Top Scoops

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


Werewolf #18 Out Now - Secrets And Spies!

Werewolf Edition 18 Is Now Available - Secrets And Spies

From Werewolf Editor Gordon Campbell

Hi and welcome to our special 'spies and state secrets' issue of Werewolf, which has been inspired by the way the Key government has plainly put aside any seasonal cheer in order to pursue the Waihopai Three through civil court - and thus recoup the costs of the damage done to its spy base near Blenheim. So much for the season of ' peace and goodwill to all men...' We outline the likely legal framework for the next stage of the case, via interviews with experts Warren Brookbanks and Bill Hodge, who happen to be the go-to guys on 'claim of right' defences and torts law in New Zealand.

Much the same motives of revenge and paranoid secrecy have driven the US government's attitude to national secrets, as Wellington writer James Robinson demonstrates with his extensive report filed from the US, where James is currently engaged in postgraduate journalism studies. Ever since the early Cold War period and onwards to Richard Nixon, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, successive US Presidents have obstructed any moves towards greater transparency and accountability with respect to whatever they deem to be within the ambit of state security. Genuine national secrets, outright lies and political convenience have all become entwined, as Robinson demonstrates, in the process. Elsewhere in this issue, Cushla McKinney looks at the social benefits and personal risks and gains associated with the so called' stomach stapling' procedures involved with weight loss surgery. Along the way, Cushla notes the fascinating contrast that exists between our social tolerance of anorexia on one hand, and obesity on the other.

In Left Coasting. Rosalea Barker examines the hurdles being erected by the medico-insurance complex to frustrate the intent of the Obama healthcare plan. Lyndon Hood's latest satirical column joins Pooh Bear and Piglet in an attempt to narrow the wage gap with Australia. The Complicatist showcases the latest album by Sufjan Stevens and its conscious links to outsider art, on the eve of Stevens' New Zealand tour in February. In the Milestone Movies film column, Brannavan Gnanalingham celebrates the anarchic spirit of the 1966 Czech film Daisies , and puts its irreverent spirit ( and the Prague Spring two years later) in context with other art movements that challenged the heavy hand of Soviet repression.

The children's classic book column this month is devoted to Avi's terrific maritime adventure The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle , and we note in passing the similarity between its young proto-feminist heroine and the anarchism of Huckleberry Finn. For Cartoon Alley this month, Tim Bollinger reviews the latest work by Taiyo Matsumoto and Amanda Vahamaki and offers another installment of his Little Eye cartoon, while Brent Willis presents the latest concerns of Ranga the Paranoid Ape.

As always, Werewolf is a monthly thank you to Scoop supporters, and aims to provide a showcase for good journalism and cartooning. If you'd like to be part of it, contact me on the address below and we can talk story ideas. Thanks to George McLellan and Alistair Thompson for helping me to put up the issue online.

Gordon Campbell

The contents of this edition are:


The Quest to Punish the Waihopai Three

The legal battle now shifts to civil court
by Gordon Campbell

Heavyweight Contenders

The plusses (and perils) of weight loss surgery
by Cushla McKinney

Hiding in Public

Truman to Nixon, Bush to Obama – how the US has rationalized the ‘need’ for state secrecy
by James Robinson

& from the last edition

Profiteering from Prisons

On the global evidence, private prisons are no more efficient, and are no less expensive for the taxpayer
by Rory MacKinnon

Lady in Waiting

Helen Clark’s chances of becoming the next UN Secretary-General
by Gordon Campbell

Saint Australia

The blessings of the Lucky Country now extend to the afterlife
by Gordon Campbell


Left Coasting : Open Season on Healthcare

Count the ways the medical-industrial complex is bad for everyone’s health…
by Rosalea Barker

Classics : The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (1990)

Murder, mutiny, class rebellion and a terrific teenage heroine
by Gordon Campbell

Milestone Movies : Daisies (1966)"

Freedom’s just another word for making fun of everything
by Brannavan Gnanalingham

From the Hood : Lost in Wiseacre Wood"

Isn’t it funny / How a bear likes cutting the public service? / Buzz buzz buzz, / I wonder why he does.
by Lyndon Hood

The Complicatist : Sufjan Stevens and outsider art

Hello madness, my old friend…
by Gordon Campbell

Cartoon Alley

Reviews, commentary and comics from local artists
by Werewolf

Cartoon Alley: Reviews and commentary #18… Tim Bollinger

Some comics I’ve been reading lately…. Gogo Monster & The Bun Field
by Tim Bollinger


from Scoop General Manager Alastair Thompson

Werewolf is all about finding a new way to enable quality journalism to thrive in an online environment and a key part of that effort is soliciting support from our readers.

Our estimate is that for every 300 monthly subscribers we gain we will be able to afford to employ one professional journalist. We have a way to go - but it is not such a high mountain to climb.

Already several Scoop readers have decided to subscribe on a recurring monthly basis. We thank them greatly. But more are needed.

The links to use to make donations via credit card are.

$10 Per Month Sustaining Subscription

$15 Per Month Sustaining Subscription

$25 Per Month Sustaining Subscription

Or if you prefer you can set up an automatic payment to our bank account"
Automatic payment to our bank account:
Westpac - Scoop Media Ltd. 03-0502-0254668-000
We would also encourage you to consider approaching your friends to also become Scoop Sustaining Subscribers.

Become a Scoop Sustaining Subscriber - join the alternative to the mainstream media mind-set!

In the meantime we would be very keen to hear any feedback you have on the publication or this subscription project - please reply to this email or email with suggestions, bouquets or brickbats. This is very much a work in progress and we are very keen to understand the subscriber perspective on this.

Best Regards

Alastair Thompson General Manager

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Ian Powell: Pay Freezes, Health Systems And Medical Specialists

What has a pay freeze got to do with a universal public health system? Actually quite a lot. Health systems, especially public hospitals which handle the more complex and urgent cases that the rest of the system can’t fix, are by their very nature ... More>>

Forgetting Citizenship: Australia Suspends Flights From India

As India is being devastated by COVID-19 cases that have now passed a daily rate of 400,000, affluent and callous Australia has taken the decision to suspend all flights coming into the country till mid-month. The decision was reached by the Morrison ... More>>

Digitl: UK Spy Chief: “The West Has To Go It Alone On Tech"

“Cybersecurity is an increasingly strategic issue that needs a whole-nation approach. The rules are changing in ways not always controlled by government. More>>

Keith Rankin: The New Zealand Government’s 'Public Finance Rabbithole'

Last week, out of left field, the government placed a three-year embargo on normal public sector wage bargaining, essentially a salary freeze. While there has been a certain amount of backtracking since, it is clear that the government has been ... More>>

The Conversation: Without The Right Financial Strategies, NZ’s Climate Change Efforts Will Remain Unfinished Business

When it comes to climate change, money talks. Climate finance is critical for enabling a low-emissions transition. This involves investment and expenditure — public, private, domestic and transnational — that demonstrably contributes to climate ... More>>

Dr Terrence Loomis: Does Petroleum Industry Spying Really Matter?

Opinion: Nicky Hager’s latest revelations about security firm Thompson and Clark’s ‘spying’ on climate activists and environmental organisations on behalf of the oil and gas industry and big GHG emitters makes entertaining reading. But it does ... More>>