The case for scrapping namby-pamby child-rearing is reinforced – so bring back whacking now

May 21, 2012

Its bring-back-the-birch day for your hard-working MP.

Actually, every day is bring-back-the birch day for him, but three separate stories at Stuff highlight the need for parents to give up their molly-coddling approach to discipline.

The same goes for teachers.

The Bible Says:

“He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes” (Proverbs

We are ignoring this good advice: we are sparing the rod and spoiling the sprogs.

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Sorry, folks, but Joris thinks we are too ill-informed (or stupid?) to be allowed to vote on some matters

May 20, 2012

The voters of Nelson have spoken – convincingly – on what they think about the provision of a race-based Maori seat on their local council.

They have rejected a proposal that a dedicated Maori ward be established, a move the city council itself supported.

Actually, you could say the voters have been thoroughly outspoken on the matter.

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Wish you were here in Syria (but only if you voted for anyone but National last year)

May 19, 2012


Well bugger me, what do they expect, Alf mused on learning of some of the latest antics of the ruffians who run Syria.

The scoundrels have complained to the United Nations that Syria’s tourism industry has been severely damaged by the 14-month conflict between government forces and rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

The prospect of being embroiled in something nasty and of the conflict becoming a civil war perhaps explains some of the reluctance of tourists to go sight-seeing in Syria.

A few years ago the Grumbles were tempted to visit the place on the advice of a bloke called Douglas Scott in an item headed Syrian People Are Friendly on a travel website.

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A zero Budget seems appropriate for a world which is headed for Doomsday

May 18, 2012

So why bother with five-year forecasts?

Dunno how to raise this small matter with Bill English.

But Alf has to say a huge amount of the Minister’s work is about to become a huge waste of time.

As most of us know, Bill has been tidying up the 2012/13 Budget and several announcements about its contents (the more generous ones) have been announced already.

The Budget speech will be next Tuesday.

The politicians, journalists, economists and hordes of others will then wade through the carton of documents accompanying the Budget speech.

One thing we know is that it will be a zero budget.

This means it will be stacked with figures, many of them zeros.

Special attention will be paid to the Budget deficit and the steps being taken by your Government to eradicate it by 2014/15.

A great deal of austerity is being imposed on the economy to ensure we deliver our promise of this deficit.

But Alf has a troubling message for Bill:

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Trouble continues to simmer at a Waikato wildlife sanctuary – and it seems ratepayers will be stung

May 17, 2012

The Waikato Regional Council seems to have tumbled to something Alf has been trumpeting about – and warning against – for a long time.

When you set up a 50:50 co-governance arrangement, chances are things will turn to custard.

One of the better examples of things going wrong happens to be found in the Waikato and has been mentioned by Alf in previous posts (most recently here).

At that time Alf was delighted to learn the year-long battle about who should have how much say in running a wildlife reserve in Waikato had been resolved.

As it turns out, he was wrong, because the NZ Herald today reports –

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Cutting through power lines to make a few bucks is a risky racket (and anti-social, too)

May 16, 2012

If you are going to risk your life, would another line of business be more rewarding?


The tosser who was hospitalised after (allegedly) cutting through copper wire and finding it carried a few thousand volts of live electricity deserves our scorn on several counts.

Most obviously, he is remarkably stupid.

If the electricity has fried his reproductive bits and made him incapable of siring a next generation of feeble-minded tossers, well and good.

Moreover, it looks like he has a cavalier disregard for other people’s property. Yes, we know we must apply the word “alleged” in respect of this observation. So let’s throw in the word “alleged”.

In this case our alleged thief has compounded his obvious defects in the IQ department by stealing stuff (allegedly) which won’t fetch all that much at the scrap dealers – $5 to $50, a bloke from the power company reckons.

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Here’s why royalists should be putting Marmite on their boycott list (and British Airways too)

May 15, 2012

Cashing in but not coughing up.

Alf noted with profound indifference a news item about Cantabrians getting a taste of Marmite this week.

He and Mrs Grumble have put Marmite on their boycott list.

They did this on learning about Unilever’s miserable response to a request for financial contributions to a bit of royal pageantry to mark Her Majesty’s 60th jubilee

In Britain, Marmite is made by Unilever.

Its disinclination to chip in with some money for the pageantry should ensure no-one involved with the company ever gets the whiff of a gong from Her Majesty.

It has also put Marmite on the Grumbles’ black list, even though they are aware a different company – the Sanitarium Health Food Company – makes Marmite under licence in Christchurch, apparently using a modified version of the original recipe.

But Alf digresses.

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Yes, we can wish for wider roads – or we could drive on what we’ve got at appropriate speeds

May 14, 2012

No, it’s not built for speed….


A simple piece of good motoring advice is to drive to the conditions.

If the road is a bit rumpety, ease up on your speed.

And if you can’t stick to the road, probably you are driving too fast.

Alf brings this to the attention of his constituents, lest they come knocking on his door making demands for the Government to do something about our narrower roads.

He anticipates these calls on the strength of claims that a fatal crash in the central North Island had something to do with the condition of some of New Zealand’s state highways.

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The pitch experiment: if whisky dropped into Alf’s glass at this pace, he would turn teetotal

May 13, 2012

Alf has been fascinated since first learning of an experiment begun across the Tasman in 1927. Actually, he is more fascinated by the people who find it fascinating.

It demands much more patience than watching paint dry or grass grow and the Daily Mail today asks: Is this the most boring experiment ever?

It involves scientists watching drops of pitch form.

There have been eight drops in 75 years.

But the rate of fall is slowing. The last drop fell 12 years ago.

The current custodian of the experiment is a Professor John Mainstone.

He has been watching since the 1960s, although he is bound to have muttered “bugger” on five occasions, because he has missed all five drops that have fallen in that time.

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Having fewer judges is more disgraceful than leaking a judge’s letter to Chris Finlayson

May 12, 2012

Our Attorney-General, Chris Finlayson, really does need to harden himself up for the rough-and-tumble of politics.

He sounded positively virginal when he chided his Labour counterpart, Charles Chauvel, for making public some correspondence from a judge.

“Disgraceful”, he thundered – or as near as he can get to thundering, which doesn’t get much above zero on a decibel measure.

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