A Moral Duty to Help.

New fears for 1,000 lone children in Calais refugee camp.

Up to 1,000 unaccompanied minors will be left to fend for themselves when the so-called jungle camp for refugees in Calais is bulldozed next month. The French authorities have made no plans to rehouse the children, the Observer has learned, because it is hoping to force Britain to honour a promise to help child refugees.

The French interior ministry has informed charities and aid organisations that it intends to destroy the camp in less than four weeks. 

Almost 400 unaccompanied youngsters in the camp, some of whom have relatives in the UK, have already been identified as having a legal right to come to Britain.

In May, David Cameron announced that Britain would accept as many as 3,000 unaccompanied minors. James Brokenshire, immigration minister at the time, said Britain had “a moral duty to help”. 

However, Home Office figures reveal that by mid-September, only 30 children had arrived under the scheme. The Home Office did not respond to queries over whether it intended to help lone child refugees once the Calais camp was destroyed. The Guardian

Why is it our response to any problem is always brute force? The West has created this refugee flow with seven decades of misguided and greedy meddling in the Middle East. 

Corbyn mark II looks like a leader – he must set out a clear, coherent vision. – The Guardian

In the last year, Corbyn’s leadership has been battered by the most relentless and extreme media campaign against a mainstream politician in modern British history. Labour MPs attempted to turf him out of his office in a botched coup at a time of national crisis, and 172 members of the parliamentary Labour party voted no-confidence in his leadership.
A leadership team that had no expectation of winning last year has made repeated and undeniable mistakes in communication and strategy. Yet not only has Labour grown into perhaps Europe’s biggest political party, but Corbyn has been granted an electoral mandate even greater than his overwhelming victory a year ago. Last year he won 59.5% of the vote. This time he won almost 62% among an even larger selectorate. The Guardian

​Corbyn victory gives message to NZ Left. They certainly won’t succeed by continuing to pitch to a mythical “middle New Zealand”. – Bryan Bruce

The news that Jeremy Corbyn has been returned as Labour’s leader in the UK with a vastly increased majority, yet again sends the message to the  Left in New Zealand that the way to win the next election is to  marshall the votes of all those Kiwis whose lives are being being daily diminished by the government’s  ongoing neoliberal economic policies.
Corbyn is not charismatic .He is not a Bernie Sanders, But he is giving a voice to the working poor and those who are struggling to make ends meet, because wealth has not “trickled down” as promised by 3 decades of neoliberal governments.
The idea that winning  the next election still depends on wooing “middle New Zealand” is a nonsense.
Middle New Zealand (if it ever existed) has gone.They have been replaced by Struggling New Zealand, the Working Poor and the Unemployed  Poor.
So the  message to the Left in all this is – listen to what the people are telling you. Houses are unaffordable, rents are high, good food costs too much, our school system is unfair…. the list goes on and on.
Around 1 million of us did not vote last time.
The reasons for that are many and varied – but one reason is that lots of people felt they had no real choice given the  two neoliberal alternatives.
The Left have to find a way of motivating those disillusioned non -voters if they want to form a government next year, for they certainly won’t succeed by continuing to pitch to a mythical “middle New Zealand”. 

Jeremy Corbyn re-elected as leader of Britain’s Labour Party. 

More votes than when he first won the leadership last year.

Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, ending a “coup” attempt by more moderate MPs who say his left-wing agenda can never deliver victory at the polls.

The veteran campaigner’s triumph, by 313,209 to 193,229 votes, cements his authority over the divided party and will fuel his drive to turn Labour further left – a move many of his colleagues say will see them out of power and allow the ruling Conservatives free rein to set Britain’s divorce from the EU. NZ Herald

This is a huge endorsement, despite all the tough talk by the dissenters, of Jeremy’s push away from ‘just left of centre’ back to a more social labour party. I wish our NZ Labour Party could find some courage and do likewise. 

The Occipito Temporal doesn’t get much interest.

The brain bank is the collection of donated brains at Auckland University, a remarkable asset for researchers seeking ways to treat devastating neurological disorders such as Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, stroke and motor neurone disease.

No one can predict what parts of the brain will be needed in the future, so they are all stored with great care and respect. NZ Herald

NZ Government introduces legislation to tackle the damage done by dangerous, feral mongrels – and the dogs they own.

Kerre McIvor,  NZ Herald. 

There are stories of people who have pit bulls who wouldn’t hurt a fly and who have children who crawl all over the big fella and they can trust him with their lives. Until one day the big fella has a bad day and tears the face off a child.

Owners of dogs deemed high-risk have to have their pet neutered; they will be required to put signs up on their property warning that there is a canine bomb ready to go off in the back yard; their dogs will have to be kept in a fenced area allowing visitors at least one safe entrance to the house and all menacing dogs will have to wear collars identifying them as high-risk and to be approached with caution, if at all. It’s a start.

But really, public safety will only improve if there is compliance on the part of dog owners and enforcement on the part of the councils. 

It’s obvious there are plenty of people who don’t give a stuff about their fellow humans. But hopefully they care enough about their dogs to keep them safe from the new regulations.

Every unregistered mutt should be shot on sight is my opinion. 

Political economy, social policy, the coming end of Neoliberalism . . . and other facts of our times.