Nah, this ‘punchup’ is simply some pricklish politicking about a teenage strumpet called Holly

September 19, 2010

The first thing Alf has to say this morning is that the SST has conned him – and all its readers – with its headline Political punchup over call-girl claim.

There was no punch-up.

Not even the hint of a bit of arm wrestling or of someone firmly putting an arm on the shoulders of someone else.

The second thing to say is that the story involves George Hawkins, mostly known to Alf as a bloke who spat the dummy when the Labour Party placed him around 25th on its party list in 2006. Hawkins thought he deserved a higher place, withdrew his name from the list, and won the seat handsomely when he stood for election in Manurewa.

But Alf reckons this tells us much more about the collective wisdom of the people of Manurewa than about the electoral appeal of George Hawkins, although the voters did have the good sense to lop his majority when he stood again in 2008.

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McCully should remember Myrtle before he tries muffling protests at Parliament

June 21, 2010

The Herald's picture of another stroppy politician...

In normal circumstances Alf would be recommending that medals be given to the Chinese heavies who roughed up Russel Norman the other day.

The Greenie co-leader obviously was out to get himself a headline or two, and maybe a spot on the telly news, by provocatively waving a Tibetan flag at the Chinese vice-president, a bloke with the delightful name Xi Jingping.

The Herald says:

Protesting at China’s human rights abuses, Green Party co-leader Russel Norman held a Tibetan flag aloft a few metres away from Mr Xi at the Beehive entrance. Mr Xi had arrived to meet Speaker Lockwood Smith.

Dr Norman became involved in a scuffle after Chinese security put an umbrella over the flag and then pushed the flag out of his hand. When he went to pick it up off the ground someone stood on his hand.

Dr Norman has laid a complaint with Mr Speaker and an assault complaint with the police.

Don’t hold your breath. The gendarmes said on Friday there was insufficient evidence to substantiate an allegation of assault although they would continue inquiries.

Does this mean they will be travelling to China to interrogate the buggers alleged to have committed the assualt?

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Damn – our attempt to remove a legal muzzle has been rumbled

November 15, 2009

Alf gagged on his corn flakes and whisky this morning when he spotted criticism of plans to give MPs more protection against being sued if they make defamatory comments.

We’ve given ourselves so many other perks that it seems downright petty to try to say enough’s enough and that MPs should be bound by the same libel laws that bind everybody else in our society, including the likes of David Farrer, Whale Oil and Cactus Kate.

As things stand, we MPs enjoy a special privilege when speaking in Parliament that removes those shackles. We can’t get away with murder, but we don’t have to worry about irritating consequences like defamation suits if we drop a bit of bullshit into proceedings and subject some poor sod to a bit of hatred, ridicule or contempt.

Trouble is, we have this freedom to speak our minds – no matter how addled those minds might be – only during parliamentary proceedings.

Just think what Alf Grumble could say in these posts if he could pepper his prose with calumnies and lies or ignore court orders, immune from some pesky prick popping up to claim damages because he or she has been defamed.

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