US religious right paid $500,000 for high-profile plaintiff to change sides

Posted by in Activism, Feminism, Health, History, Politics

The woman plaintiff in the landmark 1973 ruling legalising abortion in the US admitted that her change of heart on the issue in 1995 was “all an act”. Norma McCorvey, known as Jane Roe in the US Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v Wade, shocked the country when she came out against abortion. What we couldn’t know was she was paid by antiabortion groups including Operation Rescue. The case had gone all the way to the highest court in the land where, by a vote of seven to two, the…read more


Covid-19: Renters suffer most

Posted by in Activism, Economics, Politics

Rents are expensive everywhere, but especially so in New Zealand where major cities are among the least affordable in the world (see When wages are cut and jobs are lost, the poorest households take the biggest hit – and while the New Zealand government is preparing a second round of support for small business rents, no such support has been mentioned for renters. Of nearly 2000 people surveyed by Renters United recently, more than half had lost at least a third of their income, and others were even more…read more


Farmers force banks to pay for interest rate swap losses

Posted by in Activism, Culture, Economics, Politics

Interest rate swaps are enormously risky financial derivatives, so complicated that most of the bank managers selling them didn’t understand what could happen if things went wrong. But New Zealand banks, including The National Bank, ASB and Westpac, sold these swaps to hundreds of farming customers in the period before the global financial crisis in 2008. Banks told farmers swaps were a great way to reduce the risk of having to pay more money on their bank debt. Don’t worry, said the banks. Interest rate swaps seem complicated, but actually…read more


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