Let’s go to school with Labour to learn 1+1= 3 and “compulsory” te reo means “aspirational”

July 15, 2014


Alf has never thought of the English language as a cultural treasure.

Rather, it is probably the most invaluable tool in his toolkit as the member for Eketahuna North – an instrument for communicating his profound thoughts to a political audience, in much the same way as a surgeon needs a scalpel, a builder needs a hammer and a road builder needs a bulldozer.

Or a Labour politician needs a leader.

Come to think of it, Alf is putting the English language to good use right now.

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Here’s why Morrie has good cause to want to keep the muzzle on our female MPs

May 19, 2014

Alf has just caught up with news that Parliament’s relationship with Te Atiawa could be changed.

For the better?

It depends on your world view, probably.

The news is that a bloke called Morrie Love is keen on maintaining the Maori traditional muzzle on women when it comes to speaking rights – even if they happen to be members of Parliament. It’s a position Alf is strongly inclined to support, because women are apt to talk a lot of old flannel.

It’s all related to powhiri at Parliament (typically a tedious procedure which Alf prefers to avoid but very important when it comes to maintaining the status of our indigenous people as – you know – “special”).

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A boisterous Opposition is noisy enough – but now they want their bawling brats in there too

May 21, 2013

If you can’t stand the heat, as they say, get out of the kitchen.

And if you don’t like the hours, get another job.

That’s Alf’s advice to Labour’s Nanaia Mahuta, who has been sounding just a tad pathetic while braying about it being unfair to expect nursing mothers to be in Parliament late into the night.

It’s good to see The Boss has climbed in on this issue, saying (here) he does not believe Parliament’s hours should be reduced to make it more “family friendly”.

Having children while in Parliament was “challenging but do-able”, he said, and it was up to each party to ensure nursing mothers had the support and time out needed.

It may well be challenging.

But more important, it was a matter of choice, presumably, that Ms Mahuta opted to become a mum as well as an MP.

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Gee, Gerry – what’s so big deal about suggesting the part sale of a coal mining company?

June 18, 2010

Dunno who Gerry Brownlee is trying to fool.

Here’s a bugger who would happily dig up our national parks – or bits of them – to extract their mineral wealth.

Yet he becomes curiously indignant when the chairman of Solid Energy says at least part of the state-owned coal mining company should be sold off to raise billions of dollars needed for new projects, including more mines.

Gerry is somewhat prone to huffing and puffing, and indeed could have given the Kingston Flyer a run for its money in the huffing and puffing department in its hey day.

He could be heard yesterday huffing and puffing, and otherwise exuding steam and bluster.

What had raised his blood pressure this time was the news that:

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Whatever happened to heterosexual partnerships as a political plus for Labour Party promotions?

June 15, 2010

Alf must confess to being somewhat bewildered about the rewards and punishment system in the Labour Party.

He has just been reading in his Herald that one of Labour’s newest MPs, Grant Robertson, is expected to get a big promotion today after three colleagues were demoted for misusing Crown credit cards while they were ministers.

The demotions, of course, had been well and truly signalled.

For their poor judgment in using their ministerial cards, list MP Shane Jones lost his environment and economic development spokesmanships, Te Atatu MP Chris Carter lost foreign affairs responsibility and list MP Mita Ririnui lost forestry.

Chris Carter? Demotion?

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Brendon Burns – all the news that’s fit to print

March 23, 2009

You’d think a bloody journalist could keep his blog up to date. Or maybe Brendon Burns can’t find much news that’s fit to print on his side of the House.

Burns became a Labour member of Parliament last year after a career including 12 years in the Parliamentary Press Gallery (much of it for The Press) and editorship of The Marlborough Express for seven years.

With credentials like that, it should be reasonably easy to maintain a blog.

But obviously not if you (a) want it to be readable while (b) using it to push the party line.
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Bioethics Council bids us bye-bye

March 17, 2009

The Bioethics Council closed its doors yesterday without much more than a murmur or two of disquiet from the public.

Announcing it had been disestablished, the council tried to emphasise its importance by saying that since its inception in 2002, it had issued “major reports” on Pre-Birth Testing, Animal-to-Human Transplantation, and the Use of Human Genes in Other Organisms.
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