The Thais give insights into co-governance systems and unelected leaders’ push for more power

May 23, 2014

Well, look you here.

The headline on a bit of something Alf was reading today says The biggest issue: politics are divided between a weak majority and powerful minority

The article (here) deals with shabby events in Thailand where an elected government has been thrown out by a military coup.

Alf is particularly interested in observing that Thailand’s system is described as quasi-democratic.

This is what comes of giving power and authority to appointed people who can’t be bothered standing for election.

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What happens when public funds are earmarked for special people? Councils are pressed to spend it all

May 22, 2014

It might be thought that not spending ratepayers’ money would be welcomed as a good thing and there would be much rejoicing.

Auckland Council accordingly should be applauded for having managed to save much of the budget earmarked for certain purposes.

Nah. Not when one of those special purposes is positive discrimination (the PC way of talking about giving an ethnic group funding privileges).

Radio NZ says the council has managed to spend only a fraction of the budget earmarked for Maori initiatives. according to the board representing Maori in Auckland.

The board is one of those unelected outfits that now adorn our local government structures and governance arrangements.

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When the Greens let their hair down, you could say they risk causing serious dis-tress

May 21, 2014

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crystal

A very unattractive picture was painted, in Alf’s ever-lively mind, when he learned of the Greens wanting to let their hair down.

Crystal Gayle with her hair down? Well, just take a look at the pic on the right. Alf would have gone a long way to see her and her tresses in her hey-day as a country and western singer.

According to the German fairy tale, Rapunzel was something of a looker with long tresses too.

But Alf would rather be far away when the likes of Metiria Turei (the sheila at the top) let their hair down.

Hence he does not get too excited by news that the Green Party will be holding an auction behind closed doors to raise funds later this month.

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Here’s why Morrie has good cause to want to keep the muzzle on our female MPs

May 19, 2014

Alf has just caught up with news that Parliament’s relationship with Te Atiawa could be changed.

For the better?

It depends on your world view, probably.

The news is that a bloke called Morrie Love is keen on maintaining the Maori traditional muzzle on women when it comes to speaking rights – even if they happen to be members of Parliament. It’s a position Alf is strongly inclined to support, because women are apt to talk a lot of old flannel.

It’s all related to powhiri at Parliament (typically a tedious procedure which Alf prefers to avoid but very important when it comes to maintaining the status of our indigenous people as – you know – “special”).

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Doc on ethics rap hasn’t avoided punishment – not by buggering off to Australia, anyway

May 18, 2014

Alf’s attention was grabbed by the headline and intro to a Herald on Sunday story about Dr Jonathan Graham Wright, a fellow who was found to have breached professional and ethical standards when he accepted money from an 81-year-old terminal cancer sufferer, Cornelis Soeters.

The patient’s son, Paul Soeters, 46, seems to have uncovered a record of the payment.

The son obviously is a bloke with a strong sense of right and wrong, and he said it “doesn’t seem right” that the doctor – a medic with two previous stains on his professional record – has been able to avoid restrictions by moving to Queensland before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal ruling.

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We were rocking in the electorate last night – and rejoicing at Labour’s shaken political prospects

May 17, 2014

Yep. The earth moved for the Grumbles yesterday – a reminder of what happened on their honeymoon, way back several years.

But Alf had not replenished his Viagra supplies.

The family home – and all of the electorate, actually – was rocked by an aftershock from last year’s quake.

Stuff has reported on the event here.

The magnitude 4.3 quake occurred just before 8pm. It was centred 20 km south-west of Pongaroa, and was 47 km deep.

GNS Science seismologist Caroline Holden said the shake would have been a “sharp jolt” but the quake was likely to been too deep to have caused damage.

The Eketahuna area suffered damage from a magnitude 6.3 quake in January. Holden said tonight’s shake was likely to be connected.

“The timing and the location means it’s likely to be an aftershock.”

Actually, Alf was down at the club when it happened.

His mates were not unduly dismayed.

They were much more enthralled by talk of The Budget and – notwithstanding the lack of goodies for many of them personally – the way it has rocked Labour’s election hopes, which had never been too flash anyway.


Bugger the surplus – Fred and Mabel want to know what’s in the Budget for them

May 15, 2014

Dunno what they are making of the surplus in the Eketahuna Club tonight. Alas, Alf is stuck in Wellington so won’t be able to check on how it went down with his mates.

He happened to be among the Nats who applauded enthusiastically when our splendidly capable Minister of Finance got to that bit – the surplus – fairly early on in the speech.

To be frank, it’s a tiddler as surpluses go.

But Alf suspects they don’t actually give a toss what’s on the bottom line, back home in the club. It’s all fiscal flim-flam, Alf’s mate Fred is apt to scoff. What Fred wants to know is how much will he be taxed and what will he and his family get back for the hard-earned dosh the tax gatherer takes off them.

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