After more than two years of occupation, the operation to retake Mosul from the hands of the Islamic State terrorists has begun. The battle opposes a myriad of actors. Daesh, a Sunni extremist organisation made up of an odd mixture of brutal Islamist militants and ex-Ba’athists is now cornered in Iraq’s second biggest city which … Continue reading Nicolas Pirsoul | Post-Saddam Iraq: The Art of Perpetual War
“I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And, yes, I did. And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president. And I think that’s a good thing.” – Sec. Hillary Clinton In political marketing, branding during elections is about the overall public perception of a candidate. The … Continue reading Edward Elder | Candidate branding in the US Presidential debates
There is no doubt that the Auckland we once knew ten years ago is not the Auckland we know now. There is change afoot and we can all see it. Auckland is in continuous demand and we are excited about the idea of realising our potential as a truly great cosmopolitan city. With unprecedented levels … Continue reading Vic Crone: Building a World Class Auckland
For decades, journalists and scholars alike have lamented the downsizing of the newspaper industry. Most of us know that democracy functions better when it has access to accurate, reliable, fact-checked, rational information from which we—as citizens—can understand government policy and decide what is best for us. Bad information can logically lead to bad decisions. It’s … Continue reading Maria Armoudian | Building a Better New Zealand Media
A lot of people are getting a lot fatter than is good for their health. If you want to know why, Robyn Toomath’s new book Fat Science is a fine place to look. Toomath is an endocrinologist with decades of treating the effects of obesity, notably Type 2 Diabetes; she was also a co-founder of … Continue reading Martin Wilkinson | Fat Science, Thinner Policy
Approximately one year ago, on 24 July 2015, the New Zealand High Court issued a ground-breaking judgement. Taylor v Attorney-General (2015) declares the Elections Act to be inconsistent with New Zealand’s Bill of Rights Act (NZBORA). NZBORA describes the human rights and fundamental freedoms necessary to a free and democratic society, including the ‘right to … Continue reading Stephen Winter | Responding to the Judicial Declaration of Inconsistency
While most post-Brexit coverage has so far focussed on the unfolding domestic repercussions within the United Kingdom, it is equally important to turn to the rest of Europe where many issues remain unclear. Most seriously, the looming Brexit raises questions for the EU and its stated objective of building a closer, a peaceful, free, democratic, … Continue reading Patrick Flamm | The EU is kaputt, long live the European republic!
The dust is finally beginning to settle after the UK’s decision via referendum to leave the EU. However, somewhat bizarrely, the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote has given us few concrete ideas about what the Brexit will look like, with many different models and proposals being touted by the key players, both on the … Continue reading Nicholas Ross Smith | History tells us that Britain should not be fooled into thinking it can go alone
Despite the views of David Cameron, a majority of MPs, the UK business community, finance houses, and legal fraternity, and most leaders in the Western world, Britain’s voters have defied them all to return a Leave vote. The dire economic consequences for Britain, Europe, and New Zealand have been well forecast in the Herald and … Continue reading Stephen Hoadley | So Brexit. Now What?
I awoke to RNZ Morning Report delivering news of the tragic killing of British MP Jo Cox. Even before many facts had been verified around the media there was rapid commentary and blogging about whether the killer was a far-right assassin or crazed loner or both, about a stress on mental illness minimising the threat … Continue reading Geoff Kemp | Jo Cox’s university challenge