New Zealand in India ODI Series 2017, First ODI Preview

Colin Munro’s T20 form has seen him elevated to open for the ODI side in the hope that he can replicate Brendon McCullum

A lot of things are going against the Black Caps before their One Day International series against India in India starts tonight (Sunday) at 9p.m. NZT. Ominously, India sit atop the ICC ODI team rankings table, equal to South Africa with 120 ratings points, while the Black Caps are currently a mid-table side at 5th. Worse, the matches are in India, where India just demolished the world champion Australia side 4-1.

On the other hand, a lot is going in their favour. New Zealand scored 343/9 in their last warm-up match against an Indian Board President’s XI, with centuries to Ross Taylor and Tom Latham, who in all likelihood will comprise the 4-5 axis over the series. Considering that Kane Williamson will bat at three, this suggests that India might have difficulty bowling the Black Caps out.

Colin Munro is expected to open the batting with Martin Guptill, which is an experimental measure intended to fill the gap left by Brendon McCullum at the top of the order. McCullum’s explosive starts made it possible for Williamson and Taylor to build innings without risk, and Munro has a T20 strike rate of close to 150 – close to what McCullum was striking at for the last 2 years of his ODI career.

It looks as though Williamson will try and get 10 overs out of Colin de Grandhomme, who will bat 7, and with Latham at 5 doing the wicketkeeping this leaves a spot for a pure batsman at 6. This spot might get filled by Henry Nicholls, as it was during the final warm-up match, or the Black Caps might start playing hitters from there, which would probably mean Glenn Phillips.

The other question mark is whether or not Tim Southee is still good enough to command a starting spot in this ODI squad. Although he has been a first-choice seamer for a handful of years, his ODI bowling average over the past three years – which includes the great run at the 2015 Cricket World Cup – is 36.47, which is only good enough for 33rd place on the official ODI bowling rankings.

Damningly, there are four players from Afghanistan alone higher than Southee on the official rankings, which is probably not good enough for a Black Caps side that made the final of the last Cricket World Cup and is aiming to go one better in England in 2019.

It’s very possible that the Black Caps play two spinners on the slow Indian decks, which means they take both Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi. Assuming then that they still need de Grandhomme at 7 for the sake of the batting, and that Trent Boult is undroppable, that means Southee will be competing with Adam Milne and Matt Henry for that second seamer’s position.

India, for their part, have two extremely crafty bowlers. With the new ball is Jasprit Bumrah, who isn’t quick but has a Nathan Bracken-style range of subtle variations that make him hard to hit off the square, and with the older ball is Axar Patel, whose wily orthodox is also a difficult proposition on Indian surfaces.

The likely winning of the game, however, will be in India’s power-packed top order. They have four batsmen ranked in the top 14 in the world, with two of them – Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma – ranked higher than Kane Williamson. Kohli averages a monstrous 55.13 from almost 200 matches, and getting rid of him early is simply a necessity if the Black Caps are to win.

Alongside them are the silky skillful Ajinkya Rahane and the brutal Shikhar Dhawan at the top and MS Dhoni with his 50+ average down the order. India have also found a genuine allrounder in Hardik Pandya so have no obvious weaknesses anywhere.

The Black Caps are only playing three ODIs and they are paying $3.80 on BetFair to win the first one, compared to India’s $1.35. This suggests that the market is expecting a 2-1 or 3-0 win to India.

Cannabis Law Reform Appears Imminent Under The New “Afghanistan” Government

The Afghanistan flag is black, red and green, like the alliance supporting the Sixth Labour Government

A black-red-green “Afghanistan” coalition has replaced National in the halls of New Zealand power, and so the absolute, mindless refusal of the outgoing National Government to countenance any kind of cannabis law reform is now no longer relevant. This means that the wasted decade might be at an end. This article looks at the prospects for cannabis law reform over the next three years.

Labour had already pledged to introduce medicinal cannabis within the first 100 days of taking power, at least to “people with terminal illnesses or in chronic pain”, but questions remain.

It isn’t yet clear what definition of medicinal cannabis Labour intends to use when they change the law. What constitutes “medicinal” use of cannabis is a subject of considerable debate, not least among medical and mental health professionals. That it could be prescribed to people with terminal illnesses seems straightforward enough, but what qualifies as “chronic pain” could vary from a small number of acute conditions on the one hand, to a California-style wide range of ailments on the other (California has had legal medicinal cannabis since 1996).

The best outcome for cannabis users would be that the Labour Party adopts the same definition of cannabis, and treats cannabis the same way, as in Julie Anne Genter’s medicinal cannabis bill, currently before Parliament. This bill contains a very broad conception of medicinal cannabis and provides for users to grow their own medicine at home if they have approval from a doctor who believes that cannabis would prevent suffering.

A jackpot outcome for medicinal cannabis users would be for the home grow provisions of Julie Anne Genter’s bill to be made legal within the first hundred days of the Sixth Labour Government. Although we can be sure that all of the Green MPs and most of the Labour MPs would support this, Winston Peters and New Zealand First might prefer a narrower definition of medicinal cannabis in the first hundred days with a broader definition put to referendum as part of the deal with the Greens.

Recently it was learned that the Green Party had successfully negotiated to hold a referendum on personal use of cannabis at or before the 2020 General Election. Although it isn’t clear at this stage whether this will be similar to the referendum that successfully legalised recreational cannabis in Colorado in 2012, or if it will be some watered-down offer of decriminalisation, the very fact that a referendum is happening is excellent news for New Zealand cannabis users.

Although James Shaw is maintaining the lie that the Greens have supported legalising cannabis for 20 years, rather than tell the truth that they abandoned cannabis users for many years in an effort to appeal to the middle class, the fact that he feels the desire to take credit for the change in public perception regarding cannabis is a sign that he is sure that the wind has changed.

This column pointed out some years ago that it would be possible to tell when the public perception of cannabis had definitively shifted because politicians would start publicly claiming to have always supported a law change. Shaw is lying when he says that the Greens have had cannabis law reform as part of their policy for the past 20 years, because cannabis law reform activists have been challenging the Greens that whole time to update their cannabis policy to something similar to that of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, and they have only done so in the past year.

But that doesn’t matter any more. The important thing is that a lot of cannabis law reform should be happening in the next three years, under a governing alliance that does not suffer from the fear-based myopia of the National Party around the substance. It appears that the efforts of cannabis law reform activists to persuade the centre-left parties of the merits of reform have been broadly successful, and that the ruling powers are now of a mind to make change to the laws.

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Vince McLeod is a former Membership Secretary of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and author of the Cannabis Activist’s Handbook.

Could Amelia Kerr Play For the Black Caps?

Cricket is a game of skill, not strength, and Amelia Kerr has bags of that. Could she compete with the men?

The main reason for dividing sports teams into men and women is because this reflects the basic division of labour that has occurred in nature: into male fighters and female reproducers. This is the same logic as dividing boxers into weight divisions – that the categories are so different that to pit them against each other is not a fair competition. As this essay will examine, one niche within sports where the female body has an advantage over the male one is that of legspinner.

The chance of a female competing with men in heavyweight boxing, absent some wicked cybernetic arms or computer targeting systems in bionic eyes, is practically zero, and the same could be said of Greco-Roman wrestling or rugby. These sports are too similar to actual fighting for women to compete with men, who are the result of millions of years of natural and sexual selection of fighting skills.

Cricket is, like other sports, a metaphor for combat, but it is not like other sports. It’s not primarily a contest of strength, speed, size, height or aggression. Cricket is a contest of skill, guile, concentration and nerve – qualities that might be of immense value in the conduct of warfare, but not so much in actual fighting.

This is why the sportsmen who become the world’s top cricketers are very seldom in top fighting shape. Kane Williamson, Steve Smith, Joe Root and Virat Kohli are far from musclemen; Rangana Herath, who just moved past 400 Test wickets, is known as “Fatty” for his distinctive pot belly and the less said about Dwayne Leverock the better.

There’s a lot of skill in fast bowling, but physical attributes are crucial. Although the most skilled fast bowlers – like Dale Steyn, Trent Boult and Jimmy Anderson – are not particularly tall, they are all far from short. Moreover, any player lacking those skill levels almost has to be tall in order to make it.

In either case, women can’t compete with men in fast bowling because so much of the action of slinging a weight (like a ball) is a function of shoulder strength, and shoulder strength is one of the ways in which men are stronger than women by the greatest amount.

There’s a lot of skill in batting, but there’s also a lot of strength. Williamson and Kohli might trade on skill but they are far from weaklings. No woman could realistically compete with either player, much less the heavy hitters like Martin Guptill, Chris Gayle, David Warner or Brendon McCullum.

As in the two categories of cricketer above, there’s a lot of skill in spin bowling, but in this regard there is no benefit at all to being strong.

In fact, having big muscles might be a disadvantage. Muttiah Muralitharan, the single most successful spin bowler in the history of cricket, had famously rubbery wrists, extremely flexible, which enabled him to sling the ball with a whipping action that imparted incredible turn.

It’s known that women are more flexible in the wrists, elbows and shoulders than men, which is partially a function of having less muscle mass. This flexibility ought to make it possible for female bowlers, like legspinner Amelia Kerr (see video), to put more spin on the ball for the same reasons that Muralitharan could.

However, the big thing when it comes to spin bowling is smarts. The bowler is trying to deceive the batsman, trying to make them play down the wrong line or put their feet in the wrong place anticipating spin in, for example, the other direction.

To this end they need a lot of variations. It seems like Kerr already has most of the variations – and speaking of variations, very few international men’s cricket sides will have faced a bowler as short as Kerr, and therefore they will not be used to the trajectory her deliveries come from.

All this raises a question. Kerr currently has 20 wickets in women’s ODI cricket at an average of 22, and it might be that the coaches of the Black Caps decide that her cunning, guile, variations and unpredictability make her more dangerous against the Black Caps’ next opponent than the best legspinning male. Should Kerr then be eligible for the Black Caps?

Some might argue that the Black Caps are specifically a male representative team and so it doesn’t make sense to pick a woman to play in it, in same way that no-one would select a man to play in the Silver Ferns.

Others would argue that the sport of cricket was only gender-segregated in the first place because of the unlikelihood that any given woman could compete with men, so if a woman is good enough to compete with the best men there is no reason to enforce segregation.

In any case, this column predicts that if Kerr would get the chance to bowl in a net with the Black Caps, the men would learn a thing or two from her.

Peters Has More Leverage in a Labour-Greens Coalition than in a National One

Winston Peters aleady has a number of achievements in government, and the mana that comes with those. Labour and the Greens are more likely to recognise this than National are

The most important element in any negotiation is each side’s BATNA – Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement. In other words, how good or bad it would be for either side to walk away from the table. This article will argue that, ultimately, Winston Peters ought to go with Labour and the Greens, for the reason that he can wring a better deal for himself (and for the nationalists he represents) out of that side.

The deal that Peters ought to offer Jacinda Ardern and James Shaw is this: support Peters as Prime Minister for this next term at least, with Ardern in an apprentice role as Deputy. Let’s have a coalition Government that’s mostly Labour with certain New Zealand First mandarins in high places and James Shaw in Cabinet somewhere, maybe Julie Ann Genter as well.

Peters will be the Prime Minister, so if anything goes wrong he can take the blame for it when he retires. But if everything goes right, we get at least one, hopefully two terms of stable centre-left government, at which point Peters retires triumphant.

This should allow us to undo the game of hot potato that our immigration system has become and whack the minimum wage up to a point at which our working class have a standard of living similar to Australia and the rest of the West.

And if everything keeps going right, Ardern will step naturally into the role after those two terms when Winston rides off into the sunset.

This will achieve several purposes: it will allow for a change in Government from the hyper-neoliberal National Party; it will neutralise criticisms that Ardern is too young and inexperienced to take on the top role; it will help Winston Peters fulfill ultimate career objectives.

For Ardern that’s a pretty sweet deal. There’s no reason to think that this deal will be considered part of the electoral pendulum from Labour to National to Labour to National to Labour to National to Labour to National to Labour to National, which means that if Peters does step down after one or two terms of measured, calm, reasonable and dignified leadership, there won’t be a sense that it’s National’s “turn”.

This would mean that Ardern, at age 43, will be in prime intellectual condition to begin her own three-term reign of Prime Minister.

The BATNA for Labour and Ardern is that Peters throws his support in behind National and the country has to endure another three years of neoliberalism, except this time not under the shrewd cunning of John Key but under the blundering, hamfisted efforts of Bill English, with the baby-eating banshee of Paula Bennett shrieking in his ear all the while.

This is a pretty bad alternative, all things considered. It’s effectively a total loss.

Bill English simply couldn’t accept a deal that was this sweet to Peters. His backers expect nothing less than the Ninth Floor, and there would be howls of outrage from his own party if he gave up the Prime Minister’s Office to the leader of a party that won less than a sixth of the votes of National.

National also has a much better BATNA than Labour does. Even if Peters agrees to go with Labour and the Greens to form an African coalition, that coalition would still have to succeed and to provide stable government, for if it didn’t, the electorate would be only too happy to give National another chance under Bennett.

Some in National might be only too happy to let some kind of Labour-New Zealand First-Greens abomination tear itself to pieces for three years (or less) and then set up a three-term Sixth National Government under Bennett or Steven Joyce or some other half-witted order follower.

For this reason, Peters will understand that Labour will be more incentivised to maintain a stable Government than National will. The National Party social media machine proved itself exceptionally effective at raising an angry mob at the peak of the Metiria Turei affair, and if their working relationship with Winston Peters fell apart it could be predicted that the electorate would put the blame on Peters.

This all means that Peters has much more leverage to use against and with Labour and the Greens than he does with National.

Should People Lose The Right to Vote When They Get the Pension?

Ideally, the people who voted would be the same people who had something at stake

When our democracies were set up, there was one thing that was never anticipated: medical advances leading to a white-haired horde of pensioners that held the balance of power in almost every single election. We’re essentially living in a gerontocracy now, and there’s no giant ice floe to push them out onto. This article looks at a potential compromise for our society.

Life expectancy in New Zealand was about 71 years in 1960, which meant that the average person was only expected to live a handful of years once they went on the pension at age 65. When the pension was brought in, in 1898, it was obviously much less than even this.

Life expectancy was over 81 years in 2015, and it keeps climbing as medical advances and social changes like the decline in tobacco smoking prevent what had until recently been incurable diseases. This has led to a problem arising: New Zealand now spends over $12,000,000,000 per year on pension payments, as the average person now lives a dozen years or more extra past the pension age, which has not increased.

The reason why the age of 65 was usually chosen as the age of universal pension was that, by age 65, a person’s body is usually no longer capable of the physical labour necessary to earn a full wage. The wear and tear of life as a working man meant that a full effort was no longer possible from age 65 and, because the vast majority of jobs going around were working-class ones, it was a reliable rule of thumb that most people would be knackered by then.

But if we now live in a knowledge economy, as many politicians and economists are now insisting we do, then the original reason for setting the pension age at 65 is null and void. If we live in an economy where a person’s productivity is primarily a function of their intellectual capabilities then there’s no reason to have a pension age determined by the limitations of the physical body, because there is no need to treat mentally productive people as infirm.

It might be that a person’s intellectual capabilities are not enough to keep them in employment either. Perhaps that person traded on the strength of their body and, for whatever reason, their mind was not developed to the point where participation in a knowledge economy was possible. Such a person should still have the right to a pension.

But the unfairness arises when a person who is still more than capable of earning a living from their mind does so, at the same time as pocketing a $370 a week pension that was intended specifically for people incapable of working. Winston Peters has shown that even a career as intellectually demanding as top-level politics can be undertaken until one’s mid-70s, and yet if he retires in 2020 he will have claimed the pension for ten years while still working full time.

This is really a gigantic con game, in which the elderly have forced payment for their unsustainably lavish lifestyles on the young. Worse, the larger this 65+ age bracket grows, the ever more incentivised they are to vote against any reform to this Ponzi scheme.

Democracy was never intended to have this massive bulk of old voters gumming it up. Once a person is at this stage, they have relatively little stake left in the future running of the country. No major decisions need be taken by such people – they’re already sorted.

Perhaps our old people need to have a deal put to them?

If you reach 65 and feel that you are no longer intellectually capable of participating in the knowledge economy, that’s fine. Here’s a pension – but you are no longer considered intellectually capable of participating in representative democracy.

If you want to keep working on the grounds that you’re entirely capable of it still, you can – and you get to vote as well. But you don’t get to claim a pension on the grounds that you’re too infirm to participate and still get to wield power over others.

We can accept that, for some people, the fair price to pay for being looked after until death is to forfeit their right to further influence the political system in their favour. After all, if you have a political class that pays you $370 a week no questions asked, when you almost certainly own your own home already and don’t have to pay rent out of it, you’re already creaming it by any measure. Life is sweet and easy at that point.

It’s time to stop the Baby Boomers’ theft of the production of the following generations. Taking the right to vote away from pensioners will make it possible for a fairer balance of taxation and benefits to be struck.

Which of Labour or National Shares the Most With New Zealand First Demographically?

Is has been argued that Winston Peters ought to go with whichever side is most like New Zealand First demographically – but which is it?

There are many competing reasons for thinking that Winston Peters ought to go with one or the other of Labour or National in the post-election negotiations to form a Government. Some say that any arrangement with the Greens involved will not be stable enough, some say that the Opposition parties won a clear majority and therefore a mandate for change, some say that Winston will go with whoever he feels like going with. This article, by Understanding New Zealand author Dan McGlashan, looks at things another way.

We will follow here the argument that Peters ought to side with whichever out of Labour and National represents the people most similar to their own, and to that end this article will make a judgment using six major demographic categories, viz. age, ethnicity, education, income level, gender and homeownership rates.

Age

The correlation between voting National in 2017 and median age was a very strong 0.77, which represents the old people who own everything, and between voting Labour in 2017 and median age it was -0.66, which represents the people who are yet to become financially established and are living primarily on their wages.

The correlation between voting New Zealand First in 2014 and median age was negative, at -0.08, but by 2017 it had become significantly positive, at 0.24. This is primarily because of a large number of young, working-class Maoris shifting to Labour.

Young people drifted away from New Zealand First this election, and old people drifted in. The correlation between being aged 20-29 and voting New Zealand First was -0.38 in 2014 but had become -0.60 by 2017, whereas the correlation between being aged 65+ and voting New Zealand First was 0.10 in 2014 and had become 0.36 by 2017.

Young voters tend to not like either National or New Zealand First, whereas elderly voters like both, so that suggests a greater age overlap with the National Party. Decisively, the correlation of 0.24 between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and median age is 90 basis points away from the Labour figure, and only 53 basis points away from the National figure, so National win this one.

National 1, Labour 0

Ethnicity

The stereotype is of New Zealand First as an old, white, racist’s party, which is a very odd perception when it’s led by someone who played for the Auckland Maori rugby team. The truth is much more complex.

Voting New Zealand First in 2014 and being a Kiwi of European descent was perfectly uncorrelated, at 0.00. Between voting New Zealand First in 2014 and being Maori the correlation was a strongly positive 0.66. That means that at the time of the last election, the stereotype of New Zealand First voters was entirely false.

Some truth crept into it in 2017, however. By 2017 the correlation between being a Kiwi of European descent and voting New Zealand First had risen to 0.19, whereas the correlation between being Maori and voting New Zealand First had fallen to 0.40. This means that New Zealand First is still more of a Maori party than it is anything else, but that sentiments of white Kiwis are also well represented.

The correlation between being a Kiwi of European descent and voting National in 2017 was a strong 0.51, and for voting Labour it was correspondingly weak, at -0.56.

This means that New Zealand First is slightly more like National when it comes to whiteness, but far more like Labour when it comes to Maoriness. The correlation between being Maori and voting National in 2017 was a strongly negative -0.68, whereas the figure for voting Labour in 2017 was, at 0.57, very close to the New Zealand First figure.

New Zealand First was fairly to similar to National in that their party was mildly disfavoured by Pacific Islanders, in contrast to Labour. The correlations between being a Pacific Islander and voting National or New Zealand First in 2017 were -0.35 and -0.17 respectively, very different to the correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting Labour, which was, at 0.57, as strong as the one with being Maori and voting Labour in 2017.

This is unlike the case of Asians, who were moderately more likely to prefer National to Labour, and who despise New Zealand First. The correlation between being Asian and voting National in 2017 was 0.10, only a smidgen stronger than what it was in 2014. Between being Asian and voting Labour in 2017 it was -0.09, but between being Asian and voting New Zealand First in 2017 it was -0.58.

All in all, if you weight each ethnicity by the number of Kiwis belonging to it, it’s more or less a draw.

National 1.5, Labour 0.5

Education

Labour shares with New Zealand First an affinity from those with few NZQA qualifications. New Zealand First was by far the most poorly educated voting bloc in 2014, and, although it’s true that they still are, the margins became smaller.

The correlations between having no NZQA qualifications and voting New Zealand First or Labour in 2017 were similar, at 0.69 and 0.45 respectively, and very different to that of having no NZQA qualifications and voting National in 2017, which was -0.32.

This isn’t really surprising because someone with no NZQA qualifications is not likely to have a large income or a number of rental houses, and so will not benefit from National’s refusal to institute a capital gains tax, and they are very likely to be living hand to mouth or close to it, which means they lost out from the rise in GST to 15%.

Some will be very surprised by the voting patterns of the highly educated, though. On the one hand, it might not be surprising that the university educated were mildly disinclined to vote Labour in 2017. The correlations with doing so were -0.32 for people with a Bachelor’s degree, -0.28 for people with an Honours degree, -0.27 for people with a Master’s degree, and -0.21 for people with a doctorate.

But neither were they particularly inclined to vote National. The correlations with voting National in 2017 were 0.15 for having a Bachelor’s degree, 0.10 for having an Honours degree, and 0.09 for having either of the two highest degrees. As it turns out, a large number of these people voted TOP, ACT or Green.

Compared to their sentiments towards Labour and National, university graduates are extremely disinclined to support New Zealand First. The correlations between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and having a university education was -0.73 in the case of having a Bachelor’s degree, -0.69 for an Honours degree, -0.74 for a Master’s degree and -0.60 for a doctorate.

This suggests that neither Labour or National have much in common with New Zealand First educationally, but Labour does share with New Zealand First a supporter base of very uneducated people. This is worth three-quarters of a point to Labour and one quarter to National.

National 1.75, Labour 1.25

Income

Leaving aside the truly broke, who know that their bread is buttered with Labour, not National, and who are indifferent to New Zealand First, voters in every income band are about equally likely to prefer Labour and New Zealand First to National.

The most wealthy Kiwis dislike New Zealand First even more than they dislike the Labour Party, which is perhaps a commentary on how the Labour Party supports the wealthy by way of supporting neoliberalism.

People with an income of $150K+ had a correlation of 0.24 with voting National in 2017, -0.43 with voting Labour in 2017 and -0.51 with voting New Zealand First in 2017, and those with an income of $100-150K had a correlation of 0.26 with voting National in 2017, -0.40 with voting Labour in 2017 and -0.54 with voting New Zealand First in 2017.

This suggests that the people who are creaming it the most look at Labour and New Zealand First with a similar level of disdain.

People in the $50-60K income band were almost perfectly indifferent to all three parties. The correlation between being in this income band and voting National in 2017 was 0.01, with voting Labour in 2017 it was -0.03 and with voting New Zealand First in 2017 it was 0.04.

This tells us that people in the middle – either the young, poor, ambitious and going up or the old, middle-class, satisfied and looking to hang on – wouldn’t really mind which way Peters went.

The people in the working-class income bands between $25 and $40K, in contrast to those in the $100K+ income bands, look at Labour and New Zealand First with a similar level of approval.

Kiwis earning $35-40K had a correlation of 0.49 with voting New Zealand First in 2017, which is much closer to the correlation between being in this income band and voting Labour in 2017 (0.38) than it is to the one between being in this income band and voting National in 2017 (-0.37).

In the income bands lower than this, people tended to support New Zealand First all the more. To the poorest New Zealanders, there is no apparent difference between National and Labour, and such a mindset seems to find a home in New Zealand First.

Ultimately, wealthy Kiwis like National and dislike Labour and New Zealand First, and poor Kiwis dislike National and like Labour and New Zealand First, so this one goes to Labour.

National 1.75, Labour 2.25

Gender

The correlation between voting National in 2017 and being male was 0.23, understandable as men earn more money than women and are therefore relatively likely to lose from the balance of taxation and welfare spending.

The correlation between voting Labour in 2017 and being female was 0.40, also understandable for the opposite reasons to why the men vote National – women earn less money and therefore benefit more from a party that raises taxes for the sake of social spending.

New Zealand First voters fell right in the middle. The correlation between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and being female was 0.10, which placed it almost exactly as far away from the National figure as from the Labour one.

In other words, New Zealand First voters were slightly more likely to be female, which fell in between National’s moderately more likely to be male and Labour’s strongly more likely to be female.

National 2.25, Labour 2.75

Homeownership

Curiously, the correlations between living in a mortgaged house and voting in 2017 for any of the three parties under discussion were basically identical. For National and Labour it was both 0.16, and for New Zealand First it was 0.14.

For living in a freehold house, things were a bit different. Predictably, people who lived in freehold houses were much more likely to vote National than Labour. The correlation between living in a freehold house and voting for National in 2017 was 0.65, and with voting for Labour in 2017 it was -0.51.

But people who voted New Zealand First fell almost right in the middle – the correlation between living in a freehold house and voting New Zealand First in 2017 was 0.22. This might be marginally closer to National but this was not the case in 2014. At that election, voting for New Zealand First had a correlation of -0.05 with living in a freehold house.

A similar pattern presented itself for those who were renters. The correlation between living in a rented house and voting for National in 2017 was a very strong -0.79, and with voting for Labour in 2017 it was also fairly strong, but in the other direction, at 0.56.

Again, New Zealand First voters fell in the middle. The correlation between living in a rented house and voting Nw Zealand First in 2017 was -0.26, which again falls right in between Labour and National. This one has to be another tie, at half a point each.

Final score: National 2.75, Labour 3.25

In the final analysis, it would be far from easy for Peters to choose between Labour and National on the basis of demographic similarities. Age would push him towards National, income towards Labour, and gender and homeownership rates would be even.

This makes for a very strong negotiating position in one sense. Unlike the Green Party – who cannot support National without committing suicide in the manner of the Maori Party and the British Liberal Democrats – New Zealand First could plausibly support either Labour or National, meaning that either side has an incentive to offer as much as it can to them.

However, Winston Peters has also been forked. He has to make one group of committed New Zealand First supporters unhappy. Either he makes the elderly European contingent unhappy by going with the Green Party, or he makes the working-class Maori contingent unhappy by going with National.

No doubt this calculus means that Peters will take his sweet time, and consider every possibility, before deciding on whose head he will place the crown.

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This article is an excerpt from the 2nd Edition of Understanding New Zealand, which Dan McGlashan and VJM Publishing will have ready for sale at the end of October 2017. This will contain statistics calculated according to the official final vote counts and will be freshly updated with data from the 2017 General Election.

The Best Argument For Taking Thousands Of “Refugees”

If we let in a hundred of these a year, we’d soon forget about our petty differences

Ronald Reagan gave a very strange speech at the United Nations once. He spoke about how the nations of the world would settle their differences and come together if faced with an extraterrestrial threat. This is actually a reference to a law of human psychology, and this same law provides the best argument for increasing our refugee quota.

There no denying that social solidarity has steeply declined in New Zealand over the past 25 years. Ever since the Mother of all Budgets, as a consequence of which the rich and the poor learned to truly hate each other, we have seen a Labour Government open the borders to Pacific Island immigration, and then a National Government open the borders to Asian immigration.

After all this, New Zealand citizenship has been devalued so much that hardly anyone really feels like a Kiwi anymore, apart from in the most superficial ways.

There’s no longer any cultural value that defines us as unique among the cultures of the world. Some say we are “multicultural” but that’s just another way of saying that we have nothing in common with each other. Some say we have the All Blacks but for the majority of immigrants, who could just as happily have ended up in Australia, this is little more than a flag of convenience.

Seeing what’s happened in Europe in recent decades, however, gives us a clue as to how we can strengthen our national bonds.

For the vast majority of its history, the kings and tyrants who wished to unite Europe faced a particular problem. Europe is an extremely culturally diverse continent, and the vast majority of Europeans hate basically everyone else. So they have never been inclined to unite under the banner of “European” because they identify with their village above all and then their shire and maybe at a stretch with the idea of a nation.

The idea of a “European race” is really a New World idea, applied retrospectively by American, South American and British Empire thinkers to the old continent, to describe how it appeared in contrast to their own racially heterogenous societies. Europeans aren’t fond of it.

However, the rulers of the European Union know one thing about the fundamental laws of human psychology: nothing brings a disparate group of people together faster than a common enemy. To that end, the last twenty years of mass Muslim immigration has been a godsend.

It’s inevitable, given the tenets of the faith that they follow, that if large numbers of Muslims immigrate to a particular locale, they will end up clashing with the incumbents. There’s simply no way that an ideology that commands its followers to seek out non-believers and kill them can co-exist with its neighbours, any more peacefully than Nazism could.

So now, a curious phenomenon has arisen in Europe. Any two Europeans (or Western Europeans at least) can meet and share a common story of how much they hate Muslims. Every European now has a story about being robbed or beaten, or their car set on fire, or their girlfriends sexually harassed, by a Muslim.

This has led to bonds of intra-European solidarity first starting to appear all across the continent, and now – as more stories are shared – starting to strengthen. An astute observer of history can see the battle-lines being drawn already.

If New Zealand lets in a large number of Muslim refugees, such as the 5,000 per year that the Greens and The Opportunities Party are proposing, then it’s only a matter of time until the first Truck of Peace attack kills a significant number of Kiwis. The terrorists, when they make their move, will not discriminate between types of Kiwi: we will all be infidel.

It is then that we all – Maori, Pakeha, Islander and Asian alike – will have, for the first time since World War Two, a mutual enemy. Therefore, it may be that the country needs mass Muslim immigration so that Kiwis – as the Europeans have been forced to do – can come together in mutual rejection of the hate ideology of Islam, as we once did against the hate ideology of Nazism.

However, this is also very close to the worst argument for taking in thousands of refugees.

Over a century ago, it was prophecised by high-ranking Freemason Albert Pike that World War Three would involve the mutual annihilation of Israel and the Muslim world, leaving the Christians in charge of the planet.

If one looks at the mass Muslim immigration that Western political leaders have pushed on us over the last twenty years, it’s possible that the West is being conditioned to hate Muslims with the intent of making Westerners psychologically ready to wipe them out if they should annihilate Israel. If this is the case, it might not matter what we do.

However, taking in a large number of Muslims may, in the short term, bring Kiwis of all races together in mutual rejection of infant genital mutilation, abuse of women, abuse of homosexuals, hatred of Jews and hatred of outsiders. We should keep in mind, however, that doing so is truly to play with fire.

Why The Concept Of White Genocide Doesn’t Make Sense

The concept of white genocide, as popular as it currently is in some quarters, doesn’t make sense if seen from a biological perspective

The discourse in some quarters of the Internet appears to be obsessed with race rhetoric. Some hysterical people are talking about “white genocide” and “white replacement” – the idea that nefarious forces have conspired to completely rid the world of white people forever. As this essay will demonstrate, there are three major reasons why the entire concept of getting rid of white people doesn’t even make biological sense.

The first reason is natural selection. Because race is such a taboo subject in our societies, relatively few people are aware of the basic biological reality that the different races are merely different adaptations to different environmental conditions.

For example, everyone knows that black people tend to live near the equator and white people tend to live further away from the equator. The reason for this is that people whose ancestors lived in Africa evolved to have black skin on account of that black skin is much less likely to get damaged by the intense heat and light that characterises that continent.

The exact opposite is true of people whose ancestors lived in Northern Europe. In Scandinavia there is very little heat and very little sunlight. This has led to people whose ancestors lived there evolving to have white skin because white skin is much more sensitive to the light and therefore absorbs more of it.

The highest rates of skin cancer in the world are in Australia, New Zealand and the Southern USA. The reason for this is because these countries are mostly populated by descendants of Northern European immigrants, whose skin has evolved for much lower levels of sunlight. As a consequence, becoming sunburned is a very common experience for white people in these countries, and sunburn leads to skin cancer.

Black people who live in Northern Europe run a much higher risk of developing rickets, for the reason that the human body needs Vitamin D to stave off rickets and Vitamin D is mostly gained from absorbing sunlight. Because black skin has evolved to be insensitive to sunlight on account of there being so much of it in Africa, the low levels of sunlight in Northern Europe can mean that the bodies of black people don’t create enough Vitamin D to be healthy.

What all this means, from the perspective of natural selection, is that if you took millions of black people and moved them all into Europe, their descendants would evolve to be white, because black skin will always provide a relative selective disadvantage in latitudes with low levels of sunlight.

A “great replacement” is therefore impossible on account of that it goes against the will of Nature. People with black skin in Northern Europe will get sick relatively more often, which means they will die before reproducing relatively more often, and so over time the gene pool will whiten. This is, of course, very similar to what will happen to white people in Australia and New Zealand.

There is absolutely nothing that puny humans can possibly do to stop this from happening. The Will of Nature will out.

The second reason is sexual selection. Even people who know about natural selection often don’t understand sexual selection very well. The short of it is that any phenotype that is more sexually attractive to the people around them will have an evolutionary advantage as long as that perception of sexiness exists.

Let’s say that the white nationalist’s nightmare scenario came to pass, and Europe opened its borders entirely to the third world, which led to hordes of Muslims and Africans males flowing into Europe to inseminate white women. Not only would this fail to wipe out the white race, but it could actually backfire completely, thanks to something called genetic drift.

If the borders between Europe and Africa were erased overnight, and black people and white people started intermixing, the result after two generations would be a population of strongly varying phenotypes. There would be people with light skin and light eyes, people with dark skin and dark eyes, people with light skin and dark eyes and people with dark skin and light eyes.

Sexual selection would mean that the most attractive of the resulting offspring would come to reproduce at a higher level, on account of having a wider range of mating opportunities.

It is believed that all of the blue-eyed people in the world are descended from a single common ancestor, who lived between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago.

It’s possible that blue eyes have a selective advantage over brown eyes for reasons of sexual attraction. When a person becomes sexually aroused by another person, their pupils usually dilate. This dilation is one way that humans signal a readiness for mating. This means that the more noticeable the dilation, the more likely it is that any such dilation will be picked up by a potential mating partner and lead to copulation.

Because the contrast between the dark iris and the pupil is greater for blue eyes than for brown, sexual arousal is more apparent in a blue-eyed person than in a brown-eyed one. As detailed above, this increased ability to communicate sexual arousal leads to a greater number of instances of copulation, which – all other things being equal – leads to more offspring and therefore genetic drift that will increase the proportion of blue-eyed people in the population.

Essentially what this means is that increased instances of interracial reproduction will simply lead to increased opportunity for any phenotype with a meaningful selective advantage to drive out the other phenotypes.

This process doesn’t necessarily favour white people, even if it did favour blue eyes. For example, it could be that white skin has a selective disadvantage compared to black skin because it makes it easier for an onlooker to notice the presence of disease, so that diseased lighter-skinned people would come to reproduce less than diseased dark-skinned people, leading to genetic drift that favoured the dark-skinned phenotype.

It’s even possible that these two processes are both occurring simultaneously. This might mean that increased racial mixing will simply create a new race of dark-skinned, blue-eyed people.

Ultimately, much like the case of natural selection, the will of Nature will out. There’s nothing that the will of malicious anti-white racists could do about this because the sexual response to physical signs of fertility occurs almost entirely at a subconscious level.

Genetic engineering is the third reason why the idea of a race war doesn’t make sense. Technology is already at the point where designer babies are starting to become possible. Although genetic engineering has so far been mostly limited to aborting fetuses that have genetic diseases, there’s every chance that future technology will allow parents to make more specific decisions about how their children look.

When this technology becomes advanced enough, it will become possible for parents to essentially choose the race of their offspring, even if this meant that the child was a different race to either of its parents.

What would likely happen in a scenario like this is an increase in people choosing the phenotype of their offspring for reasons of fashion.

It’s already common among South Korean and Eastern Chinese women to have a procedure called a blepharoplasty, which is surgery to change the shape of the eye fold to look more Western. This suggests it isn’t long until parents get the procedure done for their children before birth by genetic engineering.

Once such things start happening then the entire concept of race will start breaking down. After all, when a phenotype can simply be chosen out of a number of faces in a catalogue, then it no longer represents any kind of link to one’s genetic ancestors. Indeed, the idea of genetic ancestors stops making sense after a certain degree of genetic engineering.

This could even mean that as-of-yet unknown races will show their faces in the human phenotype in the future. It could be that future environmental conditions mean that human skin becomes engineered to be capable of photosynthesis, as this would mean much less pressure on the environment for agricultural land, and so all skin colours are replaced with green.

We could easily end up with a world where the majority of us have blue eyes, green skin and a wide range of different hair styles depending on what was fashionable to who that month, and it would be an entirely logical and natural progression from where we currently are.

In summary, thinking in terms of white genocide is not meaningful for reasons of biology. Nature will select those who she favours, and any human schemes to the contrary are destined to fail.

Why A Canterbury Government Is The Natural Successor To The Fifth National

The Helen Clark-Winston Peters alliance of 2005-2008 was the last time the New Zealand Government didn’t suck

The National Party is clearly and evidently falling out of favour with the New Zealand electorate. An opinion poll publicised last night showed that the Labour Party now has more public support than National, for the first time since John Key became Prime Minister in 2008. The various coalition possibilities after September 23 are numerous, but this essay argues that a Canterbury Government would be the best for New Zealand.

This means Canterbury as in red and black, not the province. In other words, a coalition of Labour and New Zealand First would be the most likely to improve the standard of living of New Zealanders.

We can’t take it for granted that Labour will win just yet, but the signs are ominous for Bill English. Usually the incumbent Prime Minister dominates the Preferred Prime Minister poll against all comers. This has been the case ever since Jim Bolger was in charge. However, Jacinda Ardern is now ahead of English in the latest poll, despite being in opposition.

Moreover, the Labour Party has leaped almost 20% in the polls since Ardern became leader. This is partly because the electorate did not think highly of the stuffy Andrew Little, but mostly because of the growing perception that the National Party has completely lost control of immigration, of housing and of mental healthcare. The long-term effects of slashing funding to rape crisis centres and suicide hotlines for the sake of tax cuts are now starting to be felt, and the feeling is bitter.

The heartfelt desire in many quarters is for a Watermelon Government after the 23rd, namely Labour in coalition with the Greens. Indeed, this seemed like the most likely outcome for a long time – the Greens were, until recently, polling at close to 15%, and that meant that Labour only had to get up to 32-33% for the two parties to rule without any outside help.

Unfortunately for Meteria Turei and her Greens, the chaos of recent weeks has eaten away at that support. The party effectively committed seppuku in the wake of Turei’s confession about cheating WINZ and the electorate no longer seems to consider them to be a competent and reliable party.

This is where a Canterbury Government could be the most effective. The black of New Zealand First could help moderate the excesses of the reds in Labour, and prevent the lunatics in the Greens from having any excess influence.

Perhaps the most dangerous, if not outright suicidal, of the Greens’ policies relates to their desire to raise the “refugee” quota to several thousand. Letting in hordes of fighting age men who are possessed by criminal religious attitudes has been a catastrophe for Europe, yet the Greens, mad with ideology, would happily make the same error here.

As we have seen in Europe, the problem with letting in even a thousand “refugees” is that they soon become eligible to bring their families here, and then those family members become eligible to bring other family members here, and eventually the floodgates cannot be closed.

Peters and New Zealand First would provide a much-needed nationalist bulwark to this fashionable Marxist insanity. Peters is not afraid to have crowds of hysterical teenagers and twentysomethings shrieking “Racist!” at him – he’s endured much worse in his time in politics.

If he does become the kingmaker after the 23rd, he is therefore in a good position to reject the demands of the Greens to throw open the borders. This will make it possible for the Sixth Labour Government to focus on the issues that matter to all Kiwis, in particular housing, wages, mental health and drug law reform.

Considering that Peters has already shown himself entirely capable of working successfully with a younger, intellectual, female Prime Minister, as he did with Helen Clark between 2005 and 2008, there is good reason to think that a Canterbury Government is the best option for maintaining and raising the Kiwi standard of living for the next electoral cycle.

When Cannabis Becomes Legal, Psychedelics Are Next

Almost all of the arguments for legal cannabis apply for legal psilocybin

21% of Americans now live in states that have legal recreational cannabis, and an overwhelming majority of them live in states with legal medicinal cannabis. It’s now obvious to every honest person that cannabis is a medicine, and that the recreational positives of it vastly outweigh the negatives. However, even when cannabis law reform wins its inevitable comprehensive victory, it won’t be the end of the struggle for cognitive liberty.

The struggle for cognitive liberty has been waged for several thousand years. It arguably begun when the first ever conversational topic became taboo – perhaps when some alpha male enforced a rule that meant his tribe were forbidden to speak of a certain subject. Since then, the forces of cognitive enslavement have only become more aggressive and more sophisticated.

In the New Zealand of today, we plebs are not even allowed to smoke medicinal flowers such as cannabis, not even if one of us has a severe medical condition that causes them to suffer badly. We’re not allowed to because the deconditioning effect of cannabis means that all of the shameless bullshit and lies that the political class have pumped into our heads for decades would be at risk of getting rejected.

Because the conditioning that enslaves us is profitable to the ruling class – as it makes us compliant, submissive and obedient – it is worth money. It could effectively be considered capital. This means that allowing the population cognitive liberty to question their own psychological enslavement, and the means to achieve this liberty, is a risk to the accumulated wealth of the ruling class.

This is true of cannabis, and is true ten times over for psychedelics.

Ultimate cognitive liberty comes from the complete destruction of the conditioned mind (or programmed mind). The behaviours that have been deliberately programmed into us have, and are intended to have, the ultimate effect of making us unhappy, because there is nothing more profitable than human misery.

This refers to the programmed behaviours that the ruling class force into your head at school, in the workplace, and through the mass media. They do this because your slavery is profitable, and because it allows them to impose a form of order on society that is beneficial to them. For these two reasons, the ruling class opposes the legalisation of drugs that allow cognitive liberty to flourish.

For example, it is known well enough by the people who need to know such things that smoking cannabis makes a person less desiring of, and less attached to, material possessions. This is because it has the effect of reducing suffering, which makes a person less likely to work long hours to save the money necessary to buy the crap that they mistakenly believe will make them happy. So reduced suffering means reduced profits for the ruling class.

Therefore, maximum profitability demands that the cognitive liberty of the people who might question this brainwashing be minimised.

When the Western World was first exposed to the power of psychedelics, we just shat our pants. We were in no way emotionally mature enough to deal with an entheogen that reunited our individual consciousness with that of God. Reuniting one’s consciousness with God is the same as absolution from all suffering, and we were in no way ready for that.

However, now that many of us are mature enough to treat cannabis as what it really is – a deconditioning agent that alleviates psychological suffering – we are starting to become aware that much of the suffering we endure on a daily basis has been forced on us from positions above us on the dominance hierarchy.

This means that the further we can decondition ourselves, the less suffering.

This fact was understood by Kevin Saunders, who is the man behind the recent Californian ballot initiative that seeks to “exempt adults 21 and older from penalties of possessing, selling, transporting, or cultivating psilocybins.” Saying that the ballot is “a natural progression from marijuana legalization,” Saunders relates a personal story of overcoming heroin addiction as a result of the deconditioning effects of the drug.

Psychedelics have incredible potential for alleviating all suffering arising from psychological conditions that are caused by excessive conditioning, in particular anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and addiction. Many people are aware of this, though they are currently shunned by the mainstream narrative, which has been set (as mentioned above) by those who profit from the suffering.

Over time, however, the truth will out, and this means that the legalisation of psychedelics is an inevitability.