Saturday, January 31, 2009
Of course in some instances they should, but this post isn't about that.
Considering the Red Squad's tactics and strategies during the Springbok Tour shouldn't Ross Meurant be the last person advocating for the rule of law and against abuse by police of their powers?
What about the murky dealings of the Suminovich Fisheries matter?
Methinks the Herald should have found a better advocate for this issue.
This morning's Herald carries a story which implicates David ('I'm running the show) Cunliffe fair and square in the gun along with Carter and Jones with regard to the Chinese imposter donations to Labour scandal. Does anyone remember the chorus of denigration heaped upon Ian Wishart when he broke the story? Yes. Did the Herald acknowledge Wishart's role? No.
It seems the police investigation into this sordid tale is about to conclude.
Investigations by police and immigration into possible identity fraud, money laundering and immigration fraud are nearing completion after a visit in November by three detectives to China. It hasn't been determined whether charges will be laid.
Of course the Herald blithely imagines the charges being considered relate to the Chinese party fund raiser.
The person who should be charged, convicted and jailed is ex minister, Labour's last hope, Shane Jones.
You may remember I blogged about it last year.
Well, despite the doom and gloom of an increasingly sick economy, the Brits have increasingly voted to stay at home.
Apparantly, neither country came up to scratch and only a handful, if that, are heading our way.
Now, the programme was filmed in mid-2008, so obviously the Poms were suffering from falling property prices and a falling pound, meaning their money would not go as far in our part of the world.
But where their expectations realistic? We know we live in GodZone but there are a few snakes in our Garden of Eden, like low wages, high house prices, etc, etc.
The Poms expected to earn similar money to the UK while expecting to work less, to have that quality time and better work-life balance. And some also wanted the wife to stop working so they could spend more time with the kids.
‘Nobody wants to work’ was a common cry from my dad.
And the families expected to be able to sell their house, pay off their mortgage, and still have enough left over to buy the dream house with swimming pool not far from the beach, even in Sydney in one case!
Even if they would find a better life Down Under, the BBC played one final trick, showing the families a DVD featuring messages from the family and friends ‘back home.’ And I must say some family and friends seemed really selfish by laying it on thick about how much they would ‘miss’ people. Talk about emotional blackmail. It often led to many tears.
As for me, well I hope I am still wanted down under.
After nearly 2 months back in the UK, I have considered everything: The work prospects, housing costs, lifestyle, etc, etc. And I have voted to return to New Zealand. I will be back in Auckland on Tuesday February 10.
Sound advice from Tesco chief Terry Leahy, who notes that despite current troubles, the market has delivered more benefits to all, than any other economic system.
Thus, it should not be abandonned by governments.
The power of the consumer and the benefits of the free market are often taken for granted. It often falls to others, who have witnessed the perils of excessive centralisation and planning, to remind us of basic truths.
One such person was Vaclav Havel, the First President of the Czech Republic.
He wrote: "I have always known that the only economic system that works is a market economy. This is the only natural economy, the only kind that makes sense, the only one that leads to prosperity, because it is the only one that reflects the nature of life itself.
Indeed, I might add that the current troubles we face in the world stems not from too much capitalism, but rather a lack of it; the problems being caused by too much government intervention, such as telling banks to lend to those who could not repay.
And can anyone identify a successful planned/ socialist economy? Come on then! Let's hear your suggestions of socialist utopias!
Friday, January 30, 2009
Much has been made of the hilarious spoof ad from Air New Zealand about low cost airlines.
The airline is right about some of the cons, I mean hidden costs associated with budget airlines.
But there is an even bigger rip-off merchant out there. Not the budget airline, but rather government!
As you know, I have just flown to Prague from Leeds Bradford using a budget airline called Jet2.
Now, the fare posted on the website was around £25 each way, making around £50 for the round trip, or rather £150 for the three of us, which is indeed a bargain.
However! There was also a voluntary charge af around £4 a head because we decided we wanted to book our seats so we could all sit together. There was also a couple of quid to pay using a credit card and another couple of quid as a booking fee! But most disturbingly was a suprise £40 or so charge as a fuel supplement. We also paid £21 for insurance.
There was also government tax so altogether, the bill for three return trips to Prague became £370. Still just over £120 a head wasn't bad.
Nonetheless, we still need to look at government. And government taxes, GST/VAT aside tend to be flat rate, so the same tax will be paid if your Ryanaiir flight costs a penny or £100.
Let us look at other real examples.
What could be nicer than a couple of days in Amsterdam.
Lets look at the website. Leaving Feb 23 , returning Feb 25. Fares 99 pence each way!
But look, there is then a further £49 in taxes!!! What percentage is this? A horrendous amount. What other product has taxes running into several thousand per cent.
Let's pop over to Ryannair then! Whose on for Dublin then? Again 99p fares. But again look at the taxes and fees, which now pushes a £2 return fare to over £55. Still, not a bad deal, but again, see how government is ripping people off. Can such taxes be avoided? No! Even for a domestic flight to Belfast we have £28 in taxes on top of £2 for the flight.
Europe along with many places was beginning to enjoy the though of supercheap airfares but look how government spoils it with such charges.
It's the same with cars. In New Zealand we hear the various taxes amount to half the price of a litre of petrol. In the UK, it used to be around 75-80% until petrol rocketed up in price over the past year. Last week , i read that the UK government takes £45 billion in tax from motorists, but just spends £9 billion on roads. The burden rises yearly and even in 2003, the motorist was responsible for a tenth of government revenues.
Think about it. there is the excise duty on petrol, GST/VAT on petrol, as well as GST on the price of a car, as well as the annual road tax/ vehicle excise duty. A nice little earner.
Indeed, who else is exploited more by government but the motorist or the air passenger?
Yes, Air New Zealand is right in raising the hidden charges of the 'low-cost' airlines, no doubt as a sign of its concern at the business it is losing to them. But the real enemy for the motorist or the air passenger is government. Why do we let them exploit us to such an appauling extent?
Not only did Labour fudge the published price and fail to actually allocate one penny of funding for this disastrous waste of money, but Transit failed by a cool billion dollars to accurately cost the project. Who was on the board at the time? Oh yes. That tacky fellow Mike Williams. Of course he would have had nothing to do with the decision to NOT build a six lane motorway in Helen Clark's back yard - would he?
Adolf reckons NACTional should direct Transit to keep bringing recommended options until they have one which resumes Helen Clark's house.
As a gesture of bipartisan reconciliation, the new motorway could be named 'The Clark Highway.'
You can just see where her house used to be - underneath the concrete truck in the lower right quadrant.
A few days back, I wondered how the right might attack Barry Obama.
Well, the Townhall.com website is pulling no punches with a quick triple whammy against the ObamaMessiah.
First we have incompetence.
And finally, cowardice and appeasement.
And that's before anyone mentioned the economy!
Look like the right is regrouping already.
UPDATE: The Vatican sticks the boot in too!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
But the question I have is this: if Bollard was such a bold central banker (considering that bold central bankers are about as common as women in the All Blacks) why did he stuff around with 25 point rises for two years when inflation was rampant and the property market was out of control?
Answer: because he is a drab, conservative central banker.
The new National Government is grossly underestimating the severity of the economic crisis it faces, says Labour leader Phil Goff.What crisis Phil? Dr Cullen said we would be immune from it - we wouldn't be affected. That's after he taxed most of NZ to poverty over nine years and then left the NACTional government with 1o years of deficits and no money for anything, especially money for 'fixing' the economic crisis.
I really can't believe he is permitted to say things like this with no retort from our MSM.
Soon we were in better parts , with fine old houses and then we reached the CBD and made it to the hotel, which is pretty good but not in the best part of the city centre. The old town is four stops away on the trams but its a bit run down outside.
After checking in, we took a tram to the city centre and walked past many fine shops. Familiar names were there too like KFC, McDonalds, as well as Debenhams and eventually more upmarket designer places as you reached the Old Town.
Certainly we are all impressed by the stunning architecture and character of the place.
But Prague is not the cheap haven it was just after the downfall of communism.
Then, a friend and I payed 20 Deutchmarks $15NZ to stay in a private house in Bethlemske, in the Old Town. But 30 Euros per person a night in the hotel here aint bad.
But to eat in the city is dear with steak mains around £20 a head at some of the finer, touristy places.
We found a decent restaurant in the old town opposite a glass crystal shop and had four beers, two sausage starters, three Czech main courses (one chicken, one goulash, one pork with cabbage and dumplings), which came to 1000 crowns, about $50NZ. Which seems fine.
After a walk back through the Old Town, we caught the tram back to the hotel and since there was no-one at the hotel bar, Dad sent me to the bottle store for some gin and I came back with a local concoction called Becherovka, which is interesting to say the least.
Since I have wireless in my room, expect a few more posts over the next few days.
But back to my point about the Czechs paying the price for decades of communism.
That is why some parts of Prague still look rough. Decades of poverty cannot be replaced overnight and yes, i guess there is still some catching up to do in the living standards department.
Imagine, without communism, the Czech Republic would probably be one of the richer countries of Western Europe. Well, Germany is just up the motorway, at the other side of some snow clad hills. There is no snow in the city alas, just some remains from last week. So why wouldn't Prague not have enjoyed German prosperity? Had it remained capitalist throughout all the post-WW2 period, Prague would probably be another Paris, super rich and lovely as well.
Or would it? Certainly, in the pre-Communist times, it looks like many fine old buildings were built that were very pretty and these are being lovingly restored.
The few decades of communism seems to have thrown up some bland monstrosities but at least in the city centre they are few and far between.
Noticeably there are few modern , post-communist buildings, though I saw some lovely new subdivisions springing up on the edge of the city, with houses as large and fine as any in Britain or New Zealand.
Thus, the city centre is largely a medieval masterpiece, making Prague one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
Perhaps there is one thing we can be tankful for communism for.
It never developed the wealth that might have led to the demolition of the many fine buildings.
And by the time communism had gone, the world had learnt to value its culture and history.
Indeed, it is the culture and history that is attracting the tourists today and helping so much of the city make a living.
And the enterprising Czechs, far from charging little like they did nearly 20 years ago, have learnt to charge Western prices.
So indeed, while they will have undoubtedly suffered greatly from Communism, its tanks, its lack of freedoms, its poverty, the Czechs are learning to profit from what is only that failed system's only positive legacy- the fine old buildings.
An experience I will not be repeating. The assinine and frankly retarded questions have brough me to the point where if I have something I want to sell I shall simply drag it down the back of the block and throw fuel at it.
What is the price? IT IS AN AUCTION
Will you deliver? IT IS A BOOK AND YOU ARE IN THE SOUTH ISLAND!
I swear most tradme users must be socially inept lock ins who have no human contact other than the net.
Image nicked from Theo
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Today it did.
I was mugged by a patched member of this countries largest gang.
Going about my lawful business I was pulled over and the mugger demanded 150 dollars from me.
Apparently I did not come to a complete stop at a compulsory stop sign. This gives the mugger the right to demand money from me.
I have a number of issues with this and feel like sharing them.
1. I absolutely DID come to a complete stop.
2. Late in the month, quotas to fill.
3. Kerikeri has more than it's fair share of uniformed revenue men, this is due to the area being a lot more affluent than other towns that fall within the police district.
ergo, easier pickings for the cops and they are a lot less likely to get stabbed/ spat on/ generally abused. Plus the fines are much more likely to be paid.
This leaves me with a stark choice.
I can either pay up and sulk or I can decide not to pay.
Now at this stage I guess most of you are thinking "you must have rolled through the junction" I absolutely swear I did not.
Where is the profit for me in making a fuss? I am a big boy, I can take my lumps when they are deserved but it is not in this case.
if I decide to fight I will no doubt lose anyway and it will cost me heaps in time and more than the original fine.
But that is why the bastards write them, they just know you are going to pay up because to fight is an aggravation and most of us cannot be bothered.
Well sorry, this is the way I roll now.
I will be collecting names and addresses for the following people
Minster of police
They are going to get a letter, and then I am going to start filing official information requests. I want to know how the quota/ performance indicators or whatever else they call this shit is measured, handed out and reported on. Then I am going to start requesting details on the type and quantity of tickets issued in the far north, and I want it broken down by date , time and location. Then I am going to start photographing these fuckers and posting the pics.
crossposted at Barnsley Bill, facebook, ping, twitter and all the other stupid bloody services that Darth Blogger conned me into joining.
I will be going to court, you can guarantee I will be posting on that as well.
In 1999 Clinton repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, which ensured a complete separation between commercial banks, which accept deposits, and investment banks, which invest and take risks. The move prompted the era of the superbank and primed the sub-prime pump. The year before the repeal sub-prime loans were just 5% of all mortgage lending. By the time the credit crunch blew up it was approaching 30%. "
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Meat-free menus are to be promoted in hospitals as part of a strategy to cut global warming emissions across the National Health Service.
In other words, they're going to try and solve a problem that may or may not exist by trying to put sick people on a high-carb, low-fat diet - something guaranteed to have negative effects on their health. But that's not all:
Plans to reuse more equipment could raise concern about infection with superbugs such as MRSA.
If you're living in the UK, get private medical insurance now - when you need a hospital it'll be too late.
At $2000 a pop I'm glad they are not giving away such valuable advice for nothing.
As a journalist since the 1980s, I feel it's time to make the most of my experience and in these depressed times, any chance to earn a crust won't be turned down.
Certainly there is much business has to learn in how to handle the press. We are not all jackals out to stitch people up. Sometimes organisations are too secretive or cautious for their own good and this can raise suspicions. Openess is the key. Damn! those few words must have been worth a grand!
Now, Adam thinks the conference shows how the Fourth Estate has sunk. Indeed, it is a poor reflection on them but it also recognises the reality of newsrooms lacking sufficient staff to serve their readers and viewers properly; and a confession of how much the media relies on the PR and Comms industries.
Now, in Britain I am heartened to see that journalists still carry out a bit of fresh investigation.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Gordon's shame! Icelandic bailout for freezing pensioners and possible government cash for terrorists!
As excellent Daily Mail columinist Richard Littlejohn might say: 'You couldn't make it up!'
I didn't know Meurant knew the decision-making priocess that went on on the Motorway on Friday afternoon. He must have been there. Meurant should watch tonight's interview on Close Up with the truck driver and then apologise.
Mr Meurant said police could only shoot to kill when they feared death or grievous injury to themselves or someone else and when there was no other way to prevent it.
He questions the decision-making process that led to Mr Naitoko's death.
I/S starts off in his first post saying that "It looks like a tragic accident. But regardless, the officer should be prosecuted and made to face the judgement of their peers."
Then in his second post responding to feedback he says that:
No, what I am arguing is for the police to have exactly the same rights as any other New Zealander, and for them to apply the same bloody standard to themselves as they apply to everybody else.
If an ordinary citizen shot someone in these circumstances, they would unquestionably be facing court. We expect a high degree of care from the people we trust with guns, to the extent that accidentally shooting someone is regarded as careless pretty much by definition. That standard is high, but it is not inherently malicious, and it does not become so simply because the shooter is wearing a uniform.
I/S is fair and square wrong. He conflates rights with responsibilities or duties. The police do have the right to shoot people in this country just as much as they have the right to handcuff suspects, use force, drive at excessive speed etc. You get the point. But their rights to do all these things have to be balanced with the situation they are facing at the time. You break the law if you drive at excesive speed to a report of a historic house burglary. And, there is (usually) no need to handcuff a 16 yr old female shoplifter. Each situation depends on the circumstances. As does this shooting.
The police do have the right to shoot to incapacitate in certain circumstances. Under their internal firearm regulations (internally regulated) if the elements of F61 are met* then they can shoot to incapacitate: shoot to kill in essence.
Having listened to the driver of the truck on Close Up tonight (I'll add the link when it comes online) it is crystal clear the requirements of F61 were present. Stephen Hohepa McDonald had to be shot to incapacitate him.
Having met this requirement, it seems it then becomes an issue of how much care the officer took in taking aim and pulling the trigger. Again, this cannot be judged against the ordinary standard of a deer hunter in the Ureweras. Such a deer hunter is simply not operating in the same circumstances as police are who make split-second decisions when aiming and pulling the trigger. The deer hunter might have minutes to settle himself, confirm his target etc. The police have seconds. I have been in this position. It is not pleasant. Nor is it easy.
This is not the movies or series 5, episode 6 of 24. It's real. And in real life situations like this it sometimes doesn't matter how much training one has because you need real life situations to put the training into practice.
Thankfully in New Zealand we have very, very few of these real life situations.
I doubt the police officer will be charged. He was, as Greg O'Connor rather crudely put, "just doing his job". Of course O'Conner said this and made his 'odd' statements knowing the Idiot/Savants and Bombers of this world would be calling for the officers head. That's why he went on the defensive.
I'm not caling for the officers head. Leave him alone. He was doing his job. The fact he missed his target is a reflection of how many times police pull triggers in this country in real life situations. Fortunately for all of us that is very infrequently.
But there is a better and more important reason why this officer should not be charged. And that is because the very next time an officer has to make that split-second decision to shoot an armed and extremely dangerous offender they will be thinking "gee, if I fuck this up I might go to jail". And they may hesitate, and someone could die.
And then the Idiot/Savants and Bombers of this world will be baying for their blood asking why they are wearing the uniform if they are not prepared to do their job.
Get my point?
* Unable to recall the specifics and not able to be Googled.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Karl Marx, Das Kapital, 1867
How many more times can a Money Managers scheme fall over before they run out of blind deaf idiots to secure funds from.
Another multi million dollar scheme goes tits up in a related party lending debacle
This happens with Money Managers with alarming frequency, the first I recall was the Metropolis mezzanine finance debacle, since then we have seen it every 18 months or so. A biblical catastrophe of a hangover prevents the author from further research to list the cock ups. Feel free to provide details in comments and I will update the post if I do not develop a brain aneurysm.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Naturally, one waits in vain for the dumbass journo to ask questions like:
"So, Phil Goff was right and you were wrong?"
"What effect do you think your constant talking down of the quality of the merchandise has had on the progress of the sale and its closing price?"
'We still see him now as we did when we were seven; as our loving daddy. He is our father, not the sketch in a paper or part of a skit on TV.
'Many will think they know your father but they have no idea how he felt on the day you were born, the pride he felt on your first day of school or how much you love being his daughters.
'So here is our most important piece of advice - remember who your dad really is.'
That is what has happened in countless totalitarian states, whose leaders invariably encourage a personality cult. It is not supposed to happen in modern democracies, but it does.
After their wipe-out in 1997, the Tories constituted a hopeless opposition. For the next few years the Republicans in Congress are likely to be equally feeble. If the media reaction to Mr Obama's inauguration is anything to go by, he will enjoy a generally supine and fawning Press, just as Mr Blair did until he ran into the buffers over Iraq.
So the new President may not be tested and held to account as he should be. Brilliant though he may be - and we really don't know one way or the other - he is undoubtedly very inexperienced.
In fact, I can't think of a U.S. President over the past 30 years who has assumed the highest office with so little executive experience. To be frank, Mr Obama has had none - just like Mr Blair in 1997.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
The rest of it here.
2009-2010 will rank with 1913-14, 1933-36, 1964-65 and 1981-82 as years that will permanently change our government, politics and lives. Just as the stars were aligned for Wilson, Roosevelt, Johnson and Reagan, they are aligned for Obama. Simply put, we enter his administration as free-enterprise, market-dominated, laissez-faire America. We will shortly become like Germany, France, the United Kingdom, or Sweden — a socialist democracy in which the government dominates the economy, determines private-sector priorities and offers a vastly expanded range of services to many more people at much higher taxes.
Obama will accomplish his agenda of “reform” under the rubric of “recovery.” Using the electoral mandate bestowed on a Democratic Congress by restless voters and the economic power given his administration by terrified Americans, he will change our country fundamentally in the name of lifting the depression. His stimulus packages won’t do much to shorten the downturn — although they will make it less painful — but they will do a great deal to change our nation.
In implementing his agenda, Barack Obama will emulate the example of Franklin D. Roosevelt. (Not the liberal mythology of the New Deal, but the actuality of what it accomplished.) When FDR took office, he was enormously successful in averting a total collapse of the banking system and the economy. But his New Deal measures only succeeded in lowering the unemployment rate from 23 percent in 1933, when he took office, to 13 percent in the summer of 1937. It never went lower. And his policies of over-regulation generated such business uncertainty that they triggered a second-term recession. Unemployment in 1938 rose to 17 percent and, in 1940, on the verge of the war-driven recovery, stood at 15 percent. (These data and the real story of Hoover’s and Roosevelt’s missteps, uncolored by ideology, are available in The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes, copyright 2007.)
But in the name of a largely unsuccessful effort to end the Depression, Roosevelt passed crucial and permanent reforms that have dominated our lives ever since, including Social Security, the creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission, unionization under the Wagner Act, the federal minimum wage and a host of other fundamental changes.
Obama’s record will be similar, although less wise and more destructive. He will begin by passing every program for which liberals have lusted for decades, from alternative-energy sources to school renovations, infrastructure repairs and technology enhancements. These are all good programs, but they normally would be stretched out for years. But freed of any constraint on the deficit — indeed, empowered by a mandate to raise it as high as possible — Obama will do them all rather quickly.
But it is not his spending that will transform our political system, it is his tax and welfare policies. In the name of short-term stimulus, he will give every American family (who makes less than $200,000) a welfare check of $1,000 euphemistically called a refundable tax credit. And he will so sharply cut taxes on the middle class and the poor that the number of Americans who pay no federal income tax will rise from the current one-third of all households to more than half. In the process, he will create a permanent electoral majority that does not pay taxes, but counts on ever-expanding welfare checks from the government. The dependency on the dole, formerly limited in pre-Clinton days to 14 million women and children on Aid to Families with Dependent Children, will now grow to a clear majority of the American population.Will he raise taxes? Why should he? With a congressional mandate to run the deficit up as high as need be, there is no reason to raise taxes now and risk aggravating the depression. Instead, Obama will follow the opposite of the Reagan strategy. Reagan cut taxes and increased the deficit so that liberals could not increase spending. Obama will raise spending and increase the deficit so that conservatives cannot cut taxes. And, when the economy is restored, he will raise taxes with impunity, since the only people who will have to pay them would be rich Republicans.
1. Raise OCR to 8%+.
2. Slash corporate and personal taxes to 10%.
3. Allow 100% tax write-offs for new company investments.
Reducing taxes will offset the costs of borrowing from having a high OCR. A high OCR will flood the country with money allowing lending and investment. Let's face it, there is no money to be made in stocks, property or bonds right now so cash deposits is the only possibility. The loss to exporters from the resultant high dollar is offset by reducing taxes to 10%. The loss to mortgage holders is offset by reducing tax to 10%. The import imbalance as a result of a high dollar will be a problem to an extent but the cheap imports will encourage consumer spending saving the retailers. Petrol will be cheap enabling cost savings for businesses.
There will not be a drop in government revenue. Lower taxes and a high OCR will actually bring about an increase in revenue. At the rate we are going now, there won’t be any corporate profits to tax anyway. 10% corporate tax of some profit is a whole lot better than 30% of nothing (that is not even taking into account the increase in personal income tax receipts from all the new jobs that companies will create). In the long run, profitable and growing companies will produce a lot more total revenue to the government than today’s 30% corporate tax rate.
Taxes can be increased when the economy turns around - in about 7-10 years.
With the jobs created by this, including government infrastructure spending, there will be a reduction in the welfare bill.
Japan had interest rates at zero for 12 years + and it didn’t work to revive its economy. It won’t work to revive ours as long as there is no confidence.
"Surging international prices and the weakening kiwi currency caused gold to hit a New Zealand dollar record yesterday."Yet, apparently, "Gold is one of the worst performing asset classes" according to Ruth.
I repeat my call for Bollard to raise the OCR to 800 basis points.
Further, taxes should be slashed, especially corporate taxes. They can always be raised again.
A Dutch MP who made a provocative anti-Islam film and branded the Qur'an a "fascist book" is to be prosecuted for inciting racial hatred, Amsterdam's appeals court ruled today.Which is of course true. Given that freedom of speech counts for jack shit in most European countries, it naturally weighed very little in the judges minds. It seems to be only the English-speaking world that rates freedom of speech worth a damn, and even there the UK's letting the side down since it started hanging out with EU countries.
The court's three judges said they had weighed Wilders' anti-Islamic rhetoric against his right to free speech, and ruled he had gone beyond the normal leeway given to politicians.
I know that NZ has plenty of wet liberals in it who'd also cheerfully see people prosecuted for the crime of expressing an opinion; let Wilders' prosecution be an example to us of where we end up if we let those motherfuckers have their way.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I was in Leeds earlier today shopping with my parents.
As we wandered through one of the historic Victorian arcades, I noticed mum and dad had been accosted by a pretty young girl of Afro-Caribbean origin.
It turned out she was a reporter for the local BBC radio station and was asking passersby about how historic Obama's big day was to them.
Mum compared it to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth , 9-11, the day Princess Diana died, and the day Kennedy was shot- one of those days you will always remember where you were.
I turned up and was asked of 'similar' historic days , so I recalled the day Margaret Thatcher was elected and Tony Blair. We were being encouraged to associate Obama's inauguration with those big days of history.
I added Obama was so inexperienced and had only been a senator for two years and he had a lot to deal with like a global recession and trouble in the Middle East. But by then the microphone was off though the friendly reporter agreed many had remarked on his youth and had people's expectations been raised so high.
I felt it would have been be unkind to add Obama was also a leftist lightweight with dodgy connections who attained his place on the Democrat's ticket through some unsavoury means.
Or that after eight years of a Republican president who did not endear himself to the masses, that yes, there was a great feeling for change, whoever the Donks had had on their ticket.
However, I do feel the sense of history for non-whites in that one of their own kind can make it to the top as well.
And now this has happened, I can only hope that in future people of all colours can make it to the top on merit, rather than on grounds of race, sex or sexuality. Hopefully, in 2012 or whever, no-one will get excited over black candidates any more, though America still has to have its first woman president (Clinton or Palin?).
I still feel Obama gained his position through white guilt and the media being so excited at the sense of history or Hollywood in anAfrican-American coming to power. You only have to look at his record, Obama is not that special. And we have seen other blacks better qualified for the US presidency, such as Gen Colin Powell or Condi Rice.
So yes, after the adulation of the Messiah, let us hope we can all move on, and treat future presidential candidates the same, whoever they are and judge them on the colour of their policies not the colour of their skin.
I guess that makes me more of a non-racist than the liberals having their orgasms today.
You see, the world is not as racist as some have us believe. In fact it is perhaps the opposite.
Positive discrimination is just so passe, yet the left cling on to this failed collectivist ideology.
Indeed, Trevor Philips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has called Britain the least racist country in Europe.
Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn also notes racism is often levelled where it isn't their and how the 'anti-racists' and 'guilt-tripping' white folks cause many troubles for all of us.
So now, in the spirit of equality, let us enjoy this caption competion, which for a photo like this would have been too impossible to resist, whoever had been inaugurated president this afternoon.
The first is through tv programmes like this, featuring a giant Jew eating Rabbit.
The second is in using children as human shields, as shown in a video featured here.
Hamas seem happy to boast about it too.
The Times yesterday noted there were many losers in the conflict, including Israel's international standing. But it also noted: "the death toll is blamed on Hamas’s use of civilians as human shields".
Indeed, if you are judged by the people you support. It doesn't say much for the South Island cafe owners, or indeed much of the media and the blogosphere, following so much brutality, cruelty and devastation casued by Hamas.