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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You wouldn’t credit it – there’s life in a party thought to have gone the way of the dodo

May 12, 2014

Alf admires an optimist.

Accordingly he today salutes John Pemberton, who aspires to become a member of Parliament.

He will be campaigning in Taupo and John Pemberton, MP, has a nice ring to it.

Alf has never heard of John Pemberton, but each election campaign throws up names Alf has never heard of.

More interesting in this case, according to a media release today, Pemberton will represent the Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) on the hustings in the Taupo electorate this election.

The what party?

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The Cabinet Club here in Eketahuna North is focused more on tippling than peddling influence

May 9, 2014

Good old Tau has summed things up pretty nicely when he says Opposition attacks on National Party fundraisers, where individuals can pay for access to ministers, is Labour Party envy.

Alf is bound to say he was deeply disappointed by Labour and NZ First attacks on the Government yesterday and their claims to have proof that The Boss was involved in talks to ease citizenship restrictions for wealthy foreign investors.

As Stuff explains here, those allegations came out of reports on National Party events run throughout the country, called Cabinet Clubs.

Labour can’t have Cabinet Clubs because they are in opposition. They are bound to stay there, too.

They could try running Shadow Cabinet Clubs, of course, although Alf can’t imagine why anyone would talk to the shadowy buggers who would be the best they could provide by way of star turns.

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Let’s hear it for Damien: the National Party coffers have done nicely from his giving officials the fingers

May 3, 2014

It’s not often Alf feels the urge to acclaim the decisions of Labour politicians.

He is happy to make an exception in the case of one decision made by West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor, the Immigration Minister who over-rode the advice of his officials to allow Chinese businessman Donghua Liu into New Zealand.

Firstly, Liu’s subsequent brush with the law triggered events that led to Maurice Williamson’s forced resignation in recent days after it emerged he called high-level police officers about an investigation into Liu.

This is bad news for Maurice, who happens to be one of Alf’s mates.

But – ahem, let’s confess to a bit of self-interest here – his resignation has created a ministerial vacancy.

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