Column – Werewolf

Hi and welcome to the 41st edition of Werewolf, in which were kicking back against the real Nanny State . Here at the Wolf were dead against the kind of Big Government that passes laws that (a) condone mass surveillance (b) penalise legitimate protest …

Werewolf Edition #41 : The John Key “Nanny State” Issue

From Werewolf Editor Gordon Campbell

Enter the Wolf!

Hi and welcome to the 41st edition of Werewolf, in which we’re kicking back against the real Nanny State. Here at the ‘Wolf we’re dead against the kind of Big Government that passes laws that (a) condone mass surveillance (b) penalise legitimate protest and dissent (c) suppress Parliament’s checks and balances (d) install the GCSB as the security guardian of our telecommunications system (e) harass beneficiary families while doling out corporate welfare and (f) make it as difficult as possible for workers to organize collectively and defend their wages and conditions. That’s right. National’s version of the Nanny State is the subject of this month’s cover story.

Also in this issue, new contributor Damien Wilkins makes the case for why X Factor was not only worth watching – all of it, right from the start – and told us more about our bicultural, bifurcated selves than we realized at the time, given that it was also the trashy, exploitative, heart on sleeve, weirdly gripping reality TV roadkill that some people might consider to be …a rather bad thing. Damien says it was all that, and more besides. Just before we junk incandescent bulbs forever, Werewolf pays tribute in this issue to a faithful source of light that still beats its rival bulbs for beauty and upfront affordability – and we also try to explain why, despite their claims to thrifty longevity, some of the alternative bulbs blow out more regularly than they should. In other stories in this issue… why, Ruth Rosen asks, is are so many US states limiting the access to abortion at a time when public opinion is becoming more liberal on same-sex marriage, gun control and most other hot button issues. In this edition, we also pay tribute to the world’s greatest ever aeroplane, the SR-71 Blackbird.

In other stories…we ask why, in free trade negotiations such as the TPP, New Zealand is working in unison with other countries to oppose US efforts to criminalize copyright infringement, while working hand in glove with the US to criminalise copyright infringement in the context of the Kim Dotcom prosecution.

In our occasional series on classic children books, Grace C. Russell analyses the Ernest and Celestine books by Gabrielle Vincent, and compares them with the animated film version that screened at this year’s International Film Festival. In his film column this month, Philip Matthews takes on Pacific Rim, the latest work by honorary Kiwi (for gallantry under fire while dealing with Peter Jackson) Guillermo del Toro, and also sneaks in some capsule reviews of film festival fare. Lyndon Hood has been on holiday, and in this month’s satirical column he finds that tourism in an island Paradise gives you a real perspective on living here in NZ, under the heel of tyranny. In Werewolf’s music column The Complicatist, we pay tribute to the soulful Bobby Bland, and to Britain’s young genius, Laura Marling.

Thanks to Lyndon Hood and Alastair Thompson for helping me post this online this month. And to everyone who’s shown an interest in reading Werewolf and keeping it going…thanks a bunch. If you want to be involved and talk over some story ideas, contact me at

Gordon Campbell