Voting-231x300by Philip Ferguson

Over the past few weeks a position has crystallised at Redline in terms of not voting in the 2014 election and advocating that others make a positive decision not to vote. This position is shared by a layer of comrades in AWSM (Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement) and a layer of independent left and liberal people such as Richard Jackson of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Otago University.

The alternative put forward by the ostensibly far left groups seems to be getting involved in reformist parties, like Mana / InternetMana, although gratifyingly there seems to be a serious debate within one of these three groups, namely the International Socialist Organisation, about the contradiction between espousing class politics and endorsing the Internet/Mana lash-up.

A big problem with far left endorsement of reformist parties is that it virtually always leads to prettifying the politics of such parties as if they are somehow on the same road as us. To give two recent instances. There is an interview with Miriam Pierard in the latest issue of Fightback, which is largely liberal, personalised gush – one Redline contributor described it as being like a “puff piece in an in-flight magazine” – and there is no challenge by the interviewer to the views Ms Pierard puts forward.  For instance, about how supposedly awesome a Labour/Greens/InternetMana government would be or a comment such as “how special New Zealand is and how important it is to take back our proud history of leading the world in progressive change”.

Her blurb on the Internet Party site describes her as a "national treasure" but, before being hired by Kim Dotcom, Laila Harre oversaw hundreds and hundreds of council workers in the greater Auckland area being made redundant

Her blurb on the Internet Party site describes her as a “national treasure” but, before being hired by Kim Dotcom, Laila Harre oversaw hundreds and hundreds of council workers in the greater Auckland area being made redundant

Ms Pierard also talks about how Laila Harre is a particular hero of hers, citing Harre’s role in extending paid parental leave and fighting against NZ military intervention in Afghanistan. But John Key’s government has also extended paid parental leave and Laila, as an Alliance MP, voted for the government motion supporting the invasion of Afghanistan.  It was the revolt by the rank-and-file that forced Alliance MPs to change their minds on that one.

Another article in the same issue refers to “veteran unionist Laila Harre”. But this, too, is at best misleading and at worst a disingenuous Read the rest of this entry »



A Redline supporter and occasional contributor, Andy Warren, has set up a Facebook page called Not Voting is a Political Act.

You can check it out at:

Join in the discussion there, and here.

And, if you’re down south, don’t forget the meeting:

Saturday evening, September 13, 7pm
Dunedin Community House, 283 Moray Place

Dr Bryce Edwards (Otago University*; NZ politics commentator);
Malcolm Deans (Sec, Unions Otago* and member of Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement);
Colin Clarke (former member, Independent Working Class Association* in Britain; member, editorial group of Redline blog)
(Organisations/institutions mentioned for identification purposes only)


This opinion piece was originally published on the Al Jazeera news website, here

by Dilar Dirik*

Kurdish female fighters of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPJ) at a military training camp. [Reuters]

Kurdish female fighters of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPJ) at a military training camp. [Reuters]

Rojbas! “Good morning” to the world, which waited until the Yazidi Kurds in Sinjar (Sengal) faced the 73rd massacre in their history to open its eyes to the mass-murderous reality called the Islamic State group!

The Islamic State has been committing massacres in Syria for almost two years, without global outrage or action. In fact, it was even supported by several governments in the enthusiastic attempt to topple Bashar al-Assad – no matter the cost.

After a vicious attack on Sinjar in August, in which thousands of Yazidi Kurds were killed, hundreds of women raped, kidnapped, and sold as sex-slaves, and tens of thousands stranded on the Sinjar mountains, without food and water, Western governments now supply Read the rest of this entry »

by Don Franks

Cannonballed from a fiery red dawn, the triumphant golden sun bestrode the heavens, beaming benign radiance over all, clear crystal drops of dew winked back merrily, a dawn chorus of previously endangered native birds burst gloriously into song. Their tones blended with the cheery chatter of safe happy well fed children. All the bright clear morning shone with new hope and promise.2176008958_0e9713fdb7

Already doors were being flung open in the streets. With tears in their eyes, joyous cheering workers emerged to embrace one another, before setting off to put big deposits on the large warm houses they could now all afford. Sturdy young lads and lasses confidently strode in the direction of the universities, to complete their government funded degrees prior to taking up well paid secure interesting jobs.

Across town, leaves of formerly leafier suburbs were already turning bitter brown. White with anger, John Key flung his laptop at the nearest chandelier, Read the rest of this entry »


Brazilian footballers practising. Body, mind and the quality of human relations are inseparable from rapid-deep learning

A modern, living dialectics is essential for social revolution, explains Steve Masterson

The previous article described the centrality of human development for social revolution in the context of Marx’s ‘productive forces’ and his concept of ‘rich human beings’ of the future. For us today it’s all about further building the disparate but growing human movement we have now into an ever-more conscious human network of direct action, of spreading out from single issues and into a re-awakening process of our humaneness – but now on a global and not a communal nomadic level. Read the rest of this entry »

by Daphna Whitmore

Unite union is saying a non vote is a vote for National: “The biggest vote last election was the Non Vote. Rich people and the bosses always vote, they are well organised  and understand power. They want to pass laws to control or stop unions, and they want to steal away workers’ rights. Unite urges all workers to vote the parties who will change the government – Labour, Greens and Internet-Mana.  A non vote is a vote for National!”

When it comes to passing laws to control or stop unions stealing away workers’ rights Labour have just as much experience as National, and quite a lot more savvy. In their three-term government from 1999 to 2008 they enthusiastically kept in place the restrictions on the right to strike. If you still think a vote for Labour is progressive keep in mind how New Zealand’s iconic capitalist  Bob Jones votes: “I last voted National in 1981. Excepting the New Zealand Party in 1984 and later Act twice, I’ve voted Labour ever since.” Read the rest of this entry »

Photo: SD Lewis

Photo: SD Lewis

by Andy Warren

While black men are being executed on the spot in Missouri, if not harvested for the private prison industry (1), heavily-militarised police SWAT teams are smashing down doors across America and terrifying people in “the safety of your own home”, a place once considered the sacrosanct privacy and safety of the family castle, a corner stone of US white middle class expectations.

At some point a distinct shift has occurred away from the donut-eating coffee-swilling local cop who knows the local reverend and your kids by name. Now across America, heavily-armed SWAT teams driving amphibious armoured personnel carriers are conducting terrifying “no-nock” raids, getting it wrong, and shooting innocent people – seemingly with impunity.

Military-police complex

Billions of dollars have been provided in funding for the purchase of military equipment and the provision of military Read the rest of this entry »