Packing our oldies off to Niue is an attractive idea, but maybe it could be turned into a penal colony

December 15, 2010

Sending our oldies here is one idea...sending Black Power here is another.

Alf is a great mate of neighbouring MP John Hayes, down in the Wairarapa, a splendid fellow in most respects although opting to have stomach-stapling surgery seems a somewhat extreme way of losing a bit of weight.

Anyway, he is a former diplomat who chairs Parliament’s foreign affairs committee.

And this committee has come up with a great idea – it reckons we should be shipping elderly retirees off to the warmth of Niue to give the economically broke nation an industry and to save millions of dollars of aid wasted on the remote Pacific island.

Read the rest of this entry »


Jim Anderton treated like a rock star? Which rock star was the reporter thinking about?

October 11, 2010

Mick Jagger ... a bit past his prime now, but he can pull a crowd of much more than a hundred or so.


Well, bugger me, Alf muttered on learning that Jim Anderton was treated like a rock star when he addressed his campaign supporters on Saturday night after being defeated for the Christchurch mayoralty.

A rock star on the way down, no longer pulling the crowds as he did in his prime, one is tempted to observe.

Read the rest of this entry »


Anderton will be chuffed – he has been promised the vote of a Mongrel Mob member

September 13, 2010

Christchurch citizens might be rocked by the time it took Jim Anderton to come to a sensible decision, but Alf is by no means surprised.

Let’s face it – Jim has been a national superannuitant for a few years now and for age reasons can be excused if he’s slowing down, although this expression of understanding by no means should be interpreted as a sign that Alf would vote for the bugger.

The important thing for the purposes of this post is that Jim has finally done it and announced he will resign his Wigram seat in Parliament if he wins next month’s mayoral election.

Read the rest of this entry »


Alas, the questions that need asking about Jim Anderton’s mayoralty prospects may not get an airing

September 7, 2010

Alf is more than a tad miffed.

It seems the buggers who decide these things have agreed we won’t have Question Time in Parliament tomorrow.

Alf picked up the news from Radio NZ, in an item about the PM cancelling his trip to Europe to stay at home and deal with the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquake.

Read the rest of this entry »


The lesson for card-carrying socialist ministers is to deal with a florist rather than a porn shop

June 11, 2010

Looks like Labour’s Shane Jones has lost lots of brownie points within his party over some of the purchases he made with his ministerial credit card back in the days when he had the privilege of carrying such a card.

Among other things, he watched pornographic movies.

Shame.

Labour Party members are apt to frown on blokes who watch pornographic movies, although it’s fair to say many Labour blokes probably have done just that, except they did not use ministerial credit cards and hence have been able to keep their habit strictly private.

In the aftermath of what is happening, Alf’s Labour leadership tip is to keep an eye out for Chris Carter.

While Jones’ aspirations of leading the party have been sunk, Carter’s probably have been given a boost.

He used his ministerial card to… guess what?
Read the rest of this entry »


Anderton delivers – 17 years late

September 12, 2009

(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)

Alf is amazed at the brazen gall of Jim Anderton, pathetic member for Wigram.

The Progressive Party’s one-man band has issued a press statement headed “Jim delivers on his promise”.

Yep.

A promise made 20 years ago.

But Anderton is braying:

Twenty years ago, local MP Jim Anderton was promised funding to build a new police station in Sydenham. He put out a press release to announce the good news.
Read the rest of this entry »


Alliance invitation won’t precipitate a stampede

July 25, 2009

Remember the Alliance Party?

It was an ill-assorted bunch, philosophically, once led by Jim Anderton and with a few MPs in Parliament until it came spectacularly unglued. Among the consequences, Anderton formed the Progressive Party (by which time he had been a member of the Labour Party, the New Labour Party, the Alliance Party, and maybe some parties Alf has forgotten).

But Anderton has made as much progress as he intends making with the Progressives. Come to think of it, it was bugger all progress – mostly, he and it have gone backwards.

Hence his track record is one of leading the Alliance into a break-up and the Progressives into retreat, making a glorious mockery of the party names in each case.

But Alliance Party co leader Kay Murray sees an opportunity to pick up new members, now that that the Progressive Party will no longer be contesting elections.

She says the Alliance Party would welcome any Progressives and others who do not wish to take Jim Anderton’s advice and join the Labour Party.

“To all accounts the Progressive Party is winding up. Progressive members who do not feel at home with the Rogernomics style, right wing economic policies of Phil Goff’s Labour Party will find themselves more at home in the Alliance.”

Two observations:

First, if every member of the Progressives but Anderton accepts the invitation and joins the Alliance, it will probably double the Alliance’s membership, lifting it to – ooh, about six people at a guess.

Second, if Phil Goff is promoting Rogernomics-style right wing economic policies, then Genghis Khan was a Vienna Choir boy.


Anderton’s recruiting drive won’t help Labour much

July 25, 2009

A somewhat cryptic item that begs several questions was posted on the NZ Herald’s website an hour or so ago.

It simply said:

Jim Anderton’s relationship with the Labour Party has come almost full circle with his announcing members of his Progressive Party can join Labour. Mr Anderton, who quit Labour just over 20 years ago, says that working with Labour is the best way to promote his party.

Among the many questions raised: in which telephone booth did the party’s members gather to discuss this issue?

The Labour Party – Alf is sure – will not be hit by a tsunami of new members.

UPDATE: A more detailed account of what’s going on is provided by the Dom-Post’s Vernon Small. Among the signs that the Progressive Party and Labour have all but merged, Anderton’s key adviser, John Pagani, is reported to have thrown his hat in the ring to replace Mike Smith as Labour Party secretary. And the Progressive Party (which won 0.91 per cent of the party vote in 2008) will not run a party list at the next election.


No rancour over science appointment

June 2, 2009

Government appointments too often can be a subject of political rancour. Witness the recent fuss over Christine Rankin’s appointment as a family commissioner.

But no fuss was raised – at least, not so far – over the appointment of Bill Falconer to chair the Investment Advisory Panel, part of the structure around the new Primary Growth Partnership.

Falconer’s appointment was raised at Question Time today, after Alf’s mate Shane Ardern had tossed a patsy at Agriculture Minister David Carter.

SHANE ARDERN (National—Taranaki – King Country) to the Minister of Agriculture: What recent major initiatives has the Government announced to support primary sector innovation?
Read the rest of this entry »


Keep working and keep your marbles

May 18, 2009

Just what Alf needs. Research to put before Mrs Grumble to support his refusal to retire as Member for Eketahuna North.

A British study has found that later retirement ‘may stave off dementia’.

British scientists studied 1,320 people with dementia and looked at their past education, employment and retirement history.

Although there was no link with education or employment, the people who retired later developed dementia later.

It is thought the mental stimulation may help delay the effects of dementia or it may be that people who retire earlier do so for ill health which itself contributes to the development of dementia symptoms.

The study, published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, found on average with every extra year of employment the age of onset of Alzheimer’s Disease became 0.13 years later.

Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust in Britain, which funded the study, said: “More people than ever retire later in life to avert financial hardship, but there may be a silver lining: lower dementia risk. Much more research into lifestyle factors is needed if we are to whittle down the £17 billion a year that dementia costs our economy.”

Must make sure Jim Anderton is put in the picture about these findings. There’s talk of his retiring – maybe this will cause a change of heart, although some ungenerous souls on the National side of the divide reckon he lost his marbles some time back.