I am currently working on a blog discussing the function of the Ombudsman within the New Zealand constitution.
In working to end the NZ government’s persecution of Harmon and Carolyn Wilfred, https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1610/S00312/ombudsman-delays-investigation-of-department-of-immigration.htm an appeal was made by their lawyer to the Office of the Ombudsman. The outcome of this appeal, though as yet ‘provisional,’ appears to reveal a significant mismatch between the NZ public’s views of the role of its independent Ombudsman and the reality. Does the Ombudsman’s office act as a watchdog, protecting the rights of the individual from governmental abuse, or as the government’s lapdog, on its master’s instruction, yapping approval of such abuse?
The appeal is still under review and the subject of continued correspondence. It is therefore too early to go to press on what is shaping up to be a significant constitutional issue. If the outcome of the Wilfred’s appeal continues along the present lines provisionally set by the Ombudsman, it should be a matter of concern to all New Zealanders interested in the protection and development of their democracy. There will be more on this subject after Christmas.
In the meantime, with 2016 now drawing rapidly to a close, it might be appropriate to look at some of the issues covered by Khakispecs over the preceding months and give readers a chance to bring themselves up to date on those subjects they find of particular interest. I would particularly recommend the two hyperlinks contained in Section 9 on Russia. Would that the Prime Minister of New Zealand had read these before deciding to burn off Russia in support of the US coup in the Ukraine. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11359292
b.) To what extent is Trump back-pedaling on his campaign promises? Just Google ‘Trump back pedals’ to see a long list. What you say on the campaign trail and what you do in office are not necessarily the same! My particular interest is in Hillary Clintons’ immunity from prosecution. The future security of my friends and business partners, Harmon and Carolyn Wilfred, depends on Hillary being disempowered. Trump recently made public statements as to how he had no intention of pursuing the Clintons. However, there are a hundred plus FBI agents under NY Prosecutor Preet Bharara still investigating the Clinton Foundation and this Fox News report might also indicate that the Clinton’s have not got a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card. https://insider.foxnews.com/2016/11/27/donald-trump-ambassadors-clinton-foundation-activity-abroad
3. Developments in Iraq. The Islamic Stateis now most defiantly (sic) doomed. Its crazed enthusiasts are either preparing to die or flee. No doubt those cancerous cells that escape the impending bloodbath will end up lodged in societies around the world. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37702442
4. Turkey and the Kurds. Next year the discussion will be about Turkish relations with the Kurds of Syria and Iraq and the extent to which Syrian, Iraqi and to a lesser extent, Iranian Kurds are able to retain autonomy from central governments in Damascus, Baghdad and Tehran.
6. The Afghan insurgency. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in_Afghanistan_(2015%E2%80%93present) The indigenous Taliban continue their attempt to regain control of the government from which the US drove them more than fourteen years ago. And now, they are having to contend with another fruit of the USA’s Middle Eastern policy – a burgeoning Islamic State faction. Under ‘Operation Enduring freedom’ the US Air Force and Special Forces continue to dabble in as low a risk/low a cost manner as can be managed. US casualties have dropped to almost nothing https://icasualties.org/oef/Fatalities.aspx While the Americans stay in barracks or well above the ground, the grunt work is now the responsibility of hapless Afghani conscripts, victims of the continued misrule the country inherited from its western ‘allies. My best guess is that in two or ten years’ time the country will be governed under sharia law by a fairly moderate (compared to IS) Taliban-centric government and that all foreign forces will have been withdrawn. https://thediplomat.com/2016/07/the-problem-with-afghanistans-counterinsurgency/
9. Russia. Finally, another look at Russia and how it might respond to a widening of the Atlantic Ocean. https://renegadeinc.com/cooperative-capitalism-russian-idea/ Renegade www.renegadeinc.com is a new entrant into the blogosphere and has struck me as a source of well-informed and enlightened commentary. However, I can find little on the author, Colin McKay, other than that he is an Australian living in Russia and attempting to set up some sort of alternative banking business. I doubt that he is an expert on the Russian soul and therefore would regard this article as the impressions of an intelligent observer, rather than an offering of deep insight into the reality. What I am aware of is that the Russian culture is a determining force in international relations and very different from that of the USA. My Blog No 21 dealt with a similar subject – but this time written by a Russian. The gist of the two articles would seem to be consistent https://khakispecs.com/?p=423 and both would seem to offer the possibility of a far closer European/Russian rapport than would be welcomed in the USA.
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