Nah, this ‘punchup’ is simply some pricklish politicking about a teenage strumpet called Holly

September 19, 2010

The first thing Alf has to say this morning is that the SST has conned him – and all its readers – with its headline Political punchup over call-girl claim.

There was no punch-up.

Not even the hint of a bit of arm wrestling or of someone firmly putting an arm on the shoulders of someone else.

The second thing to say is that the story involves George Hawkins, mostly known to Alf as a bloke who spat the dummy when the Labour Party placed him around 25th on its party list in 2006. Hawkins thought he deserved a higher place, withdrew his name from the list, and won the seat handsomely when he stood for election in Manurewa.

But Alf reckons this tells us much more about the collective wisdom of the people of Manurewa than about the electoral appeal of George Hawkins, although the voters did have the good sense to lop his majority when he stood again in 2008.

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The orgasmic work of the Marsden Fund

October 9, 2009

Alf takes it back. The research into moa and crows he was banging on about yesterday at least is the stuff of what he reckons is proper science.

Some projects being financed by the Marsden Fund have a much stronger whiff of misapplied science money around them.

Example: “Young adults, drinking stories and the cult of celebrity”, the work of one Dr A.C.Lyons at Massey University. Good grief. The Marsden Fund has dished out $864,000 for it.

Then there’s “Beethoven’s middle period string quartets in context: ideology, performance, reception ”. Dr N.R.November, at the University of Auckland, is being given $285,000 for that lot.

Mind you, so far as Alf can see, none of the money this year has gone to lesbian writers for research involving orgasms.

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