Forget about poverty until the Budget speech is read – for now, let’s wallow in this corporate swill

May 21, 2015

Dunno what’s in The Budget for the poor people.

But Alf is delighted to learn that the corporate welfare trough has not been emptied in the name of fiscal austerity or in same mad endeavour to produce a surplus.

The Boss dipped into the trough yesterday with his Tourism hat on to dish out lots of lolly to two operators who look sufficiently well-heeled to find their own lolly, but hey – what’s the point of being in government if you can’t steer a bit of taxpayers’ money in the direction of supporters or people who might become supporters if appropriately nourished.

Alf is especially delighted to see that an enterprise run by our indigenous people is being nicely looked after. These people are very special, as readers of this blog know, and if we didn’t give them something like this they would be waving the bloody treaty and demanding it.

A consequence of this largesse is some good publicity from Maori Television:

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The case for taxing soda is thin – a case of soda would yield as much tax as a teaspoon of the stuff

April 18, 2015
A calorie tax would come from the whisky but not the soda.

A calorie tax could be collected from the whisky but not the soda.

Alf has not been paying attention to what the fat fanatics have been up to lately.

Accordingly he missed their calls for this country to introduce a soda tax.

He was alerted to this development by the good people at the Taxpayers Union.

They issues a press statement yesterday that said:

Reacting to the call for soda taxes from University of Auckland Professor Boyd Swinburn, and University of Otago Associate Professor, Nick Wilson, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:

“Denmark’s tax on saturated fat introduced in 2011 was an economic disaster. The Danish tax was abandoned 15 months later and did little, if anything, to reduce harmful consumption. Worse, it was estimated to have cost 1,300 jobs. Why would New Zealand want to repeat this mistake?”

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Don’t sniff too closely at our bridge upgrade plans – think instead of the scents of going for broke

March 9, 2015

pork-barrel-316
Roll out the barrel..

That was Alf’s advice when party chiefs consulted him at the weekend on how to counter the Peters threat.

No, he was not talking about rolling out the beer barrel to liquor up the locals. That would be bribery and bribery is seriously frowned upon in our electoral laws.

Alf was recommending we roll out the pork barrel.

Pork barreling, of course, is a term used to describe the appropriation of government spending for localised projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative’s district.

Alf has recommended this tactic before, and the party bosses have listened.

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Let’s salute the judge who ruled that lobbyists are a blight on the business of politics

March 2, 2015

There was a great piece about lobbying and lobbyists in the Financial Times a week or so ago.

It was presented under an enticing headline:

Lobbyists pervert politics and earn their infamy

It recalled a time when a contract to lobby government, like an agreement to sell sex, was ruled  unenforceable in the courts. At least, not in American courts.

The writer jogged his readers’ memories on something he suspected even distinguished former foreign secretaries such as Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind might have forgotten – the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo.

It is a notable document, and not only because it determined that California would be part of the US, rather than a province of Mexico. Its signing triggered one of the lobbying industry’s earliest controversies — telling, perhaps, in the week two parliamentarians were caught in an undercover sting offering to help fictitious corporate interests in return for cash.

 

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Our cops deserve something fit for a SWOT team … but must settle for something more rustic

February 19, 2015
Our cops are getting this.

They will go crime-fighting with this…

No, not this...

…rather than this.

Alf was seriously excited  – for a while at least – by a report from Littlefield, Arkansas.

It said the Littlefield Police Department had acquired a 200 kiloton nuclear warhead under a US Department of Defense programme that distributed surplus weapons to local agencies throughout the USA.

The device, which is ten times more powerful than the bomb detonated over Hiroshima in World War II, will be used to deter crime in Littlefield and the greater Jasper County area, Police Chief Jefferson Bailey said.

“There will be no more crime in Littlefield,” Bailey said, “Because if there is, I’ll blow this town sky-high.”

Many of Littlefield’s 15,000 residents, according to the report, had  expressed concern over its police department’s acquisition of the nuclear weapon and the guidelines governing its potential use.

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It helps to get words like “nun” and “masturbating” into your lobbying pitch to grab public attention

February 14, 2015

The Family First mob – an admirable outfit in most respects  – should consult with the Taxpayers’ Union on the small matter of  attention-grabbing.

Both organisations are complaining (and rightly so) about a t-shirt that some tossers regard as a legitimate museum piece.

Alf will be going out to argue for a t-shirt burning, should his help be needed, and he will certainly be asking questions in Parliament of our Minister of Arts, Culture and What-have you and/or Minister of Local Government.

He will also be thundering his outrage in a speech to the House, should he be given the opportunity.

But he knew nothing about any outrage,  despite  Family First being the first to post a press statement on the matter at Scoop.

Not until the Taxpayers Union posted its press statement on the same matter.

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Sorry to say, it’s John Key who is dishing out the corporate swill – and he’s calling for more troughers

November 7, 2014

 It sounded highly laudable, when The Boss announced it.bloated-pig-approaching-trough

The Government is co-investing in two new projects as part of the Tourism Growth Partnership.

The press statement from his office explains that the Tourism Growth Partnership is a $32 million contestable Government fund which aims to support innovation and productivity in the tourism sector.

Let’s call it a trough.

For each project approved for investment, the Government provides up to 50 per cent of the required funding.

And [drum roll please] the latest winners are….

Sorry, that’s not the official way of announcing it.

No, The Boss would prefer we say the successful applicants in the second round of funding are Christchurch International Airport’s Welcome China Project, which will receive $270,000 in funding, and Southern World Vacation’s Limited which will receive $112,950.

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