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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Shane Jones Nationalised

Shane Jones is on Radio Live as I type this, explaining that he quit politics because he just couldn't be arsed etc.  "No reservoir of energy to..." as he put it.  Ridiculous.  Retirement at 54.  A career beginning and ending in a blathering, blustering bombardment of English, wrapped in Maori metaphors.  Jones was promoted on the basis of promise, but has delivered only to himself.  He is basically a lazy party boy with a big yap hole. The great waha of the North. What has he done?

He is saying he is nothing but "true to himself" - no shit!  It's always been about him - that is why he is taking this financially-induced waka-jumping stunt of McCully's, that is why he took money from a National Cabinet Minister's spouse for his leadership campaign of the Labour Party, that is why he was double-dipping on the Fisheries Commission whilst an MP, that is why he ordered porn on his Ministerial Credit card when he was in Europe on official business, that is why he was always a sell-out.  It's all about him and all about the money.  Despite what Jones would claim, no "tribally Labour" MP would go begging to Murray-fucking-McCully the priest, councillor and lord plenopotentiary of the New Zealand National Party for anything let alone to arrange one's own political exit package.

No loss to Labour in the long term, but a definite gain in the short term for the Nats.

No difficult questions will be asked in parliament over this corrupt practice of patronage - the procurement and secret commission - as Jones is everyone's mate it seems: Labour are too embarrassed to highlight this induced defection, and the NZ First leader - like all the other Maori politicians it appears - don't want to criticise because he is Maori.  This is pathetic, Jones is a right
wing arsehole from what I have seen and heard.  His vaunted working class credentials were advanced by the right, but were nothing more than Jones' conservative instincts that the pundits themselves wanted mirrored in an acceptably Pakeha-ised Maori. Trotter on Radio Live was being far too sympathetic.  Jones spoke to blokedom against narrower identity factions - a small part in keeping a wide church, but Jones came at a cost, and Labour just isn't paying its way.

The pig finds a different way to grease his way to the trough.  Shane Jones' political epitaph will not be complementary.  The bullshit McCully made-up role he is to take up covers the Nat's agenda: brown-washing tokenism to disguise the real power imbalance and exclusion of Maori at home, and a pro-privatisation and exploitation voice in the Islands.

UPDATE: 25/04/2014
A NZ Herald article says he made up his mind on Sunday.  I take it the salary figure must have been settled on the Sunday then. But how long had he been in clandestine negotiations with the Tory Foreign Affairs Minister about getting a personalised ambassadorship?  Just breathtaking to see an MP being bought off like this, so openly.  He was elected on Labour's list and while an MP on that list went around the backs of his party to do a deal with the Grand Dragon of the Tories - he's doing the bidding of the National Party to destabalise Labour and damage their election chances.

Jones' missus gets to go along for the ride on hubby's resort-hopping mega-junket as well, so there would be added pressure from her even if the Herald article with her interview doesn't spell that out. Jones' Dad was right:
You'll have disappointed colleagues and some disappointed voters but they will get over it."'
I'm already over it - what little of it there was to get over.  I doubt he will be missed by many on his own side.  And I forgot to mention the worst of Jones' corruption - the Bill Liu/ Yang citizenship case which should have ended his career. 

This is the sort of corrupt chicanery that the NZ people usually hear about happening in the Pacific Islands.  When NZers think of that it is greeted derisively as a routine dysfunction in a banana republic trying to operate colonial European forms of government and that they are incapable of and to which they are unsuited.  What the NZers very rarely - if at all - appreciate is that NZ itself is just another Pacific Island banana republic trying to operate a colonial European form of government that they are incapable of and to which they are unsuited.  No corruption round here, mate - we're New Zealanders.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Judith Collins: guess who's coming to dinner?

Judith Collins, Justice Minister, is playing dumb in parliament at question time and avoiding media. Her patronising responses, or non-responses, to allegations of corrupt influence is not becoming of a Cabinet Minister.  Her abuse of the House by criticising questions as too long and then asking for them to be stated again for her amusement is out of order.  If she is too thick to comprehend the question, that is one thing, but to keep breaking up the questioning with this tactic just makes her look guilty as all fuck.  That flippancy is just as a bad look as her hysterical denial reaction - none of them convince anyone.  It is as if the nervous ranks of silent Nats behind her, and her senior colleagues beside, had detached themselves from whowever this woman was.  Completely off the Estate.

Herself and her husband and their mutual friends and shareholders in the Oravida company are involved in nothing more or less than crony capitalism at it's most glorious apex: the Chinese call it 'Scientific socialism with Chinese characteristics', the New Zealanders call it 'The China Free Trade Agreement'.  Kiwi meets Dragon.  It's the Chinese way, now it is the New Zealand way.  (Dragon win, obviously.  The Chinese nationals own and run Oravida, it is only nominally a NZ company, being registered here under a sequence of lawyer's trusts to disguise the origin.)  So when Tim Grosser as Trade Minister and John Key as the PM support Oravida as they have done, they are supporting a Chinese-owned company that is in a now quite open, exposed, relationship of deep personal and financial interest with their other Cabinet chum, Judith Collins.  

This is untenable for the Justice Minister.  It may be ridgy-didge in the PRC, but you are not in Beijing now, Minister - it's parliament and people want answers.  The impression is: this is how we do it in China and its all OK because, you know, it happened in Shanghai and the Cabinet Manual and the responsibilities of executive office only apply on a trip when I say it does and I can decide what is and isn't what sort of business, public or private, state or personal.  This is Collin's position when she knows full well it is all in Key's domain.

Collins stated - as I recall - that the dinner with the border official and the Oravida boss was originally scheduled to include the NZ Ambassador plus an official, but the Ambassador pulled out and so she went ahead with the dinner anyway as a private dinner.
Q.  Why did the Ambassador pull out, and why did the other official not attend, what reason was given?
Q.  What did the Ambassador advise about continuing with this dinner, and in respect to its status as official or private?
Q.  What agenda, points or issues were going to be raised at this official dinner and what notes or reports were going to be made afterwards?
Q.  Since this was an official dinner at which point did it become a private dinner, and was the Border  official informed of this change in status?
Q.  Who was Collins relying on for translation of the Border official's comments?
Q.  What undertakings or understandings were reached between Collins and the border official and the Oravida boss at that dinner or in a consequence of that dinner?
Q.  Was Collins introduced at that dinner as a NZ government Minister?

UPDATE: Video from parliamentary question time shows Grant Robertson getting into these points, with a separate supplementary for the last one.  She said she couldn't remember if she discussed it later with the Ambassador.

 Talk about Chinese walls!  Collins is doing a long march on the Great Wall of all Chinese walls over this Oravida scandal and she can't go the distance.  The PM is going to have to shut this little princess down before her Oravida taint spoils the whole batch.  They had to cut Pansy Wong for less.  Some say she must have something on Key to keep him from chopping her, but it is the unwillingness to sacrifice because it may show disunity and acknowledge corruption which stops a sacking, I don't think anyone possess anything nuclear here.  So, how long has Collins got realistically?

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Remembering Rwanda: NZ's responsibility

Local reflections on the 20th anniversary of the genocide are academic.  Dr Graham does not mention New Zealand's part in the genocide.  New Zealand chaired the UN Security Council during the genocide.  When everyone says the UN should have done something and didn't they should be aware that NZ government representatives were part of that critical failure.

The NZ delegation may blame the US, UK and France for their intransigence and caution, but at best NZ's humanitarian intentions were ineffective because they had no influence.  At worst, it was ineffective because they were part of the white colonial club - the Anglo-American bloc - who didn't see a massacre in black Africa as a worthy problem for their attention.  

Given the colossal catastrophe that was Rwanda, I was amazed to hear PM John Key last week trying to talk up gaining a seat on the UNSC by mentioning the NZ presidency during the Rwanda crisis as if it were evidence of having done a good job.  Quite the contrary.  This is what John Key calls a good job: one of the top ten worst UNSC resolutions of all time according to Foreign Policy blog.  If overseeing the systematic slaughter of 800,000 Africans is Key's idea of a good job, I'd hate to see what a poor performance would look like.  

The FP blog quotes NZ's UN rep at the time, Colin Keating:
"This is part of the modus operandi: well, we got it wrong, too bad, let's move on," said Colin Keating, a former New Zealand ambassador to the U.N. who now runs the Security Council Report. "This is not an organ that sees itself as accountable to anybody, and certainly not to the principle of historical accuracy."
Keating was given a medal by the Rwandan government, but it was for doing precious little in the scheme of things.  When considering what should and could have been done by the NZ delegation as 
the president of the Security Council at the time the scant resume presented for the conferral speaks to how hopeless the situation was that so little is being so honoured.  The citation reads:
[...] The Genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda coincided with the peak of your diplomatic career. As your country’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations between 1993 and 1996, you served on the Security Council in 1993 and 1994; presiding over this Council during the genocide in 1994.
During this moment of crisis, you availed yourself and members of your mission to representatives of the Rwandese Patriotic Front and listened to their version of the situation, in the interest of gathering information from diverse sources of objective accounts of what was really unfolding in Rwanda.
You lent your voice to other lone and courageous voices that were indignant about the deafening silence of the then Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations. You were vocal in your disapproval of the French-led Operation Turquoise.
Doesn't sound that pro-active: we went to a meeting, we listened, we knew what was going on, and all we did was one of our bullshit speeches about our proud independent voice and concern - all delivered from underneath the petticoats of the UK and US.  Did NZ offer troops, or resources as part of a NZ solution?  Of course not, NZ does as it is told.  

And with regard to Keating’s comments about historical accuracy and the Security Council now being echoed by Key's revisionism - it absolutely must be noted that the regime giving the medal is Tutsi and that Keating supports them in denouncing a critical report of the regime's forces in the Congo.  So there are reasons why such a low threshold of support is being applied to someone who basically sat on their hands when they were being killed.  It is all so hideously cynical.

Friday, April 04, 2014


Rongotai self-storage fire in Wellington at approx. 12:15am.
Onehunga car storage fire in Auckland at approx. 1am.
NZ Fire Service and insurers ever share notes?

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Cheeky Smalley

Rachel Smalley has contracted the same strain of bigotry as afflicted Paul Holmes and everyone else broadcasting from the ZB studios.  Is it something in the air conditioning or the water cooler that turns all those white people into uptight arseholes? or were they that already like that - indeed were they employed on that basis?  They are all like that.  It is a workplace that creates and supports hostile denigration of minorities - which is why Holmes could be indulged in repeating a racist epithet over and over again during the course of his show without fear.  They were clearly views compatible with, or endorsed by the other staff.

Smalley's on-air simpering (via NZ Herald) is nothing but pathetic.  Having been caught out displaying her true colours - as Holmes was - her response (apart from turning on the girly-tears) is the same as Holmes: I was just being silly, I don't really think that, that's not me.  This is a lie, of course, it is precisely what her real thoughts are on the matter.  Flippant opinion, cruel and unkind opinion, but honest opinion.  The need for all the cry-baby antics is because she knows it is her true feelings - the tears are of embarrassment and a deflection tactic.  She's sorry - sorry she looks like a dick because she made a rookie fuck up by yabbering her usual callous shit when the mic was still live - sorry her bubble of professionalism has popped.

She already damaged her precious reputation moving to that cesspit of talkhate radio.  Tears won't wash away peddling discrimination on a reactionary, conservative, racist radio network.  Why wake up every morning at 3:30am just to be part of a machine that preaches intolerance?  How is that supposed to be a career advancement?  Oh, and her denial in the Herald of any ego as motivation of leaving TV3 after not dislodging someone else for a top job there is as believable as this heifer/lardos apology.