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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Anderton pledges: Pakeha land owners to be consulted "as long as is needed"

More bad news that rural land owners will be forced by the government to let the public through their land to follow waterways. Of course because most of these land owners are of the white persuasion the process consists of many rounds of consultation and only mild statements about what might be attempted to get access to some watercourses. But a government hell-bent on Helen Clark's right to tramp over private land - backed by the bureaucracy and the greedy fish and game guides who stand to make a fortune from paying tourists - our nation's farmers may yet get a taste of the Crown's assertion of domain.

The really bad news is that our favourite geriatric Christian fuckwit, Jim Anderton, is now the Agriculture Minister (a real job instead of doling out money to his dodgy mates and their dodgy businesses as the Minister for Lolly ScramblesRegional Development) and amongst his idiotic analysis of the issue he says:

"Farmers say there's access now, you only have to ask. Maori say the same about the foreshore. But what if someone says, `No, it's my land, stay off it'?... Most farmers are reasonable, but what if someone is unreasonable? Could that catch on and more people get unreasonable?"

What if the government isn't reasonable, Jim? Has happened before you know - maybe even one of it's defining characteristics. The only reason people would start acting like that is if the government applied the same Sec. 32 Foreshore & Seabed Act provisions they forced on Maori onto other land owners, ie. If the public had used a route over private land at any point in the past then the presumption is it is now Crown land. I don't for one split second think the government would ever actually substantively do that because they are just as racist as any colonial government was and it is only Maori property that is second class, but the logic remains.

That logic means the farmers will block off access to prove that the public don't have that route and therefore the Crown has not acquired the extinguishment of their land rights via public use over their land. In the same way the F&S Act created a fictional past whereby to have any rights after the Act Maori would of had to have fenced off and physically kept the public out before the Act. So it follows that farmers should keep them out now or risk losing their property to any future Act consistent with the F&S Act. A non-racist reading of the F&S Act would be the spur to the sort of exclusions of which Anderton raises - and it could be a self-fulfilling prophesy.

From the news again:
The Government first tackled the issue three years ago, setting up an inquiry led by South Island farmer John Acland. After hearing 1050 submissions, the Acland committee found widespread support for broader access and Mr Sutton promised legislation. - I've met Mr. Acland only once before and I hesitate to say whether the ugly innuendo of in-breeding and daftness is applicable to all Cantabrian landed gentry but I will say this: the committee he chaired must of been ear-bashed by every bloody right-to-roam nutter, wannabe fishing guide and townie hiker because the recommendations were solidly anti-land owner.

And just to prove Anderton and the bureaucracy have already prejudged the outcome that they want Acland has apparently been re-appointed to do it all again:
He was assembling a group that would represent "all the interests you could possibly imagine" under Mr Acland's chairmanship. Anyone who wanted to be heard would be. "They don't have a time frame, they just have to consult, think about it and see what they can come up with. It will take as long as is needed." - Ahhhhh what a laugh. Why didn't Maori get that treatment? I wasn't heard at the F&S hearings - they cut it short in Auckland because they didn't like what they were hearing! But with public access across Pakeha land it isn't a priority?! With Acland on the job we already know what the outcome will be anyway.

All public access issues can be dealt with by local councils on a case by case basis as it is now. Who are the people behind this push to legislate? I suspect it is the fish and game lobby who want the right to go, for free, wherever they please, taking their $500 a day American tourists with them.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Ummm - you said "drunk" - I'm gonna report you to the gummint.

The news that a notorious student pub in Palmerston North is encouraging students to get "drunk" in their student pub is one of the more pathetic indictments of this country's "PC" capture (that has occured this month at least) - because of the hysterical outcry over the pub's supposedly "irresponsible" attitude. The offending writing on the blackboard outside the establishment:

"Why study for exams when you can get drunk with your mates?"
under section 154A of the Sale of Liquor Act, which prohibits encouraging people to get drunk..."

That's right we can't have people getting drunk in a pub - that's not what they're for - pubs are for sipping coffee and consuming a maximum of one standard drink per hour and not smoking. Welcome to New Zealand, the land under a regime of thin-lipped deputy head-mistresses. Fireworks will be next... basically anything that excites, is spontaneous and is enjoyed predominantly by males and young people generally is gradually being banned. "Now that's progressive!" as the Christian conservative Jim Anderton usually remarks.

Aren't we so bloody precious? I am tempted to say that this bout of social conservatism and nannying is the result of the ascendency of females in public life (the Mayor who complained is a Heather and the Alcohol Advisory Council executive is a Sandra) as they clamp down on traditional male pursuits such as downing 30 bourbon shooters and playing bull rush in the bar until someone dies. Well, accidents happen. Females being more risk-averse than males and seemingly wanting everyone to tow their line and conform to their rules in an effort to make sure everyone lives to 100 is becoming very grating. With allies such as the old-guard Christians such as Anderton (who wants to raise the drinking age back up to 20) and the anti-youth reactionary politicians such as Clayton Cosgrove we have a nasty non-alcoholic fruit cocktail of repression stirring... again... if indeed it ever stopped stirring.

On a recent visit to the countryside on a long awaited port run I was informed by the staff at the vineyard that they had stopped making their port because of the increased tax. "Great, another weekend ruined by Jim Anderton!" I noted to sympathetic acknowledgement. That bastard put the tax on port to punish the youth for drinking 15-25% spirit-esque beverages it should be recalled which included all the fortified wines. These are times of petty, regressive control-freaks.

Banning parents from physically discipling their children?... what's next? What other insidious private members' bills lurk within the Labour caucus? They've got another three years to foist them upon us carte blanche.

6.75% or 7%?

WIll the Governor of the Reserve Bank raise the interest rate today? Almost everyone thinks he will - and if he does it will keep our exchange rate high and make our current account deficit worse; but will supposedly reduce inflation as businesses cut back and mortgage repayments suck money out of consumer demand. It's a blunt instrument that may not be working too well for this economy. As we are repeatedly told: NZ's central bank has the highest rates of any developed country.

Many are concerned that the official cash rate's (overnight rate) influence on monetary policy is becoming less effective for various reasons as banks find other sources of finance and their liquidity rates apparently are so loose they can now loan out at 100% of a property's value! Despite Cullen trying to talk the dollar down, poor business confidence and the inflation target blow-out our dollar is still over €0.58c which is very high. It is a perverse vote of confidence by the rest of the world in our precarious little economy.

As I've said before the Reserve Bank could help our exporters out by popping the exchange rate bubble by saying inflation will be at 4% next quarter and not raising the rate. It would fall then... surely. But Dr Bollard's mission is to get inflation under 3% - and you do that in this system by raising the interest rate - regardless of all the other consequences.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Driving us crazy

Rosa Parks took up a seat in the afterlife this week. We remember her stand on sitting on the bus and America changed after the boycott of that Alabama bus line. But what about that white bus driver - he's the one whose fascist actions caused it all in the first place. The interesting thing is James Blake according to Wikipedia had already had a run-in with Rosa Parks a dozen years before:

James F. Blake (d. March 21, 2002) was the bus driver that Rosa Parks defied in 1955, prompting the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Blake served in the Army in the European theater during World War II. He worked as a bus driver for Montgomery City Bus Lines until 1974.
Blake used his discretion to set stringent rules. One day in 1943, Parks boarded his bus and paid the fare. She then moved to her seat but Blake asked her to follow his rules and enter the bus again from the back door. Parks walked off but did not board again.
On December 1, 1955 they encountered each other again when Blake asked Rosa Parks, an African American, to move from the middle to the back of his Cleveland Avenue bus (number 2857) in order to make room for a white passenger. When she refused, Blake contacted the police and had her arrested."

So Blake had it in for her since then? There is a small minority of bus drivers who have huge chips on their shoulders and take it upon themselves to invent new rules as part of their pathetic power trip. Blake was one of those. Anyone who has caught a bus on a regular basis will encounter these sorts of drivers. There are many stories reported about racist drivers insisting that non-white passengers cannot carry food or drink on board because they might consume it in transit (this was last year - no link).

My worst experience was as a 7th Form student when the bus driver refused to accept that I was a student (wearing mufti as was normal for my school). I didn't have enough for a full fare and showed him my bag and school books to show him I was a bone fide student. This old cunt refused to accept that because I didn't have an ID card (was there even one?) - at this point of desperation a lady (the mother of a fellow student) offered to pay the difference to buy me an adult fare. The driver was having none of it - and told her he was not accepting her money and he then ordered me off! Now I don't stand for that sort of shit anymore. If I saw that happening now I'd drag him out of the bus and see how good he was at defending himself.

Recently there was a driver on Auckland's inner city Link service who was late (or something) and insisted on taking a short-cut and made everyone on the route he was cutting off get off the bus - he was a big guy, so I argued with him and got his number and reported him. Not the same I know - I should have dragged him out too.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To spread bloody bird 'flu everywhere, apparently.

But news of the death of a parrot in Britain from the deadly H5N1 avian influenza strain can now be reported in transcript form:

The Dead Parrot Sketch, Monty Python.
The Pet Shoppe

A customer enters a pet shop.

Customer: (sniffling) 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint.
(The owner does not respond.)
C: 'Ello, Miss?
Owner: What do you mean "miss"?
C: I'm sorry, I have a cold - something I think I got from the bird - I wish to make a complaint!
O: We're closin' for lunch.
C: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this parrot what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.
O: Oh yes, the, uh, the Norwegian Blue...What's, uh...What's wrong with it?
C: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. 'E's dead from bird 'flu, that's what's wrong with it!
O: No, no, 'e's uh,...he's resting.
C: Look, matey, I know a dead parrot with H5N1 when I see one, (coughing) and I'm looking at one right now.
O: No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Restin' from a mild belt of the common avarian cold... ahh, H5N2 the ahh, good one. Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, idn'it, ay? Beautiful plumage!
C: The plumage don't enter into it. It's stone dead. (sniffle - blows nose)
O: Nononono, no, no! 'E's resting! - sign of a healthy bird recovering from a normal, everyday cold... sort of like yours.
C: All right then, if he's restin', I'll wake him up!
(shouting at the cage)
'Ello, Mister Polly Parrot! I've got a vaccine for you if you show...(owner hits the cage)
O: There, he moved!
C: No, he didn't, that was you hitting the cage!
O: I never!!
C: Yes, you did! (blows nose)
O: I never, never did anything...
C: (yelling and hitting the cage repeatedly) 'ELLO POLLY!!!!!
Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! Wakey, wakey you diseased pathogenic vector. This is your nine o'clock alarm call!
(Takes parrot out of the cage and thumps its head on the counter. Throws it up in the air and watches it plummet to the floor.)
C: Now that's what I call a dead parrot.
O: No, no.....No, 'e's stunned!
O: Yeah! You stunned him, just as he was wakin' up! Norwegian Blues stun easily when they're getting over the common cold, major.
C: Um...now look...now look, mate, I've definitely 'ad enough of this. (dizzy misstep) That parrot is definitely deceased, and when I purchased it not 'alf an hour ago, you assured me that its coughing and spluttering was due to it mimicing a previous owner with a lisp and terrible enunciation.
O: Well, he's...he's, ah...probably pining for the fjords.
C: PININ' for the FJORDS?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did he fall flat on his back the moment I got 'im home?
O: The Norwegian Blue prefers to recuperate on it's back! Remarkable bird, id'nit, squire? Lovely plumage!
C: Look, I took the liberty of examining that parrot when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the first place was that it had been NAILED there. (cold sweat shakes)
O: Well, o'course it was nailed there! If I hadn't nailed that bird down, such was the insignificance of its ailment, it would have nuzzled up to those bars, bent 'em apart with its beak, and VOOM! Feeweeweewee!
C: "VOOM"?!? Mate, this bird wouldn't "voom" if you put four million volts through it! 'E's bleedin' demised! (involuntary tremor)
O: No no! 'E's pining!
C: 'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! He's a World Health Organisation statistic! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies!
The only thing living in him is the mutating 'flu virus! 'E's off the twig! 'E's the bird formerly known as a parrot!
'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!!
THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!! (visibly perspiring)
O: Well, I'd better replace it, then.
(he takes a quick peek behind the counter)
O: Sorry squire, I've had a look 'round the back of the shop, and uh, we're right out of parrots.
C: I see. I see, I get the picture (coughing blood, staggers)
O: No Governor all I got left alive is - and this is all new stock fresh in mind you - is a Romanian swan, a racing pigeon from Canada, a couple of Vietnamese Chickens, a Turkey from the Greek Islands and half a dozen ducks from China; but I'm all out of parrots... (pause) or you can buy what all my customers are crazy for today - big seller, very popular with your distressed bird fanciers.
C: (projectile vomits across entire shop, wipes residue from mouth and chin, regains composure) What would that be then?
O: A packet of Tamiflu for £199.
C: Better make it two packets.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

"Smart" policy and the casual jargon of governance

From NRT:

"Helen Clark has given some idea of her agenda over the next three years in an address to the CTU conference yesterday:
This term will be about smart policy and strategies for growth, innovation, and productivity in the economy, and for quality and best practice in our social policy and services."

So, the government's policies to date have not been smart? A bold admission indeed. It wasn't more smart policy was it - so I understand that to mean they will begin to have policies that are smart in this term. Because, you know, you don't want to just crack on immediately into smart policies in the first or second terms - that wouldn't be smart. You have to do all the dumb policies first - get them out of the way - and then begin with all the smart ones once you've tried all the dumb ones...?

Shipley was captured by "linkages" and Tamihere beguiled by "going forward," now the Prime Minister is advocating "smart policy." More bureau-speak jargon parroted by a lifetime politician for whom reality has now morphed into a collection of departmental statistics and ministerial wish-lists. The rest of the speech seems similarly detached from the coal face.

"Strategies"? Who believes the government has anything at all resembling strategies? They have no principles or philosophy or purpose for being in government except to keep National out so the only strategy is to:
1. Continue the the status quo everywhere with increasing budgets regardless of outcomes.
2. Act in a reactionary/knee-jerk way to all the mistakes that they were too dumb to see.
3. Have new policies only if a) the bureaucracy tells them they need it, or b) a supporting party demands it for them to stay in government, or c) as a desperate grab for the most ignorant of the swing voters.

"Innovation"? How has the government innovated in the business of government? Centralising control, extending control, expanding the State. "Productivity," "quality and best practise"? I just don't believe a word of it because the people in charge of it are incapable of the judgement needed to discern it, nor are they intelligent enough to see the self-interest inherent in the information they base it on, nor do they have a philosophy to underpin it, nor do they possess the will to steer it through rough water, and nor do they have the wits to maintain it satisfactorily.

And the blithe routine of "nationhood" platitudes after the foreshore and seabed confiscation is now just an utterly monstrous lie:

It will be about the development of our national identity as a unique nation; as a tolerant and inclusive nation able to accommodate diverse peoples and beliefs and proud of its heritage;

Tolerant? Inclusive? Not of Maori though. Their beliefs and accomodation must always come second to Pakeha - that's all part of Helen being "proud of its heritage" (of colonialism). An over-stuffed sheep mascot is preferrable to authentic Maori concerns about turning the natives back into second-class citizens - she said so remember. And she's intent on taking farmers property rights away too so she can hike up and down other people's property. Smokers have been included have they? Literally left out in the cold - and why? Punitive petty zealotry - the only substantial ideological commitment of the Labour government.

The Labour regime is so morally bankrupt that it was NZ First - a conservative centre-right party - that has forced the Labour government in to raising the minimum wage! Are they not ashamed? I see a brighter future for the Green Party.

The twilight world of Winston Peters & the legacy of the White Witch

When being in government isn't being in government. When being in a coalition isn't being in a coalition. Welcome to the bizzarro reverse-universe of the third term of the fifth Labour Ministry.

The Foreign Minister of New Zealand says he does not represent the government?! He represents... parliament? (Meaning the Trade Minister and PM are going to be the real Foreign Ministers). What country will receive him given he does not represent the government? "Hi, I'm Winston and I represent a one-man parliamentary delegation to your country - and I emphasise that I in no way represent or am part of the government." To which the reply is: "I thought you were the Foreign Minister?" And he will attempt to explain the Clayton's non-role he is filling, to which they will say: "Well, we wouldn't have put up with all those snide remarks you made earlier about being 'over-run' with Asians, especially since we are an Asian nation! Take your duty free cigarettes and Scotch and piss off."

Just like the unique role of "Treasurer" that he created for himself in his short-lived coalition stint in '96-'98 so he could read the budget and make big statements but do no work; so Winston has now taken a post and turned what it means and it's constitutional position into a unique role that means he does little work.

Peter Dunne is apparently in the same category of surreality. A minister, and therefore a member of the Executive Council but somehow not part of the government and not in coalition. (As he is Minister of Revenue that still means Cullen is Minister of Expenditure.)

Also the Green leaders are supposedly "government spokespeople" even though they are abstaining on supporting the government!? This is just a joke.

The government is a Labour-Progressive-United Future-NZ First coalition whether they like it or not. At some point the issue of the doctrine of collective responsibility will arise where they cannot publicly dissassociate themselves with the actions (or inactions) of the government and they certainly cannot cast votes against the government unless they have prior permission from the rest of the government ie. Labour ie. the PM.

For Winston et al. to rely on a flimsy Chinese Wall written into the Cabinet Manual to protect himself from criticism of the government is not tenable in the long term. Winston is not a compliant Anderton, he shoots his mouth off at regular interviews/intervals: yesterday he told reporters (when they were putting all of these issues to him) that they were "jerking off" - and this from the Minister of Foreign Affairs- elect!

If Winston puts people's, foreign people's noses out of joint there will be a chorus of calls for the PM to sack him. Each time it happens the tension will grow and Labour will want a way out. But she can't sack him because that would mean National would call a motion of no-confidence and it will be Lab 50 + Prg 1 + Unf 3 + Grn 6 = 60 versus everyone else on 61. And then it's bye bye government and hello snap election. The only possibility is the Maori Party bailing them out - and fat chance of that cab responding to that shrill whistle.

Clark wanted her "historic" third term at any cost.

She will get that today or tomorrow when the Gov-Gen signs the warrants and all those Tories lose their Centrebet wagers. After that the white witch might like to consider her legacy - but she won't, because - just like Fraser (the PM she most admires) - she has created a party of government and not a party of principles or of people. She has no legacy except that she stayed in power for as long as possible - to her that is successful government; or as they say in Wellington: Governance. The only ideology she understands is one of power, control, and management of the State for the interests of the State not of the people that it only theoretically serves.

Her feminist agenda has long been implemented, her nannying banishment of habits she doesn't like is almost at an end (we hope!!!). Like Muldoon she is willing to divide and rule and be utterly ruthless in pursuit of that power - to make sure everyone fits into the little box that she thinks they should stay in. State tenants can never have the chance to own their home because they would be getting above their station. Maori can never be equal litigants and have their property rights recognised because they would be getting above their place. Businesses can never be given breaks because they represent the class enemy. The State is there primarily to implement her agenda. Talk of the State as a transformative tool to make people's lives better is always conditional on it being in the prescribed manner that she has set forth; and as she proudly runs a party of governance that means taking the flaky, minimalist advice of policy boffins aimed at making the State bigger or doing absolutely nothing because the status quo must be fine if there is no breifing paper to the contrary.

She is a product of 24 years in parliament, straight from the halls of academe with no private sector experience that has forged a born to rule attitude any true Tory would admire - totally aloof. Glad-handing at functions with the patronised recipients of her choosing is not "touching base". So too the deputy.

That is why her loyal henchman, Cullen, can never conceive of a tax cut even if the surplus was ten times as large. Let's call it Cullen's Law: The state must expand to spend any surplus created. He was forced into moving the tax brackets by United Future let us remember. His pathetic, half-arsed salesmanship of the lacklustre budget spoke volumes about the smugness of a man who has come to expect respect and awe regardless of his deeds. It spoke of the attitude prevalent in a party of technocrats, who see themselves as part of the machinery rather than the human who has judgement over and above the machine.

Refusing to fire people unless it is brought to their attention through headlines and a parliamentary grilling is not good management. A product of National's ineptitude on that score not to be an opposition has let then off the hook so often. And for all their bureaucratic worship and assumed mantle of management credibility Labour has been slow-witted and unable to deal with simple crises - biosecurity risks left to fester unattended, leaky buildings continue to leak, community education rorts in the tertiary sector left to spiral out of control, Solomon Islands turning to anarchy because MFAT can't be bothered, lackies running riot - Ross Armstrongs aplenty. If all they ever act on is advice from within the machine about how great the machine is doing and how all the faults are not of the machine's making it is no wonder why they have got things so badly wrong on so many occassions. Where was the vision? Where were the ideas? Confiscating property off Maori was the boldest policy they had. And trying to get rid of the Pakeha students from a Wananga because that didn't fit in with the box they had put them in. Foisting unwanted separate Maori seats on to local councils to put them in their box. What legacy is that? Given a huge surplus the best they could come up with was... I can't even remember. And then a last ditch bribe for students on their loans when they panicked.

And for all these reasons, heaped upon the latest farce of ministerial collective irresponsibility and pseudo-coalition semantics, I have no confidence that Clark and Cullen can tackle our current fundamental economic problems or indeed competently manage any crisis we may face. Their legacy will be their longevity - and I think that's all they're aiming at.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Inflation now at 3.4% A way out?

Our inflation rate for the last year to September was 3.4% according to the Stats NZ. That is above the 3% target agreement that the Governor, Dr Bollard, is contracted to produce. It's the only KPI that really counts - and he has failed. The fine print I believe refers to "in the long term" but given rising oil costs this breach will surely go on for more than just this quarter.

I have noted earlier what people are now being bombarded with almost on a daily basis now: that the account deficit is too high and we will pay for it possibly sooner than later.

On the 27th Oct. Bollard is likely to raise the reserve bank's key rate up to 7%. It is the highest in the developed world already. What will this do? Keep our exchange rate up as there is more demand for our money - despite the inflation. And make it more expensive for everyone with a mortgage... eventually. Slow business down and bring inflation below 3% maybe next year some time... maybe... hopefully.

Treasury, and probably every economist, believes the dollar must fall. But it won't if the rates are high, inflation is low, and the credit rating is high. Hit one of those and we could get the sudden readjustment needed. But the Reserve Bank has no mandate to manipulate the dollar value except in an emergency - this is a real weakness in our system. We perhaps need a Trade Weighted Index target as well as an inflation target... something to think about.

One way out I can see is this "nationalist" package to reduce inflation and lower the dollar:
1. Reduce mortgage activity and the over-stimulated housing market by legislating that citizens only can purchase freehold property.
2. Introduce an individualised Superannuation Fund (ie. start by converting the Cullen Fund) with forced contributions in lieu of a tax cut to be phased in (employer contributions too?) over time. In Singapore during the 80s they hiked the level of contributions to dampen inflation - it would work here too.
3. Reduce the value of the dollar by bringing the bank rate down instead of up. Would that be a signal or what!? Combined with a 3%+ inflation rate will foreigners want to stick their money in NZ?
4. Reduce the target immigration figure to 20,000, starting with abolishing the family reunification category and making it virtually impossible for non-English speaking and 50+ year olds to immigrate here.

I know the landing may be a bit rough, and the mix suggested may cause inflation to spike as the dollar comes down and we pay more for our petrol and plasma screens in the short term - but we really do need to be weened off these habits and provide for future good habits. Selling ourselves off to foreigners like a cheap hooker has to stop. It does sound rather nanny-ish, but what will make the economy prosper in the long term and what will provide the best lifestyle and wealth results for New Zealanders? It seems reckless that the Reserve Bank and Treasury does not have a mechanism to affect the exchange rate.

The problem is when banks have ads touting they will give you a mortgage for "100%" of a property it makes it very difficult for people to stop borrowing. Restricting credit by increasing the trading banks' assets ratio might have to be looked at in the suite of actions available to Bollard in his aegis of running a robust banking and credit system. You can do all this without hurting business (and therefore employment) by lowering the rate of borrowing for businesses (as opposed to property speculation - which will become trickier for foreign speculators). The immigration policy will also affect the dollar independently of the other measures - that's how important they are to our current system of speculative growth, over-consumption and under-saving.

Gov-Gen directed to appoint new government

Prime news politically illiterate

Prime TV news is saying UF & NZF are getting "Cabinet posts" - someone tell those children at Prime "news" and Suzy Aitken that they don't know what the fuck they're talking about. This is the sort of mistake that a young, female journalist would make - that's what it looks like: "Oh that's the same thing isn't it? - same diff?" No, luv, you're wrong. You're lying to the people now and you have no credibility and neither has your "news".

Helen Clark has informed Gov-Gen she has a government.

National Radio. Nothing on TV. Listening to it now: Winston and Dunne as Ministers outside Cabinet - with collective responsibility only for their areas!? That's not very collective is it? Re-writing the cabinet Manual. What credibility will that have? Winston as Foreign Minister, Dunne as Revenue Minister - shit he was in that position in Bolger's day in the clothes of the United party. So they can pretend to be in opposition to everythiung except their portfolio...? Well that's novel. Or it's not novel it is just that Anderton never uses it.

This sounds ridiculous. The Greens have just rolled over. Maori party frozen out. I am a bit startled I must confess. Winston on a three year overseas night-life tour? Will he be in the country long enough to be heard? He can hardly bag the government from overseas can he? Something embarassing coming out - send Winston off to Islamastan.

Winston hates foreigners doesn't he? Or only if they are over here? No Tauranga oldies to suck up to. I'm happy being the member for the World. Oh great - a race-baiting anti-foreigner as Foreign Minister. So logical. No wonder the party President resigned.

Greens and Maori Party didn't get together to work something out. Why? Labour didn't want the Greens to? Let Dunne and Winston in. Rod Donald was trying to save face on a radio interview just beforehand - he must be bitter. Labour moves to right. As Donald has admitted "we didn't threaten them" - but that's the only way to get a deal, Rod. That's how it works. The Greens' whole understanding of playing nice and by the rules simply gets them minimal policy movement - bought out for another $10m pa. Pathetic. They are pathetic as Jeanette's perpetual hand wringing.

Winston will be pleased with himself - but at what cost to the party? "We'll sit on the cross-benches"... bullshit - all lies. Dunne will finally stop whining and can get about being the grey technocrat he always was. National, Act and Maori - and even the Greens - will probably have a lot of ammunition as the drift to the right begins to strain at Labour's underlying workers roots. Peter Fraser I tell you - it is the Clark story foretold.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Secret government and their agents

Sir John Jeffries

Currently: Commissioner of Security Warrants and highly regarded by the PM.

Former: High Court Judge, Police Compliants Authority Chairman and Press Council Chairman whose rulings (in Cases 783-787) on the Craccum suicide article issue of 2000 were the height of reactionary, immature, ill-considered and hypocritical self-serving phlegm ever dribbled from that pompous chapter of the old boys' club.

Sir John is one of the flimsy cardboard pillars of the judicial superstructure. A movable set to be wheeled in and out of performances in front of a mute and dense audience.

A glorified rubber stamp for the establishment. Trumpeting the word "independent" without the wit or inclination to fulfill that role; indeed to have been selected for those offices because of it. Independence? - what truly independently minded judge would be promoted to jobs where the description is to do exactly the opposite? What credibility has such a character?

The silence, the muted mumblings and receptions of sighs that greet each appointment raise no ire and stir no resistance. The legal profession, a closed shop of reputations too fragile and interconnected to ever survive an act of public honesty lays still. A trade in silence. No debate, no hearing, just a press release preceeded by an express courier direct to the Governor-General. A series of rubber stamps to facilitate the top three cabinet ministers' governance of the colony. Is it any wonder that those beneficiaries of no transperancy and accountability then endorse the same pocedures in their work?

A secretive appointment to rule on government secrets - internally coherent and an external abomination. Officers of State are the covert matter of government machinations - a game of musical chairs with monkeys. The imprimatur of probity in the guise of a gowned macaque.

Is he a disgrace - an embarrassment? Does the fact we have such low expectations and are the pliant recipients of the debased currency make him any less guilty of being party to the ritual farce of cover-ups that routinely constitute quasi-judicial deliberations? Does he have a measure of integrity any less than his colleagues who have willingly concealed the faults to please their masters?

Reliable. Dependable. Solid. Trustworthy. - for whom and why? The public or the government?

Let us be rid of this rotten wood and the manky forest in which it dwells. Let the axe of public derision swing.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Public Holidays Reform (Transition to Republic) Act 2005

This could have gone on to the CRC site, but it isn't strictly relevant at this stage.

Currently NZ has a a public holiday system based on English/European adherence to Christianity and commemorations of nationhood, the Crown and ideology, with a regional system of provincial anniversary days (in the spring and summer), viz:

JAN-New Year's Day
JAN-Day after New Year's Day
FEB-Waitangi Day
MAR/APR-Good Friday
MAR/APR-Easter Monday
APR-Anzac Day (1/2 day)
JUN-Queen's Birthday
OCT-Labour Day
DEC-Christmas Day
DEC-Boxing Day

Total 9.5 days + 1 regional anniversary day.

To move the nation into a system that recognises real and traditional local commemorations, honours a modern nationhood, strengthens the bonds of civic inter-dependence and responsibility, preserves the seasonality and family benefits of long weekends, aligns in a practical way with other important events, and that reflects a secular, non-religious state the new schedule of public holidays shall be:

Regional anniversary days:
These shall be up to each community to decide. These holidays represent a provincial system long since passed and are of less relevance to many Maori communities who commemorate the anniversary their community signed the Treaty of Waitangi. As such there are many community Waitangi Days all over the country - those communities should be able to have their public holiday on that day.

National holidays:
JAN-New Year's Day
JAN-Day after New Year's Day
FEB-Waitangi Day
MAR/APR-Good Friday
MAR/APR-Easter Monday
APR-Anzac Day (1/2 day)
JUN-Queen's Birthday
OCT-Labour Day
DEC-Christmas Day
DEC-Boxing Day

To replace Easter holidays: "Autumn Festival"
On last weekend of March to be on Friday & Monday - and to be end of Daylight Savings Time (So sometimes the Christian Easter commemoration will align with the Autumn Festival)

To replace Queen's Birthday: "Matariki/Winter Festival"
On second weekend of June on Monday

To replace Labour Day: "Spring Festival"
On second weekend of October on Monday - and to be start of Daylight Savings Time

And add: "Civic Day" or possibly "Citizens' Day"
On third Saturday of November from midday to midnight. This day is when central, regional and local triennial government elections are held on alternating years. For community/territorial elections there may also be general citizens' meetings similar to an AGM where officers are elected at the meeting and reports etc. presented to the meeting. Having this on a Saturday is traditional for NZ, having it as a public holiday means there is no work pressure not to attend or participate for most people, and having it as a half day means that business can still go ahead in the morning as people take care of their non-civic duties and polling booths (in the case of a general election) will be open during the morning anyway. Making it a Saturday also means it is not a long weekend - which would have encouraged people to go on holiday and therefore neglect the public duties for which that "holiday" was created. Having a set day for elections also provides certainty and for better planning. It will also (hopefully) create a better civic culture of regular participation and concern for community and public issues. Half a day a year isn't a great sacrifice. Also on a third Saturday in November the election result should be finalised by early December and a government formed before Christmas. Also between Civic Day and Spring Festival will be the de facto election campaign "season" thus quarterising it from being too early in the winter and too late where it would interfere with Christmas consumerism/activities.

New schedule of national holidays:
JAN 1- New Year's Day
JAN 2- Day after New Year's Day
FEB 6- Waitangi Day
MAR last Friday & Monday- Autumn Festival (Daylight Savings Ends)
APR 25- Anzac Day (1/2 day)
JUN second Monday- Matariki/Winter Festival
OCT second Monday- Spring Festival (Daylight Savings Starts)
NOV third Saturday- Civic/Citizens' Day (1/2 Day)
DEC 25-Christmas Day
DEC 26-Boxing Day

Total 10 Days + Regional/community local holiday

NB: Why haven't I got rid of Christmas and Boxing Day? I would like to get rid of the Christianity aspects of what is already a purely secular event/rituals for the vast majority of the population, which means abolishing the word Christmas and possibly the changing of the date - but I haven't got big enough balls to propose that! Getting rid of Easter by turning it back into the pagan sort of festival it originally was is enough Christian-bashing for the moment.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

As long as I don't come in your mouth I don't have to tell you I'm HIV

Yesterday's court ruling that someone with HIV only has a legal duty to take "reasonable precautions" and has no duty to disclose their condition to their sex partner has been hailed by the AIDS Foundation as "common sense." I had no idea that HIV was also a brain-wasting illness up until this point.

The judge ruled that condom use was a reasonable precaution and that oral sex without one is also fine as long as you pull out beforehand! And for this message the AIDS Foundation says:

“that the best strategy for avoiding HIV during anal or vaginal intercourse is the consistent and proper use of condoms.

“Relying on HIV positive people to tell you, and assuming that unprotected intercourse is ‘safe’ if HIV is not mentioned, is a much riskier strategy, especially as approximately one third of people with HIV in New Zealand don’t know they have it, and so can’t tell.

“We are pleased that this decision has highlighted that it is condoms, not disclosure, that keeps people safe.”

Ms Le Mesurier said that the court decision has reflected the biological reality of HIV infection; that there is almost zero risk of HIV transmission from unprotected oral sex and that condoms reduce the risk to such low levels that disclosure of HIV status is not necessary.

So all that bullshit about "dental dams" etc. (whatever the hell they are) is all just actually bullshit. What the fuck is a "riskier strategy" than not telling someone "I'm HIV positive"? - that strategy would work pretty well I think. Who in their right mind would have sex, condoms, whatever, if the other person was HIV positive? That reduces the risk to zero. Are they there to promote sex for HIV people? Or to contain and minimise the disease?

Someone appeal this decision.

It is not "reasonable" given the potentially fatal consequences of transmission. It is not oral herpes from sharing cups or athlete's foot - it's fucking AIDS! Other people have a right to be informed of the jeopardy they are in. The actions of the other person is dependent on the information/disclosure that is due to them, and risks are inherent in these situations. Eg. the other person may embark on "risky" actions not knowing the consequences.

The AIDS Foundation has this paranoid idea that people will not get tested if they think they will have to tell their sex partners if they are positive. ?? The sort of low-life, piece of shit, selfish, nihilst who would be concerned about that is being protected by them. Now the courts have done the same thing. Would those sorts of irresponsible people get tested anyway?

The same thing goes for TB, leperosy etc. If they could have a 30 minute test to diagnose these things then everyone entering the country should have one - and those that are positive are right back on the plane/ship. We would not have HIV here at all if that system was in place 20 odd years ago.

The best solution is prevention, which is not achieved through secrecy.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Mother of Nation killed by ugliest man in television

$800,000 found in TVNZ budget

She has wanted to leave since Ralston sacked her long-time work colleague, Richard Long, and has only stayed on because of the money. Since she was only there because of that and they are trying to insinuate they are pulling in their belts and to deflect political pressure she was not offered enough. So now she's gone.

The person who insisted she front the show alone, even though she didn't want to, to suit a new formula is this man:

Ian Fraser is backing him. He sounds almost panicy about the news performance against 3. Ralston is the sort of person who likes to change all the furniture around when people are sitting on it and in the middle of their tea. New theory comes along - change everything. Get rid of all the old hands like Holmes, Kim Hill, Long and Bailey and the key Auckland market will warm to the younger fresher crew...? I don't trust him to pull it off quite frankly.

What Ralston, and by aquiesence Fraser, don't seem to grasp is this, and it's important, so I'll bold it:

When you change the status quo to attract people you simultaneously create a situation where you will attract people to the other option as the other option has more status quo continuity. What is going on is a brand change. If the brand is inherently one of status quo/reliable/continuity then the altering of that puts it on a par with the opposition by getting rid of that key point of difference. By destabalising the line-up (ie. changing the brand) they are shifting the competitive ground towards the oppostion assuming they will automatically hold those long-term people, but they actually risk losing them. Every time they move to change they destroy the brand credibility of status quo/reliability/continuity. They risk effectively growing the opposition's share.

TV companies are legendary for the latest gizmos and gimmicks, but that sits uneasily with the One News brand. Ralston did not particularly distinguish himself as Metro editor, and his gambles in news and current affairs at the state broadcaster seem rather wild. Fraser will give him six months to make a dent - after that it becomes Fraser's head on the block.

As someone who wanders backwards and forwards across channels at newstime I don't care that much, I'm more interested to see the current affairs programming for next year. Kim Hill is out, Foreign Correspondent is reportedly out. So what is in? Who is in? And what formats?

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Saturday, October 01, 2005

He was a skater boy - I said, "See you later, boy."

On Nandor failing to get back: good fucking job - the lazy, complacent bastard.

The point man, the go-to guy for Auckland stood by, did nothing, and saw the Green vote shrink to 5%. Campaigning overseas but not in the largest metropolitan area??! Confusing, convoluted billboards. Failing to take on Judith Tizard in Auckland Central where everyone (including half the Labour Party) can't stand her. If he had sent everyone a letter explaining why he wanted our electorate vote, and had public meetings every weekend for three months saying why he should be our local MP then we would have voted for him to spite the universally contemptible Tizard. It would not have been that hard.

And what an attitude: I'm comfortable about getting back in... we'll pick up votes... I'm confident... COMPLACENT. He deserved to lose because he did not show enough vigour. Nandor is responsible for failing to obtain that 1-2% that is his turf, and almost cost the party complete destruction by barely clearing the 5% threshold. You would think putting him at No. 7 would have energized old Stoney - but no - he was sure they'd piss home with more than that, that he'd be a shoe-in, so why bother making an effort?

Did he communicate to students about voting Green being the best way for them to get Labour's interest-free loans deal? Did he? Does a 40 year old with dreds not cut it with the kids anymore? Does his major legislative mark of being legally able to lie to employers about previous criminal convictions not impress?

What was the Green's target vote for Auckland? Did they even have one? Did they have any idea about how to achieve it even if they did? Who was responsible? Sub-standard. Maybe he'll get his act together now, or retreat entirely, he's going to have to think about that because, Nandor:

You're fired!

There must be at least one decent-looking, long-haired, tanned, 25 year old marine biologist (pref. researching dolphins) right now who will be Nandor's replacement.

Don "lose less badly" Brash: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED - Not government!

Brash (centre) at NZ Racial & Religious Extremism Convergence Conference

His vision of "mainstream" was of an uptight, white, Presbyterian minority.

Don's a loser. He's a quitter. He's negative. He's a drag. He's a big zero.

Brash conceeds government to Labour within hours of special vote announcement:
- so obviously had no plan about forming a coalition.
- had no ability to compromise to achieve that.
- is willing to give the whole game up before it has been played out.
- prepared to hand Labour leverage advantage over other parties and thus put Labour in a strong position.

What a prize nonce.

Sure, he'll be around as the 68 year old National Party leader at the next election. Sure he will.

National is so thick they haven't figured out MMP and are so thick they haven't even figured out how to form a government and they are a useless opposition, and the useless leader who doesn't even show up to parliament to debate because he is so useless is going to stick around for another 3 years! Whatever.

There's a reason he's only on the list - so the party can dump him with no dramas and the last one on the list gets in. Bye, bye Don. Will he fuck off to Australia - for the sake of the money and comforting feelings of white domination - just like all the people he was really appealing to? Let's hope so.

He did achieve a gain of 109% to the National Party raw vote. But then again... against a nanny state zombie queen looking at a third term, screwing up their own budget, and off National's lowest ever result... not as good as the stats indicate.