Train wreck at KiwiRail

Behind the job losses
at Hillside and Woburn

The latest issue of the Transport Worker, the journal of the Rail and Maritime Union, carries an excellent article by Gordon Campbell on the decision, by KiwiRail actively endorsed by the government, to build new rolling stock off-shore  - a must read on a number of levels, include the astute observation that  "where you have a CEO driven by a need for short term cost savings, this will generate decisions that often aren’t  for the good of the company, the employees, the local community or the country as a whole” 

You can download the Transport Worker here 

Politicians who actually care

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez on Free Trade Agreements

Have you seen this awesome video of Representative Linda Sánchez throwing down the gauntlet against the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA)?

Given its election year, and with the lunacy of the Trans Pacific Partnership on the immediate horizon, you’d hope that similar voices would be raised in NZ –

There are things we can do – see below for details of the action YOU can take to stop the blinkered adherents of the demonstrably failed neoliberal ideology of ‘Free Trade’.

  • Become active in the New Zealand Not for Sale Campaign
  • Visit the campaigns webpage
  • Checkout the backgrounders
  • Sign online or download the Statement of Sovereignty
  • Red Card the TPPA - Send your MP (and candidates) a postcard opposing the TPPA

Our democracy - Not for Sale

Our public health - Not for Sale

Our intellectual property - Not for Sale

Our sovereignty - Not for Sale
Our children's future - Not for Sale

"Shock Doctrine" comes to the classroom

"Let's hope the fiscal crisis doesn't get better too soon. It'll slow down reform."
-- Tom Watkins, a consultant, summarizes the corporate education reform movement's current strategy to the Sunday New York Times.

US journalist David Sirota, writing for, describes how corporate reformers are using the fiscal crisis to hype an unproven school reforms ... 

"The Shock Doctrine, as articulated by journalist Naomi Klein, describes the process by which corporate interests use catastrophes as instruments to maximize their profit. Sometimes the events they use are natural (earthquakes), sometimes they are human-created (the 9/11 attacks) and sometimes they are a bit of both (hurricanes made stronger by human-intensified global climate change). Regardless of the particular cataclysm, though, the Shock Doctrine suggests that in the aftermath of a calamity, there is always corporate method in the smoldering madness - a method based in Disaster Capitalism."

Read the rest

On the local scene checkout

The National Standards Campaign


False Claims versus Hard Realities

The Pending US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement: 
Distinguishing between fact and fiction

With a little more than a year till the 2012 elections the White House and Congressional leadership are anxious to pass pending Free Trade Agreements (FTA) as soon as possible.

Most worrisome of all is the pending FTA between the US and Colombia. Corporate leaders and U.S. and Colombian government officials with their public relations operatives are peddling lie after lie to justify passage.

The Alliance for Global Justice has put together a guide to help people better understand and counter the falsehoods they will be hearing and countering in the coming weeks.

The fight against the neoliberal economic agenda is indeed universal and this article is will worth checking out.


Labour Day Rally in Chicago Kicks off Challenge to TPPA Negotiating Round

A rally of around a thousand unionists, HIV-Aids activists and social justice campaigners in Chicago sent a clear message to negotiators the day before the latest round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations began in Chicago.

Addressing the crowd, Chicago-based civil rights leader Jessie Jackson urged President Obama to address the problems of jobs and problems of poverty. That would not be delivered through more free trade deals on the NAFTA model that had only benefited the powerful corporations.

Proving that not all businesses support the corporate lobbies’ demands for the TPPA, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream called for trade agreements to be based on social justice and ethical business practices.

‘We want an agreement that puts people first and makes global trade an instrument of justice’, Cohen said.

Buying milk from their ice cream from local farmers was part of their commitment to the communities that bought their products. Fonterra’s ambitions to export more milk powder to the US when there was already a surplus of local made no sense.

The two iconic business leaders personally distributed free ice cream at the end of the rally.

The rally launches a series of activities over the coming week that are designed to highlight the impacts a TPPA could have on jobs, economic recovery, public health and democracy.

Also see

> Labor unions rally at Grant Park
> Labor Day Rally Draws Out Hundreds Calling For Fair Trade Agreement


Other People's Wars: New Zealand in Afghanistan, Iraq and the war on terror


'We got ourselves into habit of saying, "Hmm, what's New Zealand's view?
OK, the first thing we do is ask the Americans, we ask the Canadians, 
we ask the Brits, we ask the Australians," and when we've 
got all their views we synthesise them into our own view'
-former New Zealand diplomat

The 'war on terror' in Afghanistan and beyond has been the longest foreign war in New Zealand history, yet most New Zealanders know almost nothing about their country's part in it. For ten years, nearly everything controversial or potentially unpopular was kept secret, and obscured by a steady flow of military public relations stories.

Based on thousands of leaked New Zealand military and intelligence documents, extensive interviews with military and intelligence officers and eye-witness accounts from the soldiers on the ground, Nicky Hager tells the story of these years. New Zealand was far more involved than the public realised in this crucial period of world history. He tells how the military and bureaucracy used the war on terror to pursue private agendas, even when this meant misleading and ignoring the decisions of the elected government.

Visit Craig Potton Publishing

Nicky Hager - Other People's Wars Book Launch Video

Kim Hill interviews Nicky Hager