Winston Peters hits back at criticisms of NZ First's immigration stance, says immigration debate is about race and ethnicity; Attacks govt for using up economic national capital built up by previous generations

Winston Peters hits back at criticisms of NZ First's immigration stance, says immigration debate is about race and ethnicity; Attacks govt for using up economic national capital built up by previous generations

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has hit back at criticisms of his immigration stance, attacking both National and Labour, the media and several academics on their own positions.

In a wide-ranging speech that also touched upon the Reserve Bank Act, water quality, climate change, small business and tourism, Peters used the majority of time to defend himself against accusations that his position might be racist or xenophobic.

“You’ve got to be in the Looney Tune world if you think that immigration, when it’s raised, is a racist attack on somebody. By definition, immigration’s about race; it’s about ethnicity,” Peters told a Wellington Chamber of Commerce breakfast Wednesday morning, hosted by PwC.

“You know New Zealand First is on the march by the number of people ganging up on us on this matter,” he said. The speech included numerous attacks on New Zealand’s “largely foreign owned” media – he reiterated comments made about how two NZ Herald journalists of Asian heritage had covered immigration statistics.

The NZ First leader also said the government was trying to propagate a “myth” that New Zealand could somehow “absorb a staggering influx of over 70,000 net immigrants a year at no cost.”

“Or, they say, ‘this is a sign of the roaring success our country is because so many people want to come here’. That’s a staggering statement. Most of the world, ladies and gentlemen, is a hell hole,” Peters said.

“If you can get out of some country and get to this country then you’ll do the best you possibly can. It’s not a sign of our staggering success, it’s a sign of the lax, loose policies we have employed that have allowed so many people to come here.”

The annual influx meant New Zealand required new infrastructure similar in size to that of Rotorua every year, he said. “Pray tell me you’ve observed that.”

Meanwhile, Peters touched on falling home ownership rates among New Zealanders, saying they were staring down “Generation Rent” – a term coined here by the economist Shamubeel Eaqub. Peters criticised Eaqub’s own criticisms of New Zealand First, but did say they at least agreed on New Zealand’s infrastructure deficit.

Peters began his speech by saying immigration was having a devastating impact on New Zealand’s economy. “The massive immigration influx is distorting all the economic indicators,” he said. He claimed that New Zealand’s 2% per capita GDP growth was negated by 2% annual population growth.

He also attacked the government for consuming capital built up by previous generations. “Living off capital as a personal theme is not smart for an individual. And it’s certainly not smart for a nation,” he said.

“A country’s capital is both physical and human. It includes the existing stock of housing, schools, hospitals, roading and other infrastructure as has been built up over decades. And all the human capital New Zealanders have acquired through their education and training,” he said.

Government had been drawing down on the country’s economic capital in order to boost economic growth, he said. "At best, it’s a short term fix, but when it’s supplied as a country’s policy, it is courting disaster.”

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Winston is right to attack the current government on many of these things ( housing , immigration, environmental protection ) He pretty much must side with the left this election if he becomes the king maker or he will betray the majority of his voters.


Winston has mastered the art of running with the hares while hunting with the hounds , and Kingmaker he will be.

There is a groundswell of traditional National voters like me who are NOT joined at the hip to National .

Winston is a survivor , he is very ambitious , and will continue to be vague, not answer questions directly , wriggle , lie and cheat .

Nothing new here


Boatman - good for a laugh

.... "continue to be vague, not answer questions directly , wriggle , lie and cheat"

Thought you were talking about John Key and Stephen Joyce and Nick Smith there for a minute

Exactly the modus operandi of John Key


Bang on the money !!!
Someone with the guts to call the situation for what it is. NZ's very own Trump/Brexit man.

Classic incoherent attention seeking Peter's blather; you mean Trump's copying his style??

Err...we'll. that's a point-by-point refutation of Winston's arguments :-|

Well tell me what this carefully worded statement means, and comment on the grammar.
"You’ve got to be in the Looney Tune world if you think that immigration, when it’s raised, is a racist attack on somebody. By definition, immigration’s about race; it’s about ethnicity"

What's up Doc?

Not much Bugs Bunny, save an election coming on.
How did you know??

Who's promising the most carrots?

To be fair populists are popular for a reason. The french elections will be interesting if popular culture is anything to go by.

>"You’ve got to be in the Looney Tune world if you think that immigration, when it’s raised, is a racist attack on somebody. By definition, immigration's about race; it's about ethnicity"

Fair enough, that statement is a tad tricky in text.

I would suggest that statement is saying you can't conflate all discussion of immigration with an attack on a particular race, but by definition all immigration will transform your local "race" in some way - whether it's loads of Poms or Scots, hyper-religious backwater Texans, Martians or what have you.

So, highlighting that anyone who attacks you for xenophobia for wishing to preserve anything about your local culture is reaching too far? Or if that's xenophobic, then what's so great about any culture and why is anyone bothering to preserve any cultures in the world?

Thought the blanket write-off of Winston's points was a bit much, 'twas all.

All of it sounds like he had a few whiskys for breakfast.

Not to be knocked, albeit not quite into the Muldoon election announcement territory.

Heh heh, the "Muldoon protege" has had a fair bit of tuition and practice since, in the polydipsic mists of time.
Single malt Glenlivet for me Rick me old mate.And a big fat J??

Balvenie Triple Cask, I reckon.

If he cuts immigration, I will shout him a couple of whiskys for breakfast. I may even join him in celebration.

Winston can get all the attention he wants if it means we can all afford to live in a decent homes. In fact I'll put him on a pedestal.


He makes absolute sense on his argument on capital. GDP growth and GDP per capita have no relevance to the standard of living.
Qatar has one of the fastest growing economies due to vast gas production and increasingly diversified investments along with the highest GDP per capita. However, the human capital factor is far from good. Frequent human rights violation and slave-like conditions of non-ethnic Qatari labour is evident.
On the other hand, Denmark and Finland have less than half the GDP growth and per capita income of Qatar but are far superior than most other countries in all qualitative measures. One attribute often quoted by controversial sociologists and economists for this success is the homogeneous ethnic demography of these nations. When countries like Germany give in to the pressures and move towards a "melting pot" society, look what happens.


Winston is dead right on these things. It's good to have somebody say in in the political arena, but then he goes and shoots himself in the foot with his unique combativeness. He just can't help but lead himself astray. Pity.

hard to trust someone has been sucking taxpayer for over 40 years


Agree but then look at the others we've had......

1. One who was part of an industry that made a "living" sucking others dry with money trading (a zero sum game that creates NOTHING), loose billions, bring the entire global financial system to its knees whilst making tens of millions individually, get bailed out by taxpayers all around the world then start all over again with the multi million dollar bonuses....(to me they are the ultimate cockroaches - survive no matter what)

2. Those who have never worked - university to unions to politics.....pretty hopeless in my eyes too.

Have seen them all since I started voting in the early 80's and have been all sides of the political spectrum but would put the lying Neo-Con/Free market BS as the worst at destroying social fabric.

Bill English is at about 30 years.

I guess on that basis you may have a point.


Mr Winston Peter arguments seems to be correct. One may like him or not but what he is saying does make sense.

Better than national policies of : Denial, Lie and Manipulation.


It may be worth considering the relationship between New Zealand's granting citizenship to all and sundry, and Australia's decision that New Zealand citizens are less and less welcome to access the previously available advantages of our previously close relationship.

The announcement that subsidised enrolments for university and other tertiary study for most New Zealand citizens and Australian permanent residents will end from the start of next year is perhaps another comment on our immigration policies.


Australia have been very concerned for some time with our promiscuous immigration policy. Probably the most open in the world. The odd one night stand is one thing; an open invitation to a continuous orgy and you're looking for trouble.
We share(d) an essentially open border and common labour market with the Aussies. Our high quantity, low quality immigration feeds directly into their labour market so expect to see even more resistance and the ending of more aspects of our special, historic relationship.


There was a time when engineers, doctors and accountants were brought into our country to contribute in our socioeconomic success. This was much alike the Australian policies where social integration and unique skills were an important criteria for inward migration. Over the past few years, the criteria has been brought down to functioning limbs and a job offer for permanent migration as more and more of our residence visas are handed out to cooks and cafe workers.
When our economy inevitably hits a speed bump, the few who are left with proper jobs will be forced to provide for these recent migrants and their dependents.


It just bewilders me as to why we allow negative net economic benefit immigration.
I'm all for immigration, but the purpose should be to enrich the nation not devalue it.

I know what you mean but some of that new cuisine is sooo good


We keep shooting ourselves in both feet

Phil Ruddock, Minister of Immigration in the Howard Government in 1996. By the end of the decade, concern was mounting about the proportion of New Zealand migrants into Australia who were born in third countries, which had climbed from 12 per cent in 1990-91 to 30 per cent in 1999-2000. The press reported that ‘The Federal Government is under pressure to crack down on Polynesians and Asians using New Zealand’s migration program as a stepping stone into Australia’. Ruddock stated that Canberra was keeping an eye on the proportion of New Zealand migrants born in third countries but that it was not yet a concern

In September 2000, the public tone changed when NZ Immigration Minister announced an amnesty for overstayers who had lived in New Zealand for some time and were well settled with jobs and families.

Australia immediately closed the doors

And is still closing them

Exactly what I was thinking this morning.

Don't worry - last I heard, Bill wasn't happy and was going to have a talk to Malcolm about it.
It'll all be sorted next week.

Hardly - Bill is sending Gerry Brownlee whereas he should be sending Dr Nick Smith instead.
Nick could talk the hind leg off a donkey and bamboozle Malcolm at the same time

or send them both on a one way ticket and as Muldoon used to say improve the IQ of both countries

Gerry has already warned NZers not to expect him to achieve any progress either. Which suggests his trip is either just for show or simply to have a moan before once again assuming the default National position in the face of foreign concerns: bent over ready to take it from all and sundry without demanding reciprocity for Kiwis.

the new rule will even apply to all Australian permanent resident. so it hardly against NZ citizen only, provided NZ citizen are holding non-protected visa.


We need change, anyone other than the current government will be a step forward for NZ.


You often see the word xenophobia (and racism) used in an attempt to shame anyone opposed to immigration, even when that opposition is based on quite reasonable concerns about say infrastructure, housing or job shortages. The Herald can barely write one of their immigration puff pieces without it; I suspect they don't even know what it means.
It is the irrational fear of foreigners (the phobia bit on the end should be a clue) ; it's a feeling, an anxiety. Everyone knows the experience of anxiety when confronted with the unfamiliar, even with people from within your own culture. Who can forget the fear of approaching a member of the opposite sex as a teenager. I am more relaxed talking to an NZ Chinese than I am with a foreign born Chinese; we share a common culture, a common experience and common words and expressions. I know my "yeah rights" won't be misunderstood. Maybe that's a type of low level xenophobia and no doubt there are people with extreme fears of foreigners just as there are people with an irrational fear of spiders. It should have no place in the immigration discussion, for or against.


Xenophobia has nothing to do with it, we can't afford any more immigrants from any where at the moment, because the net effect is that we have to turf our existing citizens onto the street to house extra people. After Australia's tertiary fees announcement, I suspect that we will have hoards of returning Kiwi families to cope with, and they must take priority.

Australian tertiary education was a motherlode

Course costs of a degree are cheaper than NZ
Then on top of that 54% of the course fees were rebated and subsidised by the government
The student 46% paid component could be paid up front or loaned by way of a HECS loan


Students living away from home could obtain Austudy living allowance
That living allowance was not part of a loan and not repayable - unlike NZ student loans

Kiwis can no longer receive the AU government subsidy which puts them on a par with Australians coming to NZ to study

Wasn't really commenting on the details of the Australian education system. Just the fact that we can expect a load of kiwis to return.
Seeing that you raise the subject, their accommodation allowance seems rather too generous, and if it were my decision I would only give that sort of deal to students (Australian or otherwise) to people who cannot reasonable remain in their parents home. Similarly in NZ I wouldn't give the same people access to the student loan for accommodation below say 21 if they could study and remain with their parents.


We have been reminded on several occasions that we need more constructions workers to support the building boom in New Zealand. However, a power pivot on the immigration data of the last 21 months reveals the following:

Total number of work visas issued since July 2014: 542,918
Visas to construction and related activities workers (engineers included): 15,328
Visas to cooks, waiters and fast food workers (does not include chefs): 14,215
Visas to tour guides: 15,388
Visas to workers classified as labourers: 17,475
Unskilled worker (excluded several other types of unskilled work): 47,078
For every one visa to a construction worker, we had at least 3 visas issued to those who have no usable skills.

Do the math and vote accordingly in September.

Be careful, you don't want the racist/xenophobe label with facts like these.

It is tough to discount cultural differences between Kiwis and Asians in this topic.
Asians take up low-paying jobs with poor working conditions that Kiwis won't for a simple reason- our lowest pay and most miserable conditions are a cakewalk compared to those back home.
When left on crony capitalists to either exploit those cultural inhibitions or do the right thing, hire Kiwis and pay living wages, which way do you think they are bound to lean?
The PC army demonises those who bring such views/facts into discussions and victimise those who actually exploit racial insecurities for monetary benefits.

I agree with you, but don't blame the capitalists.
The responsibility lies firmly with the government and the voting citizens, not the capitalist. Don't ever confuse that.

The right thing isn't neccessarily to hire Kiwis, it is in fact to produce goods by the most efficient means possible. An arbitrary living wage won't fix anything.
What is needed is a targeted and robust plan for future human capital/labour. Unfortunately no one wants to sacrifice short term pain for long term gain. Especially not the government.


Government is surviving on other people fear of being termed as racist, if they raise voice or concern about immigration.

Immigration to NZ is important and many of us are immigrant but immigration without infrastructure and only to boost demand and support government so called prosperity is absurd. If 70000 immigrant more demand and prosperity than why not 200000 than will be more prosperous. The only way this national government know to boost economy is raising demand by inviting one and all from all over the world. Short term gain but long term pain.

Though a national supporter for over a decade will vote for change. It is in the interest of the people that national goes so will vote for change (though all political party are more or less same but still ......)


I can't disagree with ANYTHING Winston has said here.

What we're doing in terms of immigration is unsustainable. Waiting for the tide to turn by itself is not an option.

Correct . Forget that Winston is talking and just listen to the argument that is put forward and one and all will agree to it.

The moment Winston names appear it is termed as racist though may be correct.

This is a Winston speech pre-baubles.


I think Winston is being misquoted here and the headline is sensationalist and frankly mischievous. What Winston said was the complete opposite of the headline. He is claiming that whenever the subject of immigration is brought up other people accuse him of being racist. Winston is saying immigration is NOT about race and ethnicity. It is other people's definition not his.

I wondered the same thing, certainly nothing on the linked clip to suggest he said anything like that. Could we have a link to the actual statement please Alex.

Zach, David

Yes, he’s saying that whenever he raises the subject then he’s attacked as racist. But he adds that immigration is about ethnicity and race.

I even tracked him down in Parliament this afternoon for you – “it is about country of origin”.

It is his definition.

Here is the part of the speech as sent out by NZF this morning where he says immigration is about ethnicity:

In a weekend attack on me one commentator said this: “After nine years of economic growth, those at the bottom may actually be better off. But they may not feel like it.”

He also said: “We can’t let the politics become emotive.”

Over the same weekend, the New Zealand Herald under the veil of an opinion piece accused me of xenophobia and racism.

In recent articles the New Zealand Initiative has also attacked me with a stunning piece of intellectual research which concluded that if mass population growth has not been good for New Zealand, then at least we are no worse off.

Immigration is about ethnicity. But what the NZ Initiative failed to mention is the number of its people who are themselves immigrants, which begs the question, is an immigrant likely to say their presence in NZ is not a good thing for the NZ people.

And here is some from the actual delivery of the speech, which he said before he got to the section of the speech printed above:

“The government won’t even acknowledge the massive costs that are being imposed through population growth. In their make-believe world, immigration is a free good. It’s a gift. It has all these features. It means we are so successful, half the world wants to come and join us.

“And it means the majority of people coming back are New Zealanders. That’s false. Demonstrably false. Less than a quarter are New Zealanders coming home. The rest are from other parts of the world.

“Oh, and by the way, got a slight [trouble?] the other day because, these two journalists at the New Zealand Herald had an article saying that these things were happening and guess what – they’re coming from five European countries and not from Asia. And they left out the part, ‘as Winston Peters keeps saying’.

“We all know what that meant. Now let me just tell you this: Immigration is about ethnicity; it’s about race. And when I see two people, who are immigrants, telling me that the great countries from which they come – the numbers – from which they come, are not from where they are coming, then I think high time we need some facts.

“For example, here a man in the Herald – he couldn’t leave it off – and he was going on in the weekend – the Herald on Sunday. In fact, it’s got a famous name this, Dann. But it’s an attack on me: ‘Let New Zealand be a world leader on immigration debate’, and it’s an attack on the question of whether or not it is racist to raise the question, of all things, on immigration.

“Now you’ve got to be in the Loony Tune world if you think that immigration, when it’s raised, is a racist attack on somebody. By definition, immigration’s about race; it’s about ethnicity. But more about that later…”

David, I only have a couple of small clips from this morning. NZF themselves appeared to have their own camera there recording the speech - so perhaps check their sites.


Thanks Alex, that makes it a little clearer...I think.

I have also echoed those thoughts about NZ Initiative pushing the narrative that immigration is good, surely the background of the authors must be taken into account as it will shape the conclusion even if it is subconsciously.
if they were not residing here but looking from afar, I would accept the impartiality as they have no other interest other than academic, but being here they can not be impartial as it effects themselves family and must draw on there own background to help frame the argument.

Thanks Alex.

I cant help but agree with Mr Peters, would vote for a love child he had with Mr Morgan.

Peters reminds me of any Israeli politician answering questions on Palestine.
Full of it.

Sure. 20% of Israelis are ethnically Arabs and have fair representation in the Parliament and equal rights. My dad works as a manager for a major defence contractor and has stayed in Israel on several occasions.
Can you say the same about Jews in Palestine or any other Muslim country? Absolutely not.
Time to re-calibrate your opinions based on facts, not propaganda or fake news.

What a strange answer to my comparison.
I could have compared him to a lot of other politicians who won't answer questions and who deviate from the subject but i chose an Israeli.


Winston is 100% correct. Immigration is NOT about RACISM.
Tell anyone in Aisa about NZ's immigration policy and they think its too good to be true...
NZ'ers are blocked or charged huge fees in Aisa... The locals want it that way.

NZ MUST have a similar stance or we will end up screwing current residents.

Winston should be PM based on his immigration policy alone he can't do any worse than National or Labour, you never know he may even sort the whole mess out. I don't think we have anything to lose in giving him a shot. I am going to give him my vote as the others don't seem to give a rats ass about the middle class. As for the Australians, good on them, we need to follow suit.

PS the headline doesn't make any sense, or have I lost the plot?

Many may want to vote for Winston (me too) but he may go with national for power so will not be a vote for change of governmen and anti government votes will split. So unless he declares (unlikely) that he will not go with national am reluctant to vote him.

Am definite that if he does declare that will not go for national his voting percentage will go up.

Donbond - As long as he stipulates and leverages the fact that he will only go with a party that reduces immigration substantially I don't really care which party he ends up with, as they are as equally bad, though the Greens and Maori probably take the cake. As far as I can see immigration is our number one problem.

Peters doesn't give details on how he's going to address the severe shrinking economic growth consequence of effectively abolishing work visas at time when workforce participation is rising strongly, unemployment is falling and business is complaining that it cannot source labour. He preaches fire and brimstone but leaves out the path of salvation bit.

200000 workers shortage as per today's government report. More immigration. Start buying more rentals, folks.



reading the notice from BERL, the focus is more on getting the 13% of our youth unemployed trained and into the industries
nowhere does it say we need to bring people in

What percentage of that estimated 200000 jobs would be filled by immigrants, do you think ?

There Peters goes again, valid comment one minute, nasty comment the next:

'By definition, immigration’s about race; it’s about ethnicity'

That just reeks of racism.

I agree with him on reducing immigration. I disagree with him that its about race.
We need to lower the number of immigrants whether they are English, Central European, Asian etc etc

The immigration debate is not about race, unless you are bigoted. It's about how many people this country can realistically absorb, especially given our infrastructure and housing deficits.

Immigration should and I think it does to a large extent, consider culture as the most important factor when determining the suitability of a candidate. This is why we have English language skills* and points systems for skills, money and education. A candidate needs to be a "modern" person to be suitable. The poverty stricken, the uneducated, the superstitious and the primitive should be rejected. Using this criteria would exclude large swathes of mankind. On top of that immigration should be limited to a token amount for humanitarian purposes and to fill actual needs. Vasts amounts of wealthy people would be as damaging as vast amounts of poor people, especially if those people gained their wealth through exploiting the people of their home countries.

*Fluency in English is probably the most important factor because you can't be truly useful without it. The more fluent you are the better you will do here and the easier you will assimilate.

So, Trump is on the right path then ?

Out of interest, do you think it would be better for New Zealand to import in bulk 200,000 people from a highly-corrupt place with few rights for women and terrible treatment of homosexuals, or 200,000 people from a place with low levels of corruption, and equal rights for women and homosexuals.

Especially if many of them ended up living in a suburban enclave together?

I don't think it's wrong for Kiwis to consider such questions about what values they want NZ society to embody, and - given we will be bringing in people from societies that do not embody these values - how we might wish people to integrate with NZ society, and to what level.

I'm not entirely convinced that was the intended meaning Fritz; it doesn't seem to fit with the context or perhaps old Peters is getting a bit porangi.


At least the discussion has now started in what is almost the mainstream media. The world is full; over full actually from an ecological footprint perspective. Human population growth and resource depletion globally are the issues of this century. We in NZ cannot make any meaningful redistribution of human numbers globally without destroying what we value about our own country. Between Gareth Morgan and Winston we have begun this 'difficult national conversation' Given the state of the migrant's home countries (hell hole is a fair call- I've been to most of them and wouldn't want to go back even for a short visit) and those countries' future prospects we will be under immigration pressure forever. We are no longer a secret or even that hard to get to. Contributing to a national conversation through the ballot box is all we punters and citizens can do. With both National and Labour too invested in the status quo of our existing economy to be honest it does fall to mavericks like Winston and Gareth to make a stand. Listen to the reasoning and if you agree forget that it is Winston with all his baggage or Gareth with his loony and un -electable land tax policies. Immigration and the consequences of the last 8 years are the bigger issue. If this concerns you then 2017 is the year to do something about it with your party vote.

Hear, hear.

Our politicians are by and large pretty ignorant of the real world in which resource depletion is already starting to pose a significant threat to the future of our species. The idea that we can continue to expand economic growth exponentially in a finite world, is mathmatically impossible and yet it is the foundation of all government economic policy. Some countries are waking up to the fact that at some point a change in direction is needed. Some are not. NZ is in the "hear and see no evil" category....driven by misguided but doctrinaire economists.

Eventually, the finite nature of the master resource called oil will force a change of direction for us. (if oil prices were too high, how would we get our exports to market?) First we have a couple of iterations to go through. The first was the substitution of energy as a factor in growing national and global GDP by substituting energy by debt. In the several years since the the GFC instead of an economic multiplier of 4:1 the multiplier has disappeared and in places like China it now takes 4 yuan of borrowing to generate 1 yuan of increased GDP.

The second iteration was the collapse of oil prices in 2015. This has put a number of oil exporters into the category of failed or failing economies, yet we now linger in limbo where the global oil price is still too high for buyers and still too low for oil producers. As a result the net disinvestment in oil exploration continues. That will slowly play out until disaster unfolds - sometime in the early 2020s. BTW, there will be trouble before then, but disaster will take a little longer ....

The present expedient of maximising oil production by sticking more straws into the existing milkshakes will work for a while...but in fives years annual depletion rates will be much higher and there will simply not be enough funds to replace losses with production from new oil fields or oil substitutes.

The third iteration will be the collapse of unsustainable prices for real estate and sharemarkets, that have been artificially supported by central bank and government policies since thye GFC. That is likely within the next twelve months.

The lax immigration strategies in Australia, Canada and New Zealand has distorted both immigration numbers and the pressure on real estate where cash out of China became the top bidder. While the Canadian real estate market has already (just) started its downturn, we can expect that to happen in Australasia later this year.

I made strong representations to Key and his ministers in 2013/4 that they finally did something about in October 2016. Meanwhile the deliberate disinformation about the impact of immigration on NZ welfare costs and the cost of housing by John Key (a guy with an impressive record in overtrading) has led me to change my lifetime allegiance from the National Party to NZ First.

Auckland will never be the same as it was in 2000. It has been a pawn to the National party casino, in which the only winner will continue to be the banks until the next GFC....and that will not be long in coming.

I won't bother looking here for rebuttals. They will come from the same folk who did not anticipate the advent of the GFC. For me the GFC was as plain as the nose on my face from January 2008 and by March I was predicting timing as September 2008. This time around the timing is more obscure as central banks marshall their futile defences.

Winston Peters was right about the "Wine box". He was right about immigration. We live in a land of denial and bull shit. Unfortunately it won't change before disaster strikes.

I know what comes next, but all I will say is that after that, the devil will take the hindmost.

Nowadays Politicians are well aware of the consequences of what they are doing. Only thing is they are motivated by other interests, vested interests, etc. Like business leaders are looking to the next quarter only, the politicians are looking to the next election. This is a world wide thingy.

This is an interesting couple of articles - perhaps a no vote is best after all

"The only way to truly delegitimize a corrupt system is by not voting"
"Actually, only the non-voter does have a right to complain – it’s the opposite of what they say. Voters are assenting to whatever the government does"

Agree - early 2020s certainly looks about as far as the can can possibly be kicked..
Saw this quote posted... by Henry Kissinger ...

“As a historian one has to be conscious of the fact that every civilization has alternately collapsed One has to live with the sense of inevitability of tragedy. As a statesman one has to act as though problems must be solved. ”

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