Archive for June, 2004

Relationships Bill voting details

June 30th, 2004 at 11:04 pm by David Farrar

The Dominion Post reported today that the Relationships (Statutory References) Bill passed its first reading 77 – 42.

I haven’t seen any published details of the full vote split, but have managed to track a copy of the vote down. It was:

Labour 48 – 3 (only Cosgrove, Field and O’Connor against)

National 11 – 16 (Key, Mapp, McCully, Sowry, te Heuheu and Williamson joining the CUB 5 in favour)

NZ First 2 – 11 (no change from CUB)

Green 9 – 0

ACT 2 – 6 (only Hide and Shirley in favour, despite six voting for the CUB!)

United 3 – 5 (Dunne, Copeland and Turner in favour)

Progressive 2 – 0 (no change)

Independent 0 – 1 (why is she still there?)

So every party had at least two MPs in favour. However it could struggle as people see the details. According to Russell Brown, it extends relationships rights not just to those in civil unions, but also to those who have explicitly decided not to marry or have a civil union and are de facto partners. The select committee is going to have a lot of work to do.

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CUB Hansard Quotes

June 30th, 2004 at 10:47 pm by David Farrar

The Hansard for the CUB First Reading is now online.

A total of 18 MPs spoke in the one hour debate. I’ve extracted a quote or two from all 18 speakers below.

My awards for best and worst speakers are as follows:

Best speaker in favour – Moana Mackey – its above love not legal rights.

Worst speaker in favour – Matt Robson – just shut up about the SIS please – this was a debate on civil unions!

Best speaker against – Peter Dunne – for not demonising gays

Worst speaker against – Bill Gudgeon – “this bill is an abomination to all mankind” indeed – what planet is this man on?
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A prediction …

June 30th, 2004 at 1:32 pm by David Farrar

Capital Pundit has blogged on how Clark is effectively backing Peters and saying people should put up or shut up. I would have thought a sworn affadavit was putting up personally.

Clark is suggesting it should be a police matter. And it might well be, but this is a red herring. Issues such as having a staff member on the payroll of both yourself and a company you are investigating are issues of ethics, not law.

But my predicition is that beyond doubt Jonathan Hunt will not refer it to the Privileges Committee. And why am I so confident? Because Clark has made it clear she wants it to go away.

As the chances of a Labour/Green Government after 2005 look increasingly unlikely, NZ First is the most likely coalition partner.

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Winston sues everyone

June 30th, 2004 at 10:32 am by David Farrar

Aaron Bhatnagar blogged yesterday Winston’s statement to Parliament that he was suing not just TVNZ and Yvonne Dossetter but also Radio NZ, Ken Shirley MP and David Carter MP.

Aaron also has the quote Peters used in Parliament, quoting Iago about protecting his good name.

Possibly unfortuntate that Peters quoted Iago whom is an amoral villain who “deceives, steals, and
kills
“. He constantly lies to his wife, steals form his friends but gets away with it because he can “say the right things at the right time”!!

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EML

June 30th, 2004 at 8:54 am by David Farrar

Eating Media Lunch was ine fine form again. Their 50 sexiest NZers was fun. Was I the only one who choked to realise Jeantte Fitzsimons was a babe when she was younger?

The highlight though was asking the farmers at a field day to rank in order from best to worst the following:

Al Quaeda
David Hartnell
Maori Activists
DOC

The expression of most of them seemed to indicate equal distaste for all four.

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Moe on anti spam legislation

June 29th, 2004 at 4:45 am by David Farrar

The Dominion Post has a story on the spam legislative options workshop. the debate on whether to exclude MPs from any spam legislation was amusing, if one sided!

Incidentially I did not “concede” to owing a polling and telemarketing company. I volunteered the information during discussion on the scope of any spam laws, and the company I own does not do telemarketing at all. We aks people questions (market research), not try to sell things.

A copy of the official InternetNZ submission to the Government on proposed anti spam legislation is now online.

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Hedonistic deviant conservatives

June 28th, 2004 at 10:52 pm by David Farrar

The Listener had an article a couple of weeks ago on “The New Conservatives” and profiled a couple of Young Nationals.

Seems not all Young Nationals were happy with the profile of “Christian Virgin Males”, and two Young Nats have written to the Listener to point out that some of them are also “Hedonistic Deviant Females” – a claim I can certainly support knowing them both!

Well people say National is a broad church.

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Shirley on Winstongate

June 28th, 2004 at 8:07 pm by David Farrar

ACT’s weekly e-mail has a transcript of the speech Ken Shirley made in Parliament. It is worth a read. For once Mallard makes a good interjection!

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Israel

June 28th, 2004 at 7:45 pm by David Farrar

KiwiJewPundit has a good post (dated 2 June) on various inventions and achievements by Israelis. Regardless of your view on the territorial disputes, most would agree this is remarkable for such a small population.

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Muldoon and Shrek

June 27th, 2004 at 9:01 pm by David Farrar

I tempted to quip that what they both have in common is an ogre as the star, but that would be unfair. In fact both are excellent entertainment.

I saw Muldoon on Saturday night and McPhail did a superb job. It was very funny at times, yet also somewhat sad. He worked into the performance almost every well known tale about Muldoon. Best of all it didn’t demonise Muldoon, but probably quite accurately showed how he viewed the whole world from his point of view – all about people he couldn’t trust or rely on.

Tonight I saw Shrek II. Shit it was funny. This is a must see. Puss in Boots was especially funny.

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Process vs Substance

June 27th, 2004 at 10:48 am by David Farrar

Those with a background in employment law will know that there is a huge fixation on process, to the degree that if you sack on the spot an employee, they will almost win damages no matter what their conduct.

A good SST article talks about how a hairdresser was sacked for lying that she had a bereavement, when she actually went to the Big Day Out, and she won $2,000.

In the most outraegous case a Nelson seaman was awarded almost $10,000 for the Employment Tribunal for being sacked after he and his colleagues

*behaved offensively to a visiting tour party at the Rutherford Hotel (which was owned by the same people who part opwned their fishing company)
*took off with the female tour leader’s bag
* indulged in some cross-dressing, with one man donning her clothing and her pearls.
* one of the men urinated in the bag
* someone also vomited in the room.
* scored a direct hit on the assistant manager of the hotel then standing outside the hotel, by urinating out of the 6th floor hotel window on to him.

Luckily for once sanity prevailed as the company appealed and the Employment Court ruled “this was an extraordinary case of atrocious conduct where the lack of procedural fairness was justifiable”.

Good to see there are law changes planned to make life harder for certain legal parasites who encourage personal grievances, no matter the merits. Both unions and employers are supporting the change.

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Guilty or not?

June 27th, 2004 at 10:31 am by David Farrar

UMR in January 2004 did a poll on whether people think Watson, Bain and Ellis were guilty of the crimes they were convicted of.

The article is somewhat useless though because they have combined those who say they are unsure with those who think someone is not guilty. There is a big difference between 55% think guilty, 45% not guilty and 55% guilty, 40% not sure and 5% not guilty.

Anyway the percentage guilty for each (comparison to April 2002 in brackets) is:

Watson 44% (59%)
Ellis 23% (25%)
Bain around 33%

For what it is worth I have no doubt at all that Bain was guilty. I also have no doubt that Ellis should not have been convicted.

Everything I have read and heard about Watson suggest he is an extremely violent, almost psychopathic, individual. The contradictory evidence of Guy Wallace has muddied things, but recalling Hope’s DNA was found on his boat, I think it is a safe conviction.

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Weird!

June 27th, 2004 at 9:56 am by David Farrar

Below is a transcript of an unsolicited MSN Messenger chat last night. I think he objects to my views on civil unions. Very very weird. He seems fixated with homosexuals.

I have changed his name (it is not really Andrew) as requested by him, when I told him I would blog the conversation.

Time From Message
11:41:28 p.m. Andrew die satan scum!
11:41:36 p.m. Andrew i spurn you like i would spurn a rabid dog
11:41:45 p.m. dpf really
11:41:55 p.m. Andrew yea
11:42:04 p.m. dpf well why bother to initiate a conversation then
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Further CUB Discussion

June 26th, 2004 at 10:08 am by David Farrar

Labour MP Janet Mackey has attacked her own colleagues accusing gay MPs of hijacking the Civil Union Bill. She also said the Government is”spending more time engaged in social engineering than on good legislation.

What a number of people have mentioned to me (including several MPs) is that what is annoying people is the Beehive spin that a Civil Union is nothing to do with marriage. Of course it is a marriage in all but name. And I have no problems with that.

Several MPs have also argued it is not the role of the state to recognise relationships. I can have some sympathy for that argument. Jim Peron has posted an excellent article on this issue pointing out how libertarians may not want the state to own schools either, but while they do, they should be available to all.

Meanwhile Cardinal Williams has attacked “The Spiritual Bankruptcy of Liberalism” and likened liberals to barbarians – “The perennial work of the barbarian is to tear down existing standards”

I suppose I should point out that one can strongly believe in high moral standards, but also strongly believe the state should not be used by churches to impose such standards.

There is also further criticism of Ashraf Choudhary for not turning up to vote. I am led to understand that he may be supportive of civil unions but did not vote so not to upset the Muslim community.

If so, this is a huge pity. As I posted previously on Islam, it will only change if its leaders take a stand against fundamentalism, and an MP is part of that leadership. I also note several Muslims saying they would respect him more for voting and explaining, rather than not voting at all.

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Fine the zombie owners?

June 25th, 2004 at 5:32 pm by David Farrar

The anti spam legislative options workshop was very good (except that the webcast used me as their static image when ever there was a pause!).

One of the interesting ideas proposed was that owners of computers than get infected with viruses and become spam zombies (where the spammer sends spam through their infected machine to disguise the spammer’s identity), should face possible penalties. An analogy was made to the user of a faulty car which causes an accident.

I was interviewed by Radio NZ on this, and other spam issues. I didn’t advocate liability for zombie users (preferring education) but did note it may become more of an issue in the future. The interview was on Checkpoint last night which is online, but it is around 45 minutes through the programme and there is no fast forward.

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Blog reactions to CUB

June 25th, 2004 at 5:23 pm by David Farrar

Thought a summary of blog reaction to the sucessful first reading of the CUB would be useful.

Darkness – “the five minute marriage of Britney Spears degrades the religious institution much more than a gay couple in love confirming their commitment to each other”

Kiwi Pundit – “The other Act MP to vote against was the always appalling and anti-liberal Muriel Newman”

Aaron Bhatnagar – “What is the point in Mr Choudhary being in Parliament? He failed to speak his mind over the legalization of prostitution last year. He has again failed to speak his mind. He is a ditherer to the order of Alamein Kopu”

The Whig – “Still can’t quite believe Deborah Coddington voted against, but I suspect it was for ‘libertarian’ reasons, rather than conservative ones”

Big News – “MPs who have supported this bill have supported it for the first reading have no intention of supporting it any further”

Just Left – “Particular marks go to Bill Gudgeon for horrifying everyone”

Span – “those Labour MPs who voted against it should be ashamed”

Catholic Action – “Any MP who votes for the ‘Civil Union’ Bill is diabolically disorientated. Any MP who votes for the ‘Civil Union’ Bill is on the road to Hell for all eternity. Any MP who is cast into Hell will burn forever in an unquenchable fire.”

Russell Brown – “it would have been spectacularly easy for National’s leader, Don Brash, to have played politics, but he voted with his conscience”

No Right Turn – “I’m pleased to see that ACT are acting more like a liberal party”

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Civil Unions through 66 – 50

June 24th, 2004 at 10:49 pm by David Farrar

Well I am pleased the Civil Unions Bill got through the first reading 66 – 50. Apart from the fact I support the Bill, I think it is a pity if any conscience issue doesn’t get at least select committee consideration. A number of MPs voted for it on that basis, so final outcome very unclear.

The NZ Herald has a good article with who voted what way. They don’t do a summary by party though, so here it is:

Labour 42 to 6 (3 absent)
National 5 to 22
NZ First 2 to 11
ACT 6 to 2
Green 9 to 0
United Future 0 to 8
Progressive 2 to 0
Independent 1 to 0

Total 66 to 50 (3 absent)

Labour had eight MPs not vote for the Bill (would have failed without centre right votes). Only surprise for me was Tamihere voting against.

Rather disappointed only five Nats in favour – was hoping for 10 or so. Absoutely great Don Brash voted for it. He supported it of course because he believes it will be better than the status quo, but from my view it is politically useful that now harder to demonise him as an “uncaring racist conserative blah blah blah” when he has a sensible liberal voting record. Also great that Clem voted for it – I often forget he is not just a Tamaki conservative. Katherine, Pansy and Lockwood – well done also.

My two favourite NZ First MPs voted for it – Ron and Brian. The first time NZ First has split on a conscience issue I think. They do also get to have the MP who made the biggest pillock of himself – Bill Gudgeon who called the bill “an abomination to all mankind” and “despicable”. As part of mankind, my message to Mr Gudgeon is to shut the fuck up, and stop speaking on my behalf.

Also good to see ACT reflect their branding as a liberal party with 75% voting for including Rodney, Richard and to my huge surprise Stephen Franks. Good one Stephen. God knows how Deborah Coddington was ever in the Libertarianz as she was initially against prostitution law reform and also against this.

Every party leader except Peters and Dunne voted in favour. How often would one have that happen.

Quite funny how strongly I feel on this issue, despite being unaffected myself (I am quite traditional and would like a church wedding). Probably the fact I know so many people in long term committed same sex relationships, and that this bill means so much to them and their sense of worth as a couple.

It will be interesting to see how the Relationships Omnibus Bill goes next week. Should have well over 70 in favour as even some United Future MPs may be voting for it.

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The Empire Strikes Back

June 24th, 2004 at 10:21 pm by David Farrar

NZPA has a good story on the statement by Peters that he is suing TVNZ for $7 million.

I did laugh at Bill Ralston’s statement that so far he has only received press releases, not legal papers, despite threats since January – but most of all him pointing out that Peters needs to go back to law school as under the law you can not specify the amount of damages sought in your filing.

Peters is also saying he may sue any other media which has carried the story. Hopefully there will be no need for a blog defence fund!

I could almost feel sorry for Peters in this, as it is entirely possible that Meurant has landed his boss in a pile of crap, without Peters knowing. However as Peters hold the all time record for making baseless defamatory accusations under parliamentary privilege, my sympathy is very limited.

A story on the TVNZ website refers to phone records showing a quick succession of phone calls from Meurant to Simunovich and Peters, which may not help the claim that Peters did not know Meurant was working for both him and Simunovich.

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Anti Spam Legislation

June 24th, 2004 at 8:29 am by David Farrar

I doubt I will be able to blog teh results of the Civil Unions Bill 1st reading vote until this evening as I am helping chair a Government and InternetNZ workshop on legislative options for dealing with spam.

Should be a good day with around 70 people attending. Had very pleasant night out with the Australian Government spekaers last night!

If anyone is interested the workshop is being webcast.

People may also be interested in this story in the Herald about the latest anti spam proposals from Microsoft and AOL. I have some reservations about the side effects of these proposals.

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$300,000

June 24th, 2004 at 8:22 am by David Farrar

Reports today that the affadavit in Winstongate alleges $300,000 in cash was paid to former Winston staff member Ross Meurant.

Haven’t they heard of Internet banking – much easier? :-)

I’m not going to comment much as this is all likely to end up in court. But three things I have noted.

1 – The affadavit does not allege, it seems, that she had witnessed the cash, just that Meurant boasted about it.

2 – Simunovich have denied their company has done anything illegal, but do not appear to have denied the specific allegation (think Becks not denying he cheated on Posh, just saying the accusations were preposterous).

3 – Even if Meurant did receive any money, that is different to Peters having received any.

It is possible that the money was paid, but it was by way of contract for services as Meurant worked for them.

Any opinions here are based on my reading of public reports. I am not suggesting I have any knowledge not in the public domain.

Stuff also has a story on the allegations.

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Well done Paul Swain

June 24th, 2004 at 8:12 am by David Farrar

I was pleased to read a couple of days ago that Communications Minister Paul Swain did actually recommend the Government ask the Telecommunications Commissioner to reconsider his decision not to unbundle the local loop. Well done for this.

He got rolled in Cabinet, which is fairly rare for Ministers (may be less so for Swain who had some barmy traffic law changes squashed also). Few Ministers would know enough to contribute on this issue, so I suspect any over-ruling would had to have been led by either the PM, Cullen or maybe Mallard. I’d heard the PM was in fact supportive of unbundling, so my guess would be Cullen was oppossed.

My views on unbundling have been previously posted. I do look forward to the day I can use broadband at full speed for more than 67 minutes a month!

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The Winston Allegations

June 23rd, 2004 at 3:07 am by David Farrar

TVNZ reported last night on allegations that there were “cash payments from Simunovich Fisheries to Winston Peters” and these have been made by way of a sworn affadavit, meaning criminal sanctions are possible if the affadavit is false.

Various MPs have been playing pass the parcel with the affadavit, none of them wanting to be seen to be endorsing the allegations, which are at this stage unsubstantiated.

Peters really need somethign more convincing though than claiming they are simply part of a vendeta by Bill Ralston.

There is an irony in Peters facing such allegations, as he built his political career on making unfounded false allegations against dozens of people, destroying many careers un the process.

The role of Ross Muerant is potentially pivotal in all this. He was once a National MP also, and few have good memories of him. He became a ROC MP and was eventually sacked by Bolger as an Under Secretary when (IIRC) he refused to accept that one can not be a member of the Executive, and also be a director of a Russian tax dodge bank registered in Vanuatu.

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MPs on the Political Compass

June 22nd, 2004 at 10:31 pm by David Farrar

No Right Turn has posted a copy of leading MPs (and a skinhead!) on the political compass. The original comes from DeepRed.

I’m copying it here so my comments can be viewed in context.

NZPoliticalCompass2004-6.gif

Don and Rodney look about right (being the only two in my quadrant, explaining why I support them both). Anderton I believe is actually very authoritarian and should be nearer Turia. I also would question Fitzsimons degree of libertarian as while no doubt very liberal on some issues, she does have a long list of things she thinks the state should ban (science) or censor (not nice things). I also think Tamihere might be in just over on the right hand side also.

But overall a fairly good estimate. I did once at work compile a graph of all the National MPs and staff who sat the test (it was very popular a while back), but I am keeping that secret until my death or my tell all book (which ever comes first :-)

NRT also compiled back in November the scores of the NZ bloggers. It is fascinating how there are almost no authoritarian bloggers (Gordon take a bow) but that may reflect how Internet users generally are.

I am very proud of my position on the graph below.

nzblogspectrum.gif

There is also a graph of many global bloggers. I am the DF at the bottom right.

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National nukes nukes

June 22nd, 2004 at 10:07 pm by David Farrar

National has announced that it will not make any changes to the anti-nuclear legislation, without a referendum.

This is of course no surprise, as Don Brash has been saying for ages that National would make a change only if there was a referendum or by way of explicit election mandate. Goodness knows how a decision not to change your policy is now seen as a flip-flop but according to TVNZ it is.

So why would National choose a referendum route over an explcit election mandate? Two main reasons in my mind. The first is that once in office, one would want to talk to allies to see if the Creech solution would help improve relations. If it will not, then not much point in prceeding further.

The second and more important is that any change needs to be durable and preferably bipartisan. Only a referendum could do that. The one thing the US wants even less than the status quo,is having their ship visits become a regular election issue where they are in, out, in, out etc.

Now some partisan hacks will scream and rant that National will in fact go ahead and change the law anyway, without a referendum. This is of course lunatic raving as anyone of intelligence can work out.

Does anyone really really sensibly think Don Brash having made an explicit, no room for misunderstanding, commitment to make no change without a referendum, would then go ahead and change the law, knowing it would doom him to one term in office. It would not achieve any benefits at all (as such a law change would not survive the government) and only piss off even your own supporters for having broken your word.

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Heh heh

June 22nd, 2004 at 4:13 pm by David Farrar

John Tamihere’s latest blog entry is a classic – in fact the Dominion Post refused to print it, so he blogged it instead.

The portion on Rodney perk busting John Key for the 5th form ball he organised was very good, as was the description of Rodney phoning Don calling himself “Finance Minister Rodney Hide”.

Also the branding of Heather Roy, Muriel Newman, Deborah Coddington and Katherine Rich as the four horsewoman of the Apocalypse can only increase the number of doomsday cults because if they represent the Apocalypse, most men are going to say “bring it on”.

It’s nice to be able to see good satire from the left without it being personally nasty (which all too often it is). Of course those portrayed may see it differently but I thought it very funny.

If I had the time (this week is insanely busy) I would do my own portrayal of Helen negotiating with Tariana, Rod, Jeanette, Peter, WInston and Jim. How about some contributions from readers and and we can award prizes for the most humourous.

The four horseman of St Molesworth should be able to come up with something suitable.

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