphed into Simon Bridges, sending negative little snipes back to everything that Jacinda says.  Can I say to Judith, in the school playground, when the bully starts attacking the most popular girl in school, who is she really going to persuade? A change in tactics is warranted here.

There are other reminders that Labour is the virtuous choice this election. There seems to be a boys club of ex- Air New Zealand chief executives calling on the government to privatise the isolation.  Honestly, these neoliberal types want to suck profit out of everything, don’t they.  Don’t listen to them Jacinda!

I thought there was a chance a few weeks ago that Judith would come riding in on her horse and change the course of the election.  You, dear readers, pooh poohed me and it looks like you were right and I was wrong.  I humbly withdraw!  She has been able to make no traction at all, and the growing threat of a second wave of Covid will keep this government firmly in place.

There is a small threat every day that a security guard, hotel worker, police or army person might get the virus and take it home.  If this were to lead to a Victoria-style outbreak now, and numbers started rising fast before the election (and especially if it happened in, say, Auckland and Christchurch), the unassailable lead that Labour has could erode to something less. They must be nervous about this, and the messages coming out every day about the need to be careful show this to be the case.  Also the “it will happen” mantra, to prepare us for such a shock. Losing our Covid-free status would be a terrible blow in every way. 

Let’s therefore hope for a delightfully Covid free Covid election.

 

Dr Liz Gordon is a researcher and a barrister, with interests in destroying neo-liberalism in all its forms and moving towards a socially just society.  She usually blogs on justice, social welfare and education topics.

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National Debacle Over Stripper Allegations Shows Trajectory Party Is On

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There are bad news cycles, there are poor news weeks lacking in cut-through – and then there’s whatever’s happening with the Opposition. Wherein they’ve transcended mere mediocrity to start showing their true colours in the most inadvertent and unintentional of ways, splashed across our headlines.

The weekend’s revelation that some in National are reportedly attempting to torpedo their own potential candidate in Auckland Central by claiming she’s a former stripper, is by now about par for the course for the party. It’s hardly a ‘new low’ – really more of a ‘new middle’.

And pretty emblematic all-up of where the National Party is at at this point in the campaign. Quite a number of them are so focused on scrabbling for their own individual simulacrum of success that they’re doing ridiculous things which don’t help the party – and therefore, in the real sense, undermine their own potential future prospects.

Rumours, muckraking, and invented attacks on rivals – internal to your own party or otherwise – are part and parcel of party politics, unfortunately. Although it’s rare that they ever serve anything other than the most petty and personal of motivations.

In this case, it’s a pretty bad look on just about every score. The party which has been attempting to brand itself as the vehicle for glass-ceiling penetrating , aspirational liberal feminism and women-in-power-ment … is having a localized meltdown because party members presumably in favour of one up-and-coming female candidate are trying to take down the other female candidate by spreading rumours the latter’s a stripper and sex-scandal-implosion liability.

Feminism in National, it would seem, means that the women just as much as the men get their opportunity to take pot shots at women in pursuit of their own personal advancement.

Now to be fair and sure, this isn’t a phenomenon exclusive to National – nor is it, for that matter, a proclivity exclusive to politics.

Yet as the National Party’s prospects for power diminish as we close upon the Election, their propensity for fighting ever more frantically for what skerricks of potentiality remain has little actual success to immerse itself in and hide behind.

The only thing we can see about them – isn’t the fools’ gold lustre of faked progress on GDP or housing stats or purportedly vital road construction (or tunnel costings). It’s just them as they actually are. Nakedly self-interested invertebrates who’ll quite happily sell their own grandmother for the illusory prospect of power, and cook their own goose amidst the duck-shoving to even have a semi-shot at its attainment.

In a healthy political environment, and when one has the self-confidence to feel secure in possessing principle – this sort of allegation doesn’t tend to happen. It’s usually only when the desperation kicks in, the poison of despair begins to make all manner of previously morally turgid avenues seem palatable, that we see this kind of conduct happening in earnest.

It would therefore be tempting to file this alongside Judith Collins’ weaponized dobbing in of Iain Lees-Galloway just recently; however this is something else. And not only because there’s nothing to suggest there’s any truth to the claims made against Samarakone, the National candidate in question.

Rather, it is because whereas Collins’ quip against Lees-Galloway was a sideswipe across the aisle – this is something that is intra-party, yet turning up outside of the party because the famed National Party internal discipline which usually has all the troops facing the same way even in pressing circumstances has begun to break down in earnest.

Facing the same way does not, of course, mean that knives aren’t also pressed into the backs of those immediately ahead of you, of course – and that is something we’ve seen at least once in the past few months at the very highest levels of the party. But I suspect that, in concert with Collins’ moves to marginalize a few other people in the Party, we are beginning to see National descend into the sort of factional infighting which plagued Labour for much of the nine years it spent in Opposition.

This is particularly the case given the implicit additional target of the attacks upon Samarakone is National Party President, Peter Goodfellow. The infighting therefore, will assumedly be going well beyond the relatively small-scale selection battle over a single now-marginal seat , and may continue to exert a corrosive effect upon National’s interior administration and governance for some time to come.

That may not necessarily be fatal for them in the longer term, of course – as we saw between 2002 and 2005, the roiling chaos which engulfed the party following its worst-ever election result facilitated the rise of one Don Brash, and the re-invigoration of National from not-even-also-ran to almost-government status.

So who knows how things will play out over the next three years. They might even manage to get near 40% … eventually.

Still, I must express my sympathy for Samarakone in this situation. As a younger man, I had not entirely dissimilar underhanded maneuvers and rumour-spreading-for-tactical-nukery carried out against me. Some of it was even semi-true! But fortunately in my case, most of it took place behind closed doors and as whispers in ears to subtly influence things (up until it didn’t). It must be a pretty horrible feeling for her to have these sorts of increasingly lurid allegations blared across the headlines.

And not least because it makes her the villain for daring to stand up to the faceless ‘whispering campaign’ by refuting it, bringing in legal sanction to get it to actually stop, and then having somebody leak that that’s what she’s doing. Because then it’s perceptibly ‘on her’ that there’s bad publicity and ‘oxygen’ as to the matter.

In any case, I think it fair to say that National is not so much starting the campaign in Auckland Central on the back foot – as actively underwater. And when you are in it up to your eyeballs, it is occasionally good advice to close your mouth. As a party, I mean. People might inadvertently adduce something as to your character from what you say otherwise.

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Political Caption Competition

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Actual Green Party Caucus meeting

Actual Green Party Caucus meeting

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The Daily Blog Open Mic – Monday – 10th August 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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Gerry and National want to keep you sick during a pandemic

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This is how Dystopian Novels start

This is madness…

NZ election 2020: Giving workers more sick leave ‘bit of a stretch’ – National’s Gerry Brownlee

National deputy leader Gerry Brownlee on Sunday told Magic Talk’s Road to the Election they won’t be giving people more time off. 

“You want employment conditions progressively getting better for people – and that has been the history, you know, the 40 hour week – but you know, at the moment that shouldn’t be on the table.” 

He said with unemployment set to rise over the next few months, now’s not the time to be adding potential costs on for employers. 

“An employer taking someone on is going to have to provide for more sick days. No one’s lacking compassion, but I think at the moment that’s a bit of a stretch.” 

…look, we barely look after our workers as it is, our sick day entitlements are a joke internationally and the pandemic has highlighted how dangerous a sick workforce can be, it’s as if Gerry hasn’t been informed about this virus thing currently plaguing the planet.

Australia allows 10 days, the UK allows for up to 28 weeks and Canada allows for up to 17 weeks!

We either start getting serious about looking after people’s health in the workplace or we risk compounding more problems.

This isn’t going to sink businesses, it’s going to protect workers, which in turn benefits businesses.

National’s focus on the well being of the boss at the expense of the worker during a pandemic is grossly misplaced.

Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice going into this pandemic and 2020 election – please donate here.

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NEW ROY MORGAN POLL – Labour 53% National 26.5%

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New Roy Morgan Poll is out and it’s more bad news for National

LABOUR – 53%

NATIONAL – 26.5%

GREEN – 8%

NZ First – 1.5%

ACT – 6.5%

WINNERS

ACT – We will all collectively scream at how anti-free speech Woke Activists (most of them Green supporters) gave ACT the free speech momentum last year and have grown into this gun fetishist nightmare they are building into.

Jacinda – They are still polling over 50%+. At some stage people just have to accept the actual political landscape has had a tectonic change.

LOSERS

Greens – They are going backwards in the Poll that is usually most generous to them. They really need to ensure Chloe wins Auckland Central to guarantee a return to Parliament.

Judith Collins – The people have had a look at the new National Party leader and recoiled in horror.

NZ First – It’s over. Let’s bow our head in prayer, it’s over for NZ First.

Goodbye Winston Peters
Though we never knew you at all
You had the audacity to impose yourself
While those around you crawled
They crawled out of the media
And they whispered into your brain
They set you on the treadmill
And they made you change your game
And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a whisky in the wind
Never knowing which dog whistle to cling to
When the sinking polls set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your whisky drained out long before
Your legend ever did

Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice going into this pandemic and 2020 election – please donate here.

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The obscene exploitation of migrant workers in NZ demands Universal Unionism 

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There are many benefits to keeping the border closed.

It saves us from Covid infection.

It stops the hyper tourism that gridlocks our infrastructure.

It stops the exploitation of international students AND it stops the exploitation of migrant workers.

Well, the migrant workers who already aren’t here being exploited…

Bottle store migrant exploitation: Inquiry calls grow louder

An urgent government inquiry is being demanded by alcohol activists alarmed by the tide of migrant exploitation cases in the liquor store sector.

…the exploitation of workers conned into coming to NZ on bullshit education pretences and allowed set hours to work are being horrifically exploited in the liquor store sector.

The exploited gain a job, are forced to lie about the hours they work, are forced to pay the bottle store owner to keep their jobs and when they complain to the underfunded Labour Inspectors, they are seen as the problem and face deportation.

The entire sector is corrupt to the core.

To date, immigration to NZ has been exploitative and speculative. The Key Government opened the floodgates to immigration to prop up the speculative housing bubble and with massive downgrades in labour officers to police bad bosses, exploitation of migrant workers in NZ is a pandemic in of itself.

This exploitation pushes down wages for domestic workers while also forcing those domestic workers to compete for low cost housing with new migrant workers.

In 2018 we had 129 000 migrants for a population of almost 5 million.

Australia with 24 and a half million, allows in 190 000.

You can see the immediate difference when comparing NZ with Australia.

On top of that we have over 300 000 international students and workers with temporary work visas who have been obscenely exploited by a de-unionised job market and additional to that, we had almost 4 million tourists visiting us each year.

Meanwhile more of our assets and land are being owned by overseas interests.

It is no wonder that our social and physical infrastructure is groaning under unsustainable gridlock while creating political friction.

We must look at a Migrant Worker Amnesty and Universal Union Membership to stop this exploitation.

Migrant Worker Amnesty:

We can’t entice migrant workers here, have them exploited by unscrupulous bosses and then tell them to piss off back home. That is cruel and nasty. We should offer an immediate amnesty to all migrant workers in NZ to become permanent residents BUT right after that amnesty, we must close all immigration until a vaccine is widely available. Employers will need to use the existing work force here if they want to expand, this would end the bullshit games of companies claiming no NZer wants to be a burger king manager or booze seller so we need to import those workers. You either pay proper wages to attract someone to your job or you don’t get an employee. Those migrant workers who left NZ as the borders closed however are not due any special protection or aid, they are simply the unlucky and a Government isn’t responsible for unlucky foreign workers.

Universal Union Membership for all migrant workers:

The ease with which exploitation of migrant workers is so rampant throughout NZ demands a response that is serious and only compulsory Union membership of all migrant workers will force the exploitation to end.

There are enormous structural changes coming our way in a post pandemic world and we need to see ourselves as one of the life boats on a climate crisis planet. Immigration is an area we need to urgently reform so that when external shocks occur, we are flexible enough to sustain them.

 

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A list of one sentence Party Election promises so far

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So Labour are promising to do in their second term what they promised to do in their first.

After National have paused self mutilating itself, they are promising to build uncosted motorways while slashing public funding.

NZ First are promising the Polls are wrong.

ACT are grooming gun fetishists and 1080 deniers.

& the Greens are doing unicorn photo bombs…

…righto then.

We are going to discuss the global pandemic, climate crisis and looming economic meltdown that will spark enormous social damage soon right?

Like we are going to discuss it at some point in the next 6 weeks eh?

Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice going into this pandemic and 2020 election – please donate here.

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Despite the 10 billion stories of woe & heartbreak at the NZ border from everyone screaming about being locked out – expect no mercy before September 20th

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Another day another story of woe from the border about someone who can’t get back in past the now humourlessly brutal border restrictions.

It is a steady stream of people holding their scars up to the media crying out that their pain is worse and deserving of exemption.

Two children decided burning the PM in public was the best way to get dad in past the border quarantine

“He’s not a Hollywood movie star, but he’s my superhero and we want him here,”

..protip, don’t attempt to embarrass the PM when you want Dad home.

The naked truth is that there will be no mercy until the day after the election because domestic New Zealanders have suddenly realised how lucky we are to be plague free and nothing NOTHING will move this nation to risk any entry beyond our capacity to safely facilitate.

Domestic NZers are seeing the horror that the rest of the planet is attempting to flee from to here and they are being ruthless in terms of holding Political leaders to account if there is a leak.

Jacinda’s staggering outright majority would evaporate within a week of a Covid leak that could be blamed on bureaucratic incompetence.

NZ is under lifeboat rules, you wait patiently and enter the life boat slowly so that you can’t over turn the lifeboat, and if you drown waiting, sorry about that.

Look at how the country erupted over the Covid Karen’s who toured NZ with hugs and redirections, that backlash made Labour sit up and realise that the same electorate who want to canonise Jacinda will hang her with the next breath if some public servant incompetence allows the virus in.

For most middle class NZers, they’ve never felt vulnerable the way the working classes, beneficiaries, poor and the Precariat feel every day of their lives and that experience of feeling vulnerable during lockdown has given the middle classes a sense that their sacrifice was the greatest act of courage since our boys stormed the beaches of Gallipoli.

Like everything in our herd like culture, any good thing can quickly become a stampeding negative. Our positive solidarity in lockdown which is propelling Labour to an unprecedented majority is the same toxic solidarity that universally demands a ruthless border quarantine process that would make your average drug cartel blush.

Kindness will return the moment political careers aren’t on the line.

Until then, doggy paddle.

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Shane Jones beached in Northland – it’s over for NZ First

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It’s over for NZ First.

The dream of a nationalistic economic sovereignty that runs counter to free market neoliberalism dies at the Ballot Box this September.

Winston has lost his huff and puff, there is no immigration to spook the rednecks and the glacial movement of the State has made upgrades of the provinces slow and best.

They won’t cross 5% and the only way back in is if Shane Jones wins Northland.

Unfortunately that looks impossible with the most recent Northland Poll showing Matt King far ahead…

King is on 46 percent. Prime is on 31 percent and Jones is well behind both on 15 percent.  

…the problem for Jones is that this is Northland, redneck banjo twanging fear of 5G and eclipses Northland where a boiled vanilla ham like Matt Fucking King can have a majority. For this electorate, Jones’ eloquence is too sophisticated. Northland voters have all the cosmopolitan charm of a hand job in a carpark.

In short, the fact Jones can read probably counts against him.

Northland is a National Party stronghold and without vast and identifiable infrastructure bordering on open bribery, it can’t sway National voters away from blue.

Let’s bow our head in prayer, it’s over for NZ First.

Goodbye Winston Peters
Though we never knew you at all
You had the audacity to impose yourself
While those around you crawled
They crawled out of the media
And they whispered into your brain
They set you on the treadmill
And they made you change your game
And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a whisky in the wind
Never knowing which dog whistle to cling to
When the sinking polls set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your whisky drained out long before
Your legend ever did

 

Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice going into this pandemic and 2020 election – please donate here.

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GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – To preserve New Zealand’s covid free status, we need a plan.

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We are at war. To win this war we need a plan.

#1 International relations.

In the war against covid-19 New Zealand has become a regional superpower.

As a regional superpower we need to be setting up a South Pacific travel Bubble with our covid free Pacific allies.

Countries like Australia and other countries occupied by the enemy can join the South Pacific covid free travel bubble when they also achieve covid free status and free themselves of the enemy.

What New Zealand and the other covid free Pacific island nations cannot do, is repeat the lessons of 1918 and allow covid-19 into the region.

In this fight we cannot stay isolated from each other. For the good of our economies and our people’s health we must unite against the common enemy.

#2 The home front

We are a nation at war with a dangerous invisible enemy that is gnawing at our border defences.
In the event that the enemy breaches our border defences we need to be ready.

We can learn from overseas examples.

In Melbourne despite being warned not to and despite it being a repeat of the previous lockdown behaviour Melbournians again went panic buying in huge crowds further spreading the virus.

In partnership with our government it is time for the team of 5 million to step up.

The government should issue a suggested covid lockdown survival kit that every family should buy now, to be kept aside in case the pathogen gets into the community.

Long life milk, canned food, frozen vegetables and meat.

The kit should be able to last a family for one week before needing to be restocked.

The government will work with community food banks and charities to deliver covid survival kits to needy families that might not be able to afford them.

At the first sign of community transmission the government should issue a nation wide shelter in place disaster alert, just as they would for any other natural disaster like a hurricane, or tsunami.

All retail outlets; takeaways, restaurants, movie theatres, sports stadiums, bars clubs and restaurants and all non-essential workplaces – and even supermarkets will be asked to close for one week.

During that one week the government will pour resources and effort to vigorously contact trace and identify every discovered community outbreak. And then isolate them from the community.

A one week mini-lockdown will negate the need for the sort of economy wrecking extended lockdown, the sort they are having to impose in Victoria.

In this way we can protect and defend our public health and economy and that of our nearest covid free allies and neighbours. Preserving our covid free status as best we can into the future.

It is a status that will be a gold standard for the rest of the world to follow.
Maybe then, the world can start to get on top of this virus, at the saving of millions of lives.

Pat is an activist, Unionist and writer.

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Droning mercilessly on . . . and on – Israeli surveillance and terror

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For Palestinian in Gaza, living with an almost non-stop air raid atmosphere, life is never peaceful or normal. The children describe the constant sound of Israeli drones as scary, and adults find their invasive and intolerably routine presence downright painful. Mothers fret for their children under the constant noise, that goes on even at night. For Israel, the world’s biggest exporter of these population-control military machines, the testing of spy drones in Gaza brings great profit. The military application is paramount – so much so that as drone operations now make up 80% of Israeli Air Force flights. Among Gaza’s residents, there is the constant apprehension and fear of imminent air strike. They happen without warning. A 14-year-old boy and his friend were killed in such a strike. The mother of one of the boys tells of the stress she feels now because of her other children‘s terror at the sound of approaching Israeli drones.

On 21 July, close to Hebron, two Palestinian boys (aged 11 and 14) were burned, one of them severely, after an object had fallen from an aircraft during an Israeli military training exercise. The device burst into flames when handled by one of the boys.

Lebanon

There is a grim record of airborne Israeli aggression in Lebanon. For instance, in 2006, the Qana air strike, carried out on a building near the Lebanese village of Qana, resulted in the death of 28 civilians, of whom 16 were children. Last month, the Israeli Air Force Commander, Amiram Norkin, admitted to carrying out air strikes in Lebanon and Israel’s chief and unconditional ally, the US, shares the Zionist regime’s contempt for other people’s air space. A US warplane, taking off from a US air base in Syria on 23 July, intercepted a Mahan Air passenger plane in Lebanese air space, coming as close as 1,000 metres, terrorising passengers and crew. In air space subject to Air Traffic Control (ATC) under International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) rules, aircraft are bound to remain separated, laterally by no less than three miles (five kilometres). Some passengers were able to capture images of the US jet fighter and Captain Bill Urban, US Senior Central Command spokesman, admitted that the F-15 did close in, to 1,000 metres from the airliner.

In what was described by the Wall Street Journal as an “intercept”, the pilot of the Mahan Air plane radioed the F-15 to warn that a safe distance was not being kept but to no avail. He then took evasive action and descended rapidly, landing shortly afterwards in Lebanon. Several passengers on the Iranian airliner were injured in the incident. In this example, the US imposes an air base in the territory of another tate and then harasses a scheduled flight by a civil airliner in the airspace of yet another sovereign country.

Beirut port explosion

Richard Silverstein, writing in his publication Tikun Olam, reports a confidential highly-informed Israeli source informing him that it was Israeli agents that had unwittingly triggered the massive explosion that devastated Beirut, after planting and detonating a bomb in a Hezbollah weapons depot at the port.  The informer told Silverstein that the tragedy was due to Israeli Intelligence negligence in evaluating the target. There have been Israeli bombings in Lebanon, both before and since Israel’s 1982 invasion. Ronen Bergman, writing on Mossad assassinations and Remy Brulin, on the bombing campaigns in the 1980s, have both provided much evidence of violations of sovereignty. Of course, the world should never forget that, in 1982, a commission of inquiry found Ariel Sharon culpable for the invasion of Lebanon and the massacre at Sabra and Shatila.

Whether or not Israel was responsible for causing the Beirut disaster, we may never know but Silverstein leaves us with further circumstantial evidence worth bearing in mind – he writes: “Normally, if Israel has undertaken a successful terror attack (such as those against Iran) it will either refuse to comment or a senior military or political figure will say something like: While we refuse to comment, whoever did it did the world a favour. In this case, Israel immediately denied responsibility. Even Hezbollah supposedly said Israel hadn’t caused the damage (likely protecting itself from the inevitable blame that will fall upon it for storing its weapons next to a building filled with explosive material).”

Population control

Population control is a Zionist obsession and the ideology’s ambition cannot be realised without it. In the UK, answers to Parliamentary Questions issued by the British Government, another self-declared ally of Israel, indirectly admit that Israel violates international law by oppressing civilians. For example, concerning the destruction of Palestinian homes and the heartless restriction of Palestinian home-building imposed by Israel in the West Bank, Her Majestys Government had this to say, 13 July: “The UK is concerned by the continued demolition of Palestinian property by Israeli authorities.” Admitting that they are “contrary to International Humanitarian Law”, the Parliamentary response conceded that “the practice causes unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians . . .”

On 3 August, the Israeli Occupation forced two residents to destroy their own homes in Silwan and Jabal al-Makkabir – or otherwise be forced to pay an extortionate sum to the Israeli Occupation demolition squads, who would be sent in to do it. It is outrageous that Israel should be allowed, without being brought to account, to dictate to Palestinian residents in their own homeland, how and where they should build their homes.

Every aspect of Palestinian life is under threat from Israel, especially agriculture. In another Parliamentary answer,the UK Government admitted as much, saying: “. . . we are troubled by reports of assaults on farmers and vandalism of agricultural land.” HM Government then lamely added: We continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population.” This last comment reveal the cruel truth that Israel’s allies regard the Zionist regime as the sole determiner of the Palestinian people‘s future. As the Government spokesman added, in response to another question: “We have no plans to sanction members of the Government of Israel.” New Zealanders should be aware of the company our own Government keeps, the state-sponsored crimes it ignores and bear in mind the existence of the alternative, non-aligned, fraternity of states worldwide.

Recent news from Palestine

In July, Israel committed a total of 51 Gaza ceasefire violations, including two air strikes and five incursions, while the Palestinian Resistance carried out just one violation, firing three missiles towards the Green Line. This month, up until 3 August, there was another Palestinian ceasefire violation, comprising just one missile-launching while, in the same first three days of this month, Israel had already made four air strikes on Gaza, launching eight missiles into the community.

From 21 July to 3 August, the Israeli Army destroyed 220 Palestinian olive trees, a well and two homes. Occupation forces also carried out 12 night-time home invasion raids in UN refugee camps, as well as 62 overnight raids in West Bank towns and villages. Acts of racist settler vandalism and violence included arson attacks and agricultural sabotage, the poisoning and killing of over 60-head of Palestinian livestock and land-grabs.

Our news media studiously ignored the US air force threat to an airliner and wanton invasion of sovereign airspace. Had an invasion of airspace and disregard for the safety of airline passengers been committed by, for instance, Russia or Iran, the news media headlines would have been full of outrage and calls for sanctions against the perpetrators. Similarly, the news media ignores the daily suffering of the militarily-occupied and mercilessly controlled population of Palestine. Why? Because our ‘traditional allies’ and Five Eyes partners side with Israel.

MFAT

The BDS movement appeals to the world community to recognise the plight of the Palestinian people who look to the world community to enforce respect for international humanitarian law. As MFAT tells us:

Atrocities committed during World War II drew the world’s attention to the need for collective action on human rights. When the UN Charter was drafted in 1945, New Zealand was one of a small number of countries that successfully lobbied for human rights to be included. This led to the first comprehensive international agreement on human rights – the Universal Declaration on Human Rights – adopted in 1948.  The Declaration stated All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.’ Our International Human Rights Action Plan identifies where we will show global leadership and make a positive difference on global human rights issues.”

Earlier this year, the NZ Government and the Government of the State of Israel signed an Agreement on Co-operation in Technological Innovation, Research and Development. Under the Agreement, Callaghan Innovation and the Israel Innovation Authority (an Israeli state-funded agency) will develop and run business-matching services and announcing that “funding for New Zealand firms will be drawn from Research and Development Project Grants administered by Callaghan Innovation.” How does this arrangement with Israel stand with our claim that “Our International Human Rights Action Plan identifies where we will show global leadership and make a positive difference on global human rights issues.” How does it compare with BDS?

MFAT also tells us: “New Zealand takes an active role in peace, human rights and security initiatives, advocating for rules that curb armed conflict, halt the spread of dangerous weaponry and promote universal rights and freedoms.” If only! New Zealand is choosing instead to cover for Israel and align, for material gain, with its state-funded business agency. Accordingly, New Zealand and the news media are are keeping a silence that betrays the victims of Israeli oppression and endangers the future survival of rules-based international law. Sign the petition: Stop Israeli killer drones.

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ACT – freedom for guns but not much freedom for personal cannabis choice 

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The saddest bit about David Seymour’s descent into redneck populism as opposed to political principle is the yawning hypocrisies it exposes.

Now that ACT have been hijacked by the NZ NRA, their interests eclipse actual belief in freedom and personal choice.

ACT are all about guns now, yet are silent when it comes to cannabis reform.

ACT aren’t about personal choice to smoke a joint, they are about the personal choice to own the toy machine gun of choice for gun fetishists.

Some freedoms are more important than others.

Powerful lobby groups help decide which ones matter for ACT now.

We need an intervention strategy to save David from the gun fetishists.

Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice going into this pandemic and 2020 election – please donate here.

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The madness of Auckland Central

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The latest National Party meltdown just managed to get worse…

National Party candidate hires QC to fight suggestions she was a stripper

National’s Auckland Central selection process has been rocked by further controversy as a front-running candidate says she has been targeted by incorrect claims she used to be a stripper.

Nuwanthie Samarakone has hired Julian Miles, QC, to fight an alleged “damaging, malicious and untrue campaign” against her.

A letter written by Miles said: “The campaign even suggests she has been a stripper coupled with the clear, and vicious, imputation she has been involved in some sex scandal and likely to be involved again”.

The Herald has also obtained new photos of Samarakone circulating among party members designed to smear the party’s candidate in the Labour stronghold of Manurewa who now wants to switch to Auckland Central.

…this is unbelievable.

Head Office have tried to push a particular candidate, others are angry at this interference and are now sabotaging candidates to damage them enough so that they can’t win the seat.

This type of naked malice is just too extreme for the electorate and it constantly reminds voters of Judith’s own dirty politics reputation.

National won’t have a candidate ready for the first Auckland Central debate, that is extraordinary political self mutilation.

I’m starting a petition on Action Station to get Hooton and Boag reappointed as National’s strategists to cement in a Labour majority.

Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice going into this pandemic and 2020 election – please donate here.

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Will those JLR documents get leaked?

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The SFO have freaked out that they accidentally sent Jami-Lee Ross evidence in their case against him…

High Court stops Jami-Lee Ross publishing ‘confidential’ documents

The High Court has blocked former National Party MP Jami-Lee Ross from publishing sensitive documents that were inadvertently sent to him.

The independent MP and three businessmen were charged with electoral fraud at the start of the year, after a 10-month Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation.

The charges, which the four men deny, relate to two $100,000 donations paid to the National Party.

The SFO said the material was sent to all the defendants as part of its disclosure obligations and Ross then expressed an interest in publishing it.

“The agency believes any publication of the material would have breached the SFO’s secrecy provisions and been contrary to requirements of confidentiality applying to the use of material obtained through court proceedings.

“However, the SFO sought a court order to ensure there was no doubt that the material remained confidential,” the agency said in a statement.

Ross said he had no intention of breaching people’s privacy but wanted to expose the nature of the documents.

…seeing as JLR is more than prepared to enable a full blown conspiracy theorist in his desperate attempt to stay in power, if these papers serve JLR’s interests I wouldn’t be surprised if they magically find their way into the media before the election.

Once you’re prepared to empower someone who thinks the Covid19 Virus is a weaponised bioweapon spread by 5G to bring about a shadowy world Government, you become capable of anything.

Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice going into this pandemic and 2020 election – please donate here.

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