Cleaning up the street takes time

September 30, 2009

(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)

Great news from the capital. Housing New Zealand has won a second court battle to evict families with gang links.

On second thoughts, it’s mixed news.

Winning the legal battle – and strengthening Housing NZ’s right to get rid of troublesome tenants quickly – is one thing.

Throwing out troublesome tenants is another.

Especially when the buggers can find the money to keep the legal fight going.
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A case for locking up the parents, too

September 29, 2009

(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)

What about the bloody parents?

Alf was driven to ask that question on learning from the NZ Herald that –

A 15-year-old girl has been sent to a youth justice facility after being convicted of drink-driving three times – twice when she was 14 and pregnant.

The girl was appearing in the Whangarei Youth Court for a review of an earlier sentence and to be sentenced on charges of driving with excess blood alcohol and driving while unlicensed.

In June, she was sentenced to community-based supervision on two charges of driving with excess breath alcohol, four burglaries, one aggravated robbery, resisting police, driving while unlicensed and giving false details to police.
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TV3 puts snouts before votes

September 28, 2009

(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)

Nothing like the whiff of a politician with his nose in the trough to get the news media in a lather of excitement.

The buggers have been banging on about Bill English’s housing allowance for several weeks.

If he had been born and bred in the splendid town of Eketahuna, Alf muses, would things be different? If you’ve ever been to Dipton, he contends, it’s understandable why Bill spends more time in Wellington.

But today, he has today action intended to remove doubts about his ministerial housing allowance.
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Are Gisborne folk more prone to fart attacks?

September 27, 2009

(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)

Supermarkets and fruiterers seem unlikely to prosper from kiwifruit sales in Gisborne, now that one of the kiwifruit’s health properties has been publicly aired.

Alf makes this observation after scanning a list of the national news headingsat the NZ Herald’s web-site today.

He learned:

* Kiwifruit may help flatulence

This was followed immediately by

* Gisborne folk love to let rip
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A whiff of NZ – how would you describe it?

September 26, 2009

(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)

An outfit called Visit England, the country’s tourism quango, got into trouble a week or so back over a smell. It had spent £8,500 having a scent conjured that was intended to remind the English of home.

The initiative was denounced as profligate by the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

But the idea has its supporters. A writer in The Telegraph reckons it’s a potential goldmine.

And yet if this scent – which is called By George! – did what it was intended, surely it would be a figurative goldmine?

No sentimental expat would leave the country without packing a vial of the stuff to sniff at difficult personal moments. The shops near embassies in foreign capitals that cater to the English desire for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, Bird’s custard powder and Marmite would also keep By George! as a staple – lest they be caught out by the demands of anguished travellers desperate for a whiff of home. There would be air fresheners, soaps for scenting drawers and clothes hangers infused with the aroma of an Englishman’s home sold in gift shops the world over. The act of dabbing on a touch of perfume would become an obscurely political act. Yet strangely none of this has occurred.

So far, so good. But what does England smell like?
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Surgical bias in favour of fat women

September 26, 2009

(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)

Alf was bemused to learn that fat women have an advantage over fat men.

His lesson was delivered by the Dom-Post, which tells us about a tubby Wellington bloke who won’t get taxpayer-funded weight-loss surgery because he is a man.

Ron Blair, 68, who weighs 132 kilograms, was referred for the potentially life-saving operation by his heart specialist in July but turned down by Capital and Coast District Health Board, which began funding a handful of weight-loss operations two years ago.

In a letter to his specialist, surgeon Kusal Wickremesekera revealed that “as a male, [Mr Blair] falls outside our current guidelines for surgery” but his case could be reconsidered in future.

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Grubby goings-on at the Grab-n-Go

September 25, 2009

(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)

It looks like some baristas in the state of Washington might be needing a good barrister.

They have been charged with prostitution after investigators found they charged customers to touch their breasts and buttocks at an espresso stand where servers wear bikinis to draw business.

The Everett Herald reports the women were charging up to $80 (NZ$111) to strip down while fixing lattes and mochas.
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Splat – the sound of Sue spitting the dummy

September 25, 2009

(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)

The Green Party’s Sue Bradford took some time to spit the dummy. But – at last – it has been spat.

She has announced her resignation, saying the Greens’ decision not to elect her co-leader was personally disappointing and she is ready for a change.

Alf is delighted. He thought she would be around for much too long after she lost the co-leadership vote.

This discomforting prospect was raised by the an item at the time in the NZ Herald.
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Yep – it looks like City was robbed

September 25, 2009

(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)

Here’s a job for analysts with plenty of spare time on their hands: find out if the All Blacks are disadvantaged by referees when it comes to playing extra time away from home.

Alf raises the issue after reading a fascinating piece in The Guardian by Howard Davies – a Manchester City supporter of more than 50 years – who was dismayed in the last minute of last Sunday’s match against Manchester United.

Manchester United scored the winning goal in that period of play.

For the first time for years, the good guys matched the red devils kick for kick – until the last one, five and a half minutes into four minutes of extra time. We was robbed, innit?

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Maori student leaders oppose freedom of association

September 23, 2009

(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)

Maori Tertiary students are opposing the Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill and urge the National Party Caucus to support the status quo, according to Jacqualene Poutu, a big cheese in the National Māori Tertiary Students Association.

We may suppose this really means that Poutu and a few others will be opposing the Bill. There must be some Maori students out there who don’t give a shit, one way or the other, and some who would enthusiastically support Sir Roger.

Or for some curious reasons unknown to Alf, do all Maori students support the principle of compulsory membership?
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