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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There will be fireworks down at the club if John Key really said we must brace to become a nanny state

November 4, 2014


Sad to say, there’s a hint The Boss might have  gone crackers.

He says a ban on fireworks appears to be coming closer…

But (according to the NZ Herald) he is reluctant for the Government to impose one immediately for fear of being accused of running a “nanny state”.

So we won’t be accused of running a nanny state just yet.

We will tai-ho a tad and be accused of running a nanny state some other time.

Alf admits to being a tad bemused.

It doesn’t much matter if it doesn’t happen now.

But conditioning us to become a nanny state next year, the year after or whenever raises Alf’s hackles.

And it’s bound to require he explain himself to his true-blue mates in the Eketahuna Club.

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When it comes to a close encounter of the litigious kind, our money is on Crusher

April 3, 2012

She likes to finish up on top...

...and a helmet like this will afford bugger all protection to whoever is underneath.

The mind boggles at a thought entrenched in a Herald headline.

The headline says –

Collins on collision course with Labour MPs

The story below starts:

ACC Minister Judith Collins remains on a collision course with Labour’s Trevor Mallard and Andrew Little over comments they made in relation to an email Ms Collins received from former National Party president Michelle Boag.

Yeah, we all know about the row, and about the defamation threat and what-have-you.

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Anything wrong with a VIP list at ACC? It depends on who is on the list, surely

April 2, 2012

Gotta say it is disquieting, if not downright dismaying, to see the bloody media maintain their mindless assault on the ACC.

Today in the NZ Herald, a new front has been opened up with complaints about the ACC’s policy for handling “VIP claims” and the suggestion it delivers better protection for the privacy of powerful decision-makers, including MPs, judges and ACC board members.

Just why this should be a problem is not immediately apparent to your hard-working MP, who instinctively sees merit in any arrangement that benefits him.

Accordingly he is taking a very dim view of the media giving space to claims about preferential treatment from a Dr Denise Powell, president of Acclaim Otago, a support group for ACC claimants.

This is the sort of thing that gives people the idea there are Class A citizens and Class B citizens, and that the vast majority are Class B citizens, and something should be done about it to create a classless society.

Before you know it, we will be having revolution and bloodshed in the streets or – worse – the return of a Labour government.

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The sorry thing about Nick and the Pullar woman is that he won’t be sacked

March 21, 2012

"What else should I be saying sorry for?"

Just quietly, Alf has been struggling to suppress his urge to join the Labour tossers in demanding Nick Smith’s head.

They reckon he is not fit to lead the Government’s local government reforms and must be sacked.

This follows Nick doing something Alf would never do: he apologised.

The advice never to apologise was drummed into Alf by his dad.

Nick, obviously, was not blessed with such sound parental guidance.

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Gravity has a lot to account for, including claims that cost the ACC $272m last year

August 15, 2011

Gravity has an inevitable effect on people who slip, trip, stumble or lose their balance.

It brings them down to earth – or towards it – and their journey ends with a jolt when they hit the ground or whatever might interrupt their downwards journey.

It happens often.

More than 261,000 people were injured in falls at home last year, costing ACC $272 million.

Data released today tell us over 3,000 people were off work for more than 3 months as a result of falls in the home and almost 10,000 people were off work for more than a week.

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There’s a common factor in these accidental falls and tumbles – so let’s pass a law to be rid of it

August 30, 2010

Dunno where we think we are going with Safety New Zealand Week, but Alf would not rule out demands from some loopy do-gooders for a ban on living in houses.

A ban on cushions would be a bit less extreme, or – even less intrusive – a ban on playing with cushions.

His expectations of demands for the Government to do something follow the Dom Post’s making a silly fuss about an accident suffered by a toddler four months ago.

The three-year-old and his father were throwing cushions at each when the toddler who was standing on the couch, slipped and fell.
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The cane mutiny – bring back corporal punishment to our classrooms (and let’s not forget about tasers)

March 8, 2010

Dunno when we were gulled into abandoning corporal punishment in schools but we are now reaping the whirlwind.

The perverse but predictable consequence of sparing the rod is much worse than simply spoiling the brats. It’s that the little buggers are expressing their delight at being mollycoddled by bashing their teachers.

The Dom-Post gives us an idea of the mayhem in our schools in a grim report today.

Hundreds of teachers have received ACC-funded treatment after being assaulted at school.

Principals are shocked by the figure and are demanding immediate action to make schools safer.

Some school staff now fear breaking up fights in case pupils have weapons, and others refuse to do lunchtime duty alone.

A teacher injured during a school attack says that staff will always be at risk from “nutters”.

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Time for a Cabinet shake-up

October 16, 2009

Alf has sent his best suit and most handsome tie to the dry-cleaner to ensure he looks smart and ministerial, when he – as he expects – is called to the Ninth Floor of the Beehive next week.

He reckons he has a bloody good chance of becoming a minister in a cabinet shake-up, after the woeful performance of some of his colleagues this week.

And if John Key is not thinking about a cabinet shake-up, then he should (Alf will be dropping him an e-mail to that effect along with a copy of his CV).

Let’s face it. What happened this week has been a political and managerial disgrace.

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Berl, the booze bill and a backdown

July 7, 2009

Because boozing is among his favourite activities (he prefers to call it networking), Alf has been interested in the brouhaha over a study by Berl.

The NBR kicked it off, at least in terms of news media coverage, and Business Roundtable executive director Roger Kerr today gets in on the act in the NZ Herald.
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