We have a new Prime Minister – or do we? John Key may have been the front person for the National Party, but he was not driving policies. It is widely acknowledged Bill English did that, and he is the new Prime Minister. The question is, can Mr English sell his policies as effectively as Mr Key did for him? Continue reading
Our Prime Minister, John Key, seems to be struggling to come to terms with the fact that the TPP is gone. The battle has been lost. The US will never accept it without major concessions like a 12 year patent period on biologics. US Pharmaceutical Corporations’ profits versus people’s access to lifesaving medicine. People’s lives versus making a few people very rich. It’s a no-brainer. We cannot go there and neither can the other 10 participating countries.
Time to move on. But not to other deals of the same ilk – albeit without the US as Mr Key is hoping against hope. Time to talk in wider terms than just businesses in one country’s desire to exploit people in another country. All in the name of ever expanding, ever increasing profits. Continue reading
The master of spin, Prime Minister John Key, has fired the first shots across the bow of the opposition parties. His quip to the media about “the coalition of the unwilling” will set the tone for the 2017 election and destroy the credibility of the opposition unless they move swiftly to prove him wrong and demonstrate that the wider left can work together. Continue reading
The National government would have everyone believe that TPPA protesters are ill-informed, unemployed rabblerousers without anything better to do than make public spectacles of themselves. ‘Rent a crowd’, John Key calls them.
Nothing could be further from the truth. TPPA protesters are very likely the people serving you in shops and restaurants, cleaning your office, teaching your children, caring for you if you end up in hospital or residential care, giving you legal advice. TPPA protesters are a very large and diverse group from all walks of life. Continue reading
Last week around 25,000 people marched in protest at the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. People of all ages and occupations – a good cross section of the community.
When asked by the media, marchers time and time again eloquently expressed their concern at the secrecy of negotiations, the impact on access to medicines and the cost to our health service, the inclusion of investor state dispute provisions which would allow corporations to sue our government in international tribunals, the impact on patents and copyright laws, the impact on both local bodies’ and government’s ability to procure goods and services locally, our ability to take measures to prevent climate change, the likelihood the TPP will override the Treaty of Waitangi, the fact that the agreement is binding for the foreseeable future no matter if we change the government. These are all legitimate concerns based on the information from the agreement leaked through Wikileaks. Continue reading
Our Prime Minister defended sending New Zealand troops to Iraq to join the fight against Islamic State, in his speech at the Waitangi Marae. Mr Key attacked his critics, saying that by opposing sending New Zealand troops they are asking him to stand by and do nothing. To use his own words, “to look the other way when people are being beheaded by kids, burned by kids, and thrown off buildings.”
He’s got that wrong. No one wants him, or New Zealand, to look the other way. What we don’t want is New Zealand trotting along behind yet another US led offensive. US forays into Middle Eastern disputes in the past two decades have been spectacularly unsuccessful. Continue reading
Oh the irony of the Prime Minister of a government whose whole trade policy revolves around not doing anything to upset China, describing the upcoming election as a contest between the centre right and far left- as though the far left is the scary part!
Labour and the Greens far left? Only in our wildest dreams. Centre right? National with coalition partners like the Conservatives and ACT. This election is potentially more like far right versus centre left. And that should cause concern to anyone but the mega wealthy. Continue reading
Once again we are in an election year. The calls to vote out the National government are coming thick and fast. And the Alliance Party endorses them wholeheartedly. The trouble is the calls are coming from people who have never voted for National and have no intention of ever doing so. In a sense, they don’t count.
At the risk of stating the obvious, the only people who can vote out the National government are the people who voted them in. So any campaign for a change of government needs also be a campaign to change the minds of at least some of the people who voted for John Key and the National Party in the last two elections. Continue reading
“Selling some of your unwanted possessions on eBay or Craigslist could bring in some quick cash.” is apparently the advice offered on the subject of ‘Digging Out From Holiday Debt’ by McDonald’s McResource Line. McResource Line is a website the company runs to provide its U.S. employees with financial and health-related tips.
It seems the National government has taken their advice to heart, except that it’s not unwanted holiday gifts they are selling off, it’s our essential assets; such as power companies carefully built up by previous generations of taxpaying New Zealanders so that everyone could afford to heat their homes. Continue reading
Prime Minister John Key is on record as saying he wishes he could raise the minimum wage to $30.00 “by this afternoon”. What an excellent idea! Mr Key goes on to say that it is just a dream that couldn’t possibly come true. But is it really? Continue reading