Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Why cannot the spouses of Kiwi MPs enjoy paid-for porn?

Oh how we laughed at the UK Home Secretary putting in an expenses claim for her husband's pornography.
But as Britain becomes embroiled in an uproar over this and other related scandals, just what is the system in New Zealand?
I cannot for one minute imagine the husband of Judith Collins, who is perhaps the nearest Kiwi equivalent to Jacqui Smith, wanting to buy porn and asking the taxpayer to pay, but what if he did?
What are the New Zealand rules with regards expenses? I don't know the New Zealand system for MPs having expenses and claiming for them. But do we have budgets, bulk funding or what?
I do recall various housing allowance scandals involving a Marion Hobbs and Phylidda Bunkle a while back, but New Zealand seems to have been spared the rampant abuse of Gordonistan.
Surely our honorable members cannot be more honorable or honest, even during the corrupt Helengrad years?
Or is our system more easy? Our press more compliant? Or what?
Why don't we produce our MPs expenses, so David Farrar or Whale Oil can post them on his blog like Guido Fawkes has here on a website ?
Why don't we have shocking stories like the husband and wife MPs who claimed £250,000 for a second home.
Where is our list of the ten most outrageous claims, like what The Times has published?.
So, as Britain faces various calls in the blogs and in the media for a review of the system, we seem to be escaping such scandals.
Why? Have we got it right; and if so what advice should we give the Brits?

David Bain questions for the day

Why did Robin Bain change jerseys after he had killed his family and in particular Stephen Bain?

In this series of photos we see Robin Bain was wearing a brown jersey when discovered, yet fibres from underneath the fingernails of Stephen Bain indicate a struggle with someone who wore a green jersey.

Why would Robin Bain wash the jersey, hang it on the line, and then change into a brown jersey?

Has Key laid a trap??? Will Uncle's UN corruption come out in the wash?

John Key has received a chorus of approval for dealing with his two naughty schoolboys.
He has shown fine leadership, but Liarbour is already licking its lips at the prospect of scandal.
Phil Goff is trying to appear saintly over the Richard Worth conflict of interest issue, saying he would have taken stronger action against him.
Annette King has made some comments about 'transparency.'
Labour is aiming to make hay over the issue in parliament today.
Now, considering the many many scandals of the Helengrad years it all seem a bit like the pot calling the kettle black. Indeed, the religious amongst us might want to say to Liarbour, 'let he who without sin, cast the first stone.'
But here we go. Liarbour feels it has its first scandal and questions are set for parliament this afternoon.
Whale Oil has noted how government MPs and Ministers have responded well underfire, a 'smackdown' for all the lefty probing.
So I hope National is well briefed to entrap Liarbour once more.
Indeed, at the weekend we were treated to a major scandal, one that the MSM has yet to pick up.
Ian Wishart delivered an appropriate closing chapter to Uncle Helen's Kiwi Career.
To paraphrase Annette King, all those donations 'is not a good look.'
Liarbour could well have made itself one almighty trap if it pushes the 'conflicts of interests' issue. And I hope National has it in them to use it.
Uncle Helen donating taxpayer money to the UN at the most interesting times, and then getting a job there, seems a most interesting conflict of interest to me.
I am sure that UN-Gate is a far bigger scandal than Richard Worth and one that finally needs its audience in the mainstream media.
How lovely to see corruption and conflicts of interest come up so soon.
Indeed, let he who is without sin, cast the first stone!

Right On Cue

Just when the hand wringers and panty wetters were getting up a head of steam to oppose ACT's three strike proposals, along came Haiden Mark Davis, courtesy of Mr Barry Matthews and his shambolically incompetent Corrections Department.

Haiden Mark Davis

This charming fellow had no less than twelve previous offenses, including one for a vicious and premeditated assault. He was out on bail when he murdered an innocent young girl.

What more could Rodney ask for?

Reshuffle or Recycle?

Whaleoil has beaten me to it with a pithy post on two naughty schoolboys.

Can anyone imagine a more striking difference between National/John Key and Labour/Helen Clark than this demonstration of leadership style?

Internal Affairs Minister Richard Worth (left) and Environment Minister Nick Smith both felt John Key's wrath today. Photos / Martin Sykes / Mark Mitchell
photo pinched from Herald

Adolf tried in vain to think of anything useful by way of public utterances or doings which could be attributed to the worthless National Party list MP from Epsom. Useful to the Party, that is.

At least Nick Smith has some PR (vote winning) runs on the board with his agressive handling of ACC. BTW, Adolf last week attended a conference session hosted by ACC and he left it in no doubt that ACC expects to face competition and is gearing up for it. Good on them.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Out of touch

Just a quick pithy post.

We have probably all overdosed on tales of malfeasance by the UK Labour party here. And at my place too just quietly.
But it occurred to me that UK Labour really are out of touch with the common man when the husband of a senior cabinet minister gets sprung buying porn.

Who actually pays for porn?

For crying out loud, has the man no access to broadband and a computer?

Rise of Sea Levels the "greatest lie ever told"

Says an actual ocean scientist, one who has been studying oceans in the field as opposed to watching them on computer screens, via the Daily Telegraph.

Hat Tip: Crusader Rabbit.

Cross-checking at TVNZ

Close Up ran a story tonight about a fraudster named Ashley Palmer and how he is taking deposits from the elderly and others to build portable kitchens and granny flats but then not actually building them anything. From these two he, or more's the point his company Envirotech Industries Limited, gobbled up about $60,000.00. They interviewed Palmer who supplied some bullshit and then proceeded to try and leave the interview when his victims turned up.

He has many convictions for fraud the story told us.

Well Gooner has discovered where some of the victims' hard-earned money went. Back to TVNZ through advertising spending.

You see during the ad break of Close Up there was an ad for a company called, um, er Envirotech Industries Limited, and they were advertising, um er portable kitchens and granny flats.

Not sure what a 30 second slot on Close Up costs but I bet it ain't cheap.

Probably around $60K I reckon.

UPDATE: A search at the Companies Office reveals a Graham Ashley Palmer is the sole director of Envirotech.
Here’s one for Barnsley and FFM:

Hungarian-born US billionaire George Soros says it is "conceivable" that Britain will have to resort to a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

"It's conceivable," Soros said in an interview with the Times published on Saturday.

"You have a problem that the banking system is bigger than the economy ... so for Britain to absorb it alone would really pile up the debt."

Soros said that "if the banking system continued to collapse, it's (an IMF bailout) a possibility but it's not a likelihood."

The man who made $US1 billion on selling the pound on Black Wednesday in 1992 described the current recession as a "once-in-a-lifetime event", particularly in Britain.

"This is a crisis unlike any other. It's a total collapse of the financial system with tremendous implications for everyday life.

"On previous occasions when you had a crisis that was threatening the system the authorities intervened and did whatever was necessary to protect the system.
This time they failed."

He said he feared the problem in Britain, with its huge financial and banking interests, could be greater than in the United States.

At Last, A Beacon of Common Sense

For a clear and concise summary of the politics of Fiji and the associated folly of Clark's regime, you could not go past this morning's Herald opinion piece by Dr David Neilson, senior lecturer at, of all places, that hot bed of socialist sin, Waikato University.

"Contrary to widespread thinking and unlike previous coups, the December 2006 Bainimarama-led takeover was not to protect the indigenous heritage from Indo-Fijian-supported, Labour Party-led Governments.It was motivated by the perceived corruption of Laisenia Qarase's SDL party Government, and against its institutional racism towards Indo-Fijians."

You would never have guessed this from the strident rhetoric of Clark, Peters and, I regret to say, McCully and Co when in opposition.

"There's also a strong prima facie case, according to the Commission of Inquiry into the 2006 Fiji General Election, to indicate that this election was systematically corrupt and probably denied for the third time in Fiji's recent history the election of a Labour Party-led Government."

Somewhat like like NZ's 2005 election was rigged by way of illegal spending on the part of Clark and Co. Quarase had very experienced mentors in Clark and Peters.

Here is the most astute of observations:-

"But substantive problems arise because the achievement of a genuine democracy is not simply given by universal franchise.

The developed world often thinks democracy is a straightforward gift to developing nations and that its repeated failure has nothing to do with the complexities of achieving democracy. Despite obvious and less obvious anomalies, election observers from the UN and the developed world are keen to rubber-stamp just about any election."


The Commodore is absolutely right to politely tell the UN, The Pacific Forum, New Zealand, Australia and all other do gooder busy bodies to fuck off and mind their own business.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

All we did was fail to stop him saving the Earth

I went to see Watchmen today, so here's a pathetic imitation of a film review.

I took my son along to see it, as he's read the comic and was keen to go (and it gave me an excuse to go). He's only 13, so the poor girl taking tickets had to ask him for ID and then be browbeaten by me into letting him in on my say-so. I felt a bit ashamed of myself for it, but fuck it - if I ever want Bill Hastings to tell me what movies are OK for my kids to see, I'm capable of asking him myself, thanks.

I was more impressed with Watchmen than I expected to be. It's a long time since I read the comic, so can't really comment on how closely the film followed it (pretty closely, according to my far-from-photographic memory), but it did do a reasonable job in capturing what the book was actually about, which was the surprising thing. If there's one thing Hollywood hates it's moral ambiguity, and that's largely what Watchmen is about so it was a bit of a surprise to see that ambiguity survive the production process intact.

Hollywood isn't the only place that hates moral ambiguity, of course. I read a hilarious review linked to from Not PC, in which an Ayn Rand enthusiast finds the film "evil" exactly because of the way morality is anything but black and white in it. If there's anything an ideologue finds more offensive than the concept that morality isn't explained by a simple formula, I've yet to encounter it. Lotsa laffs if you have time to waste.

The crowning ambiguity of the movie is of course the climactic scene where our heroes confront the super bad guy in his secret base and discover that they're not only too late to stop his evil scheme, they're going to have to let him away with it if they don't want to return the world to its nuclear Mexican standoff. Disappointingly, my favourite line from the comic wasn't included in the movie: "All we did was fail to stop him saving the Earth."

Also disappointing: despite one of the points of the thing being to consider costumed crime fighters as ordinary people, the director couldn't resist giving them superhuman strength and reactions and making them impervious to damage or pain. I kept waiting for him to offer some plausible explanation of how a puny guy like Veidt has such inhuman strength and agility (not to mention how the portly Dan achieves barely inferior capabilities), but it never came. I guess the special effects arms race has a lot to answer for.

Earth Hour not useless after all shock

We did get a useful learning moment out of Earth Hour. My son noticed coverage of it on 3 News, and when they got to the footage of people lighting up candles insteading of switching on the lights, he asked "But wouldn't burning candles be worse for the environment than leaving the lights on?" Correct, mate - all the so much worse for the fact that the bulk of our electricity's being generated from renewable resources. But leaving the lights on doesn't give you that warm feeling of superiority generated by participation in meaningless gestures.

My daughter's contribution to Earth Hour learning moments was to ask whether the windmills above the town are supplying our house's electricity. In the interests of promoting national goodwill and co-operation I told her "Only partly, my girl - it all goes into the national grid, and our house gets its electricity from the national grid. I'm afraid those dirty, dirty Auckland huas are also getting our good clean Manawatu electricity." (I read this on a protest pamphlet a couple of years back, so it must be true.)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

David Bain questions for the day

If you were Robin Bain, why would you wear gloves to prevent your fingerprints being left at the scene or on the rifle?

After all, you are going to kill your family and yourself and then leave a computer message for David. Why would you try and hide your identity, if you wanted tell the world it was you?

Friday, March 27, 2009

How to get away with a crime

There'll be tumbleweeds blowing through here soon - n0thing to keep the readers away like having a dry piece of historiography as your only post for 36 hours.

Anyway, normal service is resumed with a tough-on-crime post. I watched 3News' usual emotion-laden blather passing for reportage about Some-ridiculous-crim-kid-name Broughton's sentencing last night (Stuff's story here), and wondered how his earlier victim Zara Schofield must feel about the fact that he's essentially been let off for his attack on her.

How else could you describe our practice of giving concurrent sentences? This little weasel got a minimum 12.5 years for murdering Karen Aim. Zara Schofield gets to sit there and watch how the mere 6 years he got for failing in his attempt to murder her (incompetence rewarded, how very NZ) is made concurrent with the longer sentence, ie the only sentence he'll actually serve is the one he got for Karen Aim.

I feel like we've let Zara Schofield down. Stupid-name Broughton, a broken thing that's obviously lost or simply never had whatever it is that makes us human, should be serving a sentence for her before he even starts serving the one he got for Karen Aim - giving him concurrent sentences is simply a message to Schofield that she doesn't count, and a message to Broughton that the last crime for which you get caught is the only one for which you'll be punished.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Really-existing socialism pt 2

NB: this post isn't about Dresden and no correspondence on that subject will be entered into.

I'm still slowly ploughing through Walter Weidauer's "Inferno Dresden." I'm interested in the subject matter, but a historical work in the German of 50 years ago isn't light bedtime reading by anyone's standards, so I'm taking it a bit at a time.

It's weird reading a historical work about events of WW2 written by a Stalinist. It's kind of a distorted mirror of the more propagandist Western history a la Stephen Ambrose, in which the honest people of goodwill on the Soviet side, who want only peace and stability in Europe, mount a heroic struggle not only against the evil forces of fascism but against the secret agendas and undermining duplicity of their so-called allies, the imperialists Churchill and Roosevelt. As an example, consider these descriptions of the Yalta conference (all translations mine):

The representatives of the three powers, the USSR, the USA and England, came to Yalta with different plans and concepts for the shape of post-war Europe. While the USSR sought ways to a genuine peaceful order, the views of the statesmen of England and the USA reflected the wish on the one hand to remove annoying German competitors from world markets, and on the other to be able to dictate political terms to a greatly weakened and bled-out USSR. pp18-19

The Soviet Union stood firmly against any plans and intentions that would lead to the partition of Germany for the purpose of maintaining the dominance of imperialism and militarism in at least a part of the country. Its main aim at all times was the creation of a peaceful, democratic Germany forever free from chauvinism and militarism. p20

(I swear the above isn't a 'Dim Post'-style satire, but direct quotes.)

The book's also a kind of distorted mirror of the view of WW2 common amongst NZers. In NZ, WW2 European theatre is usually seen as a struggle of the democracies against fascism, which was fought mainly in North Africa, Italy and western Europe, with some insignificant sideshows fought by the commos, who were only able to get anywhere against the Germans thanks to our propping them up. In Weidauer's book, WW2 is a struggle of the Soviet Union against fascism, which was fought mostly within the Soviet Union, apart from some insignifcant sideshows mounted by the imperialists, who were only able to get anywhere against the Germans thanks to the Soviet Union taking on the bulk of their forces. (Most depressingly, Weidauer's tunnel vision is in this respect way less unrealistic than ours.)

The strangest thing for me though is the enthusiasm with which Weidauer, a German, discusses the successes of the Red Army against his own countrymen. He offers figures for casualties the Soviet forces inflicted on the Wehrmacht with such obvious pride that you could be forgiven for thinking he'd worn a Soviet uniform himself. The man is of course a Quisling - as a long-time member of the KPD (German Communist Party) he was a loyal servant of Stalin and was rewarded after the war with the mayoralty of Dresden, so naturally he's a supporter of his imperial patrons. Still, it's strange to read the obvious pleasure with which he describes the destruction and enslavement of his own country by totalitarian forces as bad as the ones he'd opposed.

Thanks to the superior leadership and rapid advance of the Red Army, the eastern front was a bottomless pit for the fascist Wehrmacht. To try and stop the Soviet forces at all costs, new formations were constantly created and thrown into battle. Almost always, the Red Army was opposed by an enemy well equipped with weapons of all kinds [this would have been news to the typical Landser of 1944 - PM]. Reports reveal for example that most divisions during 1944 were completely re-equipped from the ground up 3 times. Panzer divisions were re-equipped with tanks 5 or even 6 times. The crews however could only be partly replaced. So the Hitlerwehrmacht slowly bled completely out under the blows of the Soviet Army, and the German armaments industry couldn't cover the enormous material losses over the long term. p32

In extremely heavy fighting, the Soviet soldiers had driven the fascist Wehrmacht from the Volga to the Oder and east Prussia. The German generals tumbled from one defeat to another. Despite the bitter resistance of the fascists, the Soviet offensives stormed onwards. Often it was only difficulties with maintaining supplies that prevented Soviet forces from continuing to attack the badly defeated enemy. At this point nothing more could prevent the full, catastrophic collapse of Hitlerdeutschland. p42

On the 26th of January it was still 195km to Berlin. On the 30th it was 160km and by the 1st of February the Red Army stood only 70km from Berlin. In the south they pushed far westwards from Breslau during the course of the January offensive. In the clear nights, the sound of artillery was clearly audible in the heights around Dresden. This Soviet offensive cost the Wehrmacht around 500,000 men, over 1000 aircraft, about 1500 tanks and self-propelled guns and more than 11,500 artillery pieces and rocket launchers. The danger to allied troops on the western front was thereby set aside with one blow. German resistance in the west remained weak.

Millions and millions of people, driven from their homes by the animalistic fascists, dragged themselves westwards; p46

You have to admire the way the flood of Jerry refugees risking their lives to trek westwards is because they were driven from their homes by the "animalistic fascists" (vertierten Fascisten). And naturally, the orgy of rape, torture, murder, looting, destruction and arson the Red Army kicked off when it arrived in East Prussia on its noble quest to bring peace and order to Germany doesn't rate a mention. It's an interesting book in that it makes me wonder what German histories of the war would look like if the Nazis had won. Probably a lot like this one, but with the names and epithets swapped around, I guess. Reading it reminds me of the Iran/Iraq war, in that both sides are equally unsavoury so you don't feel like you can cheer one on against the other.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What Recession?

Adolf drove back to Auckland after a couple of morning appointments at Paengaroa and Mt Maunganui today.

Stopped at Katikati to get a couple of pieces of Tarakihi (no chips) and a couple of muscles for lunch - from the local Shark and Shavings shop run by a Chinese family.

Cruised up the to the shady and grassy layby at Athenrea and sat down beside the car on the grass to enjoy lunch. Delicious.

As I sat there watching the traffic go by I suddenly realised there was a steady stream of fully loaded logging trucks heading for Port of Tauranga, a steady stream of produce trucks heading for Auckland, a steady stream of camper vans going both ways and squeezed into what road was left, a steady stream of small commercial and private vehicles.

If the media would just shut up about the recession for five minutes, people might regain their confidence and invest in activities which generate employment.

Everywhere I went I encountered from people resentment on the part of business people at the spoiling and juvenile role being played by the media in over cooking their 'recession' stories.

They are quick to report on job losses but almost never ever report on newly created jobs.

On a different subject, there were some priceless gems today on question time.

Some jerk asked Rodney Hide - 'Can he explain what he meant when he said blah blah blah?'

Rodney stood up and delivered a three word reply - "Yes, I can"

Monday, March 23, 2009

Earth Hour fun

I have just read a press release issued by North Shore City Council about Earth Hour and how they are proud to promote it etc. Yeah, yeah.

Anyhow, it was pointed out to me that we have the chance to win a brand new car by going into a draw. Cool.

Luckily, when you enter you get to comment on what Earth Hour means to you.

Can I suggest we all have some fun and enter the draw and in the comments please write what Earth Hour means to you, as I have.

I need to add that my daughter came home from school tonight saying how she was excited about Earth Hour this Saturday. I explained it was on at 8:30pm and she would be in bed by then and also said (mean-spiritedly according to my wife) that she should go to school tomorrow and proudly announce that we weren't taking part in Earth Hour as "daddy says global warming (oops, Climate Change) is not real".

Because it *is* our problem

Remember the ad? It featured the blogosphere's very own Russell Brown. He was the rational, bearded father extolling that child abuse is *our* problem. In other words we mustn't ignore it if we see it happening. That's fair enough. On the weekend I tried it out.

Being young & pretentious, my wife and I, and our daughter (who is of sufficent age to actually be called young and pretentious) checked out the race course for next weekend's Weetbix Tryathlon in St Heliers. We showed our eight year old where to make her move on the bike and then where to surge on the 1K run to come home in place #3,675. It went totally over her head.

But after talking about it we were all hungry and so the bakery in St Heliers, whose name escapes me, beckoned. We were lucky as there was a park right outside. In strolled wife and daughter who were under strict instructions to purchase for me a wholemeal chicken roll and nothing else. No pie. No donut. No cake. No sugary drink. My orders were followed without demur.

But as they were inside purchasing, outside eating was a lady with a 10 year old boy (or so). I presumed it was mother/son. It was with this couple whom I witnessed the child abuse.

This poor boy had a fat guts. And I'm not talking puppy fat that toddlers have. This boy was at least 10 and he had rolls of fat that could clearly be seen through his shirt. His mother was quite thin and it was with uncaring eyes through which she witnessed him stuffing his face with lolly cake, a pie and a chocolate milk drink - a large one at that.

I couldn't help myself. I had to intervene on the child abuse. I got out of the car and said she couldn't do that; it was against the law. She asked what I was talking about. I replied "abusing your son like you are doing". She looked strangely at me and asked "what abuse? I never hit my son. What are you talking about"? I apologised for intervening but explained as the TV ads featuring Russell Brown said it was *our problem*, and therefore *my problem* I had to step in when I saw abuse. She again queried what abuse I was talking about - that she didn't hit anyone, let alone her son and was I nuts? That was a fair question.

Then I just gave her a number: 580. I explained that she had just hit her kid 580 times: that's the number of calories I estimated he had just consumed for lunch and how he needed to exercise in excess of an hour this afternoon, solidly, to burn it off.

At this stage my wife and daughter had come out of the bakery with my singular wholemeal chicken roll. I looked at mum and son, pointed at my roll, and said "180".

We left. Point proven hopefully.

If in the future you want me to mind my own business don't go on TV stating it is *our* problem. You might save a well annointed mum from St Heliers a whole lot of embarrassment.***

*** I should point out I suppose that I saw what was mentioned in this post but never intervened. Mind you it was verrry tempting. My point is this: is there a limit on what is child abuse and what isn't? Because what I witnessed was, in my view, child abuse and therefore, according to Russell, was my problem to sort out.

S92A..... So what. The polite version

We would all have ignored it anyway.
Many of us suspected this was foisted on us for a few reasons.

1.Tizard is a shameless freeloading trougher and the "luvvies" filled her up with liquid panty remover to get it in.
2. The yanks demanded it as part of Phill Goffs fake free trade talks with the USA which was never anything more than a patronising pat on the head anyway.
3. Labour wanting to shut down the noise.. That noise being the blogs who all use pinched pics.

How nice it is to be able to look up without fear of the labour party smashing it's boot in our teeth anymore.

Disclosure.. Have never downloaded any music... YET.
But as my local Warehouse does not stock Back in Black which needs replacing on CD after the first born STOLE it when he visited at Xmas....... Can somebody point me to a place where I can acquire this electronically without being forced to endure a legion of pop ups.
Oh, and it needs to be in a format that can save to my Ipod. I am up to 237 days of paid for music on this magnificent piece of kit but without Back in Black it is like Xmas without trifle.

Cross posted at the sewer with the sweary bits put back in.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Future political leaders

Here is the future of ACT.

A budding-right-wing politician took out the New Zealand Vegemite Spelling Bee in Wellington yesterday, the second time in a row for a Hamilton Boys High School student.

Christopher Jury, 13, out-spelled 12 other year-nine students from around the country, winning a trip to Washington DC for an international spelling bee and a 375,000-word dictionary to study...Jury plans to become a politician and is already an Act Party member...

Meanwhile the future leader of the Labour Party (picture below) makes a headline himself.

Ex banker's crocodile tears

The headline trumpeted it all: Mortgage break fees: are you being ripped off?

The first paragraph set the scene.

A FORMER bank executive says the complex formulas some banks use to
calculate mortgage break fees mean
customers are being charged thousands more
than they should be to change their loans

Uh oh. The banks are in trouble I thought.

But let's read the story a little more closely shall we.

ASB, BNZ and the National Bank look at the change in "customer" interest rates the rates you see advertised in the window of the bank when calculating their break fees, yielding costs that Bolton says are quite fair.

But Kiwibank, Westpac and ANZ, and other lenders including GE and Wizard, base their calculations on the change in the "wholesale" interest rates (the rates banks pay to borrow from elsewhere). Because wholesale rates have fallen faster than customer rates, break fees calculated this way can be far higher.

Kiwibank, ANZ and Westpac deny their formulas do anything other then recoup the costs of breaking customers' loans. Westpac said: "We do not agree that our prepayment cost formula is inappropriate or that it overstates the loss suffered by the bank when a fixed rate loan is prepaid."

Kiwibank said: "The bank is certainly not `over-collecting' as only the genuine cost of breaking this external liability is passed on to the customer." ANZ said its formula reflected the actual costs incurred when a customer broke their contract.

Bolton says a bank using a customer rate break fee formula would not have charged Garabet anything, and using a fairer estimate of the bank's true cost of breaking Garabet's loan, the charge should have been around $4800.

Bolton says in normal times either calculation would yield similar break fees, but these are not normal times so all lenders should be using the "customer" rates, as it gives a fairer result.

In one instance a Kiwibank customer was quoted $45,800 to break their
$285,000 mortgage when, by Bolton's calculations, it should have been just
$25,300 (see table). Bolton is a former Westpac and ANZ executive, so knows how
banks fund their mortgages and therefore calculate break fees. His calculations are the first public attempt to show that banks are over-charging.

Over-charging? WFT?

It's pretty simple what this story is really about. It's about the loan contract you enter into with your lender. You ask for a loan. The bank says yes. They produce a form. You sign it. If we forget for a moment about the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act which defines oppressive credit contracts (bank loan contracts essentially) we have the situation here where the contract you sign is working against you.


But what the SST and said banker want to make this story about is in the word highlighted above. It's not fair. It's got nothing to do about the banks "over-charging".

Boo hoo.

Life ain't fair Mr Bolton. Get used to it. Or when you refinance with Westpac, as I will be in a few months, amend the loan form to refer to "customer" rates rather than "wholesale" rates if that is what you want. If Westpac doesn't wear it then I'll be telling them I'll take my $250K mortgage to a bank that will come to that particular party.


UPDATE: As Paul says in the comments, the wholesale rate is probably where it's at in the near future.

Momentous change

Another Barnsley Bill medical update..
This is now all fixed, suede shoes can now be worn again.

And because of this I am doing this........... Soon.

Cross posted at the sewer

Less Than Three Months

Am I the only person who is amazed it has taken The Messiah less than three months to make Dubbya by comparison look like a genius?

Yeah, that's The Messiah with the skinny black legs and the big ears.

Matt lights up again

Matt really should quit smoking bananas

I like to think it has dawned on most people that unfettered capitalism is
just a form of gangsterism and is past its use-by date.

The real problem is that unfettered capitalism only exists between Matt's ears.

If it did exist people would have the freedom to choose to enjoy cigarettes and the freedom to take responsibility and pay for any nasty consequences to their actions.

It is actually unfettered socialism that is the problem.

Telling people that the state will look after then, regardless of their choices, personal responsibilities and actions is what is really past its used-by date.

If Matt's world really existed two things would have happened by now

1. Labour would have used it's 9 years of unfettered socialist gangsterism to throw tobacco companies out.

2. No one would now smoke in Cuba -the home of the world's finest cigar.

What did you learn today, kid?

I've been having an argument with Anna over at the Hand Mirror about Boscawen's proposed bill to modify the worst features of Bradford's S59 amendment (Grant posted on it further down).

My view is that Boscawen's got rich political pickings here, and if lefties don't like that they should blame Sue Bradford and Helen Clark for it, not ACT and Family First. But anyhoo, among the usual strawmen and false analogies offered by anti-smackers was this:

...during the 90s, ACT went to the polls with a policy of lowering the age of criminal responsibility to 12. So a few years ago, ACT thought of children as calculating, rational and culpable creatures that needed to be called to account in the dock. Now, they're dumb things that need to be hit so they can learn.

Leaving aside the fact that a 12-year-old isn't someone you're able to discipline with a slap on the arse, I'm interested in the idea that smackers supposedly think kids need to be hit so they can learn.

The bit about needing to be hit to learn was presumably hyperbole, but it did cause me to ponder what I actually learned from the occasional thoroughly well-deserved smack I got as a kid. According to liberals, what I learned was that violence is a good means of getting your own way, but given that the last time I threw a punch was in school, that lesson doesn't seem to have worked too well. I think what I actually learned from my parents smacking me was more like this:

1. Behaviour has consequences.

2. If you behave badly enough, the consequences can get swift and unpleasant.

3. If there's a credible threat, you pay attention to warnings.

4. If you push people far enough, they will hurt you.

5. It's possible for situations to arise in which even otherwise placid and charitable people are best served by some carefully targeted violence.

It may not be the stuff of which episodes of "The Waltons" are made, but frankly I think these are good, valuable lessons and I'm glad my parents troubled themselves to teach them to me. Perhaps liberals manage to get the same lessons across to their own kids in some way, but I have my suspicions about that.

They Never Learn

The good people at Radio Left Wing don't seem to understand NZ is no longer a socialist's utopia.

The lead story at 0300 was a rant from some jumped up heavily accented WOG (westernised oriental gentleman) from the inexorably corrupt United Nations, berating NZ for being number 15 on the OECD list of 22 nations which donate foreign aid. This looks like another of those feel good socialist bed wetting projects the Bilious Bitch and her mates signed us up to in 2000. They've called it The Millenium Project.

Mr Korruption himself, Kofi Annan and a UN head tilter

Adolf has some advice for these pricks from the UN.

Go and tell all your yabbering Ayrab and African mates to stop buying Kalashnikovs and spend the money on the poor. Problem solved overnight.

When we can improve our health system so that our citizens no longer die by the thousand waiting for treatment; when we improve our defense forces to the stage that we can put aircraft onto the sky and ships onto the sea all year round instead of just 120 days each year; when we can drive through our largest city in less than ninety minutes; when we can turn out from our schools young adults who know how to read and write other than text language; when we can lock crims up and actually keep them locked away; maybe, just maybe, we might be able to afford to spend a little more on foreign aid.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Larger Than LIfe

Adolf and the Cook just got home from the movie "Salute Petra," a tribute to the late great Luciano Pavarotti. It was fabulous - the music, the voices, the unique venue.


Even if you are only marginally into classical music, get along to see it - locally at the Bridgeway Theatre in Northcote. You won't be disappointed.

And as for the gorgeously seductive soprano from Romania - well enough said.

Shonky Science? Shonky Journalism? or both?

Appearing before the emissions trading scheme review select committee yesterday, he said climate science dealt with a very complex system.

Some things were well established, in other areas there were competing explanations, and in yet others only speculation.

"The fact that there are speculative components does not eliminate the fact that there are well-established bits," Schneider said.

"System science works on the preponderance of evidence and you have to make risk management assessments."

In the well-established basket are the so-called "hockey stick" graphs showing steep rises in levels of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide since the dawn of the industrial era.

Is the above line an actual quote from "expert" Schneider or Brian Fallow's humble opinion. The absence of exclamation marks makes it very unclear.

Either way, along with some dozy TV1 "news" reporter on a beach with a tape measure, we are being fed BS.

It is my understanding that the hockey stick graph is in the not-so-well established basket. Or more likely the fear mongering basket.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Take a hike

Foreign Affairs officials are warning the Government that its hardline sentencing and non-parole policy risk damaging New Zealand's international reputation.

With who exactly? Probably the nambies that Helen spent a lifetime buttering up to to ensure a comfortable retirement.

In the real world our reputation will only be enhanced as tourists will feel safer coming here and many decent NZer's will sleep better at night knowing scumbags are off the streets.

The UnNecessary can take a hike.

And speaking of hiking, I'm away next week on the boy's annual tramping expedition, out the back of Queenstown, so posting will be nonexistant.(whiskey is more important than laptops) Hopefully will return in one piece with photos.

Brumby Knackers Victoria

What will the Victorian Premier do if Tiger fails to make the cut?


The Ockers should have taken a peep over the ditch at the Auckland Regional Council before it's gung ho Labour Premier decided to blow $3 million of tax payer's money on a commercial sporting event. Here's what the Premier had to say.

“We expect thousands of visitors from interstate and overseas will come to Melbourne to see the world’s greatest golfer on one of Melbourne’s world class golf courses.

“The event will boost tourism, create jobs for Victorians and beam Melbourne to millions of people through a worldwide television audience.

“When you think of major events, whether it’s the Grand Prix the Australian Open or any other major event, nobody can put on an event as well as Melbourne does.”

The estimated economic impact from the event is expected to be up to $19 million as well as a huge national and international television audience."

He really is pulling figures out of his arse, just as the ARC did with it's abortive foray into high risk event underwriting.

It's time Premier John Brumby went off to the knackers yard.


Police camera

Gooner has many contacts within the New Zealand Police and the story of the digital camera left behind at a crime scene that contained victim images is scary.

A spook has leaked copies of the images to No Minister. They contain not only graphic victim images but also images if the worst criminal offenders New Zealand has seen in nine years. Warning: if you don’t want to see graphic images of criminals, bullies and thugs and their victims then turn away now.

The offenders

The victims

Thursday, March 19, 2009

WINZ.... Client rip offs. Number 1 in an enormously long series.

Did you know that if you are on a benefit WINZ will pay to maintain your garden, cut your lawn and clean your house?
Came as a bit of a shock to me as well.

As part of the personal odyssey I have been travelling on over the last few years in the North I have been in regular contact with one of the larger franchise groups. I shall not name them because they are not relevant to this post and I have checked the story with other contractors throughout the region.
WINZ will pay for your lawn to be cut if you cannot afford to pay or are incapable of cutting it yourself (no mower or a missing leg or any other reason you can think of actually).
Now, I was gob-smacked when I first heard this but after my initial gut reaction I had a think about it and now am of the opinion SO WHAT.
DPB mums or the elderly or people on a sickness benefit need help and WINZ provides it.
I really do not have issue with this.
The process in the North and pretty much everywhere else in the country as far as I can establish with the exception of Wanganui is very simple.
The WINZ client asks a contractor for a quote, then takes the quote to WINZ and then WINZ simply pop a payment into the clients account at whatever frequency the client has asked for (normally fortnightly).
Easy peasy, minimal paperwork for WINZ to deal with and everybody is happy.


It turns out that this appears to have become a major scam for WINZ clients.
The major franchise group I have discussed this with have informed me that of the WINZ quotes they provide; less than 1 in 10 eventuates in the client hiring them to cut the grass.
What is happening is that they get the quote, trouser the cash and then cut the grass themselves or in the case of the town of Kaikohe.. Simply don't bother.
Now people do not normally get written quotes for lawnmowing, they just get a price or three and hire the one they want. It is only WINZ clients that ask for quotes in writing and anecdotally they are often asking for the quote to be rewritten at a higher price.
WINZ never check that the work is being done EVER. And do not ask for more than one quote either!

I mentioned Wanganui briefly, aparently that office does check. Well done them.

How do we fix this rort?
Well the first thing I would do is make WINZ pay the contractor directly. They could tender the work by region or local office and they would end up getting the work done cheaper.
And what do we do with the fraudsters who have been stealing the money.. Probably nothing because that is not the way we roll in Noo Zild. But lets close this hole quickly.

Email going to the minister this evening.

How to make them utterly irrelevant......

What a message it would send to labour, the greens, the commisars at the standard, and to the shrinking number of kiwis who supported the clark government, if John Boscowan's amendment to S59 was passed.

Another piece of their odious legislation tossed in the bin confirming once and for all that the last nine years have been the equivalent of a handbrake on the wheels of New Zealand's progress.

And with respect to bradford's bill, what has it achieved? " Now our babies will be safe" she said.
Umm no sue, people are still killing them, but now Joe and Jess Average are criminals for smacking Johnny on the arse for his misdemeanours. I believe that this was the green's plan all along and the depth of sue's silence on the parade of beaten and bashed kids since the bill was passed, being inversely proportional to the lioness - like intensity with which she attacks the legislation's critics as it is, only confirms my suspicions.

I personally believe the Burrows amendment had merit, but am about to do some investigation into the Australian legislation which, I believe, allows for the use of smack with the hand as part of normal parenting practise. Anyone confirm that?

National MPs, you know what you have to do. Go to it.

Peter Schiff

This takes about 1hr 15 to view but is imperative viweing. It was given over a week ago and at 1hr 3ish he predicts the Fed Reserve will soon start buying US Treasuries. Of course this happened overnight.

Hat Tip: NotPC.

AIG - The Local Business

Last week Adolf posted on the sorry saga that is AIG.

Zen Tiger has another perspective over at NZ Conservative.

Adolf looks back with amusement at the expensive PR exercise mounted two years ago to re brand the then AIA business. They renamed it AIG. Paid consultants a fortune for the job and patted themselves on the back now that they could piggy back off the good name and reputation of AIG. How the mighty have fallen.

Now you know why in the Life industry, those who have been around for a while will tell you 'big is not best.'

Readers might be interested to hear what the local 'industry' rumour mill is saying:-

Contrary to comments on certain blogs, there is no indication of an AIG internal policy to unreasonably reject claims.

The Australasian businesses are up for sale but nobody is prepared to pay the asking price.

There has been a shake up in underwriting with reinsurers raising their eyebrows at some recent past practice.

AIG's new business has tanked. They are taking a pounding.

Adolf would be very interested to hear from policy holders who do feel genuinely aggrieved.

There are a number of avenues for redress. (TVNZ's Fair Go programme is at the very bottom of the list.)

Their Cupboard Truly Is Bare

John Armstrong must be struggling to find things about which to write, judging by his curious piece in this morning's Herald. Maybe it's the headline which is curious and maybe John Armstrong would have chosen its words more carefully.

Key's charity push stirs doubts

Herald please take note. When the PM says to a conference of charitable organisations that he would like to see more wealthy people give more to charity, his remarks DO NOT CONSTITUTE A SINISTER SECRET RIGHT WING AGENDA. This foolish and hyperbolic use of the word 'push' is the sort of thing which does The Herald no favours. Leave that junk to the Murdock tabloids.

More importantly, Armstrong opens a window into the psyche of the miserly Ebenezer Balfours of Left. For them, the concept of personal generosity is foreign. They cannot see past the all embracing state. That's why they hate the Churches.


"The Prime Minister's speech to Philanthropy New Zealand's annual conference yesterday will be interpreted by those parties as further evidence that the current National Government is hell-bent on reducing the role of the state - especially when placed alongside cuts in staffing of Government departments and ministries."

Thank God these drab, shriveled and morally constipated people will not be returned to power during my lifetime.

A fat belly

In the past, the political spectrum was much more clearly divided between left and right.

But over the years people have gravitated to that fat belly called "the centre". This has probably as much to do with it being a western world comfort zone than anything else. Our recent elections have been fought and won in this no man's land. Our governments have responded by passing laws and collecting taxes to entrench it. MMP thrives on it.

People can hang out in the centre, knowing that no real harm will come to them and their risks are minimised. The government will be there to hold their hand.

The fundamental problem with the centre is that it breeds mediocracy, laziness and risk adversion. The much vaunted saviour to our current woes, "higher productivity", becomes meaningless as people have forgotten how to really achieve it or, even worse, it is all too much like hard work.

People should choose to give their whole hearted support to either one side of the ledger or the other.

By hanging out in the soft belly they are living in a fool's paradise.

There isn't a more capable man on the planet than John Key to manage and even trim our fat belly, but he is ultimately doomed to failure unless we as a people harden up and give him a clear mandate to move things out of the comfort zone we can't afford.

Otherwise we will wake up one day to discover that all we hold dear has packed up and moved on.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

DML DMolished

Adolf has followed with considerable interest the Mexican stand off between Diagnostic Medlab and Labtests. There is no better analysis of the whole shebang than this piece by Cactus Kate. It is long but well written and is worth a bit of time and study.

The guts of the deal is that the dickhead Arthur who heads DML in NZ underestimated the competition for his cosy little gold mine in the Auckland region and the nasty newcomer beat him hands down in the tendering process. Now dickhead Arthur is trying to save his sorry arse by scaring the shit out of Auckland patients and frustrating the decision of the DHBs and the courts by attempting to abort the transition from one supplier to another. If he fails, he's out on the pavement collecting the dole.

Technically and legally OK but morally and pragmatically very stupid.

You see, Labtests are not going to sit around with their thumbs up their bums waiting upon the indulgence of dickhead Arthur. They are going to screw him - and his staff, if they are stupid enough to believe the balderdash he is churning out.

Adolf's spies are out and the word is trickling in that there is a cunning plan to strand dickhead Arthur way up the creek without even a toothpick with which to scratch his arse.

DML thinks it has the whip hand because it appears to have cornered all the suitable blood letting venues and staff. Well, think again dickhead.

Adolf is advised there has been a massive block booking of some 400 camper vans for a four month period commencing one month before changeover date - September 7th 2009.

2berth camper van

These bookings have been carried out secretly using cover names, a variety of dates and booking in groups of four or five. They will be outfitted for blood letting in the month before change over. Arrangements are being made with Progressive and Foodstuffs for their supermarket car parks to be used for venues for a three month period. Each camper van will service three supermarket sites each day - on rotation.

Fifty to sixty skilled staff will be shuttled in from Australia to man the units and or train new staff to take over.

All of this extra expense will be partially funded by the DHBs themselves because if they allow dickhead Arthur to disrupt normal medical services then they will have their arses handed to them on a plate by Tony Ryall. There is sufficient evidence now in the public domain for the DHBs to take legal action against DML for recovery of these costs.

The biggest losers in this fight are current staff of DML who are being shamelessly used as cannon fodder in a losing battle - in fact a battle which already is lost. Labtests will announce publicly that DML staff have until December the 7th (Pearl Harbour day) to apply for positions with the new regime. After that date no employment will be offered.

If I were a DML member of staff, I would right now be seeking a written guarantee of employment for at least six months after September 7th. Of course dickhead Arthur won't give such a guarantee. He'll just offer more inane platitudes and hollow promises which later will be broken.

Does anyone seriously expect DML's Australian masters to sit around for six months paying all those property leases and those hundreds of staff while there is no revenue coming in? Zero, zilch, nada?

Who knows, it may turn out that these mobile blood testing units turn out to be so much better than the old system that they become a permanent fixture.

After all, we in the life insurance industry now employ an outfit called Lifetest who sends a pretty little nurse along to your office or home to do your GP medical, take your bloods, blood pressure, height and weight.

DML is a monument to history.

To the Tune "Forth In Thy Name Oh Lord"

The Labour Party's lament (with apologies to Rev Charles Wesley):-


Fucked in the head I still go on,

My futile cause to pursue,

If only someone would believe,

In all I think or speak or do.


The Very Reverend Phil Goff

Martyr to the cause of socialism.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cops totally exonerated: Herald plays on fear and hyperbole

The IPCC report into the shooting of Steven Wallace in Waitara many, many moons ago was released today. I am reliably advised, and indeed heard the same on NewstalkZB tonight, that the police shooter involved is totally exonerated and his actions vindicated in the report.

He, Senior Constable Keith Abbott, has been acquitted by a jury in a private proecution, vindicated to most extents by the coroners report, and now totally cleared, nine years later, by the IPCC report. But does the Herald mention this? Not a chance. Instead it runs this headline:

Police should have shown more care to shot Wallace - IPCA

And then it blabbers on about how first aid wasn't applied to Wallace despite this fact "The surgeon and a pathologist confirmed that even if first aid had been rendered immediately after the shooting, Mr Wallace would not have survived."


Stupid things people say

It's time to play "Stupid Things People Say".

First up tonight is the Cock of Campbells Bay, who moonlights as the Mayor of North Shore. For all of those not in Auckland, that's in the greater Auckland region. One might then suppose that the COCB might just have the people of greater Auckland in his best interests in matters of tax and things like that. But what's this:
This is brilliant news for Auckland that we will not have to fund our rail electrification, ferry upgrades, integrated ticketing and the Penlink causeway solely from fuel taxes taken within the Auckland region," Mr Williams said.

I would like to extend my thanks to the people from the likes of Gore, Timaru, Hokitika, Waipukurau, Stratford, Opotiki, and Kerikeri for contributing in the future to Auckland' transport woes.

Mr Williams said Aucklanders were willing pay their own way out of congestion problems, "but others knew better in Wellington.
Next up tonight on Stupid Things People Say is naysayer extraordinaire and self-confessed Marxist, Bomber. Let's hear it for the Big Bomb Man:
While some of our political parties pretend climate change has nothing to do with the pollution...
A-ha Bomber! It's no pretence my man. Climate change, if happening, does have nothing to do with pollution as the main greenhouse gas, Co2 isn't a pollutant. Plants live off it!

And finally, last up tonight on this special edition of Stupid Things People Say is Jordan Carter. Jordan thinks this about the economic situation:
What does it all add up to? Export markets contracting in volume terms, prices for our exports falling, and only a long slow recovery at the end of it, no matter what happens. And that is why I am looking with growing incredulity at a New Zealand Government that wants us to think that things might soon turn around.

My fear is the opposite: that we ain't seen nothing yet.
Classic quotes from a man who holds office in the Labour Party. The very same party whose finance minister in the last government said we wouldn't be affected by the global economic crisis!

What fun.

Retreat, retreat

( The remnants of) Labour MPs yesterday descended on (fled to) the West Coast for regional "reconnection" visits and a caucus retreat.

Finally, the word retreat is used in it's correct context.

1. the forced withdrawal before an overwhelming force.

2. the act of withdrawing, retirement;

3 .an asylum, as for the insane.

Update: And it seems they can't even retreat without spending 50k of our money.

At Last Labour Gets It Right

No, you're not dreaming.


Up and coming future Labour PM Kelvin Davis (If he's descended from Merekaimanu Anderson and Edward Telford Davis then he is a distant cousin of Adolf's) has issued a stinging press release deploring Hone Harawira's support for his two wretched nephews who attacked John Key.

"“Hone can’t have it both ways. On most days he lectures Pakeha on how they should respect the dignity of Maori protocol, yet at Waitangi he thinks it’s cool that something akin to a street brawl involving the Prime Minister, who after all is his boss, takes place,” says Kelvin Davis."

Good onya, Kelvin! ! !

Up north, the Maori word for trouble is 'Harawira.'

Yet Another Reputable Denier

You could not wish for a better reasoned debunking of the AGW religion than today's Herald piece by energy consultant Brian Leyland


Some choice and heretical extracts:-

"Is there unequivocal evidence that such global warming is real and dangerous? Well, actually, no."


"This evidence needs to be weighed against the "projections" of IPCC climate models that failed to predict the steady decline in temperatures since 2002.

We also know that the panel ignored the close correlation between sunspot effects and temperature that has existed over many thousands of years. Hence the "risk" that climate change is natural is much greater than 10 per cent."

Not to mention the fabricated foundational 'science' called the hockey stick.

Then this

"Last year, $125 billion was "invested" worldwide in carbon trading and $160 billion in heavily subsidised renewable energy schemes such as wind farms. If climate change is natural, these investments will crash."

Promoters be warned

"I searched the internet and failed to find any evidence that anyone warned investors and others that the value of man-made global warming-driven investments would be at risk. If they crash, the promoters could be sued, many wind farms would lose their subsidies and wind turbines that break down could be abandoned."

Leyland rightly concludes that any rational risk/cost/benefit analysis will see the disastrous Emmissions Trading Scheme abandoned.

Declaration (If Brian Leyland is a descendant of Wilfred Brack Leyland then he is a distant cousin of Adolf's.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Another Zealot Bites The Dust

The demented damsel who has headed the Commerce Commission is to step down.


In Adolf's view Paula Rebstock has been a disaster for New Zealand. This bloated white wahine has overseen the decline of the Commerce Commission from a genuine vehicle for consumer protection into an ineffectual ideological protector of academic competition theory - coincidentally during the reign of a Labour government which was totally ideologically driven, when it was not being pushed or pulled by opinion polls.

There can be no better example than the Commission's blocking of a merger between Qantas and Air New Zealand. You would have thought there was no other airline operating across the Tasman.

Where was she when Mark Bryers and his mob were ripping of Kiwis left right and centre? Nowhere to be seen.

Where was she when Bridgecorp was making whoopee? Nowhere to be seen.

Good riddance.

Crime debate

I see Simon Power has launched a Crime forum. I'm a bit late on this but better late than never I suppose.

I don't really see the need for expensive and time consuming forums, think tanks, meetings and inquiries into matters crime. So much is available in universities, libraries, and on the net about causes of crime that I think this is a waste of time and money.

What we need to do, and I thought about this as a PhD topic one day, is not theorise and opine on the causes of crime, rather we should find 50 or so New Zealanders from across the divides who have never committed a criminal offence (or at least been caught) and find out why they don't get involved in crime and why their upbringing and livelihood led them away from crime.

Then we just need to find the common factors (which in all likelihood will be factors such as strong and loving parenting including boundaries and discipline, being taught what is right from wrong, personal responsibility etc) and then use these factors for any discussion about our policy framework.

I reckon that's pretty easy. It's contrarian, but that's a good thing.

On another crime matter, I see Lew over at Kiwipolitico has emailed David Garrett about his "homosexual rape" comments on double bunking. The emails make interesting reading.

There is one thing about David Garrett that you all need to know: if the sky is blue, David will say the sky is blue. He is delightful from the point of view that he pulls no punches and leaves you in no doubt what his views are. Whether someone like that will make a successful politician is up for debate, but it's a great personal trait IMHO.

I don't necessarily agree with Garrett's views on crime and punishment but he makes his points well and should be commended for getting stuck in. A perfect ACT MP in my view.

There is nothing inherently wrong with double bunking and I reckon the excuse that it will lead to more cases of rape utterly false.

That's because, by definition, males cannot rape males.

Fancy Footwork

Who said Rodney Hide can't dance? Is he the Sugar Plum Fairy? You bet he is now.


Under his guidance, ACT this week-end has sidestepped with twinkle toes the biggest single danger facing it's political future. The prospect of a frustrated Sir Roger exploding himself out of the caucus with maximum collateral damage to all parties - National and ACT. It was neatly done by giving ACT MPs a conscience vote on all matters other than confidence and supply. Adolf detects here the behind the scenes influence of John Key, strategist par excellence.


If that's not the greatest political quickstep I've seen for a while, I don't know what is. Now Sir Roger can have free reign to express himself and to vote as he wishes without causing any serious repercussions for the coalition. Meanwhile Rodney can continue to abide by cabinet collective responsibility. A brilliant move.

Everybody wins. Except Labour that is.

It won't do National any harm to know it has to work a little harder to make sure it has individual members' support for legislation and it will do much to allow ACT to further capitalise on National's move toward the political centre.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Earth Hour

Good god. We are about to be subjected to this puritanical nonsense for another year.

Here's a pledge for the good folk who know Al and his Gorebull warming based on rubbish AlGorithms from the hockey stick is, well, crap.

Leave your lights on. In fact go around the house and turn them all on, including the computers, heaters, dryers. Use all the energy you can for Earth Hour.

Make it your protest because I will be.

Nothing gets me incensed like this utter garbage. Power up dudes. Cowabunga.

Across Australia, 1000 megawatts of electricity was cut off the regular usage – and even then, immediately after the end of the hour, usage rose again, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. A blog post by a Melbourne Herald-Sun columnist also noted that the overall effect of Earth Hour, taking into account the energy demand for the hour and subsequently, was negligible. In fact, Sydney actually recorded an increase in demand in the early minutes of the hour before cutting back.

PS: I wonder how many burglaries will be attempted during Earth Hour as baddies cruising the streets see lights off in homes mean "no one home".

Who's coming through your window during Earth Hour?

Come on you Spurs

The Arse are level with Aston Villa for fourth in the Premiership after putting four past Ryan Nelsen's Blackburn. Sorry Ryan. Had to be done.

The top four in the Premiership contest the Champions League next year. Fifth is not an option. Without Champions League football, the end of season transfer window is like a window in a German concentration camp: the players all try to escape.

Overnight, Villa play Tottenham. Gosh, how I love Tottenham.

Come on you Spurs,

Come on you Spurs,

Come on you Spurs………..

And by the way, those scousers who are singing from the treetops this morning need to take stock. You are still five points behind and Man U has a game in hand - you're effectively 8 behind.

Get a grip.

Foxes in "not trustworthy to guard henhouse" shock!

Further to my post about duplicity and incompetence in the govt, Rod Oram's thoughtfully packaged up into one article the various reasons why National's scaremongering over ACC is down to either duplicity or incompetence (or "panicking or politicking," as he puts it). It's well worth a read, and yes, the suspicions it invites re National's lack of interest in the public good are well justified.

Adolf points out in a post below that National aren't planning to privatise ACC, merely have it "opened up to the discipline of genuine competition," which is true enough - obviously you can't privatise it because there's no conceivable way to make a profit from the unfunded part. Open slather for the rest of it, though.

The left are rightly suspicious of this blather about opening ACC to the discipline of competition, because its potential competitors seem to be less efficient than ACC. Oram's figures show employer costs of ACC at $0.94 per $100 of payroll in NZ compared to an average of $1.73 in Aus (at time of measurement), and ACC's admin costs at 20% of funding compared to 25% in Aus. No point in looking to those guys to teach ACC anything about efficiency, then.

So what is it all about? Why try and talk ACC down? The bottom line is, National is the party of the employers and represents their interests. And for all that they're less efficient than ACC, Aussie insurance companies can still undercut ACC pretty easily on price, which is what matters to the employer. How can a less-efficient private sector company undercut ACC on price, you ask? Simple enough: provide poorer coverage and avoid paying out whenever the fine print allows, which will be very often if your lawyers are worth what you pay them. That's certainly how it worked last time National was in power. My employer back in 1999 opted for private insurance cover because it was cheaper than ACC. Those reduced costs came at the expense of our coverage for workplace accidents, but there was no particular reason for the employer to give a shit either way about that.

That's what it's all about for John Key in this, and don't forget it. I'm picking duplicity over incompetence on this one.

McCarten is our friend, really

McCarten is doing us all a big favour by continually trumpeting the Left's failed ideology.
The great thing is that at least 70% of NZ now know that his side is full of it.

We should really thank the Herald for giving Matt the opportunity, to prove it beyond doubt, on a weekly basis.

The Matt The Cat Shat On

Well something certainly shat all over McCarten this week for him to have produced unarguably the most ill informed fatuous nonsense he has ever written in this morning's Herald.

The headline says it all, really.

Key needs to stop playing with ideology and get serious

But McCarten himself just does not seem able to get serious. He want's us to print more money like the rest of the world is doing. Apparently no-one yet has told him our current fiscal stimulus package is as large as that of any other country when measured in the only sane way which is dollars per capita of population.

"It seems every country in the world is following the US lead and pouring in massive amounts of public money to keep their economies solvent. That's everyone except, apparently, New Zealand."

And John Key is smart enough to see where that will put them in five or ten years time - down the gurglar of stagflation and high costs of production. He is positioning NZ to be better off and more competitive than it's trading partners

Then McCarten trots out the old 'does anyone believe' trick.


"For example, does anyone believe the nonsense run by Accident Compensation Corporation Minister Nick Smith is any more than a ruse to privatise accident insurance to business?"

and here:-

"Does anyone think they'll be paying lower accident levies for a better performance if it's sold?"

No Matt. No one, not even the National Party, believes it is going to be sold or privatised.

It IS going to be opened up to the discipline of genuine competition and it McCarten had his eyes open he would know that a good sixty percent of New Zealanders believe that will be a very good thing. Bill Ralston seems to think it will be a good thing.

Readers, including Fran O'Sullivan should study the actions of the current administration and ignore the rhetoric of it's detractors. Not so long ago I recall her lambasting John Key for failing to include Labour in a 'bipartisan' approach to the financial meltdown.' She and others don't appear to have noticed that in fact Prime Minister Key has drawn in and included all those organisations who share his political ideology - The unions, the employers, the bankers, the farmers, the ACT Party, the Maori Party, even the Green Party.

That ideology is "Whatever is good for New Zealand and new Zealanders."

The only stark absence is the Labour Party whose ideology - "Whatever is good for the Labour Party and its members"- has come very close to destroying our country.

It's time the The Herald dispensed with the services of McCarten, the greatest political ideologue of them all, and published the opinions of the far more astute leftist, Laila Harre.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Some snippets froom around the place.

First, my comment from Farrar's place in respect of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Oversight Committee.

I consider myself a classic liberal and fairly close to Rodney philosophically. However in my view he is treading on thin ice here.

The only real priority of a state nation is to protect its citizens, from both internal and external threats. To achieve this a state nation needs a security service and a defence force and a police force. Sure, the SIS may go around peeping and peering and who knows, they may hold a file on me. But I’ve got through 40+ years without worrying about them knocking on my door and I’m sure I’ll get through the next 40 without any concerns too.

ACT was right to oppose the Terrorism Suppression Bill. It is constitutionally abhorrent because it removes the separation of powers principle that is essential in our democracy. But I’d urge caution on Rodney and ACT criticising the SIS on libertarian grounds because a true libertarian knows how vital a security service is to protect our liberty.

Then, a succinct little post from the one and only Whale Oil about politics and ideology.
Politics ulimately is akin to wrestling with pigs. Two things are absolutely certain when wrestling with pigs, you're going to get dirty and the pig will enjoy it. I suggest it is time for the Libertians of our nation to get a little bit dirty and learn to wrestle with pigs. Then we can truly get some of their fine ideals into the mix.

Finally, the point of it all. John Armstrong in today's Herald.
The lesson Act has taken from the failures of other parties to sustain themselves while propping up a government is that some kind of strategy needs to be in place throughout the three-year term to ensure the party maintains its point of difference from the larger partner rather than leaving things until election year.

In Act's case, that requires more than a soft-cop, hard-cop routine which sees Hide avoiding attacks on Key and immersing himself in his ministerial portfolios, leaving Sir Roger Douglas free to criticise National when he feels that is warranted - which so far is not infrequently.

Us ACToids must never forget that politics is the art of compromise. We have spent far, far too long sitting on the sidelines telling the World we are right and everyone else is wrong. Now it is time to make a change. I don't like the Gang Insignia Bill any more than the next ACTiod but I can swallow a dead rat because that's politics.

Blair, MikeE and Co. must keep remembering that. ACT is a political party, not a think tank. And politics is all about compromise.