Shark-cage operators put the bite on Govt about safety – but is competition their real worry?

December 28, 2011

Code or no code, Alf prefers to get his kicks elsewhere.

Dunno why southern shark tourism operators are making such a fuss about cowboy operators.

They are expressing concerns that the unregulated industry could lead to cowboy operators coming to the Foveaux area.

And these cowboys – they reckon – will put peoples’ lives in danger because they do not know what they are doing.

The reality, Alf suspects, could be that the incumbent operators are pissed off at the prospect of competition and want the industry regulated to make it easier for themselves to make a buck.

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A whiter shade of pale: Margaret Mutu’s colour bar would sort out immigrants with the right ideas

September 4, 2011

Boris de Bres has been quick off the mark to find fault with the latest headline-grabbing blast at whites from Margaret Mutu.

Probably that’s because the Sunday Star-Times has gone to him for comment before the latest headline-grabbing ideas have been published, to add spice to its story.

If it had not found people to disagree with Mutu, it would not have been able to report on a “White immigrants row”.

But it’s too late for Boris to change Alf’s mind about our need for a race relations commissioner.

Alf says we don’t need one, and moreover he does not want to suppress expressions of racist opinions, because if people are discouraged from expressing racist opinions, then we don’t know who is and who is not a racist.

This time the target of Mutu’s provocative thinking is white immigants (oh, and let’s not forget that de Bres is a white immigrant).

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But if one bloke can’t do the inspection job, why haven’t we had a catastrophic oil spill?

April 18, 2011

It’s easy to see why the public service blossoms under Labour governments.

The buggers are strong on regulation and inspection, and stuff like that.

Now they are howling for the Government to hire more inspectors to keep an eye on the splendid people who are doing our economy a big favour by looking for oil.

We already have a bloke who undertakes this work.

Obviously he is very good at it, because we have had no catastrophes like the one in the Gulf of Mexico last year.

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If it’s a good idea for more people to be obliged to belt up, let’s start with coroners

January 12, 2011

Belting up would be an impediment.

Alf is fast coming to the conclusion that coroners should make findings about how people died in the cases referred to them – full stop.

But please spare us the recommendations.

Authorities elsewhere can study a coroner’s report and draw their own conclusions about what lessons are to be learned from a sudden death.

But coroners – it seems – are attention-seekers.

They like to pepper their reports with advice and recommendations on how deaths could be avoided, and to give officials somewhere a kick up the arse for not having done this.

It’s sure to attract the attention of the media and their headline writers.

But some of that advice looks downright dodgy to Alf.

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Let’s extend the 90-day trial period to politicians before they can become entrenched as troughers

July 18, 2010

The Government is about to do employers a big favour, with its plans to extend the 90-day trial period for hiring staff.

The trial period allows the boss to fire a new worker within the first three months of hiring him or her, without the fired worker – or drone, more like it – having the right to take one of those bloody vexing and costly personal grievance cases.

The idea, as Alf understands it, is to extend the scheme to companies with more than 20 workers, as part of a package of workplace law reforms.

Obviously this will ease the way for bosses to get rid of any recently hired staffer who turns out to be a drone, a pain in the arse, a trouble-maker, or whatever.

The percentage of such people – by the way – is much greater than Alf had previously understood.

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Is public service the place for coulrophobics?

November 8, 2009

Alf was bemused by the story of the Department of Labour’s dealings with a staffer who suffers coulrophobia.

Her ailment has resulted in the department’s social committee removing posters advertising a staff Christmas function from the floor where she works.

This curious saga started with the social committee deciding this year’s Christmas party would have a circus carnival theme and put up advertising posters depicting a clown.

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Spare those tigers

May 30, 2009

After the fuss raised by the shooting of the rare white tiger that killed a keeper at the Zion wildlife park, Alf welcomes hearing the case for the defence presented today by one of the company’s bosses.

One concern is that the killer tiger, Abu, was one of only 120 white tigers left in the world. But –

Yesterday, park operations manager Glen Holland said people were wrong to think that the death of white tigers might endanger the population of Bengal tigers.

“I just cannot get over the public of New Zealand saying ‘the poor tiger’ – it really is just unbelievable,” he said.
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