Affectional empathy and the living wage

One of the things I get a buzz out of is trying to place a practical issue within a theoretical construct. I was prompted to give this a go after reading an article in the New York Review of Books published on 8 December 2022. The practical issue is the living wage initiative in Aotearoa NewContinue reading “Affectional empathy and the living wage”

The bullying of Marama Davidson

Sometimes I read or see something that tempts me to consider writing about. Then preoccupation with other matters and topics leads, after the passage of time, to its significance diminishing. However, ongoing references to it, albeit not on as big a scale (mainly social rather than mainstream media) encouraged me to revisit. The temptation wasContinue reading “The bullying of Marama Davidson”

What does being left-wing really mean?

Wellington based academic political commentator Bryce Edwards is an asset for good political discourse in Aotearoa New Zealand. This is largely through his Democracy Project hosted by Victoria University. His NZ Politics Today providing links to published items, including but beyond the mainstream media, is an invaluable resource for all those interested in politics, regardlessContinue reading “What does being left-wing really mean?”

What has Cuban doctors in Italy got to do with the New Zealand-United States relationship?

What has Cuban doctors in Italy got directly to do with Aotearoa New Zealand’s foreign policy and military relationship with the United States? In a direct sense, the answer is absolutely nothing. But remove the word ‘directly’ and the absolutely nothing response quickly dissipates. While there is no direct or even indirect causal connection, itContinue reading “What has Cuban doctors in Italy got to do with the New Zealand-United States relationship?”

Class, transphobia and ‘street democracy’

Sometimes when thinking about an opening line for writing something controversial, inspiration can come from an unexpected source. The controversy is the response of the transgender and wider rainbow communities (and heterosexual supporters) to a transphobic event. This event was the public meeting at Albert Park in Auckland last Saturday (25 March) where British anti-transgender leaderContinue reading “Class, transphobia and ‘street democracy’”

Ukraine – time for geopolitics and diplomacy

The New Zealand government has firmly come in behind the United States position of supporting Ukraine in the war arising out of Russia’s unjustified invasion. At one level this appears the right position to take. But when one drills deeper a more nuanced position should be considered. When one goes beyond Europe, North America, andContinue reading “Ukraine – time for geopolitics and diplomacy”

Sociopaths, psychopaths, the far-right and Jacinda Ardern

On 14 December 2022 German police arrested 25 people over what was called the “Reichsburger plot”. Two days later the Guardian Weekly published an article by Philip Oltermann posing the question of whether this was a “…sinister plan to overthrow the German state or just a rag-tag revolution?”: Attempted far-right coup in Germany. Although a longContinue reading “Sociopaths, psychopaths, the far-right and Jacinda Ardern”

Barbados, climate injustice, and the pursuit of wealth accumulation

On the eve of the 2017 general election in Aotearoa New Zealand, dramatic circumstances led Jacinda Ardern to assume the leadership of the Labour Party. In an outstanding media briefing she confidently asserted that a government led by her would be transformational and highlighted climate change as the most critical issue. Ardern was right toContinue reading “Barbados, climate injustice, and the pursuit of wealth accumulation”

Should the Prime Minister go to Cop27? ‘Blood, blood, blood’

Aside from trashing the British economy and a shorter lifespan than a lettuce, the prime ministership of Liz Truss will be remembered for dissuading the new King Charles from attending the Cop27 United Nations climate summit in Egypt’s resort city Sharm el-Sheikh commencing on 6 November. This led to some media discussion over whether PrimeContinue reading “Should the Prime Minister go to Cop27? ‘Blood, blood, blood’”

Uber, the ‘lure’ and carve-outs

Employment Court judge Christina Inglis in a landmark decision ruled that four Uber drivers were employees and not self-employed contractors has opened the gate for many other drivers to seek the protections of employment law. This follows a successful case taken by two unions – First Union and E tū. The case is well coveredContinue reading “Uber, the ‘lure’ and carve-outs”