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Friday, March 27th, 2015

James Robins

  • Voting isn't everything

    At the close of a recent election debate, after Mr. Cunliffe and Mr. Key had concluded their sloganeering, host John Campbell’s autocue failed. With unsurpassable energy, he adlibbed a rousing monologue with an image of ‘Tank Man’ emblazoned on the ...

    September 19, 2:37 pm
  • Our worst fears proven true

    Forget Kim Dotcom’s stupid blustering and the obscenely misleading event he conducted last night at the Auckland Town Hall. Forget Julian Assange’s ridiculous rambling about the “deep state”. Forget Robert Amsterdam’s alarming speculation about Amer...

    September 16, 3:34 pm
  • A scandal worth caring about

    How can it be? After a month of near total vindication of the journalist Nicky Hager, and after a month of shameful blustering on the part of our political elite, opinion polls still indicate the public at large couldn’t give a damn about our countr...

    September 3, 6:04 pm
  • Unpleasant truths

    If history repeats itself, as is so often said, then let us spare a thought for the Kurdish people.In the early days of Kurdish nationalism, popular rebellions were suppressed with supreme force. Turkish troops in 1938, not content with just quashin...

    August 27, 2:57 pm
  • Dirty politics before our eyes

    Let’s be clear. In his new book Dirty Politics: How Attack Politics is Poisoning New Zealand’s Political Environment, which has consumed airtime over the last week, author Nicky Hager presents no ‘smoking gun’ or ‘bloody fingerprint’ for criminal ac...

    August 18, 4:28 pm
  • Stop taking offence

    In the United States, on a whimsical comedy network named Adult Swim, a show aired which drew the ire and malice of One Million Moms.The hordes, aligned with the sanctimonious American Family Association who campaign for a kind of Puritanism that wo...

    August 14, 1:01 pm
  • Hamas: oppressors of the Palestinians

    A phrase often repeated by those who claim to support the Palestinians in their fight for liberation is thus: ‘Hamas is the elected representative of the people of Gaza’.This borders on absurdity.Not only is Hamas utterly opposed to either the conso...

    August 6, 5:19 pm
  • Dotcom’s interference is an insult

    When Kim Dotcom appeared on the political scene, he was a victim.Targeted by Hollywood, persecuted by the United States, raided by the New Zealand police, and surveilled illegally by our over-reaching spy agency. He became a cause celebre. A brave w...

    July 30, 2:55 pm
  • Burning flags and hating Jews

    On Saturday last, roughly 700 people marched down Auckland’s Queen Street in support of the Palestinian people – a people confined to a prison on their own land, and forced to lie prone before the might of the Israeli army.A small act of defiance in...

    July 23, 4:47 pm
  • Unable to speak

    Rudyard Kipling, that old scribe of the colonised Orient, wrote of “the sludgy, squdgy creek,” in Mandalay, “where the silence 'ung that 'eavy you was 'arf afraid to speak...”In modern-day Burma, the country which so took Kipling’s fancy, that heavy...

    July 17, 2:17 pm
  • It's up to National to revolutionise

    In an election year, the rhetoric from both sides of the house reaches a crescendo and the usual promises are made. Promises that will either be made with one’s fingers crossed, or inevitably broken and forgotten about.Specific groups are targeted i...

    July 9, 4:09 pm
  • In league with jihad

    It took an all-out offensive from the most deranged and psychopathic jihadi group in the world to establish Iraq’s troubles firmly back in the media spotlight.But that attention inevitably allows the resurfacing of old arguments and old cat-calls fr...

    June 25, 4:59 pm
  • Why Iraq Matters

    In his book The Second World, Parag Khanna idly throws out the idea of a strong and secure Iraq reconciling its sectarian differences: “Iraq has been terminated before, and history will do so again,” he writes. “In the long term, the region could be...

    June 18, 12:56 pm
  • ‘Politics – how boring!’

    Strolling down to the remarkably sparkling Britomart area of Auckland for a drink one evening, a friend-of-a-friend asked me what I do for a living.“I’m a journalist,” I replied, and told her where I worked. “I write a few columns every now and agai...

    June 10, 3:56 pm
  • An aberration ignored

    Refugees are escaping hell. By seeking asylum in countries like New Zealand and Australia, refugees might expect, and probably should expect, some form of a better existence than the realities they’ve fled from.But brave travellers from South East A...

    June 3, 4:51 pm
  • Let’s be sensible about immigration

    The ground-shaking headlines of political usurpation echoed across the weekend. With the European Parliament elections came noise of “earthquakes” unleashed and “seismic” shifts in the landscape.Two stories emerged from the melee of disaffectation: ...

    May 28, 3:51 pm
  • Journalists aren’t stupid, and neither are you

    Last weekend, the diligent amongst us were confronted with the spectre of actual journalism in the form of Jeremy Scahill, who currently trawls through state secrets for The Intercept.Appearing at the Auckland Writer’s Festival and in an interview f...

    May 21, 8:45 am
  • Unflinching death from above

    Predators, they’re called. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles - drones - brimming with missiles and implements for the skewering of vehicles and human beings alike. These swift and menacing machines remove the pilot from the equation – the soldier in control ...

    April 22, 9:54 am
  • The hypnotic power of Wulls and Kayt

    Throughout the ten-day tour of New Zealand by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, critical faculties are dispensed with and the public mind is rendered limp in order to carry out the usual conversation:“Oy baib, dun’t thay jist luk soe gud tugetha!?”...

    April 15, 4:01 pm
  • The News: a piffle-peddler’s handbook

    “From time to time, I open a newspaper. Things seem to be proceeding at a dizzying rate. We are dancing not on the edge of a volcano, but on the wooden seat of a latrine, and it seems to me more than a touch rotten. Soon society will go plummeting d...

    April 3, 2:21 pm

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  • Ken Ring

    March 27, 10:07 am
    Longrange weather chat

    2015 continues the overall predicted outlook of being a drier-than-average year for most of NA. Exceptions will be wetter Inland Otago and Southland,...

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