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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Solipsism redefined/Does anyone care? No.2

-------------------FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-----------------


The Auckland man charged with sedition and conspiracy charges stemming from an axe attack on the Prime Ministers electorate office last year over the controversial Foreshore and Seabed Act has found support - within the ranks of the government.

"Intentional damage is one thing to be accused of, but to be facing two charges of sedition is bordering on the paranoid," Tim Selwyn said today after his Auckland District Court appearance yesterday set a date of 15 June for a depositions on the matters. "I was heartened to find that I'm not the only one who considers the sedition offence to be an outmoded political crime."


Government back-bench MP and former minister, Hon. Mat Robson (Progressives) has backed the abolition of sedition in the Crimes Act. Commenting on an online election candidate survey posted today Mr Robson said the offence was "a form of control and prevents free speech."

Mr Selwyn agrees with Robson's stance: "the heavy-handed techniques of the Crown today include all of the obscure and repressive tools used against protesters of the past. As long as these conscience crimes remain on the statute books no one is safe. The power pylon protesters of the Waikato may be the next victims."


"The current Prime Minister has stated the politician she most admires is Peter Fraser (Labour PM 1940-49). He was jailed for a year for sedition - as were many other Labour MPs of the time. It adds a certain irony to my predicament," Mr Selwyn observed.

The full survey is on the No Right Turn website: www.norightturn.blogspot.com


Thanks to Scoop for caring. Thanks to NRT (amongst others) for the research.

I note that Phil Goff is reported by the Falun sect/cult on a website as criticising China for trying to impose sedition laws in Hong Kong and there are reports of governmental criticism of Tonga on the issue of sedition. But nothing quotable or officially verifiable that I can use against them to make them look like the hypocrites we know they are. Any thoughts in making the government look bad in this regard would be appreciated. Using their own words against them would be some sort of defence (even if my lawyers think otherwise).

Friday, May 27, 2005

ELECTION DATE: 30 July tightens again. Now 2-1.

If 30 July is on (as speculated about by the NZPA which also says the rolls close for printing purposes on 17 June) then expect the announcement to be made at the post-Cabinet press conference of the 20th of June or at the weekend beforehand. The following day Parliament sits and the government will open up with both barrels over those three sitting days (as the next month no sitting days are scheduled at any rate).
Other signals will be a top-level meeting between Williams and Clark perhaps at the weekend before and before that even urgency being taken to pass the budget - or that might be just too obvious! The PM's travel itinerary would also be an indicator. Where is it?

Option 1: Date of the next New Zealand General Election.

Date.......Odds.......(Relevant event)...... Punters

2 July......99-1 (NZ v. Lions) Keith Ng
9 July......99-1 (NZ v. Lions)
16 July.....9-1 Maori Party (Opotiki Branch Chairman)
23 July.....7-1 SageNZ, John Armstrong?, SundayNews
(3 years after last election)
30 July.....2-1 John Armstrong?,Adolf F, Dave, Jono,RodneyHide, AntarcticLemur
6 August...6-1 (NZ v. SA, Capetown)
13 August..6-1 (NZ v. Aust, Sydney)
20 August..5-1 TuataraLeft, Asher
27 August..40-1 (NZ v. SA)
3 Sept......50-1 (NZ v. Aust) Berend deBoer
10 Sept.....17-1 Spanblather,Simon Pound, Berend deBoer, Kate
17 Sept.....17-1 Greg Stephens, Vernon Small?, Michael, Molesworth&Featherston
24 Sept.....66-1 (School Holidays)

Bet closes: At start of statement from Prime Minister or Governor-General (whichever is first) confirming [Option 1 event] has been set.
Bet paid: "Writ day." (Governor-General orders election to be held).
(Names of punters making their predictions may be added - please leave your prediction in the comments section.)
All odds subject to change. No refunds.

NB: Centrebet in Australia will take real wagers on our election result soon... so they say. I'm picking they will set in the $1.10-$1.20 band (surely no more than $1.30) for Labour forming the next government at this point. Will post their odds when available.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Helen hearts sedition ex-con

The following Prime Minister served one year in prison for sedition as part of his anti-conscription activities during World War One. He then introduced conscription in World War Two and in his increasingly desperate second term marked by a repressive and conservative swing to the right forced through, and won, a referendum on introducing compulsory military training (peacetime conscription) - but he lost the election, because when all's said and done why would the electorate want a Tory government run by Labour against all it's principles when they can have a real deal Tory one without the hypocrisy.

Is it any wonder he is the Prime Minister most admired by Helen Clark? Does anyone really believe that this Labour government and Prime Minister will be any different? How sad that longevity of tenure and a fawning local media baldly overstating foreign affairs efficacy should warrant such praise as the subtitle below.

And the lies begin with the photoshopped cover.

Solipsism redefined/Does anyone care?

-------------FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-------------

26 May, 2005. Auckland, New Zealand.




The Auckland man facing sedition and conspiracy charges stemming from an axe attack on the Prime Minister's Sandringham electorate office on 18 November last year says issues of civil disobedience and protest are on the line along with the long-term effects of the controversial Foreshore and Seabed Act - the stated reason for the symbolic action. He was appearing at the Auckland District Court today where a depositions hearing was set for the 15th of June.

"Intentional damage is one thing, but attempting to criminalise speech and conscience is quite another in a supposedly open and modern society," says Tim Selwyn. "If the Crown is intent on using war-time offences to subdue people who oppose the government theft of native property and rights then they are opening the door to Pandora's box. Someone has to slam it shut - even if it means I'm the one who gets their fingers pinched in the process. If the Waikato and South Auckland residents who oppose the government's disgraceful plan to march 100 metre tall power pylons through their land are to be taken at their word then they too may be charged with sedition."

Mr Selwyn suggests: "the use of political crimes as a tool puts us into a class of regime that includes Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Turkey and China as states that still use the crime of sedition. Is that Helen's new club?" He says speaking of the country's tainted premier. "It will take 12 citizens to black-ball that membership - and I hope they do," he said referring to a likely jury trial.

"Is it not enough that her beloved United Nations has condemned her divisive confiscation legislation as racist? Is it not enough that she can escape prosecution after prosecution - from speeding to forgery - by claiming some form of newly constituted 'Doctrine of Prime Ministerial Immunity'?" Selwyn rhetorically asks. "She's gone from Muldoon to Nixon in only her second term in office. But not even Muldoon had people charged with sedition!" says Selwyn recalling her supposedly independent officials politicisation and two opposition MPs being charged by the Solicitor-General with various minor offences, "Nixon had to fire three Attorneys-General to get his special prosecutor dumped but Clark just picks up the phone and it's all under the carpet without a cross word. Cullen's installation as Attorney-General without any legal experience is par for the course. To an outsider these antics must look very Third World."

Selwyn thinks that the confiscation effected by the Act was a cynical move: "The Crown is poised to book a multi-billion dollar windfall asset in the form of stolen Maori property. Licences to extract our resources are being negotiated by the Crown and foreign corporations while the ink is barely dry," he said alluding to North Island West coast iron sand dredging, "and if the Crown's (Transpower's) secretive Cayman Island sell-in/lease-out deal is anything to go by parts of (or even our entire) territorial waters may be at risk."

Labeled as "Confiscation Day" in one of the two leaflets that the Crown prosecutors claim are seditious, the New Zealand parliament sitting under urgency passed the bill that saw all legal recourse for Maori to their land below the high water mark revoked and most other claims by non-Maori upheld. MPs voting on the Bill were told only at the last minute what it's contents were after the Labour party hatched a late night deal with the NZ First party to support the legislation. Both formulators of the deal, Labour's Michael Cullen and NZ First's Dale Jones were both born British citizens. "Their law now says that if a white man up until the passing of the law has touched a piece of Maori foreshore then it is lost to them forever without even the flimsy non-existent protection of a patronising "reserve" status. If that's not something British colonials would do - if that's not racism pure and simple - I don't know what is." Selwyn remarked. "I will fight 'The White Man's Touch' as a doctrine of our law until it is defeated."


The name given to the police investigation of the attack is "Operation: Barbarian," which may be an ironic reference to the Prime Minister rather than the perpetrator.

Mr Selwyn was arrested by the police officer in charge of the operation, a detective who is not a New Zealand citizen (being a very recent British immigrant) for sedition on 15 December 2004 and is now being charged with the following offences:
Conspiracy to commit intentional damage, Crimes Act 1961 s.310
Seditious conspiracy, Crimes Act 1961 s.82
Making a seditious statement, Crimes Act 1961 s.83
These charges are being prosecuted indictably by the Crown as Queen v. Selwyn at the Auckland District Court where depositions are to be taken on 15 June 2005 with a trial expected to follow some months thereafter.

The Police lost their case to keep a night curfew on Mr Selwyn at the Auckland District Court on 11 February 2005 after the Judge ruled that he did not pose a significant risk. Mr Selwyn must still reside at his Grey Lynn address and a 50 metre "exclusion zone" around the Prime Minister's electorate office on Sandringham Rd remains but has not represented an impediment to the enjoyment of near-by Eden Park stadium for Mr Selwyn.

The two allegedly seditious statements are in the form of leaflets left at two Auckland locations on the 18 November 2004, as follows:

NZ Herald reports the flyers at the scene (outside the Prime Minister's electorate office) said:

"Tonight concerned Pakeha vented their anger and disgust at the Government's attempts to steal by confiscation and without consultation, Maori land in the form of the Foreshore and Seabed Bill by attacking the electorate office of the Prime Minister. The broken glass symbolises the broken justice of this issue and we call upon other like-minded New Zealanders to commit their own acts of civil disobedience to send a clear message that such injustice can never be accepted."

The Scoop website has previously published the text of the flyers left on Ponsonby Rd:

"Confiscation Day

This morning concerned Pakeha vented their anger and disgust at the Government’s attempts to steal, by confiscation, Maori land in the form of the Seabed and Foreshore Bill that is currently being disgracefully rammed through Parliament as part of a desperate back-room deal.

By attacking the electorate office of the chief instigator, the Prime Minister – who is due to abandon the mess she created by fleeing the country today – we signal that a threshold has been crossed.

The broken glass symbolises the broken faith, broken trust and shattered justice, our axe symbolises the steadfastness of our determination.

The ruthless Prime Minister will leave behind a vindictive law that will haunt this nation should the M.Ps be mad enough to pass it. Maori M.Ps complicit in this farce will never live down their betrayal.

If this is destined to be Confiscation Day, then we have marked it.

We call upon all like-minded New Zealanders to take similar action of their own to send a clear message that such a gross, blatantly racist injustice to the Maori people will never be accepted.

Ake! Ake! Ake!"

Monday, May 23, 2005

Of munters and their creation

This Herald on Sunday article has publicised what most Aucklanders have known for some time: that top state schools are offering sports scholarships to foreigners to boost their rugby teams. Will Mallard crack down on these white schools like he cracked down on brown wananga? (see Trotsky's article about fairness of that decision). Of course he won't.

As we know secondary school is not about academic achievement it is about sports. These schools are professional, international sports academies that reluctantly have to provide some formal education to continue to recieve state funding. Anyone who went to any of the grammar schools will know how lowly they rate intellectual attainment and how highly they prize their rugby and cricket rankings. The girls-only grammars, I imagine, would not be preoccupied with such pointless field competition - being pedantic and rules-focused they probably prize the conformity aspects of petty tasks and the precise regurgitation of established facts that masquarade as academic rigour.

An imported First XV rugby goon who gets a free entry with all the usual fees waived can burn the entire school down, get caught raping a handicapped kid in the middle of the smouldering ruins of the staff room with a P pipe still in his mouth and get a "stand-down" of one afternoon to be applied in the middle of the holidays so it has no impact on his blessed rugby. A top ranking scholar however who might argue the point over the leniency of that punishment could well find themselves expelled for damaging school pride and intollerable insolence.

Dodgy principals are known to have established their own hostels for international students so they can personally cream cash from this gaping loophole the government endorses. Add junkets overseas (with their spouses, naturally) to recruit students of wealthy parents and we have all the hallmarks of corruption. And nothing is done. Out of zone students are head-hunted for sporting teams and get privileges and exemptions that the in-zone kids cannot. Some can even turn up late to class every day because they have to commute so far. Everyone else gets a detention for it, but since they are either paying or the privilege or are sports heros the rules do not apply to them.

When schools keep drilling students with rigid rules and punishments out of all proportion to their transgression, and then set about creating classes of student to which the rules do not apply is it any wonder that people have such little confidence in their management and the system that condones it? Is it any wonder with that deeply hypocritical culture and atmosphere of immunity that the Taradale boys who raped their "friend" wanted to be policemen?

When we consistently hold sporting munters up as role models and malign, neglect and ignor those displaying intelligence is it any wonder that we have such ingrained anti-intellectualism and retarded cultural institutions. Schools don't just teach students the curriculum they induct them into a society of entrenched injustice, social stratification, administrative malfeasence, underhanded political compromises and cover-ups, arbitrary punishments and pointless routine.

There are no students so ignorant as those who aspire to teach.

Junior Dumb Pratt Award Winner Announced

Amanda Spratt's light-weight immigration series in the Herald on Sunday has an article about the "great kiwi identity crisis." (The website lists her as Amanda APratt!) It doesn't even mention the word Maori once! Sort of like the budget. Why would any "kiwi" think that Maori have anything whatsoever to do with being a "kiwi" - or would be part of that debate? Well done Spratt. And the only people asked for an opinion were academics. The other articles were just as inane. Lazy and uninventive, cliché-ridden prose of the advertorial order. Her attitude ("thinking" is too strong a word) is perhaps what is wrong with public discourse on the subject. She suggests we should not eat pork around Muslims lest they be offended and we should have squat toilets etc. And then there's the much touted female genital mutilation that she condemns. Oh she doesn't mention male genital mutilation of course because white people and christians do that therefore it is perfectly correct and does not even merit a mention. Typical, wanton, hypocritical, cultural double-standards trotted out without any thought whatsoever. The author even won a phony-balony Qantas media award for best junior feature writer! What a joke.

There were 24 print judges: 13 NZ, 10 Aussies, 1 UK. Sponsored by an Australian Airline. What about a New Zealand award? Too much to ask? (How many Kiwi judges at the Aussie awards? - none?) So many categories that every bottom-feeder gets a gong. Pathetic. The self-congratulatory orgy of self-promotion is just distasteful. Even National Radio is doing it - pornographic!

Spratt's third-rate analysis through the prism of third-rate academics includes this gem from her "diverse future" article:

"The whitening will not last, says Waikato University population expert Richard Bedford.
A quarter of the world’s population - 2.5 billion potential immigrants - live in China and India.
The pool of white labour is far more shallow. Between them,Europe, the United States, Canada and South Africa have a potential workforce of less than 1 billion."

Fuck, really?! Only 1 billion? What a tiny pool - we better draw on that 2.5 billion immediately before they run out!

This Bedford half-wit is given full range for the rest of the apalling article:

"When Asian immigration was relatively new, he could understand some antipathy towards immigrants. "But hell’s bells, we’re nearly 10 years out from that and we’ve had a lot of migration and a lot of discussion about the role it plays."
Yet each election year, Bedford hears the same racist debate. "People have got to get their heads around the fact that the world is a lot more diverse and complex than that."

The role it plays? (Spiralling house prices?) He can't understand? If he can't understand perhaps his views should be discounted. Why is she interviewing someone who admits they don't understand? Note his indignant response that academics discussing things should equate to public acceptance as of right. He's explained it - isn't that enough? What about doing what the locals want for once?

So after thirty years and half the population are Asian does he think people will understand the role it plays and we will have got our heads around it? He seems to think the higher the immigration the more acceptance there would be. So Maori, therefore loved the massive immigration of Pakeha and should get their heads around the facts of the world and it's diversity and how complex things are? How was that experience for Maori? How did the diversity and complexity work out for them? How well did these new immigrants fit in with their society? What language do we speak again? Whose customs do we follow?

Pakeha know how the system works because they created it and forced it on the locals. Within a few decades they had taken over economically, culturally, socially and politically. And he expects those people, with that history, and that reality, to accept large-scale immigration from people who have nothing in common with them - many of them not even wanting to speak their language let alone follow their practices.

By way of illustration:
In the Herald on Sunday's View suppliment there is a picture (no link sorry) on p.8 of 35 Indian Hindu brides posing for a photograph. Every single one of them looks deeply unhappy/depressed/distant/anxious. Not one of them looks happy or in any way pleased. Their eyes are downcast or apprehensively staring to one side or a million miles off. Every single one of them. And it goes entirely without comment. If there was anything to demonstrate the differences between peoples and immigrant communities it would have been this tragic photo. They are contemplating a miserable future that is not of their choosing - it's written all over their faces, the poor bastards - it speaks a thousand words. UPDATE: Herald reports the consequences of such unhappy unions LUCKNOW, India - A young woman chopped off her husband's penis with a kitchen knife in northern India." Go, girl! I mean... that's awful, she should have more respect... etc, whatever.

Our government has absolutely no intention of stopping these sorts of practices here (forced marriage that isnot spousal-initiated genital realignment). And that is where Bedford sees us drawing our future population from. What about encouraging the people already here to have children - is that too much to ask? Cullen's miserly budget did zip for the student loan generation - the people who can't afford to have a family. The answer to the statistician (Bedford) and economist (Cullen) is to keep increasing immigation. Fiji - here we come?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Govt. constitution website - comments activated

The Government's website for the Constitutional Arrangements Committee is now publishing comments from the skeptical on-line public.

It is open season! You can comment on the 48 submissions (including my own overly laconic submission) or make your own comment on pretty much anything, ie. a submission in all but name.

Someone has written their own preamble to a constitution. This is a good place to start and many people may be able to come up with a sentence or two that strikes a resonant note which can be put into the process when it commences properly.

Ultimately, as the Chairman (Peter Dunne) has said, the committee won't make it past the election. But, as a starting point and as an historic record, we have an opportunity to speak our mind in an official forum. I suggest, if you have any ideas, that you use it.

Any proper constitution, ie. a unitary document describing our republic, will come from a series of public forums - only the final one needs to have governmental input. That is the way forward as I see it. These fora are usually legalese wank-fests run by wankers for wankers and result in wanky wankery (Hat tip: Holden Republic's post). The other forum is an annual event held on our national day that traditionally descends into confrontation without much meaningful or productive discussion: Waitangi Day. This .govt website is the State's forum. Perhaps bloggers and others can use it to start off an internet round of constitutional discussions, presentation of ideas, debate, draft texts etc. as a lead up to a more formalised physical round of discussions.

I will be monitoring it with interest.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

ELECTION DATE: 30 July shortens to 5-2 ($3.50)

If 30 July is on then expect the announcement to be made at the post-Cabinet press conference of the 20th of June. The following day Parliament sits and the government will open up with both barrels over those three sitting days (as the next month no sitting days are scheduled at any rate).
Other signals will be a top-level meeting between Williams and Clark perhaps at the weekend before and before that even urgency being taken to pass the budget - or that might be just too obvious!
Dr Cullen has again asserted a strong preference for a September date. It is his job to dampen expectations and talk things down, but with such a dud (squandered opportunity) budget it will be less likely to be immediately. Odds have been shortened accordingly.

It seems, very generally speaking, that the Labour supporters and left wing punters trust Labour to call a late election as they have been promising and most right wingers do not. Phil Goff has stated in parliament that they will have a September poll, the Herald's John Armstrong is picking July, Molesworth & Featherston, September, Rodney Hide, July 30th, Sunday News 23 July.

Cabinet Minister, David Benson-Pope's, stand-down and other unfolding inquiries, resignations, bail-outs etc. have impacted on the odds. They tend to make an early election more likely as Labour seeks to capitalise on the Lions tour to freeze out opposition parties in the media and use the budget as their full election manifesto. They cannot assume that the opposition will run out of steam (and muck) in the lead up to the campaign proper - quite the opposite.

Option 1: Date of the next New Zealand General Election.

Date.......Odds.......(Relevant event)...... Punters

25 June....50-1
2 July......66-1 (NZ v. Lions) Keith Ng
9 July......66-1 (NZ v. Lions)
16 July.....7-1 Maori Party (Opotiki Branch Chairman)
23 July.....6-1 SageNZ, John Armstrong?, SundayNews
(3 years after last election)
30 July.....5-2 John Armstrong?,Adolf F, Dave, Jono,RodneyHide
6 August...6-1 (NZ v. SA, Capetown)
13 August..6-1 (NZ v. Aust, Sydney)
20 August..5-1 TuataraLeft, Asher
27 August..40-1 (NZ v. SA)
3 Sept......50-1 (NZ v. Aust) Berend deBoer
10 Sept.....16-1 Spanblather,Simon Pound, Berend deBoer, Kate
17 Sept.....16-1 Greg Stephens, Vernon Small?, Michael, Molesworth&Featherston
24 Sept.....66-1 (School Holidays)

Bet closes: At start of statement from Prime Minister or Governor-General (whichever is first) confirming [Option 1 event] has been set.
Bet paid: "Writ day." (Governor-General orders election to be held).
(Names of punters making their predictions may be added - please leave your prediction in the comments section.)
All odds subject to change. No refunds.

NB: Centrebet in Australia will take real wagers on our election result soon. I'm picking they will set in the $1.10-$1.20 band (surely no more than $1.30) for Labour forming the next government at this point. Will post their odds when available.

Kissinger on "crusading" Bush's "Freedom Agenda"

As you read his world overview in his Washington Post piece today you can hear that croaky Bavarian monotone that of itself intones a degree of credibility that the fly-weight, hesitant, Condoleeza Rice can only dream. His analysis, as usual, is insightful, global and forboding.

I found his description of the Bush administrations policies rather alarming.

Some excerpts:

"President Bush's Middle East policy... elevated the progress of freedom in the world to the defining objective of U.S. foreign policy... Strategy must begin with the recognition that the freedom agenda does not make geopolitical analysis irrelevant. There are issues for which crusading strategies tend to be off the mark. The rise of China is, in essence, a geopolitical challenge, not a primarily ideological one."

"Americans need to understand that successes do not end their engagement but most probably deepen it. For as we involve ourselves, we bear the responsibility even for results we did not anticipate. We must deal with those consequences regardless of our original intentions and not act as if our commitments are as changeable as opinion polls."

"Elections are not an inevitable guarantee of a democratic outcome. Radicals such as Hezbollah and Hamas seem to have learned the mechanics of democracy in order to undermine it and establish total control... It is not possible to automatically apply models created over centuries in the homogeneous societies of Europe and the United States to ethnically diverse and religiously divided societies in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. In multiethnic societies, majority rule implies permanent subjugation of the minority unless it is part of a strong federal structure and a system of checks and balances."

"No single nation is strong enough or wise enough to involve itself in every political evolution around the world simultaneously. Priorities based on the national interest are imperative. Otherwise, psychological exhaustion and physical overextension are a real possibility, along with a global coalition of the resentful and nationalistic resisting perceived American hegemony.

President Bush has put forward a dramatic vision. The national debate now needs to focus on the concrete circumstances to which it must be applied. The nongovernmental groups should participate in this process."

Kissinger's analysis of elections is apt. Israel is democratic but often votes for extremeists rather than moderates - same with the Palestinians - even the USA?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Gormsby show 7 periods too long

I have to have a publishable version of it by midday Monday latest, so any comments are welcome.

If threatening children with anal rape and raving about "half-castes" and "gooks" is your average white middle-aged Wellingtonian man's vision of the future of New Zealand comedy then why has New Zealand On Air given them only a mere $1.1 million for their ground-breaking seven part "comedy" series?

To assign a comedy budget to the boys club to make Danny Mulheron's anti-PC wet dream "Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby" we must conclude it is at least in the realm of ideas one level of underworld above Melody Rules meets Te Tutu. But barely.

If only a different, slightly more criticial, Executive was at that meeting it might have gone something like this:

Could you give me that plot synopsis one more time, Danny, I'm not quite following you? I was up with you to the point where you said you had a grouchy fuckwit of a teacher at high school and you did a play about it and now it should be a seven part comedy show. I know you like this guy's taste for tirades and homophobic, mysogynistic rantings but who on Earth is this going to appeal to?

What was that, Tom Scott? Your audience is "down town sniffing glue, vomiting into gutters and ripping off cars," - is that what you said to the Herald? As in anyone who would watch this half hour prolapse of the art of television must be brain damaged to appreciate it? Glue-sniffing? What a very, (how should I put this charitably) 1980s outlook. You remember the '80s? It was when you were last culturally relevant. When you were at your peak of your talents. As opposed to now, 20 years later, when you think that the audience is going to warm to, that is to say you are expecting us to sympathise and associate with, a complete fuckwit?

Rather than any other character, you think we should be feeling for good old Mister Gormsby, played by the affable David McPhail? He isn't a loveable Basil Fawlty. Newsflash, Tom, Danny, Dave (Armstrong), the news is McPhail plays Muldoon so well (and his solo play was excellent) because he's a cunt. You see the problem is if liking Gormsby is crucial to whether people will watch it, and only cunts can relate to being a cunt, I'm not going to like the show at all am I? Because I'm not a cunt. There are not enough cunts in the country to make it viable. We will have a serious cunt shortage immediately. How many cunts have a peoplemeter in their house? Less, gentlemen, than you obviously think. Do you think that a play in the rarified stratosphere of the theatre is going to survive 10 seconds in the medium of television when your ultimate sight-gags are Gormsby marching Hohepa down a corridor as if he were in the army and Gormsby singing a union song outside the staff room. Oh, what killer material - where's the chequebook?

You know I laugh my tits off at Eating Media Lunch because it's funny. Serial Killers I smirked, Face Lift actually had it's moments last time around. EML gets quarter of a mil, and you want 1.1 million New Zealand dollars for a nostalga trip, fucking Chico and the man/Archie Bunker/Alf Garnett tutoring wayward Arnold and Willis troubled youth types in a Welcome back Mr Cotter Decile 2 school meets The Office type fucking abortion of a programme and it's all strung together with the most purile, almost infantile level of Tamihereisms and "cheeky" racist jibes. The only thing remotely funny about the show is you expect me to fund it. It's bad enough to be confused with part of National's election campaign. Is this what this is - double billing with the National party?

What was that you said in the Sunday Star-Times, because it bares repeating, David: "I'm also aware television is a large, slow-moving and ultimately dull-witted target. It's a bit like a rhinosaurus. It believes it is very nimble on its feet but, if it ever gets up a bit of speed, it can easily fall over because the brain is really quite small" Are you accusing me of having a small brain, David? Or is it that you have a small brain? Or is it Dave or Tom or maybe the ungrateful audiences that never understand your genius? Or the critics, who, of course, don't know anything about television? Are they the ones with small brains? It hasn't occured to you that your rhino was shot decades ago and it's tusk lopped off and now used as a plunger handle in Ian Fraser's personal toilet and it's feet used as ashtrays at the Museum of Broadcasting? Is the message not getting through?

Why do you think it will be on at 9:35pm on a Friday that you know is a graveyard slot? If we could bump this car wreck to 4am SKY Channel 153 between Christian light-rock radio No. 3 and Contemporary Czech Jazz radio and not be in breach of our contract we would. The whole idea is that we don't want anyone to watch this sort of "Charter"-type crap to start with so it doesn't damage our brand. You can't take a dump on a plate and expect us to serve it as a mains. You are the reasons people have concluded our entire comic output is shite. If A K Grant was here I would say the same thing to him too. Don't you guys need him for quorum?

TVNZ's publicity material describes it as an "unrepentant politically incorrect, roller-coaster romp about an extraordinarily eccentric secondary-school teacher." Where do I start? "A repellent, polemical and dated, embarrasing sleepwalk about a cunt who happens to be a teacher." Have I missed anything? No. Good.

The fact that with a traffic cop moustache McPhail looks like the Minister in charge of anti-bullying, the caning corporal, David Benson-Pope is sheer luck. At least Benson-Pope's psychotic facial tics are visually interesting. Gormsby has no laugh track, no ironic or comic music, no visual comedy, no jokes, no timing and no amusing dialogue or amusing predicaments and you say it is a comedy. What I'm seeing is the shit version of something - but it isn't comedy. It's drama isn't it? This thing fails on so many levels that even it's chosen genré is wrong.

It's as if you saw the sharp end of Bro Town as setting a new benchmark in our minds that you could use as a handy excuse to let forth your political bile and create a new free-fire zone of racial epithets and gratuitous pruriency. The problem is that you are what we call in the business, white. Your timing is totally out of sync, you can't pull it off. This is the same sort of niggling hang-ups and obsessions of a frustrated older, white middle class that were displayed in Spin doctors and Serial killers and we cringed. The rest of us have accepted Maoris, Pacific Islanders and Asians are human beings. I know that you have small brains, but if you can't learn new tricks your shows, each and every one of them, are going to be scheduled where the harm will be minimised.

Now get out of my office.

Friday, May 13, 2005

ELECTION DATE UPDATE: 30 July now 3-1 favourite

Option 1: Date of the next New Zealand General Election.

Date.......Odds.......(Relevant event)...... Punters

18 June....150-1 (Otago v. Lions)
25 June....33-1
2 July......50-1 (NZ v. Lions) Keith Ng
9 July......50-1 (NZ v. Lions)
16 July.....8-1 Maori Party (Opotiki Branch Chairman)
23 July.....9-1 SageNZ, John Armstrong?, SundayNews
(3 years after last election)
30 July.....3-1 John Armstrong?,Adolf F, Dave, Jono,RodneyHide
6 August...6-1 (NZ v. SA, Capetown)
13 August..6-1 (NZ v. Aust, Sydney)
20 August..5-1 TuataraLeft, Asher
27 August..33-1 (NZ v. SA)
3 Sept......40-1 (NZ v. Aust) Berend deBoer
10 Sept.....18-1 Spanblather,Simon Pound, Berend deBoer, Kate
17 Sept.....18-1 Greg Stephens, Vernon Small?, Michael, Molesworth&Featherston
24 Sept.....66-1 (School Holidays)

Bet closes: At start of statement from Prime Minister or Governor-General (whichever is first) confirming [Option 1 event] has been set.
Bet paid: "Writ day." (Governor-General orders election to be held).
(Names of punters making their predictions may be added - please leave your prediction in the comments section.)
All odds subject to change. No refunds.

It seems, very generally speaking, that the Labour supporters and left wing punters trust Labour to call a late election as they have been promising and right wingers do not.

NB: Centrebet in Australia will take real wagers on our election result soon. I'm picking they will set in the $1.10-$1.20 band (surely no more than $1.30) for Labour forming the next government at this point, and rapidly shortening as National's weaknesses (it's people, their ideas and their track record) become apparent. But over $1.10 admits that there is still room to loose should some Orewa III combine with a Tamihere II. Will post their odds when available.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Foot in mouth and into the Brown stuff

Russell Brown has replied to put me right. He criticised One News for saying that pets are still allowed in and out of Waiheke Island despite a MAF quarantine (the MAF media release warning reporters that cats and dogs are no threat is here). Well, as long as they haven't been around cloven-hooved animals that is correct. But that is not what I was referring to. I was referring to these comments of his and the thinking behind them:

"Owen Poland... told Judy Bailey, [he] called six of the farmers on the island "and without exception, none of these people have heard nothing from the authorities this afternoon," that is, in the 90 minutes since the announcement.

He said that the largest landholder was unhappy at not being personally contacted by authorities, but "as a precaution, he's cancelled two truckloads of cattle going off the island for sale tomorrow." Well, no. As a precaution, MAF had already banned any movement of livestock and risk materials off the island."

and later this:

"It's simply not good enough for the national broadcaster to be questioning the official response even as it tosses out panicky misinformation of this kind."

Is it too much to ask that MAF inform the farmers concerned first rather than the media? As for MAF already banning movements all they had done at that stage was issue a piece of paper saying they were doing that not actually having implemented it on the ground. If the farmer did not know because he had not been told MAF could have issued any official document in Wellington they liked, the fact is he could have been barging his entire heard to the mainland regardless of any "ban" that may have existed on paper.

To some people the government just has to log it in their official correspondence and it automatically equates to action. Not so, as proved by Mr Poland. Brown's scathing criticism of "questioning the official response" is exactly what they media should be doing. Did Poland drop the ball on the pet issue - yes, but that was not my point. The point is Brown's attitude of assured confidence and trust in state agencies (except One News!) and his criticism of those who do not hold that automatic assumption.

He seems increasingly guilty of all the faults of the "mainstream" media in recording everything the State agencies, Police etc. do as presumably correct and above criticism and assuming that their pronouncements in themselves constitute facts and/or concrete action. His views seem inconsistent with his "hard news" brand and supposed reputation for media criticism. People say he crossed over to the dark side many years ago. The evidence suggests he has.

Urban social apocalypse

The Auckland Regional Council are at it again. Trying to convince the rightly skeptical public that whacking up apartments in large groups around poor out-lying suburbs is the future we all dream of.

Their media release confidently proclaimed:

"there is no conclusive evidence that intensive development leads to increased social problems such as poverty and crime."

Well they would say that given that they paid for the report and their strategies, all of them, call for intensification (ie. multi-story apartments) along every rail line and major arterial road in Auckland. They say that they are working on improving the building code. But does anybody have any confidence that given their plans they will discourage the building of apartments until that is cleared up satisfactorally? One of the co-commissioners of the report is Housing New Zealand. Weren't they the outfit that builds apartments in West Auckland where the window sills (amongst other things) are made of that highly durable building material called polystyrene!

They say that their survey indicates most people who live in apartments like them. Really? No kidding - is that why they are living in them then? Ask a foreigner used to living in a 20sqm hovel whether a 25sqm box that will fall down in ten years is good and of course they will say yes. The point is that if they halt growth of the greenfields traditional suburbs and only have apartments then there isn't going to be any choice in the matter and that traditional house we all dream of (2/3rds prefer according to the survey) is going to spiral in cost to beyond most people's means (the Portland scenario). Is this the best thing for the city? Raising a family up five flights of stairs? Anyone who has seen the Chinese workers hostels along Hobson Street and the tiny boxes cramming in students all over the show will need an insurmountable amount of convincing.

If the future is being trapped into a renting cycle of one poorly constructed, flimsy apartment after another with all the problems of intensified living with none of the advantages of CBD locality, the compulsory shrieking Chinese only-child slapper who thinks that having sex is only slightly less important than informing the rest of the building that she is doing so by screeching like a wounded pukeko, the reeking MSG-fishpaste-vinegar stench wafting up the light well, the annual cockroach infestations, the constant false fire alarms at all hours, the lack of any personal green space to stretch out on, the inability to have a conversation with your neighbour because they can't speak your language, the icy glares from the increasingly intolerant locals, the lifts that are out again because the P-dealer's mates had vandalised it, the kids who are living with their four relatives in a one bedroom unit running up and down the corridor - if that is the future you want then the ARC are doing their very best to get us there. Oh, and you can live right between a double line train track and a bus lane that will both be operating at an interval of once every five minutes to take you to your shitty call centre job... if there is one, there might be a down-turn and then what happens to everyone? Yeah? Sound good!? (...and breathe).

That may be an overly negative and stereotyped projection of your typical planned New Lynn/Panmure/Onehunga/Otahuhu mega-slum. Or, maybe not. They are planning the Otara/Glen Innes/Kelstons of the future that will be far worse and incapable of upward mobility because the asset base will comprise of shitboxes with a 30 year life span and high maintenance costs. New immigrants don't deserve that fate and nor do the locals. I bet not one single ARC planner will ever, or would ever want to, live in those areas. Without at least fixing the design and construction issues first we are going to make all those mistakes and more. If we want to create a deprived and under-privileged working class with little hope of advancement then we are going the right way about it.

Is the ARC a harbinger of a looming urban social apocalypse? - Yes. Do they mean to be? - No. They seem more intent on preventing a non-existent environmental apocalypse. They are well intentioned and they want to strike a balance between preserving the rural land around the city (the urban limits) and accommodating an increase in population (many of whom will not be immigrants of course). Their reports are self-serving and the public must scrutinise their data and the larger rationale. I don't want to get all Owen McShane about it or anything, but if the sprawl can be managed correctly (it hasn't been in the past because they keep insisting on enforcing a limit and not planning for things outside of it even when the limits have been breached) then is having a back yard for every family such a heresy?

And on this issue, a German angle:

Triangle TV last night screened a DW-TV report on a suburb of Berlin, all apartments, where about 80% of the population were foreigners. A Turkish guy explained that most of them could not speak German, and watched satellite Turkish TV, were schooled in Turkish, went to Turkish shops etc. and the consensus was that the idea of an integrated model suburb had failed. It didn't help that unemployment was running at 50%! The suburb's social worker explained that she ran cook-ins where everyone shared each others foods in the community centre as a dining experience - as a way of bringing people together - which was only successful in adding to her girth really. She said 20% of the apartments were vacant! In Auckland they would be occupied by street kids within hours.

The problem is that once the suburb has gone on the skids and half the population cannot even communicate (or particularly care to) with the locals or between each other then who would want to move there? People who have no where else to go. The marginalised groups. The local population has been displaced and their is no continuity, sense of history or community solidarity. Problem is, as the DW-TV programme emphasised, is that once ghettos develop they are very hard to revitalise.

I have stated before that if Auckland had a slogan it would be "planning for yesterday - tomorrow" How can we rely on a body that cannot finish a motorway plan devised in 1954 and has never commissioned a rail feasability study for the North Shore to design our future housing needs?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Power to the unpopular and Brown bashing

Philisophically Made has been posing many a soul-searching, life-the-universe-and-everything questions recently and in particular what the point of a blog is, exactly. I gave them my definition:

"The least popular people using the widest possible medium to convey the most unfounded ideas to the smallest possible audience for the minutist of effects."

Give, or take, that's pretty much it really.

By way of an argument I mentioned this:
The comments section is important too. Russell Brown, for example, can post something ridiculous like today's little effort on how TV One should never ever question MAF or other government authorities and he can "get away with it" as it were because we can't see the comments [on his site]. Maybe people just give up reading him altogether because of things like that. "Hard news" indeed! The moment someone questions the Labour government they become irresponsible and not behaving like good little journalists. What a joke.

Happy Hour

Parliament is a laugh. Question time, that is. It even sounds like a gameshow: "Question Time" with your host, the gnome on the throne, Margaret Wilson.

There is no way in the entire world that someone with the wits of George Bush could ever be the Prime Minister of our country. They would be eaten alive. Devoured by fellow half wits perhaps, but nontheless eaten alive.

The PM just used the example of the leaked (by Phil Goff wasn't it?) "gone by lunchtime" comment of Brash's to criticise Brash for saying he was leaking documents on the Doone affair. Is that what I just heard?! - along with her deep. shuddering laughs at her own non-sequiter, own-goal jokes. They make a pathetic pair. The only way she can account for her popularity is the loathing the public has for him - and vice versa.

Margaret Wilson and her rising infexion Koi-wi ux-unt is priceless. She sounds surprised whenever she makes a ruling.

Kenneth Wang is struggling through the English language like he was being force fed dead rats: Schpeekerr, Schpeekerr... da quer-shon, Schpeekerr.

Winston reads out the entire, excruciating list of accusations against an Iraqi who is apparently having his 13 family members transferred here. It's all so specific - all the PM can say is people will always get through the cracks in any system. Still doesn't really explain why he seems to know more than hundreds of her officials. Nevermind - everyone hates Winston- they probably won't pay any attention to the follow-up if he is actually right.

"I'd love to hear" - Brash dares the PM to repeat her sarcastic comment. He's finally starting to display signs that he is finding his feet in parliament - it's only taken the old man two and a half years. And he said it in that creepy way that Tony Ryall says it - only without the homosexuality. Yeah, Brash could be a sort of straight Tony Ryall type of parliamentarian - style-wise I mean.

Ma dam, ma dam, spee kah: Rodney. Has he been hanging out with Banks so long that each syllable now warrants it's own word?

Prebs playing the elder statesman role - no wonder he's getting out.

John Carter, Hone Carter.... Hone. Laying into the Speaker for not pulling Mallard up on some derogatory comment... "Hone?" taking offence at someone making an insulting remark! It is officially unparliamentary to utter what they refer to as "the H word" - Hypocrisy.

And the crazy thing is they are immune from prosecution from anything they say in there. The people least deserving and capable of practising free speech have appropriated that privilege for only themselves - a sad irony.

Ha, ha... ahhh that was great. An audible, I mean a loud, long, deliberately audible sigh, from the speaker in a pause by Rodney in his umpteenth point of order.... "some parliament!" Rodney mutters as he sits down (having been twice made to withdraw comments inside the point of order itself).

Oh yes, everyone in radio-land can hear it too. Great.

And a special debate on the 111 police emergency system. Poor old, slurring George Hawkins, sounding like he may have another stroke at any moment...

...Just waiting for a sharp scream and a silence - followed by howls of abuse from the National bench to "answer the bloody question, liar!" as he clasps his chest and rolls around the ground. The last thing he would hear would be playground taunts from the Tories and the last thing he saw would be Helen Clark drawing her finger across her throat in a slicing motion with one hand, phone already in the other, managing the spin.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

5-5-5/A consumer's bus strike solution.

Alan Thompson, ARTA's Chief Executive, has told me of the travails of Canberra's bus system ACTion (where he was before taking up his current appointment last year). They tinkered with the fare price for years but fare revenue stayed static. So maybe the fare structure is more of a blunt, threatening instrument than originally intended. He was startled to learn that there has never been any rail feasibility study for the North Shore. Welcome to Auckland, cobber - our motto again: "planning for yesterday - tomorrow."

"There's a rule of thumb in this business," Ian assuredly told me. He wasn't the Operations Director at Stagecoach, but might as well have been, "If your fares go up 10% you lose 3% of your passengers." Well, how sensitive. Far more than I had bargained on.

He said the annual fare structure review - due in August - would probably take the wage increase and diesel costs into consideration - and push the fares. Up about 10 cents. He was very skeptical that any fare increase would be welcomed - neutral at best and possibly damaging at worse. There was no anticipation of a price rise after that for three years anyway. So maybe the 5-5-5 (5% increase in fares-In 2005-for 5 years) is doomed. It wll probably be 5%-in 2005-for 3 years, but then again they probably thought it would not go up after last year's 10 cent hike! Which was my original point with 5-5-5 - we, the consumers, are paying for that 5 year certainty rather than unknown annual increases.

The ARC could intervene at any rate to threaten Stagecoach by not adjusting the schedule or even move it downwards. As Ian said, "we could just walk away from the contract at that point." It could be brinkmanship all round if they decided to get heavy. What Stagecoach would lose another would gain. Since the ARC has the muscle under the Transport Services Licensing Act 1989 section 47 (2) to impose any manner of concession fares and the elusive universal ticketing/all-company bus passes it gives our representatives of metropolitan unity both a stick and a carrot. Any politician wanting to "get the buses back on the roads" cannot overlook these tools of persuasion.

Oh well, if it all turns to tears and the strikes roll on all winter and becomes an election issue or they need a circuit breaker in the future then they can dust off this 5-5-5 plan. The industrial dispute is more complex than just Stagecoach and the Tramways Union. The bus companies control the drivers wages, The ARC controls the subsidies and the fare schedule, the passengers control the fare revenue and the ratepayers control the ARC. Any one of these groups could act as a circuit breaker.

cc. ARC members

Monday, May 09, 2005

5-5-5/bus strike UPDATE

After speaking with a Regional Council member and a person dealing with transport contracts at ARTA (ARC's transport body) I can report the following as regards the Auckland bus drivers strike against Stagecoach:

The parties are settled on the conditions, shifts etc. but are still in disagreement over the pay and when/how it will be rolled out. The term of three years may be agreed.

The 5-5-5 idea rests on the "Maximum Fare Structure" that is part of all the bus companies subsidy contracts. At present all companies are at that maximum already for stages 1-6. They are:
Stage 1-$1.30
Stage 2-$2.60
Stage 3-$3.60
Stage 4-$4.60
Stage 5-$5.40
Stage 6-$6.10

The structure is reviewed by an external auditor on a regular basis (apparently) and costs of labour and diesel are taken into consideration at that stage. I was told that it is still the ARC itself that sets the structure. The legal framework is still hazy until I hear back from some people but it may be possible to get the ARC on board to change the structure. One effect of 5-5-5 would be we would not need to pay for these audits anymore. We are already saving money! The point is that when the drivers get an increase the fares will rise anyway under the current system but we don't know when and how much. This would provide certainty to the process so we go into it with our eyes open.

I would think putting an extra 20c on all the stages would be a simple solution. That would be a 15% increase to Stage 1, a 7.6% to stage 2, 5.5% to stage 3, 4.3% to stage 4, 3.7% to stage 5, and 3.3% to stage 6. So, overall probably more than 5%. But close enough. I understand that some companies might make a small windfall profit if they choose to put their prices up to the max. but so what. I hope other passengers feel as generous as I am, or regard the certainty as a trade-off worth having.

A problem may be the three year deal that Stagecoach management are after. 5 would be preferable but I can't see that happening without a 30c hike and the restart of negotiations... Hmmm. Will find out more tomorrow.

Stagecoach are prepared to stomach a week long strike and resultant revenue hit to keep the wages down. As time wears on they will hope that the passengers will turn against the drivers. I hope that does not occur.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Bus Strike solution: 5% in '05 for 5yrs

If the EPMU wants their workers to get a 5% pay rise this year ("5 in 05") then may I suggest a resolution to the Tramways Union strike against the Stagecoach company across Auckland. Sort of by way of a consumer demands/petition:

The passengers of Stagecoach support the busdrivers in their pay claim of a minumum $16 per hour.
We want an end to this dispute. To provide funds for the extra remuneration we therefore offer to Stagecoach our permission to raise bus fares on average a total of 5% maximum immediately on the following conditions:
1. The increase to a minimum of $16 per hour pay for every driver is immediate.
2. The new fare structure and pricing remain the same for a minimum of five years.

I was considering a third proviso about ensuring the existing bus pass holders should have their value of fares now grandfathered over the new rates so they don't have to pay the extra based on something they bought thinking it was set. But then again it is nice and simple as is.

This is an oppurtunity for the passengers, the bloody customers, to screw something out of the bastards for once. They can structure their 5% increase any way they want, it is the total we have agreed to, not across the board. They may choose to sting cash sales customers or weight it to hit the one stage customers. Whatever, we will have the certainty that the fares are set for 5 years with this agreement. We could get the ARC to coutersign as a deal over their subsidies too.

The trains in Auckland tonight were packed to capacity and many people were left stranded on platforms. The rugby at Eden Park caused commuter anarchy on the trains by all accounts. And we have until Tuesday with no end in sight. Hang tough Tramways the passengers are with you.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

On the language of immigration

Iraqis wanting their Saddam-loving parents admitted as residents, phoney governmentally-people-smuggled Afghan refugee children who then have nine of their family admitted here, sham marriages for residence permits, chaos at the bungling, reactive, hopeless immigration department - the stories come thick and fast. They do not even know how many overstayers there are let alone their names. How long will this continue? My analysis, if musings and anecdotes could be seen as such, points to more deterioration.

I was struck by aHerald article that says the OECD reports we have a generous pension scheme which makes this country a retiree's heaven. So that's why your foreign girlfriend/boyfriend so keen to marry? So they can have their parents retire here. (Some limited first hand knowledge here).

Well I for one do not want more bloody pensioners and their:
Drawing on the NZ superannuation,
Expensive health problems,
Incompatible native prejudices,
Parental control and cultural reinforcement incompatible with intergration, and
Inability to learn our official languages.

We have a serious pension crisis and the government is compounding it by importing these uneconomic and unwanted people whose contribution to this country is to act as cultural and behavioural enforcers for their children who are supposed to be intergrating with us - not marrying each others children off to each other etc. There is no way we would accept these geriatrics if they applied in their own capacity and we should not accept them at all. AT ALL. It is contrary to the interests of the nation. Wonderful for the immigrants - cuts down on air fares to visit. Bad overall.

When you see, as anyone in Auckland can, these fish-out-of-water type grey-haired foreigners, usually in full native regalia and/or badly dressed like they were still in their home environment wandering the streets you know they are not tourists, not working immigrants and not retired long-time citizens - they are here on the family reunification category. They may flash their NZ passports but their English only extends to I am "Kiwi" as the odd report will attest.

If the government/bureaucrats think that providing full facilities and welfare for a would-be immigrant's aged parents is our "edge" in the global immigration market - they are selling us far too short. Where is the quality control?

What relevant value do these elderly immigrants add? Experience of old practices that may not even be suitable in their home country. Religious/cult practices. Enforcement of oppression within the family.

We have an honesty policy where we accept everyone and presume everything is kosher until Winston grandstands. Our system is a crock, a joke and always has been. It was before Mr Peters, during his coalition with National and afterwards. The government must put a stop to this spurious category immediately.

The recent changes to the Citizenship Act is to be welcomed despite being largely cosmetic. 5 years to gain citizenship should be the minimum. I would suggest making it the minimum with the rule being resident in the country for one-fifth of the applicant's life, ie. they must spend the next quarter of their life here to qualify - that would help minimise the oldies who have little chance of successful mergence into society and quickly become a drain.

It is far worse than that, of course. Our despicable, stupid governments allow anyone in the country a couple of years to vote. Citizenship? What's that mean? It ought to mean the exclusive category of people in a nation-state entitled to vote. These elderly people unable to speak our languages have the same vote as everyone else. They could agree with capital punishment, prisoner torture, arranged marriages esp. within families and lowering our standards - and that's your vote cancelled, Jack. The most insulting of all is the election pamphlets in foreign languages... I mean really.

The Act Party, to their great shame, promoted a petition a few years ago calling on the government not to enforce the English language requirements for residency and citizenship! I saw it. There were two - one in Korean and one in Chinese. Foreigners telling us what our policies should be! There were thousands of signatures, half of them (and their details) not in English. Could you imagine that occuring in any other country that is not hell-bent on their own destruction?! Would you go to China or Korea and then start petitioning the government to change the rules so you never had to speak their native/official language?! It would be a gross insult to your host. No matter, Act thought it would be a winner. Disgusting. They, and the people who signed it, should be ashamed. A feeling, perhaps, they do not have in their cultural repertiore.

Take Kenneth Wang, Act's new MP. I had a chat to him once and found it very difficult to understand him. So do the MPs in the House and everyone else. He's only been here 15 years but you know that he is still translating everything to and from Chinese in his head by the way he pauses constantly. Shocking as Pansy Wong is with her mutilation of the language at least she is obviously conversent with it. Asians may find English (and Maori for that matter) more difficult than other immigrants because they are different in grammar, script etc. but that in no way means the bar should be lowered just to accommodate them. The law says that candidates for citizenship need to be able to understand the English language. Enforcement and strengthening of this is crucially important. If you can't think in someone else's language how can you truly understand them. If you are going to live with someone should you not understand them?

I don't think we really understand that the Chinese have such a huge, multi-millenial cultural and imperial history and massive population that perhaps their attitude to learning anyone else's language is done under much sufferance. I get that impression. Do you bother to pronounce Maori names correctly? No? Not really? Don't care? Not important? Yeah, that's right - why should the Chinese bother to speak English at all!

Half the shops on Dominion Rd seem to have Chinese language signs, some of them exclusively so. Some even sport the Chinese communist flag. There is a diary in Mt Albert (there may be more) that has a massive Korean sign and language everywhere - and yet there is no Korean population there (...yet). So why? If you ask yourself "What would I do?" I think most non-immigrant New Zealanders would say they would respect the locals, not act to exclude them. If a sign is not in English then they do not want you in there - simple as that. Do we want immigrant communities to grow separate from us? - because that is what they are doing under our non-existent integration practices.

If you let in a Chinese (for example) who cannot speak English who will they:
Hire as an employee?
Vote for?
Trade with?
Socialise with?
Complain to?
It's not as if they have an option is it.

I used to think Auckland was lucky that we had not developed that "Chinatown" thing many cities have where an ethnic community is effectively ghettoised. And then I realised that the whole of Auckland was becoming a "Chinatown." North Shore, being perhaps a "Little Korea." One single shop in a shopping centre festooned with Chinese symbols adds colour, certainly, and it also is an immediate notification that people who cannot communicate with the locals have moved in - people who are not locals and have no intention of becoming locals to be more accurate. I'm sure my thinking is far more charitable than the thoughts of other peoples subject to massive immigrant pressure.

It was on a summer day in the year 2000, and I was standing on the corner of Victoria and Queen Streets that I realised for the first time that there was more of "them" than there was of "us." Just looking around there were noticeably more Asian faces than non-Asian. It was not as though I had not noticed before but that the make-up of Auckland's main street had just tipped with all the students coming on line. Other streets have changed too; entire neighbourhoods: Sandringham is now more like Sandribad or Sandristan nowadays. I t was about two years ago that I saw my first piece of foreign vandalism too - on a Pt Chev cliff face near the beach, along from what my Dad calls the Piper Rocks. Chinese characters carved in the sandstone. I clenched my teeth and drew a sharp breath. "Ahhh, fuck... here we go."

5% of Auckland's population are foreign students. No, it is not actually a successful export industry as the government wishes. It is a foreigner import cost. We should be running schools in China, not importing their students. We only do so because we are dumb, have no comprehension of adding value and are too ready to rely permanently on something that should only ever be a temporary solution. The government becomes pathologically and economically beholden and dependent on these unsustainable and tetchy human markets as they see them only on financial lines without realising, appreciating or being wary of the negative impacts of keeping large amounts of complete foreigners inside the country. If there is a student or immigrant down-turn they will drop their standards to balance the books.

The government loves immigration as a tool of economic growth because that is what the Crown was forced to found the colony for. Forced by foreign land speculators. Maori, the locals, were horrified and quickly threatened by the waves of foreigners and what they were after - their resources. Nothing, I repeat, nothing, has changed. Immigration is the idiot's way to financial prosperity. It increases demand in the economy and increases the capital available to the economy and therefore economic growth occurs and the Finance Minister is happy. Pretty simple. Who cares if they are violent Balkan nationalists/elderly incomprehensible Chinese/marriage-peddling Indians/racist Englishmen/intolerant South Africans/inbreeding Arabs/HIV-ridden Africans/uneducated Islanders/religious nutter Americans/Zionist Jews/fill-in-the-cliché-it's-probably-true generic undesirable foreigner. Send them all in because government doesn't care about society as such or the future harmony and cultural development of the community, all they care about is the GDP stats for the current term.

Many people practice this sort of insanity themselves by taking in home stay borders. But even they are at the discretion of the householders. What would you say if the head tenant of your flat announced that to make ends meet they were going to hire out the spare room to someone who can't speak the flat's language? And then next year the garage, then the porch, the basement, then bring in a caravan... That is what we are doing as a country. Those reasons why people claim they want to come here and the reason that we love this country is largely because it is not over-run. That we can walk down the beach and be all alone. That we can gather enough kai moana for ourselves.

Our current plan is to increase the total population by 10,000 to 50,000 per year forever. The statisticians can make predictions and as many models as they want, the fact is the government has always been in favour of increasing the population and that is what they do. If there is not enough through the birth rate - they import. If people leave the country - they import. They only care about the net figure. If 200,000 left the country this year they will import 210-250,000 next year. You don't think they would? They have to keep their system going. There is no end to it because they are not intelligent enough to work out how to increase our standard of living without importing demand and using the very short-term monetary benefits of immigration.

Our speculative economy, and that is what it is, is based on the biggest pyramid deal ever: the immigration-property/mortgage spiral. If we don't import more people to buy our over-inflated houses then we default on the mortgage. Simple as that. Julius Vogel knew that when he borrowed heavily in the 1870s and put us into debt to foriegners forever. The current government, as all governments, are aware of it but see it as shrewd management. The foreigners keep lending us money (at very high interest) based on the understanding that we will keep the spiral going. There seems to be no alternative plan. Perhaps Pakeha are happy to only think one generation out?

In one hundred years time, carrying on with the current speculative model, will our population be 5 million, 10 million or 20 million? Will there be anything in the sea apart from plastic bottles? Will there ever be a deserted beach? The only people happy with more immigration are the immigrants themselves, and they are growing in number solidly with a framework of lax policies that allow them to import entire extended families. How long will any government be able to resist their voting wedge especially when they do not even need to be a citizen to vote? Will a recognition of "Asian values" be subtle or pronounced? Will we speak English and Maori, or will we let in so many Chinese that a party that wants their votes will make it an official language? We are already half way there.

I don't so much see the river Tiber frothing with much blood as a squat tiolet down which we are flushing our heritage and future.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Goff: September poll!


3:17pm today, Parliament. Phil Goff has just said "When the electorate goes to the polls in September." Bullshit. I give the odds on that at 5-1.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

WEBFLASH: "Fascists" hack NZ punk website

It appears the "fascists" have hacked the Punkas message boards at the weekend and they now have a censorship policy. Shame on what Matt, the webmaster, rightfully determined was a "fifteen-year-old who will never know the loving touch of a woman."

If a fascist hacks, is it a blitz?

UPDATE: It's called a hackzkrieg apparently.

NZ-Fiji-Tonga Nuclear Power Treaty negotiated?

"A consortium of Taiwanese and New Zealand electricity generators have agreed to construct two nuclear power stations that will float inside one of Tonga's southern reefs, providing for the next 30 years of electricity growth for three South Pacific countries according to statements today by Taiwan's Secretary for Energy. An official in the New Zealand Energy Ministry has said initial discussions were still proceeding but would give no details. Environmental groups are expected to heavily oppose any nuclear station on the remote atolls.

State-owned companies from both countries along with private interests and government-owned Fiji and Tongan power utilities are also expected to contribute to the venture which plans to list on international stock exchanges as early as next year. Tonga has hinted before that negotiations concerning it's claimed Minerva reefs were underway with members of both an Asian country and neighbours Fiji and New Zealand. Secret meetings are believed by industry analysts and local media to have been successfully concluded in Nuku'alofa, the island kingdom's capital, that will be the recipient of a small share of the station's planned 2 GigaWatt output.

The Minerva reefs are located at the southern-most intersection of Fiji and Tonga's maritime boundary. The reefs themselves will form part of a new Tongan, Fijian and New Zealand jointly administered territory. The treaty will settle all claims in the disputed area and effect the Exclusive Economic Zones of all three countries. The northern reef will become an "international heritage reserve" and will be safeguarded from development while the southern reef, also ecologically delicate, will be sacrificed for the construction of the power stations and their ancillary services. It is thought that one cable each will transmit electricity to Tonga and Fiji. One cable each from Whangarei and Auckland at the North of New Zealand's North Island will connect to Minerva to supply that power-strapped country's growing demand."

I can hardly believe it. Do you?

The map is here and picsalso are here.
If we absolutely have to have one then here is the location, between the Kermadecs and Tonga. This would consolidate our geo-political and economic position in the region and it is only slightly further away from Auckland than the Southern Lakes.

I can see Pete Hodgson defending it already: "Building bridges to the Pacific... pathways to prosperity... partnerships for development... making nature work... harnessing the elements - sharing our Earth's energy... balancing burdens - creating oppurtunities... the eco-friendly option..."

Monday, May 02, 2005

University/Herald white-wash of history

The University of Auckland has a lovely heritage walk according to this fawning straight-off-Bill-Williams'-press-release Herald article.

And all in aid of the new Business school.

PPleeaaasse! Those bastards at the Works registry have systematically destroyed the University Precinct despite the best efforts of students and staff. The business school is what is replacing the heritage on Grafton Road that they have destroyed. It all used to be like a heritage walk until they ruined it with utterly unsympathetic concrete. And all the contracts keep going to Warren & Mahony...hmmm, how suspicious. Miles Warren was given a knighthood for his "Brutalist" architecture and Auckland University decide to make him a Patron bloody Saint! Shame. Key words: hypocrisy, corruption, accountability, urban planning disasters. Come on Mr. Rudman, (Herald civic whistleblower) this is a gimme.

Sunday, May 01, 2005


Option 1: Date of the next New Zealand General Election.

Date.......Odds.......(Relevant event)...... Punters

18 June....150-1 (Otago v. Lions)
25 June....33-1
2 July......50-1 (NZ v. Lions) Keith Ng
9 July......50-1 (NZ v. Lions)
16 July.....8-1 Maori Party (Opotiki Branch Chairman)
23 July.....9-1 SageNZ, John Armstrong?
(3 years after last election)
30 July.....3-1 John Armstrong?,Adolf F, Dave, Jono,RodneyHide
6 August...6-1 (NZ v. SA, Capetown)
13 August..6-1 (NZ v. Aust, Sydney)
20 August..5-1
27 August..33-1 (NZ v. SA)
3 Sept......40-1 (NZ v. Aust) Berend deBoer
10 Sept.....18-1 Spanblather,Simon Pound,Berend deBoer
17 Sept.....20-1 Greg Stephens, Vernon Small?,Michael
24 Sept.....66-1 (School Holidays)

Bet closes: At start of statement from Prime Minister or Governor-General (whichever is first) confirming [Option 1 event] has been set.
Bet paid: "Writ day." (Governor-General orders election to be held).
(Names of punters making their predictions may be added - please leave your prediction in the comments section.)
All odds subject to change. No refunds.

NB: Centrebet in Australia will take real wagers on our election result from the end of this week at the earliest. I'm picking they will set in the $1.10-$1.20 band for Labour forming the next government at this point, and rapidly shortening as National's weaknesses (it's people, their ideas and their track record) become apparent. But over $1.10 admits that there is still room to loose should some Orewa III combine with a Tamihere II. Will post their odds when available.