Newsletter 14. 20/4/20
We should all watch this promising space: www.bff.org.nz
And here we are again after another fortnight of kicking the can down the road. Happily my locked-down sister in the UK, remains in good heart. Yesterday she told me that she was watching a do-it-yourself TV programme on making your own PPE. The presenter was showing how to cut up an old bra to make a Covid-19 mask. “Make sure you use the left cup: only use the other if you don’t mind looking like a right tit.”
Unsurprisingly, this fortnight’s newsletter is dominated by Covid-19 and questions of how the world might look once the pandemic’s initial rampage has slowed. Five of the thirteen hyperlinks below approach this question.
The last economic crisis in 2008 saw huge leaps in the wealth of the already wealthy minority and in the impoverishment of the already impoverished majority. It also allowed the fast accelerating destruction of the environment to continue unabated.
Political leaders are going to need all the encouragement they can get, if they are to avoid repeating those same dire errors. Society cannot afford to miss the unique opportunity for significant social change that will soon exist. It may well be the last. One thing for sure: we are going to have a turbulent passage ahead.
Covid and global governance A sensible exposition on the urgent need for a global governance overhaul! The standard objections to such proposals are succinctly overcome. Assuming that NZ doesn’t burden itself with another neo-liberal government, in the post-Covid aftermath, our government might perform some significant advocacy to this effect. 5 minute read
Galactic Governance I have decided to bundle galactic governance together with global governance! 3 minute read
NZ Centre for Global Studies A thoughtful piece from Kennedy Graham. The NZ Centre for Global Studies is the sole think-tank in NZ devoted to questions of global governance. It regularly posts thoughtful articles on the subject (which one has to hope, are read by our political leaders.) 10 minute read.
Depressing stuff I was particularly depressed by the news on the day I wrote this. I cheered up later in the week and wrote three less passive sequels, the last of which is in the Environment section below. 6 minute read
Greenpeace appeal Greenpeace appeal to the government about its investment in the post-Covid future. Please share with all your members. Jacinda’s government needs to feel it has overwhelming grass-roots support if it is to face down the inevitable neo-liberal protests that will be heard in opposition to the steps proposed in this appeal. 4 minute read
Maori epiphany This is the final part of a four-part blog. I am no longer in despair. There are two hyperlinks at the bottom of this blog. Even if you read nothing else, they are well worth your time. 6 minute read.
List of aid donors Aid donor-nations listed by generosity. 2 minute read
USAID USAID; so incredibly generous – wow! 33% of US foreign aid is given to enable recipients to buy military equipment and training from the USA. As a proportion of GDP out of the top 25 donor-nations, the USA ranks 23rd. No wonder US soft power is on the wane. 6 minute read
Trump v. WHO Jacinda adds her bit at the bottom. The WHO has displeased the most powerful man on Earth and must be punished. So long as the UN remains unable to raise its own finances, its agencies depend on the whims and political interests of donors, such as the USA, who pull the purse-strings as it suits them. 2 minute read
Russia on moon mining 1 minute read
Libyan escalation the Turkish contribution to prolonging the conflict in Hillary Clinton’s and Sarkozy’s failed state of Libya. Turkey’s interest is the gas reserves under the Mediterranean that will, in due course, set Turkey on a collision course with Greece/Cyprus and Israel and thus cement Turkey’s alienation from NATO. 4 minute read.
Abandon Trident appeal A plea to the UK government to abandon expenditure on the Trident nuclear strike force and redeploy the savings to offset the cost of the Covid epidemic. Boris Johnson’s ears might recently have become more receptive to such ideas! 2 minute read