Scoop Election 08: edited by Gordon Campbell

Archive for July, 2009

Gordon Campbell on the travel expenses of MPs

Friday, July 31st, 2009

The issue of MPs’ travel expenses – and its disreputable cousin, government spending - have thrown up a pretty interesting moral distinction. Government spending, which provides services to the general public, is seen to be an intrinsically bad thing that must be rationed. MPs’ travel spending on the other hand, ...

Putting the SAS back into Afghanistan

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Who has stolen John Key’s brain? The Prime Minister who only a couple of months ago was demanding to see a viable exit strategy before he would put New Zealand combat troops back into Afghanistan, has been replaced by a John Key impersonator for whom the vaguest of goals – ...

Foreign ownership rules, and California’s support for Chief Justice Sian Elias

Friday, July 24th, 2009

To its critics, the government’s response to the recession has looked like an Eighties Revival. Psychologically speaking, that’s not so surprising, When in trouble, politicians of a certain age are prone to revert to the old time religion: cut taxes, slash government spending, and pray. Yet, as time goes by, ...

Treasury and the Don Brash revival

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

People are just so suspicious. When you have Treasury touting the virtues of contracting out public services and Don Brash – clearly, our best and brightest lateral thinker – being entrusted with the job of lifting our productivity game, then some cynics are getting a nasty feeling that this is ...

Gordon Campbell: The Sian Elias speech about crime

Monday, July 20th, 2009

The recent speech by Chief Justice Sian Elias may have been greeted with some - sensational headlines - “Top Judge Suggests Prison Amnesty” - and some equally ropey press releases that the nation’s most powerful judge wanted to give crims a 'Get Out of Jail' card. In reality, the Chief ...

The Winston Peters Comeback

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Only Winston Peters could say the hardest word in the political lexicon - “Sorry” - by implying that his mistakes were really due to his performing to a higher standard than others. That is the only meaning that can be taken from the ‘apology’ contained in his reported email to ...

The bogus benefits of PPPs

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Occasionally, someone in business lets the cat out of the bag in a way that is impossible to satirise. Thus in the NZ Herald this morning, we find Deloittes corporate finance partner Paul Callow telling us that foreign investors are now looking at New Zealand quite differently since the change ...

The Greens’ new peace initiative

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Click to enlarge Non aggression pacts tend to get a bad press, both in real life and in fiction. Hitler and Stalin, two of the most violent tyrants of the 20th century, signed up to a non-aggression pact in 1939 that lasted only until Hitler opened up the Eastern Front in ...

The Erosion Of Justice

Monday, July 6th, 2009

As the civil rights we enjoy get whittled away, the pattern is becoming very familiar. Initially, fresh powers of search, detention, use of secret evidence etc are sought by the authorities for what is claimed to be a very narrow and specialised reason – eg, to combat terrorism or ...

Paula Bennett’s welfare abuse

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

To date, the government’s response to the recession has been faulted on the demand side – for not giving sufficient stimulus to the economy, as reflected in its wilful misdirection of most of the April tax cut money to the top tier of incomes, when low income earners would have ...