Larry Summers looks like the wrong man for the World Bank – so what about our Don?

January 23, 2012

Alf today is launching a campaign to secure a new job for Don Brash, who – like all but one candidate in the ACT team – failed to win a seat in Parliament at the general election in November.

Don would be just the bloke to run the World Bank.

The job is up for grabs later this year.

President Barack Obama – according to a Bloomberg report spotted by your widely read member for Eketahuna North – may put his mark on the World Bank by nominating Lawrence Summers when Robert Zoellick’s term expires later this year.

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Teens will be rushing our tea shops, if the truth gets out about what Banks and Key said

November 15, 2011

Forget about P, kids ... for a real buzz try this stuff.

Nothing was surer than that the ACT leadership would come into considerations, when he nation started speculating about what was recorded on the covert tape which has come under the cloud of a police investigation.

The Boss has done himself no favours, in Alf’s book, by whistling in the cops to look into the secret taping of his “cup of tea” meeting with ACT Epsom candidate John Banks.

It has merely amplified the speculation.

All sorts of stuff is flying around about how the conversation was recorded, and who has heard the conversation on the tape, and so on.

It seems 3 News is among those thought to have heard what was said, and we are supposed to have a whiff of what the conversation was about on the strength of a series of pointed questions it put to Banks about the future of Don Brash as ACT leader after the election.

According to a Stuff report –

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If Don Brash must become a Minister, let’s give him something challenging like Racing

November 1, 2011

It’s a bit of a bugger to see Don Brash flagging his interest in becoming a minister in the next goverment.

Or rather, he made public some data which suggest plenty of New Zealanders – around one in four – want him to be a minister.

This level of clamour to have Don become a minister is a bit of a bugger from Alf’s very personal point of view.

If coalition wheeling and dealing resulted in Don becoming a minister, then Alf’s prospects become that much diminished. There are only so many jobs to go around.

Don, of course, was among those who spoke to the Business New Zealand election conference in Wellington yesterday.

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It sounds like a potty idea, but not if it has Brash and Banks quarrelling with each other

September 26, 2011

Wouldn’t it be great to sit in on the next meeting of the fast-collapsing ACT party.

Actually, it’s looking rather like a National Party B team now that Boscowen has bowed out and we have Don Brash (former National leader) and John Banks (former National police minister) in the first two slots on the list.

They might be the only ones to turn up at ACT caucus meetings, in the next parliament, although this prospect assumes (a) Banks wins Epsom and (b) ACT can muster enough support to get at least one more member into the House.

And who would bet on that happening, eh?

The party is polling well below the 5 per cent threshold to be guaranteed seats in Parliament.

Alf hears it has registered just 1.1 per cent support in the last Fairfax Media Research International Poll.

We can rule out Brash winning North Shore – unlike Alf, he is unattractive to the bloke in the street and his missus.

Don’t forget he was beaten by a bloody Social Crediter, of all things, when he stood for by-election in the East Coast Bays electorate way back, and he again failed to win the seat at the general election of 1981.

So that leaves his immediate Parliamentary future in the hands of John Banks, who hardly sees eye to eye with him in his basic philosophy as has become all too obvious on the cannabis issue.

Probably Banks disagrees very strongly with Brash.

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Just look at Don Brash before blaming junk food for the rising obesity levels among today’s school kids

September 23, 2011

Billy Bunter was a rare exception when Alf went to Greyfriars.

Dunno if similar work has been done in NZ, but Alf was cheered to learn that someone has studied the trend towards driving kids to school and sparing them the effort of getting there the hard way.

Back in Alf’s schooldays we walked to school or we got there on a bike.

Bloody good exercise. And this – he reckons – explains at least partly why the brats who are driven to school by molly-coddling parents are becoming a generation of tubbies.

He is fortified in this thinking after stumbling on the work of an American researcher who has looked into this and reported her findings in a paper headed Active Transportation to School: Trends Among U.S. Schoolchildren, 1969–2001

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Immigrants and the colour bar: why Margaret Mutu is incapable of making racist remarks

September 8, 2011

You’ve got to love Maggie Mutu’s gall.

She has proclaimed herself (a) to be powerless, which (b) magically makes her immune from being a racist.

This, of course, is a fascinating paradox. There is a potent force in powerlessness.

But her claim is recorded in black and white – to coin a phrase – in the newspapers today.

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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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Don Nicolson’s race against Bill English: he is standing but won’t be busting a gut to beat him

July 18, 2011

Dunno why you would enter a race if you don’t intend to run flat out to win.

But Don Nicolson – it would seem – is doing just that.

The former Federated Farmers president was confirmed as an Act Party candidate a week ago.

Nicolson will stand against Finance Minister Bill English in the Clutha Southland electorate.

He will be the party’s farming spokesman.

The Dom-Post reported at the time the candidacy was announced:

“I’m very pleased to be standing for the party,” he said.

Standing, it should be noted. But not necessarily running, at least not to win the seat.

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Forget about the the Maori and Mana Parties – let’s study Act’s cunning plans to win Maori votes

July 11, 2011

Alf is surprised it took the Maori Party more than two minutes to reject a proposed deal by the Mana Party not to stand against each other in the Maori electorates at this year’s general election.

Mind you, he must acknowledge that maybe it didn’t take that long.

Whatever happened, we learn from Stuff today that representatives from both parties met in Rotorua last week in an attempt to heal the rift which has been growing since Hone Harawira quit the Maori Party in February over its support of the National-led government.

As Stuff reminds us, it culminated with name-calling and heckling from both sides during last month’s Tai Tokerau by-election campaign.

Having vilified his former colleagues and won the seat, Hone extended an olive branch to meet and put the parties’ differences between them before November’s election.

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The RBS’s ex-boss is branded Fred The Bed as another banker becomes better known for bonking

May 21, 2011

Sir Fred and Lady Joyce will have plenty to talk about when they get home.

Alf has never been too fond of bankers (and he hopes Mrs Grumble shares his aversion to the buggers).

But when he said they were bonkers, he was referring to their feeble grasp of his finances when they turned down his application for a loan.

It seems they are bonkers in more ways than one.

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