by Daphna Whitmore

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Trans activists in the UK had this billboard taken down claiming it was ‘offensive’ and ‘transphobic hate speech’

Science is under attack as universities, workplaces and governments are drawing up policies and laws to codify a fiction that makes creationism look sensible. We are suppose to believe that trans women are women, lesbians can have penises, and biological sex is a social construct. The idea that a man can literally be transformed into a woman, and a woman can be a man, has gained ground over the past decade. Read the rest of this entry »


by Daphna Whitmore

Today, iwi-owned company Go Bus locked out close to 100 bus drivers in Hamilton. The drivers have been in negotiations since March 2017 and want a living wage of $20.55 an hour. Many of the drivers are paid less than $18 an hour, some as low as $17.30, and are struggling. They have rejected a 1.9% pay increase offered by the company.

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First Union members block buses leaving the depot

The drivers belong to First Union and announced a partial strike to start 19 November. It was to be a fare strike with free rides for passengers on Go Bus in Hamilton, Te Awamutu, Otorohanga and Katikati. The company have responded aggressively by locking out the union members hoping to force submission.This is the biggest lockout of First Union members since 2006 when 500 employees were locked out by the supermarket giant Progressive Enterprises.

Go Bus is owned by Tainui and Ngai Tahu iwi, and despite giving lip service to supporting a living wage their companies are hard-nosed profit-driven entities. Ngai Tahu is the wealthiest iwi and the largest corporate land-owner in the South Island. In 2017 their net worth increased by $89m to $1.36b.The second in wealth of the iwi is Waikato-Tainui which has assets of $1.22b. The lockout shows that today’s iwi are capitalist enterprises and bear little resemblance to the iwi of classical Maori society before colonisation. Read the rest of this entry »

Daphna Whitmore

Parliament is considering a law change to allow people to change their sex on their birth certificates by simply filling out a form. If the law is passed there will be no requirement to show any proof of living as the opposite sex. When people have raised concerns about the possibility that this could be abused by predatory males (demanding access to female changing rooms, public toilets, women’s refuges, being housed in women’s prisons etc) they have been attacked with slander, threats and slurs by some strident transactivists. The transactivist campaign has been grotesquely authoritarian, energetically censoring, de-platforming, and hounding those who even question the implications of these changes.

We reprint below an article by Renee Gerlich, a feminist, activist and writer, who has been raising concerns and calling for a proper consultation before any change is made that can impact the rights of women. The article was published on Scoop Media on May 28 this year, and then taken down some time later. Scoop editors Joe Cederwall and director Alastair Thompson had removed it without consulting Renee. She was never given any satisfactory explanation of why her article was censored (see here).

Green Party sex self-identification proposals are “transphobic”

by Renee Gerlich

The government is currently discussing submissions on the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration (BDMRR) Bill. Preliminary hearings have made it appear that this bill largely affects cremation law and updates the existing BDMRR Act by digitising and making historic documents and family genealogy more accessible. Public submissions, however, overwhelmingly emphasise gender identity. The current BDMRR Act allows individuals to change the sex marker on identification papers, like birth certificates – many submitters want this process to be made easier.

Organisations from the Green Party to the Human Rights Commission, Young Labour, Rainbow Youth, the Law Society and “Parents and Caregivers of Transgender Children” want to see barriers removed from the process of changing the sex marker on one’s birth certificate. They want the BDMRR Act amended so that birth certificates can be modified without cost or court procedures. It is claimed that this would be in the interests of “documents with dignity” and “transgender rights”. I argue that while the falsification of historic documents and identification papers may appeal to some trans-identified individuals on a personal level, it is not in the interests of trans-identified people as a group. In fact, proposals that erase evidence of gender transition to conflate it with biological sex can easily be viewed as “transphobic”, to use the language of transactivism, since they involve a refusal to confront the realities of gender transition in favour of systematic invisibility. Read the rest of this entry »

Material on Redline about the First Great Imperialist Slaughterhouse War, aka World War I, includes over 50 items.  Below are some of the main ones.

Stevan Eldred-Grigg’s The Great Wrong War: New Zealand society and World War I

Gallipoli Invasion: a dirty and bloody business

ANZAC Day, Gallipoli and NZ Imperialism

The absurdity and obscenity of Gallipoli: three NZ writers’ accounts

Field Punishment #1 Reviewed

Samoa: what New Zealand did

Opposing imperialist war abroad, fighting the class war at home: radical workers in New Zealand, 1905-1925

Empty Garden: Wellington’s National War Memorial Park

Reds and Wobblies: working class radicalism and the state, 1915-1925

After World War I: the horrors of peace at home (Australia)

Lenin on Imperialism and the split in Socialism

The relevance of Lenin’s Imperialism and the Split in Socialism today

Marxist Classics: An Appreciation of Zinoviev’s The War and the Crisis of Socialism

by Michael Roberts

This year’s Historical Materialism conference in London seemed well attended and with younger participants.  HM covers all aspects of radical thought: philosophical, political, cultural, psychological and economic.  But it’s economics that this blog concentrates on and so my account of HM London will be similar.

Actually, there did not seem to be as many economic sessions as in previous years, so let me begin with the ones that I organised!  They were the two book launch sessions: one on the new book, The World in Crisis, edited by Guglielmo Carchedi and myself; and the second on my short book, Marx 200, that elaborates on Marx’s key economics ideas and their relevance in the 21st century, some 200 years after his birth and 150 years since he published Volume One of Capital.

In the session on The World in Crisis, I gave a general account of the various chapters that all aim at providing a global empirical analysis of Marx’s law of profitability, with the work of mostly young authors from Europe, Asia, North and South America (not Africa, unfortunately).

As the preface in the book says: “World in Crisis aims to provide empirical validity to the hypothesis that the cause of recurring and regular economic crises or slumps in output, investment and employment can be found ultimately in Marx’s law of the tendential fall in the rate of profit on capital.”  My power point presentation showed one overall result: that wherever you look at the data globally, there has been a secular fall in the rate of profit on capital; and in several chapters there is evidence that the causal driver of crises under capitalism is a fall in profitability and profits.

In the session, Tony Norfield presented his chapter on derivatives and capital markets.  Tony has just published his powerpoint presentation on his excellent blog site.  Tony traces the origin of the rise of derivatives from the 1990s to the instability of capital markets. Derivatives did not cause the global financial crash in 2008 but by extending the speculative boom in credit in the early 2000s, they helped spread the crash beyond the Read the rest of this entry »

John Smith looks at Britain’s impending departure from the EU in a wider context and explains why the Irish border has become such a make-or-break issue.  (Originally published on MR online; thanks to John for also sending it to us.)

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Five months before the March 29 leaving date, talks on how to avoid an acrimonious and chaotic exit of Britain from the European Union are on a knife-edge. A ‘hard’ Brexit would be a political and economic earthquake with global ramifications, but even if an agreement is reached the profound political crisis gripping Britain is set to deepen, as the ruling Conservative Party shatters into warring factions and the possibility grows of its replacement by a Labour Party government led by the avowedly socialist Jeremy Corbyn.

Most pundits expect a last-minute deal because this is what usually happens, but standing in the way is a uniquely intractable obstacle—the border between the Republic of Ireland and ‘Northern Ireland’, Read the rest of this entry »

The perks prayer

Posted: November 4, 2018 by daphna in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

by Don FranksRoll-of-Money_1075

The well intentioned folks wanting Jesus put back in parliament’s prayer are on the wrong track. The enemy of money changers wouldn’t want his brand tarnished by that shower in the Beehive.

If MPs really must have a prayer they could say: Read the rest of this entry »