Tariana is right on the button: tobacco tax compensation either isn’t needed, or it would soon go up in smoke

April 30, 2010

A bloody silly headline can be found atop a Herald report today – Beneficiaries and pensioners lose $430m

They haven’t lost a cent because they were never given it.

They shouldn’t be given it, either.

The report carries the by-line of the highly regarded Simon Collins, a bloke remembered by Alf as a bloody good hack in the Parliamentary Press Gallery some years back. Mind you, he never ever quoted the hard-working member for Eketahnuna North in his reports, a serious oversight which somewhat sullies his reputation.

Anyway, he has written about one of the consequences of the Government decision to raise the price of cigarettes.

The Government has cancelled pumping $430 million into superannuation, tax credits and benefits that would have, in effect, been direct compensation for higher tobacco taxes.
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Come on, Hone – show just a twinge of concern for all those non-Maori deaths from tobacco-related diseases

April 29, 2010

Dunno if the newspapers are mentioning it today, but Alf was among the great majority of MPs who voted to raise the tax on tobacco.

He did this because he believes making tobacco more expensive is an effective way of discouraging its use and reducing the huge death toll from tobacco-related illnesses.

He is a caring bloke, your Alf, keen to reduce rates of preventable disease among all New Zealanders.

All New Zealanders, he emphasises. Not just some.

Alf was dismayed to read a media statement from Hone Harawira, apparently spelling out the Maori Party’s position.

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School chairman is rubbed up the wrong way in Radio NZ interview about house with a “Massage” sign outside

April 28, 2010

Alf questions whether a building can feel outrage, or any other emotion, come to think of it.

He raises the matter after reading (at Stuff) that a west Auckland intermediate school is outraged it can do nothing about a brothel which has opened across the road where parents drop off and pick up their children.

Actually, as further reading of the report makes clear, it’s the school board chairman who is outraged.

The same bloke seems to be easily outraged, because he became incensed when Radio NZ’s Sean Plunket – on Morning Report this morning – tried to find out what was outraging him.
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Greens laud the example of a regional council that happens to be behaving badly with environmental law enforcement

April 27, 2010

It looks like the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, operating very perversely up the track a bit from Eketahuna, deals with law-breakers differently, depending on who they are.

The Hastings District Council has been illegally dumping stormwater into streams and drains for 10 years, defying Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s demands that it reapply for expired resource consents.

Meanwhile, illegal dumping of toxic waste flushed down stormwater systems has killed eels, sometimes by the hundred.

It had taken the threat of legal action to get the district council focused, regional council compliance leader Bryce Lawrence said yesterday.

Many of Hastings’ original 10 stormwater consents expired nine years ago, five of them 12 years ago.

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Let’s thank Phil Goff for putting us in the picture about the influence of Fabians and fairy dust economics

April 26, 2010

Keeping Stock alerted Alf this morning to Phil Goff’s appearance on TV3’s The Nation on Saturday.

Among other things, Goff confirmed that:

* Labour will NOT roll back any increase in GST – whatever happened to Axe the Tax, we wonder?
* Labour will restore the top personal tax rate to 38%
* Labour will be happy to work with Winston Peters if, God forbid, he returns to Parliament in the 2011 election

Giving Winston Peters another Ministerial limousine strikes Alf as being remarkably daft. So does the commitment to re-raising the top tax rate after we Nats have lowered it.

But in the immediate aftermath of Alf’s posting yesterday about nudists, Fabians and fairies, there’s a more bothersome aspect to the Goff interview.

It was the bit about Goff taking advice from the bloody Fabians.

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Socialism and the first nudist colony – the queer tale of naturism, a Fabian fairy and a kinky judge

April 25, 2010

Should you wonder what’s queer about Socialism, take a gander at a report that caught Alf’s eye during his morning web wanderings.

It’s about the world’s first nudist colony being established in Thane, located on Salsette Island to the Northeast of Mumbai in India.

The reporter, one Vishwas Kulkarni, writes:

The satellite city of Thane may have been the unlikeliest of places for such a recreation, but the world’s first-ever nudist colony, The Fellowship of the Naked Trust (FNT), was set up there in 1891 by Charles Edward Gordon Crawford, a District and Sessions Judge in British India.

This was proved by four letters – copies of which are with Mumbai Mirror – written by the founder to Edward Carpenter, English socialist, philosopher and gay activist, between August 19, 1891 and June 5, 1892.

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A burst of enthusiasm for books? Nah, the rush to the library was to get a butcher’s at bare boobs

April 24, 2010

Mrs Grumble insisted Alf drive her to Masterton yesterday, to buy a few things that aren’t available here in Eketahuna, rather than to Palmerston North.

The closer proximity of Masterton, it transpires, wasn’t the only consideration.

She was keen to protect Alf from the spectacle of bare-breasted bints on motor-bikes.

Moreover, the politically astute Mrs Grumble was aware of the electoral mischief that might be done here in Eketahuna if Alf had been photographed ogling these damsels.
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