Doesn't really matter if you're old and grey
Its alright I say, its OK
Listen to what I say.
Its alright, doing fine
Doesn't really matter if the sun dont shine
Its alright I say , its OK
We're getting to the end of the day.
(New Tricks themesong sung by Dennis Waterman)
Target Market; rich, highrollers, people who in the main can afford to lose money, attendees at conventions and major events in the city.
Supervision; monitoring, profiling all in place and very understood, operators highly skilled and trained.
Where; in highly exposed, well lit, monitored and recorded environment.
Why because that is what the punters want, if not here then anywhere they can.
Target Market; every citizen who is too stupid to understand odds and value across the nation .
Supervision; almost non existent, an operator of a dispensing machine doubling as other duties may require.
Where, in every retail center throughout the nation.
Why, so the state can collect the poorly odds based money much of it definitly not discretionary spend and then return as little as the market will require for idiot bait.
Target market; racing afficionados, those who assess their knowledge and understanding of odds higher due to someone in the know and idiots who are going to strike it rich next race.
Supervision; almost zero, much via robotic machines, very little assessment or analysis of problem gamblers, who or how much they spend.
Where; in poorly lit back rooms, off public bars, at race courses and on line.
Why; ostensibly but not entirely for partial funding of the racing industry with side opportunities on major sports events.
Last year the amount wagered on the TAB was almost NZ$ two billion.
Last week wagered in the hope of lifting the two lotto prizes up to be won, NZ $28 000 000.
Has anyone raised a word of protest, I dont think so, as it is the State, its "OK"
The Government wants to gain a debt free Convention Center in Auckland costing around half a billion for a modest increase in opportunity gambling in the highly monitored and supervised Casino environment and the socialists are still litigating that outcome.
Is it OK to suggest hypocrisy much when the profile of so many dropping money on the TAB and Lotto every week clearly cannot afford a single dollar let alone the fistfulls of big notes passed over for a dream that will not happen.
"Does it really matter if you are old and grey.
Its alright I say, its OK
Listen to what I say".
Then again it doesnt bother me I only bet on certainties with defined odds, like say, Oracle???
The Australian federal green party is in a bit of bother.
After what could best be described as a recent set back, but many see as an electoral disaster, it is getting a bit messy in the West Island for the Melon party.
Federal GP Leader, Senator Christine Milne claims she is not under challenge but last weeks caucus meeting was apparently not all beer and skittles, skittles made up some ground.
The only GP member of the Lower House, Adam Bant has considerable support for advancement after rising above the outgoing tide in his Melbourne district while Senator Sarah Hansen Young who bizarrely gained the endorsement of now maverick former Liberal PM, Malcolm Frazer only just made it back to the Senate but her ambitions are undiminished.
She reportedly said some unkind things about her leader when leaving the latest caucus meeting.
That leader Senator Christine Milne is said to be in denial after the GP suffered a drop in support across the nation from 11,76% to a depressing 8.6% with Tasmania a bit of a fertile field for the Melons being severely hit.
Hard not to see things getting worse for the Melons with the significant publicity being afforded the two amigos, Shorten and Albanese in their national campaign among the left faithful for KRudds job.
So maybe, in the interests of the "special; arrangement" between the Islands on either side of The Tasman Sea we could send the commie Ginga back to help them out with a oneway ticket.
Benefits all round and Australia regains a bit of their Toanga.
The rural hotel is almost in need of protection, it is almost extinct.
Once the center for social, administrative and sporting events in the rural community, 'The Pub' is almost goneburger.
Now a clearly enlightened, educated, "I know best what is good for you", ex preacherman, now socialist trougher predicted by some as a future "one to watch", until a certain missing "T" intervened, has decided the drink driving limit for legal control of a motor vehicle will drop from 80 mg per 100ml of blood to 50 mg.
Those arbitrary limits can be enormously effected by health status, medications, general fitness, food taken while drinking, tiredness, time elapsed during drinking, and many other factors in the effect on driver competency.
Tolerance to alcohol also appears to be a factor in how those very arbitrary legal limits actually present in the effect on driving ability as does attitude and experience of driving.
The big plus for a padre like trougher Clark, they are easily measurable and financially rewarding for the authorities
However Padre Clark and his wowser supporters clearly have a greater depth of understanding and in the absence of any evidence as to what that 30 mgs has on driver ability, he just inherently know what is best for the plebs.
Our culture that includes for many, having a couple of ales after work, on completion of a job or measurable mark of progress, maybe a quiet meal with mates, opening or closing a sports season or for no other reason than having an hour of pleasurable social interaction is OK for an MP with endless access to Taxi chits, well heeled operators in the world of commerce who can access a cab or a chauffeur, and others without falling foul of the law.
Alas that scenario does not exist for the minority in a small rural area.
The Taxi does not exist, the pub is so marginal a 'courtesy coach is economically prohibited' and the sober driver does not apply, sort of defeats the whole purpose really.
So the shearer has a jug then wends his way home in traffic densities that are measured in VMPD not VMPH and the cultured, educated, overpaid busybody is going to "save lives".
Just how many traffic incidents occur in categories of Zero Blood alcohol, those under 50mg , or those under 80mg, we don't f**king know. What we do know is that when some complete tosser causes a major event and registers 200mg 300mg or even higher we all understand the tosser was legless and it is very difficult to find a single person who is not appalled. Often those examples become the focus for the ignorant well intentioned, and it too often turns out are serial offenders.
When the Education Dept makes an entirely rational move to close a totally uneconomic (current and/or predicted) school, there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth usually promoted by the union representing the redundant teacher/s and swept along by the concerned parents, but when it is the pub, suddenly it is socially responsible that those wishing to have a quiet ale or two are required to travel additional distances to a more populated place of indulgence with additional Kms and exposure to traffic.
Then of course in this debate, that has minimal effects on most, we will continue to largely ignore those driving with substances other than alcohol, those emotionally, medically or physically impaired to drive.
Sheesh it cant be so bad to be killed by one in that category than someone who just happens to have 51mg of alcohol in 100ml of their blood and did absolutely nothing to cause the death. That is completely unacceptable.
I have no knowledge of the efficacy of Padre Clark as a preacherman but his knowledge and understanding of road traffic accidents, their causes and driver abilities just took a massive hit IMHO.
He can now add qualified wowser to his CV.
Zero, 30mg, 50mg even 80 mg, all academic when those with hundreds of mgs are the problem and the only way plod finds all those around the limit is to stop all vehicles while the recidivist offenders can drive legless with almost zero chance of being picked up unless it turns to custard. for them and sadly for the innocent.
For years, Adolf has questioned the wisdom of sending ever increasing numbers to university, to be funded by the state into degrees which, more often than not, do not qualify thee holder for any job other than making hamburgers.
Going from memory, when Adolf graduated with a useful Agricultural commerce degree equivalent the national university student roll was about twenty to twenty-five thousand while the total population was somewhere around two and a half million. By and large, people either qualified for entry to university by way of identifiable academic achievement; or took up an apprenticeship for five years; or entered the labour force as labourers. A Batchelor's degree was a ticket to a useful job and good career prospects.
Today, we have a university, polytech student population of, I don't know, 150,000 to 200,000, churning out thousands of semiliterate unskilled oafs who are proficient in what euphemistically are called 'the humanities.'
A Batchelor's degree today is a near worthless piece of paper while a Masters or PhD is required for any worthwhile job.
Schools need to deliver students who can adequately read, write and add up. If their skills of expression and grammar are sub-par, or they haven't built a framework for effective learning, thrusting such students on the university sector either sets them up to fail, or universities will lower standards to accommodate them.
I see that Tim.Com, that paragon of virtue and all-round good guy, has pledged to give millions to help Team New Zealand mount another challenge in their bid to win the America's Cup.
His Press Release has the lie that John Key said "No more funding for Team NZL". The reality is that that Prime Minister has said that the Government had not yet made a decision on the matter ... hardly surprising since it's only 48 hours since Oracle won the final race to retain the 'Auld Mug'.
But putting that aside, I can think of 500 million reasons why any corporate sponsor would shy away from being associated with Tim.Com. That's the amount in USD he is accused of mass copyright infringement and money laundering by the United States Government.
Am I the only one that thinks this is a play by the Kraut to gain sympathy ahead of his extradition hearing?
Parliament must have been having a very 'senior' moment when they voted back at the time of the last Labour Government for the Greens Party initiative to allow STV voting to be used alongside FPP voting in local body elections. Dumb move.
Right now seven territorial local bodies and all the District Health Boards have opted to use the STV system for the elections to be decided in two weeks time.
Why dumb move? Simple, it has led to the situation where the two different systems are featured side by side on a single voting paper. Up here in the Far North and on pages one and two of the voting paper you vote FPP and on page three you vote STV. Confusing ... you betcha.
It's ok for those with a more than passing interest in local body politics ... they will probably figure it out. But for Mr and Mrs Joe Average the chances of them spoiling their vote is high. You tick the candidates on pages one and two (as you are supposed to) and there is a fair chance that you will tick the candidates on page three (the DHB election where STV is in force). I am aware of several people who did just that.
Fascinated to hear from anyone who can point to another country which has dual voting systems on a single voting paper.
And then someone may wish to justify the indefensible.
It has been interesting to watch the current overhyped campaign to denigrate Labour leader David Cunliffe over alleged indiscretions in his CV.
Jeezers George on a bicycle people, is that all you've got?
Do you seriously think this infantile crap will resonate with Waitakere Man?
At worst he can be accused of gilding the lilly a bit. So bloody what? Who really cares? Apart from a few centre right bloggers, that is. I suggest very few people in the real world care one jot. This foolish campaign will come back to bite the centre right on the arse. It lowers us to the level of the Clark and Williams' regime. The one the voters threw out because they were sick of and sickened by their pursuit of John Key.
They will react the same way to this unseemly pursuit of David Cunliffe.
Take a leaf out of the Australian Liberal Party's handling of Rudd.
Just keep your mouths shut and let him do the job on himself.
So far Cunliffe has announced policy positions which will rip a quarter of the value off every New Zealander's home.
He has promised a return to Muldoonist central control of banking - guaranteed to destroy the assets and incomes of Middle New Zealand.
He has shown himself within the Labour caucus to be an authoritarian dictator.
There are many more substantive issues on which to attack him.
So why persist with these ridiculous personal attacks when such attacks have been shown in Australia and New Zealand to be totally counterproductive?
They are the stuff of the Left and they should be left there.
Adolf first read about weblogs or blogs sometime before 2005. I can't remember exactly when it was but I do recall the great enjoyment to be had from reading the blog of one Gordon King - a truly delightful and adventurous character with a healthy disdain for socialists and their hangers on.
For the life of me, I can't remember the name of his blog but never mind.
(It was NZpundit.)
Early in the piece I was banned for a week for casting just a mild nasturtium upon the character of Gordon and, accordingly, I ban those commenters who come onto my blog and hurl abuse at me or my co-authors.
As far as I can see, the threshold for banning is pretty high. The worst two sins of bloggers are (1) attempting to reveal the identity of a blogger who uses a pseudonym and (2) insulting or abusing a blog host. These are guaranteed to result in a lifetime on holiday.
Lesser sins such as persistent trolling or thread jacking might result in short holidays depending on the state of Adolf's liver at the time.
I am the first to agree that politics is not for the faint hearted. I expect passion from both sides of the political divide. That's how it should be.
But I fail to see why passion should be an excuse for the shear nastiness we see from some posters on the extreme right and left of politics. I'm a committed centre/right voter and tribal National (even though my father was a Labour activist). But given all that I can at least acknowledge that many on the left side of the political divide are equally sincere in their opinions honesty held.
I guess that my co-blogger Psycho Milt and I will seldom sing from the same songsheet (Syria excepted) but he argues his case logically and with passion without resorting to abuse. I respect him for that.
But partisans like Edward the Confessor and Holden from the left and Redbaiter from the right leave me cold. For them it's black and white and no middle ground and no respect for the other side that they might just have a legitimate point of view to be considered.
I guess I agree with my political science professor in his view that there is very little difference between the extreme right and the extreme left in politics. Both are authoritarian; both are intolerant of divergent opinion; none of them espouse a society I would want to live in.
Stalin and Hitler ... spot the difference, I can't.
Your efforts made me proud to be a supporter of your challenge that came agonisingly close to success.
My information suggests that the remarkable improvement since James Spittall played his wild card was more about a quantum shift in technology from Boeing that was introduced with devastating outcomes for us.
Yes Sir Ben Ainsley and the flight of the boat builders contributed but it was more about the money they were able to throw at it.
I know all the 'armchair admirals will swill their half empty glasses, make unjustifiable personal attacks on Barker and his magnificent men, while New Zealand's world wide reputation for sailing, boat building, equipmet advances and national support will be a wonderment to those who actually understand what actually happens at this level.
Thankyou Emirates, Toyota, and all the sponsers who made it possible.
Come home with your heads held high everyone, your "Scotland versus the All blacks" effort so very nearly succeeded.
One of the early substantive actions of the Abbott government in Australia was to totally dismantle a parasite and his little echo chamber of doomsayers employed by Juliar Gillard in her massive flip flop on carbon tax, "there will be no carbon tax from any government I lead".
Professor Dr Tim "flimflam" Flannery, chaired the now defunct Climate Change Commission as a "PART TIME JOB", actually only a justification prop for Gillard's Waterloo Carbon Tax, for the mere pittance of A$180 000. Add in his five cohort commissioners plus an admin/support base and it is a saving over a million.
The whole exercise is accurately described as propaganda as their output was borrowed not developed.
Don't get me wrong Dr Flannery is a pretty impressively educated man with paleontology, mammalology and environment successes, many published, and his PhD on the evolution of Kangaroos.
The give away on his profile is the additional sobriquet "environmental activist"?
Not much reference to climatology, meteorology, oceanography or atmospherics, but I guess still eminently qualified to speak on the slowly disintegrating consensual "science" behind taxing the minuscule effects of human development on the planet.
In the latter decade of last century the "inter governmental panel on climate change", IPCC set out to save the planet.
Socialists and melons quickly worked out, here was a golden goose. Failed national Presidential Candidate Al Gore among many to make himself a very rich man.
Following the Kyoto conference, politicians bargained rorts based on taxing the burning of carbon with justifying predictions of environmental disaster including Pacific nations submerged under the sea, Glaciers melting into history, the Antarctic Continent and Greenland losing vast amounts of ice, the Arctic becoming an Ice free ocean, all down to catastrophic rises in the surface temperature of the planet
The only thing that has melted is the whole "House of Cards".
The dire predictions of disaster have not quite worked out, all the computer model graphs are so far ahead of the curve of reality, any commercial entity or individual with responsibility would be seeking bankruptcy protection, remember the "Hockey Stick", na didn't think so, too embarrassing I guess.
First, Global Warming, then it morphed into Climate Change, now the entirely discredited heap of horse shit is reduced to outbursts of redemption when some weather disaster strikes, called "adverse weather events."
Makes for headlines in what now passes for News but the facts are still not cooperating.
Areas that many humans avoided for reasons of historical disasters, including drought, flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, swamps, snows have become more intensively settled for many reasons, placing more people in paths of danger, previously avoided.
Communication advances and ability to capture images of events that in ages past were never reported let alone instantly reproduced on media within minutes.
Intensification and development of monolithic production systems of agriculture are more prone to destruction from weather events.
800 center pivot irrigators partially or totally destroyed in winds, the equal of which in the early 1970s just moved soil, vegetation and the odd structure.
Of course the perception is greater impacts, the reality is, it has been occurring for centuries.
We are under continual threats from weather and climate and the world is currently in a warming phase albeit somewhat stalled at present and nobody will know until time passes is it going to continue to rise or, as will probably happen, cool again.
Medieval warm period was followed by a pretty parky period when Londoners walked across the Thames.
Greenland was named for a very simple reason it was GREEN.
Opening the North West passage from the North Atlantic to the Northern Pacific has been a very challenging and expensive exercise for centuries.
This planet we call home is a very resilient beast and if there were no monetary rewards for politicians and thieving bastards like Gore the whole rort would never have gained traction, also surface temperature is a very convenient target for the visceral hatred of business, particularly oil companies, by the melons as a means to an end.
Tony Abbott's Coalition move is hopefully a small step back to sanity for a world on a train to nowhere.
Bloggers and some media have reported on the PPTA's call for state schools to ban sporting and cultural contact with charter schools. The PPTA also is reported to have sent threatening letters to the organisations applying for charter school licences.
The PPTA website claims 18,000 members but Adolf is unsure whether membership of the PPTA is a pre-condition for registration.
This latest appalling example of bully-boy tactics over a minor issue, combined with its history of crying wolf (ably documented by Matthew Hooton) leads me to conclude NZ would be better off without the PPTA. It's time to give it the arse.
The education minister should:-
immediately legislate to make membership of the PPTA voluntary.
write to all Boards of Trustees advising the 'instructions' from the PPTA to its members to boycott charter schools are illegal.
ask Boards of Trustees to write to all teaching staff advising that any attempt to 'boycott' charter schools will result in disciplinary action.
apply to the courts for the deregistration of the PPTA.
Here's a little example of the edufacist mindset. From the PPTA constitution:-
"(ii) If the Executive shall at an ordinary meeting thereof by a two-thirds majority of those present and entitled to vote resolve that such member be expelled or excluded from membership by reason of: (a) wilful disregard of any policy decided upon by the Annual Conference of the Association or decisions of the National Executive ...."
And here are some of the children these people turn out.
Many buildings, that survived the destructive forces that leveled the CTV and PGC buildings on February 22nd 2011 with tragic loss of lives, are now being subjected to closure or threat of closure because they are insufficient in the compliance codes now in place, on a percentage basis.
The Masters Holywood Theatre in the seaside beach village of Sumner is one of hundreds.
Situated only a short distance from the epicenter of the Feb 22nd quake in the Heathcote Valley to the west, this old darling is still standing unmarked.
Where many a romantic lethario took his ladylove for a backseat view of a movie, the content of which was of no importance, CERA is asking for additional DEE reports to allow the business to continue to operate.
The "Holly" is only one of hundreds of buildings closed or under threat, here in Paradise, the Duvauchelle Hall, a single story structure relocated onto new foundations a few years back, apparently requires work that the Owner CHCH City wants done but it is well down on priority.
Similarly, the very grand old Gaeity Theatre in Akaroa stands apparently straight and true but is rated to low for compliance and again is over a year away from attention.
Both remain closed.
I know we all have serious regard for the total failures of compliance and inspection that saw the tragic outcomes in those two relatively modern buildings in the City but as a layman watching how Bureaucracy is performing now, so many years on, it is difficult not to ask is the system relevant and working.
Hey chaps and chapesses, 30% compliant with standards that have little relevance to construction systems 100 years on for buildings that absorbed those forces and survived, might just be a crock, sadly nobody seems to care enough to do anything about it, it just seems easier to be too busy elsewhere.
Far simpler to wave the codes as threats without regard for relevance or consequences for owners or potential users.
After Key became leader of the National Party and it was clear he was going to mop the floor up with Labour in 2008, that party and its associated bloggers went nuts coming up with examples of Key's "lies" or "corruption," which mostly turned out to be rather pathetic attempts and probably helped Key rather than hindered him.
Interesting then to see National's supporters squawking "liar" about Cunliffe the last week. It turns out that he isn't actually a current member of Forest and Bird (membership lapsed a while back), and that his volunteer work for Auckland City Mission was actually working for his church that was delivering food parcels on behalf of the mission. Not exactly the stuff great propaganda coups are made of, is it?
Then Matthew Hooton has a bizarre turn on Radio NZ National, trying to shout down his host with his denunciation that Cunliffe lied about being involved in the formation of Fonterra. The Standard's done some work on it and Hooton's responded in comments threads, and the upshot is that Cunliffe was actually only involved in the mergers that happened in preparation for the formation of Fonterra (its actual formation happened after he became an MP).
So this is desperate, desperate stuff. In fact, it's rather reminiscent of events in my first paragraph. Looks like the 2014 election should be fun for those of us who like to see people making fools of themselves.
Scientists are alarmed as a growing number of schools considering ditching science from the compulsory curriculum because it is too difficult for some pupils.
More precisely, "students were struggling to achieve NCEA level 1."
Which is a handy illustration of the following: if, instead of leaving professional educators to get on with educating, you decide that their work must be treated as a business, with the appropriate performance measurements, incentives etc, you will achieve that which you incentivise. And if what you incentivise is the passing of exams, that cause will result in an effect.
Fairfax media are suggesting a leaked poll shows KRudd saved many sorry arses for Labor.
Had the narcissistic little cretin quietly gone away when Gillard was promoted in 2010 , had her policy mix not been under constant threat from the white ants of KRudd and his traitorous band, it may not have been necessary to save so many from oblivion.
It is pretty hard to avoid the conclusion that, for better or worse, the United States (read President Obama) has been slam dunked by the Russian Federation (read President Putin) over Syria. Obama was days/hours away from ordering a pre-emptive strike only to have Putin finesse him with the proposal to have the Assad regime destroy its stockpile of chemical weapons. It will be fascinating to see how that unfolds.
But it is interesting to step back and reflected on the dynamics of how this played out. On one hand we have the United States with tacit support from many others (mainly western countries) align with the 'moderate' so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), itself a disparate grouping of mainly Sunni Arabs (Assad's supporters are mainly Alawis), committed to toppling the Baath Party regime, supported by Russia which is committed to protecting its extensive economic and military interests in that country at risk from any change of government.
But it's not quite as simple as that because another opposition player is Jabhat al-Nusra (The Support Front for the People of Greater Syria). The leader of the Front, Abu Mohammad al-Golani, has affirmed its allegiance to Al Queda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. In June this year the Front was designated a terrorist organisation by the United Nations.
One can understand where Russia is coming from with their fear of Islamic radicals in any new Syrian Government. They have enough experience of radical Islam at home. The United States should be equally fearful.
It is my judgement that both sides in this civil war are capable of committing atrocities. That's what happens in civil wars. You overlay that with the volatile nature of Middle Eastern politics, you factor in a war weary 'West' and you come to the conclusion that the risks associated with outright intervention (the law of unintended consequences) far outweighs any likely gain. I firmly believe the West would be well advised to stand back and let matters take their course.
I will be interested in the debate this posting throws up.
So he can't walk on water. In fact he can't even tell the truth. It seems the 70% of his colleague peers who judged him unfit to lead the Labour Party have been born out in spades with the revelation here that the claim in his c.v. that he did voluntary work at the Auckland City Mission was a lie.
The article goes on to detail other episodes where Mr Cunliffe may have been economical with the truth.
If Cunliffe cannot be trusted to tell the truth about himself then how can we believe anything he says.
EtC et al will claim this is all part of the GRWC. For myself I prefer the views of the 70% of his caucus colleagues.
Adolf lives twenty minutes up the road from the Holden Australia's HQ and plant at Elizabeth where some eighteen hundred people are employed. For over ten years Holden has received government subsidies upon threat of closure and job loss. I've seen a report that Holden has a business plan which relies on a gummint contribution of $275mil. Some business plan!
It's all on again but this time it's Abbot in the chair, not Gillard Rudd and public opinion has moved substantially against the idea of further subsidies. Just like the Mafia in the US during the thirties and forties, they are a drain on all the people who work hard and pay taxes.
Essentially, Holden has abrogated its right to manage its own business by entering into grotesque agreements which allow unions to dictate staff numbers and work rates. That's fine for as long as you can hold out your hand each year for a welfare cheque during boom times but Rudd and Co have left the nation seriously in debt. ($400b)
It will not be too politically difficult for Abbott to say to Holden 'Sorry, you're on your own. Like you, we too are broke. Come back in three years time when you have introduced all the efficiencies which have been blocked by your unions.'
The question everybody is asking is 'Will Tony stand up to them or will he cave in?'
Hyperbole is part and parcel of politics so I wasn't too concerned by the statement of that nice Mr Goff in the House that Jonathon Coleman, Minister of Defence, was in the process of sacking Lt Gen Rhys Jones, Chief of Defence.
The reality is that his term of appointment is due to expire in January 2014. It is also a reality that extensions of service, at that level, are not the norm although they have occurred. While General Jones may have wanted an extension, I don't think his case was helped by health issues (he suffered a heart attack last year) nor by his handling of the defamation case brought against him by journalist Jon Stephenson.
So the question now turns to his replacement. My understanding that the process of selecting a replacement has begun. I have previously posted my disquiet as to the handling of the redundancy issue and particularly the quite appalling letter sent to those being let go signed off at the service chiefs level. I believe that anyone involved with those letters should have their expressions of interest dust binned.
If it means reaching down to some bright one star and promoting him over the herd then sobeit. It's time to move on from that whole sorry saga.
In spite of numerous pledges across the nation in the recent travelling three ring circus, by Silent T, to repay all that 70% support from the Unions in his successful campaign for the leadership of the chaotic NZLP parliamentary team, divided and factionalised as it is, The Messiah in subsequent actions and deeds has minimal respect for the spirit of the law enacted in 2004 by the Clark administration to "protect vulnerable workers".
One of the effects of Part 6A means when a new operator gains a contract they must retain staff with their pay rates and conditions intact, for all those who where employed under the now redundant contract.
That virtually proscribes any changes for a new contractor to increase efficiencies, nothing surprising in that Luddite socialist approach.
Fresh on the job after Sundays announced victory, Silent T, or as Soper labeled him, Martin Luther (I had a dream) Cunliffe has been wielding a machete around the Big Room at the leaders office.
Chippie lost his Whips Job with the accompanying pay loss,
"sank a thousand ships faced" Fenton, similar fate as Deputy Whip,
Two handed Robertson lost the deputy leadership to be replaced by "dodgy Lawyer" Parker,
Thug, "Big Trev" has apparently dropped his Cellphone into San Fransisco Bay but his shadow house leader jobhas gone to Rainbow Robertson
and now, in spite of all the big talk about protecting 'vulnerable' workers, blood is flowing freely into the scuppers around NZLP HQ as staffers unable to prove absolute loyalty are being beheaded in ways only Allah would approve of.
Over at Kiwiblog, Farrer relates how he was totally in support of English when Brash made his move as a Nat Staffer but suffered no change in his position and just transferred his effort and unquestioned loyalty in support of the new Boss.
Socialists are wired differently, recall how they saw no possibility that Ms Setchell could do her job professionally for them while she was in a relationship with a man working in John Key's office.
All because they have no concept of loyalty, honesty, probity, integrity, veracity, as they are not words they use or understand. They just cannot conceptualise that anyone in such a situation would not act as they would and are therefore, untrustworthy.
I know Silent T has legal protection for his rampage, his actions are exempt from Pt 6A, during the reunification but it does have a rather hypocritical look to it.
There's all sorts of journalistic and Laborite spleen being vented in Australia about the inclusion of only one woman in Tony Abbott's new cabinet. Never mind that Liberal front bencher Sophie Mirabella lost her seat to a Greenie masquerading as a 'conservative independent.' Next thing you know the Fairfax and ABC Labor luvvies will be advocating a 'man ban.'
Anyway, it's worth pointing out that the cabinet of Margaret Thatcher had in it only one woman; I'm pretty sure the cabinet of Golda Meir had in it only one woman and I wouldn't be at all surprised if the cabinet of Indira Gandhi had in it only one woman.
Not for them the useless mediocrities elevated beyond their abilities according to the shape and size of their genitalia.
New Zealand Labour supporters will be feeling totally let down after Cunliffe's appalling performance today. The worst part of it was his pathetic head shaking as he droned through his tedious questions to the PM. Does he think he's in the running for a bloody OSCAR or something?
What on earth possessed him to pursue the PM on the matter of fibre versus copper? How will that issue resonate with Waitakere Man? A big fat ZERO, that's how.
Yesterday was bad enough but today just about sealed his fate.
I wonder what the leftie bloggers will make of it all?
Hence the moves to plain packaging for ciggies and now possibly for Alcohol, Fast foods and whatever the Nazis can dream up next.
Last Friday Night, Lianne Dalziel and Paul Lonsdale came to paradise campaigning for the City Mayoralty and my Friday Night Happy Hour was rudely interrupted.
Lonsdale handed out a Business card with blue and dark red on the face side while the other mayoral candidate employed a larger card with absolutely zero reference to her tribal past.
No NZLP insignia or red coloring, just gentle pastels of green, blue and lemon and messages of inclusion and independence.
Sorry Ms Dalziel, some of us recall your 30 plus years of tribal Labour and when coupled with the reason for your slip from the cabinet table this suggested Road to Damascus relaunch. is a charade at best.
Remembering also Damascus is not what it used to be either.
The once proud tradition of the NZLP and its almost suffocating hold on Christchurch governance that led to the very accurate sobriquet, 'The Peoples Republic', might slip by the younger voters or alternatively be embraced as worthwhile but McFarlane, Manning, Pickering, Buck, Moore and now you, did not always have the people and in particular the Ratepayers as a relevant point of foundation for building memorials at no personal cost, just OPMs
You are being either devious or dishonest to claim what you can do for our rebuilding City when the legislation that dear old Sir Geoffrey implanted giving such power to the paid officials while emasculating the elected that I guess you must have supported, is going to prevent delivery of many of your promises.
I was not totally impressed with Lonsdale's Container city but allied to Ballantines survival, his actions did give a measurable bit of support to a new beginning, for that he is deserving of credit even if only for trying.
The City I remember with fondness, was built by many people using their own money, some went broke while much survived until the seismic events of three years ago triggered the sad end to it all.
Today we need as many possible to put up their own gold for the rebuild.
Leaving it to dreamers using OPMs will never be as successful as those dreamers have no, "skin in the game", a fact that does make a real difference and is so vital.
For now Ms Dalziel, you are continuing your place at the trough replete with all the perks and advantages contained therin, on a pledge to resign on the eve of the poll result. I guess if Paul Lonsdale should be revealed as a genuine contender with a chance of winning it is just possible you may 'forget' to mail that letter.
You cannot fool all the people all the time but on this occasion if enough maybe influenced, it might just work for you.
For me, had you not gone to plain packaging, it is possible you may have retained a shred of respect in your latest endeavour.
Following on from the other day, I thought I'd have a look at what Mr Cunliffe should do to revitalize Labour. However, when I got up and read the news and blogs I saw that he might already have screwed up the whole thing by relentlessly attacking PM John Key. As Captain Mannering would say - 'You stupid boy!' The first days of his tenure are what people will remember.
Instead of attacking John Key, Cunliffe should be studying his methods and the reasons for his success and vote winning popularity. Cunliffe also should study the last four years of Australian PM designate, Tony Abbott, who has managed to change his public persona from that of an aggressive bovver boy into a cool, calm, collected and competent Prime Minister in waiting. Cunliffe needs to project Labour as slightly left of centre but not alarmingly so.
Above all else, Cunliffe has to look and sound as though he is ready to govern. To do this he needs to (a) wind right back his OTT rhetoric, (b) get rid of the 'old Labour farts, (c) steal as many of National's successful policies as he can, (d) produce some genuine new policy ideas, (e) go bipartisan and (f) in cricketing parlance, bowl to National's weakness, All these things will help distance Labour from the toxic Greens while attracting Green voters.
Tim Watins said it all on his blog this morning. When the lefties are telling you to stop attacking, maybe it might be time to stop attacking.
He also needs to wind down the John Key attacks. That work a treat with the base, but Key remains a defiantly popular Prime Minister with most New Zealanders. They don't want to hear talk of battleground and fights and how he'll expose and bring down a guy they think isn't too bad a bloke. Most New Zealanders want to hear about service, solutions and how Labour will prove itself worthy again (a message Goff didn't want to sell and Shearer couldn't). A little humility will go a long way; a little name-calling will go a long way too, just in the other direction.
(b) The OLFs
Mallard, Goff, King et al. Bring in genuine new talent. If it can't be found on the back benches then find the right people and bring them in as staffers. People like Stuart Nash, Kelvin Davis and other non union people. Cunliffe needs to present a team which will be perceived to be at least as good as the current National team.
(c) Policy Theft
Head and shoulders above the rest, the one policy Cunlife needs to pinch is John Key's 'If it's good for NZ and NZers we'll do it.'
(d) New Ideas
This is the key area which will resonate with middle NZ and swing voters. Some examples:=
Fast track the removal of sea freight from Auckland's waterfront to Marsden Point.
Commit to upgrade the rail systems serving Marsden Point and Port of Tauranga.
Increase defence spending with an RAAF fighter squadron permanently based at Ohakea.
Reverse John Key's decision to fund Loopy Len's loop. If Auckland ratepayers want his Useless Loop, don't ask Wellington and Christchurch tax payers to pay for it.
Appoint Shearer as foreign affairs spokesman and immediately go with him to visit Commodore Bainimarama. Drop the silly sanctions.
Commit to cease endlessly paying money to fat lazy people who refuse to work.
Ditch the silly capital gains tax policy. Instead instruct the IRD to aggressively and relentlessly pursue housing speculators via existing legislation. If necessary, change the legislation to put the onus of proof regarding intent on the tax payer.
Fast track processes and consents relating to the oil and gas industry. Actively promote the economic benefits of fracking.
Congratulate the National government on its handling of the Christchurch rebuild.
(f) Turning Strength Into Weakness.
National's two great strengths currently are the popularity and easy going persona of its leader compared with the opposition, along with the competence of its team. If Cunliffe can present himself as Labour's version of John Key he will have neutralised the first and when his team is seen as credible he will have neutralised the second. Then a wicket is just around the corner.
With the pretty impressive gains made by Spittall and Coutts with Oracle Team USA boat particularly upwind, many including swmbo, are pissed that over a dozen boat builders have decamped from their base in The City Of Sails (sales) to assist them.
Honda makes a racing engine, it is put into a chassis made in Australia and the result is piloted to victory in a race by a New Zealand driver in Dubai. The winning "team" is feted, this is no different.
The biggest message is Team New Zealand.
As uncle Don Corleone said when ordering the death of an acquaintance, " its just business"
One of the few benefits and the driver of state support, in this very expensive exercise, must be to create tangible outcomes or we are wasting our time and money.
Our boat building and technical know how/can do, coupled with the research and development is world renowned and we are only scratching the surface for generating real advantage.
Go Emirates Team New Zealand with Camper, Toyoya, Nesspresso, Omega and New Zealand inc along with all the entrepreneurs who have gone up to San Fransisco to gain their advantage from the clear opportunity for spin offs available.
I did express a wish that a "Black Wash" leaving Oracle in the history book with its negative score, now I couldn't give a toss if we only win by one point and leave Larry Ellison whinging about that well deserved penalty for cheating and wallowing in the dust of his very expensive dreams.
It will be very good for Auckland and the rest of New Zealand to get the Auld Mug back.
From what I can see, Mr Cunliffe has made a good start.
Above all else, unlike his hapless predecessor, he has been DECISIVE.
Cleaned out the crawler Hipkins and the toxic and malevolent Fran Mold. Mallard has to be next.
He needs to forget about internal factions and focus all his energies and those of caucus on winning back the confidence of middle New Zealand. Forget about all the crap spouted by everyone in the primaries. He'll tack back to the centre.
Adolf would suggest he takes a leaf out Muldoon's book and makes a condition of granting any spokesman privileges to the slug Robertson and the rest of the pathetic ABC brigade their agreement to provide him with undated signed letters of resignation.
Last night at Eden Park the French Ref made a match changing call when he delivered a yellow card to the Bok Hooker for what replays showed was a fair tackle that took Carter out of the Tournament with a shoulder injury.
The true ramifications of the early card graduated to disastrous for the visitors when Du Plesses put an elbow "fend" into the throat of Liam Messam, that was judged as a yellow card, fairly imo, but as a second in the match it became a red and he was gone from the match early in the second half.
That really ended the Bok challenge to overcome what is becoming a hoodoo as they have not succeeded on that ground since 1937.
This morning in race one of the double header, Dean Barker and his crew avoided a regatta ending capsize by millimeters and Spittal avoided a collision by reacting to give ETNZ space to recover without collision.
However that gave Oracle team USA the race that got them to zero.
The whole incident gave the lie to the armchair admirals suggesting the only ploy left for Oracle was to damage ETNZ's only boat.
After speculation whether ETNZ would play their delay card, Race two started in winds at the upper limit.
Another great start by Barker and with ETNZ flying away and looking like winners, officials intervened and called race two off.
I am always gobsmacked that when drivers/riders decide a circuit seems to have danger beyond what their reason suggests acceptable, they do not just slow down, they ask for modifications to the layout.
When conditions, road surface or layout are assessed as unacceptable in terms of risk to me, I slow down, not rocket science just being pragmatic.
Once the AC start has gone within the limits it seems crazy that it can be called off but that is officialdom at its pedantic best and I have a much better understanding how Team Bok is feeling today.
A bridge not many cross even if they know where it is.
Traveling between Kaikoura's Whales and the Hanmer Springs Thermal area, the shortest distance is Highway 70 to Waiau then cutting across the western edge of the Amuri Plain through the old Lyndon and Leslie hills stations and crossing the Waiau River at what is known as Double Bridges.
Two bridges utilising an Island, then returning to the Lewis Pass Highway at Montrose.
No more however as the massive storm that delivered destructive winds and heavy rains in the headwaters has left the shortcut closed.
Situated at the intake for the Amuri Plains Irrigation canal it gave an appearance of a very stable rock foundation but that has been compromised as the Pics from the Hurunui District Council website show.
For now no-one can cross it, not massive in infrastructure problem but inconvenient for some and expensive for the ratepayers as it is a County road, and just the sort of unexpected cost a small local authority can face that was a significant driver in my support for the absorption of Banks Peninsula Dist Council into Christchurch City.
On both sides of the Tasman, leadership contests are occurring for the socialists.
Here the three ring circus is concluding on Sunday after a month of a rudderless Labour opposition, with Martin Luther Cunliffe the likely successor, the Union vote the clincher.
The West Island is embarking on a similar process between Anthony Albanese, elevated to deputy leader after the resurrection of the once vanquished vegemite man, and Bill Shorten, famous for ending the careers of two sitting prime ministers in spectacular fashion in little more than three years. It is estimated that the process over there will consume two months leaving the destroyed labor Party without a shadow cabinet as Abbott sets out to govern the lucky country. In light of the constitutional and democratic function suspensions recent talk is to install Declared non candidate Chris Bowen, KRudd's Treasurer, to become an interim house leader with the campaign ministry now defeated, to be the shadow cabinet.
A common thread exists in the charade in both cases with the supposed democratisation of leadership elections leaving potential leaders in both cases unable to command support from a majority of the team they are to lead.
Is that a recipe for instability or what.
Much of the inherent instability in any leadership change occurs when the loser sulks and schemes on the back bench. KRudd did for three years and that contributed substantially to Gillard's blighted ministry.
Muldoon ran a similar role but did not show overt designs on a return to the top job.
A more sensible addition to the inevitable removal of a leader process for any political party, could come with a rule triggering the immediate departure of a defeated head honcho from the party, enabling a better semblance of a new start.
Gillard had the grace and dignity to leave promptly leaving the field clear for KRudd's best shot that fell well short .
On the other hand the longest serving Australian Prime Minister in modern time, John Howard, would have gone to the knackers yard in the musical chairs following the Frazer reign and in the face of the dominating charismatic and popular Bob Hawke.
Peacock, Howard, Hewson, Downer, then Howard again, conducted a very damaging series of leadership contests that had the net effect of losing unloseable elections and perpetrating Hawke and then Keating's hold on federal power.
The National Party has shown no signs of abandoning the brutal but decisive changes in command, that is definitely a benefit for the party, the caucus and the country.
On Wednesday after a thumping in excess of a minute that stands as massive in the current America's Cup in race one, Larry Ellison's Oracle waved a white flag and used their one wild card to avoid the second race of the day.
Spittle, Oracle Skipper, immediately decamped to the chase boat to consult with Sir Russell Coutts, Oracle campaign head.
Today, apparently on Ellison's call, Sir Benedict Ainsley, British yachting supremo with four Olympic gold medals and a silver, replaced John Kostecki as "tactician."
Kostecki was regarded as the expert on the local winds and tides of San Fransisco Bay.
Today, it looks as if Emirates Team NZ goes to a 6 vs minus one lead in the race to nine wins.
Ellison and Oracle are in a seriously losing position and Dean Barker's team will be intent on putting up a final score that maintains the Minus one for the holder as a lasting monument to why Oracle was still not on the scoreboard when they hand the Auld Mug over.
Having played two knights and dumped on John Kostecki, what do they have left?
.... you don't print any bad news until after the election. Especially if you are the Sydney Morning Herald.
Adolf blinked when he saw this headline in today's online issue. Haven't I seen that somewhere before? Like in the Australian, a week before the election?
Around midday, the local unit was trading at 92.72 US cents, down from 93.54 US cents just prior to the release of the August labour force data. (The August labour force data was released on September 3rd.)
That is the well established mantra of the dead tree press as it continues its inexorable slide to insolvency.
When was the last time you heard a story on Honary Consuls.
For me it was the fruitless and rather self promoting for personal benefit, attempts of now Sir Owen Glen to achieve that exalted status representing NZ in Monaco.
This morning Mike Hosking interviewed Anthony Mosse, an above average swimmer, graduate of Stamford University and currently NZ Honary Consul in San Fransisco.
He briefly outlined how as Consul he is the go to agent for NZ Inc in tourist problems, trade initiatives, and rather coyly, assistance for a NZ Citizen with legal problems, maybe for instance the partner of a senior NZ Politician, or was that Los Angeles.
After an impressive career as a Butterfly swimmer at World, Olympics and Commonwealth levels and a successful academic stint at one of the most prestigious universities outside the Ivy League campuses in the eastern states, he is settled with his American Wife and children as a Merchant Banker.
A self effacing portrait , all positive, on how a very successful one of us, ok he was born in Hong Kong, continues to represent his country on the world stage.
The man who Barrie Soper so gorgeously described as Martin Luther Cunliffe, oh so humbly thinks he is the man for the job, however he might just have a couple of wee problems.
Anyone with even a passing interest in the spectacular fall, fall and fall further of the once great Australian Labor Party would have to have been marooned on a desert island for half a decade to have missed the salient fact, the greatest factor in that demise was factional infighting coupled closely with Grandiose Narcissistic behaviour of the main protagonist.
The Liberal campaign team commissioned a report on the behavioral traits of Kevin Rudd as part of preparations for the Federal elections and that was the diagnosis the consult produced. It was never used and Coalition leader was never appraised of it.
Basically it stated Rudd was a mirage propped by one motivator and should he overcome the odds and threaten to gain re-election it could be used with out preamble to bring him down in hours on many fronts.
Less than a psychotic trait it is more a character trait where an infallible belief of intellectual superiority was the main driver, manifesting as a single prop.
Should it be kicked out, Rudd's paranoia, a vindictive response including the resulting retaliation would do the job for the Liberal/National Coalition.
Some have suggested that "The Man With a Dream" exhibits traits that seem a little similar.
His behavior towards Shearer, and Goff previously, coupled with the somewhat OTT launch in the presence of portraits of Savage, Nash, Frazer, could support a perception among dispassionate observers to consider him to at least have behavioral issues.
His treatment of Jenny Michie is a pointer to poor judgement and dysfunction in management skills if nothing else.
In a political talk show before Shearer stood down, Michie, in response to a question, state a view that she did not think a majority of New Zealanders were ready to elect an openly Homosexual Prime Minister. Now that is pretty much a statement of a widely held view, if not a fact.
Enter the idjit Curran from Dunedin South, who committed another social media massive fail with her pathetic use of 'Twitter' and suddenly MLC felt he had to prove he was really a man of action by firing Jenny, his Campaign manager. I guess it was an unpaid job but certainly showed a deficit of knowledge in matters of dismissal process and inherent fairness by MLC.
Now it appears the cumbersome and anti democratic selection process could possibly install as leader the Man who cannot command anything better than a 1/3 of the caucus votes.
Is that a recipe for disunity and instability or what, we find out on Sunday.
Will that be the second, third or whatever coming cos I believe the union faction will be the difference consigning Handy Jones and Grunter Robertson to the scrap heap along with King, Cosgrove, Curran, Mallard, FaFoi, Little and Adern may survive but only as wounded with debts.
Depends how that "dream" he had turned out I guess.
Jock Paget 29 years old, started riding horses 11 years ago after starting out his working life as a bricklayer.
He led Burghey Three day Horse Trial from start to finish on Clifton Promise to add to his success at Badminton.
Should he win at the Kentucky event next April he collects a cool $450k US bonus for the "grand slam".
Along with Sir Mark Todd, Jonelle Richards and Andrew Nicholson, the Kiwis finished 1 2 3 6 7 and 8th with Paget's second Horse Clifton Lush being with-held from vet inspection on the third day.
A very technically demanding 2nd phase cross country of 4 1/2 miles in 11 minutes brought the New Zealanders through to dominate.
Presuming the weighting has changed very little since the sport dominated Gravedodger's family in the 1970s with dressage at 10% Xcountry at 70% and show jumping at 20%, the local thoroughbred horses can overcome dressage scores to come through to win.
Unfortunately at the Olympics, where we are supposed to see the very best win, the soft cocks, determined to allow more to compete, lower the degree of difficulty from the "Four Star" rating of Badminton, Burghley and Kentucky to around 3.5 star rating largely negating the excellence of The N Z riders and horses.
Two very successful center right leaders welcome a third aboard.
Three fraudsters await sentence in the citizens court.
Robertson lied with out compunction or apparent guilt when he claimed his best friend, Alf, was unable to accompany him to the Pub when being interviewed by Ms Soper while the very same Alf was moving in frame behind them.
Outside the Queens Theatre, Cunliffe stated Jones had pledged his support with second preferences but when Jones was asked, he denied it vehemently.
Now either Jones or Cunliffe is clearly lying and given their track records, probably both are.
.......written by an ex president of the Australian Labor Party, about Labor.
So good is it, with acknowledgement to The Australan newspaper, I have reproduced in full this piece by Mr Warren Mundine.
Read it all.
SATURDAY'S election loss is a watershed moment for the ALP. Labor's heartland in western Sydney has become its battleground.
People need to comprehend the magnitude of Labor losing in western Sydney. It would be a bit like the Liberals losing on Sydney's upper north shore or in Melbourne's north-eastern suburbs.
The idea that seats such as Werriwa, McMahon, Reid and Banks would be hard fought in a federal election would have been hard to imagine 20 years ago.
Werriwa was Gough Whitlam's seat and, with one exception, has been held by Labor for nearly 100 years. Over the past two elections there has been a swing of about 12 per cent from Labor in Werriwa and at the next election it will be a marginal seat. McMahon, Reid and Banks had been Labor seats since their creation. Even allowing for redistributions, these seats have seen successive shifts away from Labor. Banks has been lost and Reid was on a knife edge. And it is extraordinary that Labor was so worried about even its safest seats in western Sydney that it replaced its leader just before an election.
The real issue in western Sydney is not whether the electorate ends up red or blue, but what sits beneath that. At both the state and federal levels, in its so-called heartland Labor increasingly has to work for votes, allocate sparse campaign resources and, in some cases, rely on candidates' personalities, even mudslinging, to get over the line. This trend has been emerging since the mid-1990s.The Labor heartland is turning away from the ALP. If the party does not change it will be very hard to win it back.
I'm from what's called the traditional base of the Labor Party. Raised in a working-class family, I grew up in South Grafton and, from primary school, in Auburn in western Sydney. Everyone I knew lived in poverty or just above it, were members of a union, and voted Labor. These were people with working-class values centred on God, family, work and community. They volunteered at their church and schools. Many sent their kids to Catholic schools even though they couldn't really afford it. They all worked long hours in low-paid jobs. As a young man I lived in Lidcombe, Minto and St Marys. I travelled four hours a day to and from work in a factory, and later to dig sewer lines. As a struggling young father in a low-paid job I often didn't have enough money to buy a train ticket, so I used to jump the tracks.
The labour movement emerged to help people like us. Its goal was to lift working-class people out of poverty and answer their aspirations in education, jobs, income, home ownership and retirement.
My father was a grader driver. My parents' first home was a humpy by the Clarence River. My parents wanted to buy a house, but they were struggling. As an Aboriginal man, my father earned a third of the income of other workers doing the same job. He joined the Australian Workers Union and they helped him secure equal pay. My parents would never have owned their own home if it were not for the AWU.
Working-class families couldn't afford to live on a single income so most mothers worked. It was the labour movement that first secured maternity leave for working women. The Whitlam government gave paid maternity leave to commonwealth public servants and the Australian Conciliation & Arbitration Commission brought in 12 months unpaid maternity leave in 1979. Labor also introduced compulsory superannuation: an important asset to working people who don't have generational wealth.
A funny thing happened over the past few decades. Working-class people actually did lift themselves out of poverty; people such as my family and my Auburn classmates. The people I grew up with no longer live in poverty. They bought their own homes. Some even bought a second property, encouraged by Keating's introduction of negative gearing. Women took advantage of education and the lifting of discriminatory work practices. Tradies became business owners and employers and many paid off their mortgage and took out private health insurance.
Working-class people also expected their children to get good education, and some were even sent to private schools if the local government school did not meet their expectations. Many of these children went to university or started their own businesses and some now have "white collar" jobs. In turn, their children are doing better than they were at the same age, something they are very happy about. After all, that is why they and their own parents worked so hard.
Most of the people I grew up with still live in the western suburbs, and their core values haven't really changed, centred around God, family, work and the community. Many are still in the same type of jobs they started when they left school. Many are still members of a union, but don't pay a lot of attention to the unions' calls to support Labor. I believe many would not have voted Labor on Saturday.
Over the past six years, I watched aghast as the Rudd-Gillard government attacked some of the country's biggest industries and employers and waged class warfare reminiscent of the 50s. In doing so it alienated the very people Labor claims to represent.
Too bad if your job relies on the mining or energy industries. Those industries are dirty vandals and Labor is going to tax them. Too bad if you've made enough money to deposit some savings. Banks are greedy and risky and Labor is going to tax their deposits. Too bad if you've put extra money into your superannuation. You must be rich and Labor is going to tax you, too. And, by the way, if you've worked your way up the income ladder you're on your own; don't expect a private health insurance rebate, even if the private health system does alleviate the burden on the public system.
Too bad if you're a nurse who gets a vehicle FBT concession. If you get a car through work you're probably rorting the system and Labor is going to stop it. Too bad if your daughter went to university to become a "pretty lady lawyer". Paid parental leave on her full wage would be unfair. She should get the minimum wage instead. If she wants full wage replacement she should go work for the commonwealth public service or the ABC.
Too bad if your business needs to hire workers from overseas because you can't find the people in Australia. You must be a cheat who wants to put Australians out of work. Labor is going to make it even harder for you to get the workers you need. And, by the way, we don't like The Daily Telegraph. Sure it is one of the biggest-selling newspapers in Australia and most of its readers live in western Sydney, but we think it's low brow and biased and its readers are so stupid they'll just vote how Rupert Murdoch tells them to.
The people who I grew up with in the Labor heartland are not interested in a class war. They are interested in keeping their jobs. They aren't being displaced by foreign workers, and many are the children of migrants. They don't regard their employer or major industries as sinister and greedy. They want their employer to make a profit. And they know that if it doesn't they will be out of work. Many of them are employers and business owners.
They don't dislike the mining and energy industries. Many of them work for those industries. In fact, I rarely meet someone in the western suburbs who hasn't thought about getting a job in the mining industry. The only people who don't like mining are sitting in cafes in the inner-city.
Most of all, the people who I grew up with aren't stupid. They know that poor economic management, too much red and green tape and too many taxes on business put their employer's profit, and their jobs, at risk.
None of them chose their vote because of The Daily Telegraph. But you certainly don't win people's votes by telling them they are fools.
Labor doesn't know its heartland any more. It seems to think the defining characteristics of its traditional base are poverty and low education. Actually, the defining characteristics are hard work and aspiration.
Working-class people answered the call of the labour movement. They aspired to better lives and they moved ahead. The problem is that the Labor Party did not move with them.
Over the past 20 years, Labor stopped listening to its traditional base. Instead it put its faith in spin doctors, populist leaders and centralised control by the so-called "faceless men".
In the past Labor waited until its leaders had achieved something great before bestowing messiah status on them. Since the 90s, the party has been anointing people as messiahs before they've actually done anything to justify that label.
In 1991, NSW opposition leader Bob Carr unexpectedly came within four seats of winning the NSW election. Literally overnight, he became a potential saviour, a new messiah.
Carr was elected premier in 1995. His government presided over one of the most sophisticated and effective media machines I have ever seen in Australian politics. His two most senior advisers on winning office were spin doctors, including chief of staff Bruce Hawker. His office took media spin to a new level.
Unfortunately, the delivery did not match the spin. People had the general impression the government was stable and competent. Carr delivered successive budget surpluses. He also delivered a raft of new taxes. And while there were lots of announcements about new transport infrastructure, most never progressed beyond the glossy press release. Sometimes proposals were announced multiple times. All this time, the likes of Eddie Obeid held court in his NSW parliamentary office and dabbled in mining exploration.
Labor took the same populist approach in Queensland under Peter Beattie. Beattie was a brilliant media contortionist and won four elections despite lurching from one scandal and crisis to another. Through his media prowess, he turned Labor scandals into vote-winners by championing the anti-Labor position and effectively railing against himself or by creating helpful distractions like jumping into a shark tank.
Under Labor, in Queensland and NSW, governing became about winning elections at any cost. Instead of identifying the issues and policy solutions and galvanising the community to support them, the government rode the 24/7 news cycle. Instead of building things, the government released announcements about things they might build in the future. Both states were left in dire need of reform and investment. The NSW government's biggest legacy was a Sydney transport system that is woefully inadequate.
Media spin kept Labor in power in those states for more years than it deserved. But eventually the public wised up and Labor suffered record defeats in both states.
It is part of the Rudd legend that by replacing Kim Beazley as leader in 2006 Rudd saved the party from another defeat. That's not correct. Labor was well ahead in the two-party polling when Beazley was removed as leader and I have no doubt that he would have defeated Howard in 2007 had he remained.
However, Labor thought it would do better with a messiah figure than a steady and experienced campaigner with a track record in government, as a cabinet minister no less. First it tried Mark Latham, who roundly lost the 2004 election, his leadership imploding soon after. Later it put its faith in Kevin Rudd.
Rudd resoundingly won the 2007 election with an impressive campaign, once again led by Hawker. In his first term, Rudd achieved some of the highest popularity ratings of any Australian prime minister. However, it soon became clear that Rudd was not the messiah, just a very naughty boy with a very good media strategy.
Ultimately the Rudd/Gillard government was disastrous, with a chaotic three years under Rudd who, after being removed, spent the next three years undermining his successor.
Labor's shift to populism and spin suited a party that was increasingly dominated by its party headquarters.
During the 80s, the Right faction cemented control of NSW Labor, which is now the most powerful state branch, with considerable national influence. It was said that when the Right was successful, Labor was successful. There was some truth in this. The Right shifted Labor policy to the centre, a critical factor in its ability to maintain national government for 13 years under Hawke and Keating. Under the Right's control, NSW Labor become one of the most disciplined and effective organisations in politics.
However, its iron-clad discipline eventually led to an inner machine that wanted full control of what everyone else did to ensure they did it properly. Its public unity on policy led to a complete shutdown of dissent and debate, even behind closed doors. Policy development was displaced by factional deal-doing among party and union officials - the faceless men.
Many say Labor needs to break its nexus with the unions. Union dominance is certainly one of the reasons Labor has lost touch with its heartland, but the problem is far more complex than many understand.
Trade unions have 50 per cent of the votes at ALP conferences. The other 50 per cent is for member delegates, many of whom are also unionists. Something like two-thirds of the federal ALP caucus in the last parliament were former union officials or staffers. Party headquarters are riddled with unionists. More important, Labor has become dependent on union money to fund its election campaigns.
Over this period, union membership in Australia has collapsed to about 18 per cent of the workforce. This means that, more and more, Labor politicians come from a movement that represents a smaller and smaller section of the workforce. But there is another force at work. Union officials also resemble the union members less and less. Gone are the days when a union official would rise to the position from the factory floor. They are far more likely to be an industrial lawyer or economist from a middle-class family who studied at a top university. Many union officials have never had material, if any, experience working in the industries they represent.
When I was growing up, the Labor Party was run by people from all sorts of backgrounds. Before politics, Ben Chifley was a train driver; Gough Whitlam a RAAF flight lieutenant; Bill Hayden a Queensland police officer.
The upshot is that Labor is dominated by a union movement that no longer represents the majority of Australian workers and whose officials don't reflect the workers they were formed to represent. No wonder Labor has become estranged from its heartland.
Today, Labor's leadership is far more interested in factional power plays and political strategy than it is in policy or reform. They spend a lot of time naval gazing and looking inwards. If they want to be a relevant force in Australian politics they will have to re-introduce themselves to some real people. And not just when taking selfies.
In this last election campaign, Labor got the gang back together one more time: Rudd, Carr, Beattie, Hawker and the backroom boys. But reality has finally caught up with the NSW Labor Right's politics of centralised control, a straight-jacketed membership and government-by-media release. The whole thing has come crashing down like a giant Ponzi scheme.
Bob Hawke summed it up best on Saturday night on the Sky News channel - at this election Labor got its lowest primary vote in 100 years; the party needs to stop the hubris and reconnect with ordinary people.
* * *
LAST year I decided not to renew my ALP and Australian Workers Union membership. Occasionally on social media people call me a traitor for leaving the party. In fact, I feel it is the Labor Party that has betrayed me and the people I grew up with. This was our party and over 20 years the faceless men, spin doctors and false messiahs have driven it into a brick wall. Labor is now in need of fundamental structural reform.
First, the party needs to better reflect the communities it represents. Candidates should be elected by rank-and-file members registered on the electoral rolls in that electorate.
This would make branch-stacking more difficult. The relevant national or state executive council should be able to override a rank-and-file vote only in exceptional circumstances.
Second, the party power base needs to embrace a genuine federation. At present the relevant state secretary officiates over candidate elections at the national and state levels. Candidate elections in federal electorates should be officiated over by the national secretary. This would broaden the power base and provide balance, while making it harder for a powerful state executive to gain disproportionate national power.
Union voting entitlement at state and national conferences needs to be reduced, but removing it altogether would be unrealistic - it could suck up a lot of oxygen without making many inroads into the root cause of Labor's problems. The real problem is that Labor has become all talk and no substance, abandoning its core constituents after having lifted their aspirations.
Political success requires substance and sticking to your core values, not populism and looking after your mates. It requires well-thought-out policy based on principles and pragmatism that is actually delivered, not just written on a glossy media release or tweeted on the run.
That was the approach of four of Australia's most successful leaders - Menzies, Hawke, Keating and Howard. It is also the approach of Tony Abbott.
This election and the six years before it left me seriously wondering if the Labor Party might become a spent force. I hope not. But it will need to re-acquaint itself with its heartland and implement some serious reforms. Warren Mundine was the ALP's national president, 2005-07.
Australian elections are so very different and one major law difference, in Australia, it is compulsory to cast a vote on or before election day. Prosecutions and penalties apply.
One of the "problems" for the socialists everywhere, is that the group of voters with little understanding of politics, economics and growing the pie, for many reasons just cant be arsed to vote. I guess they hope that the gummint will do that for them too, an entirely attractive outcome for many of the power brokers.
Hence the left spend considerable effort and resources in often vain attempts to actually get the tick on the ballot.
Compulsory voting seems a simple idea but as with any manoeuvre, all moves have an opposite effect.
The very murky upper house result from Saturdays federal poll is not immune, hence a long wait to discover and declare an outcome.
You might have seen on news reels the canvassing, signage, and razzmatazz at polling stations, all legal but so different to our system where all signage is required to be removed by polling day and the only exception rosettes or ribbons on scrutineers.
One of the few prohibitions, applies to publishing polls in the last hours until polling, much of everything else to gain the last vote is permitted including party officials replete with full uniform, handing out" how to vote cards" complete with logos and colours, to voters as they enter the station.
That is somewhat incomprehensible to a NZ voter until you know for example, the NSW ballot paper was over a meter wide and with 110 candidates to be ranked for the Senate alone.
One of the major impediments to an expeditious early count is the number of ballots that are deliberately spoilt in a two fingered salute, ballots with candidates such as Dr Who added, additional boxes and numbers, and stats would indicate, some who just cannot cope with it all but are denied the staying home option.
Many of the commentariat are openly calling for a review of the jungle that is where the preferences are decided, to bring greater transparency with all the tactics and deal making that are tossed up.
A situation that has the anti Green party candidate gaining preferences from green voters in South Australia. Another anomaly was the Liberal National Coalition in NSW being opposed by a Liberal Democratic candidate with potential accompanying confusion.
Compulsory voting? no way Jose, if it is of such little moment to a dumbarse voter with accompanying lack of appreciation of the true value of a free vote with all the bribery implications, then their electoral weight should be allowed to sink from sight, ignored and uncounted.