Wednesday, November 30, 2005
has a good post on the (non)deal Winston First has with Labour for an extra 1000, frontline cops. Aaron points out that the deal is not complete and the Police Ministry has said that there is no agreement on the roles or rank of the extra Police. In fact that is a matter for next year's budget.
What is not said in Aaron's post is this. If the frontline increases by 1000 there will need to be probably an extra 300-400 police in the heirarchy to manage that increase. eg Training, additional supervisors, Sergeants, administration, IT support, cars etc.
There is no way Cullen will agree to that. There is no way the Police unions will agree to the additional 1000 staff without commensurate increases in operational and administrational overhead. Culen knows there is a long tail with a personnel increase like this - that is why he has run the force down by underfunding it.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
In a sudden change of heart or mind the Syrian regime has caved in to the UN and agreed investigators can interview several senior regime heads implicated in the murder of the former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri.
The UN's investigator's - Mehlis - preliminary report included the discovery that the car used for the bomb that killed Mr Hariri was stolen in Japan, shipped to Syria then driven over the border by a Syrian army officer.
Another kick where it hurts for a despotic regime - Iraq, done; Iran under pressure to behave; Syria under huge pressure to avoid UN sanctions.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
In an encouraging start to Opposition National are already ahead. It will just get worse for Labour and their sad coalition. Surprisingly TV describe the result as bitter sweet for National because there is a challenger of the horizon in the form of John Key. Bitter sweet? I reckon it is fantastic. National look ready to Govern for a long time.
Key will keep taking it to Liar Cullen. I am sure Don is pleased to see John getting on the radar.
The Daily Telegraph's Paul Ackford says England took the moral victory in the weekend's game at Twickenham.
Huh? Did he see the same game I did?
Ackford says the All Blacks may have natural talent but have yet to develop that inner strength or core. Well mate you better hope they don't...if you reckon they don't yet have it,
I saw their much vaunted Andrew Sheridan (and doesn't he look like an escapee from Sesame Street) subbed off - Hayman did him.
I saw a pack of 7 hold the poms 8 scrum after scrum. I saw constant off the ball play by English backs - obstructing and holding jersey's. The ref had a shocker. Corry's try came after Thompson advanced from offside.
In hind sight I am now surprised the poms didn't do a victory lap as they did at Old Trafford in 1998 when I was there - having just lost to Sean Fitzpatrick's All Blacks.
That's how they celebrate victory (well near victory).
Finally - gret occasion to use the new haka - rammed it right up the whingers. Don't tell us we can't have the haka - try this for size.
Poms welcome to do a Morris Dance at resumption of play after half time.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Rather than positive news out of APEC for our shiny (new) Minister it just gets worse - the spin itself is now being revealed in all its (in)glory. Goff and to a lesser extent Peters have shat on the media to such an extent that the media is now left having to protect their own position and line.
Aaron B and David Farrar have covered the issues well from their perspectives.
To Peters' threat to Fran O'Sullivan that "you better have that on tape" - she confirmed - "The Herald has" - ouch.
We are now seeing the Spin Doctors hard at work and it is not a pretty sight. The Herald described Peters' ministerial lapdogs following Condy Rice's photographer asking for any photo ops shots they might have of Condy with Winston and being told "here's the film see if your guy is in it" is not a story about a man on the move or someone who has made an impression at APEC -another ouch.
Goff, Clark and Cullen - all three stooges rubbishing Peter's attempts to re-open dialogue with the US.
Not one of the participants in the debacle has come away with any glory whatsoever. For the three stooges they look like pricks. Peter's will be angry, very angry.
Watch now for Clark to change tack completely and focus on the Rugby World Cup. Already the great book reader is noting the reason for the success was the 'partnership between the Rugby Union and the NZ Government'.
This is fantastic news. Seems surprising that good sense or is that 'rugbyness' has at at last infected the IRB and allowed NZ to overcome the immense resources of the other grand finalist, Japan. A great day for the NewZild race - a huge day for rugby.
Well done to Jock and the team - tremendous effort.
This will give the AB's a huge filip - I can see them putting 50 on the Poms on Saturday if they go as well as the past two games. If it really clicks, look out!
Thursday, November 17, 2005
It didn't take long - Goff has shafted Peters on several fronts
- Leaking the Australian government's incredulity that Peters in a very senior Ministerial role was not in Cabinet (diplomatic speak was "made to look a fool after his predecessor Phil Goff revealed the Australian Government had issued a "please explain" over his role.") Fran O'Sullivan described it as "Mr Goffs open sledging"
- Goff threw further fat on the fire with comments suggesting Mr Peters did not want to jeopardise his third go as a minister.
- Goff revealed the extent of the shackles Peters is under and clearly making Winston a Labour clone - "Mr Goff said he had explained to Mr Downer that "policy from Winston will be not policies spun off the top of anybody's head but the policy of the Labour-led Government".
- Goff finished his destruction of the Foreign Minister by assuring the Australian Foreign Minister he would be keeping a "close eye on my former portfolio".
Key Impressive on Radio Left Wing - Cullen Lied
John Key very impressive on RLW this morning following the dissembling, mendacious sophistrist Michael Cullen. As Key said, Cullen is sounding more and more like Muldoon - I am right and Treasury are wrong sort of stuff.
Cullen wants us to accept that $1 of Government spending is non-inflationary and Me spending $1 of my on money is infalationary. Cullen ignored completely the extremely high marginal rates his WFF package creates for income earners who are just below the threshold of the AVERAGE wage...
Best line of Key's - "Dr Cullen is now proving he is out of his depth - it was embarrassing to listen to him"Nice one John - keep at it - it is starting to stick.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
In a remarkable report which Minister of Finance Cullen tried to (bury) release at a dead news time Treasury confirmed its recommendations to the incoming government were:
- Reduce top tax rates for individuals and companies as the high marginal rates were a "disincentive to individuals making the most of their talents and opportunities"
- Reduce company tax rates as high rates were a disincentive for companies to invest
- Reduce Government spending
- Reducing tax will have the most impact on increasing growth
Cullen angrily attacked Treasury for making policy on ideological grounds. At least Treasury have an ideology and want a better New Zealand. All Labia want is to remain in power.
Watch for more attacks on the Treasury.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
The MSM's coverage of the apparent targeting of the Lucas Heights reactor has been abysmal. One News last night featured the supposed casing of the plant by muslims since arrested in the terror raids with the only commentary being a comment from some person described as an "Opponent". Her single reported comment was that an explosion would spread radioactive debris from whatanurra to thereanurra. Absolutely no analysis of the level of vulnerability of the plant to an explosive and certainly not to the explosives potentially manufactured with the chemicals and equipment captured ....pathetic and poor reporting.
This morning the NZ Herald had a similar piece - prattling on that the plant was the likely target and it was also subject to a threat by NZ based Muslims during the Sydney Olympics.
Again absolutely no analysis as to the vulnerability of the plant to home made explosive. What security is in place at the plant; levels of alerts? overflights by the RAAF etc.
In 2001 the Operators of the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in Sydney increased security following the attacks in the US.
The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), said the move follows government advice. ANSTO says a report on what would happen if a plane flew into the reactor was compiled in 1997, when a second Sydney airport was being proposed.
The report concluded that the radiation doses to people beyond the buffer zone would be low, but emergency plans are in place.
Would a half decent article have traversed these issues? Apparently the new plant being built at Lucas Heights is designed to withstand a direct hit by an (aimed) Cessa Citation jet. That'll be more energy than the suicide bombers EH Holden car bomb.
As I said poor journalism by a paper that wants to be respected. TV One has no respect anyway.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
With an uneasy climate for Republicans in Washington Sen John McCain looks to have launched a tilt at the Presidency. As President Bush must retire at the end of this Presidency and with VP Dick Cheney probably too old and anyway now "injured" with the Scooter Libby affair, McCain's timing is interesting. He cannot be accused of being disloyal.
Aiming his attack on failings in Iraq by the Pentagon the decorated airman (incarcerated in North Vietnam as a PoW) has made a strong start. Sen McCain is urging the Pentagon to up the ante in the war - introduce more soldiers and not rotate Generals so quickly. He is saying they need additional resources and committment to do the job properly.
McCain is using a book launch for a nationwide marketing platform - the book he has just co-written "Character is Destiny" - provides the platform for McCain to market himself.
As the Bush Administration is mired in declining support for the war in Iraq, another potential candidate Condy Rice will struggle (as a Bush and Administration insider) to get her own campaign underway.
McCain knows this and has learnt from his 2000 campaign where he was the outsider. With a good reputation among Republicans as "fiscal and foreign policy hawk" he will be hoping to garner the support of the Republican Party.
I think this is not a good development for the Democrats. McCain will have wide appeal. Not least being that he has been there and done that as regards being a 'fighting man'. In contrast to Bush who has always struggled with his record.
A WSJ Poll has McCain narrowly defeating Hillary Clinton 44% to 42% and demolishing John Kerry 53% 35% if the 2008 Presidential elelction was held last Friday.
AP and UPI reported today that the French government announced that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender". The raise was precipitated by a recent fire which destroyed France's white flag factory, thereby disabling its military.
Hat-tip: Boortz (C)
Friday, November 11, 2005
Heather Roy has published a quickie list of Golden Handshakes under Clark's Prime Ministership. This makes intriguing reading. Hat-Tip: David Farrar
Heather's story resonates rather well with Clark's florid (and later found to be without foundation) utterances in opposition:
"I've had a gutful. I don't intend, if I'm Prime Minister, to have to sit there and suffer one humiliation after another because of a culture of extravagance, which has been allowed to grow in the public sector. Whatever is in there and hidden, we want out."
Just confirms she doesn't walk the talk - ever.
The recent revelations, of extreme secrecy and manipulation by Labour's Ministries, confirmed by the independent Ombudsman, with OIA requests makes her comments about transparency even more mendacious.
Minister King's difficulty counting simple contracts let without tender to two former MOH staffers is a case in point.
The stench that we smelt in Clark's last Government has not subsided. There will be no honeymoon.
Sir Humphrey's has a good summary of the Auditor-General's lengthy deliberations into strange goings on at the Min of Health. Seems an extraordinary number of contracts (57/60) have been let without following a tender process to 2 former staff members. This may well be legit, but as they say the best disinfectant is sunlight. The (former) Minister has sat on the draft report but word is now leaking out.
Investigators may care also to look at the influence (or potential for) of Ms King's husband who is the COO at Hawkes Bay DHB, just to make sure there is nothing untoward! Of course it's for your own protection and for the sake of clarity and transparency, mind!
Winnie is nowhere to be seen - his reign as a Knave of the Court of Helen is proving very dark (and dim).
Today he has been gazzumped by his Queen who was quick out of the blocks denouncing the Jordan atrocities. No comment from the Foreign Minister.
As DPF points out Peters has been surrounded by the Labour stagers - Goff has killed any chance of rapprochement with the US.
The best (and only) from Winnie has been a squeek saying the Iranian nuclear ambitions were "unhelpful". We are left to assume that "unhelpful" is diplomatic speak for we are really p'eed off and will shortly invade your country.
A Boeing 777-200LR has set a new world record - 12,000 miles non-stop - flying between Hong Kong and London-Heathrow, East-about. I think the record is for a twin engined aircraft. A fantastic feat and really takes the battle to Airbus. Someone has it right - either Boeing smaller more frequent and nimble or Airbus with their A380 megatruck. I'll back the Americans.
The twin engined aircraft will be able to fly non-stop London-Sydney or New York-Sydney. However it would have been a dry flight - the proving flight was for PIA (Pakistan International Airways) last time I looked, they served non-alcoholic drinks only in deference to their muslim tradition.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Has anyone heard a peep out of Ahmed in the aftermath of the Australian arrests? I thought today's cartoon in the Herald was most apt - offering custody to the terrorists in a friary.
Seems I have upset an Alex Davidson a Zaoui supporter who has commented today on my blogs. Seems to be rather a confused man - on one comment Zaoui is a Politician "Firstly, Ahmed Zaoui is a politician. " and in another comment made 9 minutes later on another post of mine"..."First," he says, "I am not a politician. I am a political refugee who needs protection and my case is very fragile."... "
So what is Zaoui - Politician or not. In any event we don't want him running his political campaigns in New Zealand for Algeria. The french have enough problems with Algerian "refugees".
David has blogged with a reference to a site that (re)publishes the NZ Herald premium content. The new site is probably a breach of copyright.
Notwithstanding the copyright issues identified I have been thinking about blogging on the Herald's premium subscription plan from the market perspective. In short I think it is doomed to failure and will be up there with more illustrious Dailies - choosing the same folly.
If I am left having to find local source, I actively seek to link with scoop or stuff rather than NZ Herald articles following the Herald's decision. My little protest. I always attribute so cannot see why the beef - it will not be a revenue spinner for the Herald. Note - use the inFocus links if you have to as they will last longer...
I think I have seen a greater use of Stuff among fellow bloggers since the Herald's decision.
Back to my point on failure along with other Dailies - Go look at Spartacus where the blogger predicts the failure of the NY Times' premium subscription program within six months. He has a "Death Watch" banner running counting the days. His comments are apposite and resonate nicely with those made on David Farrar's post. Namely who will pay $49.95 to read OpEd pieces they can read for free elsewhere.
I think there is a similar consensus with the Herald columnists (witness their palace revolt elsewhere in the blogosphere - forming a collective sugested Bwown) - and the rest of us are thinking I'll read the hard copy at home or in the cafe.
My bet is that there are relatively few folks who want to pay this sort of money for the type of opinion they can read for free elsewhere. I suspect that this move will prove to be very unpopular among the columnists themselves, as their readership (and therefore influence) declines, at least among the blogosphere.
I give it six months before they throw in the towel.
Finally - $49.95 in the US does not fit well with $99 here - NZ Herald have pitched it too high. A dollar is a dollar where ever you are.
Dr Cullen this morning on Radio Left Wing completely avoided answering questions about Labour's student loan bribe. He ducked, weaved and bobbed but did not answer the question that enactment of his bribe would require a $2Billion writedown in the nation's net worth. Cullen has had to reveal the extent of the writedown now. he is trying to slip it past. Key is onto him
Vintage Cullen - the sophistrist, at his dissembling best, tried lamely to say that whatever the cost was it was less than National's tax cuts. Oh God, give me strength - still fighting September's battles are we? Cullen also tried to say that the estimated cost of the loans was in the public arena in late August - well may be - those are the figures he at that time said were pure fantasy...he is a lier and I think this time the electorate will have a memory. What a load of garbage. The writedown is only the first element of this - next up will be a blowout in the accounts as students "Feast" on Cullen's largesse. Remember 'till now 45% of eligible students have not taken up loans. Now they all will - a no cost loan, beauty!
In any event National's tax cuts would have put cash in the hands of producers ie productive units - that's what tax payers are - that would add to productive growth. Instead Cullen's bribe will reward a small sector of the economy.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Cullen seeks assistance on policy settings to slow down the economy and avoid a hard landing. Apparently Bollard has said not much can be done.
In an extraordinary statement Cullen admits his mega-bribes to students and families are contributing to the problem.
In the near term, I don't think Dr Bollard would be too chuffed if on top of what we are doing on student loans and Working for Families, we also announced we were bringing forward the threshold changes."I've got some ideas.
Reduce the Government sector and open up the economy to more competition:
Start with an orderly selldown of the Crown's vast interests in energy. Partial floats of Meridian Energy and Mighty River Power would free cash, put investment into private hands and potentially start a new generation of capitalists in the lower middle class. Use golden shares to regulate the sell down to other large energy players if necessary.
The need for the Crown to own (nearly) all the generation capacity and most of the retail distribution and the bulk carrier in order to "protect supply" is specious. This structure actually contributes to uncertainty if for now other reason than the gaming to maximise returns knowing full well no new capacity will arise without consultation...with each company.
Order a solution to very high local call termination rates with Vodafone and Telecom Mobile.
Unbundle the local loop asap.
Mandate higher minimum broadband speeds for Telecom to accelerate online activity.
Re-open the borders to migrants who have a contribution to make.
Reduce the Governance sector for DHB's - encourage mergers. Three DHB's in Auckland?
Immediately tender health procedures to all comers - eg tender x hip replacements in Auckland.
Tenderers to meet quality standards - lowest bidders successful.
Immediate sinking lid on all public sector job numbers. Leave departments to shuffle the numbers as they see fit.
Contract out routine Police stuff - static guards, manning speed cameras, etc. Armaguard will do those roles for at least $10 per hour cheaper than a Policeman.
Encourage a third operator in:
Finally implement tax cuts urgently:
Tax cuts do more than boost take-home pay packets. Tax cuts boost growth. That’s because tax cuts boost the return to working, to entrepreneurship and to investment. Taxes are the price you must pay to work, to invest, to be in business. Cut that price and you boost business, productivity and the economy.Hat-tip: Kiwi Pundit
The Treasury have said ACT’s tax policy would boost economic growth by one to one-and-a-half percent a year.
Reports today of the arrest of a group in Australia planning large scale terrorist activities should underscore the Australian PM's warning last week. Though ridiculed by all on the left as Deputy Dawg to GWB, John Howard has been as straight as a die on this one.
One of those arrested is a prominent Muslim cleric Abu Bakr, who has publicly supported Osama Bin Laden.
Maybe now the scales can be lifted from the eyes of the Left. Muslim fundamentalism is a clear and present danger.
Australian intelligence officials confirmed Australia has local terrorist cells, many trained offshore.
What confidence have we in New Zealand that we don't have our own mini-version of the pestilence that is muslim fundamentalism. Are we as Helen Clark was wont to say, "living in a benign environment and time"?
Because they wanted to embarrass Clark. It was their only option.
The Board and Management of TVNZ were left in an invidious position by Helen Clark when she viciously rounded on them in the aftermath of the Holmes departure and the Bailey $800,000 mother of the nation payment. David Farrar captures the issues well here.
The Government, toadying up to their CTU mates in 2000 over-rode Court of Appeal judgments (and more on the foolish lines Labour treads when it overrides the Court of Appeal later) and through new legislation made it very difficult for employees to have fixed term contracts. Remember this was payback to the Unions for helping Clark get elected.
Meanwhile TVNZ is castigated by Clark for its "culture of excess" and the Board is monstered into agreeing to cut down the "Star Culture" and with it the salaries of the celebrity newsreading talent.
The Board knew it cannot be done - the commercial imperative at TVNZ requires Stars and the costs that go with them. Rock and a hard place. Rightly or wrongly they make judgements as to what is the price to pay their talent. Generally I think they got it wrong, very wrong. But that's commercial life.
However, fast-forward to now. How to get out from under the catch-22 with Clark? I know, create a situation that is "resolved" by the Courts.
This is what the Board set out to do. Why else would they entertain the Wood saga going to the (very) public Employment Authority?
However they did not bank on Fraser chucking his toys out of the cot and the saga's in their entirety being played out at a 'slow news' time. Plus the shining vulgarity of Wood's evidence to the rank and file of talk-back land ensured this would make very good copy.
As David Farrar rightly points out, this issue (and TVNZ generally) can be sheeted home to Clark and Cullen. They have single handedly destroyed billions of value in shareholder wealth with the way they have dealt with TVNZ. Whether you wanted to sell it 0or not the property is now unsaleable. I look forward to the writedowns in Cullen's next budget (ha ha!)
Readers of this bliog will recall I posted similarly on Air New Zealand and how Clark and Cullen's ideology destroyed wealth similarly when their zenophobia denied Air New Zealand the chance to sell a significant minority stake in the airline to Singapore Airlines - all on zenophobic grounds. 18 Months later taxpayers bailed it out to the tune of $885Million - that investment is now underwater.
TVNZ is now in its death throes - no balance sheet to speak of, talent contests going awry, declining audience share in its key markets, a shareholder sucking it dry of surplus funds and the same shareholder demanding it produce unwatchable drivel for niche audiences - using taxpayer provided grants.
Monday, November 07, 2005
The Employment Relations Authority (who the hell are they anyway) has decided that Susan Woods' 12 month fixed term contract cannot be terminated by the contracting party (TVNZ) without cause.
On the issue of Wood's employment status, the authority ruled that she was entitled to treat the fixed-term provision of her employment agreement with TVNZ as "ineffective". This meant her employment was indefinite and could only be terminated for "good cause".
Extraordinarily the Authority said
"...her present salary of $450,000 will expire on December 31 and a new salary must be renegotiated between the parties."
So how does that work? Wasn't an inability to agree a new salary the root of the problem?
So what does this ruling mean for employers? All employees no longer what the term are employed indefinitely? All I can think is here is another Government agency interfering in normal commercial relations. This will do nothing to make it easier to employ people. Rather the opposite.
I'll bet Judy Bailey is dusting off her fixed term contract and contacting Wild Bill Ralston to say she's staying - in case he hadn't caught up with recent matters TVNZ was not able to simply not offer her a new contract as they tried recently...
I'm waiting for dear old Philip Sherry and Craig Little to present themselves for duty as well. maybe Dougal Stephenson can get a rerun as well.
Good news Bill, your announcing talent pool just got larger!
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Libya's head, Muammar Gaddafi has called French President Jacques Chirac to offer assistance as France faced a 10th straight night of rioting.
With offers (friends like) from Gaddafi who needs enemies?
Chirac apparently thanked Gaddafi for his interest and assured Col Gaddafi the situation was under control.
Some control Chirac has:
Last night rioting has reached 20 Paris suburbs
900 cars torched
schools and gymnasiums razed to the ground.
A disabled person was doused in petrol and set alight
Riots in other large french cities
Rioting is now confirmed in
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Great set of blogs over at Sir Humphrey's on the Paris rioting. You may care to care to scroll down mine as well.
Self righteous French have taken on more than they can chew this time. Pied dans la Bouche.
I see the bearded criminal being paraded with the chardonnay socialists in the social pages of About Town and Metro (what will Allah think of his chosen one associating with women déshabille, alcohol and song?).
It has all gone a little quiet ("I don't like , it is too quiet" John Wayne used to say just prior to the Apaches' attack) on the Zaoui front. Optimistic me thinks the interregnum is Foreign Sec Winnie lining up Ahmed's next home, off shore with his family. Wish.
As I have blogged before here and here, Algeria is now safe, following elections - amnesty declared and all those terrorists who left are welcome back. Go Ahmed Go. We know you are true democrat, make the most of it mate.
I think the racial tension in France is big news. And big because it has the potential to spread like wildfire across Europe, fanned by muslim fanatics stoking the fires of jealousy, envy and theo-purity with a very large bunch of grumpy me-toos who have been ignored by successive governments, hoping there'll be a solution sometime.
You have to blog your way to the front. The MSM is pathetic and self serving of their Leftie and aChristian ideals. If it was not for the blogospehere these riots would not get the coverage of a teenage post party bust-up on the North Shore with the Police.
Looking at blogs commenting on the Race Riots in Paris I came across this blog reporting on an article reported in The Times.
Hat tip: Buckhorn Road.
Looking further Chefen carried it as well - highlighting a different piece.
According to one report (in The Times) , a disabled woman was doused in petrol and set alight when she was unable to escape a bus under attack in the northern suburb of Sevran. She was rescued by the driver and is being treated for severe burns.
These thugs doused a disabled woman in petrol and set her on fire! That should lead every news item for a day. Instead I hear nothing from the audible media.
Imagine the front page kerfuffle in the New Zealand MSM if this happened in the US?
Remember the lies published unqualified in the aftermath of Katrina - babies raped in the toilets at the Superdome for example. All found later to be unproven.
And while I am on the front page. Is the Aramoana murders 15 years ago the major news of the day, today? Well done Chiquita - but this is not the key issue for the Nation.
Further to my blog here are new reports from France are that rioting has spread from Paris to other towns including Dijon and Marseilles.
The perpetrators are second and third-generation immigrant youths feeling cheated France has done nothing to provide liberté, equalité and fraternité.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Dom De Villepin the PM has called for a stop to the rioting and 'a plan for the suburbs'. His call for (yet another) "umpteenth" plan has been decried by hamstrung Mayors who at at their wits end.
The schadenfreude is almost palpable and certainly exquisite. Race Riots across France on the watch of (presided over?) the US's would be tormenters De Villepin and Chirac. Makes New Orléans' so called race troubles a mere bagatelle.
More troubling for me and the french is the suggestion that 40 years of inaction by Chirac, Mitterand, d'Estaing, Pompidou, de Gaulle - the trumpeters of La Cinquième République Française - has meant three generations of migrant children feel so disenfranchised and not part of the state they will destroy its materiel.
Perhaps the worst of it all is that the response from the Politicians is to turn the whole catastrophe into a right vs left tilt at the next Presidency - where it is likely the Right will align with Sarkozy (the interior minister) and the left with De Villepin.
p.s. An interesting point in writing this blog how many french roots in words I used - even when not trying.
p.p.s A closing thought - mandating reduced working hours hasn't created the jobs eh.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
As rioting in poor Paris suburbs goes into a sixth day the three stooges at the top, Curly, Larry and Moe are squabbling over the solutions and the blame. Curly (Jacques) wants a firm but delicate hand, Larry (Sarkozy, Deputy PM and Interior Minister and Jacques pretender) talks of scum being water blasted off the streets, (aü Karcher!) while Moe, (Dominique De Villepin, the other Jacques pretender and PM) attacked his deputy for his strong language condemning the criminals.
It is all going to end in tears. Decades of failed integration of North African migrants and "the sons of" is now boiling over as these people realise La Républic will not grant them the recognition they deserve or the jobs they need.
I suspect it will be "on the road Jacques and Dom". The public are fed up.
Makes the French sniffing last month about race relations in a previous french colony (in Louisiana) look faintly hypocritical.
A Motueka Service Station cocks up their pricing counter on the pump by moving it too many decimal places to the right. Price is 14.9 cents per litre. Pretty soon word spreads and customers queue, apparently several times for many, as they load up with cheap fuel.
The cops are after the "culprits". Victim? crime?
Allegation is either theft or using a document for pecuniary advantage. An EFTPOS receipt - give me strength...I rarely look at the receipt or screen anyway - just push the PIN.
How often have Service Stations had promotional pricing? $1 fills, sponsored by radio stations etc.
I can see many inventive (and good) defences here. The cops and the Service Station are making themselves a laughing stock. If the oil company had any sense they would grin and bear it. Turn it into a joke and an early christmas present for the lucky. Meanwhile improving their systems to avoid a repeat.
Have the cops not got anything better to do?
Here is what they could be doing; a reprise of Auckland's issues:
How many unanswered crimes have we in Auckland - 600 unallocated files? 1 in 5 investigations not completed.
Crimes solved by PI's once Police have the victims turned away
* A man had his car stolen but when he reported it to police he was told it was a civil matter. After a private investigation and three trips to the police station, the complaint was finally taken. The offender was located in Wellington and was charged and convicted.
* A fraudulent dealer on the TradeMe website set up accounts in different names, traded in small items to get her ratings up, then sold cameras and telephones that did not arrive. Police failed to take the complaint, saying it was a civil case.
* A woman gave evidence on oath before a tribunal that was later proved to be false. A complaint was made to police in writing and police wrote back to say it was not perjury and they would not investigate.
* A woman defrauded her boss by stealing $60,000 of goods but police would not investigate. The company employed Mrs Haden to prove the matter. The completed investigation was passed to police and the offender is before the court.
Isn't it this simple?
Fraser had a long term employment contract and has 6 months to run. Fraser takes his chances once his contract terminates on bargaining with another employer, if he wants..
Wood has a fixed term employment contract which is at an end. Wood takes her chances on renewal/terms with TVNZ or some other employer as best she can bargain?
The real scandal is Labour's toady's giving Fraser a golden parachute via generous notice terms. A cunning stunt to avoid allegations of golden handshakes. As a cunning stunt, Maharey is going wear this one.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Former Home Secretary David Blunkett has taken a leaf right out of the Helen Clark book on constitutional convention. Faced with five separate breaches of what we call the Cabinet Manual Blunkett is unrepentant. He says he has done nothing wrong while Blair accepts Blunkett "..has made mistakes", but will not be calling for his resignation.
In a situation remarkably resonant with Clark's Ministry all is revealed:
"...When Mr Blair became Prime Minister in 1997 he attacked the "sleaze" of the Tory years. He promised that his government would uphold the highest standards in public life and ensure ministers were "purer than pure".
In a foreword to the code of conduct for his ministers, he said he would expect them "to work within the spirit and the letter of the code" and uphold the "highest standards of propriety"...
We could add R Dyson, Benson-Pope, T P Field and D Samuels for starters to the (dis)honour roll. All proper Lefties.
Seems these new Labour types do talk at their Socialist in Action World Games or whatever H1 does on her scandanavian visits.
In a brave and eminently sensible move the South Australian Senator, Ian Campbell noted at the G8 environmental summit that to stand in the way of new nuclear power on ideological grounds was tantamount to "environmental vandalism".
"If it can create energy with zero emissions it has to be on the table," he said.Regular readers of this blog will recall I have made similar comments.
Nuclear is the only large scale (and relatively cheap) technology with zero carboniferous emissions. The waste is an issue - let's use technology to solve that. The consensus is around deep geological burial.
The amount of radioactive wastes is very small relative to wastes produced by fossil fuel electricity generation.
Safe methods for the final disposal of high-level waste are technically proven; the international consensus is that this should be deep geological disposal (http://www.uic.com.au/nip09.htm)
Looked at another way - China is killing 6,000 miners per year mining thermal coal.
The nuclear power industry under normal operating conditions is clean and less damaging to the environment than coal fired plants. (http://tesla.jcu.edu.au/Schools/Earth/EA1004/Energy/nuclear_energy.html)
I look forward to similar honesty here in New Zealand.
I listened to Radio Left Wing this evening (that awful interviewer Mary Wilson) discussing with Rakaia MP Brian Connell his low ranking. What a dork. Isn't he the guy who boasted about throwing the family cat into the (empty) fireplace?
The sadder part of this sad interview was Wilson desperately trying to get Connell to agree that his suggestion "significant" numbers of Nat MPs sympathetic to his plight equalled half or may be three quarters of the National MP's. Connell was having none of that and also was not stupid enough to get caught but he should have terminated the interview early. Connell said he had been demoted for 'speaking out'. He did himself no credit - in fact he reinforced Brash's decision.
He commented that his beef was Brash had warned caucus members against speaking out of turn...and yet he (Brash) showed no leadership by not reining in McCully; for speaking out of turn/place. The irony of Connell's comments was lost on Connell and not picked up by the slow Wilson. ie Connell's demotion was for speaking out, inanely. ie he was off topic and not constructive.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
The PM cannot have it both ways. Yesterday she said the resignation of Ian Fraser was because of a breakdown in communication between Fraser and the Board.
As Fraser's resignation was unilateral and apparently sudden, how could she know? Craig Boyce the Chairman was still to brief to Minister Maharey and had not finished with Fraser at that stage.
The Charter contains no requirement for the Minister of Broadcasting to be briefed on employment matters. If the PM is sure of her statement then her hand is casting a shadow over the Board's independence to govern.
Smarmy One has gone to ground. He can smell the stench of "Problem" from his eyrie in Wellington.
Clark's expedient deal with NZ First and United Future is not a coalition deal - as she is quickly finding out. With the Green's seriously pissed with her and Labour, it won't take much for the numbers to swing a wide-ranging select committee inquiry as Brash has stated.
Watch for more spin from the PM as she hides from the news Fraser will receive an additional $300,000 for six months (non) work. Unhelpfully for Clark the Chairman of TVNZ, Craig Boyce, announced yesterday that the network would immediately replace him - if temporarily. Personally I could not care - Fraser must work out his contract - albeit on gardening leave.
What is of interest is Clark in opposition made several meals of golden handshakes and a culture of excess at TVNZ. Pot, Kettle, Black.
If we in the VRWC have this much "scandal" dished up before the ink is dry on the electoral writs, I look forward to the coming months with enthusiasm.