John Key: smarmy, yes; but neoliberal, no

John Key: smarmy manager of a bankrupt economic system, yes; but neoliberal, no

by Philip Ferguson

Much of the left have banged on for the past six years about neo-liberalism being the dominant economic policy in New Zealand.  Before, and for several years after, the 2008 election many on the left also claimed that John Key had a secret agenda to pursue a ruthless neo-liberal policy programme.

Here at Redline, and in our previous political involvement in the Workers Party, we argued that this was, to put it bluntly, nonsense.  The Key government was a middle-of-the-road government that gave a few things and took away a few things.  We also argued that a Marxist analysis, rather than the almost hysterical anti-National Party politics which typifies much of the left, would show that NZ capitalism needs extreme neo-liberalism like it needs Read the rest of this entry »

Mass public meeting, Auckland Town Hall last night featuring Glen Greenwald, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. Photo: Radio NZ/Kim Baker Wilson

The mass public meeting at the Auckland Town Hall last night featured Glen Greenwald, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, along with Laila Harre and Kim Dotcom. Photo: Radio NZ/Kim Baker Wilson

by Andy Warren

Apart from the dronings of Harre and DotCom, the speakers were engaging, knowledgeable and entertaining – Assange less so; he’s apparently unwell and the UK government are engaged in covert efforts to drive him mad in any way possible, including, it seems, blocking the Ecuadorean embassy’s attempt to buy the flat downstairs and possibly firing up jackhammers during his video conference.

There were no surprising revelations. And nothing I feel which guarantees any sort of political upheaval or sense of victory or triumph for left politics.

On a technical level, New Zealand’s population is the size of any number of small cities worldwide, albeit spread over an area the size of the UK. Our access to international communications infrastructure – through which we get the bulk of our internet access – is via satellite and terrestrial cables (the southern cross cable was mentioned last night).

Interception

In terms of physical interception, a couple of technicians visiting one room in one data centre where the Southern Cross “cable” (actually a bundle of many fibres) enters NZ is all that would be necessary to install a large version of the internet equivalent of a phone tap.

Unlike a phone tap, however, these cables don’t carry only a Read the rest of this entry »

State surveillance & the Five Eyes

Posted: September 15, 2014 by daphna in Surveillance state

Journalist Glen Greenwald visiting New Zealand has been exposing the role of this country’s spy agencies in the network of powers. The involvement in Five Eyes shows New Zealand is a significant player in the imperialist alliance. Here are some articles we have posted in the past year on state surveillance:

by Andy Warren

Amongst growing public outrage in the US and international scandal surfacing around previously secret National Security Agency (NSA) activities, let’s take a quick look into the current shenanigans around the NSA, PRISM, Edward Snowden and, in New Zealand, the GCSB amendment. Firstly, what does it mean when we’re told the government is

by Daphna Whitmore

It is no secret that the GCSB (Government Communications Security Bureau) has been spying on New Zealanders. As is often the way, the spying came to light through a series of blunders. In this case Kim Dotcom, a German national with New Zealand residency, had been spied on at the behest of […]

by Yassamine Mather

Edward Snowden’s revelations about internet and phone surveillance by the Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) in the UK and National Security Agency (NSA) in the US did not come as a surprise to anyone with knowledge of the current state of communication technology and the extensive use of the ‘terrorist’ threat as an

The only government department . . .

Posted: August 20, 2013 by Admin in Capitalist ideologyDemocracy movementsSurveillance state

Picture/graphic

The conviction of Bradley Manning: predictable and repugnant

Posted: August 12, 2013 by Admin in Capitalist ideologyCover upsDemocracy movements,Imperialism and anti-imperialismInternationalismIraqMiddle EastState repressionState terrorismSurveillance stateUnited StatesUS history

by Paul Demarty

To almost nobody’s surprise, corporal Bradley Manning – the soldier who was the source of the most sensational Wikileaks disclosures – has been convicted of the vast majority of charges against him. Sentencing is the subject of a whole new bout of judicial wrangling, taking place now, but he faces up to […]

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Edward Snowden and the American state: David v Goliath in the world of hi-tech

Posted: July 12, 2013 by Admin in ‘Counter-insurgency’AfghanistanCapitalist ideologyCover ups,Democracy movementsImperialism and anti-imperialismInformation technology,InternationalismIraqMiddle EastState repressionState terrorismSurveillance state,United States

by Jim Creegan

National chauvinism – more charitably called patriotism – is the strongest ideological cement binding subaltern classes to their rulers. But American patriotism – like that of Britain and other empires past – has long functioned not only as an ordinary bond between government and governed, but as a super-adhesive, endowing its believers […]

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The trial of Private Bradley Manning is underway – although no one would know it, it’s been kept so much under wraps. Manning, a 25-year old, is accused of having sent 700,000 classified documents to Wikileaks. Prosecuted for making public intelligence that could supposedly aid the enemy, this soldier could spend the rest of his […]

eirigi2

Above is a mural created by the Irish socialist-republican movement éirígí in the New Lodge area of Belfast.  Unfortunately, we lack a radical mural-painting tradition in this country.  Anyone fancy starting one?

pflpmarch2

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in Gaza City organized a mass rally and military march with thousands of cadres, members and supporters of the Front and hundreds of fighters with the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades. The event came in celebration of the victory of the Palestinian people in Gaza in the recent aggression, and in commemoration of the 13th anniversary of the assassination of Abu Ali Mustafa, General Secretary of the PFLP, on August 27, 2001, by a US-made missile fired into his Ramallah office by the Zionist airforce .

Marchers carried Palestinian flags, PFLP banners and resistance images from the region and around the world, saluting the Lebanese resistance and Latin American nations and people who stood consistently with Palestine.

Comrade Jamil Mizher, member of the Political Bureau and leader of the PFLP’s branch in Gaza, saluted the masses of the Palestinian people who defined the meaning of resistance and struggle as they Read the rest of this entry »

imagesby Tony Norfield

Nobody wants to be one of the PIIGS, but membership of the BRICS is highly valued. Both acronyms were devised in the City of London, the former by analysts describing a group of crisis-hit euro countries, the latter by Goldman Sachs in a 2001 paper that identified several countries that had come to prominence in the global economy. The Goldmans formulation came at an opportune time: slower growth in the major capitalist powers was being outpaced by developing countries that also appeared to have brighter economic prospects. Its author called for including Brazil, Russia, India and China more formally in global economic decision-making (South Africa was added later), and this was an adept investment bank marketing tool to attract business both from and into the relevant emerging powers, ones that craved recognition.

The BRICS are evidently diverse countries, geographically, socially, economically, politically and in terms of their potential power in the world economy. However, they share some common interests that the original Goldmans formulation did not anticipate. Rather than them all simply wanting to be included in the current hegemonic structure of global decision-making – being included in forums like the G7, for example – what has happened over the past decade is that they have Read the rest of this entry »

Weekly Digest of Alt. Media. . ., September 13

Posted: September 13, 2014 by Admin in General/Digests

by Andy Warren

The week wouldn’t feel complete without some Chomsky:

http://www.alternet.org/world/noam-chomsky-one-americas-ugliest-chapters-its-history

http://www.alternet.org/noam-chomsky-real-reason-israel-mows-lawn-gaza

And if you get the chance, I recommend “Notes to Eternity” – which screened fresh from the editing suite in the recent New Zealand International Film Festival.

Some Practical Black Ops

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/07/31/ai-weiwei-cctv-camera-do-it/

A Little Parody
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9U4Ha9HQvMo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHun58mz3vI

A Forgotten 9/11 History Worth Remembering…
(Quoting Occupy Wall St)
On September 11th 1973, US-backed General Pinochet overthrew the democratically elected leader of Chile, Salvadore Allende. Pinochet ordered an air strike on the Presidential Palace, labor activists and famous folk guitarists were rounded up for torture, disappeared, and killed.  Pinochet converted the national football stadium into a detention facility like Guantanamo Bay. Chile’s economy was turned into a Read the rest of this entry »