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Key was never more than a front man.

The Editor,  The Sunday Star Times,  Auckland

07 December, 2016

Dear Editor:

John Key lasted a year longer than I expected; I’ll give him that. But his demise goes back two years to the 2014 election and the stoush that followed from Nicky Hager’s book, Dirty Politics, out of which Judith Collins was sent to the bench for a while. Read the rest of this entry »

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Response to Gordon Campbell’s article on Trump

Appropriate to mention that Trump asked in a military briefing why he couldn’t use nuclear weapons. Does he not know that military and nuclear strategists have long put forth the ‘nuclear deterrence’ theory?  He should have known that would be the response.  There is some (probably unintended) honesty about his question as there is no such thing as ‘nuclear deterrence’; that is just a figment of a collective insanity.  But he is surely serious about using them.  Ever since the end of the cold war it has been universally understood that there is no reason to have them except to use them.

So where would he use them? North Korea? It’s hard for me to guess.  If the use offends or threatens some large nuclear power, such as China or Russia, it would not surprize to see them respond with a nuclear blast somewhere.  The target?  Likely some country out of the way, small, and an ally of the USA.  Oh, and just for good measure, an anti-nuclear country; nuclear nations see anti-nuclear as a threat.  Just a thought.

(addendum 12/11/16)

Gordon,
Good of you to remind us that Trump is willing to encourage other countries to develop nuclear weapons.  Would that become another export industry?  Does this display a lack of understanding of the destructiveness of a nuclear weapon?  Or is it a sign of suicidal tendencies?  More the latter I think.
Those who see that the global economy is dominated by profiteers who benefit from perpetual war are not wrong.  But that misses the discussion of the larger cultural/historical flow and the point which is coming to a zenith today.  I think we all know what that big picture is but we are almost universally terrified of discussing it.


Submission on Open Government

This is a last minute, short, one item submission to the consultation on Open Government:

Hi Martin,
Apologies for such a short statement at the last minute today.
The most important thing that NZ could do to promote open government would be to narrow the criteria and limit the use of “urgency” by government.  A government is not elected to be a dictator but this government is using their popularity to shove through much important legislation that deserves a national discussion, even clearly unpopular legislation.  Urgency is meant to keep the government working, not to shut off debate.

Richard Keller


Response to Nicky Hager’s opinion piece in the Auckland Herald (09/06/16)

Response to Nicky Hager’s opinion piece in the Auckland Herald (09/06/16)

originally written for the Peace Action Wellington action list

There is a problem created by Nicky Hager’s analysis which is highlighted within his own article (Auckland Herald, 09/06/16).  For starters, if the letter of the NZ Nuclear Free Legislation applies only to ships brought into NZ, but the country bringing the non-nuke ship in (USA in this case) has thousands of nuclear weapons in its military plans, then that puts into sharp relief the limited effect of the NZ nuclear free law.  Read the rest of this entry »


Why warship visit invitation?

The Editor,  The Sunday Star Times,  Auckland

12 November, 2015

Dear Editor:

Now that there is a small concession for NZ dairy exports into North America in the released TPPA text the government is saying ‘no problem’ for all the dangers to our democratic governance system in it through so-called investor state dispute tribunals,  restrictions on Pharmac, internet freedom, and other threats.   Read the rest of this entry »


NZ Defence Industry Association annual conference – “defence”?

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

09 November, 2015

Dear Editor:

Sanji Gunasekara (6 Nov) and Noeline Gannaway (4 Nov) are on the mark.  The so-called “defence” (NZ Defence Industry Association) annual conference on 17/18 November has been approved by Positively Wellington Venues of Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) to use the TSB Centre in Wellington which is a WCC facility.  Do Chris Whelan (WCC Chief Executive Officer), WREDA, the Mayor or council members know what military activities around the globe these many contractors are selling into? Read the rest of this entry »


Resignation evident in dairy farmer’s response to TPPA

The Editor,  The Press,  Christchurch

07 October, 2015

Dear Editor:

The resignation evident in the responses of dairy farmers to the underwhelming TPPA deal announced this week is illustrative of the general loss of self respect which the New Zealand public exhibits after decades of attack by so-called neoliberal economics. After all the rhetoric from negotiator Tim Groser over a period of months, even years, you might have thought farmers would be outraged at the result. Read the rest of this entry »