Herald hacks are having trouble recognising a “swarm” and working out what “lucky” means

February 5, 2011

And when we've got rid of these, we hear a bloody swarm of Kiwis will descend upon our land.

The Herald’s inclination to seriously distort a few facts shows up in a report on emigration statistics today.

We are told the skilled middle of New Zealand’s workforce has begun to swarm across the Tasman.

This somewhat disturbing stuff about the beginning of a swarm is based on statistics showing the net permanent or long-term outflow of New Zealand citizens to Australia jumped from 18,512 in 2009 to 21,856 last year.

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Sobering words for wowsers (but they never listen)

May 8, 2009

Good stuff on booze and booze laws in the Herald’s editorial today.

Every so often Parliament feels a need to “fix” the liquor problem with adjustments to the legal age of purchase or licensing hours or permitted outlets, or all of them. The repair never works. Before long, it is apparent that the social evils associated with alcohol are as rampant as ever and pressure mounts for another legislative remedy.

The pattern has been the same whether the repair was in the direction of prohibition, as it was for most of the first half of the 20th century, or, permissiveness. Since at least the 1960s, when a 6pm pub curfew was lifted and wine permitted in restaurants, the guiding principle has been that easier access to alcohol would produce a more civilised drinking culture.

There is not much doubt that it has done so…

Here’s hoping fellow MPs read this, along with the cranky health zealots and wowsers. Former Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer, too, as he buries himself in a study of our liquor laws.
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A curious matter of relativity

February 20, 2009

It’s a nasty business, the bashing of 85-year-old Eric Brady, whose battered and bloodied face is shown on the front page of the NZ Herald today and on the Herald website.

Brady was attacked by a particularly loathesome form of low life as he left the Papatoetoe RSA; he suffered a broken left and right jaw bones, cracked cheek bones, bruising and swelling to his face and chest, a cut elbow, and a possible fractured eye socket.

Mr Brady fought back, but was overwhelmed by the man who callously removed his shirt before viciously beating the father and grandfather.

Alf is pleased to hear he fought back, and hopes the basher is caught and banged up for a long time.

But what’s with the Herald in describing the victim’s family connections?

Presumably, Herald journos think it’s unusual for a bloke to be both a father and grandfather.

Maybe that’s so, north of the Bombay Hills, but here in Eketahuna – great place that it is – we take it for granted that every grandfather can lay claim to having sired at least one son or daughter.

Alf declares war on sad-sacks

January 24, 2009

Alf is taking action as a follow-up to his item about the gloomy economists, journalists and commentators who spread their insidious pessimism through the economy and infect our growth prospects.

Today he has declared war on doomsayers and gloom-spreaders and is naming the first candidates to be put in a tumbrel, Read the rest of this entry »