Tuesday, December 22, 2009


To one and all the very best for the festive season from the Veteran. Thank you Adolf for your invitation to be a contributor to your blog. I have enjoyed the experience and respect the right of those who disagree with me to say so (even when they are wrong).

We may have differing political views but that is healthy in a functioning democracy. Any attempt to stifle political debate as Labour and the Greens did with their obnoxious Electoral Finance Act is to be deplored.
It has quite rightly been consigned to the dustbin of history.

Next year I expect the debate on MMP to heat up. Cards on the table time. Back in 1996 I was involved on the periphery of the Peter Shirtcliffe campaign against MMP along with my good friend Tony Farrington. We lost. Now we get the chance to re litigate that decision. Up until the last election I would have thought the likely result a foregone conclusion with bastard Parties like Winston First a graphic reminder of all the frailties of a system designed by the Allies and forced upon Germany in an attempt to ensure no more Hitlers. With Peters just a bad memory and with United Future and the Progressives likely to disappear from Parliament next time round I'm not at all sure there will be any change. For the record, the Veteran now supports a change to the 'Supplementary Member' system with the Party Vote % applied against the number of list seats on offer rather than the total number of seats making up the Parliament. Let's have the debate.

National needs both the ACT and Maori Party support if it is to be a long term Government. The Maori Party have scarcely put a foot wrong in terms of relating to their own constituency. Hone is an aberration they can do without but are stuck with. The reality is that he is that he has zip gravitas with Government and rightly so.

ACT is a worry. They appear to be tearing themselves apart over Hide vs Douglas with Rodney discredited as someone undergoing a mid life crisis and a perk taker and Douglas as an angry old man going nowhere except to London on perks "to which I am entitled". National needs ACT but if they cannot get their act together then perhaps they should consider the advice of Blair Mulholland and disband with their activists morphing back into National and Labour from whence they came. I would prefer ACT remains but unless they can move on from what has been a disastrous six months then National may well stand a quality candidate in Epsom with none of the nudge, nudge, wink, wink of the past two elections.

For Labour I just don't give a damn and the Greens are irrelevant to me. Goff, Norman and Turei don't cut the mustard.

As for the ETS and one might observe that with the hard Right castigating National for doing too much and the Left and hard Left the same for not doing enough then probably we are doing it about right. I remain a climate change skeptic but real politik has it that if we were to opt out of where the remainder of the world is going then as sure as god made little apples legislators in the EU and and US for starters would use that as an excuse to impose further tariff barriers against against our exports. Those who argue otherwise are being intellectually dishonest but perhaps populist politics rules ok.

It has been a good year for our war veteran community thanks especially to the efforts of Judith Collins. She has been a breath of fresh air after nine years of failure Ministers Hawkins and Barker.

Finally, if any are inclined to do so you might say a prayer for our son who is about to take over a senior UK command appointment in Afghanistan. His Regiment has lost three soldiers in the last ten days with the last one just yesterday. We can argue the rights and wrongs of being there. We should never take that out on the soldiers, sailors and airmen doing what an elected (Labour) government has sent them to do.

Happy Christmas.


Gooner said...

I've got to take issue with this statement. It is often repeated without justification.

"...then National may well stand a quality candidate in Epsom with none of the nudge, nudge, wink, wink of the past two elections.

There was no nudge, nudge, wink, wink in 2008. Rodney won it by being a great MP from 2002 onwards. He increased his majority from 3,300 to almost 13,000.

That's not a "nudge, nudge, wink, wink".

That's a win on its merits.

Gooner said...

OOps, 2005 onwards.

Gooner said...

Oops, not OOps!

I'll get there soon.

Anonymous said...

Oh please Gooner - National's wink to Epsom voters was so large it could have come from the Farmers Santa! (now that we mention it, that winking Santa eye has vanished. hmmm...)

I could support Supplementary Member (SM) electoral system if - and ONLY if - electorate MPs were recallable. Same as how Arnie became Governor of California. 10% of electors in that electorate sign a standard A4 petition sheet, and within a month there is a recall vote - if ousted, by election within 1-2 more months.

That would hold the electorate MPs accountable, which would justify reducing the party list MPs (who are supposed to provide nationwide accountability, but don't). Imagine the smile wiped off Bradford's face as she realises she has inspired this ;)

I would suggest under SM, there should be a fixed ratio of list to electorate MPs, to avoid the disproportionate nonsense we now have, when population growth cuts list MP numbers as electorate MP numbers grow. Taking 5% party vote to give 1 list MP would mean a total of 20 list MPs and 100 electorate MPs currently. Workable.

Will pray for your son, but - though this is not a good time to say it given his situation - the Nuremberg trials showed soldiers have both a moral and legal duty to refuse to serve in situations they feel are clearly abuses of power (war crimes, etc).

I dunno if we could say your son is in such a situation, but there are bad things being reported as going on in the US occupation forces (US embassy hazings, prisoner torture, etc). Afghanistan is another Vietnam, with neither soldiers nor locals winning out of it.

Perhaps mention to him the US soldiers who refused to serve in Iraq, US anti-war Vet groups, and Israeli refuseniks who refuse to serve in occupied Palestinian territories...

Merry Christmas :)

Psycho Milt said...

Will pray for your son, but - though this is not a good time to say it given his situation - the Nuremberg trials showed soldiers have both a moral and legal duty to refuse to serve in situations they feel are clearly abuses of power (war crimes, etc).

No, not a good time to say it. Also, the Nuremberg trial showed little more than that the winners of a war punish the losers, which is hardly a danger in this case. What the West definitely doesn't need is soldiers second-guessing the foreign policy decisions of their elected governments.

The Veteran said...

Thank you Psycho Milt for your comment ... spot on.

Anonymous said...

May his god/gods smile on him. What it is to be a parent.

Mrs Danvers

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your wise words over the last year. Alawys a good read.

Consider your son in our prayers

Blue Coast

stewart 61 said...

All the best to your son, and all those who are serving their country(s) at this time of year - Fortes Fortuna Juvat

The Veteran said...

Hmmmmmmm Stewart61. That's a blast from the past. Thank you for your post.