Thursday, June 30, 2005

Aaron Bhatnagar has a good suggestion on the cricket tour. Put up a joke team - meet the obligations of the contracts. Show the Zimbabwe Government we are not amused. This is an improvement on my observations here and here. Herald columnist Richard Boock has made some very good observations on why aiming at the ICC won't work (nor NZ Cricket). Notably, Boock shows Goff and Co are either seriously out of touch (or cynically using the cricketers to be the fall guys)
"...the ICC isn't run by stuffy Brits any more, it's run by the combined weight of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, the West Indies and Zimbabwe."

In other words the axis of power is with the Third World and they will not take kindly to either being hectored (again) by white politicians, or take a risk their own record on human rights will be next...

Richard carries on...
"But - and here's the twist - to do it while we actively pursue a free-trade agreement with China, support the illegal regime of Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf, play cricket in the brutal police environment of Guyana, and tour Tamil-persecuted Sri Lanka, is a hypocrisy of Capill-like proportions".

Therein lies the hypocrisy of Goff and Co and their bankrupt moral code - fancy putting the cricketers up as the fall guys.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Rodney Hide showing persistence pays. Exposing another example of the Prime Waster demonstrating both her arrogance and her ability to waste tax payers funds.
Aaron Bhatnagar discusses the shambolic scenes at the Auckland City Council where the lame duck Mayor is cuckholded and (Deputy) Mayor Hucker stiffs the members of his "team"into line. Michael Wood tries to identify a right wing machiavellian plot, proving he should stick to minding matters at his trade union. However his prescience is keen at the end where he says, "...the left are bunch of diorganised ninnies engaged in internecine (sic) warfare". Couldn't have stated it better myself.
Rodney Hide has shown again how the Government is a poor investor in business and business ideas.
Michael Wood the Labour Candidate for Pakuranga is completely out of touch. He asked "What Capital Gains tax" to a comment I made on his blog. He had no idea that Cullen has introduced a Capital Gains tax. The announcement today of the introduction of a capital gains tax tax for individual investors on unrealised gains in foreign companies is sure to reverberate with voters. It is really extraordinary that Wood, in trying to entice the voters of Pakuranga to vote for him continues to demonstrate his shallow understanding of the political economy, what is actually in the Budget or have anything original to say. Fortunately for us all his dream of parlimentary representative for Pakuranga will remain just that, a dream.

What I find totally amazing is that he continues to publish his pap and drivel on his own blog. Better for him I would think to be thought thick than to publish such drivel and leave no doubt whatsoever he is thick.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Gman has blogged he has found out Labour's deep dark secret and it's huge. He says there has been a massive flight of capital out of NZ following the Cullen budget, the Kyoto cost to NZ and the carbon tax announcement.

I blogged on a similar line earlier - where I wondered whether the deep dark secret was Cullen's hardwiring of the economy to the extent an incoming Government was severely hobbled. I said I hoped the Fiscal Responsibility Act announcement pre-election will reveal all. Gman goes futher and says Clark and Cullen know the economy is tanking big-time and have no response. They apparently have the Treasury, Reserve Bank and Ministerial Services management gagged under threat of death to say absolutely nothing. The instructions to those vessels of state are to only comment on things as statutorily required. The plan apparently, is to make the FRA announcement as late as possible - so coupled with the sinking polling for Labour we're not going to see an election announcement anytime soon.

Monday, June 27, 2005

A couple of good posts over at Looking in NZ. Covering the very active South African government support for Mugabe's despotic, tyrannical and now obviously genocidal reign and Helen Clark caught lying (again) about the reasons for the quite fortuitous timing of the Israeli/ New Zealand passport "settlement". Given the number of articles in the one NZ Herald relating to spin; here and here, one can but hope to see a more sceptical tune from the NZ Herald.

Clark's rush to spin the Israeli apology spun out. She has been found telling porkies again. Interesting that the Israeli consular staff were in no mood to support the Clark storyline - disenguously saying she had had the letters two months ago from the Israeli Government and the timing was all hers. This is the price she is paying for heaping odium on the Israelis at the time of the passport scandal - (not resisting the opportunity to show her (and Phil Goff's) bias for the palestinians). The Israelis play a far longer game. She needs them at present to keep her popular and competent image afloat. She has moved away from domestic issues and back onto the international stage - where Don cannot attack her. Blair does the same thing. However the Israelis are not showing they need her. Twisting the truth about the reasons for the announcement timing and conjuring getting an "apology" from the Israeli government when none was made is silly stuff. Hubris is getting her and Michael Cullen into trouble big time. Meanwhile the wheels continue to rattle off.
A critical role of Government is the defence of its people. Labour would appear to paying lip servce to advice it is receiving on a clear and present danger - Asian Bird Flu. Cabinet Papers released under the OIA reveal New Zealand is dangerously unprepared for an outbreak of the "expected" bird flu pandemic. Health Minister Annette King was told in January that the risk from bird flu "is immediate" and an outbreak would kill 3,700 New Zealanders. Rather puts the road toll into perspective and the Government's priorities.

The Primary health sector has had no input into the problem, how it would respond and what resources it needs. As the first line of defence is the primary care sector this is a remarkable failure in planning and strategy execution.

The Government has indicated that some of its plans may not be in place until next year. Given there has been 54 deaths since 2003, next year seems rather late.

On top of the planning shambles the Government has apparently ordered only enough of the anti-flu drug, Tamiflu, to cater for 20 per cent of the population. While these are orders, the bulk of the doses have not been delivered; Only sufficient supplies for 1.7 % of the population are actually on hand, according to some reports.

The EU and Australia have taken strenuous efforts to set up 24/7 surveillance centres, primary care plans and dedicated hospitals.

They are taking it seriously - Annette King is hiding (as usual) behind her Health Ministry. She needs to take leadership. Spin won't keep the flu away.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The report in the UK's Daily Telegraph that Nigeria's past rulers stole or misused £220 billion is a most interesting counter-point in the run-up to Live8, Sir Bob Geldof's latest attempt to embarass the ruling classes into helping Africa's citizens. The sum represents 300 years aid to Africa.

Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, set up three years ago, said that £220 billion was "squandered" between independence from Britain in 1960 and the return of civilian rule in 1999.

The extent of the pillage of the resources of Nigeria by their own is breathtaking - it would appear that only $500Million has been traced. No wonder the G8 have not included Nigeria in the debt-forgiveness group. Nigeria should be self-sufficient and the engine room for the rest of Africa.

Unless and until the world stands against corruption (particularly on this scale) any Marshall Plan for Africa will be an abject failure - throwing (more) good money after bad.

Geldof, Bono and co should use their links to demand higher levels of Governance, and transparency in return for debt relief. Debt relief is not the solution. If corruption is not rooted out, poverty will not be eliminated from the African continent (or elsewhere) for that matter. The problems are actually with the donees, not the donors.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Line of the week at Sir Humphrey's where it reported a (vulgar) wag has suggested the person charged with threatening to kill "Dominatrix" should have been charged with countryside! Hat tip: Adolf Fiinkensein
The Government is in freefall and the rout is well underway - as the sorry caravan departs town all sorts of weird stuff is happening as the sheiks circle for one last stand. The Herald reports today the Government's apparent about turn on race based funding. However the electorate have been told once too often there is no race based funding. Either there is or there is not - clearly there is, confirmed by the Government. What else have you lied to me about is the sentiment of the electorate. Pity the Herald did'nt have the wit to traverse and expose the serial lies - rather publish the good news of the regime. Won't change the outcome though, as I say the rout is well underway.

Cullen is just as craven. Less than four weeks after his budget he finds a windfall. A one-off tax windfall to pump $500M into roads. The electorate is supposed to think he is the steady, prudent, fiscally responsible hand on the tiller. And he finds $500Million less than a month after his last whip round revealed the cupboard to be skint. Again the electorate is going WTF? He has his hand on something and it ain't the tiller.

The really amazing thing - Labour still think the electorate is dumb and will accept any old claptrap. That there will always be endless forgiveness for the painting frauds, fitting up her Police drivers, Ministers sacked for lying then turning on their accusers, completely miscalculating NZ's Kyoto obligations, Ministerial incompetence in immigration, the health system being shambolic (more dollars less operations), the disgraceful experiment on our children's education etc etc. Yep, the end is nigh.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

One News tonight.

Nuclear Power back on the Agenda in the US. Yay, maybe now we will get reasoned rational debate. The only way to avoid greenhouse gases they say - they're onto it. That pillock of a US correspondent Tim Wilson? was (predictably) banging about the "terrible accident at Three Mile Island in the 70's" - Terrible? 1979 it was - No one died and no one was seriously hurt. The Nuclear power industry was seriously set back though. Clearly it was an industry that had safety problems - it must now be the most regulated in the world.

France that favourite of the Left and the anti-US groupings has >75% nuclear power. They are meeting their Kyoto obligations.

One cannot help but think the nuclear power debate in New Zealand has been hijacked by the Left for too long, using it as anti-US saw.

The delightful irony is that nuclear power is indeed a nil greenhouse gas energy source. All that's left is a grizzle about nuclear waste. Well in the UK, the entire waste of the nuclear power industry since its inception 50 years ago would just fill a house. Compare that pile to the ash/slag heaps behind any village in the Welsh valleys or the Midlands.

Adam Nicholson has highlighted the issues and talks of a clever solution to the waste problem.

"...Nuclear power is the only form of electricity generation that will keep us happy. It does not contribute to global warming. It does not spread itself in ugly swaths across remote hillsides. It is by far the safest form of power generation ever devised. It can satisfy large energy demands from an increasingly energy-hungry world. It reduces dependence on oil supplies from the Middle East. Its own raw material is enormously abundant.

Waste, though, is not a technical problem, or at least does not need to be. It is a political problem, founded on irrational fears of nuclear power. It is those political fears that have starved research into the technical solutions of the necessary money.

An English geologist has come up with one of the most ingenious ideas yet suggested. Dr Fergus Gibb, a specialist in igneous rocks at Sheffield University who has done mould-breaking research into the beautiful columnar dolerites of the Hebrides, has suggested that the really high-grade nuclear waste should be returned to the earth and allowed, in effect, to melt itself back into the rocks from which the nuclear ores were originally mined.

Gibb's idea has a brilliant circularity about it. The very heat that nuclear material generates, which is at the heart of much of the difficulty of storing the waste at all, could actually be put to use. His idea is to drill enormously deep holes right into the granite of the continental crust, perhaps 5,000 metres down, at the bottom of which it is quite hot anyway: about 900C. Add some canisters of high-level nuclear waste and the whole bottom of the shaft turns molten. The waste is then "engulfed", in Gibb's word, by the surrounding rock, which would resolidify in a matter of weeks. The waste would be entombed for millions of years until erosion would again expose it. By then the nuclear material will have lost its potency. Gibb calls his solution "the granite coffin"..."

Another irony - tragic this one - the thermal coal industry has an annual death rate 1000's of times larger than the life of the nuclear industry.

There were 6,702 deaths in mining accidents in 2003 in China

The average amount of coal produced by each mineworker in China per year is 321 tons, 2.2 percent of what a mineworker produces in the U.S. However, when producing 100 tons of coal, in China, the death rate is 100 times higher than that of the U.S.
To Tour or not to Tour?

The ironies with the Black Caps are palpable. To a man (as opposed to bloke) every Minister in the Labour Government would have been on the streets opposing the Springbok Tour in 1981 - that Tour was meat and veg to the Left. Now, with a regime in Zimbabwe as vicious and undemocratic as any anywhere ever, the New Zealand Ministers are strangely muted. Easy to throw stones when white guys are oppressing black guys eh? Not quite so easy to reconcile when the aggressor and oppressor is black, picking on black, white and brindle and is a former darling. Oh, don't you wish you had lifted the scales from your eyes 25 years ago, Chris, Helen and Co? Cat got your tongue Trevor, Helen, Steve? Mugabe was an unconscionable prick then and he is worse now. One man's terrorist, another's freedom fighter I heard you all once say. Once a Murderer always a murderer.

The Government is not without tools in their tool kit. They could as the Indian Government did with their cricketers, tell NZ Cricket not to tour - work via SPARC to hold up funding to elite/performance sports teams - or, do nothing.

I am equivocal on the tour - I don't give a rat's about the fines. It's only money. I do give huge rat's about giving any encouragement at all to Mugabe. I therefore think it would be great to take the field and the moment Mugabe or any of his goons show up, leave the pitch and stay on the boundary 'till the stench shuffles off.

I suspect that would be bigger news worldwide than not touring.

We expect Leadership Helen, like you demanded 24 years ago of Muldoon. Where is (Judge) Phil Recordan now?

Something is rotten in the State of....
Cullen and his elves are panicking. Sadly they have managed to trap some witting accomplices like The Press into joining the general panic. The Press article is a mess quite frankly - They have mixed annual with three year estimates, made no allowance for timing - phase in or phase out, mixed capital with operating expenditure (eg new roads vs road maintenance) and assumed everything is paid in cash from what is in the piggy bank today. It is a rubbish piece of analysis, and that newspaper should know better, than to parrot crap uttered by Labour Ministers and the 9th floor spinmeisters. I expect more from Press gallery journo's.

While Labour is trying to panic National into showing its hand; the longer this stand-off goes on the wilder we can expect the claims from Labour. Whereas some commentators think this will raise expectations it is as likely to confirm Labour as strident and not in touch.

Dr Cullen has lost all credibility as a sure touch on the tiller. His budget was a shambles. How to lose an election-101. His own forecasts on growth in public expenditure, show no marginal benefit on the output side and also reveal the sophistry that he leads a prudent, fiscally responsible Government. Cullen has a long way to go if he is to match Brash as a safe pair of economic hands. Brash has made it in the outside world - a place where all the Labour Ministers, bar Sutton (and even he is looking slow now mind) would perish. The electorate are beginning to show they know that as well. Wild claims will make the claimant look just that, wild.

National should wait until the Government has released the pre-election fiscal update.

And the reason:

"Labour have already shown the accounts are not in as good a shape as they previously said. One example; the Kyoto debacle with at least an unplanned $500 million going to Russia and there may be more surprises, So National has to wait until the books are released."

Feed them their own cooking.

May be William's deep dark secret is that the promises and covert hard wiring of the economy under Cullens' socialism have made it impossible for any other agenda to operate....

Finally, ACT (alone I think) have had their Tax agenda costed by Treasury. It shows that after their cuts, a surplus remains and there is a kicker on good economic growth.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Despite the continuing evil of Syrian thugs the world is finally seeing determined shoots of democracy in the Middle East. Lebanon is the latest country to give the power to the people. Looks like Bush's democratic crusade is on a roll.

It is progress when the usually recalcitrant Iranians have held elections - just they haven't yet got the bit about not rigging them. Condy Rice has the regimes on message.
A great set of reads, not! St Molesworth has published their Top 10 Thinnest Reads for 2005

Two cruel but apposite;
2. The Care and Management of Domestic Animals by John Tamihere
5. Positive Parenting by Graham Capill.
Helen Clark with breathtaking hypocrisy says Labour was not concerned about the liability when it signed up to Kyoto because it did not want to freeload on other countries. So why is it OK to freeload on the Defence capability of Australia and the US.

This liability she glibly talks of is a taxpayer funded cheque to the smoke stack countries of eastern Europe.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

One of life's pleasures is finding a fellow traveler. Cathy Odgers is right on the button with respect to the sycophantic and sad Labour candidate for Pakuranga.
Minister Trevor Mallard is flagging Te Wanaga o Aotearoa may fail
As usual we have the increasingly unedifying spectacle of Mallard trying to saddle blame for TWoA onto anyone but the Labour Administration.

Colin James, writing in today's NZ Herald has sheeted home that (mis)management by Ministers is (in)competence - Trevor Mallard was a part of the Cabinet that actively encouraged TWoA. While Steve Maharey may have been the paymeister they were all in the Cheer squad. Mallard has his own crosses - NCEA and school closures.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Power Line highlights the nonsense at Amnesty International and the UN (home of the Family Contracting Business) - villifying the US action in Iraq. Hat Tip: Sir Humphrey's
ACT launched a series of billboard's today - builds support for ACT - clever campaigning. Labour has nowhere to go.

ACT have got the imagery right!
Even a once over lightly review of the science in Global Warming reveals the futility of the Kyoto Protocol in solving the problem (If indeed it is a problem and it can be 'solved' ). Reading Junk Science the concensus temperature "saving" agreed between sceptics and advocates is 0.07C by 2050, through implementing Kyoto.

Meanwhile New Zealand is writing big cheques to countries like Russia and Portugal who in absolute terms will generate greenhouse gas emissions orders of magnitude greater than New Zealand.

That is the lunacy of New Zealand's stance on Kyoto. The Government knows that to be really serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions (which is different to accepting the notion global warming is a humankind created phenomena) it would introduce a moratorium on exports of coal, be actively encouraging forest plantings and be actively investigating large scale electricity generation from non-fossil fuel sources - this immediately brings nuclear power onto the agenda.

Labour is not serious about global warming - they thought they could make a quick $500Million by signing up, and could expropriate all the carbon credits accruing to private forest plantings. The Government's risk analysis was woefully short and now the problem is being passed to taxpayers. New Zealand forest owners have seen the Government steal their property without compensation and have done the 'Wall Street Walk' - exited the position - this is a sorry state of affairs.

The suggestion is if the rich countries really want to make a difference to the undeveloped world then the crusade on Global Warming is misplaced. What the undeveloped world really wants is development and investment into those things that make a material difference - electricity, potable water, sanitation, transport, infrastructure and employment mean the difference between abject poverty, misery, early death and the chance to make something for themselves and their families.