Chester Borrows’ Q&A farce was embarrassing enough but he won’t boot bums, either

October 30, 2012

Our Chester … he is grammatically challenged, alas, and disinclined to kick bums.

Alf is contemplating his suitability for another ministerial job this morning, as one of his colleagues – sad to say – shows signs of struggling.

He speaks, of course, of Chester Borrows.

Splendid fellow, don’t let there be any mistaking.

But it’s a measure of someone’s lack of confidence – Alf strongly suspects – that Ches did not engage in any debate with Liane Dalziel on Q&A at the weekend.

This has enabled our political foes to bray (here) that –

National’s childish refusal to debate alcohol reform created a pantomime version of musical chairs on Q&A, when they should have discussed the important issues, says Labour’s Associate Justice spokesperson Lianne Dalziel.

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What do taxpayers give a special person? Why, a $2000 (and more) flax cloak, of course

October 29, 2012

Alf enjoys a good piss-up when taxpayers pick up the tab, but only so long as he is invited.

Sadly, he wasn’t invited to the function to farewell two members of the Maori Language Commission board and celebrate 25 years of the Maori Language Act.

Accordingly (a) he is miffed and (b) he is apt to raise questions about the $12,110 (at least) spent on the function.

Mind you, his dander was raised only momentarily because he forgot the money spent on the occasion included farewell gifts (of more than $2000 each, according to the report here) for Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi and Ruakere Hond.

And those people, it should be noted, are special people by virtue of their being indigenous.

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Republican ruffians don’t need to be interviewed to tell the cops they are trouble-makers

October 28, 2012

Gotta say Alf was becoming a bit hot and bothered about the cops, and the courts, after a special police unit’s botching of two high-profile investigations.

The unit in question was the Organised and Financial Crime Agency and as TV3 reported (here), it is the outfit that –

* Led the troubled inquiry into internet millionaire Kim Dotcom; and

* Ran an undercover gang operation that’s been slammed by a judge.

Mind you, we should be more than a bit bothered, too, that Police Minister Anne Tolley says she has no concerns about the botched investigations.


Even when a High Court justice found an undercover operation into a gang in Nelson abused court process, with a fake warrant and false charges?

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A Tory with a bright idea about welfare – the more brats you spawn, the greater the curbs on benefits

October 26, 2012

Move over, Ms Bennett.

Alf is promoting someone else to take over the job of Social Development Minister.

Not himself (although he reckons he would make a fair fist of it).

No. He would like to ship in Britain’s Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith.

This Duncan Smith feller has just announced (see here) that British parents will only be allowed to have two children before they face curbs on their benefits.

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North Korea – where the punishment for drinking during the mourning period can be mortar-fying

October 25, 2012

Gotta say it’s great to have been born a Kiwi and not a North Korean.

Among other things, your North Korean authorities took a very dim view of anyone indulging in pleasurable activities throughout the mourning period for Kim Jong-il.

We are talking about a 100-day mourning period and we are talking about drinking being a pleasurable activity.

Having to abstain from drink for 100 days would sorely test Alf and – fair to say – most of his mates.

Mind you, perhaps the North Korean tipple is rice wine or some such, in which case maybe Alf could give it a miss for 100 days, and even for a lifetime.

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Wake up and read your Herald – you might learn something your family was keeping hushed

October 22, 2012

If you are fit enough to fly home to the USA this week – well, maybe you are fit enough to read.

In that condition you might not necessarily insist that a copy of today’s NZ Herald be brought to you.

But perhaps spotting a copy of the newspaper can’t be avoided.

And in that case…

Perhaps the first thing you read tells you something your family had preferred you did not yet know.

Maybe it was the article (here) that says –

An American woman who was critically injured in a car crash near Waitomo Caves has not been told her husband was killed in the accident.

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Economics 101: if we say we will help Maori and Pacific students, we can try to gouge the lot

October 21, 2012

Alf is trying to get to grips with the reasoning given by Victoria University bosses for wanting to hoist student fees.

According to a report at Stuff (here), the university has applied to raise undergraduate education, social sciences and humanities fees by 8 per cent.

That’s double the maximum allowed under government restrictions.

So does this make them a bunch of rip-off merchants?

At first blush, it sure does.

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A plea to grammatically challenged editors – take time out to study what a hyphen can do

October 21, 2012

Don’t worry, kid…you can always become a journalist when you grow up.

The Grumbles are musing on mounting a campaign to bring back the compound adjective.

It will be aimed at everybody in general but the news media in particular.

Especially it will be aimed at grammatically challenged editors who ultimately are responsible for the quality of their product.

If the tossers grasped the importance of the hyphen and how to use it, their readers’ grasp of what they are reading would be considerably enhanced.

A splendid example of how the absence of the hyphen can cause confusion is thrown up today.

A headline (here) says –

Suspicious fire at quake damaged property

So…what are we being told here, exactly?

That the property was damaged by a suspicious fire?

Or there has been a suspicious fire at a property that had been damaged in an earthquake?

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Does the name Rino ring a bell? Yep, and today he might even make the headlines

October 18, 2012

Rino Tirikatene? Is he one of the Labour bunch?

It turns out he is. Alf is suitably abashed that he had not paid much attention to him, although – now he has been alerted – he can see Rino is a biggish bloke and should not have been overlooked.

The alert was triggered by Rino’s sponsorship of the Employment Relations (Protection of Young Workers) Amendment Bill, which was drawn from the Members’ Ballot today.

A media statement (here) spared Alf the need to read the proposed legislation.

As Rino explains it, the Bill was initially drafted by Labour MP Darien Fenton in 2007.

It aims to recognise young Kiwis in the workforce as employees rather than contractors.

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Researchers find binge boozing is bad for your brain – but isn’t that a no-brainer?

October 17, 2012

Someone’s brains have taken a beating, too…

Alf is apt never to take advice if it requires him to emulate the French.

But he is bound to say he has not observed as much binge boozing among the Frogs as among the Brits and the boorish buggers who can be found making drunken dicks of themselves in NZ’s city streets.

Accordingly he is tempted to pay more than passing heed to the story (here) about binge drinking and the mischief it does to a binge boozer’s brains.

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