Perks and piss-ups – the trick is to find an acceptable way of making the public pay

March 31, 2010

Another bucket of bollocks is published in the Dom-Post today, this time on the matter of MPs’ miserable spending allowances.

Vernon Small, one of the rag’s parliamentary press gallery hacks, makes it seem like he has been talking with a whistle-blower:

MPs are secretly negotiating to award themselves more generous perks.

If they were secret – you can be sure – a bugger like Small would not get to hear of them.

But there is no whistle-blower. Rather –

The behind-closed-doors talks were revealed by Auditor-General Lyn Provost in a report that found former housing and fisheries minister Phil Heatley unlawfully spent $1402 of taxpayers’ money.

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It’s hard to see how co-leadership could make a blonde look more authoritative

March 30, 2010

Le roi Louis XVI ... no co-leaders in those days (but giving a failed leader the chop could be a bit bloody messy).

Alf can’t see why The Boss should give a toss about whether ACT adopts the quaint practice of having two leaders.

As it happens, The Boss doesn’t give a toss.

John Key is reported in the Herald today as saying

…it would not worry him if Act deputy leader Heather Roy became co-leader of the party with incumbent Rodney Hide.

Responding to questions at his post-Cabinet press conference yesterday, he said he would not feel any need to renegotiate the confidence and supply agreement with Act.

“The leadership of the Act Party is a matter for Act and not for National,” he said.

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A tipple or two should not be a resignation matter – but does the mayor have a pee problem?

March 29, 2010

Alf has no problem demanding the resignation of North Shore mayor Andrew Williams for being a clown. Or any other mayor who becomes a clown.

Demanding his resignation because he enjoys a bit of wine is a different matter. If Alf were to climb on to that bandwagon, he would be in grave danger of having his disparagers in Eketahuna (there are two or three) demand he do likewise.

Alf, of course, regards the capacity to sink a scuttle of suds as the mark of a red-blooded Kiwi bloke. Most critically, however, a red-blooded Kiwi bloke should never run amok, or become violent, abusive or otherwise anti-social as a consequence of imbibing.

Mayor Williams, maybe, fails that test.
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Fair enough – we’ll scrap the tasers if we can deal with bad buggers as they do in Morocco and Algeria

March 28, 2010

Alf was jolted from his slumbers by a Radio NZ report about tasers.

Nope. It wasn’t that some bad bastard had been zapped by one during a weekend in which our police officers have run into more violent stuff from drunken young people.

This time, the Government has been zapped.

The United Nations was reported to be urging the New Zealand Government to consider giving up the use of tasers.

Actually, it turns out that just one laughable bit of the UN, its UN Human Rights Committee, is doing the urging.

The committee has “18 independent experts who are persons of high moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights.”

The countries from whence they come include great upholders of civil liberties and human rights such as Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritius, Colombia and Egypt.
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Sex with children: let’s zap our offenders and leave law enforcement overseas to their police

March 27, 2010

Alf despairs (often) about the inability of his fellow politicians to think clearly.

A good example of his colleagues going seriously off the rails has popped into the headlines today.

People who travel overseas to have sex with children will face a “strike” towards life imprisonment under new proposals that widen the net of the three strikes bill.

Alf wasn’t around, when the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill – under which criminals would be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole on third conviction for any of 40 qualifying offences – was reported back from select committee yesterday.
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Give the OIC rubber stamp to a chimp but first let’s take a harder look at the buyup of the Crafar farms

March 26, 2010

Alf is bound to agree with the xenophobic Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa on this occasion.

Cafca regards Federated Farmers as “unbelievably naive” in its reaction to news of a mysterious Chinese company hoping to spend a few billion on dairy farms.

Fair enough.

The feds described the wheeling and dealing in dairy farms as an “unintended consequence” of the NZ/China Free Trade Agreement. ”


Pull the other one, says Cafca.

There’s nothing unintended about this consequence, this is how “free” trade agreements are supposed to work. They all come with embedded investment agreements which protect the rights of investors from the countries which are party to the Agreement, and those foreign investors’ rights are backed up by the force of legal sanction.

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Welfare reforms hit a snag – but only a woofter would want blokes to be treated the same as sheilas

March 25, 2010

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is showing she can match it with Crusher Collins, when it comes to the size of her ministerial balls.

She has admitted part of her welfare reforms breach the Bill of Rights Act. Then she has given the champions of human rights the fingers, upwards thrust, saying it would not bother most people.

“I think that is a discrimination that most New Zealanders will see as being fair and reasonable.”

Alf is not quite so convinced by Attorney-General Chris Finlayson, who denies he deliberately withheld a report advising that part of the Government’s welfare plans breach the Bill of Rights Act.

He puts the delay in its presentation to Parliament as an “administrative error”.

As he was telling us this, did Alf see something porcine flying over Parliament Buildings?
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Callous and stupid teens show contempt for human life and a dismaying disregard for combustibles

March 24, 2010

Alf despairs at the way we are raising our children, after reading stories highlighting stupidity and calousness among our young people in the Herald today.

First, the stupid:

A 14-year-old suffered severe burns to 35 per cent of his body after an accident in woodwork class.

The incident involved one Jamie Knox, a Year 10 student at Waiuku College, south of Auckland, who finished up in Middlemore Hospital waiting to undergo surgery for partial to superficial burns to his chest, legs and arms.

But the stupid one – unnamed – was the bugger who caused the accident.

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Outrage: if the spoils of victory are going to our opponents, we might as well make Goff our leader

March 23, 2010

Alf has been hugely comforted by the certainty that a cosy job would be found for him, should he quit parliamentary politics. His ministerial mates would stick him on the board of an SOE, a quango or one of umpteen other types of publicly funded organisation.

Their structures provide for oodles of political appointments, and they enable our ministers to dispense favours and patronage.

Alf is comforted no longer. We are giving these plums – the spoils of victory – to our bloody opponents.

The idea used to be that the jobs were dished out to long-serving, and maybe not-so-long-serving, members of the party in Government.

That was the point of winning an election. You got to run the bloody country – dig up the conservation estate, run down the public service, turn Auckland into a Super City then govern it from Wellington, think about taking travel privileges off the oldies but back off when they squawk loudly, and so on.
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Salmon are in for a treat – four days of ceremonies, a rarely performed dance and an apology

March 22, 2010

Sorry to say, some salmon have finished up on Alf's dinner plate and are past caring about apologies.

Alf regrets he has a full diary and other commitments later this month, because he would dearly love to witness the delivery of an apology to some fish.

He especially would like to see how the fish respond once they have received the apology.

Radio NZ can take the credit for alerting Alf to this exercise in contrition.

It advised him that a group of Native Americans was on a spiritual pilgrimage to New Zealand.

Twenty-eight representatives of the Winnemem Wintu people from California plan to apologise to the Chinook salmon, known in New Zealand as quinnat, which they believe is descended from eggs taken from their rivers.

Alf is anxious to see how the language challenge is overcome. He fears the salmon might have been here for so long, maybe they won’t understand the words of apology.
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