The Rudd experience should show Shearer how a leader can suddenly be poll-axed

June 30, 2013
Labour Party HQ in Eketahuna ...  the sounds of knife-sharpening could be heard there last night.

Labour Party HQ in Eketahuna … the sounds of knife-sharpening could be heard there last night.

It all sounds a bit pathetic.

Labour Party leader David Shearer is insisting he has the full support of his party.

How he can be sure of this is a good question.

But according to a Herald report here, he appeared on TVNZ’s Q+A this morning following Labour’s successful Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election result.

And sure enough, he was quizzed about rumours and reports of a possible party leadership challenge.

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If lefties and greenies slapped this on their lips – well, Parliament then would be worth listening to

June 28, 2013


Back in the grim days of World War II, the War Advertising Council came up with the phrase “loose lips might sink ships” to be used on posters by the United States Office of War Information.

It was part of a general campaign to advise servicemen and other citizens to avoid careless talk concerning secure information that might be of use to the enemy. The British equivalent used variations on the phrase “Keep mum”.

One way of ensuring against people being loose lipped has become apparent after a woman down south found herself in a very sticky situation.

An account of the woman’s experience has been given by TV3 here.

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The greens you grow in the garden could show Russel Norman a thing or two about maths

June 24, 2013

The Greens should take a lesson from the greenery they are committed to protect.

According to the headline on a report here

Scientists find proof plants are capable of complex arithmetic

This, quite obviously, makes the plants smarter than the Greens.

The report beneath the headline explains that in order to keep themselves going in the absence of sunlight, plants perform division equations throughout the night to ration their stores of starch until the moment the sun reappears.

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Passing the bill that lets the spooks get on with it should be done and dusted – but maybe not

June 23, 2013

Peter Dunne, the leader of a party that no longer officially exists, says he hasn’t decided whether he’ll support a bill that would allow the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) to spy on New Zealanders.

The authorities who decide these things are still counting the numbers of people who have signed on as UnitedFuture members.

Meanwhile your splendid government is anxious to safeguard you against the constant threat of terrorists.

It is hoping to rush a bill through Parliament to allow the GCSB to get on with the job of tapping phones, eavesdropping, snooping, prying and so on that is essential to keep us safe.

Dunne’s vote in Parliament could be crucial if the Maori Party votes against the bill.

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TV3 News doesn’t see news of the company’s receivership as worthy of home page treatment

June 17, 2013

It’s posted prominently here on the home page of TVNZ’s One News website under the hearing ‘Business as usual’ for MediaWorks after receivership

The story beneath the heading quotes receivers of the company as saying a poor capital structure has “killed” MediaWorks New Zealand’s business.

The Auckland-based broadcaster, which owns TV3, Four, RadioLIVE, the Rock and MoreFM, was put into receivership today after a planned recapitalisation failed to win over its lenders.

MediaWorks has been looking at ways to reduce its debt burden after Australian private equity firm Ironbridge Capital bought 70% of the company in 2007 for some $741 million.

And so on.

Radio NZ had the news on its home page (here) under the heading TV3’s owners in receivership.

On the NZ Herald home page at time of writing (here), the news was headed Mediaworks: It’s business as usual.

On Stuff’s home page, it was down the list a bit (here) under the heading MediaWorks to dispute tax payment.

But 10 minutes later it had been displaced by other stuff.

And how did TV3 rate the news?

Not good enough for its home page.

But they did not ignore it.

They gave it a place on the Business news page (here).

But that was around 1pm today.

By the time you get around to reading this post, the news on each of the pages cited here may well have been changed.

It has happened only once, so far, but no matter – the very special Maori King has made it a tradition

June 16, 2013

Alf has enormous regard for the indigenous people of this country, who – by virtue of the New Zealand Government signing some Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People – have officially been deemed “special”.

Alf’s mate and former Parliamentary colleague, Simon Power, said as much in a ministerial statement on 20 April 2010.

It was a ministerial statement he made as Minister of Justice on the matter of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and it explained why our wonderful government supported it.

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Hamilton’s vote shows why central govt should step in on the fluoridation issue

June 15, 2013

Come on, Boss.

A bit of leadership, please.

The fact is, Prime Minster John Key is being a tad precious when he describes anti-fluoride arguments as “overstated”.

He is reported to have told the media at the National Fieldays he supports fluoridation of water supplies.

But then he said it is a matter for local councils to decide.

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The stories about a bloke, a boy, a gun and a PC are wildly different: the verdict is not guilty

June 15, 2013

Alf is delighted to tell you the man who was accused of pointing a loaded gun at an eight-year-old and shooting a computer has been found not guilty.

Stuff tells us today (here) that Geoffrey John Buckley, 35, has been cleared of two charges of recklessly discharging a firearm and a charge of recklessly firing an airgun in front of his partner and her children between February 2007 and August 2008.

According to the report, the boy first made the allegations to Child Youth and Family in 2010. He repeated the allegations in a police interview last year.

This tells us there was no great haste in getting any judicial deliberations on these alleged offences

And a jury took less than two hours to deliver a not guilty verdict to the Napier District Court today.

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Guns have their uses in persuading kids to get off the PC but an accidental firing would be negligent

June 13, 2013

A bloke who was said to have pointed a loaded gun at an eight-year-old boy and threatened to shoot him if he did not get off the computer deserves a bit more sympathy than a vengeful society is likely to give him.

Only a bit of sympathy, mind you.

Firing the bloody gun (as was alleged) would have gone too far.

But it has taken several years to have him dragged before the court, which is a clear case of denying the old adage about justice delayed being justice denied.

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Unwise and even stupid people can be found outside politics – at a city golf club, for example

June 8, 2013

The heading on the number three item on the Herald’s home page, when Alf checked this evening, said: Dunne: I was unwise, even stupid.

We all know what that’s about.

It was about United Future leader Peter Dunne’s 30-year political career being in ruins after he refused to co-operate fully with an inquiry into who leaked a report on spy agency the GCSB (see here).

Thus a bloke who once led a parliamentary team of eight MPs on the strength of his portraying it as the common-sense party had shown he is capable of being uncommonly senseless.

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