Scoop Election 08: edited by Gordon Campbell

Archive for February, 2012

On yesterday’s welfare reform announcements

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

We’ve all become more politically literate the hard way over the last couple of decades. The words “efficient” and “greater efficiency” for instance, has been forced into service so many times that’s they’re now a genuine alarm signal – a crutch for politicians seeking to replace a ...

On the Rudd vs Gillard contest

Monday, February 27th, 2012

In its last suicidal spasm this morning, the Australian Labor Party caucus seems certain to choose Julia Gillard to lead it to annihilation at the next election. True to form, Gillard and her supporters have been blaming almost all their failures of the last two years on challenger Kevin Rudd, ...

On Kiwirail’s current problems with its Chinese-built wagons

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

For many people, Kiwirail’s decision to buy 500 flat top wagons from manufacturers in China instead of building them at Hillside workshops in Dunedin was a classic case of New Zealand chasing short term cost savings from overseas providers at the expense of many local jobs, the development of manufacturing ...

On the looming “pre-emptive” war against Iran

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Iran’s rulers preside over one of the most thuggish, repressive regimes on the planet, but the West’s apparent readiness to go to war over Iran’s nuclear programme is a hair-raising over-reaction. Somehow, the nuclear club that can regard its own ownership of such weapons as being right and proper, and ...

On comparing the Crafar Farms court ruling with the China/NZ Free Trade Agreement

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

At yesterday’s post-Cabinet press conference, Prime Minister John Key indicated that the government is waiting for a Crown law office opinion on Justice Forrest Miller’s High Court ruling on the approval process for the Crafar Farms deal with the Chinese, before deciding on its next step. Like most observers, Key ...

On the government’s inertia on housing needs

Monday, February 20th, 2012

The weekend protests about Housing New Zealand’s Tamaki Transformation programme (which aims to relocate residents of 156 state house to make way for a mix of state owned and privately owned housing) are merely the tip of the iceberg of Auckland’s shortage of affordable housing – which is set to ...

On asset sales and the Mallard ticket saga

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Click for big version. Way back at the start of this week, the government was in deep trouble on at least three fronts. First, came the bombshell court ruling that Ministers had been mistakenly advised to accept the Chinese bid for Crafar farms. Secondly, Finance Minister Bill English hinted publicly that ...

On the Crafar Ruling, and the New Asset Sales Shortfall

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Clearly, even when you’ve got a rubber stamp, the rubber can still fall off the stamp. That’s what happened yesterday to the Overseas Investment Office. Its recommendation to ministers that the government should accept the Chinese bid for the Crafar farms was overturned by the High Court - after a ...

On the Law Commission plan to scrap jury trials

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Chances are, scrapping the system of trial by jury is not the top priority for most New Zealanders. Not many of us woke up this morning and felt dead keen on dumping our centuries-old right to be tried by a jury of our peers, while yearning to adopt the French ...

On Syria

Monday, February 13th, 2012

So far, the fighting in Syria has largely been limited to its smaller cities – Homs in particular. Aside from a few isolated incidents the revolt has not yet spread to major cities such as Aleppo and Damascus. All the same, as Syria expert Joshua Landis of the University ...