Ben Thomas

Ben Thomas is a public relations consultant with Exceltium. He is a former National government press secretary and political editor of the National Business Review.

Politics
Nov 27, 2017

6000 stupid questions: National's DDoS attack on the government

A brute force barrage of questions on a new and under-staffed coalition is 'not uniquely awful', argues Ben Thomas, 'but nor is it defensible'.

Read on.

Politics
Sep 7, 2017

Counterpunch: why Bill English won the Stuff Leaders' Debate

Ben Thomas watched the Stuff Leader Debate and, unlike The Spinoff's editor, calls an emphatic win for English.

Read on.

Politics
Aug 29, 2017

No alarm? How the 'no surprises' policy blights everyone it touches

The Winston Peters superannuation affair has put National's 'no surprises' rules for government ministries and departments in the spotlight. Good, says Ben Thomas: everyone should know just how rotten the policy has become.

Read on.


Politics
Jun 27, 2017

Five questions the government must answer about the Barclay scandal/existence

Dismayed by the press gallery's failure to interrogate the prime minister's epistemological framework in the Todd Barclay scandal? Undismay yourself: New Zealand's leading craft beer enthusiast and philosopher king Ben Thomas is here.

Read on.

Politics
May 25, 2017

The rope-a-dope budget: Ben Thomas reviews Budget 2017

After a year of taking heavy shots from the opposition, National responded with a 1-2 of their own with today's budget announcements, writes Ben Thomas.

Read on.

Politics
May 23, 2017

Yes, ‘white, middle class’ Rohan Lord would have lost the election. So?

Labour candidate Rohan Lord announced yesterday that he was withdrawing from the East Coast Bays race, blaming his low placing on the party list and the barrier to progress which is being a white middle class man. So much for party loyalty, writes Ben Thomas.

Read on.

Politics
May 8, 2017

Save us, I beg you, from this never-ending bullshit about the foreshore and seabed

From Don Brash to Helen Clark to the latest media spiel, the ‘debate’ is one of the great bogeymen of NZ politics. And it needs to get in the sea, writes Ben Thomas

Read on.

Politics
Apr 24, 2017

Spaghetti, pineapple and cheese: Bill English’s tasty cabinet reshuffle

Just like his spaghetti pizza, Bill English has served up another predictable-but-surprising cabinet reshuffle, writes Ben Thomas.

Read on.

Politics
Mar 6, 2017

Bill English’s super shift is a minor triumph – and lights a fuse for the ages

Pushing the retirement age to 67 by 2040 reshapes the debate in election year. The boomers will be happy, but what about the rest of us? Ben Thomas writes

Read on.

Politics
Jan 22, 2017

The day America started getting great again: a dispatch from DC on inauguration day

Ben Thomas clasps his silver ticket and braves the Washington throngs to watch the inauguration, those watching it, and the squirrels. Complete with data analysis via Grindr.

Read on.

Politics
Jan 21, 2017

Think worst gig in the world, but a bit worse than that: direct from Trump’s big inaugural concert

Just how great was the incoming president's Make American Great Again concert? Let's cross to Ben Thomas in Washington DC, and pray for him.

Read on.

Politics
Dec 5, 2016

The Great Reassurer: How John Key’s calmness was his greatest strength

He understands middle New Zealand in a way that is unparalleled.' Leftwing political commentator Ben Thomas looks back at John Key's prime minsterial career.

Read on.

Politics
Nov 3, 2016

Not corrupt, just idiotic: Why the Saudi deal report is still terrible for Murray McCully

The government is trumpeting the fact that the Auditor-General's report into the Saudi sheep fiasco did not find its mastermind guilty of criminal corruption. Good for McCully, says Ben Thomas - now let's look at what the report did say about New Zealand's most bizarre ovine scheme.

Read on.

Oct 30, 2016
Media
Aug 25, 2016

WAKE UP SHEEPLE! The problem with Gavin Ellis’ Complacent Nation

Former New Zealand Herald editor Gavin Ellis claims New Zealanders are sleepwalking through an all-out assault on their democratic rights. Ben Thomas claims Gavin Ellis should chill out a bit.

Read on.

Society
May 9, 2016

Power ranking the 10 people incriminated in the Panama Papers who (probably) did nothing wrong

Opinion: Publishing the names of thousands of people who have dealt with Mossack Fonseca irrespective of wrongdoing is reckless, unfair, and worthy of Kafka's The Trial, argues Ben Thomas.

Read on.

Politics
Mar 21, 2016

This new left thinking sounds awfully grandparental – a review of The Interregnum

Morgan Godfery's collection of new progressive thinking is weighed down by a lot of ageing left ideas, writes Ben Thomas from the other side of the political divide.

Read on.

The Spinoff is made possible by the generous support of the following organisations.
Please help us by supporting them.