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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The UN declaration – it wasn’t a secret (but you got to hear first if you were “special” and worked for Maori TV)

April 23, 2010

Alf was interested in a parliamentary question put by Labour’s Annette King yesterday. She wanted to know on what date Cabinet decided to support the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and what Cabinet believed the impact of such a decision would be.

The answer from Bill English, acting PM, was that Cabinet made the decision to support the declaration on 22 March.

He went on:

The statements made to this House and to the UN accurately reflect Cabinet’s view that this is a non-binding, aspirational document.

The Government has affirmed that New Zealand’s existing legal and constitutional frameworks will define the bounds of the influence of the declaration.

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The bellicose bloke who rebuked Burma and its butchers is now letting the buggers come here to study English

April 22, 2010

Must have a word with Murray McCully about the butchers of Burma.

It seems a few of the buggers are being taught English in this country, and Alf’s constituents – all New Zealand taxpayers, actually – are picking up the tab.

More of the Burmese bureaucrats may come here. So what’s up with McCullly?

Does he have some mad plan to turn this country into a Burmese abattoir?

The scandal – and McCully’s namby-pamby attitude to what’s going on – is exposed on Stuff’s web-site today.

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Indigenous rights document gives Pita and Hone a great chance to show us how well they speak bollocks

April 21, 2010

Pita Sharples and his mates talk bollocks quite well at the best of times. They are speaking it with great eloquence this week.

Several examples have arisen since the almost clandestine signing of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Here’s a good one from Sharples –

Dr Sharples, one of the Maori Party’s co-leaders, said this morning’s announcement restored the mana and moral authority of Maori to speak in international forums on justice, rights and peace matters.

Are we seriously supposed to believe Maori had no mana or moral authority to speak in international forums on justice, rights and peace matters before now?

In other words, moral authority is being given – as if by magic (and a bit of stealth) – by the signing of a bloody document already signed by rogues and blackguards from countries like Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Iran and Sudan.

Here’s another well expressed example of bollocks –

Dr Sharples said the former New Zealand government’s decision in 2007 was “a great disappointment to Maori”.

Some Maori, maybe.

But not all Maori.

Shane Jones, Parekura Horomia and Winston Peters are among those who are bothered about the implications of what the Government has done.

Alf can name a great many more who are utterly indifferent to the signing.

Hone Harawira, of course, is a gifted speaker of bollocks –

Mr Harawira said Maori up and down the country “feel a lift in Government acknowledging the rights of Maori to be human”.

Outrageous tosh.

Alf won’t go on.

He will simply raise a few questions:

Was that a bunch of Maori, noisy and sparsely clad, who did a lot of noisy hollering and leaping around at the United Nations after the signing?

How did they get to hear about the signing? Were they already in New York, or were they flown there specially for the occasion?

If they were flown there, who paid?

And so on.

Alf is always alert to the need to ask how taxpayers’ money is being spent.

He asks – of course – on behalf of all taxpayers, not just a few.