The feds are supposed to crash in with all guns blazing – and draw lots of blood in a power play

April 21, 2013

Dunno if Federated Farmers has farmed out its public relations to some outfit in India, or somewhere even more remote, at weekends.

The fury has sadly gone from a press statement issued this evening.

The bloke whose name is attached to the statement is not an Indian, of course, and may well want to boast it’s all his own work.

Alf’s would counsel him to plead confusion somewhere between drafting, sign-off and release, or crossed wires, and blame the distant PR team for placing so much emphasis on the bleeding obvious.

The press release (here) might just as well have declared that beer will spill if you drop your mug, or that the sun will rise again in the morning (in some parts of the country anyway).

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Yes, Nick Smith is taking a punt with climate change – but so did Rodney with the Super City

March 15, 2011

A sartorial turn-off - and he's blinkered about Auckland, too.

Those tossers at ACT have a bloody nerve.

Mind you, lots of nerve is needed when membership requires you to be led by a bloke who wears yellow jackets.

In this case, however, Alf is talking about the nerve of John Boscowen, who basks in the title of ACT Deputy Leader and Climate Change Spokesman.

He has got all huffy about climate change matters, and is demanding to know

… how Climate Change Minister Dr Nick Smith could propose to reduce New Zealand greenhouse gas emissions to 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 when he does not even know what effect this target will have on jobs and GDP.

The answer is simple.

You take a bloody big punt, you stand up and you propose it.

And if you don’t know what will happen as a consequence – well, that’s just too bad.

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The ETS: it can’t be environmentally friendly to have those National votes go up in smoke

May 26, 2010

Grassroots National Party supporters in Alf’s neck of the woods are among those howling about the prospect of big price rises thanks to the wretched Emissions Trading Scheme.

The Dom-Post today records Prime Minister John Key’s confirmation that there was an ETS protest vote at a party conference last weekend.

“There certainly was a remit and they certainly did vote against wanting the ETS, they did vote to delay it.”

The newspaper goes on to say:

The ETS has been contested at a series of regional National Party conferences, particularly among its grassroots farming base.

Agriculture Minister David Carter has been trying to assuage caucus concerns, like those raised by Alf. He has been emailing MPs to assure us that claims by ACT about the ETS were just “misinformation”.

Here’s hoping he’s right.

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A note of caution: don’t let the Aussie company tax decision divert our attention from the ETS

May 3, 2010

Alf has only just caught up with an on-line account of what ACT MP John Boscawen had to say about the emissions trading scheme at the weekend.

Boscowen reckons National backbenchers as well as some senior Government Ministers now want to defer the scheme.

Speaking on TV3’s “The Nation” Mr Boscawen said the Government needed to immediately to defer the scheme now that Australia has decided to defer its scheme.

The New Zealand scheme is due to begin on July 1.

“I’ve heard from several sources in recent days that several members of Cabinet are concerned, “he said.

“Back bench lobby MPs are lobbying Cabinet Ministers, they’re very concerned about the damage it’s going to do to New Zealand and the damage there is to their re-election prospects.”

Dunno about the others, but Alf can be counted among the Nat back-benchers who are very unhappy with our team’s determination to go ahead with the ETS scheme.
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A little bit of confusion about the Goff speech

December 7, 2009

Whoa there. It seems there has been a crumbling of the foundations on which Alf constructed his grumblings about the Labour Party president’s response to a speech by Phil Goff.

This afternoon he is advised by party president Andrew Little

Following a report in today’s edition of the New Zealand Herald, some may have gained the impression that I was not supportive of the views expressed in Phil Goff’s recent speech.

Well, actually, most people with the wit to (a) read and (b) think would have gained that impression. Alf was one of them.

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Labour goes soft when Goff hits a nerve

December 7, 2009

If you want to see why Alf could never join the hand-wringing Labour Party, check out the report that Phil Goff faces discontent within his party over his controversial nationhood speech.

Actually, Alf will confide to his mates that the speech at issue was the best one Goff has made in months.

But they are a touchy-feely bunch, your basic Labourites, and party president Andrew Little has revealed he has “personal concerns” about the speech.

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Bugger the benefits – what about Alf’s pay?

September 16, 2009

(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)

They are an unconscionable pack of buggers in the Maori Party.

They were opposed to an emissions trading scheme not too long ago…but now they want to force the Government into increasing benefit payments as part of a deal to support an ETS.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples yesterday revealed hiking benefits to ease price increases caused by the scheme was part of its negotiations with National.
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Breathing space on ETS advised for the farm sector

June 17, 2009

There should be some rejoicing in farm circles today, after Environment Minister Nick Smith released a joint report by economic consultants NZIER and Infometrics.

The report was commissioned by the Ministry for the Environment and provided to the Emissions Trading Scheme Review Committee as part of its terms of reference.

Smith’s media statement emphasises the recommendation that a modified emissions trading scheme as the best way forward for New Zealand on climate change policy.

“The report highlights that the costs to New Zealand’s climate change policy are significantly greater if other countries do not put a price on carbon. This reinforces the Government’s policy of aligning our response more closely with other countries.

“The Government will await the report back from the Review Committee before committing to any decisions on the future of New Zealand’s ETS. The environmental and economic consequences of climate change policy are critical to New Zealand and a careful and considered approach is required.”

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Feds fulminate against the ETS

May 5, 2009

Federated Farmers has a flair for robust language, when arguing the toss on political issues (robust action, too, on occasions). And the prospect of an emissions trading scheme has riled them big-time.

They had the opportunity to air their views yesterday, when the Primary Producers Select Committee heard submissions from the agriculture sector.

Bringing agriculture into the emissions trading scheme would be a case of the road to economic hell being paved with good intentions, Federated Farmers president Don Nicolson told MPs reviewing the scheme.

Climate change wasn’t the only challenge the world faces, he contended.
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We can count on costs-rigid Rodney

April 9, 2009

We should be troubled by gung-ho Rodney Hide at the best of times, if only because he willingly flaunted his dubious ballroom dancing prowess on television and wore yellow jackets during the election campaign.

His enthusiasm for the break-neck restructuring of Auckland is to be commended, but there’s a bothersome aspect to what has been unveiled so far: he doesn’t know what it will cost.

At least, not yet.

We can count on his finding out before he goes too far with the creation of a Super City, of course.

Costs and benefits are important to him and the way he thinks about public policy.
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