Posts by Nick Russell

  • Hard News: They want to blow it all up,

    Moreover, I don't think they want a rules-based world.

    Bingo. Trump's regime takes a Randian approach to rules-based international organisations. America first is not just a slogan, it is a policy. They want to replace multilateral rules-based international organisations, which (in their view) restrain and limit American influence and power, with a series of bilateral agreements which America can dominate. I think one way of thinking about this is to consider how the UK might have approached any suggestion of an international rules-based world when it was at the peak of empire in the 19th century. Who needs rules when you have power?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: A Word About Safety, in reply to Moz,

    So if you don't like judges and juries are problematic, how do you want these cases decided?

    For what it's worth, the High Court has about 40 judges and I think 15 of them are women. Not all of the men are white although most of them are. Hardly a bastion of diversity but probably better than many think.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: A Word About Safety, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    It has been suggested somewhere recently (can't recall where) that the time has arrived to stop using juries for these sort of cases and rely instead on some sort of panel of experts. It's one way of avoiding myths about consent. But the entire logic of using randomly selected juries in criminal cases is that they can judge these things using actual social mores - what we as a society actually believe, for better or worse. That has proved to be a remarkably enduring and resilient principle. Still, they don't use juries any more for complex fraud cases - deemed to be too long and difficult for ordinary members of the public to decide. So why not rape cases too?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Big Night Outage,

    I may be mistaken but my impression is that Auckland has far more frequent and serious power outages than Wellington or Christchurch. Does anyone know if there is a reason why the distribution network is more vulnerable there? It's not unknown for Wellington to have the odd storm, and it's not unusual for there to be lines down somewhere, but nothing like this scale.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: ACL: The best of times, the…, in reply to Harry b'staad,

    I think that falls into the category of too much of a good thing...

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: ACL: The best of times, the…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The Magic Factory were indeed a riot. Best vibes of the today. Disasteradio was good at GD as well.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Waitangi: Just enjoy the day, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    Ah, you are right about Helen Clark in 1998. I should have checked. But still - just about every new PM right back to Lange (maybe not Jim Bolger) seems to be a generational change and a breath of fresh air, until they aren't any more and become just another politician. The odds of the current PM avoiding that career trajectory seem pretty low to me. Who was it who said that all political careers end in failure?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Waitangi: Just enjoy the day,

    I wonder if people are getting just a mite carried away about this. It's not unprecedented for new Governments and PMs to be feted at Waitangi. If memory serves, John Key also got a very warm reception when he was first elected. As did Helen Clark 9 years before that. Maybe we should reserve judgement for a couple of years. I will be far more impressed if the PM gets the same sort of reception in, say, 2020.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: What we learned yesterday…,

    Hmm. I'm not sure this is a positive development at all and I worry that it might be set up to fail just like Winston's retirement savings referendum back in the 90s. A lot of people seem to regard referendums as an imposition or even an insult. They certainly do not provoke rational political debates. Ask John Key. It wouldn't take much for this to backfire and put the cause of drug law reform back by years.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Campaign 2017: Buy a…, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    When you're seeing someone who might actually be leading a government in two week getting away with vague waffle about major policy being determined by working groups long after the election?

    How is she getting away with it? Every news outlet I can think of has reported that Labour is doing this. Labour has decided that they will plough ahead regardless and that's fair enough. People can vote for them, or not. It seems on the whole voters are less troubled by this than the media or the Government think they ought to be. Labour won't appreciate the comparison, but there are shades of Trump's tax returns here. He decided to thumb his nose at political convention and was successful. Labour is doing the same thing. That isn't the fault of the people reporting the election campaign.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 108 posts Report Reply

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