Can we save the planet without a revolution?

Can we save our planet with a revolution?

How much risk of making things worse from a revolution?

Another post promoting revolution to save the planet, from Damon Rusden at Pundit – Can we save the planet without a revolution?

The short answer is no; the long answer requires an explanation of what form that revolution will take.

I don’t know how he can be certain about that. Revolution implies drastic and rapid changes – I don’t know how many governments will risk going down that path.

After protests in France over fuel tax increases the Government there has just suspended the fuel tax – French PM announces suspension of fuel tax hikes after ‘Yellow Vest’ protests

The backpedaling by President Emmanuel Macron’s government appeared designed to calm the nation, coming three days after the worst unrest on the streets of Paris in decades.

“No tax is worth putting the nation’s unity in danger,” Philippe said, just three weeks after insisting that the government wouldn’t change course in its determination to wean French consumers off polluting fossil fuels.

A more pertinent question is whether revolution is possible without provoking counter-revolts. France just tried one tax rise, hardly a revolutionary step.

Rusden:

We all know we’re shafting the planet, and headlines every other week are making sure we don’t forget. As another Conference of the Parties (COP) conference kicks off this week – this time in Poland, this time called COP24 – we have been warned that decisive action in the next two years will be crucial.

The real problem is the solution; collectively we are still failing to meet our climate targets (by a lot) even after the heralded Paris Agreement and a global consensus on the dangers threatening us as a species. The issues need to be placed in the context of survival, because that’s what is causing this zero-sum game. The survival of our existing economic paradigm or the entire biosphere.

We cannot continue to be aware of the risks which come as a cause of climate change and believe that changing our coffee cups, picking up litter on a Sunday or buying solar panels will subdue the wave of destruction that is approaching.

This battle is not one we can win individually, nor can we afford to be content with micronized solutions.

There are many practical solutions which are put forward. A change of consumption is one method. Less meat, less agriculture, more forests. While this seems a feasible solution, it is simply too slow and too mired in development debate.

So if we accept that it is our imbedded, ‘extractionism’ method of production which is destroying the planet, we as individuals are not at fault and we’re running out of time, what do we do?

Hold those accountable responsible. Whatever form this takes.

Prosecution of the genuine polluters – the oil companies, agriculture giants, unsustainable logging companies and political enablers. There is precedent in local and international courts, but there would need to be serious political will.

Pressure politicians. While some governments are moving in the right direction, no change has come about from a complacent public. Some of the biggest changes have come from a local campaign at a council level and climbed up the governance hierarchy.

As what has just happened in France shows, there can also be strong opposition to change.

There has been a concerted effort over the past decade or so to embed Green activists in councils at local level and try to generate a revolution from there, but even relatively modest changes like installing cycle lanes and removing car parks has been controversial and contentious.

There is growing annoyance here in Dunedin over the disruptions caused by putting in cycle lanes that are hardly used, while road traffic flow is noticeably getting worse.

Public demand for taxpayers’ money to be used exclusively for green investment; ACC and the Super Fund are billion-dollar investment portfolios and could have a real impact. Some banks and universities have also done so due to public pressure.

  • Boycott. As individuals we cannot do much; as a collective we can do more. Polluting industries will respond. Awareness campaigns across the globe prove this.
  • Strike. Workers are the ones who produce; if there is no production there is no pollution. Strikes are an important part of workplace relations and bosses will get the message.
  • Shut it down. Hard to argue this wouldn’t make it clear that we want an immediate transition.

All of this must be done comprehensively.

We cannot continue extraction, production and materialism on the levels we are now. We cannot continue to live in isolation, or pretend that unrealised technology will save us. We must radically change the way we function, at the source. With direct action. And we have about ten years left to do so.

That is not going to be easy (to get public support and to get Government compliance).

And there is no guarantee that any revolution would succeed.

Nor is there any guarantee that adverse reactions and unintended consequences won’t make things worse.

It has already provoked violent counter-protests in France.  That sort of reaction could get much worse.

The poor people of the world would become more vulnerable – they would bear most of the brunt of radical changes. Richer people can more easily afford to adapt (or avoid).

It would be a very risky experiment with no way of knowing what the outcome would be.


From Hawkes Bay Today last year: (Damon Rusden: Our reliance on a failed model) – Damon Rusden is a politics international relations and public policy student at Victoria University. He is the Green Party candidate for Napier in the upcoming general elections.

His views seem to have not been very popular in last year’s election – Napier electorate:

  • Candidate votes 1,386 (3.63%)
  • Green electorate vote 1,938 (5.00%)

 

Robin Grieve ACT – Whangarei

Robin Grieve, ACT candidate for Whangarei, has supplied answers to the questions that Stuff asked the two Shanes – see Shane v Shane Anor (Whangarei).


What is the most important issue for you.

As a regional centre connectivity to markets and services is vital. The motorway extension that will see a four lane highway from Auckland to Whangarei is vital for our primary industry, our tourism, our lifestyle and our prosperity. Labour, Greens and NZ First all opposed this extension and even insulted us by calling it the holiday highway. Those three parties have a cheek to even stand in this electorate for that reason.

Tell us something about yourself

I am a petrol head. I love motor racing having raced a production saloon at Whangarei speedway for seventeen years. I own a 1971 Mustang 429 Cobrajet and love driving it.

Is the Jacinda effect real?

Jacinda or Taxinda as I prefer to call her has a personality that has certainly created more interest in the election. In that sense the Jacinda effect is real. In terms of the election I don’t believe it will do any more than change the seating arrangements around the opposition table. There are enough thinking voters out there who require more depth of thought in their PM.  They will vote for Bill.

Why should people vote for me

They shouldn’t, I only want the party vote. They should vote for Reti because he has achieved a lot for our electorate and he actually lives here too, which is very important.

What do you think of the Shane’s?

Reti is a quiet achiever who works hard for the electorate. I respect him and thank him.

Jones is a pretender, he doesn’t live in Whangarei and he is just treating us like a meal ticket. Anyone who has so little respect for taxpayer’s hard earned money that they abuse it by buying motel porn with it, does not deserve our vote. Yes he apologized and paid it back but the fact that it never occurred to him in the first place that an MP should respect the taxpayers of New Zealand is enough reason to keep him out of Parliament. He has got a cheek standing again in my opinion.

Greens won’t let Graham back on list

The Green Party has decided to not let Kennedy Graham come back onto the Green Party list.

Green party declines Kennedy Graham’s request to be a green candidate in the 2017 election

Yesterday the Green Party’s executive met to consider Green MP Kennedy Graham’s request to be considered for re-entry into the Party’s candidate list for the 2017 general election.

After careful consideration of the facts and Kennedy’s submission the Executive concluded that he had breached the Party’s Candidate Code of Conduct in a serious manner, and therefore decided to exclude Mr Graham from the Party’s pool.

The divisions continue. This will make it hard to repair the considerable damage done already.

NZ First rules for candidates

A tweet on the expected announcement that Shane Jones will be standing for NZ First in Whangarei:

It actually doesn’t matter how long Jones has been in the party.

From the NZ First constitution:

44. Nomination of Candidates
(a) A member nominated as an Electorate candidate must have been a full and financial member for at least six months as at the date of nomination; and a member shall not be eligible for selection as a List candidate unless the member has been a full and financial member for at least six months.

But:

(b) The Board may in its discretion waive any of the requirements in the
preceding article 44(a)

So 44(a) is a pointless rule.

And it has been waived apparently:

 

What can English do now?

In the wake of the Todd Barclay mess a lot of suggestions have been made about what Bill English should do.

Andrew Little said on RNZ: ” Barclay is causing chaos, and that it’s totally unacceptable that Bill English hasn’t insisted he cooperate with the police”, but it would be totally inappropriate for English to insist that Barclay do something he isn’t legally required to do.

There have also been calls (not by Little as far as I’m aware) for English to dump Barclay from standing again in Clutha-Southland .

This may not be easy or advisable as @MatthewHootonNZ explains.

  1. Those asking to announce he is cutting loose need to read r115-116 of constitution.
  2. You can find it here: https://www.elections.org.nz/sites/default/files/National_party_rules_0.pdf
  3. Then ask yourself what happens if just said “nah”.
  4. Then ask how long it would take for the necessary decisions under rules 115 and 116 to be made.
  5. Take into account that each of those decisions are subject to judicial review.
  6. Then ask whether it really would be a good example of leadership for to make the bold demand for his resignation sought.

Here are rules 115 and 116:

Withdrawal of Endorsement

115. If it appears to the Electorate Executive that formal withdrawal of Party
endorsement of a selected constituency candidate is in the interests of the
Party, and the candidate is unwilling to withdraw his/her candidature, the
following procedure shall apply:

(a) Approval shall be sought by the Electorate Executive through the
Regional Chair from the Board for the Board to undertake a meeting
to consider withdrawal of endorsement;

(b) If such approval is given by the Board, then at least two days prior
notice of the Board meeting at which the withdrawal of the Party’s
endorsement of the candidate is to be discussed, and the fact that
such withdrawal is to be discussed, shall be given to the Board
Members and to the candidate; and the chairperson of the electorate
and the Regional Chairperson who shall be entitled to attend the
Board meeting.

(c) The candidate shall be invited to attend the said meeting and prior
to any motion being put to the meeting to withdraw the Party’s
endorsement of him or her, he or she must be informed of the reasons
for dissatisfaction with his or her candidacy and given an
opportunity to state his or her case; and

(d) A resolution of the Board withdrawing the Party’s endorsement shall
be effective immediately if passed by a majority of those present and
voting.

116. If it appears to the Board that formal withdrawal of Party endorsement of
a selected constituency candidate is in the best interests of the Party as the
actions of the candidate are prejudicial to the interests of the Party and the
candidate is unwilling to withdraw his/her candidature, and the Electorate
Executive has determined not to initiate withdrawal in terms of Rule 115(a),
then the following procedure shall be apply:

(a) The Board shall convene a Board meeting with the Chairperson of the
Electorate concerned and the Regional Chair of the Region concerned
to consider withdrawal of the endorsement;

(b) If a meeting is convened, then at least two days prior notice of the
meeting as which the withdrawal of the Party’s endorsement of the
candidate is to be discussed and the fact that such withdrawal is to
be discussed shall be given to the Electorate concerned and to the
candidate;

(c) The candidate shall be invited to attend the said meeting and prior
to any motion being put to the meeting to withdraw the Party’s
endorsement of him or her, he or she must be informed of the reasons
for dissatisfaction with his or her candidacy and given an opportunity
to state his or her case; and

(d) A Resolution of the Board withdrawing the Party’s endorsement shall
be effective immediately if passed by a majority of those present and
voting.

There are good reasons why it is deliberately difficult for a Prime Minister to dump MPs. Candidates are chosen by electorates, not by the party leader.

WO: political threats against Auckland councillor

This looks like political threats at Whale Oil against Auckland City councillor Denise Lee, under the name of ‘Cameron Slater’ in Will Denise Lee suffer at List Ranking?

National candidate for Maungakiekie Denise Lee surprised everyone in National when she voted for Phil Goff’s pillow tax.

Whale Oil may still speak for some in National with particular interests but nowhere near “everyone in National”.

This was despite a lot of lobbying from National Party Board Member Alastair Bell, who was trying to ensure National candidates actually followed party policy, and listened to him.

Obviously Denise failed to do either, so there are a lot of angry people in National who can’t believe National have a candidate who basically rolls over whenever anyone puts some pressure on her.

A very ironic claim about ‘anyone’ putting pressure on Lee.

This may be just posturing from WO, but if it is accurate I think it is alarming.

Lee is an Auckland City councillor, representing and acting for the people of Auckland.

She is also a National candidate, standing for an electorate and presumably also after a party list position.

There are a number of local body politicians standing in this year’s general election. They will need to campaign for their parties, but while they are still local body politicians they need to separately do their jobs there independently of their future aspirations.

It is alarming to see what looks to me like political blackmail – Lee voted differently to what Whale Oil/Slater/whoever wanted so they are attacking her and apparently threatening her chances on the National Party list selection.

I doubt that Slater actually has much if any input into the National Party list, especially given how much he criticises and attacks the party, the Prime Minister and other ministers and MPs.

The tipline has been running hot that Alastair Bell is furious because he has been made to look like a right fool by Denise, and his clients are very, very unhappy with him.

Without corroboration or specifics “tipline has been running hot” is WO hot air. My tipline is running hot that Slater is an arse.

Who are Alistair Bell’s clients and what do they have to do with this?

So now there is talk of a plan to give Denise a very low list position so she learns quickly that you cannot defy National Party policy and expect to get away with it, even if you are from the wet or Nikki Kaye wing of the National Party.

So now there is talk of a plan by shadowy political operatives using Whale Oil to publish barely veiled threats against a city councillor and national election candidate.

And they can’t resist dissing a successful National MP and minister in the process.

Let’s see how she copes when the rumoured third party campaign, funded by angry moteliers, gets underway against her.

This looks more like the ‘dirty politics’ part of Whale Oil in action, it certainly doesn’t look like journalism.

No supported facts, just ‘rumours’. Rumour mongering and Whale Oil are not strangers. Neither are dirty politics and Slater.

This Whale Oil post has tried to present itself as representing the views of “everyone in National” and “a lot of angry people in National”.

What it shows is that Whale Oil is still being used to target and threaten sitting local body politicians and general election candidates.

And it smells dirty. Not just against Denise Lee. This may also be deliberately trying to muddy National’s election campaign. WhaleOil/Slater has been showing signs of campaigning against National for some time, and dirtiness seems to be starting to kick in.

NZ “plot to kill infidel”

An immigrant from Iran with Muslim parents has posted in social media of “Islam expert unravelling my plot to kill infidel”, along with the alleged accusation.

dbh-arzumaamk9h

This sort of accusation is not uncommon online, with children of Muslim immigrants sometimes to be claimed to be a particular risk.

In this case the target claims to support “Middle Eastern feminism” – yeah, right.

They have responded to the Facebook insinuation via Twitter:

Just another Islam expert unravelling my life long plot to kill infidel as back bench Green MP

Of course this is  – a Green candidate pretty much assured of becoming an MP due to her Green Party list placing.

Golriz launched her campaign online last week and has been the target of a lot of attention, I have seen some of it on Twitter.

The Facebook post above shows how absurd some of the boilerplate anti-Muslim claims are, and Golriz chose comedy and sarcasm in response, but it is an awful example of the way some believe master Muslim conspiracy theories and tar all Muslims and immigrants with the same dirty brush.

Green Party profile:

Golriz Ghahraman

Middle Eastern feminism, Green activism and work in international justice have instilled a deep commitment to defending democracy for the most vulnerable.

Golriz’s story

Golriz is an Iranian-Kiwi refugee, lucky to escape war and persecution as a child.

Her studies at Oxford, and work as a lawyer for the United Nations and in New Zealand, have focused on enforcing human rights and holding governments to account. Golriz has lived and worked in Africa, The Hague and Cambodia putting on trial world leaders for abusing their power, and restoring communities after war and human rights atrocities, particularly empowering women engaged in peace and justice initiatives.

In New Zealand, she has a successfully advocated on rights issues before the Supreme Courts, she volunteers her skills to advocate for child rights, and most recently for family carers of disabled persons. She was part of the team that worked to prepare New Zealand’s non-governmental report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Golriz has longstanding involvement in refugee and migrant rights activism, and is a prominent member of the Iranian community.

She is active in both the legal and NGO communities, as reflected by her board memberships of: Action for Children & Youth Aotearoa; NZ Criminal Bar Association; NZ Centre for Human Rights Law & Policy; and Super Diverse Women (Superdiversity Centre for Law, Policy and Business)

Justice drives Golriz – 12 yrs of legal practice, including post-conflict trials of world leaders and in the NZ Supreme Court. Her child rights and international human rights work have required specialised government lobbying and training of Ministry staff in New Zealand and overseas.

Her expertise as a human rights and constitutional lawyer will help bring effective legislative solutions for social justice, climate and environmental issues.

Golriz plans to make history as the first ever refugee to enter New Zealand parliament as a Green MP.

I wish Golriz well, I think she has the potential to be a very good New Zealand MP, if she can put up with all the crap that seems likely to be thrown at her if her first week online is any indication.

I don’t know if Golriz is Muslim or not, and I don’t care. Religion should be kept out of politics. As an immigrant with a very strong CV Golriz adds a valuable dimension to diversity in the new Zealand parliament.

Biden bashes Clinton

Joe Biden has said what many people thought, especially voters in some pivotal US states, Hillary Clinton wasn’t a great candidate. She was so poor she lost to Donald Trump, someone with no political experience and lacking support even within his own Republican Party.

Phily.Com: Joe Biden slams Hillary Clinton: ‘I never thought she was a great candidate’

Joe Biden has a reputation for saying what’s on his mind, and on Thursday night, he reportedly didn’t hold back at all about former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“I never thought she was a great candidate. I thought I was a great candidate,” Biden reportedly told an audience of hedge fund managers at the annual SALT conference in Las Vegas.

“No man or woman should announce for the presidency unless they genuinely believe that for the that moment in the nation’s history they are the most qualified person to deal with the issues facing the country,” Biden continued, according to TheStreet’s Ronald Orol.

Despite his criticism of candidate Clinton, Biden did add that he thought Hillary would have been “a really good president.”

She may have made an ok ‘same old’ establishment sort of president, but she is unlikely to have shaken up fundamental problems in the US political system. She was one of the established ruling class.

And we will never know how she would have managed the job.

Biden considered standing against Clinton for nomination last year but decided against it. His son had died then previous year. he would have been very establishment too.

Biden has repeatedly said his emphasis right now is on his family being “put back together,” but on Thursday left the door open about a possible run in 2020.

“If I get those things done, and I’m healthy and viable, and it looks like I’m the best man to do it, I may very well do it,” Biden said. “But my family comes first.”

“Could I? Yes,” Biden continued. “Would I? Probably not.”

Biden would be nearly 78 years old in 2020. At age 70, President Donald Trump is the oldest president to ever assume office.

Probably not. If he won he would be nearly 82 by the end of his first term, so a second term would be a stretch on age and health alone.

In any case the Democrats need to be doing something very different if they want to rebuild after their embarrassingly poor results last year. They lost the presidency, and failed to gain a majority in either the senate or Congress.

To revitalise, the Democrats need someone much different to either Clinton or Biden to lead them.

A problem with US politics is that parties don’t decide who might lead them until election year, so the next three years may be manoeuvring of those wanting to set up their preferred presidential candidate more than addressing the real and fundamental problems in the party and the country.

 

Backward politics

I don’t know if this is part of the official Labour Party feud with the Maori Party, or one Labour candidate being nasty. Tamati Coffey:

CoffeyBackward

Coffey is Labour’s candidate for the Maori electorate Waiariki this year:

About

My name is Tamati Coffey and I am the Labour Candidate for Waiariki electorate in 2017. Authorised by Andrew Kirton, 160 Willis St, Wellington.

I don’t know of Kirton authorised his backward swipe at his opponent via that same Facebook account.

Coffey will be standing against Te Ururoa Flavell in Waiariki, who won against a different Labour candidate by 3,889 votes in 2014, with Mana’s Annette Sykes a close third about 350 votes back.

Mana won’t stand this year in an agreement with the Maori party so Coffey will have to do something extraordinary this year to stand a chance. Playing the backward card is unlikely to help his chances in the electorate. It will be interesting to see what sort of list position Labour give him – reward or not.

Lawyers for Labour

There are already a few lawyers in Parliament. That must be a good thing in a place that writes new laws and amends or discards existing laws.

Attorney General Chris Finlayson is not just a lawyer, he is a Queen’s Counsel.

Minister of Justice and Minister of Courts Amy Adams is a lawyer.

Minister of Revenue Judith Collins is a lawyer who before becoming an MP specialised in employment, property, commercial, and tax law.

This all sounds like appropriate experience for the positions.

Winston Peters was a lawyer before becoming an MP.

Andrew Little started his first career as a lawyer with the Engineers’ Union. That seems appropriate enough for the leader of the Labour Party.

I have noticed that there seems to be quite a few lawyers standing as candidates in this year’s election.

For National: Former navy officer to replace John Key

A property lawyer and former naval officer has been chosen to fill former Prime Minister John Key’s big shoes in Helensville.

Chris Penk was last night announced as National’s nomination for the safe seat, which has held by the party since it was established in 1978.

National could do with some expertise in property in Auckland.

For Greens: No Green deal for Labour Party in Hutt South battle

Labour will have to win Hutt South without help from the Green Party in the September election.

Constitutional lawyer and Green Party candidate Susanne Ruthven  said the situation in Hutt South was different.

For Labour: Lewis selected as Labour’s 2017 candidate for Whanganui

Steph Lewis selected as Labour’s 2017 candidate for Whanganui

She currently works as an lawyer/investigator, resolving disputes between large organisations and members of the public.

For Labour: Auckland central’s new Labour candidate to take on Nikki Kaye

Labour has put forward Helen White as its new candidate standing in the Auckland central electorate after Labour MP Jacinda Ardern left the area to campaign in the Mt Albert by-election.

White, an employment lawyer, wants to return the seat to Labour.

For Labour: Labour’s Whangarei Candidate

Tony Savage has been selected as the Labour Party candidate for Whangarei for the 2017 General Election.

Tony has an employment background as a CEO, technology adviser, strategy consultant, financial adviser as well as being a successful local lawyer in Whangarei practicing mainly within the commercial and property fields.

For Labour: Labour Bay of Plenty candidate announced

Angie Warren-Clark has been selected as the Labour Party candidate for Bay of Plenty.

Mrs Warren-Clark has worked in the electorate for over 10 years in the field of domestic violence and is a non-practising barrister and solicitor.

For Labour: Candidate for East Coast

Kiri is a commercial lawyer and business consultant based in Whakatane and working all throughout the East Coast electorate.

For Labour: Candidate for Ōtaki

Rob is the manager of White Ribbon, the campaign to end men’s violence towards women, and works to help change attitudes and behaviour, both on the Kapiti Coast and throughout New Zealand.

As well as having a law degree, Rob has previous experience as a Parliamentary press secretary and has an extensive background in events management.

For Labour: Candidate for Christchurch Central

Duncan is a lawyer and professor who has been working since 2010 to help ordinary people in Christchurch get their homes, lives, jobs, and businesses back on track after the earthquakes. As well as practicing, researching, and teaching law, he is an activist and spokesperson for homeowners fighting defective repairs and the failures of insurers, EQC, and others to treat citizens fairly and properly.

There may be more lawyers standing for other parties but I had particularly noticed the number of Labour candidates who were lawyers.

Perhaps lawyers are attracted to politics, and they may be also more inclined to have the  financial resources to be able to campaign. Ordinary workers need to keep working so don’t have the time, even if they had the inclination.

Are there any more lawyers who are MPs or candidates?