Chester shows off his improved education – but it’s how electorate voters mark him that matters

April 28, 2015

Chester Borrows draws a long bow today.

Alf makes this observation while acknowledging that his judgement is steeped in envy, because he missed out on the junket that Borrows is now defending.

The best means of defence, as Chester clearly knows, is attack.

So he is sticking it into the media for making a fuss about the cost of the junket that took him and a gaggle of other MPs to bits of Europe.

He is saying this treatment of the Speaker’s delegation shows it takes New Zealand’s democracy too lightly.

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What happens when public funds are earmarked for special people? Councils are pressed to spend it all

May 22, 2014

It might be thought that not spending ratepayers’ money would be welcomed as a good thing and there would be much rejoicing.

Auckland Council accordingly should be applauded for having managed to save much of the budget earmarked for certain purposes.

Nah. Not when one of those special purposes is positive discrimination (the PC way of talking about giving an ethnic group funding privileges).

Radio NZ says the council has managed to spend only a fraction of the budget earmarked for Maori initiatives. according to the board representing Maori in Auckland.

The board is one of those unelected outfits that now adorn our local government structures and governance arrangements.

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What’s that cry from New Plymouth? It’s a lament for the further dismantling of our democracy

April 14, 2014

It’s a struggle for the champions of democracy to stem the rising tide of co-governance arrangements that make a sham of electing our councillors and (before long, you can be sure) members of Parliament.

They have cause to feel like that Canute feller trying to hold back the incoming tide.

Trouble is, being a champion of democracy can’t be squared with the modern-day need to recognise that our indigenous people are special people.

Democrats expose themselves to the charge they are racist and reactionary if they resist proposals to appoint our special people directly to positions of power and influence in our governance arrangements.

They certainly have been chided by a New Plymouth city councillor for having the gall to resist giving local iwi members a very special place – and very special privileges – in the city’s decision-making system.

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Pita Sharples should show us he’s a democrat and put his leadership to the vote

March 28, 2013

Any curiosity we might have harboured about Maori attitudes to a good old-fashioned democratic vote are reinforced today by Pita Sharples.

The Maori Party co-leader has written an opinion piece for the Herald (see here) to set out his reasons for staying on in the job, paying no heed to fellow co-leader Tariana Turia and MP Te Ururoa Flavell who reckon his used-by date has expired and it’s time he stepped down, rather than stay on past 2014.

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Sorry, folks, but Joris thinks we are too ill-informed (or stupid?) to be allowed to vote on some matters

May 20, 2012

The voters of Nelson have spoken – convincingly – on what they think about the provision of a race-based Maori seat on their local council.

They have rejected a proposal that a dedicated Maori ward be established, a move the city council itself supported.

Actually, you could say the voters have been thoroughly outspoken on the matter.

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Trade unionists learn something vital about Fiji – it doesn’t have a democratic government

December 14, 2011

So who coughed up the money to teach trade union leaders something the rest of us already knew?

The lesson is that Fiji is not a democracy.

Alf knew that without having to get on a plane and fly there.

But Helen Kelly, president of the CTU, flew there with a bunch of Aussies to find out the hard way, presuambly with tickets paid for by hard-working union members.

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Jami-Lee wins Botany (as expected) but it’s a pity he isn’t called Keith, John or Bill

March 6, 2011

Alf looks forward to Jami-Lee Ross joining him on the back benches in the House after he won the Botany byelection for National (an outcome never in doubt) yesterday.

The Herald on Sunday tells us Ross polled 8150 votes or 56.7 per cent of the turnout.

But the turnout was a disappointingly low 36.5 per cent. Alf imagines that’s a consequence of Botany being an Auckland seat, because Aucklanders are apt to be somewhat wanting when it comes to things like civic duty and getting off their arses to uphold a strong democracy.

Have the buggers marched in the streets to protest against the outrage of Maori being given special constitutional treatment in their city? Nah, they have not.

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Being a rugby buff is splendid – but NZ won’t let Frank in until he becomes a democrat

January 31, 2011

Signing this adds the Rugby Union presidency to my titles - and I rather fancy selecting myself as captain of the national team.

Alf applauds Murray McCully for promptly giving the lie to a silly Sunday Star-Times high up-and-under on the prospect of Fiji’s dictator being wined and dined in New Zealand at the taxpayer’s expense.

The increasingly tatty rag said New Zealand would be obliged to host the dictator and his thuggish brother-in-law at the Rugby World Cup if – as can’t be ruled out – they become top dogs at the Fiji Rugby Union.

But as everyone knows, Fiji’s, military leaders are not welcome in this country.

And as the Herald reports today, that position is being maintained by the admirable McCully.

Soon after the SST had delivered its bilge to its readers, our Foreign Minister was laying down the law on the matter of Frank Barmy-Banana.

He made plain that the Government will refuse a visa for Fiji’s unelected leader and military commander during the Rugby World Cup.

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If Maori advisory boards aren’t working, let’s save public money by scrapping them

October 16, 2010

Sandra Lee back in the news? Yep.

Alf had thought she had put herself out to pasture some time back, but she popped up on Radio NZ to blat about Maori representation in local government.

She insists the Auckland Council must act immediately to provide for Maori representation.

This is odd, because Alf was sure he had heard an interview on Morning Report earlier in the week with a Maori bloke who had been elected to the council.

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Take a hard look at Zimbabwe, if you empathise with Sharples on this one-person-one-vote thing

March 22, 2010

Alf’s unease about our party’s coalition relationship with the Maori Party has been heightened after Pita Sharples shared his provocative ideas about an ideal democracy with Radio NZ’s Morning Report audience today.

The Maori Party co-leader declared his frustration with the concept of one person, one vote.

He accused we Nats of failing to understand the sort of democracy the Maori Party wants.

Bloody right we don’t.

He said we should try another model of democracy.

But why?
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