Archive for the ‘Greens’ Category

Regardless of what its flag looks like, NZ capitalism will continue to exploit and oppress workers here and abroad

Regardless of what its flag looks like, NZ capitalism will continue to exploit and oppress workers here and abroad

by Don Franks

“A flag that unites all New Zealanders should be selected by all New Zealanders. This decision is bigger than party politics,” Key said.

Speaking today at Victoria University, Prime Minister John Key outlined his plans for a referendum on a new New Zealand flag, which would be held after the 2017 election.

When Key, a guy steeped in point-scoring party politics, recognises something bigger, that something must be pretty big. 

Sensing this, Redline readers have been plying us with  questions: here are a sample, with our replies.

Question: Why do we need a flag anyway?

Answer: We don’t. Well, not all of us.

Only a few of us need a flag. Flag manufacturers obviously, and the related trades of flagpole making, (more…)

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indexby Philip Ferguson

John Key has two facial expressions.  One is smarmy and the other is a kind of sheepish look.  The state asset sales referendum result, however, has produced a look combining the supercilious and the sheepish.  This new, combination facial expression sums up rather well the outcome of the referendum.

A defeat for the government. . .

On the one hand, the vote against the partial sale of a small number of ‘state assets’ went decisively against the government – a two-to-one margin.   895,000 people voted against the sales, while only 433,000 voted in favour.  Key has tried to brazen out the defeat by pointing to the low turnout – a mere 43.9% of eligible voters – and make the claim that this means a bit less than 30% of the electorate voted against the share float.  True enough, but the flipside of this is that only about 14% voted in support of the government’s sales programme.  That’s many, many miles away from a ringing endorsement of government policy.

So that’s where the sheepish side of Key’s new facial expression comes in.  However, the smarmy side of his visage has some basis too.

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While ‘kiwi nationalism’ was especially obvious in the ‘no’ campaign, support for state capitalism was just as big a problem

. . . but not much of a victory for the ‘no’ side

Those campaigning against the float of up to 49% of the shares in these state-capitalist companies, while being able to claim victory, secured less votes for their position than the number of people who gave their party vote to National in 2011.  National gained a (more…)

by Don Franks

bob and karlApril Fools Day pranks this year included a parliamentary effort from the Green Party office. The Green Joke appeared in the form of a press release “discussion paper to promote better work-life balance in Aotearoa/New Zealand.”

“New Zealanders work some of the longest hours in the world, and it’s something we need to address if we are serious about promoting New Zealand as a place to have a great lifestyle”, said Holly Walker, Green Party Work-Life balance spokesperson.

The Green Party spoof went on to advocate “Provision for space in work places for naps, meditation, yoga and other stress relief techniques”, and “Development of at least 8 additional statutory holidays”, including a Bob Marley commemoration day. (more…)