Keep it Kiwi campaign kicks off with cakes that – crikey, cobber – were first concocted in Toowomba!

September 30, 2010

If we can have these, Oz, we'll give you Russell Crowe (and throw in Russel Norman for good measure).

Alf should be sanguine enough to lose no sleep over the Greens, but he nevertheless despairs of the buggers and their publicity-seeking antics.

To be generous, he supposes their brains have become addled through a lack of nourishment resulting from an overdose of muesli, nuts and lettuce.

This – maybe – explains why Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman launched the Keep it Kiwi campaign by handing out Aussie cakes.

Yep. He was seen handing out lamingtons in front of a Kiwibank branch in Wellington, and if you asked what’s up, he would tell you it was to celebrate New Zealand ownership at a time when John Key’s Government plans to make asset sales an election issue in 2011.

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Cadbury must comply with silly rules – and so does an Eketahuna cheese-maker

September 30, 2010

One of Alf’s favourite people is unlikely to be mollified by news that bureaucrats have obliged Cadbury to change its chocolate labels in Europe.

In other words, the buggers make it hard to earn a buck regardless of your size and in which country you are operating.

European Union rules have forced the chocolate-maker to remove its “glass and a half” description from the back of Dairy Milk wrappers.

Each bar of Dairy Milk now advises consumers: “The equivalent of 426 ml of fresh liquid milk in every 227g of milk chocolate.”

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A good old-fashioned sacking worked in Canterbury – so why not with the maddening Mayor of Moscow?

September 29, 2010

Moscow's Red Square early in August ... can anyone see the Mayor?

Alf is delighted to report that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has taken a leaf out of the Key Government’s book on how to deal with pain-in-the-arse local body politicians.

Dmitry has sacked Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov.

This Luzhkov bloke has been Mayor of Russia’s capital since 1992.

Sky News credits him with transforming Moscow from a grey Soviet city into a glitzy, gritty showcase of the nation’s booming economy and its glaring problems.

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A modest MP’s very private role in events that led to Mark Jacobs quitting the race for a DHB seat

September 28, 2010

Having chalked up another victory, Alf reckons he should be a member of the Commonwealth Games team in New Delhi.

In fact he is in such damned good form as a modest man of influence, he is confident he has a very good chance of winning gold in the political persuasion event (although he would have an even better chance in the whisky drinking competition).

His victory is the announcement by a top Health Ministry official that he has pulled out of the race for election to Wellington’s district health board.

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NZ toilets: the hygiene is irrelevant if the bog has been disabled

September 27, 2010

From the creative side of India.

Alf took the missus down to the TSB Bank Arena on Queens Wharf in Wellington last night for the World of Wearable Arts show. A good night it was, too.

The winner of the 2010 Montana Supreme World of WearableArt Award & Winner of the American Express Open Section was the item pictured here, called Loops. It was created by two Indians, Yogesh Chaudhary & Manas Barve.

This prompted Alf to wonder if the two Indians had come out to New Zealand for the occasion and what impression they might have of their accommodation – the security, the hygiene, the state of the toilets and bathrooms, the risk of going down with dengue fever or being blown up or shot at by terrorists, and so on.

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So what has Paul Henry been up to now? Who knows – but let’s report it anyway

September 26, 2010

A splendid example of a story with vertually no substance and nothing much else to commend it to the reading public pops up in the HOS today.

More than one sad scribe was assigned to writing much ado about bugger all, because the by-line attributes this story of absolutely no consequence to “staff reporters”.

We learn from the pain-staking investigations of these zealous scribes that Paul Henry, his daughter and a friend of his daughter spent some 90 minutes at the Auckland District Court “this week”.

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Forget about the conflict of interest, Tony – here’s your chance to chop out the spare mandarins

September 25, 2010

Bugger ... it looks suspiciously like a conflict of interest!

Alf has written to Health Minister Tony Ryall to draw attention to a money-saving opportunity.

Tony is dead keen to grab money-saving opportunities, and to thin down his ministry and to make district health boards look for savings too by constraining their budgets.

Yeah, it’s a bit like tummy-tuck surgery except it has the unfortunate consequence of leaving the public with reduced health services.

But dammit, we have a fiscal crisis on our hands.

Anyway, the cost-saving idea identified by Alf simply requires no more than a bit of redundancy among the ministry mandarins.

A glaring example of a candidate for redundancy is the Health Ministry official who says he will not resign if elected to Wellington’s district health board, because he believes he can do both jobs at once.

And no doubt he can knock off a couple of cryptic crosswords while singing “Yankee Doodle” in Urdu at the same time.

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