Ombudsman canes the school that surrendered its authority to a gang of six bullies

September 7, 2011

Here's how to restore authority to schools.

It looks like wimpy staff at Hutt Valley High School let six bullying brats run the show a few years back and terrorise other kids.

An Ombudsmen’s Office report – Stuff says todayreveals “chilling details of systemic violence at the school, intimidation and abuse”.

It also dossiers a history of failure to punish culprits or acknowledge the seriousness of their crimes.

Alf is tempted to wonder how many staff could be mustered to combat the trouble generated by – how many louts were running amok?

Oh, yes. Six.

And if the staff were losing the battle, what stopped them dialling 111???

We may muse on these matters on the strength of the aforementioned Ombudsman’s Office report, that says pupils at the school were subjected to torture, extreme violence and sexual abuse.

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Two professors offer statistical succour for Alasdair Thompson but Dr Judy remains sceptical

July 2, 2011

Alf will be making another pitch to his Cabinet colleagues to save good public money by dispensing of the services of a few more civil servants.

The jobs he has in mind are those at the Human Rights Commission and, more partiuclarly, the job of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner.

This post with a grand title is held by one Judy McGregor, a former newspaper hack who somewhere down the track became a professor.

On the Human Rights Commission website she is introduced as Dr Judy McGregor, PhD, PGDip, LLB, BA, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner; she is jointly designated as the Disability Rights Commissioner.

She is a former Massey University professor, trained lawyer and has a doctorate in political communication.

This implies she takes a very scholastic approach to issues within her domain.

But is she dispassionate and open-minded?

Today we find she is casting doubts on some research done by two other professors, although she seems to be unaware of their work and has not yet read it.

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Human rights: its a long way from deaths in an Iraqi refugee camp to promoting Pink Shirt Day

April 17, 2011

Alf wonders – not for the first time – how our Human Rights Commission earns its keep .

His musings were triggered by the United Nations human rights chief, who is condemning a recent Iraqi military operation.

The operation in question happened in a camp north of Baghdad and apparently left 34 people dead and dozens injured.

An independent inquiry into the incident has been called for.

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Ha – the sheilas at last are admitting they would be happier if they stayed at home

April 5, 2011

Chances are they are angry, irritable and impatient.

Dunno what the bleating about gender equality is all about.

How do we measure it, exactly? And if we can’t unambiguously do that – as Alf suspects – how do we know we haven’t achieved it yet?

One thing is for sure. So long as we can’t be sure it has been achieved, we will be paying nice salaries to people who have been hired to demand the closing of this awfully vague thing called the gender gap. Now how potty is that, eh?

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Forget about racism for now – the Human Rights Commission is checking out the use of a vile word

March 25, 2011

Alf is grateful to the Busted Blond for introducing him to a new and very naughty word to be used on occasions when a gross insult is intended.

Alf imagines he will make great use of it, henceforth, because his current stock of insults has lost its sting from over-use.

The word is pokokohua.

BB says there’s a shortened version of the word – hua – which is used down south.

Its a well used southern curse of the vilest kind. Its a bit like saying motherf**king C**t – it invokes a sense of outraged gravitas that lends punch to a decent insult.

As a child we once got a smack for using it.

So how come BB is banging on about a very naughty word?

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Will Maggie Mutu complain again to Joris about racial confrontation? Probably not

February 6, 2011

Confrontation in November 2010 ...

...and confrontation in February 2011.

Waitangi Day has dawned and Radio NZ National has dished up an especially sugary dollop of pap for the kiddies at Stortytime, including The Treaty, by Bernard Gadd, told by Riwia Brown, Karanga, by Lynne Taane, told by Roma Potiki, and Whenua Tapu – Guide Rangi, by Caroline Down, told by Rima te Wiata.

There’s plenty of similar stuff in store for adult listeners, including “The Te Papa Treaty Debates 2011” from just after 4pm through until 5pm. During this time the radio audience will be subjected to an overdose of yapping about…

Power-sharing in the 21st century, with Whaimutu Dewes and Joris de Bres. Co-chaired by Claudia Orange and Carwyn Jones

Alf will be watching sport on the telly at that time. Any sport will do to steer clear of Joris: synchronised swimming, underwater hockey, tiddlywinks, pigeon racing…

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But if women are given seats at the board table, who will keep the table polished?

November 13, 2010

How to build your female numbers and get a better ethnicity balance with just one board appointment.

Dunno about you, dear constituent, but Alf feels not one whit of embarrassment about the continuing dearth of women on the boards of New Zealand’s top companies. Nor is he alarmed, dismayed or perplexed.

If the people who run our companies have opted not to have too many women directors, it’s obviously because that’s the smart thing to do.

In Alf’s experience women make a great cup of tea and are dab hands at cleaning the office at the end of the day.

But a Government-appointed official with a grand-sounding title wants more of them – lots more – sitting around the board table rather than keeping it nicely polished, which is where there skills reside.

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