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liberation
Interests: music, travel, media, current events, photography, technology, politics, vegetarian food, morrissey
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Recent research suggests the public is becoming more trusting of government and politicians again. Dr Bryce Edwards of Victoria University highlights new studies on trust, and says that “Jacindamania” still appears to be having a positive impact on society’s view of politics. [Note this column was originally published in 2018 on the Newsroom Pro website] Growing distrust of politicians and authorities has been one of the most important political trends of recent decades, especially as it has accelerated around the globe in the last decade. Most notably, it has been connected to the revival of populist and radical electoral forces... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at liberation
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Abortion law reform is back on the political agenda. According to Dr Bryce Edwards of Victoria University of Wellington, this area of debate is the ultimate polarising issue in what are often called the “culture wars” – but that doesn’t necessarily mean New Zealand is about to be embroiled in a heated and divisive battle of values. [Note: the column was originally published on the Newsroom Pro website in November 2018] Both in New Zealand and around the world, politics are increasingly revolving around non-economic policy issues that divide societies along lines that are more “liberal vs conservative” than “left... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2019 at liberation
“What on earth is May Day?” you might ask. May Day is International Workers’ Day - a celebration of the organised trade union movement and working class-centred politics. But in New Zealand it’s pretty much a non-event. However, in many countries May Day is a public holiday, and rallies of unions and the left are held throughout the world. This is especially true with those nations of the Global South (Third World) which have a particular tradition of militant unionism and socialist politics. For example, in Manila in the Philippines, and Jakarta in Indonesia, tens of thousands of workers and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2019 at liberation
Bite-sized alternative political analysis Facts: RSA veterans are upset with plans to have a Muslim prayer at Anzac Day service. The RSA is NZ’s ex-military service organization. A Muslim Imam had been invited to say a prayer at an RSA Anzac service at Titahi Bay, near Wellington. The RSA’s move was an attempt to both show inclusiveness, as well as out of respect to the victims of the Christchurch terrorist attack. However, RSA veterans were less than happy with this move. A backlash against the proposed Muslim prayer has led to the RSA branch dropping the Muslim prayer from its... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2019 at liberation
The Southeast Asian nation of Brunei has implemented the death penalty for homosexuality. Brunei is a small Muslim-majority nation on the island of Borneo. The country is a dictatorship, ruled by its Sultan. The Sultan is Head of State, as well as Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Supreme Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Inspector General of the Royal Brunei Police Force, and Head of Islam. So, what he says goes. The Sultan of Brunei, has been well-known for his playboy lifestyle. However, over the last decade Brunei’s royal family has, on the face of it, embraced a very... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2019 at liberation
Bite-sized alternative political analysis The facts: Jacinda Ardern’s trip to China has brought into question the Government’s lack of protest over China’s treatment of its Turkic-Muslim population. The Chinese Government has received international criticism for its treatment of the Uighur ethnic minority in the northwest of China. Uighur are a Turkic ethnic group who are predominately Muslim. A Uighur independence movement has been calling for an independent Uighur state. The Chinese State firmly suppresses any calls for independence. Currently, up to a million Uighur are interned in what are essentially concentration camps. The Chinese Government is currently imposing forced ideological... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2019 at liberation
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Emmerson - NZ Herald 3 April 2019 Hubbard - 4 April 2019 Craig - ODT 3 April 2019 Murdoch - Stuff 20 March 2019 Hubbard - 21 March 2019 Emmerson - NZ Herald 3 April 2019 Tremain - ODT 19 March 2019 Emmerson - NZ Herald 23 March 2019 Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2019 at liberation
Conservative public intellectual Jordon Peterson has been caught up in the reaction against the Islamophobic terrorist attack in New Zealand. The Canadian psychologist and self-help guru initially had his book– 12 Rules for Life – removed from the Whitcoulls book chain store. And the academic’s visiting fellowship at Cambridge University has been rescinded. The Peterson ban, both by Whitcoulls in NZ and by Cambridge in the UK, can be seen as a reaction against the spreading of alt-right and new conservative ideology. Jordon Peterson promotes conservative values in relation to gender and social hierarchy. The book chain Whitcoulls pulled Peterson's... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2019 at liberation
Bite-sized alternative political analysis The facts: Jacinda Ardern has stated that she sees climate change as the major issue of the 21st Century. And she has indicated that her Government will act to be a world leader on tackling global warming. Tomorrow, striking students will aim to put pressure on the Government to take decisive action on the ongoing threat of global warming. But how active is this Government with dealing with environmental concerns? The long-awaited Zero carbon Bill is on the way. But how radical will this bill actually be, and will it address the necessary steps needed to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2019 at liberation
Bite-sized alternative political analysis The facts: A global student strike is happening this Friday. In New Zealand, thousands of students are expected to bunk school and attend climate change protests across the country. Politicians have generally expressed hostility or indifference to the protest. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been non-committal over whether she supports the protests actions or not. However, the Green Party is publicly supporting the protesting students, as are a handful of Labour MPs. Analysis: This strike action by students against climate change inaction is hugely significant. The politics of climate change tends to be an... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2019 at liberation
The facts: The NZ Government has implemented comprehensive gun reform in response to the Christchurch Islamophobic terrorist attack. The Government has banned assault rifles and military-style semi-automatic (MSSA) guns. All political parties, apart from Act, support the reforms. Further reforms of gun laws are expected. Analysis: There is an argument that the Government’s gun reforms do not go far enough, and a counter-argument that they go too far. Those pressing for a comprehensive ban on semi-automatic weapons have raised concerns that, with these new reforms, there is not in fact a comprehensive ban on such weapons. For example, the ban... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2019 at liberation
Kia Ora Te Whanau I am Gayaal Iddamalgoda from the Migrant and Refugee Rights Campaign. To be honest with you all, I have struggled to find words to share with you today. Our Muslim friends and neighbours have been hurt so badly by this evil act of terrorism. I don't think I'm alone in trying to process our collective grief, I don't think I'm alone in trying to find every way to comfort our Muslim brothers, sisters and friends. Today, before I came here, I resolved to try and tell you 'the truth' as I see it. There's so much... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2019 at liberation
New Zealand has now come face to face with 21st Century terrorism and the politics of extreme hate and violence. It is now clear that no country is immune from political violence and extreme sectarian politics. People in this country have expressed their grief and feelings of shock at the terrorist attack that happened on Friday in Christchurch. The attack on Muslim worshippers has been met with a deep sense of humanity and empathy from people in New Zealand. A universal sense of humanity has come to the fore, with a heartfelt sense of solidarity shown towards the victims of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2019 at liberation
Bite-sized alternative political analysis: Michael Jackson and the spectre of censorship The facts: The tainted legacy of Michael Jackson has become world news with the release of a documentary on the deceased artist. The documentary Leaving Neverland puts forward the case that Jackson sexual abused children. Leaving Neverland has most probably destroyed Michael Jackson’s legacy. One political question that has come from the documentaries release is over the censorship of Jackson’s songs. NZME, which owns ZM, The Hits, Flava and Newstalk ZB, has made the decision to no longer play Jackson's songs on air. And similar moves are being taken... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2019 at liberation
Bite-sized alternative political analysis: China expert treated as a pariah by Labour Party The facts: University of Canterbury academic Anne-Marie Brady was blocked by Labour MPs from making to a submission on foreign interference. Professor Brady asked to make a submission to the Justice Select Committee regarding its inquiry into foreign interference in the 2017 general election and 2016 local elections. And in what was a shocking move, the Labour members on the committee voted against Brady giving a submission. The Labour MPs voted against Brady ostensibly on the grounds that her request was late. However, the National MPs on... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2019 at liberation
John Moore’s bite-sized alternative political analysis: Shane Jones in the shit, but no worries The facts: NZ First MP Shane Jones has been accused of dodgy behaviour, and of lying about it. Jones has been found to of backed a project that he had a personal interest in. Specifically, Shane Jones' role in funding a Northland cultural centre has been questioned. The facility in Opononi was given $4.6 million by the Government. And Jones’ support of the centre seems to of been the big reason why the cultural ce­ntre received millions from the Government. Jones is Minister for Regional Economic... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2019 at liberation
Wednesday 6 March 2019 1) NZ politicians have given their views on the upcoming student strike The facts: A world-wide student strike to highlight inaction on climate change will take place on March 15. And some New Zealand politicians are throwing a tantrum over students skipping school to attend the climate change protests. Deputy PM Winston Peters was particularly pissed-off with the up and coming strike. Peters sternly stated that attending school is compulsory. And Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was also unsupportive of the strike, saying that the Government was already doing its bit about climate change. National senior MP... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2019 at liberation
Tuesday 5 March 2019 1) Kiwi ISIS jihadist misses home The facts: A New Zealander who has been active with ISIS for five years is currently being held by Kurdish forces in Syria. The Kiwi jihadist, Mark Taylor, has received international news coverage. Taylor became known as the “bumbling jihadist” for his ineptitude in accidently sharing his, and an ISIS unit’s, location on social media. In a recent interview, Taylor looked a rather pathetic and sorry character. He made a half-hearted apology for his actions. However, he then completely undercut his apology with a discussion of his previous desires to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2019 at liberation
Monday 4 March 2019 1) Does New Zealand still have a consensus on having an unarmed police force? The facts: New Zealand is only one of a handful of countries where most police officers do not carry fire arms. Yet, last week it was announced that all frontline police in Christchurch would be carrying firearms on their person. This extraordinary move was in response to two related instances where Christchurch police were allegedly shot at. Police Minister Stuart Nash fully backed the decision, but denied that this meant that routine arming of police was on the horizon. Media reports of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2019 at liberation
Originally published on the Newsroom Pro website in 2018: Lobbyists and PR professionals play an increasingly central role in New Zealand’s political system, and yet the public knows very little about what these people do. But we should. More sunlight shone on the activities of communications professionals active in our democracy would offer greater protection against conflicts of interest and corruption. The hidden persuaders The low visibility of lobbyists and PR professionals is mostly by design. The very nature of their roles involves working behind the scenes – deliberately keeping a low profile, while surreptitiously influencing government and politics on... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2019 at liberation
Originally published on the Newsroom Pro website in 2018: Increasingly, a big part of the media’s coverage of politics involves analysis and commentary, rather than straight news reporting. We see, listen, and read this pundit commentary in all the media – from the Sunday television politics shows, through to even this online column for Newsroom. And as always, there will be various degrees of quality, bias, and usefulness in this commentary. That’s to be expected. But what if some of this commentary is simply PR? What if it’s being informed, not by any attempts to be objective or analytical, but... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2019 at liberation
Thursday 28 February 2019 1) Political blogger Cameron Slater is bankrupt The facts: The head of the Whaleoil blog site has declared bankruptcy and pulled out of all political work. A post on the Whaleoil site gave details of Cameron Slater’s bankruptcy and his recent stroke which, according to the post, has left Slater incapacitated. Cameron Slater was once one of New Zealand’s leading political commentator. He had very close contacts in parliament, including with former Prime Minister John Key. However, Slater’s star status rapidly diminished after has was implicated in dirty politics by author Nicky Hager. Due to Hager’s... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2019 at liberation
Wednesday 27 February 2019 1) The Vatican City State is in crisis-mode as one of its senior leaders has been prosecuted. The facts: The Vatican State’s former financial head, Cardinal George Pell, has been found guilty of child sexual abuse. He is the highest positioned Catholic and Vatican leader to of received a sex abuse conviction. Cardinal Pell was found guilty by an Australian jury of sexually abusing two boys. The Cardinal was the third highest ranked leader in the Catholic hierarchy. The Catholic Church is currently in crisis mode, with accusation after accusation of widespread sexual abuse of children... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2019 at liberation
Tuesday 26 February 2019 1) Gender self-identification has been put on hold The facts: An amendment to the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill has been deferred. The amendment would have liberalised the process of declaring gender on birth certificates. The bill would allow for a person to more easily change their gender on a birth certificate through a simple process of self-declaration. The amendment would also have introduced the option of an "X" gender option, alongside Male and Female. There would also be the option of "parent" on a child's birth certificate, as well as "mother" and "father".... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2019 at liberation
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Scott - Stuff 23 February 2019 Body - NZ Herald 25 February 2019 Emmerson - NZ Herald 26 February 2019 Hubbard 23 February 2019 Evans - Daily Blog 25 February 2019 Bromhead - NZ Herald 26 February 2019 Walker - Sunday News 25 February 2019 Bromhead - NZ Herald 3 February 2019 Emmerson - NZ Herald 26 January 2019 Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2019 at liberation