Lefties and greenies should look beyond asset sales to find the defining election issue

November 25, 2011

What happened to these privatised state assets? Oh, yes, they finished up in public ownership again.

Buckets of bollocks have been uttered about sales of state assets during the election campaign.

Labour’s Phil Goff – for example – has been banging on about them being gone for ever, once they have been sold.

So how come taxpayers are still pouring money into our state-owned rail company?

Alf was among the enthusiastic supporters of the Bolger government’s privatising New Zealand Rail Ltd back in 1993.

The bloody outfit went through a few name and ownership changes – Tranz Rail, Toll NZ – and continued to bleed money.

In May 2008 the Clark Government agreed to buy Toll NZ Ltd (less its trucking and distribution operations) for $665 million.

It has not been a nice little earner for taxpayers since then.

But it has shown that once an asset has been sold, it it is not necessarily gone for ever.

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She saw it coming (or should have) but a Greenie is shocked by the closing of a railway station

March 19, 2011

Please spare her from quakes, tsunamis and flashers.

As a keen student of Green Party sensibilities, Alf today is wondering how Jan Logie would react if the Kapiti Coast was wiped out by a tsunami as devastating as the one that has hit Japan.

Logie – a Green Party candidate in her neck of the woods at this year’s election- has a very low threshold when it comes to being shocked, startled, dismayed, thunderstruck and so on.

Shock (Alf thought) is something that jars the mind or emotions as if with a violent unexpected blow, or the disturbance of function, equilibrium, or mental faculties caused by such a blow; violent agitation.

It can also be a severe offence to one’s sense of propriety or decency; an outrage.

Mrs Grumble reckons she would be shocked if a flasher exposed himself to her.

So how shockable is this Logie woman?

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We should worry more about political parties that plot in China than KiwiRail wagons built there

January 15, 2011

But should we vote for political parties that plan their campaigns in Beijing?

Alf had thought – and hoped – the Alliance Party was a spent force.

Not so. The buggers have popped up to rail against wagons for KiwiRail being made in China.

Presumably the surviving remnants of the Alliance are unable to recognise a more ominous Chinese threat: a new political party which is doing its plotting in Beijing.
The Alliance seems to be ignoring the new party. It prefers to bray its support for a bunch of union trouble-makers who are looking for ways of frustrating KiwiRail.

We learned earlier this week that railway wagons built in China and bound for New Zealand’s railway network may not be unloaded, if the Maritime Union carries out its threat.

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Crossing had “stop” signs but fault is found with KiwiRail in the aftermath of another accident

January 13, 2011

You can ignore the information ... but don't blame KiwiRail if you come off second best in an encounter with a train.

Perhaps it comes from living in the shadow of Mt Egmont.

Whatever the reason, the buggers in that neck of the woods have a somewhat exaggerated notion of “black spot”.

Or – another strong possibility – the feverish Fairfax scribes have engaged in a beat-up in saying that a woman was killed yesterday at a notorious railway crossing that Stratford residents have been imploring authorities to fix for nearly 20 years.

Yesterday’s fatal crash at Stratford’s black spot – the Flint Rd railway crossing – was a grim reminder that nothing has changed since the last fatality there in 1992.

What was that again?

Oh, yes. The previous fatality on this “black spot” was way, way back in 1992.

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Outrage: if the spoils of victory are going to our opponents, we might as well make Goff our leader

March 23, 2010

Alf has been hugely comforted by the certainty that a cosy job would be found for him, should he quit parliamentary politics. His ministerial mates would stick him on the board of an SOE, a quango or one of umpteen other types of publicly funded organisation.

Their structures provide for oodles of political appointments, and they enable our ministers to dispense favours and patronage.

Alf is comforted no longer. We are giving these plums – the spoils of victory – to our bloody opponents.

The idea used to be that the jobs were dished out to long-serving, and maybe not-so-long-serving, members of the party in Government.

That was the point of winning an election. You got to run the bloody country – dig up the conservation estate, run down the public service, turn Auckland into a Super City then govern it from Wellington, think about taking travel privileges off the oldies but back off when they squawk loudly, and so on.
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