The Air Force gets new choppers – but what’s so big deal about that bit of news?


It looks like Alf might have missed a chance to get himself into the newspapers, an ambition he has harboured throughout his busy political life.

His dismay that he has missed out on a headline-grabbing opportunity is prompted by news at Stuff today – Air force to receive new choppers

Is that such a big deal?

Alf obviously should have put out a media statement to alert editors to his own item of important news.

Who knows, it might have been bigger than the Battle of the Davids.

It’s the news that Mrs Grumble came home from her dentist during the week with a new set of falsies.

No, not those sort – she is amply endowed in the bosom department.

Alf refers to her teeth …or her gnashers…or her choppers.

He has also been minded to study the teeth of the two Davids.

Their choppers, natural or otherwise, are powerful pointers to their leadership prospects.

The hacks of the press gallery should have been examining them – and their political significance – since Phil Goff’s resignation and the focus on who would succeed him.

The BBC highlighted the benefits of a good set of gnashers a few years ago.

A person’s teeth may influence whether they will be successful in life, say a team of social psychologists.

Researchers from King’s College London found volunteers rated the same individuals less favourably when their mug shots showed visible tooth decay.

Those with rotten teeth were deemed less clever, less popular and less well adjusted – as were crowded teeth.

In comparison those with whitened teeth were rated as more attractive and successful than normal.

Rotten teeth were never Alf’s problem, of course, which helps to explain his enormous popularity in the electorate of Eketahuna North.

Oh, and here’s something worth noting.

Professor Tim Newton who carried out the research said: “I would have thought that people would prefer natural looking teeth, but actually they don’t.”

But it’s true that many people have achieved success with less than perfect smiles.

A bloke called Ken Dodd has done nicely, thank you, as a comedian – indeed, his gnashers have been his trademark.

As for the choppers that went down big with the editors at Stuff, we are told that the first pair of new NH90 helicopters will be delivered to the air force next week, after years of delays.

Eight of the medium-range helicopters were ordered in 2006 for $771 million. Despite test flights in France two years ago, delivery was deferred, largely because of certification issues.

They will replace the air force’s aging Iroquois helicopters that have been in service for 45 years.

They will join the five lightweight Italian-made Westland-A109 Augusta helicopters that arrived earlier this year.

Dunno if this news is more important than news of Mrs Grumble’s visit to the dentist.

But we are happy to mention it, anyway.

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