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”

Ukraine war – a continuation of politics with the admixture of other means

Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz (1780-1831) was a Prussian general and military theorist who stressed the ‘moral’ and political aspects of war. He is a source of many succinct quotations with arguably the most well-known being “War is nothing but a continuation of politics with the admixture of other means.” Admixture is a rarely used word; whenContinue reading “Ukraine war – a continuation of politics with the admixture of other means”

Time to tax property speculation

When she became Prime Minister, following the September 2017 general election, Jacinda Ardern’s government established a working party to advise on taxation, including a possible capital gains tax. This was actioning a Labour Party election commitment. The working party was chaired by former Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Michael Cullen. Cullen’s working party didContinue reading “Time to tax property speculation”

Wellington now faces a public health emergency

There have been many things said about the escalating debacle involving the occupation in and around Parliament grounds in Wellington. I’ve already blogged an assessment in my previous Political Bytes post:  Rights, responsibilities and far right agendas. Much has changed since then. Abuse and intimidation (including threats of violence) has increased for residents, local workersContinue reading “Wellington now faces a public health emergency”

Rights, responsibilities, François-Marie Arouet and far right agendas

In 1981, although not a leader, I was an active participant in the massive protests against the Springbok rugby tour of New Zealand. South Africa was then under the tyrannical racist apartheid dictatorship responsible for the denial of fundamental democratic and repression of the large majority of its population. The protests were part of anContinue reading “Rights, responsibilities, François-Marie Arouet and far right agendas”

Behind the ‘war’ against China

Tensions between the United States (along with its allies including neighbouring Australia) and China are widening to an alarming concern despite being temporarily side-lined by the more public scrap between the United States (and NATO) and Russia over Ukraine. The conflict language with China is starting to escalate to a militarist tone but is couchedContinue reading “Behind the ‘war’ against China”

Should Greens ditch cooperative agreement with Labour?

There are few things more annoying than being snookered. I was well into writing this blog when the Guardian published a column on the same subject and with a similar conclusion. The columnist Morgan Godfery, is a progressive political and unionist activist currently employed as an academic at Otago University.Cooperation agreement with Labour toxic for Greens IContinue reading “Should Greens ditch cooperative agreement with Labour?”