Julian Assange; Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

The Swedish authorities have confirmed that time has run out to prosecute alleged right wing rapist Julian Assange and therefore the charges have been dropped. A jubilant Assange has appeared on the balcony of the Equadorean embassy in London and bizarrely claimed that this is a victory for freedom and, in an Orwellian misuse of language, a blow against the patriarchy.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The message for the victims of sexual violence is clear. If men have other powerful men supporting them, there will be no justice. So shut up, women, you don’t count.

Assnage still faces jail time in the UK. For obvious reasons he can’t deny breaching his bail conditions and when he does scuttle out of his embassadorial bolt hole, he’ll be prosecuted for that crime. Well, unless he stays holed up for another few years, when the UK statute of limitations will take that problem away too.

Rich white men; refusing to take responsibility for their actions since forever.

I’ve never liked Assange. I always thought Wikileaks was a tool of oppression and so it has proven to be. Instead of attacking the real centre of global power, capitalism, Wikileaks has focussed on attacking the public service in its various forms. The much maligned state is actually the only hope for the worl’s huddled masses. The government, for all it’s faults, is the only safety net we have.

Bu focussing almost exclusively on deriding democratic institutions, Wikileaks has done the world a major disservice and indirectly helped the rise of the loony right.

Wikileaks is not a progressive force and Julian Assange remains a parasitic bludger. He may moan about not seeing sunlight but the choice was always his. He could have manned up and defended himself, but instead he has acted in a self serving and denialist way, trying to portray himself as the ‘real victim’.

Sure it’s been tough for him in his psuedo jail, with only a constant stream of dimwitted celebrities and Harrod’s hampers to console himself with. But he can look forward to the absolute freedom that only being rich and famous can bring some time soonish.

And then he can get on with his real job, serving the interests of international capitalism.

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Will Winston Put NZ First?

One of the great conundrums of Kiwi politics is the Peters problem. Unless there is a massive drop in votes for National, Labour will need NZ First’s assistance to form the next government. And that support will almost certainly come at the expense of the Greens, who are likely to be sidelined as part of any coalition arrangement.

But can we trust Peters to go with Labour?

Well, the answer is an unequivocal no. Winston will do what’s best for Winston. He’s already let the country down once in a similar scenario.

In 1996, NZ First hinted broadly that they would look to bring the National Government down. After an arrogant and lengthy display of gamesmanship, Winston eventually announced he would instead prop the Nats up.

However, the circumstances are different these days. NZ First’s policies are so in tune with Labour’s they could have been spawned in the same think tanks. Winston Peters and Andrew Little seem to get along fine and I’m told the back benches of both parties have a useful working relationship in opposition.

I’m also firmly of the belief that Winston still wants revenge for National’s successful campaign in 2008 to remove NZ First from Parliament. I’m sure Winston would have loved to have been the one to end John Key’s political career, but that opportunity has gone. I reckon he’ll settle for burying Bill English instead.

So, should we help NZ First?

Well, no.

NO, NO, NO!

Andrew Little is a great deal maker and superb team builder . He’s shown that as a unionist and as a politician. However, if NZ First out poll the Greens, even marginally, he’ll have the upper hand in negotiations.

Don’t think it can’t happen, folks. Any deterioration of National’s vote is likely to head Winston’s way. NZF12%, Greens 11 is not an unlikely outcome. NZ First now have a core vote of around 8-9% and siphoning 2% from the Nats and 1% from Labour is entirely possible.

And, of course, the fundamental risk remains that Winston will go the Tory way. And even if he goes with Labour, sidelining the Greens will lead to a weaker Little led Government. Our damaged country really needs the Greens to be in a position to lead the rescue of our environment. Ministerial posts outside cabinet won’t really do that.

Winston told me recently that he didn’t trust the Greens.

“They’ll sell you down the river for a snail” was his withering summary.

If he sticks to that cynical approach, then coalition building is going to be mighty difficult for the left. My advice is don’t help NZ First and certainly don’t vote for them.

However, if you can influence a conservative voter to switch from National to NZ First, go for it. The worse National do, the better.

If the nightmare scenario of a Nat/NZ First government actually happens, lets just hope it end in tears when Winston gets sick of playing second fiddle in English’s orchestra.

One thing about Winston; he demands absolute loyalty from his MP’s and staff. However, he rarely feels that the same standard applies to himself when he’s in Government.

Whether he goes with Labour or the Tories, Winston wins.

The question is whether the rest of us lose.

 

 

 

 


Pike Miners Left to Die?

We’ve learned overnight that the Pike River mine main shaft was actually safe to enter in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. That’s exactly what mine experts said at the time, but the Government refused to listen. PM John Key repeatedly said that it was madness to re-enter the mine, but he either did not know, or, more likely, did not tell us that a re-entry had already been successfully executed.

My gut feeling is that Key, Whittal and, later, Solid Energy, knew that there was a reasonable chance that some miners had survived the initial blasts and were huddled around the rock fall blockage waiting for a rescue that never came.

Did John Key let the Pike River Mine survivors die to save his face?

The only way we will ever know the truth is to re-enter the mine.

We owe it to the dead men and their families.

We owe it to the living to know the truth about their deaths.

 

 


You Can’t Vaccinate against Stupidity

The Minister of education has the power to dismiss school boards who aren’t up to the job. Clearly, the kids of Grantlea Downs school deserve better than this.

Sack ’em now, before the stupidity virus spreads.

 

Oh, and this is still muy bueno!


Why Is Bomber Bradbury Bludging off Kiwi Unions?

One of the most frustrating things about our current employment law is that there is no protection against non union workers freeloading off the deals paid for by union members. If a union collective is re-negotiated, the results inevitably flow on to the rest of the workforce.

This bludging off the efforts of others is rightfully met with contempt by union members.

On the Daily Blog, the site’s front page includes links and logos for 7 unions and the Council of Trade Unions.

I understand that the majority of the unions concerned want nothing to do with the Daily Blog and most have asked Bomber Bradbury to remove the links. He refuses to do so. Spitefully, he has set the link for one complaining union so that anyone interested is directed away from the union site and guided to a Forex trading company. Pathetic.

The unions are concerned about the rampant sexism of the blog and the increasingly shrill attacks on worker’s organisations. Most recently, Bradbury has decided to directly attack union workers. Specifically, he wants union communication workers fired. Unsurprisingly, the majority of those union workers are women, which fits in perfectly with his misogynistic world view.

In the union movement, people who bludge off others are regarded as close to the lowest form of industrial life. Only a picket line crossing scab is lower than someone who takes unearned benefits from his fellow workers.

I don’t think Martyn Bradbury is a scab. Yet. However, pretending to have an association with the union movement where none exists is clearly freeloading of the mana of the movement. No, he’s not a scab. He’s a flea and a poseur.

Clearly, Bomber is an unrepentant bludger. He should remove the unearned links and logos immediately. But I bet he doesn’t, because he needs this sham of union support to maintain his fading left credentials.

 


Turnbull’s Memphis Moment

The astonishing story of President Tinkles hanging up on Aussie PM Malcolm Turnbull isn’t the first time an ocker conservative leader has been left dangling by an American.

Back in 1986, Malcolm Fraser was found wandering trouser-less in a Memphis motel. He claimed to have no memory of the previous evening and believed he’d been drugged and robbed.

Malcolm Turnbull must know how he feels.


Cop this, Peter Dunne

It’s excellent news for Kiwi voters in general and the citizens of Ohariu specifically, that former Police Association leader Greg O’Connor is to seek the Labour Party nomination for the seat currently held by professional bum licker Peter Dunne.

Dunne, whose only loyalty is to his bank accounts, has flip flopped between governments of the left and right. The only significant concession he has achieved in his lengthy political career is to get each successive PM to offer him a cushy job with a large salary and perks.

Greg O’Connor, on the other hand, has done an excellent job as a union leader, representing his fellow Police Officers with dedication and vigour. He’s his own man.

O’Connor could be seen as the perfect candidate for the seat of Ohariu. He is perceived by the public as being small ‘c’ conservative, a good match for the electorate’s own self image. It would have been no surprise if he’d sought a safe seat with National.

Clearly, though, the man has a conscience and a liberal streak.

Snap him up, Labour!

And, please, Greens, don’t stand in the seat. You’ve previously let Dunne off the hook by putting up electorate candidates, diluting the Labour vote. No excuses this time; let’s work together to make sure Peter is Dunne.


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