The best means of defence is attack, in Alf’s book – but Patricia Grace has different ideas

May 2, 2015

A sheila by name of Patricia Grace, a much-admired writer of books and stuff Alf is told, has popped up to declare her opposition to this country sending troops to war.

It is not clear if she distinguished between sending troops to fight a war or sending them to teach some other bugger to fight a war.

Perhaps this was clarified in the item broadcast from Radio NZ this week.

But a pointer to the item says:

One of New Zealand’s most celebrated authors, Patricia Grace, says New Zealand should not be going to war anywhere, including places in the Middle East such as Afghanistan.

Alf fancies himself not so much as a writer as a judge of good writing and immediately spotted a tautology.

If New Zealand did not go to war anywhere, then that would include the Middle East and Afghanistan.

It would include anywhere around this country, too, which would complicate planning at Defence Headquarters more than somewhat.

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What’s the difference between the HMNZS Wellington and a toothfish? The fish has teeth

January 15, 2015
More teeth than the NZ Navy.

More biting power than the NZ Navy.

When the Member for Eketahuna North thunders his demand that we sink the toothfish pirates in Antarctic waters, the hacks at Radio NZ ignore him.

When the former Mayor of a sister town in the Wairarapa, Carterton, calls for the navy to use its fire power, the hacks jump to attention and give him top billing on their news bulletins.

But he’s a New Zealand First MP, not a National one.

Go figure.

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Strict UK rules constrain the questioning of terror suspects – so please don’t shout or throw insults

December 14, 2014
Sorry, but we haven't trained the dog to bark quietly yet.

Sorry, but we haven’t trained the dog to muffle his snarling yet.

Dunno why the bloody Brits don’t just wave a flag of surrender and tell the world’s terrorists to come and take over the country.

Alf makes this observation on learning that British soldiers have “lost their capability” to interrogate terrorist insurgents because of strict new rules on questioning.

He would be inclined to slap these suspects around a bit and maybe stick a knee into their goolies.

But nah. This isn’t cricket, old boy.

Hollering “howzat” would not be permitted within earshot of a terrorist suspect because the rules are seriously restrictive. They …

* Ban shouting in captives’ ears. Yep. Seriously.

* They prevent military intelligence officers from banging their fists on tables or walls,

* And they ban the use of “insulting words” when interrogating a suspect.


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A bad omen as the Navy dries out – we haven’t won a naval battle since the rum ration went

October 10, 2014
The Brits won this with booze in their bellies...

The Brits won this with booze in their bellies…

It sounds like a right rum load of bollocks to Alf, but the New Zealand Navy is clamping down on its booze culture.

Rear Admiral Jack Steer is reported to have announced a slew of new alcohol rules for the service.

Ships, at sea and docked, will go dry and sailors won’t be able to splurge on duty-free booze, or cigarettes, when overseas.

And during working hours, no sailor will be allowed to drink alcohol without express permission.

Steer announced the changes yesterday in an “all despatch” post to the approximately 1900-strong force.

He sounds awfully like one of those bloody wowsers from the days of the temperance movement.

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Hanky-panky in the hammock? We can only wonder what Nelson would make of these manoeuvres

July 26, 2014


Alf is very old-fashioned, when it comes to allowing the recruitment of females to the armed forces and to the promotion of these females too far up the command chain.

He has always held strongly to the view that this can only lead to hanky-panky of a sort best avoided, especially if this hanky-panky were to so preoccupy a couple that the enemy could sneak up on them and catch them with their pants down. This inevitably would put your comrades’ lives in danger.

For the same reason Alf has been disinclined to support the modern-day notions of equality that allow known homosexuals to join the armed forces. It means we are putting the defence of the realm in the hands of blokes and sheilas who may be overcome by their rampant hormones at a tactically vital moment to put a bit of coupling ahead of their military priorities.

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So what aren’t we being told about the Kiwi soldier who could be jailed for planting explosives?

November 10, 2013

Some idle thoughts on a news item today about our soldiers. Obviously we aren’t being told the full story.

A chat with our Minister of Defence next week might winkle out some much-needed answers.

But what the hell is going on at Defence HQ when a soldier can find himself (or herself in these enlightened times) facing a court martial for planting explosive devices in Afghanistan?

Or allegedly planting such devices.

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Relax, soldier, and put your rifle down – too much aggression is a no-no in our army

March 7, 2013

Dunno what sort of army we are building.

But we have cause to wonder on reading (here) –

Officer was ‘too aggressive’

Oh dear.

Hope this doesn’t mean we want an army of cream puffs, recruited from the ranks of the greens and lefties.

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Thumbs up for Coroner who is content to go with the Army’s finding on gay corporal’s death

March 5, 2013

It’s cheering to see the Chief Coroner is backing a decision against holding an inquest into the alleged bullying-suicide of a gay soldier.

Judge Neil MacLean (see here) has endorsed Coroner Gordon Matenga’s decision not to hold an inquest and to rely solely on the Army’s Court of Inquiry into the suicide of Corporal Douglas Hughes in Afghanistan in April, 2012.

Corporal Hughes’ death followed a confrontation with a sergeant about his feelings for a fellow soldier.

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US has sadly forgotten we Kiwis were on their side against the scoundrels who bombed Pearl Harbour

July 4, 2012

The buggers who did this are back in Pearl Harbour as America’s mates – but New Zealand has been shunned.

The Americans have never rated highly as a civilized country, in Alf’s judgement, not since that nonsense in the 18th century when 13 colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America.

Our history books tell us they first rejected the authority of the Parliament of Great Britain to govern them from overseas without representation.

This might have been fair enough in the circumstances, perhaps, if the parliamentarians then were as lack-lustre as the buggers running the show now.

The outrage is that the so-called American patriots then expelled all royal officials.

This – in Alf’s book – condemned them to be forever ranked away down there among the world’s more uncouth nations, regardless of the military muscle they can flex, which is ample enough to make them the mightiest country on earth today according to that crude measure.

If the NZ Herald’s John Armstrong had been a scribe at the time, Alf would have applauded him for describing the American action against the Crown as petty, petulant and pathetic.

Obviously the Americans haven’t become one whit more sophisticated, civilized or gracious since the days of the American Revolution.

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Non-lethal weapons for the Army? A blood-and guts general like Patton would surely wince

March 17, 2012

Give 'em hell, men, but make damned sure you don't bugger the environment.

General George S.Patton gave great advice: “I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.”

Mind you, the quote is disputed. But if it wasn’t said by Patton, then it was said by George C.Scott playing Patton in the movie of that name.

The point is that George was a blood-and-guts general. A tough bastard.

He would be amazed and vexed by modern militarists who have become namby-pamby and abandoned his advice.

Sad to say, New Zealand defence chiefs are among them.

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