Archive for September, 2003

Around the Blogs

September 30th, 2003 at 9:46 pm by David Farrar

Looking around the neighbourhood today I can recommend:

* Russell Brown on the true story behind NZ Tabloid’s scoop.

* Kiwi Pundit on how the Greens attitude to GE would have meant no air travel.

* Silent Running on why the so called Rove/CIA scandal is a beatup.

* NZ Pundit on taxpayer funded Maori prayer sessions, an excellent expose of an ABC story, more on Holmes and a very good analysis of the BBC war reporting.

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Our modest PM again

September 30th, 2003 at 7:26 am by David Farrar

Our sucessful and competent PM has once again modestly told us how she has saved New Zealand’s international reputation.

Yeah I am sure that all around the world people thought that a radio newstalk host actually speaks for New Zealand.

I wonder if it occured to her that her comments made the story more newsworthy and actually got it far more publicity than would otherwise have been the case.

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Wow lucky me!

September 30th, 2003 at 7:18 am by David Farrar

According to Stuff Parliamentary staff can now attend a 25 minute maori prayer session every day to help cope with stress.

Parliamentary Service claim that the sessions would be held outside normal working hours, yet they are from 8.30 am to 8.55 am which is well into the working day for the staff I know.

I wonder if someone organised daily 25 minute drinking sessions to help cope with stress, whether that would be allowed during work time?

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An example of bad journalism

September 28th, 2003 at 2:27 pm by David Farrar

The SST has a story titled “Public demands ‘obnoxious’ Holmes be shown the door“.

And that would be a fine headline except in fact the public do no such thing.

Later down they report “The national poll shows one in five believe he should resign or be fired from NewstalkZB” which means four in five do not. Good God one in five people probably think Holmes should be sacked regardless of his “darkie” comments.

Also the poll had only 214 people take part which is a margin of error of 6.8% at the 95% confidence level. Worse they report a breakdown for the 45 men who took part which has a 14% margin of error!

And with 79% of the respondents being female, one can only conclude that it was not a random sample but some sort of self selecting sample which is useless as a serious indicator. No newspaper should report a self selecting sample as a seientific random poll.

The company they appear to have used is 18 Tracker which does focus groups not polls.

All in all one of the most incorrect and ignorant stories I have seen for a while.

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A few weekend thoughts

September 28th, 2003 at 2:10 pm by David Farrar

1) The Royal Thai Restaurant in Majoribanks Street is well worth a visit for the crabmeat omelette if nothing else. Good prices and nice food and they don’t even kick you out even though the drinking carries on some hours after the last course!

2) Pirates of the Caribbean is an excellent movie.

3) The Old Friends website is very well done – even found someone had posted old school photos with me in them!

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Moral Relativity

September 25th, 2003 at 8:47 pm by David Farrar

Idiot has posted on the Holmes affair, comparing it to Corkery, and suggesting I have double standards.

Firstly I totally reject that laughing about body parts being returned to a mother whose son died in Sept 11, is anywhere near the same scale of offensiveness as Holmes referring to Annan as a “cheeky darkie”. As I originally blogged, the appropriate comparison would be a broadcaster making jokes about missing children in the Wairarapa.

It saddens me that just because people do not like the US, or the current US Government, that they try to diminish the awfulness of having your child returned in pieces over a two year period.
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Is he stupid?

September 25th, 2003 at 6:54 am by David Farrar

The NZEI (Primary Teachers Union Cartel) has told off Education Minister Trevor Mallard for taking a swipe at teachers.

Now far be it my place to defend the thuggish Mallard, but his actual comment was “half of teachers are below average”.

Now ignoring his bad grammar, what he said is actually a truism. Be definition half of any group are below average (assuming average means median not mean).

So the NZEI President not only shows his stupidity but also the problem we have with teacher quality in this country.

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Was he drunk?

September 25th, 2003 at 6:27 am by David Farrar

Yesterday on Newstalk ZB Paul Homes made a broadcast which today he has profusely apologised for in the face of near universal criticism.
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Trans-Tasman relations

September 23rd, 2003 at 1:38 pm by David Farrar

In an incredibly blunt assessment the new High Commissioner from Australia has warned Anzac relations were “finely poised on the fulcrum” and New Zealand was “beginning to be seen as a competitor rather than an ally”.

This is a speech which must have been approved at the highest levels in Canberra and as much as anything is a very clear message we ignore our traditional allies at our peril.

Jim Anderton’s response “I think he’s right out of touch with reality myself.” should be dismissed for the idiotic abuse it is, merely demonstrating his unsuitability for ministerial office.

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What is all the fuss about?

September 23rd, 2003 at 1:30 pm by David Farrar

I have followed the Hutton inquiry quite closely and unlike NZ Pundit , have resisted killing several cyber rainforests describing it.

However I have managed to reach some conclusions, which I will share:

1) Andrew Gilligan and the BBC lied
2) David Kelly lied (his testimony to the select committee was contradicted by a tape reording)
3) There has not been a shred of proof Alistair Campbell did what was claimed, or that he has lied.

So what is all the fuss about? As far as I can tell – just two things.

a) Alistair Campbell offered suggestions on wording. Well f**k me did – that is his job. That is totally ordinary

b) The Government helped release Kelly’s name. Well personally he should never have been told it would be kept private. He leaked to the media (a sackable offence), lied to the media and lied to Parliament. Civil Servants can’t do that.

It is very sad that he killed himself, but IMO he is largely a victim of his own actions.

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The PM takes a minor swipe at me!

September 16th, 2003 at 11:51 pm by David Farrar

To my great surprise Prime Minister Helen Clark dredged up during today’s parliamentary question time, a nine year old incident involving me. She must be getting rather desperate.

One day I’ll blog the full details of the incident which is very very humourous but the ten second version is that in 1994 myself and a mate prematurely announced the assassination of Michael Laws. Most disappointment focused on the fact it was not true :-)

The transcript of the question is below

Hon Bill English: Can the Prime Minister comment on the example she thinks it gives when she behaved in the way I have outlined in the context of “paintergate”, when she has effectively condoned a dishonesty offence in her own department; and where she refuses to take action against members of the Labour research unit who certainly broke the rules around Parliament in the last few days by putting an obscenity on the door of Shane Ardern’s office?

Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: Those researchers have apologised to Mr Ardern, as they should. I should say that such episodes are not unique. A National Party researcher once sent out faxes proclaiming the death of Michael Laws and ended up in court, and his accomplice is now in the office of the Leader of the Opposition.

I am the accomplice it seems. When it happened neither myself or Mike Moore (no not that one) actually worked in Parliament so Helen got that wrong. She also picked a bad comparison as we did get charged and prosecuted unlike the Labour Researchers. Also Helen forgot to mention that in fact one of her own Cabinet Ministers wrote a letter to the court in support of us!

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Pam Corkery’s show axed

September 15th, 2003 at 6:23 pm by David Farrar

NZ Pundit has just alerted me to the fact that TVNZ has axed The Last Word. I can only speculate whether it is because of the controversy over Corkery’s September 11 remarks, but do wonder why else one would stop a show four weeks early, when one could have just let it run the duration of the contract.

It doesn’t look like a happy decision, despite the spin of being a mutual agreement, as a meda ban has been imposed on all parties and staff.

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My letter to TVNZ

September 15th, 2003 at 6:11 pm by David Farrar

The hilarity that Pam Corkey displayed for the dead of September 11, as part of the promotion for her TVNZ show prompted me to write my first ever complaint to a broadcaster.
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An unholy alliance

September 15th, 2003 at 5:41 pm by David Farrar

The Greens have put out a release stating “The weekend has seen the country

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Free Shane Ardern!

September 15th, 2003 at 7:30 am by David Farrar

There is now an official Free Shane Ardern website. Readers are especially encouraged to view the three different vehicular forays up Parliament’s steps over the years.

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The enemy of the poor

September 14th, 2003 at 7:30 pm by David Farrar

As usual there are a collection of lunatics protesting at a WTO meeting. One of them even stabbed himself to death and has become a martyr to the others.

And what is it that the big bad nasty WTO is trying to do. Oh yeah trying to get the rich countries drop subsidies and tariffs on agricultural items, which make it impossible for third world countries to compete.

So the anti WTO protesters are actually defending the right of the US and EU to crap on poor starving farmers in the third world with their protectionist regimes.

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Looking for a conspiracy theory

September 14th, 2003 at 7:24 pm by David Farrar

I note with sadness the death of Indiana Governor Frank O’Bannon.

The Governor was a Republican and his replacement is a Democrat. I can only wonder if it had been the other way around how many lunatic conspiracy theories we would have had blaming it on the CIA. If you think I am joking just recall the death of Democratic Senator Paul Wellstone in 2002 and the theories about his plane crash.

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A Good Party!

September 14th, 2003 at 7:06 pm by David Farrar

Thanks to Cat and Hamish for a great flat warming party at their place. You know it is going to be good when you realise that everyone at the bottle store is going to the same party.
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How absolutely vile

September 12th, 2003 at 5:05 pm by David Farrar

On the second anniversary of September the 11th, imagine my surprise driving to my birthday dinner to hear Pam Corkery joking and giggling on Newstalk ZB about the 3,000 victims of the terrorist attack.

PRESENTER (LARRY WILLIAMS): PAM CORKERY, THE LAST WORD TONIGHT ON TVONE. WHAT YOU GOT TONIGHT PAM?

PAM CORKERY (LAST WORD TONIGHT PRESENTER ON TVONE): SEPTEMBER 11 LARRY.

PRESENTER: HAVE YOU?

CORKERY: YEAH. WELL WE’LL GO TO NEW YORK. OUR NICE GUY THERE TIM WILSON IS… NEW YORK WAKES TO SEPTEMBER 11. HE’S NOT YOU KNOW FULL OF… HE’S AN EX-PAT, SO HE’S NOT FULL OF UNFETTERED PATRIOTISM. DO YOU KNOW THEY’RE STILL FINDING BITS OF BODY?

PRESENTER: YES I DO. YES.

CORKERY: ISN’T IT AMAZING?

PRESENTER: YES, IT IS QUITE INCREDIBLE.

CORKERY: THE PETROCELLI FAMILY FOR EXAMPLE, THEY GOT… IT’S THE FIFTH INSTALMENT OF THEIR SON DELIVERED TO THEM THIS WEEK.

PRESENTER: YEAH. IT WAS A TRAGIC EVENT. I SPOKE TO A LAWYER LAST NIGHT ON THE…

CORKERY: OH NO I’M JUST 0N THE CUSP OF ACTUALLY HYSTERICAL ABOUT IT; I MEAN THEY COULD JUST ABOUT REBUILD HIM ALL THE STUFF THEY’VE GOT BACK…

PRESENTER: YEAH.

CORKERY: … AND JUST SAY HE’S HAVING A QUIET NIGHT.

PRESENTER: OKAY … (LAUGHS) …

CORKERY: … (LAUGHS) … PUT SOME SHALAK (PHON) ON HIM. NO, I DON’T MEAN THAT, BUT IT’S STILL INTERESTING THAT THE AMERICANS ARE BEWILDERED THAT PARTS OF THE WORLD DON’T LIKE THEM.
So this is what Labour’s TVNZ Charter has got us. A former Alliance MP making fun of a mother who has just received some of her son’s remains, as a way to promote her taxpayer funded and state broadcast TV show.

Appalled does not get close to the emotion I had on hearing it live. Trust me it is worse with the laughter. Even now I am furious and can not believe that she remains on air after this appalling broadcast.

If you want to listen to it yourself, go to NewstalkZB website and at the bottom put in Thursday as the day and 5.40 p.m. and click go. Then on the next page click the segment called 17.30 and this piece will come on around 11 minutes through it. Sorry no fast forward on it.

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The hypocrisy gets worse

September 11th, 2003 at 11:21 pm by David Farrar

Okay let’s see if I have this right?

National MP Shane Ardern is being prosecuted for disorderly behaviour for driving a tractor up a few steps at a rally which had official permission to protest there, with a tractor which security had allowed onto the grounds, and which everyone there agreed was good natured and no threat to anyone.

The day after the Police announce his prosecution, a group of women get up in the actual debating chamber of Parliament, during question time, strip off their shirts, yell abuse at MPs and chant songs while being evicted. However this is somehow not deemed disorderly behaviour and they are not charged.

One does not have to be a brain surgeon to see the double standards being applied.

Even Speaker Jonathan Hunt realises he went too far in encouraging Police to charge Ardern, and he has apologised.

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MP to be prosecuted

September 10th, 2003 at 12:05 pm by David Farrar

The Police have decided to prosecute Taranaki-King Country MP Shane Ardern for disorderly behaviour, after he drove a tractor up the setps of Parliament during the Flatulence Tax protest.

Coming on top of the Police saying they may prosecute Marc Ellis for encouraging streakers, one would think the Police are over staffed and no serious crime to concentrate on. Pity the latest police stats show violent crime significantly increasing. Is it any wonder?

If ever a case deserved a caution at most, this is it. How come Helen Clark gets off her far more serious forgery after the Police find there was a prima facae case, yet this trivia results in prosecution?

Perhaps because she is in Government, and Mr Ardern is not.

Just as the law was changed to protect Labour’s Harry Dynhoven and other unknown MPs from their actions, yet nothing is done to help Nick Smith facing a $100,000 contempt of court battle for trying to help some constituents whose children were stolen from them.

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Now that was funny

September 10th, 2003 at 8:28 am by David Farrar

Those who have Sky Digital get to watch question time in the House. It can be very humourous at times. Yesterday was one of those times.

United were being attacked by NZ First for being poodles to the Government (which they are, incidentally), as part of a question to Lianne Dalziel. United’s Gordon Copeland responded by asking the Minister whether it is not correct that many NZers prefer poodles to rottweilers anyway.

This was quite a good response from United so mentally I gave them 6/10.

Quick as a flash Winston was up with a point of order, and informed the House that Mr Copeland being a new MP may be unaware that it is not acceptable to refer to the Minister as a rottweiler.

10/10 – priceless. Everyone from the Speaker to Ms Dalziel cracked up laughing and it took some time before the next question was called.

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Internet Issue Blogs

September 8th, 2003 at 6:36 pm by David Farrar

Two recent blog posts worth highlighting.

The first is by David Zanetti, and tells for the first time in public how he got involved in the Brown vs O’Brien internet defamation case. For those not aware of the case, Patrick O’Brien was the CEO of Domainz and he sued for defamation Alan Brown, a member of ISOCNZ which owned Domainz, for comments made on a mailing list. One of the issues in contention was whether O’Brien made a habit of issuing legal threats against people.

The second is by ‘phirate’ and gives his thoughts on the Antispam workshop arranged by InternetNZ.

I don’t agree with everything said, but impressed to see so much thought on the issue and the workshop.

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Media Bias

September 8th, 2003 at 6:24 pm by David Farrar

I was appalled listening to Paul Holmes interview the PM on their regular Monday morning slot.

I have no problem that the PM gets a weekly slot, and other party leaders do not, because the idea is the the Head of the Government can talk about what the Government is doing.

But the very first question Holmes asks her is what she thinks of National’s suspension of Maurice Williamson. Hello. That is not a Government issue. The PM does not get free air time to be a political commentator.

Even worse is that Holmes’ next question was to ask her whether she thought the suspension was a loss for Bill English. How can she avoid responding to a patsy worthy of her most ardent backbencher, so obviously she says yes it is. Never mind that English is the one person in NZ who can realistically defeat her as PM, which might make her less than an impartial observer in all this.

This is just calling out for a BSA complaint.

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Williamson suspended until election

September 7th, 2003 at 5:56 pm by David Farrar

Maurice Williamson’s membership of the National Party has been suspended until the next election. More details and comments later.

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