Howie Tamati has an explanation for ballot box result: some voters didn’t bother playing the game

May 15, 2015

Alf’s good mate Paula Bennett shouldn’t lose much sleep.

But she should be ready for the United Nations to give her a call on a matter within her ministerial bailiwick.

The reason: the Mayor of New Plymouth is spitting the dummy after voters in his bailiwick rejected a council vote for a Maori ward.

Andrew Judd, the mayor in question, is now talking of  going to the United Nations with a complaint against the Government about the legislation governing the process whereby our indigenous persons can seek special voting privileges.

Exactly what this has to do with the United Nations is anyone’s guess.

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Boys on a beach, hospital patients and now people sheltering in a UN school show Ben’s bulldog streak

July 25, 2014
"We shall wipe the  bastards out before they can ever think of surrender..."

“We shall wipe the bastards out before they can ever think of surrender…”

Gotta say the Israelis have more than their share of gall.

Blasting the crap out of Hamas militants is one thing. Hamas militants deserve everything they get.

And let’s face it, the Hamas heavies aren’t too fussy about how many Israeli civilians they kill, although their strike rate isn’t nearly as good as that of their foes in Israel.

Because Hamas isn’t too fussy, Israel isn’t too fussy about what happens to civilians who get in the way of shells intended (in their commanders’ rhetoric at least) for militant Hamas rocket launchers.

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Helen Clark’s aspirations exquisitely coincide with those of the Member for Eketahuna North

February 26, 2013

Fair to say, it never looked likely that Helen Clark would return to politics in this country.

But there was always the sneaky suggestion she might, especially after Annette King’s elevation in the party pecking order showed Labour’s willingness to look back to find the people to take it forward.

Accordingly it is great to learn here that –
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If it’s good enough for Chris Carter, it should be good enough for state housing tenants

December 29, 2011

Does Chris live here?

What sort of housing do you think Chris Carter has found for himself – or been allocated – in Kabul?

Appropriate housing. He’s living in a container.

Alf assumes you remember Chris Carter, of course.

He’s the leftie sad-sack who was put on stress leave after throwing a tantrum while fleeing from journalists questioning him over his credit card spending.

Leader Phil Goff called the episode a circus and sent Carter on leave to ponder his political future.

By then he had been demoted from seven to 13 in the party rankings and had lost his job as foreign affairs spokesman, but was given conservation and retained ethnic affairs.

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They are masters of corruption in Kabul – so what will Chris Carter be doing to clean things up?

September 1, 2011

It’s a bloody shame Radio NZ did not take the opportunity to subject Chris Carter to a proper interview this morning.

The bugger who questioned him was much too preoccupied with reminding us of Carter’s past, such as his use of taxpayer-provided perks.

But Carter is being despatched to help clean up the corruption in a country where they take their corruption seriously and are masters at it.

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Spending cuts? Let’s start by shedding the Ministry for Supporting Sheilas (and get them a bra)

March 30, 2011

Mrs Grumble wants a car - so what's on your missus's nice-to-have list?.

Alf has prepared a letter to his mate Bill English to help him in his quest to squeeze public spending.

This follows the news media’s highlighting Bill’s warning in a speech yesterday that we are in for years of austerity measures.

English said the Government’s decision to rein in new spending in this year’s Budget would mean some services that were ”nice-to-have” but not essential would be axed.

He also made clear that the Government intended to continue the tight grip on public finances after the state coffers returned to a ”meaningful surplus” in 2015/16 as it looked to repay mounting debt and resume payments into the superannuation fund.

”That means public spending restraint is no temporary aberration. It is effectively permanent,” English told the Institute of Public Administration this morning.

English also said plans were afoot to reduce the size of the public sector, including merging more agencies or departments.

Alf accordingly drafted his letter to alert Bill to the money-saving potential from scrapping the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, which (in Alf’s opinion) does not even rate as something that’s nice to have.

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Why WikiLeaks is a worry: if diplomats can’t be candid, what value can we place in their information?

November 30, 2010

He could pitch his tent in Rome, but the Americans were not so welcoming.

The best form of defence, they say, is attack.

And Hillary Rodham Clinton is doing just that in response to the leak of secret US documents, which obviously attests to an embarrassing lack of security in the US State Department and/or its missions around the world.

The leak, Hillary is saying, is an attack on the international community.

Maybe it is.

It is also an attack on candour and on effective communication between diplomats and their political masters. If candour is removed from the equation, governments will be left basing their decisions on information lacking in candour, which can only result in bum decisions.

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