Friday, January 21, 2022

Breaking Views Update: Week of 16.1.22

Friday January 21, 2022 

Sir Toby Curtis: ‘Pākeha schools are hopeless and cannot educate our kids’

Sir Toby Curtis’ devotion to education has taken him from being a primary school teacher to a principal to a vice-chancellor and now a knight.

Throughout his career, his focus has always been to elevate the voice of Māori but says growing up in a Pākeha education system deprived him of reaching his full potential.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Chris Trotter: The Choice

“INSULATION from the ravages of extreme opinion has been achieved. The settlements have become mainstream.” The words are those of former Labour Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer. The “settlements” he refers to are the Treaty settlements negotiated between the Crown and Iwi.

It is to Iwi, New Zealand’s officially recognised tribal entities, that the responsibility for reinvigorating Māori society has been entrusted. Palmer’s confidence that the process has been walled-off from the “ravages” of democratic interference is important. The critical political choice made by leading Pakeha politicians, jurists and bureaucrats in the 1980s and 90s was to halt the momentum of left-wing Māori nationalism by inserting a layer of elite Māori business-people between the Crown and the economically and culturally impoverished Māori working-class.

Only by fostering the rapid growth of a Māori middle-class could the Pakeha state avoid being compelled to negotiate with social, cultural and political forces with precious little to lose. Forces, moreover, whose lack of a meaningful stake in the capitalist system might encourage its leaders to contemplate sponsoring an entirely different set of economic arrangements.

Barry Brill: Does “partnership” mean the same as “marriage”?

Let's be clear ... 
the word “partnership” carries very little meaning.

It obviously denotes some form of association between multiple parties who have agreed to collaborate for a common purpose. It probably conveys a sense of collegiality and co-operation and goodwill. That’s about it.

The word itself says nothing about depth of commitment or duration. A marriage partnership might last a lifetime, while a partnership to play cards, tennis, etc might be gone by lunchtime. A sex partner might be a one-night stand.

In 1840, as now, an invitation to “take your partners” would have implied a relationship lasting for a few minutes.

Guy Hatchard: What does it mean to be a politician going down with the ship?

Today Jacinda Ardern had her booster shot and warned us all to do the same. 

If I was charitable I might say that she must be unaware of figures from overseas including Denmark, the UK, Israel, and USA which call the effectiveness of the booster into question. 

Even the CEO of Pfizer admitted to the media this week that his shot was all but ineffective. More than this, is she also unaware that boosters carry a greatly elevated risk of adverse effects? And further, has she informed herself of the UKHSA figures which show that within a few weeks of receiving the booster, the unlucky recipient is more vulnerable to Covid than before the shot?

Net Zero Watch: Global warming has saved 500,000 lives in England and Wales in the last 20 years


In this newsletter:

1) Global warming has saved 500,000 lives in England and Wales in the last 20 years 
Office of National Statistics, 17 January 2022

2) Rising energy bills ‘unaffordable’ for quarter of households
The Times, 17 January 2022

Monday, January 17, 2022

Gerry Eckhoff: The storming of democracy

Quite some time ago, an angry mob stormed a public building which they saw as a symbol of oppression. They finally entered the building and killed the officials in charge. The mob is recorded in history and by their country as revolutionaries and their actions are revered every year as those of brave patriots. That mob apparently consisted mainly of craftsmen and storeowners. France was facing an economic crisis as the industrial revolution spawned even more poverty and unrest in the cities. Their protests to this very day appear more violent than most western democracies.

The event was the storming of the Bastille in France, 231 years ago and was the fore runner to the French revolution. The bastille was in fact a prison which stored a large quantity of ammunition the mob were after but had become a symbol of privilege and the dictatorial rule of France by the monarchy. The revolution itself was based on the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity and is celebrated each year in France with a national holiday.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Owen Jennings: ‘Going, going, gone’

An interesting court case in Wellington. A 76 year old man sold his house to a developer. His daughter is disputing his right to do so. She is claiming there were understandings about the property not being sold because there is tikanga involved, her baby’s placenta is buried on the property and that there were clearly issues of ethnicity and cultural values at stake.

Without commenting on this particular case it does, however raise significant issues about the nation’s slide into what can only be a quagmire of confusion, uncertainty, heartache and vagueness. The harder the elitists, the media and the academics push for the adoption of Māori language, Māori ownership, Māori control, the adoption of ill-defined terms, the incorporation of Māori factors into science and, particularly, if the courts continue down the path of judicial activism by embracing ethnic and cultural values into judgements and judicial process the greater the problems will become.

Clive Bibby: Climate emergency or moral fraud - you be the judge!

Two significant local events here on the East Coast - one in the last days of 2021 and the other planned for January 2022 - will be watched by a populace eager for relief from years of restricted activity.

One will have serious consequences for the nation’s long term economic well-being while the other, will be of only passing interest.

The irony is that both involve the Prime Minister in one shape or form.

Simon Ruda: Will nudge theory survive the pandemic?

State propaganda can flourish in times of crisis

In 2015, during a public debate on behavioural science in Lucerne, I was accused of supporting tactics befitting an unsavoury authoritarian regime. At the time, knowing how well-intentioned my colleagues were, I thought this was, quite frankly, nuts.

I remain a supporter of the use of behavioural science in public policy, and of the Behavioural Insights Team, more commonly known as the Nudge Unit. However, witnessing how the UK and other governments have responded to the pandemic, I can now appreciate the vulnerabilities of well-intentioned, democratic regimes, and the potential for behavioural science to be used inappropriately.

I was a co-founder and leading figure within the Nudge Unit. Since its inception, in 2010, the unit has been a success story for the Government. When I joined we were a team of seven within what was called the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. In 2014, we were able to “spin out” of government. We became an independent, profit-making social purpose company, a third owned by the Cabinet Office. We could sell our services to the whole of the UK public sector and any other government or organisation seeking to improve people’s lives.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Net Zero Watch: Boris Johnson told to act on energy crisis or ‘end up out of power’


In this newsletter:

1) ‘Red Wall’ Tories tell Boris Johnson to act on energy crisis or ‘end up out of power’
The Independent, 12 January 2022
2) Energy bosses demand ministers SCRAP green levies
Daily Mail, 12 January 2022

Friday, January 14, 2022

Ross Meurant: There Is No Democracy Without Debate

Germany’s President Steinmeier, said he felt it was his duty to “call for public debate over serious questions.”  He argued that “there is no democracy without debate.”

Addressing the issue of the issue of compulsory vaccination, President Steinmeier said this applied to times of crisis as well. (1)

In a previous post, Rights Denied, (2) I raised the question of being, shut out of public debate.

In particular I focused on the issue of this Labour/Green government elevating Maori above all other ethnic communities which make up New Zealand and provided specific examples of esteemed academics being vilified and blacklisted (‘scuse the pun) from public discourse.  Hon Dr Michael Bassett and Professor Liz Rata – being two of the most profile.

Guy Hatchard: Investigating the Science Behind Vaccinating 5-11-Year-Olds

An Indictment: Does the vaccination programme for teens and younger surpass the threshold for criminal prosecution?

D-Day for vaccinating 5-11-year-olds is upon us. If as a parent (or a politician) you do a google search “Is Covid vaccination of 5-11-year-olds safe?” you turn up a host of articles not only assuring you that it is safe and effective but also urging you that it is necessary.

First among these are the official NZ government information web pages. If you have doubts and persist by broadening your search criteria, the same kind of reassuring articles from a great variety of sources appear.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 9.1.22

Friday January 14, 2022 

Former police officer appointed to council role

Former Rotorua Police area commander Anaru Pewhairangi will take up a new role at the Rotorua Lakes Council.

He has been appointed as Rotorua Lakes Council’s Deputy Chief Executive – Community Wellbeing.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Chris Trotter: Make or Break

He Puapua threatens to do to New Zealand’s Right what Rogernomics did to its Left.

IN LESS THAN TWO YEARS the New Zealand Right will face a battle for its very survival. If the combined votes of Labour and the Greens add up to a parliamentary majority in 2023, then the rules of the political game will be changed fundamentally. Capitalism as we have known it, along with our liberal-democratic political system, will be changed profoundly.

The re-foundation of New Zealand (a name which the new Labour-Green government will likely consign to the dustbin of history) will make it virtually impossible for the traditional Right to stage a comeback – at least democratically. Why? Because there will be literally nowhere for the force of a right-wing majority to be brought to bear. The restoration of the status quo ante will, constitutionally, cease to be an option.

Over the top? Don’t you believe it. This is how top-down revolutions work. The first decisive changes are made, and then, if the revolutionary government is re-elected, those changes are embedded beyond the capacity of practical politicians to reverse.

Henry Armstrong: Defence Overview Unbelievably Inept and Ignorant

The recently–released report emanating from the Operation Burnham enquiry in which a review of our Defence Force is recommended, demonstrates an unbelievable degree of ineptitude and outright ignorance amongst the enquiry team. The enquiry panel included two military members (one retired) amongst its highly-politicised makeup, but dominated mostly by bureaucrats with no military experience at all.

Amongst the recommendations is a clear proposal that civilians must have a far greater involvement in on-the-ground future military operations than at present. Really?  And just how might that translate in the following scenario:

An NZDF soldier is patrolling a village in a Middle-Eastern country in which ISIS terrorists are very active. Approaching her checkpoint is a person clothed head to foot in a traditional garment with only their eyes uncovered. The person is holding a small child by the hand and should not be out on the street - there is a “curfew” in place. The gender of the person cannot be determined. The soldier’s instructions are to require any curfew-breaker to halt, identify themselves and the reason they are breaking curfew. Should they desist or refuse to stop, the NZ soldier is then entitled to......?

Net Zero Watch: A third of Britons fear energy bills will become unaffordable this year


In this newsletter:

1) A third of Britons fear energy bills will become unaffordable
Daily Mail, 10 January 2022
2) Boris under pressure as Tory voters terrified they can’t afford energy bills
Daily Express, 10 January 2022

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Ross Meurant: Rights Denied - Denied By Whom?

Leighton Baker (1), a hard-core Christian, is reported as being opposed to gender theory, prostitution, decriminalisation of abortion, marijuana and euthanasia.

When an MP I voted for gay rights, against hanging, pro-abortion and have made a case to legalize dope. (2)  And I’m a pagan.

Baker had his Twitter page taken down a month out from the last election. NZ Herald no longer publish me.

Eminent historian, former MP, Hon Dr Michael Bassett, who clinically debunks interpretations by some Maori of the Treaty of Waitangi and who condemns the concomitant power grabs by Maori; (3) from water rights to preferential treatment and control of New Zealand’s health industry, is now blacklisted (excuse the pun) from Main Stream Media. (4)

Bonner R Cohen: Biden's 'Build Back Better' Could Have Destroyed Jobs

The Biden administration-backed “Build Back Better” (BBB) tax and spending bill went back to the drawing boards when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced he would not support the current version of the bill on Dec. 19.

BBB’s health care and housing provisions contain “the single largest permanent increase in work disincentives since the income tax came into its own during World War II,” writes Casey Mulligan, former chief economist of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers in the Trump administration, on his blog. 

BBB would “reduce work by limiting competition in the labor market, imposing employer mandates, and increasing consumer prices for telecommunications, energy, and other products,” writes Mulligan.

Saturday, January 8, 2022