Radio New Zealand interview on British multinational Serco

British multinational Serco is causing trouble in New Zealand, with behaviour at its privately-run prisons fraught with violence and unaccountability. It’s the normal Serco way and only fools will be surprised. I was interviewed by Radio New Zealand’s Sunday Morning (on a very bad phone line in South Sudan) on the company’s inability and unwillingness…

US mass surveillance in the Pacific

Here’s my weekly Guardian column published today: What if China was beating the US at its own super-power game in the Pacific and we didn’t even notice? While Washington distracts itself with… shutdown shenanigans… and failed attempts to control the situation in the Middle East, president Obama’s “pivot to Asia”… looks increasingly shaky. Beijing is… quietly filling the gap,…

New Zealand Super Fund takes stand against Israeli illegality

Very interesting development and the sign of thing to come globally (via the New Zealand Herald): The $20 billion New Zealand Superannuation Fund has excluded three Israeli companies from its portfolio on ethical grounds because of their involvement in illegal settlements and the security wall. The fund’s investments in the firms were insubstantial. Some $9,744…

Serco takes business to yet another nation who should know better

British multinational Serco has now officially opened for business in New Zealand (a reader just informed me that Serco was already in the country in the 1990s). With Serco’s behaviour in Australia under intense scrutiny – is the company being continually rewarded for failure? – this official PR statement from the country’s Department of Corrections…

The Shock Doctrine hits New Zealand

A disaster strikes (man-made or otherwise) and governments and businesses look to take advantage of the crisis. Canadian writer Naomi Klein has written a book about it and I’m currently working on a book that examines similar issues. A regular reader of my work has informed me that New Zealand is undergoing something akin to…

New Zealand soldiers possibly complicit in torture in Afghanistan

How many US or Australians are potentially equally responsible for caring too little about gross breaches of human rights? Labour is adding its support to calls for an inquiry into claims Kiwi troops handed over Afghan prisoners to authorities who tortured them. Journalist Jon Stephenson claimed on TVNZ’s Marae programme that NZ’s Special Forces in…

The Serco rot jumps to yet another country

The following statement was released on 9th February by the New Zealand Green Party: It has been revealed that a Serco prison has the worst record of self-harm in Scotland, said the Green Party today. Serco’s contract to run Auckland remand prison is due to be tabled in Parliament shortly. It has been reported in…