Scoop Election 08: edited by Gordon Campbell

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Archive for February, 2013

Gordon Campbell on the latest spasm of welfare bashing

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Just over a week ago in the United Kingdom, the Guardian ran an article entitled “Welfare fraud is a drop in the ocean compared to tax avoidance.” Pretty self explanatory title. The article points out that while people in the UK believe welfare fraud is a major problem, it isn’t ...

Gordon Campbell on the Audit Office report on the SkyCity deal

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

This is how we do political business in New Zealand. First, Prime Minister John Key told the relevant officials to stop their scoping process for a convention centre in Auckland because a “broad awareness” had arisen in his mind that SkyCity had plans for just such a development. Key seems ...

Gordon Campbell on the schools closures, Afghanistan and Hollywood politics

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Isn’t it time we closed down Education Minister Hekia Parata, or at least merged her with Anne Tolley and cut our losses? The timing, speed and substance of yesterday’s interim decisions about school closures were all dubious. Many of the changes will take effect from the start of next year, ...

On Richard Prosser, and West Papua

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Richard Prosser has been slammed for his racism by everyone except his leader. Normally, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is anxiously hyper-sensitive about what the rest of the world might think if, for instance, New Zealand is seen as ‘soft’ on asylum seekers. Not this time though. To Peters, ...

Gordon Campbell on the politics of Papal selection

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

The very public physical deterioration of his predecessor John Paul II during his final years may well have been a factor in Benedict XVI‘s shock decision to resign. Certainly, the steely temperament and intellectual prowess of the former Cardinal Josef Ratzinger as the Church’s doctrinal watchdog in the 1980s would ...

Gordon Campbell on John Key’s offer to take in Aussie boat people

Monday, February 11th, 2013

In the past, successive Labour and National led governments have been happy to use the poisonous term “queue jumping” to describe people trying to exercise their UN Refugee Convention-based right to reach these shores and claim political asylum. When it comes to claims for political asylum, there is no queue. ...

Gordon Campbell on Steven Joyce in Wonderland, and drone attacks

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Lewis Carroll would have had a fine old time with our job figures, and the anxious debate that has broken out about them. Unemployment is down – that sounds good! – but that’s only because so many have given up hope, which sounds rather bad. The participation rate in the ...

Gordon Campbell on income inequality, and Tunisia

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

The social evils of laissez-faire economics continue to mount, with the shortage of affordable housing kicking off the political cycle this year. The rise in income inequality – and related squeezing of the middle class in New Zealand – is now coming into focus. Local journalist Max Rashbrooke’s upcoming book ...

Gordon Campbell on Julia Gillard, and a Holmes footnote

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Australian leader Julia Gillard is one of those politicians who performs best when her back is against the wall – as she was in January when she gave her celebrated attack on sexism - and she could hardly be in a tougher fight than she is right now. Gillard will ...