Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Robson On Politics – Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Robson On Politics – E-News - Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Raising labour productivity

"Economic progress consists in the rising productivity of labour." wrote Karl Marx in his 19th Century book, Capital: [Vol. 3, p. 261, p. 820]. I'm interested in the efficiency of parties' labour-intensive canvassing and my party's performance relative to our antithesis, ACT.

ACT spent nearly 5 times more than Progressive

According to NZPA, ACT spent $1.4 million last September and the Progressive Party $318,297. With that $1.4 million, ACT gathered 34,469 votes; Progressive's $318,297 yielded 26,441 votes. Applying the magic formula to empirically measure the relative efficiency-ratios of the 2 parties' labour-intensive canvassing to raise funds, and votes received, I invite you to calculate the size of the efficiency gap between ACT and Progressive labour.

European Union's economic vandalism against Kiwi farmers

In the past seven days, we've had the EU decision to suspend issuing import licences for Kiwi butter which acts as a timely reminder of its discriminatory "quota" regime. What it all means, at the end of the day, is that our exporters will take another financial kick in the guts.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0607/S00159.htm

The EU aren't the only trade vandals

Our Foreign Minister meets the Secretary of State today. The NZ Trade & Enterprise has limited advice to potential Kiwi exporters into U.S. markets with cryptic references to some of the pitfalls facing our efficient farmers seeking to get produce onto the shelves of New York and LA supermarkets. Pitfalls come in the EU form of arbitrary "quotas" to limit our exports, and where those economic apartheid walls don't keep efficient Kiwi produce out of those protected markets, then, well, there are very effective "tariffs walls" (America has massive tax rates to stop us from ever having a fair fair go at competing for their consumers' dollar).

But there's more...

But that isn't the half of it. The real crime are the distortions in third markets by subsidies to U.S.-based agricultural exporters that compete with our un-subsidized exporters for consume dollars in South America, Asia and across the urban supermarkets of the Middle East.

http://www.maketradefair.com/en/index.php?file=wto_prtr33.htm

So Mr Peters and Ms Rice will have plenty to talk about then

The trade policies of the U.S. not only cut Kiwi living standards unfairly, they also literally kill the potential for liberty, prosperity and hope for millions of un-subsidised Third World farmers.

Our national interest is to drain the swamps of poverty in the Third World in which political extremism, and terrorism, trhives, which is why our national interest is diametrically opposed to the US government's destructive stonewalling of a successful multilateral Doha Development Round in favour of one-on-one exclusive, bilateral trade deals with a series of militant regimes - from the absolutist kingdoms of Jordan and Morocco to Israel and with others on the way including with the totally undemocratic Sultanite of Oman.

Pull down the separation barriers between people

Since my last newsletter, the Lebanese Party of God (Hizbollah) has abducted a couple of Israeli soldiers and the Israel Defence Force has destroyed lots of bridges, ports, highways and, of course, civilians in Lebanon. When a couple of soldiers from the Israeli army get kidnapped, it is front page news across the Western world, but it all no doubt looks very different on the ground in the territories where the Israeli army is an army of occupation protecting one group of settlers against another group, those actually losing their village lands and liveliehoods.

Full story: http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/080E5317-81F3-4725-9D80-8BEFD2BCBB17.htm

Our "National" Party, which you'll recall had wanted to risk the lives of young New Zealanders by sending them to invade Iraq a few years ago because Mr Bush and Mr Blair whistled, is now demanding we follow Mr Blair and Mr Bush again and join their trade and aid sanctions on Palestinians. National wants us to cut all relations with Palestinians in Gaza/West Bank because 40%+ of them voted for the Hamas Party in elections earlier this year, but there is no mention of suspending relations with Israelis because 40%+ of them voted for its militant government.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0603/S00543.htm

Land home to Jews, Christians, Moslems, Druzes

The thing about the Holy Land is that it has always been the home of a diverse mix: Jewish, Orthodox Christian and Moslem key among them, but including also some very small communities like the Druze and Samaritans.

The State of Israel claims to be a democracy, but not as we know it. For starters, tens of thousands of people born in Israel, and their children, live as stateless people barred from of Israel and stuck in the refugee camps established for them in neighbouring territories like the tiny sandpit called Gaza, the West Bank, in the Lebanon and in Syria.

These people, barred from living in their homeland and not entitled to vote in Israeli elections, elected their own Palestine Legislative Council earlier this year but Israel has now arrested most of the senior ministers without charge which means the Palestine Authority no longer exists and the Palestinians in Gaza/West Bank are disenfranchised both in Israel and in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories as well.

See: Jeff Halper’s article “The Matrix of Control” – http://www.mediamonitors.net/halper1.html

Kiwi pediatric cardiologist now working in Palestine

For an insight into some of the practical challenges of living in the environment imposed on Palestinian civilians, Radio NZ had an interesting interview with Kiwi pediatric cardiologist, Dr Alan Kerr. Listening to stories of medical students having to crawl through The Wall to get between their university lectures and their field work at the hospital, and the plans to plug those holes to stop the throughfare, is spine-chilling daily racist humilitation.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/nr/programmes/sunday/20060702

Israel = Serbia; Lebanon = Bosnia

One of Israel's first big "incursions" into its democratic neighbour, Lebanon, was in 1968 when Israeli commandos blew up thirteen airplanes at Beirut airport. That 1968 action, the media said at the time, was to show how tough Israel is against Palestinian terrorism, although I'm sure many of the Lebanese civilians caught at the airport would have wondered how blowing them up was very tough.

Israeli forces regularly attack Lebanese villages and having been doing so for decades. Ironically, the Hizbollah Party which is now one of Lebanon's bigger parliamentary parties, was originally formed in the 1980s as a resistance force to the Israel occupation of Lebanon at that time - the occupation, we were told then, would end Palestinian terrorism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qana

Lebanon is a state of minorities: Multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religioned. Lebanon is to Israel what Federal Bosnia is to the Serbian and Croatian nationalist militants: An existential threat to racist ideology.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0606/S00212.htm

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Binoy Kampmark: Budget Cockups In The Time Of Coronavirus: Reporting Errors And Australia’s JobKeeper Scheme

Hell has, in its raging fires, ringside seats for those who like their spreadsheets. The seating, already peopled by those from human resources, white collar criminals and accountants, becomes toastier for those who make errors with those spreadsheets. ... More>>


The Dig - COVID-19: Just Recovery

The COVID-19 crisis is compelling us to kick-start investment in a regenerative and zero-carbon future. We were bold enough to act quickly to stop the virus - can we now chart a course for a just recovery? More>>

The Conversation: Are New Zealand's New COVID-19 Laws And Powers Really A Step Towards A Police State?

Reaction to the New Zealand government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown has ranged from high praise to criticism that its actions were illegal and its management chaotic. More>>


Keith Rankin: Universal Versus Targeted Assistance, A Muddled Dichotomy

The Commentariat There is a regular commentariat who appear on places such as 'The Panel' on Radio New Zealand (4pm on weekdays), and on panels on television shows such as Newshub Nation (TV3, weekends) and Q+A (TV1, Mondays). Generally, these panellists ... More>>

Jelena Gligorijevic: (Un)lawful Lockdown And Government Accountability

As the Government begins to ease the lockdown, serious questions remain about the lawfulness of these extraordinary measures. Parliament’s Epidemic Response Committee has indicated it will issue summonses for the production of legal advice about the ... More>>


Caitlin Johnstone: Do You Consent To The New Cold War?

The world's worst Putin puppet is escalating tensions with Russia even further, with the Trump administration looking at withdrawal from more nuclear treaties in the near future. In addition to planning on withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty ... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Why Thinking Makes It So: Donald Trump’s Obamagate Fixation

The “gate” suffix has been wearing thin since the break-in scandal that gave it its birth. Since Watergate, virtually anything dubious and suggestive, and much more besides, is suffixed. Which brings us to the issue of President Donald Trump’s ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Ethics (and Some Of The Economics) Of Lifting The Lockdown

As New Zealand passes the half-way mark towards moving out of Level Four lockdown, the trade-offs involved in life-after-lockdown are starting to come into view. All very well for National’s finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith to claim that “The number one priority we have is to get out of the lockdown as soon as we can”…Yet as PM Jacinda Ardern pointed out a few days ago, any crude trade-off between public health and economic well-being would be a false choice... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Brutal Choices: Anders Tegnell And Sweden’s Herd Immunity Goal

If the title of epidemiological czar were to be created, its first occupant would have to be Sweden’s Anders Tegnell. He has held sway in the face of sceptics and concern that his “herd immunity” approach to COVID-19 is a dangerous, and breathtakingly ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Trans-Tasman Bubble, And The Future Of Airlines

As the epidemiologists keep on saying, a trans-Tasman bubble will require having in place beforehand a robust form of contact tracing, of tourists and locals alike - aided by some kind of phone app along the lines of Singapore’s TraceTogether ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog