Posts by Rob Stowell

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  • Speaker: In defence of the centre,

    Similar story in the US. Enthusiasntic support for Sanders almost organising itself.
    I think both candidates are less concerned with winning the next election than with saying what they feel needs to be said, changing the conversation, addressing the elephants stomping on the furniture, shitting all over the floor and eating all the cream buns.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1747 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: In defence of the centre, in reply to Russell Brown,

    the question might be whether someone perceived as an old-school class warrior is the best person to address late-stage capitalism in the 21st century.

    People tend to forget how much we owe to socialism. Public health, progressive taxation, free education, everyone either employed, independently wealthy, or begging on the streets.
    As those things are eroded, or disappear, at the same time as a class of super-wealthy has emerged, it's not ridiculous to think redistribution of wealth is part of the answer.
    Is that 'old school class warrior' talk? Or stating the obvious?

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1747 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: In defence of the centre, in reply to Nick Russell,

    I think with Corbyn we are back at (a).

    Somehow 2015 doesn't feel like the 1980s. Different times call for different solutions.
    The economic challenges and the societies we live in have changed massively. Much of that change has been a move to the right. That's led to many things - economic inequality, weak labour unions, loosely regulated and out-of-control financial markets, a huge ballooning of public and private debt, climate change, and very different geopolitics - many of which the right have no answer for because they don't see them as problems.
    Tinkering with the rough edges of the market won't be enough - and I think a lot more people are starting to see it.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1747 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: In defence of the centre,

    Monbiot also said-

    The middle ground is a magic mountain that retreats as you approach. The more you chase it from the left, the further to the right it moves.


    What is attractive about a party prepared to abandon its core values for the prospect of electoral gain? What is inspiring about a party that grovels, offering itself as a political doormat for any powerful interest or passing fad to wipe its feet on?

    Painting Sanders and Corbyn as 'hard-left' for espousing policies that are popular with their electorates, and mainstream in much of Europe, puts you further right of centre than you may think.
    And the historical analysis is a weak basis for future action if you believe we/NZ/the world are currently on a fundamentally wrong course.
    If you don't, you might as well vote National - no?
    (Another thing I think Labour here keep failing to grasp is something along the lines of Josh Marshall's 'bitch-slap' theory of politics described here.
    A good part of what we vote for is someone who will stand up for our values, stand up for us, in a steadfast and public way. When politicians back down, hesitate, switch values, equivocate or capitulate, they send a meta-message that their values are weak and they won't fight for them. And that's petrol on the fire of cynicism and disinterest in the political process.)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1747 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: About Campbell Live,

    This could also impact on the press council's ruling on Glucina and the Herald. Let's hope for some more clarity. Just the decision not to release indicates there's something there.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1747 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A minor change to existing provisions!,

    Not quite the right place to post it - but the punative 'blame the unemployed/disabled' approach the UK conservativers are driving and National are following here is starting to come unstuck - with the admission they are simply telling stories

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1747 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: New Zealand and the TPP: “Or…, in reply to BenWilson,

    In a negotiation where no one has yet actually walked, the first party to walk does certainly make the most impact by doing so, particularly if it’s a significant change in their apparent direction. Some small players can be highly symbolically significant.

    This is what I meant. The talks aren’t going all that smoothly – there’s a reasonable chance they’ll fall over anyway. NZ is one of the originals, and we have FTAs with a range of other players, including China. NZ walking away could be enough to skittle things.
    I don't think Groser has that in him. But it's all the leverage we've got.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1747 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: New Zealand and the TPP: “Or…, in reply to Rob Salmond,

    our market access gains (prime targets: dairy into Canada, Japan, US) were worth more to NZ over the long term than the concessions we’re being asked to make.

    What do you think conceding on ISDs and patent increases are ‘worth’ to NZ? While there will always be an attempt to put a dollar value on these things, sovereignty and lives aren’t so easily quantifiable – and hard to impossible to get them back once lost.
    IMO these are things we simply shouldn’t put on the table.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1747 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: New Zealand and the TPP: “Or…,

    I think Groser sees the equations quite differently. And trade has little to do with it.
    In terms of what we give up: I get the impression Groser and many in National don’t see any real problem with adopting US positions on IP. Surely these as reasonable claims and won’t do much harm. After all the US wants them, and adopts them itself, and many big companies like them – quite probably some of the biggest NZ companies.
    Ditto with ISD resolution. Within a corporate capitalist mind-set, that’s more plus than minus. So they don’t see us as giving away much there. Maybe a few millions more to pharmac.
    Moreover I reckon Groser is proud as punch to be a ‘player’ in the US geo-strategic ‘pivot to asia.’ Groser and Key may feel this has value that has little or nothing to do with trade benefits. It’s undoubtedly seen as important to the US and Obama.
    And this (they may also calculate) surely does provide leverage.
    They know TPPA IP and ISD provisions are not popular here though. So they need some movement on dairy and agriculture; something to crow about.
    And they are counting on some leverage from threatening to scuttle the whole thing. NZ walking away would have a chilling effect on the negotiations. If the US truly sees this as a vital strategic move, they have the ability to twist arms like noone else, surely – and what’s a few million tonnes of milk powder between friends?
    Which probably underestimates both the schlerotic and endlessly twisting nature of US power and politics, and the strength of the entrenched interests in Japanese, Canadian and US agriculture.
    So far it doesn’t look like they have a strong hand, and it does look likely they will cave. But I reckon it’s a stronger hand than you make out – because, as has been said ad nauseum: it’s a mistake to see this as a free trade agreement.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1747 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Saying what we actually mean on…,

    Yeah. When we fail to even acknowledge people being hurt by the choices we are making in economic policy yet endlessly worry about the economy being "hurt" there is definitely something askew.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1747 posts Report Reply

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