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If you don’t follow Michael Reddell, you’re dumb

  • October 4th, 2018

Using ‘dumb’ in its schoolyard sense – meaning stupid or ignorant.

I was asked at lunch today how I came across the things I read to fill the gap that used to be filled by newspapers  and local public affairs radio and TV. At the end of this message I provide some of the links that fill the gap for me. But still there is a hunger for non-childish local commentary.

Michael Reddell’s blog – Croaking Cassandra, is a must read for any Wellingtonian who needs penetration of Wellington economic newspeak. Michael is a former senior Reserve Bank economist. But he does not confine himself to dry economics. His recent posts on ludicrous Reserve Bank spirituality are masterpieces. He  measures Treasury and selected official agencies against similar traditional standards of intellectual discipline.

Some readers were lost as he tested their patience with too much grievance against a previous Governor of the Reserve Bank. That obsession was to me a small price to pay for diligence and passion on other matters. Some trading bank senior economists have pithy observations, but they all have to worry about offending the regulators. Mostly Michael’s target agencies and shibboleths are in economic regulation, but Michael ranges wider.

He has almost single-handedly made it academically respectable to question the economic value of our extraordinary immigration explosion. With scores of carefully considered posts, including a 10 part analysis early in 2017, he has been one of the few establishment intellectuals willing to risk being labelled with the standard establishment silencing allegation of “racist”. His courteous challenge to blind faith in “diversity” or multi-culturalism has simply not been taken up. It seems that few dare engage on his economic logic.

More recently he has been willing to explore the risks of Chinese subversion. Of course potential treachery from establishment figures beholden to (or in fear of) overseas patrons or masters is a mainstream fear, justified by human experience over and over again. Our colonial forebears gained their colonial power and wealth by suborning the elites of the peoples subjugated more often than with military violence.

The Chinese subversion risk has been thoroughly explored in Australia. There is obvious disquiet in government circles among our allies, with a focus on New Zealand. It has been covered sporadically (and with some bravery given official disfavour) by RNZ and Matt Nippert for the NZ Herald and by Newsroom. But our political establishment has closed ranks to squelch the debate. During last year’s election the Minister in charge of the SIS even trotted out the racism slur against New Zealand’s foremost academic with expertise on the topic.  In any normal time or country that should have resulted in a nationwide debate over whether he could be trusted with power or responsibility to protect our secrets and our loyal agents.

In today’s blog post Michael expresses the widely shared but forbidden suspicion that many of our teachers are pretty stupid and closed minded. He observes that they now openly despise and ignore the legally required secular political neutrality of public education. His post today raises for me the question – for how long will parents tolerate being legally compelled to leave their children at the mercy of smug teacher bigots. `

So – after that unsolicited endorsement of Michael’s blog, below are links to some of the services and sites that most often detain me.

I find Blendle more manageable than Medium in the digest market. Having to pay per article means I ration my time better when following links to fascinating articles.

I usually access arcane stuff in my magpie hours thru Twitter. Arts and Letters daily is still running and Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok with Marginal Revolution link to lots of things worth knowing.

For fun today look at the two links I’ve bullet pointed – re the Sokal affair which Helen Pluckrose and her co-conspirators have just “squared”.



  • Kiwiwit
  • October 5th, 2018
  • 7:17 am

I agree that Michael Reddell is the best ‘establishment intellectual’ commentator in NZ. Quillette is simply the best current online affairs journal on the planet (which I would urge people to help fund through, the standard of which highlights the extremely poor quality of the mainstream media today.

  • Stephen
  • October 5th, 2018
  • 7:47 am

Unfortunately when I’ve gone to Patreon for just that purpose I get stuck in a PayPal loop. I’ve lost my PayPal login details and their helpline never gets through to a human. When I tried to just set up a new account it recognised me and kept forcing me back to the account I can’t access.
To avoid wasting energy in rage I now just steer clear of Patreon and anything that relies on PayPal.

  • Ex Mfat
  • October 17th, 2018
  • 8:40 am

Excellent advice Stephen. Michael Redell’s thorough and well researched columns are indispensable reading. His coverage of the PRC’s highly successful penetration on New Zealand’s political elite is chilling and takes on a new urgency in the light of yesterday’s disturbing revelations about political donations.


Thinking that face-to-face is the thing. With mens clubs being banned by PC demons, where do thinkers swap ideas face-to-face. Common clicks haunts seems like a problem / solution. Who has the time to trawl through the content. Will click through the links though, perhaps. En garde.


Agree. The content is on point. Not just entertaining but also informative.
His blogs has insights, not actually something cliche.

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