Posts by Tom Semmens

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  • Hard News: Up with the Pacer: embracing…,

    Are they safe to use on dual use cycle ways at 30km/h?

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2057 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The next four years,

    Are you only concerned with political science, or is there room for the nuanced art of humanity?

    Or put another way, are you able see how crass that statement you wrote actually is?

    Dude, I am absolutely Jonathan Pie furious for the art of humanity. It really amazes me how few liberals understand the scale of their defeat. I care about humanity, and I think that humanity is best served by having left wing governments restributing wealth, not a bunch of (neo)liberals arguing about identity politics and telling people how to run their family lives. In retrospect, the section 59 repeal was NZ’s “Brexit” – the moment the (neo)liberal “left” ruling class were exposed as an elitist scam, and the moment the Clintonian/Blairite third way alliance was shattered. Bradford with her lazy, arrogant and ham fisted determination to use the (neo)liberal elite consensus to try and ram through a piece of legislation that struck at the heart of society – the family – and that no one (need I remind you, a CIR vote was over 87% opposed) wanted destroyed it forever in NZ. Of all her sins, her laziness and arrogance stand out like dog balls. She made no attempt to build a civic alliance for her repeal. She made no attempt to build a political alliance. She was right come hell or high water and she just wanted to count to 61 in the parliament. And the result was your classic Pyrrhic victory that is at least a large part responsible for the election loss by the Labour government, nine years in opposition, and a falling out of fashion and loss of credibility of progressive and left wing politics that shows precious little sign of abating.

    I strongly supported section 59, to point I almost got into a fight at the beach with a bunch of asshats collecting signatures for the CIR and strained several close relationships. But I bitterly resent being made to fight the battle at all, and all by someone who was too fucking arrogant and too fucking lazy to be bothered to build a decent army first.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2057 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The next four years, in reply to steven crawford,

    Huh? What are you talking about?

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2057 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The next four years,

    The Women's marches were very impressive, with some huge numbers barely reported here, Los Angeles seems to have something north of 500,000 - from the LA Times:

    "...The exact size of the protest was difficult to measure. Organizers put the number at 750,000.

    The Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement that “well past” 100,000 people attended but did not provide a more precise number. Officials said it appeared to be the largest demonstration since a massive 2006 immigration march downtown. The LAPD estimated that march drew 500,000..."

    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-la-ln-womens-march-20170121-story.html

    The question is, where to from here? Were the crowds so massive because of anti-Trumpism or because they were standing up for human rights? Alison Mau notes in the spinoff:

    "...The organisers of the Washington “mother” march were making it absolutely clear this was not about partisan politics; not about the legitimacy or otherwise of the incoming President... ...It was about human rights. Simple."

    In this, these marches are similar to the gay marriage movement in the USA which a) refused to allow other political agendas to hitch their star to the same sex marriage bandwagon, and b) refused to allow itself to become a partisan political vehicle, welcoming left and right as long as they were on board for gay marriage.

    The lesson the left is a) Getting back into ascendancy is going to require building alliances on specific issues with anyone who agrees with you, rather than being a rent-a-mob who exclude everyone who fails any of a battery of tests of ideological purity and b) too many soi-disant radicals in NZ seek only elite liberal consensus - the anti-smacking legislation being the prime example of social change via attempted legislative coup. The outcome? Sue Bradford's chief political legacy has been to make the "left" unelectable for three elections. The women's march appealed to so many because Trump's culture of rampant sexism affects women of every class everywhere, be they pretty young scions of the middle class being condescended to in the law firm or a middle aged woman working in diner putting up with emboldened truck drivers. That broad appeal gave them mass.

    So we need to understand - rather than spend months agonising about the race/gender mix of your party list spend time developing policies that appeal to th broad range of the population and build alliances with anyone who wants to help on a specific issue - and stop asking for windows into peoples souls.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2057 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The next four years,

    What utter bollocks.

    Have you looked at the scoreboard lately?

    In the last eight years – and indeed for longer than that – American’s thinking has been steadily becoming more progressive.

    Most people don’t give a shit about you or me or what we do, as long as we are civil to each other and polite in public – a simple enough something that a lot of progressive liberals struggle to manage. They certainly don’t regard what you and they are rather than who you and they are as vitally important in the polling booth. Trump’s victory surely showed that railing about identity politics gets you nowhere if the other guy is promising a new factory with decent jobs and to kick out all the immigrants who have been depressing wages.

    It is ridiculous that a black female university lecturer in New York on 120K can claim she is oppressed by an angry “racist” white male unemployed factory worker in backswoods Virginia, but that is exactly the sort of toxic inverted reality identity politics has created and it is exactly that sort of politics that has been utterly rejected everywhere in recent elections. Liberal elites prattling about progressive issues has zero electoral cut though now – the 90s third way alliance is dead and buried. Deal with it.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2057 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The next four years,

    When I think about those who don’t like “politically correct” behaviour I see people who just don’t respect people or rules.

    Utter bullshit. Talking down to people who happen to disagree with you with comments like this are exactly the tone of contempt and condescension that got Trump elected.

    “Treating people with respect” starts with giving them some hope of a decent job and taking their concerns seriously. Why can’ t you just accept a lot of Americans have had a gutsful with their bullying progressive liberal middle class, a group they find basically indistinguishable from the salaried class of apparatchiks who act as the low level enablers and functionaries of global neoliberal capitalism?

    Hillary Clinton offered more of the same modern economic and social liberalism – in the form of neo-liberal managerialism and identity politics – that is nowadays completed discredited and exposed as an elitist scam. What progressives don’t seem to be able to grasp is that their elite contempt of the “racist"and “misogynist” ordinary Joe and their insistance on the primacy of utterly irrelevant identity politics means they they have become the last defenders of the neoliberal social and economic order in the public sphere.

    Trump won because he offered hope for change – any fucking change – from the existing order. That Trump (and Brexit) won should handily illustrate just how despised and electorally toxic the progressive prescription of modern economic and social liberalism is now in Western democracies. Progressive identity politics is a busted flush, a despised ideology that has seen the rise of right wing populism as its main legacy.

    I say should but they won’t. Instead we’ll get moral panics about fake news, or Russian hackers, or the alt-right, or how dreadfully racist hillbilly Americans are, or any other excuse that doesn’t involve a mirror.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2057 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Taxpayers' Union: still…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I guess Jordan Williams doesn't fuck pigs then. Still, it would have been nice to hear him deny it.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2057 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Taxpayers' Union: still…, in reply to Brent Jackson,

    Gawd that is what I meant to say!

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2057 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Taxpayers' Union: still…,

    Presumably, the Taxpayers’ Union noticed that New Zealand was on the list and on Noveber 11 fired off an OIA request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

    Or presumably they were fed the story by the Israeli embassy, given the shoe horned in cheap shot at our recent security council resolution? The Israeli government has vowed to ’punish” us, I expected all sorts of planted fake news stories like this from Israel’s astroturfing Quislings and dupes to start popping up all over the place.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2057 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem,

    Is some middle class tosser using"sponsored content” to making sweeping generalisations in a sponsored fake news advertorial about the common mans drinking habits fake news?

    http://thespinoff.co.nz/featured/03-12-2016/drink-yourself-for-bliss-the-rise-and-fall-of-beer-in-new-zealand/

    This sort of article is EXACTLY the sort of mercenary, constant thrumming drumfire of middle class cultural appropriation and casual disempowerment that fuels the cultural resentment of the inhabitants of Trumpistan and enables the claims of equivalence of the fake news of the alt-right.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2057 posts Report Reply

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