The blot on Aaron’s copybook means he has missed out on Paula’s patronage

May 14, 2013

Poor old Aaron Gilmore should be kicking his own butt. Hard.

He only had to keep his nose clean and we Nats would have rewarded him with a nice job somewhere whenever he decided to give up politics.

That’s what we did with Dr Jackie Blue, who recently was appointed the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner.

Aaron didn’t keep his nose clean, of course, and he is quitting in unhappy circumstances.

Alas, he therefore shouldn’t expect to be rewarded with a job like…

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Rankin’s record of missed meetings

May 31, 2009

The media jackals have found fresh Rankin bones to gnaw into.

They have shifted from Christine’s bed chamber ( tittle-tattle stuff on marriage, divorce, suicide and what have-you) and into the council chamber.

The Herald on Sunday has gone there and pounced on Rankin’s attendance record at Auckland Regional Council meetings.

It’s the worst among elected members of Greater Auckland’s major councils.
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Paula’s mentor brings political trouble

May 19, 2009

Some political mentors are ideal for public appointments. Some – as Paula Bennett is finding out the hard way – are not.

Alf confidently puts Jim McLay in the former category.

Prime Minister John Key’s political mentor has been handed the key international role of New Zealand’s representative to the United Nations.

Jim McLay, former National Party leader and deputy prime minister, was yesterday appointed New Zealand’s next Permanent Representative to the United Nations based at its New York headquarters.

True, Labour squawked about it being a political appointment but The Boss said McLay had a “remarkable skill set” that had been put to use for previous governments no matter what party was in office.

Mr Key has credited Mr McLay as a mentor, seeking him out for advice before entering Parliament in 2002 and continuing to tap into his political knowledge since.

If the media found anything untoward in McLay’s bedroom, and especially in his bed, after the appointment was announced, it has kept remarkably quiet about it.

Not so in the case of Christine Rankin, whose dress sense alone and appalling earrings should have given the cabinet grounds for vetoing her appointment to the Family Commission.

And in recent days – sure enough – the shit has hit the fan as stuff has emerged about her private life.

Alf can tell you The Boss is not too bloody happy with Paula Bennett, who kept quiet about some of the stuff that is grist for the gossip mill.

As The Herald reports today:

It is understood the Government has been shocked by the fallout over her appointment which, instead of dying down, intensified after murky details of her private life became public at the weekend.

The Cabinet’s delay yesterday in finalising the appointment of the Transition Agency to oversee the Auckland Super City is understood to be a consequence of the debacle.

The Government has decided to take more time over its appointments where there may be potential fish-hooks.

More critically for the Minister of Social Development, Paula’s role in strongly promoting Rankin is coming under scrutiny.

Ms Rankin is said to be close to Paula Bennett and has become something of a mentor to her, both during the campaign for her successful election as MP for Waitakere last year and in helping her to adjust as minister for the department Ms Rankin once ran.

Both overcame the struggles of sole parenthood to land high-ranking posts.

Paula Bennett is said to have strongly supported Ms Rankin’s appointment against the opposition of some colleagues thought to have included Justice Minister Simon Power.

Rankin may be ideal for mentoring Paula to operate politically (and successfully) in a Westie environment.

But what’s acceptable stuff to promote and defend among Westies doesn’t necessarily go down well elsewhere, especially not here in Eketahuna (although we will watch with fascination when it’s wrapped up in the format of a soap opera).

No bedroom peeking needed

May 17, 2009

Now that’s more like it.

Busted Blonde, at Roarprawn, apparently got up a bit later than Alf to buy her Sunday newspapers, only to find them pathetically preoccupied with suicide and gossip.

Then she has come up with three good reasons for questioning the Rankin appointment to the Families Commission without having to pry into her bedroom.

The reasons she is a crap appointment are:

• She is an intellectual pygmy

• She likes to use the word I a lot.

• She uses populist causes to promote herself.

She is just wrong.

Says it all, really.

Divorce, death and media demonising

May 13, 2009

Following up on the fuss over Christine Rankin’s appointment to the Families Commission, David Farrer at Kiwiblog was critical of journalists who have been “demonising Rankin”.

He rightly observes that Rankin is a polarising figure, and her appointment to the commission always would be “a bit controversial”. Even better, he thinks the commission should be abolished, although he muses that “Rankin may do some good there.”

Then he became indignant with political hacks like those who reported:
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Why not just shut the commission?

May 12, 2009

Labour’s Annette King asked the wrong question in Parliament today.

She inquired of Paula Bennett, our Minister for Social Development and Employment: Why did she appoint Christine Rankin as a Families Commissioner?

The much better question is why appoint anyone to be Families Commissioners and why not just dismantle the bloody outfit?

For the record, Bennett said she appointed Rankin:

Because I believe she will be good in the role, and she is a strong advocate for children and their families.

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Flexible hours: an issue sinking in research

March 2, 2009

Peter Dunne, whose UnitedFuture party tediously promotes “families” as if other parties are family-hostile, inevitably declared his support for the 24 hours of hokum branded Children’s Day.

Dunne’s statement prompted Alf to visit UnitedFuture’s website, which in turn prompted a visit to the Families Commission website.

Lo and behold, the commission not only favours flexible working hours.

It also has been researching the matter.

More research? How much bloody research do we need?
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