Archive for December, 2003

Will Donna pass the Foreshore & Seabed legislation

December 18th, 2003 at 8:10 am by David Farrar

The Government’s latest plan on ownership of the Seabed and Foreshore is being reported as likely to be tied 60-60 in the House, which means it would fail.

This is based on in favour being Labour (50), Progressives (2), United (8) and against being National (27), NZ First (13), Greens (9), ACT (8), Labour (2) and Independent (1).

But Independent MP Donna Awatere-Huata may well vote in favour of the legislation. Wouldn’t it be an outrage and supreme irony if Labour’s legislation is passed on the vote of a waka jumper after they pilloried the last Government for the same thing.

Shouldn’t Helen Clark rule out accepting support from Donna Awatere-Huata on this issue?

No tag for this post.

Concern for Saddam

December 16th, 2003 at 1:10 pm by David Farrar

I predicted yesterday that Keith Locke would rush out a press release demanding Saddam Hussein be treated well.

Keith is never one to disappoint, and sure enough he has said that Saddam must not have

No tag for this post.

Alliance costs taxpayers $100,000

December 16th, 2003 at 12:58 pm by David Farrar

I’ve often observed that almost without fail, the employers who handle dismissals the worst are unions themselves and left wing political parties.

This is again proven true with the NZ Herald reporting that the Alliance cost the taxpayer $100,000 over how Jim Anderton handled eight sackings in 2001.

No tag for this post.

Murray McCully QC

December 16th, 2003 at 12:53 pm by David Farrar

In a great victory for common sense the humble legal talents of East Coast Bays MP Murray McCully (reputed to last practice law in the 1970s as a debt collector) has won in the High Court against the combined QCs representing the Race Relations Commissioner, the Human Rights Commission and the Crown Law Office.

Joris De Bres had argued that he should be immune from the very legislation he oversees. The tribunal hearing against him for comparing Pakeha to the Taliban should be fascinating.

Coverage with NZ Herald and Stuff.

No tag for this post.

A win and a loss for Donna

December 16th, 2003 at 12:29 pm by David Farrar

The good news for embattled MP Donna Awatere-Huata is that the Court of Appeal has denied ACT an urgent hearing to overturn the High Court injunction.

This means she will remain an MP until the substantive hearing in February or, if sucessful with that, until she gets convicted, as any of the crimes she has been charged with would automatically trigger the Electoral Act.

However if she does not win the February subnstantive hearing vs ACT, then she is gone burger as the ACT Caucus today resolved by over a 75% majority to support the Leader’s letter under the Electoral Integrity Act, which will trigger her expulsion once she can deliver it to the Speaker.

No tag for this post.

Saddam captured!

December 14th, 2003 at 11:45 pm by David Farrar

Just heard on the radio that multiple sources are reporting thet at long last Saddam Hussein has been captured.

Here’s for a short sharp trial!

CNN has just started to report it.

UPDATE: Looking 99.9% confirmed. Fox News says that the Chair of the Iraqi Governing Council has stated they have DNA confirmation. Keith Locke will be very upset – I expect a PR shortly from him demanding Saddam is treated well.

UPDATE 2: Now 100% with Paul Bremmer starting his press conference with the words “We got him”.

No tag for this post.

Powerpoint crashes Space Shuttle

December 14th, 2003 at 10:23 pm by David Farrar

Microsoft Powerpoint is partly responsible for the Columbia Space Shuttle crash. Seriously.

No tag for this post.

Why the UN should not run the Internet

December 14th, 2003 at 10:19 pm by David Farrar

As previously reported, certain countries want the UN to take over governance of parts of the Internet.

There are many reasons this is a bad idea, but the name Robert Mugabe should be enough. In a speech to WSIS he basically compared the Internet to Weapons of Mass Destruction, and said it is used “for peddling propaganda … and misinformation campaigns used to deligitimise just struggles.”

So do you really want Muagbe having a vote on how the Internet is run?

No tag for this post.

Mallard knows best!

December 14th, 2003 at 9:28 pm by David Farrar

In a great victory for the power of the market, most top academic schools are refusing to accept the mediocrity of the NCEA and 29 schools have adopted the Cambridge Examination System, plus a few the International Baccalaureate programme.

However Trevor Mallard is determined that pupils have no choice and is trying to bully schools, claiming the Cambridge system is an “irrelevant qualification of dubious quality”.

Well if I have to pick whose judgement I prefer – the professionals who run our top schools, or Trevor’s – it is an easy choice.

No tag for this post.

Found: An Alliance voter

December 14th, 2003 at 9:14 pm by David Farrar

The Sunday Star Times reports that TV newsreader John Campbell was one of the 1% of NZers who voted for the hard left Alliance at the last election.

Campbell goes on to say that he sees John Pilger and Noam Chomsky as his inspirations. This would explain the long standing bias TV3 has against the parties of the right.

But I do give John Campbell credit for being open with his leanings.

No tag for this post.

Well done Deborah!

December 12th, 2003 at 12:31 pm by David Farrar

My long standing desire for better media scrutiny is fast becoming a reality. On top of Media Cow, we have had ACT MP Deborah Coddington publish a 10,000 word study of the bias on National Radio.

A comparison was done between National Radio, Newstalk ZB and the NZ Herald with regards to airtime for pro-market and pro-interventionist views. The results had National Radio 49% to 26% interventionists over market, NZ Herald (hardly a right wing publication) 36% to 32% and Newstalk ZB 39% to 35%.

This is one of the reasons I don’t like Governments owning broadcasters.

No tag for this post.

Awatere-Huata wins injunction vs ACT

December 11th, 2003 at 1:17 pm by David Farrar

A High Court Judge in Auckland has ruled in favour of independent MP Donna Awatere Huata in her case against ACT. No details yet of why.

Background on the case was in the NZ Herald this morning.

Personally I can’t wait until she is gone.

UPDATE – initial details on Stuff.

No tag for this post.

Media Cow

December 11th, 2003 at 1:06 pm by David Farrar

A very widely read new blogger, Media Cow, deserves a link and a mention.

S/he has been rating the journalists, which has been enjoyable reading. My impression is journalists don’t like being written about as much as they like writing about others. To be fair most people who are not politicians are the same.

It is good to see some more media scrutiny sites in NZ. I have always enjoyed “Rather Biased” in the US and thought we need similiar here.

No tag for this post.

Ahmed Zaoui

December 10th, 2003 at 7:20 am by David Farrar

A meeting was held in Wellington last night to support convicted terrorist and refugee status seeker Ahmed Zaoui. I resisted the urge to pop in on the way home after seeing the new Don Brash puppet get unveiled at the Backbencher.

Comparing Zaoui’s situation to Zimbabwe is stupid and insulting but that is what one expects of Gregory Fortuin. Whether one likes it or not Zaoui has been convicted of terrorist crimes in two fellow OECD countries – Belgium and France. Now those convictions may be shonky, but at the very least they require us to be very very cautious.

The Government’s handling of this issue has been appalling, and not at all helped by the SIS losing tapes, but that doesn’t mean their decisions have been wrong. In fact former Opposition Leader Bill English who used to sit on Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee took the unusual step of saying he thought the Government has made the right decisions with regards to Zaoui. There was no benefit to him in going out of the way to say this, so people may want to reflect that there is more to this issue than the media reports.

No tag for this post.

Idiotic proposal stopped

December 10th, 2003 at 7:11 am by David Farrar

The idiotic proposal to lower the legal blood alcohol limit for driving from 80 to 50 mg/100 ml has been stopped it seems.

Considering that only one fatal accident in the last year involved a driver with a blood alcohol between 50 and 100 shows that this move would have done almost nothing at all for road safety, but would have turned tens of thousands of NZers into criminals for sharing a bottle of wine over dinner.

It seemed to be all about telling NZers how they should live their lives, rather than improving road safety (hint – better roads) which no doubt is why even the Automobile Association opposed the move.

No tag for this post.

Who rules the Internet?

December 10th, 2003 at 7:01 am by David Farrar

There is a fascinating battle happening internationally over who controls the Internet, or at least the governance of the domain name system and IP address allocation. These were done by Jon Postel up until his death in his IANA role.

A US based organisation called ICANN is currently is performing this role. Now ICANN has many faults – it is overly secretive, has no clear decision making, is not democratic etc. Indeed I along with many others have been critical of it.

However the alternative is gasp having oversight done by a committee of the United Nations! And that is definitely far far worse. Rather than make policy setting more transparent and democratic, it would do the opposite. Worst of all there would be real scope for such a UN agency to use control of the naming and addressing system to start censoring free speech because they could set a policy that a domain name will be removed from any website which a government deems untruthful etc.

Another article on this battle is here.

No tag for this post.