Greenie gathers a gaggle of MPs to promote equality – ha! – in a world where folk are obviously unequal

May 23, 2015
So how will the bloody law equalise things for this pair?

So how will the bloody law put these blokes on an equal footing?

Alf gave a momentary thought to joining one of those cross-party working group that do-gooders are apt to set up.

This one is being established to look at and advocate for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.

All MPs have been sent an email telling them of the opportunity to join.

But Alf quickly recognised his application to sign up would be declined because he would want to add a few more rights to the list.

The right to discriminate, for starters.

And the right to be left alone by the state when you do something as a matter of conscience or belief.

He’s not too fond of having to work with Greens and lefties, anyway, which tends to be one of the requirements of joining cross-party working groups.

This one has been initiated by Green Party MP Jan Logie.

At the last count, it includes 12 members from her party, National, Labour, New Zealand First and Act.

The Maori Party is somewhat noticeably absent.

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Iwi bounce back from defeat at the ballot box to demand council voting rights without being elected

May 22, 2015

You’ve got to give Peter Moeahu full marks for gall.

His undemocratic cause was lost when the good citizens of New Plymouth went to the polls to decide if it was a good idea for their district council to have a separatist ward reserved for indigenous persons.

An overwhelming majority of those who bothered getting off their chuffs to vote made plain it was a bad idea.

But this Peter Moeahu feller sees this as a chance to push an even more provocative idea.

He is calling for New Plymouth’s council to reconsider appointing iwi representatives to influential standing committees.

This means they would get to influence council decisions without having to go through the bother of getting elected, even in a separatist ward.

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Forget about poverty until the Budget speech is read – for now, let’s wallow in this corporate swill

May 21, 2015

Dunno what’s in The Budget for the poor people.

But Alf is delighted to learn that the corporate welfare trough has not been emptied in the name of fiscal austerity or in same mad endeavour to produce a surplus.

The Boss dipped into the trough yesterday with his Tourism hat on to dish out lots of lolly to two operators who look sufficiently well-heeled to find their own lolly, but hey – what’s the point of being in government if you can’t steer a bit of taxpayers’ money in the direction of supporters or people who might become supporters if appropriately nourished.

Alf is especially delighted to see that an enterprise run by our indigenous people is being nicely looked after. These people are very special, as readers of this blog know, and if we didn’t give them something like this they would be waving the bloody treaty and demanding it.

A consequence of this largesse is some good publicity from Maori Television:

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The trouble with never giving offence is that we must be hugely respectful – even to Morris dancers

May 19, 2015

Alf was drawn today to an article by one Joanna Norris, chair of the New Zealand Media Freedom Committee and editor of the Press.

Her subject was freedom of expression and the things that threaten it.

She discussed freedom of expression in terms Alf thoroughly supports.

At its very simplest, freedom of expression gives people the right to express themselves in a manner of their choosing. Whether you want to write a letter to an editor, write a column, dance in a park, or even burn a flag, your freedom to express yourself is protected by law (unless your flag burning results in public disorder).

The Bill of Rights Act gives New Zealanders these rights. Specifically it says this: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.” There are of course limits, for example your right to express yourself must not result in a crime, but generally our courts have erred towards freedom of expression when balancing competing principles.

But from time to time, Norris went on, issues arise that quietly threaten the rights of New Zealanders to express themselves.

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Nanny statists don’t want sweetness and light to come into the policy debate about obesity

May 18, 2015

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Alf will be checking out how much good tax money is being squandered on fat fanatics and anti-sugar zealots. They are feeding from the public trough – excessively, it seems fair to argue – and coming up with all sorts of weird ideas.

For example, they have been banging on about the need to slap huge and embittering taxes on stuff we Grumbles like to savour, now and again and in moderation.

But their obsession is not limited to this wild urge to lift the price of sugary products to prohibitive levels. They also want to stop decent people from opening dairies – even though they are a legitimate form of retailing – to ensure prospective customers have to find black-market vendors of wares these do-gooders regard as harmful.

Or (oh dear, a loophole already) prospective customers would have to find a supermarket, although before long we would be told we shouldn’t allow new supermarkets either.

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Labour did a U-turn on a capital gains tax so it could take pot-shots when we Nats changed direction

May 17, 2015

Alf has confessed to his drinking mates that maybe he wasn’t paying attention, when capital gains taxes were last discussed by our caucus.

He has a strong recollection of scoffing at Labour’s capital tax proposals during the election campaign last year and he was hugely amused when the lefties decided this policy had been a mistake.

He also recalls the strongly expressed rejection of a capital gains tax from Bill English (our splendid Minister of Finanace, if you aren’t acquainted with his importance to our economic well-being).

Not too long ago he was disputing an OECD report which said the growing gap between rich and poor in New Zealand is leading to lower overall economic growth.

A report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said the countries with the biggest increases in income gaps over recent years are New Zealand, Finland, Israel, Sweden and the United States.

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Howie Tamati has an explanation for ballot box result: some voters didn’t bother playing the game

May 15, 2015

Alf’s good mate Paula Bennett shouldn’t lose much sleep.

But she should be ready for the United Nations to give her a call on a matter within her ministerial bailiwick.

The reason: the Mayor of New Plymouth is spitting the dummy after voters in his bailiwick rejected a council vote for a Maori ward.

Andrew Judd, the mayor in question, is now talking of  going to the United Nations with a complaint against the Government about the legislation governing the process whereby our indigenous persons can seek special voting privileges.

Exactly what this has to do with the United Nations is anyone’s guess.

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