Advice to the Popatas: when you’ve done with protesting, limber up for the Olympics

March 22, 2011

You will be left behind if you can't maintain a brisk pace.

Alf has cause to take a fresh look at the Popata brothers, a stroppy twosome best known for roughing up the Prime Minister at Waitangi a year or so ago.

They are wasted in their occupations as a researcher and an interviewer.

Their forte – it transpires – is walking.

They are shaping up to be world-beaters.

Their strongest competition for an Olympic gold medal would come from those who have joined them on their hikoi from Cape Reinga to on Wellington.

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Wray’s a laugh but he is gay, too, and now he is an ex-vicar

March 21, 2011

The real vicar is second from the left (in gold leggings).

Jesus wore drag, because trousers hadn’t been invented yet.

He loved all sinners, including prostitutes.

So what would he make of a carry-on in Tyneside, where the Rev Martin Wray dressed up in shiny gold tights, a little black dress, pink high heels, a pink necklace and a long black wig for a charity event near his church in South Shields.

Alas, the vicar’s picture was published in a local newspaper and some parishioners complained to his superiors that he had brought the church into disrepute.

The resultant furore has triggered the 59-year-old cleric’s resignation.

But it seems there’s more to the Rev Wray’s troubles than dressing up as a harlot.

It turns out he is in a civil partnership with another bloke, the sort of carry-on that is apt to cause much tut-tutting in church circles.

True, you won’t find any record in the New Testament of Jesus explicitly stating that homosexuality is wrong,

But he did say –

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It would be comforting to say there will be no quake in Christchurch today, but Alf is not a prophet

March 20, 2011

The white beard tells us a lot.

A huckster once read some tarot cards and predicted Alf would become Elizabeth Taylor’s umpteenth husband. This was a very grim prediction, because Elizabeth Taylor by then was well past her best-by date.

Joy, oh joy, it never happened, although this may be a consequence of Alf giving Elizabeth Taylor a very wide berth – just in case – and of Mrs Grumble making damned sure Alf gave the fading star a wide berth.

None of the huckster’s other predictions came to anything either, Alf established by checking among those whose futures similarly had been foretold at the time.

This experience prompted Alf to look real hard into the predicting and prophesying business, from horoscopes and tealeaf readings to economic forecasters.

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She saw it coming (or should have) but a Greenie is shocked by the closing of a railway station

March 19, 2011

Please spare her from quakes, tsunamis and flashers.

As a keen student of Green Party sensibilities, Alf today is wondering how Jan Logie would react if the Kapiti Coast was wiped out by a tsunami as devastating as the one that has hit Japan.

Logie – a Green Party candidate in her neck of the woods at this year’s election- has a very low threshold when it comes to being shocked, startled, dismayed, thunderstruck and so on.

Shock (Alf thought) is something that jars the mind or emotions as if with a violent unexpected blow, or the disturbance of function, equilibrium, or mental faculties caused by such a blow; violent agitation.

It can also be a severe offence to one’s sense of propriety or decency; an outrage.

Mrs Grumble reckons she would be shocked if a flasher exposed himself to her.

So how shockable is this Logie woman?

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Simon Power sets his sights on celebrities, but fools who want to part with their cash won’t be deterred

March 18, 2011

Follow me, folks - the grass is nice and plush over here.

Oh dear. It looks like a nice little earner for a few celebrities is about to become a tad risky for the buggers.

Those of them who lend their names to advertising campaigns to promote investment products might face stiff penalties under new laws if they are found to have misled mum and dad investors.

The Herald says Commerce Minister Simon Power yesterday announced a raft of Cabinet decisions on his major rewrite of investment laws, a response to the collapse of the finance company sector and the global financial crisis.

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No definition of tikanga is completely right or wrong – but please don’t mention Alice in Wonderland

March 17, 2011

When we legislators are writing new laws, it’s a helluva good idea to use language we all understand.

If an MP is unsure what a word means, consequently, that member is just doing his or her job by questioning its use.

Mind you, if an MP who is not Maori raises questions or expresses concerns about a Maori word – well, feathers will be ruffled and all hell will break loose.

Take the word tikanga, for example.

It pops up in the foreshore and seabed legislation.

But what is it and how will its application affect what happens when ownership claims are tackled?

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Yeah, you could get to Wellington much faster by plane but then it wouldn’t be a hikoi

March 16, 2011

It's hard on the footwear but great for publicity.

How much money does it take to organise a hikoi and where does the money come from?

That’s a question Alf was mulling over with his mates on learning of another bloody hikoi being despatched from the Far North.

The buggers are headed for Wellington, but wandering down the North Island on a protest march is not the fastest way to get there. Chartering a plane would get them there in a matter of hours and may well be much cheaper because making the journey on foot calls for several days of daily living expenses to be met for pies, burgers, fish and chips and other nourishing kai.

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Yes, Nick Smith is taking a punt with climate change – but so did Rodney with the Super City

March 15, 2011

A sartorial turn-off - and he's blinkered about Auckland, too.

Those tossers at ACT have a bloody nerve.

Mind you, lots of nerve is needed when membership requires you to be led by a bloke who wears yellow jackets.

In this case, however, Alf is talking about the nerve of John Boscowen, who basks in the title of ACT Deputy Leader and Climate Change Spokesman.

He has got all huffy about climate change matters, and is demanding to know

… how Climate Change Minister Dr Nick Smith could propose to reduce New Zealand greenhouse gas emissions to 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 when he does not even know what effect this target will have on jobs and GDP.

The answer is simple.

You take a bloody big punt, you stand up and you propose it.

And if you don’t know what will happen as a consequence – well, that’s just too bad.

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Lesson from the UK: before you get a watchdog, check out the bugger’s feeding habits

March 14, 2011

Why British taxpayers should be saying: "what a drag."

The trouble with watchdogs is that the buggers need feeding, and some have huge appetities.

They need walking, too.

The Poms are learning this the hard way.

Their Government is feeding a watchdog who chews through bucks – sorry, make that pounds – like Parekura Horomia chomps through burgers.

He is Eugene Sullivan, whose job (Alf does relish irony) is curbing wasteful public spending.

According to the Daily Mail, he is being paid a £4,070-a-year “travel allowance”

… even though his daily commute is a
one-minute walk between his office and a four-star hotel.

The Daily Mail eagerly dishes up the details –

Eugene Sullivan, the £180,000-a-year chief executive of the Audit Commission – motto: ‘protecting the public purse’ – charges taxpayers £18,000 a year for his stays at the luxury Westminster hotel, plus more than £5,000 a year in train fares, taxis and car mileage.

On top of that he receives the “travel” allowance, although the hotel is 164 yards from his office.

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When rugby comes into calculations, a feller called Michael Field is apt to drop the ball

March 13, 2011

The Sunday Star-Times has skated defty around a bit of conjecture about our next Governor-General that it published last week.

On its website this morning Alf found a piece by a scribe called Hubbard who says our next governor-general has risen from humble beginnings to the highest post in the land.

Alf had hoped this high post would have gone to him.

But Jerry Mateparae got the job, and Hubbard says –

Everyone who knows Mateparae uses the same words to describe him: “Modest, quiet, a gentleman.”

Hubbard could have said the same thing about Alf, if things had gone differently.

But let’s go back a week.

The SST then was reporting some stuff by a Michael Field.

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