Being a rugby buff is splendid – but NZ won’t let Frank in until he becomes a democrat

January 31, 2011

Signing this adds the Rugby Union presidency to my titles - and I rather fancy selecting myself as captain of the national team.

Alf applauds Murray McCully for promptly giving the lie to a silly Sunday Star-Times high up-and-under on the prospect of Fiji’s dictator being wined and dined in New Zealand at the taxpayer’s expense.

The increasingly tatty rag said New Zealand would be obliged to host the dictator and his thuggish brother-in-law at the Rugby World Cup if – as can’t be ruled out – they become top dogs at the Fiji Rugby Union.

But as everyone knows, Fiji’s, military leaders are not welcome in this country.

And as the Herald reports today, that position is being maintained by the admirable McCully.

Soon after the SST had delivered its bilge to its readers, our Foreign Minister was laying down the law on the matter of Frank Barmy-Banana.

He made plain that the Government will refuse a visa for Fiji’s unelected leader and military commander during the Rugby World Cup.

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Shut up or clock out – the Carlisle way of getting value for money from public servants

January 30, 2011

If she must photocopy her bum, she should sign out first (and pay for the power and materials consumed).

Alf will be approaching our Minister of State Services, the admirable Tony Ryall, to suggest he contact the Carlisle City Council where he is bound to pick up a few bloody good tips that will improve public-service productivity.

Applying the advice and getting a better deal for taxpayers won’t be popular, mind you.

The council is copping a bit of flak from whinging staff over some of its rules, but dammit, public money is at stake.

And so – for example – it has ordered employees to clock out if they want to talk about the weather, holidays or babies.

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It will be a bugger of a job trying to work out which J.McSweeney should be given a wide berth

January 29, 2011

A great role model - except, perhaps, for J.McSweeney.

Somewhere around New Zealand is a bloke or sheila known to Alf and the public only as J McSweeney.

It’s a pity we don’t have a better fix on the identity of this J.McSweeney – a particularly precious and prissy person, it would appear – because there are bound to be heaps of admirable J. McSweeneys out there, and the whole point of this post is to warn all sensible folk to give the J.McSweeney in question a very wide berth.

It’s almost as perlexing as trying to work out which 46-year-old celebrity had been done for disorderly conduct after his name had been suppressed and before he outed himself as Martin Devlin.

Similarly, without knowing one J.McSweeney from another, it is hard to take heed of Alf’s warning. Accordingly we might accidently bump into the J.McSweeney who is best avoided and – too late – find that, yes, this is one who is boorish and totally and utterly lacking in a sense of humour and fun.

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Banning forced marriages would prohibit shotgun weddings, which need reviving to help taxpayers

January 28, 2011

The headline-grabbing antics of ethnic women’s groups got Alf in a right tizz this morning.

The buggers are lobbying the Government to pass legislation against forced marriages. claiming that escalating numbers of “high-risk” young victims are coming forward to seek help.

Shakti, which runs refuges for Asian, Indian, and Middle Eastern women in New Zealand, has joined with Pacific Women’s Watch and 46 others to petition Parliament to outlaw forced underage marriages – which they say put young girls in situations that can lead to horrendous physical and sexual abuse.

Calls to Shakti’s crisis line have risen to 350 calls a month since July 2010, when they averaged 250 a month. Among these are many young girls – and though more are coming forward, there would be others who are too fearful, Priyanca Radhakrishnan of the Shakti Community Council says.

Alf has every sympathy with the notion that under-age girls should be protected by the law.

But they are protected already.

What could a new law do that the current law can’t do to deal with offences committed within “honour-based” forced relationships, eh?

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Has Phil Goff taken to the bottle? And poured its contents over his head?

January 26, 2011

If Phil Goff could look like this, Mrs Grumble would vote Labour.

Dunno which of Labour’s image-polishers got at Goff over the holidays, but somehow the bugger has come back with his hair a shade darker.

At least, that’s what the parliamentary hacks are braying, and they have an eye for this sort of thing, mainly because it is a helluva lot easier to be expert in the modifying of a bloke’s image than to analyse his policies and their economic ramifications.

Presumably a darkening of Goff’s bonce is intended to make him more attractive to voters and give him a lift up the opinion polls from a position perturbingly close (from a Labour point of view) to their base.

But Mrs Grumble, who is Alf’s authority in these matters, says she thinks women would much prefer the pepper-and-salt look of someone like George Clooney.

In fact if Phil Goff were to look like George, she would vote Labour, she says. If he were to look like Sean Connery, she would do the same.

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Martin Devlin won kudos for outing himself – but he has lost brownie points for slandering plums

January 25, 2011

His footwork wasn't so fancy on Auckland's Quay Street...

...and why should he imagine this could be done for disorderly conduct?

A Martin Devlin, sports broadcaster, turns out to be “the celebrity” who was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in Auckland a week or so back, but whose name has been kept secret until now.

His lawyer asked yesterday that the suppression order be lifted.

The Auckland District Court obliged and the news media rushed to put the name up in lights.

Devlin says he sought name suppression to protect his children from embarrassment.

But doing so only made things worse, he admitted yesterday.

“I sought name suppression in an effort to try and protect my children from being identified and embarrassed by my behaviour,” he said in a statement to media.

Good for him for outing himself. An army of 46-year-old celebrities and blokes who think they are celebrities will be relieved they are no longer suspects.

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A $2.7m bribe should bring warmth to Ratana – but will Nats get their votes in return?

January 24, 2011

If you bat for us we'll give your people a couple of schools and a hospital, we'll have a word with Peter Jackson about having The Hobbit filmed here - and how about some of the Rugby World Cup matches being played at Ratana?

A handout of public money was announced without much fuss on 20 December, a gift from the Government to a seemingly small and insignificant community near Wanganui.

This gift – or should we call it a bribe? – was actually paid for by taxpayers who had no say in the matter (as Alf’s mates sternly pointed out to him when they demanded why Eketahuna had not been the beneficiary).

It was a Christmas present for Ratana “to receive essential repairs and upgrades”.

Nah.

Actually, it looks more like an exercise in pork-barrel politicking and Alf was reminded of it as party leaders prepare for their annual trek to Ratana – the media call it a pilgrimage – to address Ratana followers at the religious movement’s annual celebrations near Wanganui today.

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