Rooftop protest could make it harder for the public to see MPs (and Annette King to skip to the loo)

June 26, 2015

Gotta say Alf hopes the book is thrown at the Greenpeace tossers who staged the day-long protest yesterday over what they say is government inaction on climate change.

Even better, let’s throw a library of books at them because this should inflict greater hurt.

The tiresome foursome are believed to have used scaffolding at the rear of Parliament to get onto the building, then make their way to the ledge which overlooks the forecourt.

Alf didn’t pay much attention to their antics, but it seems they placed solar panels there and unfurled a benner with a photo of the Prime Minister, John Key, and the words “cut pollution, create jobs – yeah, nah”.

Not all MPs were too dismayed but according to Radio NZ:

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Keeping admirably mum about Mike and the cops and the murky matter of who said what to whom

February 10, 2015

Mrs Grumble phoned during the boring bit of Parliamentary proceedings today to recommend giving a Sergeant Schultz award to Police Minister Michael Woodhouse.

Woodhouse won plaudits from her for his skill at saying nothing about his role in the Mike Sabin matter.

Well, almost nothing.

He  refused – again – to confirm whether he was briefed by Police about Sabin.

‘But he  said he was “absolutely” confident he had handled the situation properly.

If he handled the matter properly without being briefed by the Police, of course, he is entitled to another award, this one for  prowess in the Police portfolio while being kept in the dark.

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Annette King can now say her Mercedes Benz was Borrowed – but what were they doing at Ratana?

January 24, 2015

Alf has been invited to spare a thought for Chester Borrows, the National MP for Whanganui, who has made a dick of himself at Ratana.

He backed into a car “in front of a gaggle of chortling political journos”.

This news prompted Alf to spare some thoughts for the hacks in the Parliamentary Press Gallery.

“A gaggle of chortling journos” pretty well sums them up in just a few words.

As for Chester Borrows, frankly Alf finds him a bit of a plod and not his favourite person in the caucus.

Moreover Alf was not invited to be one of the MPs who travelled with Borrows to the Ratana celebrations.

This is just as well, as it turns out.

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Whatever happened to Cunliffe? Thanks to a TV3 list of Labour losers, we can tell you…

February 25, 2013

The Herald’s John Armstrong was probably in a bit of a rush to get his story posted, and hence missed out the bit that Alf was looking for.

Where did Cunliffe finish up after the Labour rabble’s front-bench reshuffle?

The Herald report (here) affirmed that Alf won a small wager in the Eketahuna Club.

He had backed Annette King to get the health job.

And sure enough –

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With all the fuss about fracking and housing, Phil can be forgiven if he has become scratchy

April 19, 2012

Alf’s good mate Phil Heatley, back in Opposition days, enjoyed watching Chris Carter wriggle at Question Time in Parliament. Alf enjoyed watching him wriggle, too.

Carter, you might recall, was Housing Minister before he came unglued within the Labour Party hierarchy.

And on more than one occasion our Phil had the bugger on the back foot – for example, when he asked how come a person could be allocated a State house in Māngere while owning a holiday home in Russell.

If you are going to dish it out in Opposition, you have to be able to take it in government, of course.

And when he became Minister of Housing, it looked like Phil was a feller who did not mind hard questioning.

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Too bad about the warders, but when was it wrong to keep jailbirds in Dickensian conditions?

June 16, 2011

There's a million-dollar view on the other side...but you can't see it from here.

Are we hearing things correctly?

Crusher Collins has been saying staff in some New Zealand prisons are working in “Dickensian” conditions and they should be closed down.

The important thing – surely – is that bad buggers are being banged up in Dickensian conditions.

If the prison staff don’t like it, there are plenty of unemployed people who would be keen to take over their jobs.

The future of the prison popped up yesterday, when Crusher was being questioned by Parliament’s law and order select committee.

Government might reconsider building new prisons as the number of inmates appears to have stabilised, she said.

Crusher is our Corrections Minister, of course.

She recalls that when she became minister in 2008 there were forecasts the prison population would increase by about 2000.

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Hughes is news and the Herald’s hounds seems hellbent on keeping him in the headlines

March 23, 2011

As a highly principled politician, Alf publicly champions decency, democracy, fair trials and the admirable notion that we are all innocent until proven guilty.

He firmly believes the well of justice will be poisoned by the pre-trial publicity that too often can be given to a case by circulation-hungry newspapers and ratings-obsessed broadcast media.

He accordingly condemns news media that feed off the plight of well known public figures who find themselves the subjects of police investigations. Leave it alone (he urges) until the police have done their thing and brought the suspect to court, where all the relevant facts are publicly aired before a judge and/or jury.

He is dismayed, therefore, that the NZ Herald has gone fishing for more information (or, more likely, is hoping to dig up more dirt) after Labour’s Darren Hughes confirmed he is the MP at the centre of allegations about a police investigation relating to a late-night incident.

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David Garrett shows the way for unwanted MPs but Chris Carter seems unlikely to follow

September 24, 2010

Chris Carter has been given 500 good reasons for wanting to leave the Labour Party without being kicked out for trying to undermine leader Phil Goff.

If he were to stay with the cash-strapped party, they would tap him for $500 for a war-chest to fight the Mana by-election campaign.

Whether or not the party kicks him out, the sad bugger lacks David Garrett’s sense of what is the decent thing to do, although this might be explained by his having nothing much else to do except politics.

Garrett has resigned from Parliament.

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The lesson for card-carrying socialist ministers is to deal with a florist rather than a porn shop

June 11, 2010

Looks like Labour’s Shane Jones has lost lots of brownie points within his party over some of the purchases he made with his ministerial credit card back in the days when he had the privilege of carrying such a card.

Among other things, he watched pornographic movies.


Labour Party members are apt to frown on blokes who watch pornographic movies, although it’s fair to say many Labour blokes probably have done just that, except they did not use ministerial credit cards and hence have been able to keep their habit strictly private.

In the aftermath of what is happening, Alf’s Labour leadership tip is to keep an eye out for Chris Carter.

While Jones’ aspirations of leading the party have been sunk, Carter’s probably have been given a boost.

He used his ministerial card to… guess what?
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The UN declaration – it wasn’t a secret (but you got to hear first if you were “special” and worked for Maori TV)

April 23, 2010

Alf was interested in a parliamentary question put by Labour’s Annette King yesterday. She wanted to know on what date Cabinet decided to support the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and what Cabinet believed the impact of such a decision would be.

The answer from Bill English, acting PM, was that Cabinet made the decision to support the declaration on 22 March.

He went on:

The statements made to this House and to the UN accurately reflect Cabinet’s view that this is a non-binding, aspirational document.

The Government has affirmed that New Zealand’s existing legal and constitutional frameworks will define the bounds of the influence of the declaration.

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