Red Alert

Archive for the ‘video’ Category

Go the All Whites

Posted by on June 23rd, 2010

200 years that changed the world

Posted by on June 6th, 2010

If you haven’t come across Hans Rosling and his gapminder graphs, have a look at this. Brilliant representation of the last 200 years of economic development. It puts the NZ debate about catching up with Australia in an interesting time and space context.

Now link here and press play to track New Zealand v Shanghai since 1952.


Video: John Key on GST

Posted by on February 24th, 2010

Giving peace a chance

Posted by on November 6th, 2009

Turns out the world is becoming more peaceful. Who knew!

There has been a steady decline since the late 1980s and early 1990s in the number of wars (both between and within states), in the number of genocidal and mass atrocities, and the number of people dying violent deaths because of them.

Serious conflicts (defined as 1000 or more battle deaths per year) and political mass murders (like Rwanda or Cambodia) have declined by 80% since the early 1990s, and there are 40% fewer conflicts taking place. Even more striking is that from the 1940s to the 1990s most years had reported battle deaths of more than 100,000 and sometimes as many as 500,000. The average for the past few years has been around 20,000.

Sub-Saharan Africa is generally assumed to be the most war-torn part of the planet, and it was, in the late 1990s. But between 1999 and 2006 the number of inter-state conflicts dropped by more than half, and battle deaths shrunk to just two percent of the 1999 toll. Non-state conflicts or one-sided violence, for instance killing of defenceless civilians, declined by two-thirds or more between 2002 and 2006.

The figures come from the Canada-based Human Security Report Project, and I found them reading The Responsibility to Protect, by former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans. Evans was in Wellington this week speaking about nuclear disarmament on which I will post later. But one of his biggest achievements in recent years has been developing and building support for the idea of the responsibility to protect aka R2P.

The idea is that states have a responsibility to protect their citizens from mass atrocity crimes. If they fail to uphold that responsibility then the international community’s responsibility to protect kicks in with the full gamut of conflict resolution, preventive diplomacy, peace keeping, and ultimately if necessary military intervention. It is by no means settled international law. The whole idea is still controversial particularly with developing countries wary of the West’s tendency to imperialist intervention. But Evans and others have made great headway with R2P. If it continues to gather support it will be a useful tool in preventing future Rwandas and Srebenicas.

It is interesting to wonder why the number of wars and conflicts is trending down so strongly. Evans argues that the end of the Cold War meant an end to the many proxy wars fuelled by Washington and Moscow. And the end of colonialism which was responsible for two-thirds of the wars from the 1950s to 1980s. But the recent improvements he puts down to…

the huge upsurge in…conflict prevention, conflict management, negotiated peace making, and post-conflict peacebuilding activity that has occurred over the last decade and a half, with most of this being spearheaded by the much maligned UN, albeit with a great deal of additional input from regional organisations, governments and NGOs.

This sea change has affected our part of the world. New Zealand under Don McKinnon helped bring peace to Bougainville. In recent years our police, aid workers and soldiers have helped build, manage and keep peace in Bougainville, Timor Leste, Solomon Islands, and Afghanistan. New Zealand has developed some expertise in this area. Andrew Ladley of Victoria University spends much of his time these days on mediation and conflict resolution and has just returned from a mission in Zimbabwe.  Kevin Clements has returned from a distinguished career abroad to run the new National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Otago University. It is an aspect of our foreign policy that has huge potential for the future. More on this later.

In the mean time Yoko, Sean and Julian Lennon have re-released Give Peace A Chance as a fundraiser for projects of the UN’s Peace Building Commission.  Watch this video of the song with historic footage from anti-Vietnam war demonstrations.

Is the super city a cover for privatisation?

Posted by on August 19th, 2009

Campbell Live covered my member’s bill and the super city privatisation issue last night. Rodney Hide first tried to say that John Key had ruled out asset sales but Campbell picked him up on the fact that Key was only talking about state assets, not local ones. Then Hide objected to my bill on the grounds that it applied only to Auckland!  He did say he would like to make the case for the privatisation of the ports of Auckland.  Good to see three Auckland mayors expressing their support, but strange that Auckland City Mayor John Banks claimed not to even know about the bill.

My bill gets its first reading tonight, possibly as early as 5pm. For details on how to tune in, click here.

Labour, Greens, Maori Party and Progressive are all voting for the bill. It’s Rodney Hide and the Government’s big chance to prove they are listening to Aucklanders. Let’s see if they take it.

Obama’s New Deal

Posted by on August 16th, 2009

I’ve just been reading Paul Krugman‘s The Conscience of a Liberal. He likens Obama’s crusade for universal health care to FDR’s introduction of Social Security and unemployment insurance back in the thirties. It would improve the lives of tens of millions of Americans, and give new life to the New Deal idea that society should help its less fortunate members. Have a listen to FDR’s Madison Square Garden campaign speech from 1936:

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace – business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organised money is just as dangerous as Government by organised mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me – and I welcome their hatred.

The more things change…

Not yours to sell

Posted by on August 13th, 2009

This is a video made for Not Yours To Sell, Labour’s campaign to save Auckland’s assets under the super city. Click here to find out more.

I don’t think so

Posted by on August 3rd, 2009

Kiwi music legend Don McGlashan wrote and recorded this song for  Not Yours To Sell – Labour’s campaign to save Auckland’s publicly owned assets from privatisation.

The song is called I Don’t Think So.

Click here to find out more about the campaign. You can sign up as a supporter, and send a message to National’s Auckland MPs asking them to support my member’s bill that would require a referendum before assets were sold.

Obama on the Button

Posted by on July 18th, 2009

I’m not a technical expert but have a look at this [added below – admin].

Pretty powerful stuff:

“Government programs alone won’t get our children to the Promised Land,”

“We have to say to our children, ‘Yes, if you’re African-American, the odds of growing up amid crime and gangs are higher, Yes, if you live in a poor neighborhood, you will face challenges that someone in a wealthy suburb does not.’

“But that’s not a reason to get bad grades, that’s not a reason to cut class, that’s not a reason to give up on your education and drop out of school. No one has written your destiny for you. Your destiny is in your hands and don’t you forget that.”

“I want them aspiring to be scientists and engineers, doctors and teachers, not just ballers and rappers,” Obama said. “I want them aspiring to be a Supreme Court justice. I want them aspiring to be president of the United States.”

It is a team effort parents, teachers communities and kids.

Thanks to Cactus Kate for the tip.

Filed under: video

Join the opposition

Posted by on July 14th, 2009

Get in quick. Offer only open next two and a half years. (Hat tip to Duendin Young Labour, who made this.)

Lee investigation amateur whitewash

Posted by on May 26th, 2009

NZ on Air claim to have investigated Melissa Lee. There are a few unanswered questions:-

  1. Did they interview the staff member who made the allegations especially in relation to Lee’s standover approach during the editing of the election special?
  2. Did they establish how many staff members were required to work on the National Party video?
  3. Did they interview those staff members?
  4. Did they establish whether the staff members worked during paid hours or outside of that time as volunteers?
  5. Did they establish who owned the copyright to the stock footage used in the video?
  6. Why was it not made clear that Lee’s company relied completely on taxpayer funding – the company had no other funding source?