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Sunday, March 31, 2013

All together now

NZ Herald reporting:

A prominent Australian entertainer has been arrested by Scotland Yard detectives on suspicion of sexual offences. The 82 year old [...] who has not been named, is the 11th suspect arrested under Operation Yewtree [the paedophilia scandal centred on the late Jimmy Savile].

Two little boys was it?

The fond childhood memories of millions are about to be shadowed by the childhood memories of a few who couldn't tell what had happened at the time, and who came up against an establishment which protected the offender. Justice is along time coming, but until the verdict is in he remains, like Savile was, innocent.

He really should have taken his own advice and tied his kangaroo down.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

TV review: The Vote

My TV review for The Daily Blog is posted up over there. The Vote: hypertastic infotainment.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Helter Smelter

Here we go again...

NZ Herald:
The Government has opened discussions with Tiwai Point aluminium smelter's ultimate owners Rio Tinto in a bid to broker a deal after talks between the smelter and Meridian Energy reportedly broke down.[...]Should the smelter - which uses one seventh of New Zealand's electricity output - close wholesale power prices are likely to fall, affecting the earnings potential of all power companies including Mighty River.
Ryall added that "all relevant information - including about the smelter electricity contract - will be reflected in the Mighty River Power offer document which is currently being finalised"

This sounds like negotiation tactics rather than Rio Tinto pulling the plug, so no-one should be panicking... just yet. However the notion that the government can step in to help out their power companies is sending all sorts of signals.

Will they do these favours after they sell 49% of Mighty River Power? Are the looters queing up to buy into MRP shares going to reap additional benefits of state muscle after the float? Then there are the conflicts of interest: Does the government want lower power costs (lowering cost of production and benefiting everyone), or does the government want higher power costs (more returns to the state and the shareholders)?

The Tories will back the private shareholders and the foreign smelter every time. Every government has backed deals which are essentially a subsidy to keep the smelter business and its cashflow in the country. Labour and National both; but the last thing the Nats want is to reduce people's power bills if that means their "mum and dad" investors might lose out in the anticipated capital gain and/or reduce the stream of dividends. The government will have to argue that the "public interest" is served by screwing over the vast majority in order for a small few (many of whom will be foreign shareholders) to gain.

 Big contracts like this bring the issues to the surface - more so now privatisation is a matter of weeks away. There has been so much secrecy over the smelter deals in the past that NZers have come to have a very cynical view of Tiwai Point and the relationship with government (and later the corporatised power companies). It's all a bit too matey and it's all a bit of a mystery.  All we know for sure is that if the smelter was turned off we would have surplus generation capacity and thus our retail electricity prices would drop and there would be less need for new generation and perhaps a closing of the more inefficient and polluting thermo plants like at Huntly. That's all good - unless you own shares in an energy company of course. The downside would be a spike in Southland unemployment and the loss of foreign revenue to the country (and taxation revenue to the government). This doesn't seem much of a concern as compared to cheaper power across the nation. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Syria: two years of civil war

Looks like the Americans are finding military ways to support the Syrian rebels despite their official position:

With help from the C.I.A., Arab governments and Turkey have sharply increased their military aid to Syria’s opposition fighters in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to air traffic data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of rebel commanders. [...]The airlift, which began on a small scale in early 2012 and continued intermittently through last fall, expanded into a steady and much heavier flow late last year, the data shows. It has grown to include more than 160 military cargo flights by Jordanian, Saudi and Qatari military-style cargo planes landing at Esenboga Airport near Ankara, and, to a lesser degree, at other Turkish and Jordanian airports.

After two years of war and a deadlock it is inevitable the US will arm the rebels - they think they can win by attrition and that the Russians will be forced to let go once a few big bases fall. That's how the plan is shaping up. But like all US moves they don't seem to care who they use or what they break in the process of installing their preferred government.

TEL AVIV – Has the White House been misleading the public by repeatedly denying it was coordinating arms shipments to the rebels in Syria, insurgents known to consist in large part of al-Qaida and other jihadist groups?
Other top U.S. officials and former officials, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have implied in congressional testimony that they didn’t know about any U.S. involvement in procuring weapons for them.

See no arms deals, hear no arms deals, say no arms deals...

For all the Western bitching about Iran and Russia helping Assad's regime we should remember that the US and their allies helping the opposition is equally deserving of some bitching. What the US and the West is doing is prolonging the war rather than shortening it - they are promoting war rather than on a quest for peace. They also are rolling the dice on the unpredictable element of Islamist fanatics in the hope they can be utilised and then jetisoned later; but we know how these things pan out from previous interventions - a mess.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

NMSA: news media standards in NZ

With the advent of the internet and particularly the proliferation of internet-equipped devices, there has been much anticipation that the convergence of media will also result in the merger of regulatory bodies. This is coming to a head with the release of the Law Commission's report.

Justice Minister Judith Collins has tabled in Parliament today the Law Commission’s report on regulation of the news media in the digital age.
The report, The News Media Meets ‘New Media’: Rights, Responsibilities and Regulation in the Digital Age, [ pdf here] provides the Law Commission’s recommendations for updating laws regulating our media for the digital era.
The Government will examine the report’s recommendations and seek views from the media industry before formally responding to the report later this year.

The plan posits a separate body to deal with complaints against the news media - not against content per se, but specifically about news and current affairs. There are advantages, but also problems, in sectioning off one form of content as against another and holding that up to different standards and treatment. The Commission readily accepts all the current bodies dealing with news should be in one authority, but does not extend that logic to all content (eg. they say keep the BSA for non-news). The Commission also talks of a new cyber crime of offensiveness and one of hassling - all of which seems rather woolly and suspect at first whiff.

The new authority they see will be an incorporated society of responsible news media organisations and individuals. It will be an enlarged Press Council from what I can fathom. Voluntary to join with statutory advantages in membership it does begin to resemble the Press Council. This is not an entirely bad thing because it preserves the essence of freedom from compulsion, but is not entirely benign either as it seeks to establish a pecking order which will freeze out the minnows (eg. restrict NZ On Air and government funding to members only).

Report: Recommendations:

A new converged standards body

A news media standards body (the News Media Standards Authority or NMSA) should be established to enforce standards across all publishers of news, including linear and non-linear broadcasters, web-based publishers and the print media.

The NMSA should assume the functions of the Press Council, the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) and the Online Media Standards Authority (OMSA) with respect to news and current affairs.
“News” should be interpreted broadly to include news, current affairs, news commentary and content which purports to provide the public with a factual account and involves real people.


Membership of the NMSA should be available to any person or entity (whether within New Zealand or elsewhere) that meets the following criteria: a significant element of their publishing activities involves the generation and/or aggregation of news, information and opinion of current value; they disseminate this information to a public audience; and publication is regular and not occasional.

The following entities should not be considered to be carrying out an activity that meets the criteria set out in R4: Online Content Infrastructure Platforms (OCIPs); The Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives.



Membership of the NMSA should be voluntary. Any person or entity that the NMSA determines to be eligible for membership shall become a member by entering into a contract with the NMSA.

Contracts between the NMSA and its members should include: the complaints process by which the members will be bound; the powers of the NMSA, with members being bound to comply with the exercise of any such powers; the annual financial contribution to be paid by each member to the NMSA; the obligation on members to regularly publicise the NMSA’s code of practice or statement of principles, the NMSA’s complaints process and their own complaints handling process.
Contracts between the NMSA and its members should have a term of at least five years and should allow only limited rights for the member to terminate the contract before its expiry such as insolvency or corporate merger. In its discretion the NMSA should be able to enter into membership contracts for shorter terms with individuals.

The prescriptions the Commission have invented are suited to the big media companies - although the inability of the Authority to set financial penalties for a breach of the code will be most useful to every member. I expect the mainstream media organisations will cautiously welcome the move as the NMSA will be New Mob Same Arseholes. The rest of us will just remain cautious.

UPDATE 27/03/2013 12:15PM:
A good discussion of the faults at the Standard:
It’s a bit sad, really. It’s clearly been written by a group of old white men with no real idea now modern media works.
They want to make you pay to join a ‘voluntary’ privately-owned organisation, which will be the gatekeeper for who gets the news media’s legal rights.
Don’t have money to pay? You don’t get those legal rights. Don’t want to pay? You don’t get those legal rights. Don’t meet this private, unaccountable organisations’ rules? You don’t get those legal rights.
The Law Commission’s genius idea is to let some private organisation staffed by God knows who choose which news organisations have news media rights and which don’t. It’s one of the dumbest things I’ve heard this year.
Next, the practical side. They basically want to extend the existing press complaints system, joke that it is, to online media. Bringing a complaints process to the blogs would be an unworkable farce.

The Law Commission can't join the dots between a code and a contract and this committee because it is so artificial. Whose code? Do all the members vote on the code? Who sets the fee?  The sorts of ideas and forces they try to meld are irreconcilable in the real world.

The Tuhoe settlement signing

UPDATE: 26/03/2013 11:30am

As I explain in the post below not everyone is happy - or can be expected to be happy - about the deal as it is restricted to the NZ government's self-imposed limitations and is hinged around the Hapu of Tuhoe embracing a centralised corporate model. This morning they have posted up a Whakatane Beacon article out today. It reports the Treaty Negotiations Minister has said:

"The agreement must be honoured by the Crown and successive governments. If we do that, the relationship will be positive. If we don't, there will be chaos."

Chaos is unlikely based on breaches of the past however - more like neglect and quiet dispair aided by government interference and blockage. How can there be "chaos" when quite recently the NZ Police can swarm in, armed with automatic weapons, and occupy a Tuhoe village and not even have to so much as apologise for it. The NZ Police were part of the NZ government's negotiation tactics when seen in the wider context: take out the hard line opposition to the bullshit, elite-captured, money-or-nothing, templated Crown settlement so that it can go through. And take them out they did.

The article notes the absence of Tame Iti from the parliamentary officiation. I very much doubt Kemara would have been their either. The NZ government took their liberty for having conducted self defence exercises in their own homeland... while Kruger, the CEO, and their team were conducting negotiations with that same government. They expect an apology for the Ruatoki occupation at a later point, and yet they continue to talk under those conditions - with the NZ Police refusing to admit what they did was wrong. There was little visible support for Tuhoe's activist frontline when the crunch came. Much to do about the Crown force but not so much to do with Tame and his rama/wananga. If the Tuhoe negotiators had a bottom line it must have been subterranean.

The article notes three groups (one being neighbouring Upokorehe) tried to stop the signing with last minute applications to the Waitangi Tribunal.

The delegation from Tuhoe signed off on a deed of settlement with the Crown in Wellington last week. RNZ has reported a section of Tuhoe, Te Umutaoroa, is at odds with the umbrella Te Kotahi a Tuhoe group and will not sign. The PR from the Crown and Tuhoe has been uncontested, but in most (all?) of these settlements since the 1990s achieving internal iwi agreement over who lost what and who will gain what and under what conditions, is not possible. Not possible in the context of the constraints imposed by the government at least. Some Hapu and whanau are not willing to sell out to someone else's dream, but what can they do if they are in the minority and it is being signed away from under them?

Tamati Kruger and his CEO have proceeded at some haste to secure this deal and establish their capital in Taneatua to house the corporate trust they envisage running their tribal services. I was at one hui where they presented their case (Tuhoe have many other tribes on their boundary who must be consulted with regards the cross-claims) and they had altered their map. He said they had dropped some area and it had changed - we should chill out because this was a new map. Then there were complaints: that area shouldn't be descibed as that. Latest I've seen is a new map with a new area... Kruger also made concessions on claiming Crown lands in cross-claim areas. This adds up to someone chasing the Crown deal pretty hard and willing to do what it takes to get it through. This is in stark contrast to the wider kotahitanga (unity) shown amongst the Mataatua tribes when faced with Crown invasion in the 1860s, back then Tuhoe and the neighbouring iwi had a confederation under the hokowhitu (assembly). The government managed to do each Treaty settlement of the tribes separately: Ngati Awa first, and after the youth put a stop to a Whakatohea deal that iwi has been at the back of the queue (as an example of what happens if a tribe does not accept the Crown's 'take it or leave it' position).

The way the NZ government runs the Treaty settlement policy means Tuhoe's $170m of collective compensation was predetermined, the co-management and even (non)status of their land (almost all of it gazetted as a National Park in the 1950s) was predetermined and for that matter everything else in the settlement has been determined by precedent and within the government's evolved Treaty negotiations policy. What is novel in the Tuhoe deal? The non-ownership of Te Urewera? Perhaps. Where was the reinstatement of the Urewera Act of 1896 that included Seddon''s letter of amity and commitment, and the basis for the government's recognition of autonomy in local government?

Nowadays they seem to be aiming a lot lower: a corporate model and the hope a relatively inadequate reparation payout will solve the continuing problems of trying to exist in a colonial situation. They have to validate the colonial situation in order to get anything out of the colonial entity - that's most of the problem right there.

It has been sold as a way for Tuhoe to opt out of NZ. But given this settlement is supposedly the full and final one, with a Crown apology in return for an acceptance of the confiscation etc then they are buying into it, legitimising the wrongs and letting Wellington off the hook without any real legal autonomy to speak of. Not everyone in Tuhoe will be content with what is being proposed. Not everyone will be happy with less than ten trustees, in for 5 years each, making decisions for Tuhoe on what to do with the funds. The debate leading up to the vote will see whether the opposition is wider than just this one group.

Friday, March 22, 2013


From what has been said so far concerning the appointment of Susan Devoy to the post of Race Relations Commissioner I am guessing that she originally put in for one of the other eight Human Rights Commissioner positions. Devoy mentioned the disability commissioner specifically in her interview with Duncan Garner, but there are five part-time positions - my guess is she was applying for one of these. But Collins - and Key - wanted a symbol and representative of the Nat's concept of "middle NZ" in the race relations role. There has never been a female in the position and so that tipped it for her. They asked her if she wanted it and she - just like with her knighthood - said yes very quickly.

Pita Sharples would make an excellent RRC. Is this where he will end up if she crashes and burns? It would trigger a by-election, so that mess might preclude what may otherwise happen. Anyone seems better than Devoy at this point. I'm reminded of the time George W Bush tried to appoint his small-time family lawyer as a Supreme Court Justice. That lasted all of a withering 48 hours from memory; but in NZ there is no committee to intervene, no pressure release or time to stage a back down if the stakeholders for that portfolio are rankled, it is up to the Minister entirely who holds the Commission.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Compared to the dignified tiffs of NZ parliamentary politics what the Aussies get up to, or down to, looks more like brawling than disagreement. The internal partisan ructions even more brutal than with each other. So with Julia Gillard's gambit of calling the election date early she would have expected to avoid the bloodshed in caucus. She's brought it to a head:

SMH: PM heeds call for leadership spill
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has heeded Simon Crean's call for a spill of the Labor leadership.
''For the information of the House I have determined that there will be a ballot for the leadership and deputy leadership of the Labor party at 4.30pm (Melbourne/Sydney time). In the meantime, take your best shot.''

SMH live blogging the drama in parliament as the opposition try to make havoc. They survive by one vote...
Labor looks set for a leadership spill as Simon Crean calls on Julia Gillard to hold a ballot and says he'll back Kevin Rudd.

The vote is for 4:30pm - which is 6:30 NZ time.

I think Gillard is the better leader - better than Rudd anyway. She's staunch and that counts for a lot in Aussie politics.

UPDATE: Rudd didn't run. Crean got himself sacked. Gillard didn't blink. She gets the cred for having faced it and resolved it. The polls still have her and the ALP as toast, but Abbott is a loathed creep who will find it difficult to get over the line.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Susan Devoy: "ashamed to be a New Zealander"

Squash is incredibly boring. I associate it with sweat, and as an individual pursuit - the point being to bang a ball around inside a large box as stress relief. I get the feeling a squash player would be quite content to just bash the ball around without anyone else being in the box at the time. It all makes for the worst possible spectator sport: worse than lawn bowls, worse than yachting. All anyone in NZ knows about the professional sport is that Susan Devoy was a world champion through the 1980s until the early '90s.

Since then she went on to use her fame and damehood (which she received very early on for her sporting success) to pick up the odd trust position here and there and do a bit for charity around the traps as well as work on her own business ventures. So, that's nice and everything, and she certainly got lucky with her knighthood from what I can recall at the time, but why does that qualify her for the position she has just been given by the National government?

NZ Herald:
Dame Susan Devoy has been appointed as the new Race Relations Commissioner.
"Dame Susan is a proud New Zealander who is highly motivated to contribute positively to New Zealand society," Justice Minister Judith Collins said today.
"Her communication and relationship management skills, coupled with experience working with diverse groups, are key areas of strength."
"Dame Susan has sound governance experience and mature judgement. I am confident she will be a sensible and intelligent voice for race relations issues," Collins said.
Devoy will replace Joris de Bres, who has recently completed his second term in office.

A few trustee positions and her own directorships give her some governance experience, sure; and she must have mixed with a few different people in her time on the international sporting circuit, sure; but really? That is all general and undistinguished: why is she particularly suited to be the Race Relations Commissioner? I can't find anything compelling or even indicative that she would want, or would aspire, or would do a good job, in such a role.

Devoy's appointment by a National government is the better indication of why she was chosen. The Tories have made all manner of inappropriate and crony appointments to boards, but the ones overseeing people's rights are the ones to be alarmed about as they have the potential to influence policy in sensitive and frontline issues of concern for disempowered minorities. The selection of old Nats, Brian Neeson and Ravi Musuku, to the Human Rights Commission is the sort of conservative and reactionary forces with which National are stacking these committees. Devoy looks to be is another one.

I had the impression she was a thin-lipped, pecking, prickly piece of work from previous bits in the media over the years, so where is she at lately? She writes a column for the BoP Times. Her one for Waitangi Day last year is a classic piece of Pakeha mythology and that peculiar grevience mode the white people threatened by Maori exhibit - a yearning for it to be all like how it was in the past when the natives knew their place:

The reality is that most New Zealanders either couldn't care less or are frustrated that what should be a day of national celebration is marred by political shenanigans.

Not much different from the political posturing at Ratana the previous week.

The saving grace is at least this year we do get a public holiday. Last year, we all felt cheated that Waitangi Day fell on a weekend and we were denied that.
Waitangi has been hijacked and if it can never be really seen as a day of national celebration then perhaps the time has come to choose another true New Zealand day.

We only need to look across the Tasman to witness how Australians celebrate their day.

As a relatively young nation, we have so much to be proud of and the opportunity to be part of our own history.

We are a nation of many cultures and identities and this is not reflected on February 6.

We need a day that doesn't necessarily replace Waitangi Day but complements it.

That doesn't mean we lose sight of the significance and meaning of the Treaty but an opportunity to recognise that New Zealand is a multicultural society continuing to evolve as a nation of many people and not just Maori and Pakeha.

A recent poll showed more than 70 per cent of New Zealanders were in favour of a new holiday.

This would leave Waitangi Day to be the day that recognises the importance of Maori, but the door open for a day that we don't feel ashamed to be a New Zealander; a day where we don't only focus on the grievances of the past; a day that is positive and uplifting and, above all else, makes us feel good about ourselves. After all isn't that the real meaning of holiday?


Enough wretched cant.

To an aggrieved Pakeha brought up in the white man's mono-culture and the state policy of white superiority - such as Devoy - Waitangi Day is a hassle because it is the one day in the year those white people, the beneficiaries of the colonial project, might have to confront the unpleasant historical facts that explain how the white man came to rule the whole country from an innocuous and benign Treaty with Maori in 1840. She regards the telling of the Maori position - rather than acceptance of the earlier NZ government propaganda - as being "hijacked". Like it was supposed to be for the Pakeha (and their Maori kupapa friends) to celebrate... until those uppity Maori went and ruined it for everyone... That's what she is saying here.  That she implies she feels "ashamed" is at least a useful insight.

So does this stereotypical (and essentially redneck) reaction to Waitangi Day and her limited - or non-existent - understanding of the Maori perspective qualify her to be Race Relations Commissioner? I would have thought the opposite. She will be just another conservative, intolerant cipher in the heirarchy of New Zealand. And we've got her for 5 years, so let's hope I am grossly mistaken.

UPDATE 21/03/2013:
I was on Michael Laws' show this morning on this topic. We agreed she had an ordinary, conventional Pakeha NZer's understanding of Waitangi Day (and race relations generally I suppose), but disagreed that this could be a qualification for the post - what seemed to be the only qualification for the post beyond being female (if Judith Collins is to be believed).  The RRC isn't paid six figures for nothing. If they wanted ordinary they should pay them ordinary, but they don't because the candidate is expected to be exceptionally experienced in matters of race relations. Devoy says in  today's NZ Herald:
Dame Susan told the Herald she had done very little work in race relations but had a great interest in human rights.
"It's about doing the right things for people, doing the right thing for all New Zealanders, it's about understanding people and the issues that go with groups as opposed to having any experience with racial minority groups."
She admits she has no real experience with "racial minority groups". That in itself would be, if not a disqualification, surely a distinct disadvantage to her. How does her CVcompare to the other candidates? Were there any other candidates? -  or did Collins just choose National's symbolic representative based on gender (and after ten males in a row it's difficult to argue it shouldn't be a female) and based more importantly on demonstrating National's anti-"PC" credentials to the electorate.

Devoy's cursory interview yesterday with Duncan Garner at Radio Live is insightful. She doesn't indicate any real passion or comprehension of the role, and she doesn't say why she applied or how she got the position. More questions than answers:
Devoy: "I feel very honoured to have got this appointment"
Garner: "Is this something you were pushing for, or were you quite surprised you were shoulder-tapped?"
Devoy: "um, yeah oh nah, ah, to be perfectly honest I was a little surprised. Ah, if anything I always, um expressed an interest in the disability, um, work of the commission. Um, but yeah, I mean sometimes you spend your life thinking, ah, why you can't do something rather than why you can, and um, yeah no, I'm very excited about this challenge..."

She wasn't the only one surprised. She sounded woefully under-equipped for something as fraught and complex as reconciling racial differences. Maybe Collins considers reconciling a bank account to be adequate qualifications for reconciling the nation.

Garner: "Do you think that people in NZ have genuine grievances though?"
Devoy: "um... [long pause] hmm... can't really say that at this stage. I will have a view about that later, I assure you."

At this stage she doesn't know whether anyone in NZ has genuine grievances? The Commissioner should already be active in this field rather than this million dollar sinecure (the salary over 5 years)  being a learning experience for them.

From Oy, Devoy!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Viaduct cost

The Tories are claiming victory for Auckland motorways:--NZ National Party‏ @NZNationalParty
The newly opened Newmarket Viaduct marked the end of over a decade of improvements through Auckland’s Central Motorway
--No. No. No. It's a decade of squander. The Newmarket viaduct blew quarter of a billion dollars for the total gain of one extra lane. That's the relevant fact about the viaduct project. The oft-peddled lie - and I heard it again on the radio yesterday - that it was demolished because of earthquake risk is simply not true. The San Fransisco based engineers who drew up the first viaduct certainly did not build an earthquake risk in the mid 1960s, and it had not deteriorated to any great extent over the period. The official reason it was demolished and replaced, buried amid the spin about earthquakes (of which the maximum ever experienced in Auckland in my lifetime being a pathetic 4 on the scale), was to allow for over-sized trucks, ie. the trucking lobby getting its way and imposing their costs on everyone else. Those are the facts. The other facts surrounding this massive and pointless spend make even sadder reading: all that money blown on motorways at the insistance of the lobby-captured NZTA could have been spent on Auckland's CBD rail loop tunnel.  Right now a tunneling machine for a motorway extension through Waterview is in place:--Tunnelling will be carried out using a custom-built ‘Earth Pressure Balance Machine’ (EPBM), which will bore twin tunnels as deep as 45 metres beneath the surface, to pass below the hard-rock legacy of the region’s volcanic activity. At just over 14m in diameter, the machine will be the 10th biggest ever built globally, and will create Australasia’s largest ever tunnel.-- The place it should be tunneling is the CBD rail loop. Mayor Len Brown where are your priorities? Hopeless.

Welfare for farmers: the bosses dole

There has only been a burble of discontent over the eligibility of farmers to access WINZ payments because of the drought in the North Island. Kate has spat the dummy along with Hooton on behalf of capitalism, rightly describing it as welfare for farmers. Well let me spit the dummy on behalf of everyone else. This is about fairness and why the government treats their obviously preferred group differently to the obviously maligned group.

When a drought is declared (or other weather-related crisis event) WINZ lets farmers have 'Rural Assistance Payments'. Not the dole - an assistance payment that is classified as a 'grant'. The payments are only for farmers.
Contractors such as fencers and haymakers are not covered by this programme [...]
So the farmer - the owner of a 'land-based' business - is the class of capitalist this is designed for, no-one else regardless of how the weather has affected them is eligible. You own a car wash and can't get water to operate, or are any of the many other businesses dependent on weather and affected by the drought... the government says: too bad, tough luck, that's the market, you should have insurance, you should have saved for this event, you should borrow money to tide you over, your management is poor, you shouldn't be in business, get yourself another job, go on the dole etc. The difference in approach is quite marked to the kid gloves and pandering to farmers - the Lords of the Land.


What are the conditions for payment?
  • The applicant finds it difficult to meet essential living expenses through their farming business because of an adverse event.
  • The applicant has no other significant income.
  • Payments are cash and off-farm asset tested. Farm/orchard assets such as dairy company, meat company or fertiliser company shares are not included in the off-farm asset testing.

What are the payment details?

Payments are equivalent to the current rate of Unemployment Benefit at the time of the event.
Payments can be made for one year from date of application or for a period as approved by the Minister for Social Development, whichever is the lesser.
Payments are approved from the Monday of the week of application.
You or your partner can earn $80.00 per week (before tax) before your Rural Assistance Payments are affected.
Payments should generally be made in a lump sum representing a four-week period. You will need to re-apply every four weeks if you need ongoing assistance.

And if you venture further through the actual application form we see how the upper classes are treated when they fall upon hard times and need temporary relief.  They have a ministry-established Rural Support Trust that takes care of farmer's paperwork. No humiliating forced attendences at the WINZ branch amongst the smelly prols, discussing private details in earshot of everyone at the open office. No threats and hassles and soul-destroying begging unlike the unemployed or other beneficiaries. And just fax in the re-application. No distrust and patronising weekly payments - monthly lump sums instead! Good to be the boss, isn't it...


I declare that:

The business is in financial difficulty, by reason of a specific adverse event, and is not

producing sufficient income to meet essential living expenses without drawing on the
equity of the business.


I have a history of deriving my principal income from a land-based industry, or

My business is in the developmental stage and I intended that my income would
come from the business.


I do not have any assets unconnected with the farm operations which can be readily

converted into cash, for example, shares, term investments.


Compare all this to the position of a non-land based business or employee.
Do those laid off because of weather conditions (for example) have this fall-back? Do those laid off or businesses in tough times because of the government's own policies or an uncontrollable and unforseen international event have this fall-back? Of course not.
Farmers have a special status, an elevated and superior status, to everyone else in New Zealand. This has been confirmed by both main parties throughout history. When their time comes they escape the stigma of being a bennie through their own Trust and their own WINZ payments. When will the government institute an Urban Support Trust to help the brains-based businesses? When will they institute a Trust to help all the regular unemployed so they don't have to go through the WINZ mill?
The more I look at these inconsistencies and the unfairness of the WINZ system the concept of managing a minimum income through the IRD appeals all the more. A no-fault system with the IRD paying out to the minimum living income (after filing the application form) seems a better, more efficient way to provide a safety net than the de-humanising drudgery and bureacracy of WINZ.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Auckland's crust

Tumeke blogger emeritus, @CitizenBomber, reported a severe earthquake yesterday afternoon in central Auckland. 2 quakes (3.1 and 3.9): the sway had a weird anti-gravity effect in high rises. Auckland is only very rarely struck by earthquakes, the last ones were off Waiheke Island in about 2007. Those were only 8km deep. Sunday's was 3km. The quakes in this area are volcanic related. Rangitoto is the last active cone and sits at the north west edge of the volcanic field. For those reasons I believe the next volcano will be between Motutapu and Waiheke.

The NZ government scientists seem to be divided into separate seismology and volcanology disciplines and they seem to attribute actions accordingly. Thus the NZ Herald reports a Geonet seismologist saying no evidence of a link when common sense and intuition says otherwise:

''... at the moment nothing indicates that this is leading to any volcanic eruptions.''

It would indicate potential activity in the area mentioned above. The shallowness and location indicates it is volcanic and not from a plate movement. That's what it indicates to me.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

TV review: Native Affairs

My TV review for the The Daily Blog is over there for discussion. On Native Affairs, (Maori TV, Mondays 8:30pm).

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Shoot to arrest: the NZ Police and the IPCA

Another tarnishing of the NZ Police image and a worse tarnishing for the hopelessly misnamed Independent Police Conduct Authority. The essence of this troubling case is that a precedent has now been set that a stun gun can be used to make an arrest and gain compliance - not just to protect others. The taser was supposed to be a non-lethal alternative to a firearm, but they are being used far beyond their brief. This was the concern at the time they were introduced and so it has come to pass. The question is 'would you have used a firearm in this instance?' the answer must be no - and so the answer to whether the officer should have used a stun gun must also be no.

NZ Herald:
The police conduct watchdog has cleared an officer accused of inappropriately using a Taser to arrest a man who was backing away when he was zapped with the high-voltage weapon.

Bruce Robert Roulston made a formal complaint against the officer last year after he was Tasered in the driveway of his Christchurch home in 2010.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA), in its report released today, has found the officer was justified in using the Taser.

The complaint was made after police released footage from the Taser, which showed Roulston backing away from the officer about 12 seconds before the Taser was fired.
The two officers sent to the scene were named as Officer A and Officer B by the IPCA.

Officer A was trained in using a Taser and was granted permission from his supervisor to use the Taser if necessary.

At the home, Roulston swore at the police and threw a brick at them, which bounced and hit Officer A in the shin.

He threw a second brick at the officers before Officer A drew his Taser. He told Roulston four times to get down on the ground but he did not comply.

"After his efforts to communicate with Mr Roulston had failed, Officer A discharged his Taser once," the IPCA said.

"Mr Roulston fell backwards, hitting his head on the driveway."

The authority said the officer "believed on reasonable grounds that Mr Roulston was assaultive, posed a real threat of physical injury and could not be arrested using less force".

So the IPCA are playing the cover-up Officer A and officer B routine. They are already defending the constables rather than finding the truth. The language of "discharged his taser" is obviously NZ Police language, not that of independent investagators. They are rubber stamping the police's own internal review and nothing more.

The facts are he was, unarmed, (shirtless too from what I recall), on his own property and walking backwards with his hands above his head when the constable (who was sore about being hit in the shin with a brick he threw earlier) pulled a taser and advanced on him - escalating the situation recklessly. He shot him with the stun gun because he was unsure he could gain his arrest otherwise - that is a plain, simple misuse of that weapon. And yet the IPCA lets them off. Another pathetic day in NZ.

And last night's horrifying expose by TV3's, 3rd Degree show, demonstrating Detective Rutherford's fit-up of Teina Pora for a Malcolm Rewa's rape and murder of Susan Burdett makes this an appalling week for the NZ Police and confidence in this country's justice system.

Pontifices Maximi

SYNOPSIS: The good news about the new Pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is that he isn't a Nazi. The bad news? The old Pope is. He's still living - in a connecting apartment inside the Vatican - as a shadowy force behind the scenes in an alliance between the remnants of European Facism and the emerging force of the American Jesuits. As Ratzinger lapses into dementia his Hitler Youth brainwashing becomes manifestly apparent. Intrigue and plots foil the new pope's reforms, bishops and bankers are turning up dead all over Rome. How the ultimate odd couple will resolve their rivalry will decide the fate of the Church and the creed of their billion worshippers. It will also decide the fate of the trafficed child sex slave they are forced to harbour as the Europol taskforce close in. How long can Berlusconi's corrupt government and the idealistic young captain of the Swiss Guard support the Papacy from Hell?

Thinking Jeremy Irons for either Pope, he plays a mean pedophile. Ratzinger will basically be a zombie Dr Strangelove by the end. 'Based on reality' - yeah, sort of.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Jones report whitewash: blind to corruption

Shane Jones, the North Auckland motormouth, got his well-telegraphed whitewashed let-off from the Auditor-General (OAG) this afternoon over the scandal of his granting of citizenship to a dodgy Labour Party connected Chinese businessman. Shearer's exoneration and reinstatement of the right wing maverick looks to have been pre-prepared. His rehabiilitation (to No. 7 rank and the front bench) was a sure cert. The OAG accepted the nonsense excuses, giving maximum benefit of the doubt to Jones in spite of all the circumstantial evidence. There is no corruption in NZ... that's what they keep telling themselves.

Jones did his Labour buddies a favour to help a Labour donor out, even when he knew immigration and police had this guy under investigation. The fact Jones offered no reason (at the time, or now) for his decision that went against his officials' advice speaks volumes about his credibility. The immigration system is a mess of scams and rorts and dodgy characters. Considering this follows on from the 2005 scandal of another Chinese Labour donor (and list candidate), Stephen Ching, and further considering the Auckland Council multiple voting fraud allegations hanging over a Labour Sikh candidate, it would be fair to say the Labour Party are part of the problem.

Immigration numbers

The NZ Herald's editorial this morning, 'There's no need to fear more Asians settling in Auckland', is an articulation of the standard position of the business class, the government and the local Council's official line. They are pushing the same line because their interests are served by increasing immigration. The NZ Herald itself is an immigrant founded paper making money out of the population increase, so it is not surprising they advocate for the mass immigration policy and they run editorials as short of information as the official plans. It is a propaganda exercise when they leave information out as much as it is when they try to tell people what people think.

The premise the NZ Herald starts with is that a lack of comment on the Auckland Plan means everything is fine and there is no objection to what is being projected and what is being planned. This is not the case. Wading through a report of almost 400 pages and then relying on data that is 9 years instead of the usual 30 or 50 years is why people don't object - they aren't being told the full facts or even half. The NZ Herald continues the ruse in the editorial. They blithely tell their readers :
''Population trends mean, in effect, that Auckland's three main ethnic groups of Europeans, Asians and people of Maori and Pacific heritage will soon be of roughly equal size.''
They already are, what about after that, after 9 year? Where's that in the 30-50 years of the Plan? It isn't in the Plan and the editorial carefully avoids that crucial point too. Why? Because the trends mean the Asian group will be bigger than a third, they will be the majority and it wil be an 'Asian' city by the end of this century. That is the official plan. If you object to it you are a racist - that's the official line.

Granny Herald's assertion that Asian immigrants have created ''no significant problems'' and therefore, ''why should further increase be the subject of fear?'' could best be resolved by the Granny's own record. They promoted immigration, confiscation and exploitation from the first decade they published (1860s) and Maori went from majority to a minority in that time and lost almost everything in the process to a new order of foreigners (with the Herald making on it at every turn). That is what history has to say. And we all know how that turned out for Maori. Pakeha are being told to lie back and think of NZ as the same process happens to them. We've already witnessed Beijing orchestrated political parties, rallies, newspapers, and the PRC's cultural arm, the Confucious Institute, funding Chinese language books etc. in libraries - this is the social and political reality of large numbers from China (in particular). In present numbers, from a society 30 times as old as NZ with 250 times the population, there will be problems with integratio, and the outside power whose citizens are set to be a permanent force i(and potentially a majority eventually) in what is a fresh colony (a mere 170 years old) will act to advance their interests and their people - not ours.

But what we are dealing with now is more resentment than fear. The Pakeha profiteers from immigration sit securely in their workplaces, live in their suburbs, taking their kids to their schools, and go about their social activities amongst other Pakeha without mixing with or being effected by Asian immigrnts. These Pakeha who constitute the media, business, management and government are surrounded by Pakeha and white immigrants they can relate to and communicate with rather than the increasingly typical Pakeha (and Maori) working class experience of workplaces, neighbourhoods and situations in which they are amongst Asian immigrants and subject to their influence. That experience is very different to the elite. The elite determines NZ Immigration policy and it is about making the rich richer and the immigrant richer - not about enriching everyone. The Treasury focusses on GDP and so every warm body through customs is considered a good thing in the received ideology regardless of the net effect.

In conclusion, people just aren't told the truth by their officials or by their leaders, data is fudged (the Plan conflates European and Other to get a bare majority figure for 2021) and the mantra of 'NZ needs more people' (as the immigrant leader in another article in today's paper chanted on cue) is essentially the peddling of a narrow self-interest.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Immigration swamp

It's a simple story: Grey Power represents old racist white people and any curb on immigration is racism from those who don't accept multiculturalism and diversity as the present and future of New Zealand. So far so easy.
NZ Herald: Racism claim splits Grey Power.

'Shand: (Grey Power)''seems to have become a group of embittered old white people''

When weren't they a group of embittered old white people? That's why so many of them voted NZ First and Conservative over the years, that's why they join advocacy groups, to register protest. They are complaining the secure, predictable NZ they knew is eroding to forces of globalisation and a materialistic and wanton younger generation they cannot control, and they want to do something about it. So I expect they would object to immigration policy and in particularly the plans for Auckland.

Just because the senior citizens lobby usually speaks through a pointy white pillowcase on their head and listens through a hearing aid receiving ZB talkhate radio, doesn't mean they can't challenge the mass migration policy of the NZ government in a forum, and it shouldn't mean they are instantly, automatically labelled racist for having done so. Shand is an Auckland Labour local body politician (I believe), so he has other interests in this than GP . Is he just defending Len Brown's and the Council's policies as a partisan? Let's focus on the plan.

Having read the entire bloody thing, The Auckland Plan, all 380 pages plus separately but no less eloborately produced, Addendum, one thing stood out amid all the recycled generalisations and patronisingly intoned corporate wank-speak - by what wasn't there. Every part and component of the plan (consisting of targets, projections, benchmarks etc.) refer to 15, 20, 30 and 50 year points. At the least 15, at most 50 years or more for each item... except ethnicity.

The ethniciy projections for Aucland, unlike evry other item (including population totals!) only goes to 2021. A mere 9 years in a planning document the Mayor says is for 30 years. The question is: if they are meticulously detailing and aware of ethnicity in the plan (as they are) then why is that the only issue NOT taken to 30 years, and actually less than 10? Why do you think that would be?

They can confidently project for everything to do with the city - almost all based on populaion, but no ethnicity? They predict that Asian population category to be 27% and European/other (blurred in the publication as the only typo in the entire document I've seen) at 53% in 2021. AND THEN... Nothing. Because the white people will be in a minority after that, obviously And the 'Asians' are heading for the majority of Auckland's population, obviously. This is social and political dynamite and that is why the Auckland Council don't want to mention the obvious.

The officials and politicians would have us believe that the current (points'based 1987) mass immigration (30,000+pa) policy is somehow neutral as regards national origin and numbers. It isn't really, not in practice. It is the primary tool in the economy of colonisation: a settler mentality of buying cheap land, waiting for the immigrants to pile in, and then selling it off, repeat until rich. That was the situation just before 1840, which led to the creation of NZ, and has been so ever since. It is the mechanism whereby the political guarantee of the settlers land holding (and thus their wealth and lifestyle) is effected: so long as the settlers can keep the natives in a numerical minority (eg. Israel) they will retain the land and will claim their form of democracy legitimises this state of affairs.

What the proponents of the current system should recognise is that they are not just advocating for a white minority in Auckland in ten years, or a 20-30% Chinese component of Auckland in about 30-50 years (and maybe an eventual majority as what happened in Singapore), but they are depriving Maori of ever being a majority in their own land. That is the other projection they are obscuring in their select data. The Maori population goes up from 11 to 12% in the next 9 years, according to them, but that small growth in proportion will be reversed at the rates of immigration they use. As more people enter the country with the parallel policy of encouraging immigrants to live ives within their own communities and ease of reference back to their home nations then the chances of inter-marriage and cross-cultural encounters are being effectively discouraged. The oft-heard remark, like a brag, one hears from Maori, such as Ranginui Walker, about the brown people being a majority soon is irrelevant to Maori - they are confined to minority status with the added burden of now having to justify everything to the same white people in charge that they aren't just another (and smaller) minolrity.

Having a full discussion about immigration, race and culture (and land claims) without epithets and slogans however is almost impossible in this climate. The interests of the property-obsessed middle classes and the establishment combine with the reflexivity against racism of the lefty iiberal to create a void of public discourse. The matters are usually siloed off into the safety of specialist subject matter like real estate or economics or the Treaty rather than as a whole and Maori and their view not featuring at all in most regards. The hurdle most Pakeha find in thier mental path - and it explains their ambivalency - is the limited degree of national conciousness (compared with Maor). The Pakeha are aware of their position as the beneficiaries of the supression of Maori and that they are immigrants or the product of them, so it seems churlish and selfish and inconsistent to ever stop the sort of large scale immigration we've had since 1840. They are justifying continued colonisation based on former colonisatilon:

It is right to wonder what the population make up will be in 30, 50, 100 years - not just 9 years and wonder what might change as a result and what should stay the same. It might not be polite to mention in the leafy, white, static, Devonport, Herne Bay and the Eastern suburbs where they reap the unearned capital appreciation delivered by mass migration without having the whole face, vibe and composition of their own communities changed radically in the last 10-15 years like many working class neighbourhoods have, but it should be mentioned. Sacrificing so easily the hneritage of poorer areas whilst officialdom gets pedantic over each rung of an internal ballastrade in a nice suburb is the consequence of the policy as administered, It does all appear to be about money in the final analysis, we don't actually NEED so many extra people each year for any non-money, non-economic reason do we? There is no identified necessity on social grounds to import the tens of thousands of people NZ does year in, year out. I don't think the case for desirability was even attempted by those who have criticized this Grey Power outburst.

It wouldn't be New Zealand without massive immigration, and it won't be Aotearoa until it is stopped.


Saturday, March 09, 2013

TV review: 3rd Degree

My TV review for The Daily Blog has been posted up.

Friday, March 08, 2013

RNZ National: a foreign concept

RNZ National once had a slogan, 'Sounds like us'. Then along came the Irish lilting Noelle McCarthy, 'This way up', with inter-changeable Poms, various Americans and so they dropped that tag line. Observers will notice too that the foreign accents on RNZ are white, Europeans. Add to this the absence - the exclusion - of Maori voices and the overall impression is Radio Rhodesia National. It is a colonial institution (promoting and affirming the European and marginalising the Maori), being run as a Wellingtonian cultural expression with all the limitations and subsidisation that entails.

So I've been noting down the voices on the 9 to noon show this week as a small exercise to indicate the extent of the foreign voices. Apart from Wednesday after 10:30am. (which I missed), here are the results:

MON: 9:30 2xEng; 9:50 Eng; 10:10 USA; 10:40 Eng.

TUE: 9:40 Eng; 9:50 USA; 10:10 USA; 11:15 Eng; 11:25 Eng.

WED: 9:30 USA; 9:50 Aus; 10:10 Ind.

THU: 9:40 Eng/USA; 9:50 Eng; 10:10 Eng.

FRI: 9:10 Eng; 9:40 Aus, ... 11:20 Irish

The time on air is quite long being in a public broadcasting format: between 5 - 25 mins. That is a lot of listening to sounds not like us. This is an odd concept of National: the opposite of what should be expected. Some of the above are NZ residents (like Rod Oram and the one after him on Tuesday), but this rather underscores the Europhilic fetish at RNZ. What is the bet the behind thescenes staff are similarly composed? Is the cultural cringe maintained by the supposed higher talents from abroad? I get the feeling the only brown people at RNZ are the cleaners. There have been no Maori or Pacific or (NZ)Asian voices yet this week from what I recall. The brown folk are allowed to do the music, but not to speak. It's a white person's radio station for white people after all, that's their heritage and they appear to be making the most of it. I doubt it could survive a serious assault in the Waitangi Tribunal now.

An incoming government should hold an inquiry into RNZ: what and for whom are they broadcasting? Why should the state provide a network. Just for middle-aged Pakeha who don't like ads? There's plenty of other citizens who don't like ads either, so where's their equally state subsidised network?

A recent occurence can serve as an illustration of the present ssituation: a Pakeha leftist is cut from a panel and there's a great deal of discussion about the merits and ethics of it (as there should be), but not having any Maori or brown or non-white people on the whole of RNZ is never discussed. The ease and capacity for the European to exclude and ignore the non-European - indivvidually, but especially in collusion - is well documented despite the fact they rely on the passive forces of silence, denial, omission, ignorance and inertia to maintain control.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Census: getting personal

Following my concerns the census is collecting personal identification (rather than the data they claim to be interested in) I sent them a tweet querrying the 'statistical purposes' of making people fill out their full name and full date of birth. The first response from @2013Census was that ''It's for admin reasons so we can be sure everyone is counted.'' I thought they would say that, but they shift from a statistical purposes justification to an administratilon excuse that raises more questions. So I ask 'Is the name and DOB keyed in as data?' The reply was to go to the. What happens to your census forms?.

They tell us they digitally scan all the paperforms and destry them afterwards. What they DO NOT say - certainly nowhere I've found - is that they do not record the names and DOBs. They must be scanning everything therefore, and that means everything to identify everyone. The 'just trust us' line and assurances of legislation amounts to a skeletonised fig leaf to protect confidentiality. It isn't enough. If they admit (or at least can understand) they can have no legitimate reason to collect full names and exact DOBs then they should not demand that information. In any event it should not have to be given. The fact is as soon as they have the info it's theirs to do with as they please, it is merely a statutory amendment or regulatory order away from being over-turned. They cannot assure confidentiality, they cannot rule out future misuse. The WW1 conscription boycotters in Waikato who were rounded up because the police used the census info are testament to the fragility of such assurances.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

MRP privatisation: re-nationalisation options

The pre-looting has begun. The traitor's bribe - a 'loyalty bonus' in the euphemism of the National government - will be pushed on the surface by an unnecessary million dollar ad campaign and deeply cut with an undercurrent by many more millions in unnecessary brokerage and admin to the middlemen. It's a sordid business. But how to remedy the channelled greed of the Tories?

What would a 'State Owned Enterprises (Return of Assets to Full Public Ownership) Bill' of an incoming left bloc government look like?

It could be HARD: Crown will refund all shareholders only initial investment paid, so no windfall profits. Possibly also a harder clause for foreign shareholders to send a message and to keep a relative NZ preference. Or it could be SOFT: a staged buy up by the NZ Super Fund and other public funds (ACC, EQNZ etc.) to get to 90% public holdings, then consolidate and initiate takeover buyback at this point for remaining shares. This process may take a few years rather than a few months. But going soft means letting the looters carry off superprofits on the float, which doesn't seem like an adequate solution. Soft or hard it would be good to get some indications from the opposition parties about what a re-nationalisation would look like, how funded, timeline, position of shareholders etc.

Looking at the headline again I'm reminded of the irony that it is the National Party that is against nationalisation. Key has said he expects 20 - 30% of the initial share float to be taken up by foreigners. So that's on day 1, in a few years time where will that be? National indeed. And the 'loyalty' bonus not being available to the Iwi they're settling with!? Maori on the one hand; New Zealanders on the other. The Nats enforcement of second class citizenship crosses into every sphere. Maori aren't capable or worthy of the benefits of loyalty - that is the message.

Monday, March 04, 2013

MRP privatisation: it's not looting if we form a queue

When John Key says he is confident that 85'90% of Mighty River Power shares will remain in NZ hands after his government has gotten rid of 49% of it on budget day this year, he is also saying confidently that 10 - 15% will be foreign owned. This statement is more an assurance to foreign investors than domestic. 20 - 30% of the float will end up off-shore according to Key. They could have allocated that to the NZ Superfund to ensure everyone got value, but no - the unnecessary private gouging of public assets by the wealthier classes is National's open agenda. The loyalty bonus being talked of is a looter's dream: if you stick around long enough he'll hold the door open so you can have another go. It is such a simple case of self-interest and the rich getting richer (at the expense of the poor) hopefully most people can see the Torys for what they are... and vote accordingly.

Census anon

Why do they want your full name and DOB for the census? They used to say it was to identify who to contact if there was a problem with the forms or to collect them. Bullshit. Now they say it's so that people can leave their forms in the arcnives for geneologists and family in the future. Bullshit. The reason they seek unnecessary and irrelevant personal information is to data-match, to use the data to find and assess individuals. It was this mis-use described in Michael King's biography on 'Princess' Te Puea Herangi during WW1 Waikato Tainui resisted the conscription and so the NZ government and the NZ Police unlawfully used the census information to track the resisters down. Nothing has really changed. The NZ government and their agencies cannot be trusted with this information. They are opportunistic and prefer to break the law and get a validating order afterwards than to follow the rule of law.

The question is: to boycott the census entirely, or to boycott the personal parts of the form. I suggest the latter. Yes, it is still giving agencies - and others purchasing the data commercially or accessing it by legislative right - too much info that could lead to possible identification; but not returning a form and not counting altogether will have adverse outcomest through the cumulative effect of undercounting. Mr An On, b.00/00/197- ought to be sufficient.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

TV review

My first TV review for the The Daily Blog is posted over there. Massive traffic to the site on Friday's launch date from what I understand. Congratulations to Mr Bradbury and all those involved. I've heard very positive feedback about it from people - mostly about the solid content - not so much about my review... which I am ever hopefully interpreting as opinion-provoking and a critical success... Feminists hating on it in other words; which is fair enough, they are naturally sensitive to the sexism in bad taste jokes about women's sexuality - as the religious are sensitive to bad taste jokes that involve their beliefs. So how lucky was it I had the presence of mind to delete this line: 'Catholics should be most appalled by 7 Sharp as they are opposed to all forms of abortion'. Very. Will have something more cerebral than these ephemeral trivialities next week.