Scoop Election 08: edited by Gordon Campbell

Archive for August, 2011

On the EQC’s funding woes, and a peak oil update

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

So, it seems, the Greens were right all along – a special levy to fund the costs involved with the Christchurch earthquake still makes good sense, if only (this time around) to replenish the funds available to the Earthquake Commission. Yesterday, it became apparent that the likely cost of the ...

On sports injury; and the West Memphis Three aftermath

Friday, August 26th, 2011

[See below for The West Memphis Three aftermath] Imagine if there was a party drug known to kill a number of teenagers around the world each year – and which, over time, had been linked to hundreds of thousands of them being likely to develop Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease later in ...

On Italy, Politics and the Rugby World Cup

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Illustration by Tim Denee – www.timdenee.com Silvio Berlusconi really needs Italy to win the Rugby World Cup, or an equivalent miracle. While he faces prosecution for his personal misdeeds, his party’s popularity has hit rock bottom at home, with current opinion polls showing barely 20-22 % support. The 74 year old ...

On oil profits (and other administrivia) within the new Libya

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

The fighters in western Libya who captured the supply line towns on the way into Tripoli and made the final push into the capital do not come from the same tribal/political factions that started the rebellion in Benghazi to the east, six months ago. This only begins to state the ...

On The Release Of The West Memphis Three

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Good news stories are few and far between, and the release from jail of the West Memphis Three is definitely one of those moments to celebrate… After 18 years, the persecution of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jesse Miskelley is finally at end, and they have been set free. The ...

On Syria, and the lessons of the British riots

Friday, August 19th, 2011

The call this morning by the Obama administration for Bashir al-Assad to leave office in Syria, and the US imposition of sanctions has been echoed by similar moves from the EU. On the surface, the human rights atrocities committed by the Syrian military have provided the rationale for these moves ...

On Russia and the Rugby World Cup

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Between early September and late October, New Zealand will be hosting teams from 19 countries for the Rugby World Cup. This column will try to outline the political situation in as many of them as I can before kick-off day on September 9, starting today with Russia. Illustration by Tim ...

On the Government’s latest plans to Americanise the welfare system

Monday, August 15th, 2011

What is it about National’s plans for welfare reform and natural disasters? On the same day in February that the Welfare Working Group released its loopy agenda of reform proposals – which included the option of sterilising welfare miscreants – the Christchurch earthquake blew that news off the ...

On the Christchurch rebuild, and the political abuse of the SIS

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Probably, some will regard the height restriction of seven stories for the rebuild of Christchurch’s central city area as being unnecessarily arbitrary and uniform, and business lobbyists have already told RNZ this morning that the height restriction will probably be amended in time, once concerns raised by the quake have ...

On the riots in Britain

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

So far, reaction to the riots in Britain has moved beyond the initial phase of surprise and bewilderment – goodness, the New York Times wondered, how can things have gone from Harry Potter and the Royal Wedding to phone hacking and riots in only three months? – and we’re now ...