Greens propose inflation-powered windfarms

The Green Party promised they would announce a big election policy at their party conference in Lower Hutt today, and they have delivered. Tired of claims that their policies will cause inflation, the Greens are promising to put inflation to good use: powering wind farms. Russell Norman explained this in a recent interview, saying:

“I think a ‘policy neutral’ approach looks at the benefits of inflation. Inflation can be extremely powerful, and is carbon neutral. The Greens will use inflation to power a new generation of clean tech that grows green jobs. We have a fully costed policy that will use inflation to power the wind farms of the future, and create five trillion green jobs for hard working kiwis throughout the country. And we’ll fund this project with new ‘tax opportunities’ for the rich.”

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When asked about the impact of these new taxes on Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Norman replied “Well, we don’t see why we need to just accept GDP. It’s one measurement amongst many. There’s also the HPS Index (Hybrid/Prius/Smugness) and the GCM (Green Cabinet Ministers) Index, both of which New Zealand does quite poorly on. But the best thing for kiwi kids is to make a responsible, carbon-neutral transition from GDP to ‘DDP’- Delicious Domestic Product. Because when you think about it, who really wants their Domestic Product to be Gross?”

When asked about the policy, Labour announced that they had something very very similar in the works, albeit with minor improvements such as a ban on immigrants and restrictions on shower heads.

Cunliffe to switch bodies with cat in bid to boost popularity

With Labour’s continued poor performance in the polls, the party is getting increasingly desperate. Leader David Cunliffe’s popularity languishes at or below 10%, while Prime Minister John Key’s remains in the 40s. What the polls fail to mention is that 35% of kiwi voters consistently prefer random cats from the internet as Prime Minister.

This has set Labour’s strategic team thinking – ‘why don’t we get David to look more like a cat? People love that Tumblr Cats that look like David Cunliffe.’ Leaks from within the party suggest that the plan is to remove Cunliffe’s brain and transplant it into the body of whichever cat performs best with focus groups.

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Labour have realised the raw political power of cats on the internet

The plan has gone over well with voters in the centre, but has divided the party’s base. Animal welfarists decry the plan as cruel and violent to innocent cats, but the party’s small but vocal group of humans that identify as animals support the move.

The tension escalated overnight after Young Labour members exchanged increasingly obscure post-structuralist insults. Factional knife-fighting ensued.

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Unsurprisingly, the debate thus far has had little to do with the feasibility of actually transplanting David Cunliffe’s brain into the skull of a domestic cat.

Dr Alan Horrock-Axberg of Sydney Private Hospital, the surgeon expected to perform the surgery, has advised that the procedure is difficult but possible, stating “While Mr. Cunliffe’s brain is remarkably flexible, there is no guarantee that any cat’s body would accept it.” When asked whether the size difference between a cat’s skull and Mr Cunliffe’s brain would be a problem, Dr. Horrock-Axberg replied “What, Cunliffe? No, we don’t expect space to pose any problems”. David Cunliffe is remaining tight-lipped on the body-switch.

 

New Study Reveals Terrifying Truth of Student Politics

recent study by the Victoria University Political Science department claims to reveal the frightening truth about the makeup of student political parties.

Factions in student political parties

ACT New Zealand (‘ACT on Campus’)
57%- First year Bachelor of Commerce students
27%- Rightwing stoners
15%- Educated racists
<1%-  Women

Conservative Party New Zealand (‘Young’ Conservatives)
100%- That one guy who looks like he’s 35 and doesn’t actually go to uni.

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand (‘Young Greens’)
55%-  Activists who hope to one day visit ‘the environment’
24%- Idealistic misanthropes
11%- ‘Trust-ifarians’ (Rastas with trust funds)
10%- Former Labour party members who expect to ride Green success to power

Mana Party (‘Communist Party’)
100%- unwilling to answer survey questions

Māori Party
(No information available, scheduled to disband in August)

New Zealand First (‘New Zealand First Youth’)
42%- Conspiracy theorists
23%- Contrarians and internet trolls
22%- Pure political opportunists
13%- Mature students. Very, very mature students. Drinking Earl Grey.

New Zealand Labour Party (‘Young Labour’)
40%- Privileged children of civil servants
35%- Aspiring future sellouts
15%- Workers party members who’ve never actually worked
9%- Māori who entered adulthood after 2004
<1%- Workers

New Zealand National Party (‘Young Nats’)
63%- Rich kids who believe their wealth is due to hard work
23%- Ambitious sociopathic social climbers
13%- Ideologically ‘flexible’ refugees from the ACT party

Interestingly, responses to these findings were similar across party lines. All parties felt that:

1- The findings were correct about other parties, but gross and offensive exaggerations of their own.
2- The study’s authors were most likely members of the opposite tribe.

What Left parties now stand for

The politics of immigration has taken a bizarre turn in recent months, with Left parties calling for restrictions, limitations and even outright bans on certain acts by foreigners. Immigrants, especially Chinese immigrants, are being increasingly blamed for rising house prices and interest rates.

The Winston-isation of the Left has got me thinking. What do Left parties actually stand for? Here’s my completely serious and not-at-all-joking take on the party names:

G.R.E.E.N.S
Get Rid of Emigres, Except Nice Socialists
Gladly Removing Excess Expatriates, Nevermind Solidarity

L.A.B.O.U.R
Likes Asians Being Overseas. Unsure on Refugees
Let’s Advance Bans & Open the Undercurrent of Racism

M.A.N.A
Migrant Asians Not Accepted
Marxists Against New Arrivals

N.A.T.I.O.N.A.L
National Appreciates This Influx Of New Asian Lenders
National Always Tells Investors Options for Notifying & Advising Legislators

NZ F.I.R.S.T
Force Immigrants to Reside in Small Towns
Fuck Immigrants & Refugees. Scotch Time!

When did the Left turn on foreigners?

Not long after John Key came to power he surprised a lot of people by cutting a deal with the Māori party. This was a mere three years after racist Don Brash and his racist Orewa speech. John Key was a central part of this nastiness, and there he was making Tariana Turia a Minister.

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One of the few benefits of having the Right in power is that racism is less prominent in the national conversation. The Right is happy to wield it to score political points in opposition, but less keen when in power. Liberal Young Nats would do well to remember this. When Labour retake power, your party will turn on you and your liberal views, and will start talking about ‘one law for all’.

But now the Left has increasingly started to dog whistle on immigration. Whether or not this is deliberate is beside the point. Xenophobia is not merely a matter of strategy and tactics; it has implications for the safety of non-white New Zealanders. The Left in New Zealand needs to be much clearer about it’s anti-racism.

I expected this from Labour. A centrist Labour that is relatively socially conservative is more of a threat to National than a rainbow coalition that bare knuckle boxes with the Greens. What is more, a centrist Labour could eat Winston, and rob National of a coalition partner. But the far Left? When did we turn on foreigners?

I was disturbed to see Russel Norman raise his hand sheepishly when the question was asked “who wants to ban foreign buyers from buying residential properties?” You can see it yourself at 1:40. The whole far Left raised its hand to banning foreigners from living amongst us as we do.

Russel supporting a ban on foreigners buying residential homes

Russel quietly supporting a ban on foreigners buying residential homes

They’re not talking about limitations, they’re talking about a ban. They’re not talking about investment properties, they’re talking about residentials. They weren’t talking about non-resident investors, they were talking about foreigners. When did the Left turn on the taxi drivers and cleaners in this country?

Only ACT called it xenophobic. My god, what has happened to us? How did the Right get to claim to lead the fight against xenophobia? I don’t mind Labour getting down in the dirt -they just need to be clearer about their anti-racism. But the Greens and MANA? Good god, no.

5 Reasons why writing a political blog is a bad idea

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This is my first attempt at a political blog, and it has quickly become clear to me that it is probably a bad idea. Here are five reasons why:

1- Welcome to the echo chamber.
Writing a political blog means you are now a part of the bloviating, snarky, hyper-partisan political landscape. Say goodbye to neutrality, for you are now part of the toxic tribal discourse that incentivises point-scoring in politicians, and partisanship in the public. One of the occupational sins for politicians is that they speak in vagaries and deflections. One of the occupational sins for bloggers is that we write with too little restraint, because:

2- Hyberbole generates page views, despite being super-duper pure fucking evil.
It’s a crowded blogosphere, and we think our views are important true and right. Well, there’s one effective way to get your view out there, and maybe be the next Cameron Slater; be outrageous. Spit bile. Misrepresent people who disagree with you. Make a few snarky cracks, or compare them to Hitler. Nuance and balance requires a lot of words, and is thoroughly unspectacular. If you are lack talent, it’s tempting to go hack-ish to get support from the mega-partisans. But this has impacts:

3- Becoming politicised is a sure way to lose friends.
Once you start putting your opinion out there, you soon find that a lot of people you care about, good people, don’t agree with you. And when you make your identity primarily political, then politics ceases to be just one small part of your relationship with others, and can become a-make or-break. All of sudden, you find so-and-so and doesn’t like you because of something you said on the blog. 

4- Blogging preserves your stupidity for posterity.
Like me, you’ve probably had incredibly stupid thoughts that, thankfully, are not written down somewhere. In a GCSB and NSA world, is it really a good idea to have your political thoughts out there for states to examine at their leisure? But perhaps the surest sign that writing a blog is a terrible idea is:

5- Blogging eats time and shits self-importance.
There is something narcissistic about putting your opinions out there for the whole world to (hopefully) read. Firstly, you have to think that your opinion worth something- perhaps that it is unique or unarticulated. Secondly, you have to value writing these opinions over other, more social activities. This is true of writing in general, but it seems worse for political blogging. For the most part, we are not creating anything beautiful. We are enabling conflict. 

ACT’s bold new ‘baby eating’ policy

Yesterday the ACT party released their alternative budget. Thankfully, it received little attention. But as someone who always keeps one eye on the shambling zombie corpse of libertarianism, I had to have a look. ACT propose ending Working for Families, raising superannuation, and ending interest free student loans, amongst other electoral poisons.

But buried in the details was an interesting tidbit: their policy to mitigate climate change. In an effort to rebrand themselves as more than the party of right wing stoners, educated racists, and the mentally ill, they have gone big and bold: ACT propose eating babies.

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Not satisfied with merely stealing their identities, ACT have escalated to baby eating. Of course they don’t call it that explicitly, but it’s there if you read between the lines. Their budget calls it an “innovative policy to address climate change, hunger and overpopulation” … by exorting and eating third world babies. Take this excerpt, for example:
“Opportunity exists for New Zealand to play a vital role in addressing global issues via market mechanisms. For example, emerging markets have a structural overproduction of labour, and insufficient supply of food. ACT propose harmonising these markets by removing legislation that prevents the consumption of excess labour. This policy will provide much needed revenue to people in poorer countries and have positive externalities, including a reduction of CO2 emissions and long-term resource consumption. ACT recommends this policy be adopted by atolls  at risk of naturally occurring climate change.”

This makes total sense if you are a consistent libertarian. When asked about the new policy, former leader Don Brash remarked “look, there are a bunch of apparently separate problems here; overpopulation, hunger, poverty, and climate change. Exporting brown babies for consumption from low-lying islands will increase export earnings, provide a rich protein source, and lower the number of future climate refugees.” Vintage Brash. When told that the policy could be construed as offenisve and racist, Brash remarked “it can’t be racist. My ex-wife is from Singapore.”

It’s good to see ACT finally taking their market fundamentalism seriously. Whether the policy gets any traction with the wider public, or is acceptable to National, is another issue though. I suspect the wider public will baulk at the costs at setting all this up, and National will likely argue addressing hunger, poverty and climate changewould endanger the surplus.

But whatever happens, ACT are back!