Tag: Elections

The Flagging TPPA: The US Election and Free Trade Politics

Opinion – Binoy Kampmark Being savaged by Donald J. Trump on one side of the electoral aisle, and modestly beaten by the Democratic presumptive candidate, Hillary Clinton, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is lying somewhere between near death and miraculous survival. … The Flagging Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: The US Election and Free Trade Politics Being savaged by Donald J. Trump on one side of the electoral aisle, and modestly beaten by the Democratic presumptive candidate, Hillary Clinton, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is lying somewhere between near death and miraculous survival. Those breathing life into that unfortunate beast remain politicians who...

Read More

The Failed Cruz-Kasich Pact: Trump and GOP Desperation

Article – Binoy Kampmark Having Trump as a candidate for the GOP presidential run may look bad. Having a pact against him within the Republican movement designed to quash his chances to get the nomination looks even worse. It reeks of backroom deals, frustrated officials and … The Failed Cruz-Kasich Pact: Donald Trump and GOP Desperation Binoy Kampmark “As far as I am concerned it’s over.” Donald Trump, Apr 26, 2016 Having Trump as a candidate for the GOP presidential run may look bad. Having a pact against him within the Republican movement designed to quash his chances to get the nomination looks even worse. It reeks of backroom deals, frustrated officials and failed prospects. Most of all, it is the very sort of thing that might add fuel to the fire of Trump’s campaign, which was emboldened by Tuesday’s victories in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maryland and Delaware. Trump edges ever closer to the 1,237 delegates needed for a first-ballot triumph at the July convention. Other GOP contenders continued to look on with worry Senator Ted Cruz and Governor John Kasich of Ohio were clearly not thinking things through when they got together to announce the latest ploy from the GOP strategy room. For one, Cruz was never one to take Kasich too seriously, seeing himself as the naturally anointed, and feeling that Kasich’s stubbornness simply made the...

Read More

Gordon Campbell on the Aussie banks

Column – Gordon Campbell If the New Zealand economy was a tennis player, it would be Maria Sharapova a player reportedly reliant on artificial stimulants, and corporate endorsements. In similar vein, our economy is seemingly dependent on artificial boosts to activity … Gordon Campbell on the Aussie banks, and patriotic death porn about the flag If the New Zealand economy was a tennis player, it would be Maria Sharapova – a player reportedly reliant on artificial stimulants, and corporate endorsements. In similar vein, our economy is seemingly dependent on artificial boosts to activity from (a) construction, driven by the Christchurch earthquake and the Auckland housing bubble (b) tourism, driven by our declining dollar and (c) a series of RBNZ interest rate cuts. None of which is a sustainable path to growth. Quite the contrary: the productive side of the economy remains in a depressed, deflated state. Yet on cue the bank economists continue to fulfil their rent-a-quote role by claiming that our GDP growth is still looking fine and is better than most; and so it is, yet only in a Sharapova sense. Sure, one can readily understand why bank economists would want to sing the praises of government policy settings that vastly enrich their employers. Last year, the four major banks raked off a massive $4.59 billion in profits from New Zealanders, thereby exceeding the rates of return...

Read More

Gordon Campbell on the security services review

Column – Gordon Campbell T o no-ones real surprise, the Cullen/Reddy review of the security services has recommended an extension of the powers of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), mainly to legally enable the agency to use its technological expertise … Gordon Campbell on the security services review, and Bernie Sanders’ victory against the TPP To no-one’s real surprise, the Cullen/Reddy review of the security services has recommended an extension of the powers of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), mainly to legally enable the agency to use its technological expertise to spy on New Zealanders. So… a review that was triggered by the GCSB breaking the letter (and the clear intent) of the existing law– which clearly forbade it to engage in the surveillance of New Zealanders – has now rewarded the miscreants, by legalizing their behavior. Yep, that’s the way to engender public confidence – give more power to the foxes, to enable them to better guard the henhouse. Why should we, in future, place our trust in organisations that have shown in the recent past that they either cannot understand or – more credibly – simply do not respect the boundaries placed on their activities by the current law? The Cullen/Reddy review makes much of the need to integrate the various laws governing the SIS and the GCSB, which are depicted as being confusing and...

Read More

Upper Hutt City Council adopts a TPPA Free Zone policy

Press Release – TPP Action Group Upper Hutt City Council adopts a TPPA Free Zone policy as a precaution to the imposition of the Trans Pacific Partnership.1Upper Hutt City Council adopts a TPPA Free Zone policy as a precaution to the imposition of the Trans Pacific Partnership.1 The Upper Hutt City Council in a close vote at its 24 February Council meeting adopted an 8 point policy resolution in respect to the TPP. Whilst there were divergent views on the merits of the resolution all Councillors who spoke offered praise to the representatives of the community who had presented to Council. Councillor Steve Taylor who opposed the resolution stated during his contribution to the debate, “I welcome the debate on the TPP and congratulate the community representatives for your quality presentations. This is what democracy is about.” The policy asks that central government initiates a full public and parliamentary debate, and gain clear consent from the people, before proceeding with formal consideration of the TPP, including any further binding treaty action. The policy statement recognises that the people of New Zealand have not provided their consent for the TPP treaty. Many New Zealand and international experts in a variety of fields of endeavour have criticised the TPP as it places the rights of corporations and profits before the rights of the people of the TPP nation’s right to; a...

Read More