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”

Fascism and the anti-vaccination protests in New Zealand

The violent nature of the anti-vaccination protests in Aotearoa New Zealand, including the occupation of Parliament Grounds and the nearby streets in February-March, have raised the question of whether this was an example of fascism in action or perhaps in development. This raises the prior question of what is fascism. One view is that expressedContinue reading “Fascism and the anti-vaccination protests in New Zealand”

Global food systems and contradictions

Global food systems are not confined to production. There are also a massive complexity of commercial interactions. All this is in the context of an economic system we call capitalism which, while food access a public essential, due to own internal logic food is primarily produced for exchange rather than use. Now George Monbiot hasContinue reading “Global food systems and contradictions”

Proposed Income Insurance Scheme

The proposed ‘New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme’ (‘the scheme’) has attracted strong debate among the more left-wing and liberal groupings, within New Zealand-Aotearoa. This debate should be seen as a positive rather than negative tension because of the opportunity to consider and learn from the implications and sharpen advocacy. The proposed scheme is outlined inContinue reading “Proposed Income Insurance Scheme”

Should employers compete on the price of labour?

What is the critical question that goes to the heart of the debate over the Government’s Fair Pay Agreements Bill currently before Parliament? If you believe Business New Zealand or the National-ACT opposition tag team, the Bill is all about union power, union revenue, union funding of the Labour Party, and denial of choice forContinue reading “Should employers compete on the price of labour?”

The immorality of moral equivalence

On 14 February, in an earlier Political Bytes blog posting, I wrote about the anti-vaccination occupation of Parliament grounds and surrounding streets and other locations. rights, responsibilities and the far right influence An important aspect of this blog was contrasting the anti-racist South African Springbok rugby tour movement of 1981 with this 2022 occupation (as partContinue reading “The immorality of moral equivalence”