Wednesday, July 31, 2019


However precedent indicates he is acting Prime Minister of the Nation.

There may or may not be a Cabinet rule or even precedent for a Deputy Leader to be assumed to be somehow ranked in a party hierarchy. but for the information to the Coalition of second and third-placed plus a Klingon for fourth place, there has been considerable convention that the Deputy Leader of a governing party be ranked in a succession of authority.

An unusual set of circumstances has arisen for the Peoples Republic of Aotearoa in that the Prime Minister is on tour and almost unreachable visiting three atolls collectively known as Tokalau, a NZ  dependancy. The deputy PM and Leader of Winston First is away I think in Thailand.

That might suggest that the Deputy Leader of the largest Party in the Coalition might be assumed to be "Acting Prime Minister", but you may well be in error as after making a scheduled appearance to a friendly gathering outside the Parliament,  when the House sat, he was absent as well, leaving a senior Labour hack to ostensibly fulfil the role of "acting PM'.

Lets do a ranking:
  • Prime Minister (appointed): Ms Ardern.
  • Deputy PM: Mr Peters, leader of Winston First.
  • Next in line: Deputy Leader of Labour, Kelvin Davis.
  • Then if previous form is any guide could it be Winstons heir apparent Shane Jones?
  • The Melons do not figure as they are not in the Coalition and therefore irrelevant (nothing changes).
What does it matter you ask? Well, if something unexpectedly should arise then there needs to be someone that everyone understands to be holding the office: if that is Grunter Robertson then why not admit it.

Harry Trueman famously explained "The buck stops here", indicating his office as President. The US has a system where the President is head of the executive, then there is a Vice President, and should they both be incapacitated the Speaker of the House takes the oath of office as Acting POTUS. Finally comes the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. All those after the Vice President are in an acting role until the Congress decides to confirm them.

Australia currently has a coalition government that has the Leader of the junior party, the Nationals, as Deputy PM, followed by the Deputy Leader of the Liberals.

With Robertsons apparent assumption in the Parliament to be in the role of "Acting PM", perhaps some clarity is needed as in an emergency many people with other designated roles to play need to know who is in charge.

If the Invisible Man is to be placed in "Witless Protection", perhaps it is time to admit he is not The Man he might be, as in the go-to guy.

Boy Scouts Motto: "Be Prepared". Chaos thrives in a vacuum. Mind you, could the current rabble rise above chaos, perhaps not? Can we assume nothing could possibly go wrong? Now where have I heard that before?

As an afterthought, does Dame Patsy have any knowledge who will advise her in a crisis?


An oft-used talking point for those opposing abortion comes with "Who will speak for the unborn child?", and of course no one does, as the developing foetus in the eyes of a pro-choice proponent - a group that is in the majority in noise if not numbers - simply has no rights.

Many, in fact a great many, opposing the removal from danger for defenceless little people, give every impression that the likely death, if not merely serious damage, of that person, just does not rate.

Oranga Tamariki, as child welfare is now titled, has to go to extensive legal lengths before the removal can acquire the status in law of an authorised action. Senior Maori otoh seem only concerned with a potential loss of "Mana". When children in family situations are almost always identified or at least are regarded as "Mana", and are dying at a rate approaching one fatality a week, when do these "Senior Maori" consider enough is enough?

A news item not recalled suggests three babies and toddlers have died since the 'Uplift' attempted and thwarted  at Hawkes bay Hospital five weeks ago.

Dysfunctional relationships feature largely in the deaths of many of these little ones final journey to death, yet what is being done to address such welfare fuelled mayhem? I can not think of a culture anywhere on earth that does not view the gift of a baby as a treasured event, yet we see bunches of rent-a-mob types agitating to prevent a state agency - after an exhaustive legal process - removing a little one from imminent danger.

At present there are hundreds travelling great distances to protest the plans of Fletcher building to provide housing for - among others - disadvantaged "Maori": one more step in an entirely lawful process. Yet the only discernible movement in the Oranga Tamariki due-process journey is one of opposition to any uplifting of a little one deemed at risk after serious steps have been taken to safely get them away from danger. A situation that may have already been the aim of a previous action resulting in removal of other little ones in what can only be described as a saga.

This post is not race-based, as it seems to me, from media focus, to be almost entirely Maori-based as to uplifts and resulting protests against Oranga Tamariki. If you have a better solution to make the little ones safer then by all means tell us.


of Jacinda Ardern's shouting from the rooftops that the Australian Government's policy of deporting foreign nationals who commit serious crimes in that country was having a corrosive effect on trans-tasman relationships has clearly born fruit ...

of the poisoned variety with that government proposing to amend their legislation to to have it that anyone charged with a crime that carries a jail sentence of two years or more will now be eligible for deportation.   Currently the law has it that you have to be convicted of a crime that carries a jail sentence of two years or more.   Read the report here.

You can debate the rights and wrongs of this proposed new law but, one thing for sure, the Prime Minister's intervention and the ham-fisted way she handled it has backfired big time. 


I see that the de-facto Acting Prime Minister in the absence of the Prime-Minister (o'seas); Deputy Prime-Minister (o'seas) and the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party (in witless protection) has come out swinging against Simon Bridges criticism of Jacinda Ardern for being a part-time Prime Minister labeling the comment 'sexist'.

You play the sexist card when you're desperate.   Just what are the Opposition supposed to say about a Prime Minister who, after a holiday break in the Cook Islands and with Parliament about to resume, takes off on another Pacific wave and smile feelz good jolly to see Dad and who, on the eve of her departure, tosses a live grenade into the future of race relations in the country (not to mention private property rights) by effectively siding with the  Ihumātao protesters and then, to compound 'her' unforced error, have her media minders threaten to bar journos covering her jaunt from access to to her should they dare to attempt to question her on why the intervention when only a few days previous she had categorically ruled that out?

The Prime Minister is the Prime Minister is the Prime Minister.  To label legitimate criticism of her as sexist is to demean the term.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Where was Kelvin?

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Kelvin Davis was seen on TV1 news this evening meeting with and addressing the Oranga Tamariki protestors on the steps of Parliament today. Yet he was absent from Question Time where he was expected to be taking questions as Acting Prime Minister.

Obviously Robertson, Hipkins and others put him on Witless Protection again.

Or did Winston decree it before heading off to Thailand earlier in the afternoon.

What a tangled web the Coalition weaves.


that the complainants in the Labour Party Youth Camp Sex scandal had been lent on 'gently' to withdraw their allegations for the good of the Party given that the trial originally set down for March had seemingly disappeared off the radar.

But no, one of our readers has e-mailed me the advice that the trial is set down to commence on Monday 2 September in the Auckland District Court. 

Be interesting to see whether the accused continues to enjoy name suppression and on what basis ... the only one I can think of is that publication of the defendant's name would be likely to cause extreme hardship to the defendant or people connected with the defendant.  

That has to balanced against 'Open Justice' which is a key principal of the countries legal system.


Could I suggest a bit of study before copy cat lemming responses.

Fro five days various talking heads were preparing for a state funeral for the Bridges Leadership of National following a leak of alleged UMR internal Labour Party polling that clearly is conducted around Frazer House and Ponsonby road at morning coffee when airheads (Ponsonby) and wishfull thinkers (Frazer House) make sh*t up.

Head to head in the house Simon Bridges has Ardern struggling particularly during the Pressure Cooker that is Questions for Oral Answer. Struggling so badly at times The Appointed PM needs and receives significant support from Speaker Mallard who variously with interruptions, deflections and his ultimate defence weapon shutting down the process entirely.  Toss in a few life saving moves by her Deputy PM that coming from any other MP would immediately have  the big hammer wielded by Mallard and the embarrassing ineptitude of Ardern  becomes ever more apparent.
Without a prepared script and briefing Ms Ardern can rapidly descend into  total nonsense punctuated by reliable throwaway lines and successive Umms and  Arrs accompanied by vigorous hand signals, frowny faces and head nodding.

Things got even worse while on "Tour" in her daddy's realm of Tokalau, when the Princess "Royal" attempted a shut down of questions on the current Maori argument over freehold land near Auckland Airport in the form of a refusal to accept questions on the potential "Sea bed and foreshore" incident.
This ill thought  action incurred  challenges from previously joined at the Hip infatuated supporters such as Bridges hating Tova Obrien.
A hurried intervention from back in Wellington soon pointed out the inherent dangers her latest dictatorial threats would trigger and a return bout was hurriedly arranged.

Well five days of wet dreams based on the now revealed as very suspect data,  strangely "leaked", a Colmar Brunton poll revealed a stable state of affairs with National and Labour both up 1% and National ahead by four on 45%, the Melons at a relatively safe 7% and Winston First languishing.

If accurate and recent Polling across the globe has that premise seriously under threat of disbelief, Bridges is secure for now but of course the socialists would still just love to see National embark on a Goff, Shearer, Cunliffe, Little,  debacle, beginning with the installation of Judith Collins who would open up a veritable goldmine of "crusher", "Oravido" rich vein of precious new opportunity. 

Napoleon's "Never interrupt your enemy when they are making mistakes" can be admirably applied to the Coalition of Losers, only it is bigly in excess of a single mistake.

There are clear signals the now two year lovein is going stale for an increasing number of  commentators, and the desperation is showing a singular lack of garments for an emperor.

Monday, July 29, 2019


The first big thing I take out of the the poll is that Tova O'Brien's credibility is, yet again, shot to s**t.   Tova, you really need to stop being a shill for the Labour Party and treating as gospel their fake news reports which had National in the mid 30s.   Clearly you and professionalism are 'polls' apart.

To the poll itself and there's not too much to be read in the big numbers with National and Labour both climbing one point with National retaining a two point lead over Labour.

What I do find interesting is that on the raw numbers NZ First; ACT (but for the grace of God .. read National; the Maori Party and the New Conservatives are all wasted votes while the Greens at just 6% are flirting with the 5% (DCM ... don't come Monday) out-of-parliament cut line.    Any more of their shenanigans around pricing 'ordinary' cars out of the reach of 'ordinary' Kiwis and support for Maori land protesters in defiance of the rule of law could tip the scales in the favour of sane politics.

But what I found really interesting were the numbers on the economy.   Only 32% thought the economy would get better vs 41% pessimism with 27% neutral.      Clearly 17% of Labour and Green Party voters have an issue with the gummit's handling of the economy and should it turn further negative then that 27% could prove decisive in the final result come the election.

As to the preferred PM stakes and not much there with the fairy princess dropping 4% and Bridges and Collins both on 6%.    What is surprising though is Christopher Luxton making it onto the charts. Sheesh, he's not even in parliament ... that's a shot across the bows of both Bridges and Collins (and I say that as an unabashed Collins supporter).    As for Ardern making it onto the front page of the UK Vogue magazine alongside Jane Fonda ... many Americans view Fonda as a traitor for her support of the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam war.   Is being associated with Jane Fonda, the quintessential poor little rich girl and poster for the liberal effete, a plus or a minus?   Opinions will vary.

Sunday, July 28, 2019


This from the Labour Party supporting blog 'The Standard' .....

Let’s not bother with the criminal waste of tax on hundreds of working groups, existing to successfully suppressing oppositional opinion through co-option.

Oranga Tamariki has got three investigations underway for removing children, and is being kicked all over the park by the media. Cue another year of paralysis by analysis.

There is no reform of the justice sector.

There’s no substantial reform of social welfare, in particular no raise in base welfare levels, so no improvement in poverty levels this term. That’s another generation of 25% of our children.

Transport remains a fully self-inflicted disaster, with light rail gone from even starting for at least another term, mortality and injury and traffic congestion all soaring, and the only items of note to open this term will be National-inspired motorways in the Waikato.

There are no new partnerships with Labour-led councils such as Christchurch or Auckland, and the ones there are like City Rail Link and Christchurch rebuild were started under National.

Tax policy is a full-throated policy wasteland, with no Capital Gains Tax and no other tax reform either as long as Ardern is PM, so National’s tax settings continuing to oppress most of New Zealand.

Teaching at both secondary and tertiary level is a policy disaster with massive untested reforms to demolish polytechs and removing secondary decile ratings, with little stable to replace them. Great they’re paid better.

Nothing about water charging, and won’t be in this government. Free money to business.

A weak-ass carbon reform, with little attempt to change the carbon pollution of the vehicle fleet or farming industries.

KiwiBuild is largely unrecoverable, although there is indeed sterling work with HNZ building new rentals. Maybe the Urban Development Agency will help, in a few terms.

And now, intervening via television into an iwi-Fletchers housing partnership, over the top of layers of court and local government mandating, the Prime Minister gets in to stop a Mangere housing development. Few other suburbs in Auckland need new housing more, and she stops it. 

... who needs enemies?

Stuff White People Like

I had not looked at this website for some time and was a little surprised to see that it's still up, even though the last post was in 2010 with #136 about some US TV show that I never saw despite being White. I see Rugby listed at #95! It's aimed at Americans.

However, I was reminded of that blog as a result of recent events involving some new stuff that White People like.

They're the Whitest Whites since Frosty The Snowman fell into a vat of Witeout.

In case you're not aware, Antifa is a group, largely based in the USA, who supposedly fight Fascism by going out into the streets in mobs, dressed all in black, faces covered by black masks, while carrying metal bars, nunchucks, knuckledusters, padlocks wrapped in socks, and various other objects to beat up people who they have identified as Fascists.

That's a very easy identification for them to make since Antifa stands for Anti-Fascist, so anybody who is opposed to them is, by definition, a Fascist. Like this guy:

That's Andy Ngo, a journalist who stands about 5'5", weighs perhaps 100 pounds dripping wet, is Asian-American and gay. Now normally I'd find it hard to believe that a guy like this could be a Fascist but they're getting pretty good at hiding themselves - especially when facing the righteous wrath of Antifa - although the fact that he's written for National Review may be a bit of a giveaway.

Mr Ngo got beaten up and his equipment smashed or stolen, when doing his journalism thing and reporting on an Antifa march in Portland, Oregon. He was following the crowd and using his cameras and video to record events, as journos do, and had also done extensive investigative reporting on Antifa's links and funding. Aside from the external injuries he also got a brain bleed from being whacked in the head.

And where were the cops in all this? Well, as per the directions of the Democrat mayor of Portland, they were standing on the sidelines as they have done for the last couple of years through many such "protests". They did at least follow up later to make arrests, but there's no reason why they can't stop people getting publically beaten up during "protests". In any case most of those arrests simply resulted in quick bail proceedings that put these thugs back on the street, laughing all the way, and most prosecutions will likely be dropped eventually, with some convictions involving fines and community service as has happened many times before.

Antifa seems to rule Portland with the same immunity from the law that the Ku Klux Klan had when they ruled former Confederate cities like Montgomery and Birmingham up to the mid-20th century. Then, as now, your chances of keeping your job and home, as well as staying alive and unhurt, are much better if you're on the same side as the local Democrat Party, although as Professor Bret Weinstein found out, even that won't save you sometimes.

If there is any prominent Democrat at the National level who has criticized Antifa, I am not aware of it. In fact there is at least one who is fully onboard with Antifa, although given his history, that's not a surprise.

Keith Ellison, the Attorney General of Minnesota
You read that right. Attorney General of the entire state of Minnesota. Minnesotans have been left-wing enough and stupid enough to vote this asshole into power repeatedly, plus others like him, but you have to wonder if even such idiots might start to wonder about their chances of seeing justice under the legal leadership of such thugs.

All of this is an outgrowth of what was described as Number #101 - Being Offended, on the list of Stuff White People Like, written in May 2008:
It is also valuable to know that white people spend a significant portion of their time preparing for the moment when they will be offended.  They read magazines, books, and watch documentaries all in hopes that one day they will encounter a person who will say something offensive.  When this happens, they can leap into action with quotes, statistics, and historical examples.  Once they have finished lecturing another white person about how it’s wrong to use the term “black” instead of “African-American,” they can sit back and relax in the knowledge that they have made a difference. 
White people also get excited at the opportunity to be offended at things that are sexist and/or homophobic.  Both cases offering ample opportunities for lectures, complaints, graduate classes, lengthy discussions and workshops.  All of which do an excellent job of raising awareness among white people who hope to change their status from “not racist” to “super not racist.” 
Another thing worth noting is that the threshold for being offended is a very important tool for judging and ranking white people. Missing an opportunity to be outraged is like missing a reference to Derrida-it’s social death.
Finally - and I'm sure you're not surprised by this - it all got very little play in the American MSM. Short, brief, just-the-facts-Ma'am reports with no follow-up or thumb-sucking opinions. Certainly there were no anguished expressions of worry about whether any Democrat politicians or activists had created "an atmosphere of hatred and violence": that concern only goes one way, The Narrative being that it's the GOP, and Trump in particular, stirring all this up with his "Fascist" rallies.

Charlotte Clymer, a press secretary at the Human Rights Campaign, with a prominent link at the Washington Post, had this to say:

I'd bet that the only pushback this creature got the next day from the WaPo or at the HRC office was concern about not hiding the sentiment well enough. The Narrative doesn't work if people think MSM journalists are nothing more than Democrat operatives with bylines.

Ho Ho Ho

stiltons place, political, trump, conservative, humor, mueller, nadler, racist

Saturday, July 27, 2019


With some moderate savings to augment the munificence of Dear Leaders chaotic bunch of appointed cretins, it is a wee bit sad that interest rates are approaching the arena where we will be paying the bank to store our money. Much of that accumulated "wealth" came from prudent actions when we owed the banks at times more than the alleged assets offered as security, and paying usurious 20+% pa for the operating balance to keep wolves from the door.

So just as my dear old Dad, who went through The Great Depression with the truly awful sanctions that financial disaster inflicted on so many, never borrowed to buy anything beyond borrowing to buy the farm - and paying that off was priority number one - I have a strong instinct to provide both my needs and wants while evading the money lenders.

All government spending on vote buying and virtue signalling invariably incurs distrust ranging from disquiet to disgust.

To read a post from Mr Farrar on the almost unbelievable explosion involved in the costs of the now failed Arms Register attempted by "The Mounties" in Canada caused considerable angst.

In 1989 there was an incident involving a semi-automatic rifle, a Ruger .223, at an engineering Polytech ,where one Marc Lepine shot and killed 14 women and wounded another ten females and four men. One resulting political reaction was to create a firearms registry, costing an initial estimated modest $C 2,000.000. A bargain you might suggest.

Legislated six years after the Ecole Engineering School massacre, as it became known, the register was established. But by the early 2000s the RCMP run-registry was being seriously questioned as costs soared beyond $C half a billion and deliverables were very patchy or non-effective; duplicate serial numbers and massive non compliance being two recurring problems. One person successfully registered his soldering gun???

By 2009, with the original cost estimate suffocating in the backwoods dust and winter snows, and the actual cost ballooning (inadequate surely??? maybe exploding) to over a $C 1 billion, the government finally abandoned the whole mess. Firearm crime was little altered. By the time Harper abandoned the scheme and polls claimed over 70% of Canadian voters saw no point in continuing it.

But we will do it bedderer wont we???

What was that about insanity, doing the same action repeatedly but expecting a different outcome?


For the last little while I have been banging on about Tom Watson being the conscience of the Labour Party in opposing and exposing those elements within the Party for whom the accusation that they are anti-Semitic is a badge of honour.

No more.    Watson is now revealed that he was one of the enablers and supporters of Carl Beech who made numerous allegations of murder and child sexual abuse against a whole raft of public figures including the former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath, former Home Secretary Lord Brittan, former Labour MP Lord Janner, former MI6 boss Sir Maurice Oldfield, Field Marshal Lord Bramall, former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor (who he accused of participating in the murder of two boys) and his own stepfather Major Raymond Beech who he accused of raping him and passing him on to other public figures to be abused.   Beech also fabricated a claim that he had been raped by DJ and serial sexual abuser Jimmy Saville fraudulently collecting twenty two thousand pounds in compensation.

Yesterday Beech was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment on twelve counts of perverting the course of justice, one of fraud and several child sexual offences.     He had earlier pleaded guilty to possessing hundreds of indecent images of children and to covertly filming a teenage boy.

During the trial the Prosecuter said the evidence showed that Beech derived sexual pleasure from graphically describing the violent sexual abuse of young boys and enjoyed the attention being paid to him by the Police.

The investigation into his claims took two years and cost in excess of two million dollars.   Lord Brittan died without knowing that he had been cleared of any wrongdoing.

The Police got it wrong in initially describing the claims as credible and true (why say anything at all until the investigation was compete).    The BBC got it wrong in publicising the claims.    Tom Watson got it wrong by giving them oxygen and all through that innocent lives were being destroyed.     Lessons to be learned .... hope so.


Where's Clint?  it's Friday thank god : better make that Marama.

I know, "estate in fee simple". No one knows what that archaic phrase means.

Let's do this.


Soon after a selfie trip to lecture fellow socialists in Melbourne and a nice few days in Aitutaki, our "Dear Leader" is now off for a six day visit to three remote Atolls.

So remote in fact, that one flies to Samoa, followed by a 24 hr boat trip, to get to them, since the atolls have no air links.

Would not a few  nights in Ekatahuna be suitable as a Hideaway from embarrassing press confrontations with a media slowly scraping the scales from their collective vision?

Surely a suitably off-the-highway "Air BnB" exists in the northern Wairarapa that could be squeezed into a less hypocritical carbon footprint single finger salute.


  • China - Population 1.4 Bn est, annual trade NZ$30Bn, annual aid consumption NZ$0.
  • Tokelau - Population 1400 est, annual trade NZ$150 000, annual aid NZ$4 000 000.

Official visits:

  • China - one day.
  • Tokelau - six days, (OK two there and back, so say 4 days).


David Seymour - Leading The Way In Holding Prime Minister Ardern To Account.

Tried to pinch this from Whale Oil where David Seymour is `Face Of The Day' but it wouldn't copy so went to the ACT website. Okay so it is a cut and paste job but so what - it deserves coverage in my opinion.

"The Prime Minister just made a decision that could be career defining if the Ihumātao development now doesn't go ahead," according to ACT Leader David Seymour. "Jacinda Ardern has legitimised unlawful behaviour by capitulating to an illegal occupation as her opening move." 
"The PM has cultivated a brand of a kinder, more inclusive politics, but some things such as occupying private property are always wrong. She has just sent the message: 'if you occupy private property, the Government will take your side instead of protecting property rights.'" 
"It appears that the Prime Minister has prevented the legal owners of land from carrying out a consented development, and offered the protesters a seat at the table. "I hoped Jacinda Ardern might have some sort of master plan to persuade the protesters to back down, but instead she is leaving to spend three days in Tokelau, a country whose population is a quarter of Kaitaia's.'

Well said David Seymour over the last few weeks your standing has risen in my view - keep up the good work.

Interesting times.......

There are those in New Zealand who rue the day MMP was introduced and yearn for the good old days of a Westminster  FPP system “where things got Done” and at the same time decrying the US electoral college that was the reason Trump become President.

Consider this....the most stable and democratic country in the world has just elected a hard right wing government without even having an election in a leadership contest that allowed children as young as fifteen to take part....despite campaigning  in the General election against dropping the age to sixteen.

Around 100,000 out of 61 million people voted for Johnson almost all of whom have trouble distinguishing between fact and fiction, so when you start bitching about MMP be careful what you wish for.

So as it stands at the moment you have on both sides of the Atlantic  narcissistic, serial liars, serial adulterers who have larger than life hair, were both  born in New York and who have made racist statements.

The difference being that the damage Trump inflicts on his country, economic and reputation, will be repaired and forgotten in a few years whereas the economic damage in the UK along with it’s high standing both in Europe and the rest of the world will take decades to forget and longer to repair if Johnson has his way.

Friday, July 26, 2019


but it appears to me that, going by 'her' standup news conference aired on One News tonight, the PM has buckled to the demands of Labour's Maori caucus and  kneecapped (at least for the time being) Fletchers from going about their lawful business to develop freehold land in Mangere into an housing estate in a deal negotiated with local Iwi.

Must have been the sight of all those Green Party MPs steeling the show by showing solidarity with the quite disparate bunch of protesters with some wanting a slice of the action and others no action at all.    Meanwhile, down in Dunedin, a whole bunch of chardonnay socialists rallied to pledge their undying support to the cause of Maori sovereignty.      

All this against the backdrop of a gummit proposing to reform the RMA to give Maori a greater voice on who can do what, when and how.   Still, rejoice, a decent koha can always work magic.

In Praise of Duolingo

Readers might be aware Adolf for some time has been learning Spanish.

Why?  I hear you ask.

Well, I was pretty good at language (French) at school but it really started some years ago when Adolf and The Cook went to Argentina for a week.  For $35 I bought a CD by an outfit called 'The Rosetta Stone' which taught initial basic Spanish.   I quickly got that under my belt and proceeded to find the second CD.  Little did I know there were only two and the second one was $550.   That was in the late 90s when five hundred and fifty bucks was quite a pile of cash.  Needless to say, I didn't buy it.

Anyway, we got by.  I could vaguely understand the restaurant menus and communicate with the waiter is such a manner that what was ordered was what arrived.   Let's face it, what else does one need?

Fast forward to the 2010s and The Cook and I visited an Argentinian restaurant in Adelaide where for the waitress Spanish was her first language.   The Chef informed me his wife was learning Spanish, using a programme called Duolingo so I went and looked it up.

The other day I received an e-mail congratulating me on the third anniversary of my debut with Duolingo.

It is an excellent programme, available on the internet at no charge.

I wondered how they made any money and then one day I looked up their Wiki page.  The business model appears to be very smart.

The particular version of Spanish taught here is Latin American which encompasses California and Mexico.

The only complaint I have is with their English translations which at times leave much to be desired.  A rather snotty nosed moderator berated me for mild criticism and pointed out a particularly unEnglish piece of English was common is parts of the USA.  Next time I'll send him 'dinnafeshyersel' and see how he fares with common usage in parts of the UK.

I mean, where the hell do these Yanks think the language came from in the first place?


Sky City has agreed with those who have long believed, AGW,  Climate Change, Extreme weather events, are all sects of a combined church bringing a new religion to a council near you.

You see they have decided to place a tome on that new belief system in their hotel rooms alongside the Gideon placed 'Bibles'.

Friday's Fulminations

There is mild moderation.  Normal rules of blogger etiquette and courtesy to blog hosts will apply.with serious transgressors being thrown out.

Unfortunately our system does not allow your comments to show up in the blog post itself.  Just in the comments section.

Visitors might consider the wisdom of using moderate language.



Thursday, July 25, 2019

Kiwiblog and a surprising revelation!

 Not that surprising actually.
Great to have David Farrar back and delivering.

"Massive increases in numbers of Government spin Doctors".

With a never exceeded in intellect bunch, in her own team and representing the two support parties, it must be seen as some sort of admission of the failures that the Ardern administration is found to be employing many more to explain the inexplicable.
Perhaps the revelation gets more emphasis as it was State Radio that made the discovery and announced it

Clearly The dishcloth is well beyond another washing,

Just "Bin" it.

What  a sad sight, an old man placed in the middle of a motorway, no zimmer frame, no wheelchair not even a bloody white cane.

The desperate Democrats make one more play to try and enlist Meuller in a further attempt to get Trump and it ends where all the others ended.
Only this time not merely badly but as even more and more Democrats are admitting, in total disaster

Find another track Mr Nadler, the man did his job, or at least led the team  perhaps as it became increasingly evident either Meuller did not write his "Report", certainly  appeared to not have read it or he is ageing rapidly.

Ms Pelosi, incidentally only two coronaries away from the White House as speaker of the House of Representatives,   (Gerald Ford became Potus number 38 after he replaced disgraced Spiro Agnew  as Vice Potus and then Nixon resigned) and Senate Minority leader Chuck Schummer have almost destroyed any legacy the one time head of The FBI and appointed special council to investigate "Russian Collusion". might be allowed to retain.

Bob Mueller was like a blackening banana skin dragged out of a rubbish tin for one more forensic examination.
Result no evidence of any Banana!

Embarrassing barely covers it


The gummit has announced the reform of the RMA ... well not actually ... they're to set up yet another working party to advise them on the issue.    In doing so they said the Act was broken and no longer fit for purpose.

Contrast that to their position from 2009 through to 2017 when they resisted every effort by National to reform the Act.

And already there's trouble at t'mill with Winston First disagreeing with Minister Parker (in charge of the process) and resiling from the cabinet paper which authorised work to commence with Maori to be given increased powers under any new legislation ... Gueez wept ... and look at whats happening at Imumatao right now with the Greens leading the charge which is pitting Maori against Maori calling it a 'continuation of colonalisation'.

Increased powers for Maori ... come the election that might just be St Jacinda's CGT moment.

Shag does read No Minister

Some of the readers of my blog probably smirked and said he has lost his marbles when I said this on Friday 17 May 2019.

`I would not be surprised to see Beauden Barrett start a test there, especially if Richie Mo'unga continues his outstanding form at first five.'

There being first five and Mo'unga did maintain his form and if anything got better as Super Rugby progressed through its final stages. To the extent I would say that he forced Hansen to make this move purely on form - especially if he wanted to keep Beauden Barrett on the park. I for one will watch with interest on Saturday night.

South Africa have been the big improvers in International Rugby since Rassie Erasmus took over as coach and in Handre Pollard they have a superb first five as well and probably the best goal kicker in International Rugby so this match on Saturday night could be a fore runner to the World Cup final later in the year.
Like the Barrett at fullback selection - you read it here first.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

What the other 27 nations think.....

BERLIN — “What?!”

The headline on the cover of Germany’s Stern magazine this week under a photograph of a surprised-looking Boris Johnson captured the sentiment across the European Union that the new prime minister has built his career on seeking to undermine.

While Americans seem unsure what to make of the new British prime minister ("He's known for making very funny, highly literate, very smart speeches,” a correspondent for U.S. National Public Radio explained to listeners Tuesday, adding that he went to Eton and Oxford and is “absolutely one of Britain’s elite”), Europeans have no illusions about who Johnson really is.

Across the Continent, the reaction to his ascension to the U.K.’s highest political office has been marked more by gallows humor than genuine concern about what his tenure might bring. From Brussels to Berlin, everyone seems to have a personal "best of Boris" list.

There was that time he got fired from the Times for making up a quote about Edward II’s purported pubescent lover. And how about the piece he wrote in the Telegraph a few years later (“Italy fails to measure up on condoms”) in which he falsely claimed that Rome had tried to convince the EU to revise its rules on condoms to accommodate smaller penises? Remember that video of Johnson lunging headlong into the privates of former German national football player Maurizio Gaudino during a charity match?
Even in a political landscape accustomed to the likes of Silvio Berlusconi and Viktor Orbán, Johnson’s outrageous style and Conwayesque relationship with facts make him stick out like his trademark cowlick. But as he showed during his campaign to become prime minister, whether by using a vacuum-packed “kipper” as a stage prop or guzzling beer, Johnson is more than happy to be seen as a clown.

His biggest challenge in dealing with the EU in the coming weeks and months will be to prove there’s more in his repertoire.

But after building a political persona over decades based on caricaturing Europeans as humorless rubes, Johnson may soon discover that the targets of his comedy can’t see beyond the joke.
After years of laughing at him, Europeans simply don’t take Johnson seriously. At this stage, it’s difficult to imagine what could change their minds.

While Europeans may take delight in lampooning Donald Trump, they also respect (and fear) the power of his office. Whether they like it or not (and most don’t), Trump has considerable leverage over Europe, both in terms of the economy and security.
But no one’s afraid of Johnson.

Though the U.K. remains a key strategic player within Europe, that reliance cuts across both sides of the Channel. Following the seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker by Iran last week, for example, the U.K. responded by calling for a European naval force to protect sea routes in the Strait of Hormuz.

When it comes to the economy, the U.K. is far more dependent on the EU than vice versa.
That’s why Europe’s response to Johnson’s threat to leave the EU come what may on October 31, deal or no deal, has been a polite yawn.

If anything, Johnson’s election as prime minister will make it easier for EU leaders to stick to their guns by refusing to budge on the terms of the deal they negotiated with Theresa May, his predecessor. Whatever her shortcomings as a prime minister, May, unlike Johnson, enjoyed a reputation among European leaders as an honest broker.

Given the leading role Johnson played in the Brexit campaign and his continued taunting of the EU, European leaders don’t just distrust the new prime minister, many despise him.
The danger of Johnson’s credibility gap is that it could prompt EU leaders to underestimate his willingness to drive Britain off the Brexit cliff, triggering a potentially catastrophic chain reaction.
Johnson’s boosters predict he’ll rise to the historic challenges Britain faces, much like his idol, Winston Churchill. Like Johnson, Churchill also met with deep skepticism when he became prime minister and was viewed as a loose cannon, even reckless.

Yet that would appear to be where the similarities end.

Not even Churchill’s political enemies doubted his conviction to his ideals. In Johnson’s case, it’s hard to find anyone who thinks he even has any.

Even if Johnson’s comedic talents have earned him considerable attention (and, arguably, the keys to Downing Street), Europe’s leaders are determined to have the last laugh.


Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Man: A Profile of Boris Johnson

I first set eyes on Boris Johnson in the autumn of 1983 when we went up to Oxford at the same time. I knew who he was since my uncle Christopher was an ex-boyfriend of his mother’s and he had told me to keep an eye out for him, but I still wasn’t prepared for the sight (and sound) of him at the dispatch box of the Oxford Union. This was the world famous debating society where ambitious undergraduates honed their public-speaking skills before embarking on careers in politics or journalism, and Boris was proposing the motion.

With his huge mop of blond hair, his tie askew and his shirt escaping from his trousers, he looked like an overgrown schoolboy. Yet with his imposing physical build, his thick neck and his broad, Germanic forehead, there was also something of Nietzsche’s Übermensch about him. You could imagine him in lederhosen, wandering through the Black Forest with an axe over his shoulder, looking for ogres to kill. This same combination—a state of advanced dishevelment and a sense of coiled strength, of an almost tangible will to power—was even more pronounced in his way of speaking.

He began to advance an argument in what sounded like a parody of the high style in British politics—theatrical, dramatic, self-serious—when—a few seconds in—he appeared to completely forget what he was about to say. He looked up, startled—Where am I?—and asked the packed chamber which side he was supposed to be on. “What’s the motion, anyway?” Before anyone could answer, a light bulb appeared above his head and he was off, this time in an even more orotund, florid manner. Yet within a few seconds he’d wrong-footed himself again, this time because it had suddenly occurred to him that there was an equally compelling argument for the opposite point of view. This endless flipping and flopping, in which he seemed to constantly surprise himself, went on for the next 15 minutes. The impression he gave was of someone who’d been plucked from his bed in the middle of the night and then plonked down at the dispatch box of the Oxford Union without the faintest idea of what he was supposed to be talking about.

I’d been to enough Union debates at this point to know just how mercilessly the crowd could punish those who came before them unprepared. That was particularly true of freshmen, who were expected to have mastered all the arcane procedural rules, some of them dating back to the Union’s founding in 1823. But Boris’s chaotic, scatter-brained approach had the opposite effect. The motion was deadly serious—“This House Would Reintroduce Capital Punishment”—yet almost everything that came out of his mouth provoked gales of laughter. This was no ordinary undergraduate proposing a motion, but a Music Hall veteran performing a well-rehearsed comic routine. His lack of preparedness seemed less like evidence of his own shortcomings as a debater and more a way of sending up all the other speakers, as well as the pomposity of the proceedings. You got the sense that he could easily have delivered a highly effective speech if he’d wanted to, but was too clever and sophisticated—and honest—to enter into such a silly charade. To do what the other debaters were doing, and pretend he believed what was coming out of his mouth, would have been patronising. Everyone else was taking the audience for fools, but not him. He was openly insincere and, in being so, somehow seemed more authentic than everyone else.

To say I was impressed would be an understatement. A few years before arriving at Oxford I had watched the television adaptation of Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh’s Oxford novel, and had been expecting to meet the modern-day equivalents of Sebastian Flyte and Anthony Blanche: larger-than-life, devil-may-care aristocrats delivering bon mots in between sips of champagne and spoonfuls of caviar. But the reality was very different: warm beer, stale sandwiches and second-hand opinions. Lots of spotty students, all as gauche as me. Less like an Oscar Wilde play than a Mike Leigh film.

In Boris, though, it was as if I’d finally encountered the ‘real’ Oxford, the Platonic ideal. While the rest of us were works-in-progress, vainly trying on different personae, Boris was the finished article. He was an instantly recognizable character from the comic tradition in English letters: a pantomime toff. He was Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night demanding more cakes and ale, Bertie Wooster trying to pass himself off as Eustace H. Plimsoll when appearing in court after overdoing it on Boat Race night. Yet at the same time fizzing with vim and vinegar—“bursting with spunk,” as he once put it, explaining why he needs so many different female partners. He was a cross between Hugh Grant and a silverback gorilla.

My uncle had described him as a “genius” and as a boy he’d been regarded as something of a wunderkind. There was the occasion when he was holidaying with his family in Greece, aged 10, and asked a group of Classics professors if he could join their game of Scrabble. They indulged the precocious, blond-haired moppet, only to be beaten by him. Thinking it was a one-off, they asked him to play another round and, again, he won. On and on it went, game after game. At the prep school he attended before going to Eton, Britain’s grandest private school, he was seen as a prodigy. A schoolmaster who taught him back then told his biographer, Andrew Gimson, that he was the quickest-learner he’d ever encountered. In the staff room, the teachers would compare notes about the “fantastically able boy.”

He was without doubt the biggest man on campus—the person most likely to succeed. He made no secret of his desire to be Prime Minister one day, and not just a run-of-the-mill, common-or-garden PM, but up there with Gladstone and Disraeli. And this was a scaling back of his ambitions—as a boy he’d told his younger sister Rachel that he wanted to be “world king.” (There was an intermediate stage during his teenage years when he harboured fantasies of becoming President of the United States—something that’s technically possible, given that he was born in New York.) He was by no means the only member of the Oxford Union to express such hopes during that period, but in his case you felt it might actually happen. Unlike so many other privileged undergraduates, with their vaulting sense of entitlement, Boris’s gargantuan self-belief seemed of a piece with his outsized personality. He had an electrifying, charismatic presence of a kind I’d only read about in books before. Our mutual friend Lloyd Evans, who knew Boris better than me at Oxford, put it well. “He’s a war leader,” he told Andrew Gimson. “He is one of the two or three most extraordinary people I’ve ever met. You just feel he’s going somewhere. People just love him. They enjoy going with him and they enjoy being led.”

Thirty-Six Years Later

Fast-forward 36 years and the 55 year-old Boris is about to become the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. I am writing this just after the result of the Conservative leadership election has been announced and the British constitution is such that the winner of that contest will now automatically be sent for by the Queen and invited to form the next government. Ten Tory Members of Parliament entered the fray six weeks ago and, after a series of debates and votes, only two remained: Boris and Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary. In less tumultuous times, Hunt, who is regarded as a dependable, ‘steady Eddie’ type, might have prevailed. But the view of the Conservative Party is that extraordinary times demand an extraordinary leader—and few moments in the UK’s history have been as messy as this.

Three years ago, the British people voted to leave the European Union by 17.4 million votes to 16.1 million in what was the largest democratic contest of its kind in our island’s history. The result of the referendum was immediately contested for all sorts of reasons, some of them bad (the mean age of Leave voters was higher than that of Remain voters and therefore their votes should count for less) and some of them…well, not good, exactly, but less bad. (I supported Leave and, predictably enough, regard the result as legitimate.) Many prominent people on the losing side felt that some of the statements made by the leaders of the Leave campaign—notably Boris, Britain’s most prominent Brexiteer—were dishonest, such as the claim that membership of the European Union costs the British taxpayer £350 million a week. That’s not a lie, exactly, since our annual contribution to the EU is £20 billion, which works out at about £350 million a week. But it fails to take account of the £10 billion or so we get back each year in the form of rebates and subsidies. Boris was guilty of conflating the gross and the net. My view is that this falls within the bounds of normal hyperbole during a hard-fought electoral contest and was matched by comparable elisions on the other side. But the losers were, understandably, less charitable. Earlier this year a Remainer managed to crowdsource a private prosecution against Boris for “misconduct in public office,” although it didn’t get very far.

David Cameron, who was Britain’s Prime Minister during the referendum, resigned on the morning the result was announced, having led the Remain campaign, and everyone assumed Boris would succeed him. But his campaign manager in the ensuing leadership contest—Michael Gove, a Conservative politician, and the second-most prominent backer of Leave—decided he couldn’t in good conscience continue to support Boris and threw his own hat into the ring instead. With the two victors of the Leave campaign at each other’s throats, Theresa May, a Conservative Member of Parliament who had campaigned for Remain, was the surprise winner of that contest and is still Britain’s Prime Minister, although she’s about to tender her resignation to the Queen. Boris, in effect, has had to wait three years to claim the prize that many think should have been his after the referendum.

May inherited a small parliamentary majority from David Cameron, but unwisely decided to call a General Election in 2017. One of her reasons for taking this gamble is that she had committed herself to leaving both the Single Market and the Customs Union—completely resetting our trading relationship with the EU—and she felt she needed a larger majority to get that through Parliament. Unfortunately, she proved such a poor campaigner that the Conservative Party lost its majority, forcing her into an alliance with the Democratic Unionist Party, a small group of Northern Irish hard-liners, and making the kind of Brexit she wanted more difficult to achieve. She and her team of advisors negotiated a compromise deal with the EU that some members of her party felt was too mushy, while others thought it was too extreme, and she tried and failed to get it through Parliament three times. This took so long and involved so much fruitless horse-trading that the Government missed not one but two deadlines for leaving the EU, having originally promised to exit by March 29th. The new deadline is October 31st, but May fell on her sword eight weeks ago, having abandoned hope of getting any deal through by then and, crucially, being unwilling to leave with no deal. (There is much disagreement about how damaging no deal would be to the British economy, with some, such as May, believing it would be catastrophic, and others comparing it to the millennium bug.) That triggered the current leadership contest.

One of the reasons Boris won by a margin of two-to-one is that he has been unequivocal about his intention to take Britain out of the EU by October 31st, with or without a deal. The hope is that this tough stance this will force the EU to return to the negotiating table and offer some major concessions, thereby enabling Boris to get a new deal through Parliament before the deadline. But there’s a risk that the EU won’t improve its offer—at least not sufficiently—in which case Boris will have to make good on his ‘no deal’ threat. That, in turn, could trigger a constitutional crisis. As things stand, a vote of Parliament isn’t required before Britain can leave the EU—our departure on October 31st is the default legal position and remains so unless the Prime Minister asks for another extension. But pro-Remain MPs have been frantically scheming away, trying to think of ways to obstruct a no deal Brexit, and they have an ally in John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, who’s proved willing to bend the rules to make the life of Brexiteers more difficult. Within weeks of Boris entering Downing Street, possibly days, we could see an impasse in which the executive and legislative branches of Britain’s parliamentary democracy are at loggerheads. In that scenario, it would be unclear where authority lies and unless Boris can figure out a way to break the deadlock there would almost certainly be another election.

And that’s a huge risk because waiting in the wings is Jeremy Corbyn, the most left-wing Leader of the Opposition in Britain’s history. In normal circumstances, a Labour leader who venerates Hugo Chavez and is promising to hike the top rate of income tax, introduce a raft of property taxes, force companies to appoint workers’ representatives to their boards, take Britain’s gas and electricity industries into state ownership, and who regularly appears on state television in Iran and counts the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah as his “friends,” would not have much hope of becoming Prime Minister. But Theresa May’s failure to take us out of the EU, in spite of promising to honor the result of the referendum, has prompted a large number of Conservative voters to defect to the Brexit Party, a new, single-issue political vehicle that was formed earlier this year by Nigel Farage, the charismatic ex-leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party and a long-standing Eurosceptic. Farage retired from British politics after the referendum, declaring that his work was done, but came storming back earlier this year—one final push, etc.—and led his new party to victory in the European election, beating the Tories into fifth place. The fear is that if there’s a General Election before we’ve left, right-of-center voters will be split between the Conservatives and the Brexit Party and Corbyn will be able to come up through the middle, sneaking into Downing Street with less than a third of the vote.

Which is another reason Boris has prevailed in this contest. Unlike Jeremy Hunt, who campaigned for Remain in 2016, Boris was the only Big Beast in the leadership election who can credibly take on Farage and hope to win back some of those Brexit Party defectors. No one in the Conservative Party relishes the prospect of an election before October 31st, but it cannot be ruled out and making Boris the leader is a way of mitigating the risk. Paradoxically, the most gaffe-prone politician in contemporary Britain—he averages at least one snafu a week—has managed to position himself as the ‘safety first’ candidate. It’s not just that his Brexit bona fides are second to none. He’s also a proven election winner. He beat the Labour incumbent to become Mayor of London in 2008—the only Conservative to be elected to that office in what has always been a Labour city—and won re-election in 2012. Throw in his victory in the EU referendum against overwhelming odds and he begins to look like the Conservative Party’s white knight. If anyone can slay the twin dragons of Corbyn and Farage, Boris can.
A Marmite Figure

Boris is often described as a “Marmite figure,” a reference to a salty, brown, waxy substance that some British people like to smear on their toast. You either love Marmite or you hate it and the same goes for Boris. Just as some sections of America’s coastal elites suffer from Trump derangement syndrome, large swathes of the UK’s intelligentsia are afflicted by Boris derangement syndrome.

He has certainly engaged in some pretty egregious behavior during his climb up Britain’s greasy pole—a litany of sins that would be enough to end the careers of less gifted politicians. He was sacked from his first job as a news trainee on the Times of London in 1988 when he was caught making up a quote. He went on to become the Brussels correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, where many of his stories about the EU’s harebrained bureaucratic directives—new regulations governing the curvature of bananas, for instance—fell under the heading of “too good to check.” He landed the editorship of the Spectator in 1999 at the age of 35 and tried to combine that with embarking on a political career, becoming the Member of Parliament for Henley in 2001—a twin-track approach that the magazine’s proprietor, Conrad Black, described as trying to ride two horses at once. (“My policy on cake is pro having it and pro eating it,” Boris responded.) This eventually came to a head when stories began to circulate that he was having an affair with Petronella Wyatt, the Spectator’s deputy editor. Boris was on to his second marriage at this point and had been appointed the Conservative’s shadow arts spokesman, so this was a potential scandal. When asked by Michael Howard, the leader of the Party, whether the rumors were true, Boris described them as “an inverted pyramid of piffle.” In fact, they were true—it turned out Petronella had become pregnant and had then had an abortion—and Boris was fired by Howard for being less than forthright about it.

During this period I was sharing the job of drama critic on the Spectator with Lloyd Evans and we decided to write a sex farce set in the magazine’s offices called Who’s The Daddy?. It enjoyed a sold-out run in an off-West End theatre and we were terrified that Boris, who we mercilessly sent up in every scene, would sack us. After all, not many editors would do nothing if two junior employees lampooned them in such a public way. To give you a flavor of the play, the Boris character—who was named “Boris”—had a life-size portrait of Margaret Thatcher on his office wall that doubled as a pull-down bed and was in constant use throughout. It ended with the publisher giving birth to triplets, all of them sporting thick blond hair. But Boris took it on the chin. He didn’t demote us, didn’t withdraw any of our editorial privileges, didn’t stop inviting us to office parties. Our relationship with him was entirely unaffected. His only response was to send us a postcard on opening night that read: “I always knew my life would be turned into a farce. I’m just glad it’s been entrusted to two such distinguished men of letters.”

Boris Johnson as editor of the Spectator with Toby Young second from right.

When Boris stood as the Conservative candidate in the London mayoral election in 2008, his Labor opponent and his campaign team dredged up everything “offensive” he had ever said or written—an embarrassment of riches. No need to employ any opposition researchers; it was lying around in newspaper columns and magazine articles for anyone to find. This was ‘offense archeology’ of a kind that’s become all too common in public life and which derailed my career at the beginning of 2018. But Boris has always been immune to this line of attack.

To take the most notorious example, in a Telegraph column in 2002 about the visit of Tony Blair to the Congo, he wrote:
No doubt the AK47s will fall silent, and the pangas will stop their hacking of human flesh, and the tribal warriors will all break out in watermelon smiles to see the big white chief touch down in his big white British taxpayer-funded bird.
The same column included the line:
It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies.
Even by the less racially-sensitive standards of the time, this was inflammatory stuff. But Boris claimed to be “satirizing” neo-colonialism rather than expressing neo-colonialist sentiments himself and got away with it. His references to “watermelon smiles” and “piccaninnies” didn’t stop him winning in a city that is 55% non-white. His critics still bring up these and other quotes at every opportunity—last year in another Telegraph column he compared niqab-wearing Muslim women to “letter boxes” and “bank robbers”—yet the mud never sticks. This is partly because the line between sincerity and insincerity is always so blurry—he is never fully in earnest, so can always wriggle out of taking responsibility for whatever it is that’s upset people. Sometimes he apologies, but always with a mischievous glint in his eye. The Irish journalist Fintan O’Toole wrote about this sleight-of-hand in a blisteringly unsympathetic profile for the New York Review of Books:
The anthropologist Kate Fox, in her classic study Watching the English, suggested that a crucial rule of the national discourse is what she called The Importance of Not Being Earnest: “At the most basic level, an underlying rule in all English conversation is the proscription of ‘earnestness.’” Johnson has played on this to perfection—he knows that millions of his compatriots would rather go along with his outrageous fabrications than be accused of the ultimate sin of taking things too seriously.
But there’s another, related reason why so many people are willing to forgive Boris for his transgressions which burrows deeper into the divided English soul. George Orwell in The Art of Donald McGill, his 1941 essay about seaside postcodes, describes a conflict at the heart of our national character—one we fought a civil war over, no less—that captures Boris’s appeal. On the one hand are the pointy-heads, the scolds, always wagging their fingers and pursing their lips, constantly on the look-out for moral failings. Elsewhere, Orwell refers to these puritans as the “boiled rabbits of the left” and “the Bloomsbury highbrows,” but in this essay he compares them to Don Quixote, the high-minded hero of Cervantes’ eponymous novel. He contrasts this archetype with Sancho Panza, Quixote’s comic foil, and when listing the little squire’s down-to-earth qualities he could easily be describing Boris:
He is your unofficial self, the voice of the belly protesting against the soul. His tastes lie towards safety, soft beds, no work, pots of beer and women with ‘voluptuous’ figures.
It is that saturnalian streak in the British character that Boris appeals to and helps explain his popularity with ordinary voters. Orwell expands on his theme—contrasting the unlettered masses with the sanctimonious “Europeanized intelligentsia”—in The Lion and the Unicorn:
One thing one notices if one looks directly at the common people, especially in the big towns, is that they are not puritanical. They are inveterate gamblers, drink as much beer as their wages will permit, are devoted to bawdy jokes, and use probably the foulest language in the world.
Another quote that’s often dragged up by Boris’s enemies to discredit him is from a Conservative campaign speech in 2005: “Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3.” In their minds, this is appallingly sexist, as well as environmentally suspect. But if Orwell is right about the enduring appeal of the “overwhelming vulgarity,” the “smuttiness,” the “ever-present obscenity,” of Britain’s seaside postcards you can see why constantly reminding people of Boris’s politically incorrect remarks won’t necessarily hurt his electoral chances. It just serves to embed him in the public imagination as a stock British character whom many people still feel an instinctive affection for: the lovable rogue, the man with the holiday in his eye. He’s the guy that tries to persuade the barman to serve one more round of drinks after time has been called, the 14-year-old who borrows his father’s Mercedes at two o’clock in the morning and takes it up to a 100mph on the motorway with his friends shrieking in the back. He’s Falstaff in Henry IV, Sid James in the Carry On films. He’s a Donald McGill postcard.

Orwell concludes his essay by praising this rebellious, licentious streak in the British character. In his view, it’s an important bulwark against the censoriousness of our would-be governors and regulators:
I never read the proclamations of generals before battle, the speeches of flihrers and prime ministers, the solidarity songs of public schools and left-wing political parties, national anthems, Temperance tracts, papal encyclicals and sermons against gambling and contraception, without seeming to hear in the background a chorus of raspberries from all the millions of common men to whom these high sentiments make no appeal.
Cometh the Man?

Having said all that, it’s still quite a leap to think the right man to lead Britain during this period of national crisis is…Sancho Panza. Can the clown prince conquer his Falstaffian urges and discover his inner homme sérieux? Can Hal become Henry V?

The most damning indictment of Boris is the two years he spent as Foreign Secretary under Theresa May, his highest political office to date. He shouldn’t have accepted the job since it made him complicit in May’s failings—although he did resign in 2018 when the shape of her deal  with the EU became clear—but having done so he should have applied himself more assiduously. He wasn’t an unqualified disaster, but he often seemed to take his eye off the ball. For instance, in an appearance before a House of Commons committee he said of a British woman who had been arrested in Iran that she’d “simply been teaching people journalism.” The Iranian authorities had accused her of spying and her defense was that she in the country visiting relatives, so Boris’s remarks weren’t helpful. She remains in prison to this day.

His stint as Mayor of London, by contrast, was a triumph. He cut the murder rate in half, reduced traffic fatalities, embarked on an ambitious house-building program, introduced a popular rent-a-bike scheme and presided over the barn-stormingly successful 2012 London Olympics. The key difference between his Mayoralty and his two years at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is that he was the baton-wielding conductor at City Hall, but a member of the orchestra in Theresa May’s Cabinet. Boris has never been good at playing second fiddle. He’s an alpha, something that’s been apparent from a very early age. His sister Rachel once told me that at her fifth birthday party she stood up on a table to make a speech and the six-year-old Boris, furious that she was getting all the attention, leapt up beside her, pushed her aside and gave a speech of his own. Now that he has given Theresa May the elbow, my hope is that he will recover the focus he displayed as Mayor.

Britain’s veteran political commentators are, for the most part, pessimistic about Boris’s premiership. His lack of a parliamentary majority, the byzantine complexity of Brexit, trying to win over the soggy center while being flanked by Farage—all of this adds up to a grim reality check that could see him being the shortest-lived Prime Minister in the UK’s history. (That record is held by George Canning who lasted 119 days.)

But when I hear these prognostications of doom I cannot help thinking of another Prime Minister who entered Downing Street at a moment of national crisis with the odds stacked against him. When Churchill succeeded Chamberlain in 1940, most members of the Establishment thought he’d embarked on a foolhardy course. What hope did Britain have of holding out against the might of the Nazi war machine? Yet he overcame those doubts about his leadership, in part because he succeeded in bending reality to his will. In politics, there are few fixed parameters. Everything is fluid and uncertain, with too many variables for the human brain to compute. What is considered completely impossible one week, becomes possible the next. Through sheer force of personality, Churchill was able to change the narrative and persuade people that military defeat wasn’t inevitable. He did this by using the same alchemy that was attributed to Steve Jobs: a reality distortion field. It’s a superpower possessed by those rare individuals that come along once in a generation, combining bottomless self-belief, exceptional cognitive ability and spellbinding charisma. Boris is one of those people.

The rational part of my brain is still full of doubts and uncertainties. What sensible person would look at Boris’s peripatetic career and rakish personality and conclude that he is the right man to lead Britain at this moment of maximum danger? But at a more primitive level, a level impervious to reason, I cannot help but believe. From the first moment I saw him, I felt I was in the presence of someone special, someone capable of achieving great things. And I’ve never quite been able to dispel that impression.

The next three months, between now and October 31st, will reveal whether that was a historical premonition or a sophomoric illusion.


As I did not own one I did nothing.

Then they made my status as a Licenced Firearm Person a whole lot harder, onerous and expensive and so far I have still done Nothing.

Once  they have conned all law abiding weapon owners into establishing a data base including all weapons held, it will be a one simple step to outlaw all rifles, and guns and totally disarm all those who agree to be trodden on over previously long established laws long held lawful status as citizens wishing to own and safely use such weapons.Just as the One time life time licences indicated.

Of course getting the bad buggers to fall into line will not be so easy so just  as they have until now, they will just pat themselves on their collective yellow tinted backs and tell the voters they have done every thing possible to make NZ safer.
Meanwhile everyone who currently eschews any desire to be such a "redneck" will applaud enthusiastically.

Of course as any one with the wit to discover knows  almost every mass shooting in the US happens in  places  where gun carry is prohibited,  allowing a bad person free to shoot all and sundry secure in the knowledge there will be no opposing fire.


What about when it is a GPS?
A function both my cells have and updated as a bonus.
Not so for the GPS in the one year old tow vehicle which does not even know where "home" is, presently reveals we live in a "paddock"?

Afaik using a GPS device has no ramification beyond normal careless use of the vehicle, as potential law breaking


Not knowing what has set it off, I am getting emails from various scammers mostly admitting "bitcoin as the bait" informing me I now have a Balance in my account of varying amounts, in various currency denominations.

Dont the bastards realise that with so many notices competing for my "reply" that will I suppose require me to send details of my bank accounts so a transfer can be effected, the accumulated largess looks a bit dodgy when they all line up in my "Junk" files?

A new scam has recently come along announcing that I have won a "new" iphone and just have to arrange the courier to get it delivered.
I think that is at least six I have "won" perhaps with all this new found luck  I need to revisit a Lotto outlet.

That inspires another little gripe I have with successive state administrations who promote corrosive Gambling that seems to target many who can ill-afford such "investments".
Scratchys and various Lotto draws rake in millions from people who are parenting "Children in poverdy" all being seduced by images of nameless other people successfully escaping the hum drum.

No one thinks to promote the fact that most Pub raffles offer far better odds, and very small overheads.


With successive governments using Motels as "emergency" housing, are the units serviced every day.

Muchly attractive when compared to the Papamoa "Village" effort hitting the news yesterday if it is so.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019


There it is, black and white, value #6 from the Green Party website.     Not too much of that in evidence from their response to the hard-hitting attack from Simon Bridges highlighting how the Greens propose to punish ordinary Kiwis who can't afford, don't want to buy into their electric cars for all meme, being promoted by the gummit.   

Mocking Simon Bridges' accent is hardly respectful and a direct personal attack and cheapens an alread cheap message predicated on a lie ... all about playing the man and not the ball.   Bridges is quite right in highlighting the hypocrisy and down right lie behind Julie Anne Gender's statement that the impost is only a 'small fee' that users will be happy to pay ... small fee ... an additional $4,500 on the cost of an average new car and $2,500 on the average used car.    And all this from a Minister who enjoys chauffeur driven transport at zero cost to herself.

Interesting that the Greens have now 'pulled' their criticism.    Don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out why ... just how many ways can you spell h y p o c r i s y.

This is certainly the 'year of 'delivery' by St Jacinda and the CoL.   New petrol taxes, increased unemployment, more people seeking hardship payments from MSD, rents on the up and up, Kiwiflop, manufacturing in crisis and all 'she can do is to lecture a crowd of Victorian socialists on how good she is.