The curious case of a bloke who was terrorised – but he didn’t take the obvious way out

March 31, 2011

If you intend to outrun the cops, you should steal a car that will do the job.

It must have been a toss-up for the judge: send a car thief to jail or have him committed to a loony bin.

The judge opted for a jail term (but not lengthy enough by several years to appease Alf).

Instead (according to the account of proceedings at Stuff ) –

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How now, Browns’ cows, after Cam becomes a regional winner in the Young Farmers of the Year contest?

March 31, 2011

A big pat on the back this morning for a couple who live and work just up the road, about 10 minutes or so, from the greatest little electorate in New Zealand, which is Eketahuna North.

Cam Brown has become the Manawatu’s Young Farmer of the Year, one of seven regional contest winners who will fight it out to be top dog in the grand final.

He manages a dairy farm at Hukanui. .

Cam Brown and his wife, Anna, are lower-order sharemilkers from Hukanui, which is halfway between Pahiatua and Eketahuna.

Mr Brown took first place in the regional final, in a closely fought contest with the eventual runner-up, James Christensen.

The Browns farm 460 milking cows. They have 200 young stock and 50 carry-over cows. It is a self-contained enterprise on the property.

Reporter Jill Galloway was curiously effusive in her scribblings for the Manawatu Standard –

Something of a perfectionist, Mr Brown has good-looking cows. The farm dog, Muess (pronounced Moose) and the pet dog, Sioux, also look great.

The Browns have two full-time workers on the property.

Alf is bound to say he would not know a good-looking cow from an ugly one.

Mr Brown will soon start to prepare for the Young Farmers contest grand final, which is in Masterton from June 29 to July 2.

Spending cuts? Let’s start by shedding the Ministry for Supporting Sheilas (and get them a bra)

March 30, 2011

Mrs Grumble wants a car - so what's on your missus's nice-to-have list?.

Alf has prepared a letter to his mate Bill English to help him in his quest to squeeze public spending.

This follows the news media’s highlighting Bill’s warning in a speech yesterday that we are in for years of austerity measures.

English said the Government’s decision to rein in new spending in this year’s Budget would mean some services that were ”nice-to-have” but not essential would be axed.

He also made clear that the Government intended to continue the tight grip on public finances after the state coffers returned to a ”meaningful surplus” in 2015/16 as it looked to repay mounting debt and resume payments into the superannuation fund.

”That means public spending restraint is no temporary aberration. It is effectively permanent,” English told the Institute of Public Administration this morning.

English also said plans were afoot to reduce the size of the public sector, including merging more agencies or departments.

Alf accordingly drafted his letter to alert Bill to the money-saving potential from scrapping the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, which (in Alf’s opinion) does not even rate as something that’s nice to have.

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Super City poobahs are monkeying with the councillors – but who has the balls to publicly say so?

March 29, 2011

Maybe they would make great Super City councillors.

Alf is always suspicious of politicians who make a fuss anonymously rather than stand up to be counted when they go out to do battle on behalf of those who pay their wages.

He is suspicious of public service poobahs, too, whether they work for central government or local government.

The buggers are much too inclined to operate under the cover of secrecy.

Hence he is not surprised to hear that senior officers in the Super Slum City are being accused of holding back information from Auckland councillors to stifle public debate on extra funding for the Rugby World Cup.

But he is disappointed to learn that the bugger who claims to be intent on flushing out this nonsense is operating under cover, too.

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Ridding our roads of poor people will shrink AA membership but it will cure the congestion, too

March 28, 2011

Back to the future.

Alf observes that the Automobile Association is somewhat bothered about public-transport proposals in our deeply indebted Super City.

It is wailing that only the rich will be able to afford to drive in Auckland as the council targets motorists to pay for its public transport plans.

Alf’s own observation is that before long only the rich will be able to afford to live there, anyway, because the Super City is in debt to the tune of $4 billion – the equivalent of about $8000 for each of the region’s half a million ratepayers.

The debt had been steadily growing under the previous eight councils and includes $1.2 billion managed by Watercare Services to build and maintain the city’s water assets.

What’s more, the Auckland Council is looking to increase its debt from $2.8 billion (which excludes the Watercare figure) to $3.6 billion over the next three years to fund its existing programme of capital works. There is no money in the financially strapped budget for new projects, such as Mayor Len Brown’s $2 billion inner city rail loop and a cruise ship terminal.

It looks remarkably like a good place not to live in.

This impression is heightened by the aforementioned public transport plans as reported at Stuff.

The money-grubbing buggers are preparing to slap a price on anything that moves.

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It’ s just as well Kevin Rudd is a good diplomat and won’t give advice to Goff on how to handle the reds

March 27, 2011

So if Phil can't get any advice from Kevin Rudd, maybe he should consult this bloke.

A bizarre Radio NZ item news item jolted Alf from his sleep.

The nub of it was that former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd was saying he has no leadership advice for Phil Goff.

It went on to report what already was well known – that questions are being raised about the Labour leader’s future because of his handling of the media ruckus over a police investigation involving former list MP Darren Hughes, who resigned on Friday.

If any of Alf’s constituents give a toss about Goff and his possible fate at the hands of his power-hungry caucus colleagues, they can look here and here.

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Here’s the up side of misery and fear – hardship is hitting harlots while the churches flourish

March 26, 2011

Daniel Adams – a reporter on the Waikato Times – has a delightfully biblical name.

It is appropriate therefore that he has been sent out to report on the booming business for churches in Hamilton.

But his by-line appears on another story in his newspaper today, about a drop in business for the city’s whores and harlots.

He has not noted the obvious connection between the two trends – that as more and more people rediscover The Lord, so more and more people must be rejecting the works of the Devil and eschewing the sins of the flesh.

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Forget about racism for now – the Human Rights Commission is checking out the use of a vile word

March 25, 2011

Alf is grateful to the Busted Blond for introducing him to a new and very naughty word to be used on occasions when a gross insult is intended.

Alf imagines he will make great use of it, henceforth, because his current stock of insults has lost its sting from over-use.

The word is pokokohua.

BB says there’s a shortened version of the word – hua – which is used down south.

Its a well used southern curse of the vilest kind. Its a bit like saying motherf**king C**t – it invokes a sense of outraged gravitas that lends punch to a decent insult.

As a child we once got a smack for using it.

So how come BB is banging on about a very naughty word?

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Taxpayers are coughing up to wean Mana’s school kids off nicotine

March 24, 2011

"Damn - I missed out on the free condoms but the quit smoking lark is worth a shot."

Alf’s mate Bill English shouldn’t have to look too far for savings, as he grapples to write a budget that must meet the heavy spending demands of Christchurch’s reconstruction.

They are little savings, in many cases, but they are savings nevertheless and little savings add up.

For example, Alf observes (indignantly) that taxpayers are coughing up to help nicotine-addicted pupils at Mana College in Porirua.

The pupils can get patches, gum and lozenges from the school nurse to help them kick the smoking habit.

The school nurse has been registered as a Quit Group provider, a programme funded by the Health Ministry, which means she can provide cigarette substitutes to pupils, if they pass an assessment, as well as other coaching.

“When [an opportunity] comes along like that … we would be foolish not to take advantage of it,” principal Mike Webster said.

In other words, if the money is up for grabs, then grab it.

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Hughes is news and the Herald’s hounds seems hellbent on keeping him in the headlines

March 23, 2011

As a highly principled politician, Alf publicly champions decency, democracy, fair trials and the admirable notion that we are all innocent until proven guilty.

He firmly believes the well of justice will be poisoned by the pre-trial publicity that too often can be given to a case by circulation-hungry newspapers and ratings-obsessed broadcast media.

He accordingly condemns news media that feed off the plight of well known public figures who find themselves the subjects of police investigations. Leave it alone (he urges) until the police have done their thing and brought the suspect to court, where all the relevant facts are publicly aired before a judge and/or jury.

He is dismayed, therefore, that the NZ Herald has gone fishing for more information (or, more likely, is hoping to dig up more dirt) after Labour’s Darren Hughes confirmed he is the MP at the centre of allegations about a police investigation relating to a late-night incident.

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