Archive for July, 2006

John Howard to seek 5th term

July 31st, 2006 at 9:35 pm by David Farrar

John Howard has said he will contest the next Federal Election, and is not going to step down for Peter Costello. Costello it seems has accepted this decision and will not resign as Treasurer.

It would be an almost unprecedented event in a western democracy to win five elections in a row, but serious doubts remain about Kim Beazley’s ability to challenge Howard for the job so I wouldn’t want to bet against Howard yet.

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The “Blue Libs”

July 31st, 2006 at 8:34 pm by David Farrar

God there has been some drivel appear from people on the “Blue Libs” which was launched last Thursday. Jordan has already claimed it to be some kind of “liberal queer group” which should be “the Labour Party branch of the National Party”.

[Insert profanity of your choice here]

The “Blue Libs” are the sucessor group to the “Classical Libs” section which I co-founded a couple of years ago. That group never did much, mainly because I was too busy, Megs had babies, and we had few resources. The new “Blue Libs” are being fully supported by the party and caucus, with many MPs actively involved – especially Chris Finlayson and Katherine Rich.

Some guy called Steve Gray (I think I met him for five seconds as I was leaving) went on Radio NZ complaining that the “gay” word wasn’t mentioned all evening. Huh. Why the hell would it be. The Blue Libs is not a gay section as Jordan and others seem to think. It is basically the group for people who are both market and social liberals, like myself.

I’m personally really excited by the launch. It’s not about turning National into a “liberal party” but recognising National’s heritage is both liberal (Seddon) and conservative, and making sure the liberals in National have influence. I am looking forward to policy debates, policy papers, international speakers etc etc. I want the Blue Libs to be one of the major sources of new policy for the next National Government.

The other great things about the launch was how many of the new National MPs were there (such as Coleman, Foss, Blumsky, Tremain, Groser), plus of course Don Brash himself. Chris Finlayson gave an excellent speech on what liberal means in different countries, in the history of liberalism in NZ and in National and some great liberal Ministers over the years such as Hannan, Marshall, Graham etc.

I understand there will be a website in time for the Blue Libs. I’ll link to it once it is launched.

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NH90 Helicopters

July 31st, 2006 at 8:12 pm by David Farrar

I like the NH90 helcopters the Government has just purchased, even though the average cost (incl spare parts) is close to $100 million each.

The NH() has the following stats:

– 290 km/hr max speed
– 8.8 m/s max climb (that is pretty good)
– 3.14 km max hover height
– 910 km range
– 19.56 m rotor length
– 20 seat capacity

They can also be armed with anti-submarine and/or anti-surface missiles!

It’s nice to see the RNZAF getting some of the latest equipment. Now just need some planes to match them!

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Get well soon Winston

July 31st, 2006 at 7:47 pm by David Farrar

I am sure everyone is wishing Winston a quick recovery from his mystery illness which not only sees him in hospital for a week, but he missed the rugby test!

On NewstalkZB they were asking if it could be medialaria as they had ruled out foot and mouth disease as he ahd that the week before in Washington :-)

Peters is reported as saying that he thinks he was bitten during a lunch in Malaysia, but that no journalists were in sight!

I hope it isn’t malaria. I know someone who has had that and it really isn’t pretty.

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The prison blog

July 31st, 2006 at 9:14 am by David Farrar

I really can’t see what all the fuss is about the so-called “prison blog”. Tim Selwyn does not have Internet access in prison (which would be a cause for concern if he did). He writes letters to a friend, as all prisoners do, and his friend places them on his blog.

This is no different to Jeffery Archer writing a prison dairy, except Tim won’t make as much money from his! Frankly I find it educational to be able to read regular missives from someone inside a prison.

I was amazed that this was a headline story on TV One news last night. The word “blog” seems to make people go silly. National is better to focus on the massive cost blowouts with the new prisons – that is a real scandal!!

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Maori Party on “The Jews”

July 31st, 2006 at 8:49 am by David Farrar

There were blog reports last week that Maori Party MP Hone Harawira referred to “the Jews” instead of Israel in the debate last week on Lebanon. I held off bloging this, as it was based on an unofficial translation.

However looking at the Maori Party official site this morning we read:


that acts of murder by the Jews be stopped

Could you imagine the uproar if an MP referred to “acts of murder by the Muslims” in reference to something a predominantly Islamic country did?

That statement by Harawira borders on anti-semitic in my opinion. By substituting “Jews” for “Israel” he is promoting hostility towards all those of the Jewish faith. Maybe an enterprising journalist could ring him up and asked him why he expressed it that way.

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The passion of the Mel

July 30th, 2006 at 9:43 pm by David Farrar

Everyone knows Mel Gibson and his film “The Passion of the Christ”. And Mel claimed the film was not anti-semitic and neither was he.

As is often the case, the truth comes out with some alcohol. On Friday Mel Gibson gets pulled over for drink driving and he exclaims:

– Fucking Jews
– The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world
– Are you a Jew? (to the police deputy)

No wonder he produces his own films. All the other hollywood companies are controlled by those “fucking jews”!

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Around the blogs

July 30th, 2006 at 3:42 pm by David Farrar

TaxBlog has a summary of the options in the business tax review. Nothing too exciting but beggars should be grateful for morsels :-)

Trevor Loudon finds a blog which blames the Kahui Twins death on capitalism. You have to read it to believe it.

Rodney Hide highlights the article about “the mellow Mr Hide”. I haven’t seen Rodney since DWTS but it is very obvious watching Question Time on TV that Rodney’s massive weight loss is continuing. He may need to update his official blog photo!

Span asks “as a lowly minnow” whether Public Address is a blog, or something else,

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More Anglican Sins

July 30th, 2006 at 10:55 am by David Farrar

No wonder membership and attendances for the Anglican Church are plummeting. Not content with all the sins which God gave them, they’re inventing new sins such as having a fuel inefficient car or “unnecessary” plane travel.

I can just see people at the pearly gates debating with St Peter – “Now, was it really necessary for you to take the kids to Fiji, when you could have purchased wetsuits and holidayed at Lyall Bay instead”

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1,000 maidens

July 30th, 2006 at 9:36 am by David Farrar

A biography of Shane Warne has revealed or alleged that he has had sex with around 1,000 women.

If this is all during his marriage, then that is an average of two different women a week. Or one threesome per week!

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Female-First Bar Policies

July 30th, 2006 at 9:22 am by David Farrar

I can’t say I have a problem with bars that give priority to letting females in, if there are too many guys there. Likewise no problem if there are female-only bars or even male-only bars.

Most of all I think it is a decision for the bar owners, and not something we need the Human Rights Commission policing.

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Machete Shooting

July 29th, 2006 at 11:00 pm by David Farrar

I doubt there is a jury in NZ which will convict Greg Carvell for shooting the machete wielding robber who tried to hold up his gun store. The NZ Herald reports on the issue.

Nevertheless I will not be surprised if the Police charge him either for the shooting, or on lesser firearm offences. But as I said, there is no way you’ll get 12 people to convict.

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Animal Hearse Vehicles

July 29th, 2006 at 10:24 am by David Farrar

Oh this is hilarious.If your vehicle is a hearse, then your vehicle registration drops from $260 to $58. Now this includes animal as well as human hearse.

A woman has classified her vehicle as an animal hearse because she used it to carry dead chickens home from the supermarket!!!

LTSA is not impressed and have said:

“A hearse is a vehicle that is used to transport dead people in the funeral industry, it is not a vehicle you use to carry groceries home from the supermarket.”

Heh.

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Ban ban ban

July 29th, 2006 at 10:04 am by David Farrar

Few things anny me more than the banning brigade. They want to remove choice from people. Look at this list of ideas from Auckland Public Health Service:

– ban parents from dropping kids off at school
– ban dairies near schools
– ban fast food outlets near schools

I propose we ban people who want to ban things!!

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Happy Third Birthday

July 29th, 2006 at 9:49 am by David Farrar

Kiwiblog is three years old today!!!

My life now has pre-blog and post-blog sections to it. My first ever post was at 6.26 pm on 2 July 2003.

In three years there have been:

– 5,179 posts
– 77,800 comments
– 3,331,326 visits
– 812,690,822 KB of data ( 775 GB)

In the first year there were 119,237 visits. In the second year there were 800,420 visits.
In the third year there were 2,411,669 visits.

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How the Parties Stand

July 28th, 2006 at 8:18 am by David Farrar

From this morning’s NZ Herald we have the latest stances on the Field affair:

Parties against Corruption

National
Greens
United Future
Act

Parties for covering up Corruption

Labour
Maori Party

Poodles for Parties for covering up Corruption

Progressive
NZ First

Hopefully even the Poodles can be shamed into supporting further inquiry.

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Well done Jeremy

July 27th, 2006 at 1:31 pm by David Farrar

Jeremy Greenbrook-Held goes ways up in my esteem for his statement today:

I’m embarrassed that I’m a member of the same political party as this man, and, for the record, would love to see a full privileges committee inquiry into his conduct as an MP. It is not worth losing Margaret Wilson as speaker to cover this up.

I had been meaning to blog about the total lack of comment on this issue from Labour affiliated bloggers. The challenge is for them to do what Jeremy has done and don’t let their party be tainted by the actions of one rogue MP. Come on Tony, Pam, Stephen, Jordan and Sophia. Tell your MPs to not tolerate what Field has done. You all know if this was a National MP who faced allegations of unpaid labour in exchange for immigration services you’d be calling for them to go to jail.

If Labour MPs stop blocking leave, this can still be referred to the Privileges Committee. Pressure them to do the right thing.

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Rates Watch

July 27th, 2006 at 1:15 pm by David Farrar

Auckland Citizens and Ratepayers have set up a Rates Watch website to highlight wasteful spending by the Auckland City Council. A certain $85,000 arounfd the world trip has pride of place.

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Darwin Award Nominee

July 27th, 2006 at 11:59 am by David Farrar

If this man dies, he should be up for a Darwin Award. From NZPA:


Auckland, July 27 NZPA – A man who took a machete into a South Auckland gun shop today is in hospital, after he was shot in the stomach.

The man was thought to have been shot by someone in the shop about 10am.

Police said they were not told about the incident until after the shooting.

Trying to rob a gun shop with a machete – priceless!!

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Speaker Wilson

July 27th, 2006 at 11:54 am by David Farrar

The NZ Herald reports that National is considering a near unprecedented motion of no confidence in Speaker Margaret Wilson. This hasn’t happened in decades as it is a weapon of last resort. Parties often have grumbles about Speakers, but to actually move a motion of no confidence is almost never done.

However I believe that the Field issue is serious enough, that National should proceed with a motion of no confidence. The Speaker has considerable discretion as to whether to interpret standing orders in a liberal or conservative way, and Wilson has made a ruling which protects Labour and Field from scrutiny of very serious corruption allegations. Public confidence in Parliament will sink to new lows due to this.

Quite simply it is unacceptable that Field gets to parade around claiming he has been cleared and exonerated, and that he expects a Ministerial job back in time (something Clark has yet to rule out). ACT moved quickly to take action against Donna Awatere-Huata when she transgressed, and likewise National had Ian Revell resign as Deputy Speaker for a relatively trivial misuse of his position.

The Ingram Report makes it very clear that Field gave testimony that was not correct, and that his associates did the same. Ingram went out of his way to say these issues need further inquiry.

The Greens are showing commendable integrity with this issue, and wants Field further investigated and have said they will support a select committee inquiry. This is better than nothing.

Generally misdeeds by an MP get resolved by public pressure on their party to take action. This has worked in the past, but Clark and Cullen are refusing to even properly inquire into the truth, let alone take action. Cullen says Field is only guilty of trying to help people. Yeah Right!

UPDATE: According to the radio, National have announced they will indeed move a motion of no confidence in Speaker Wilson.

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The flawed WFF at work

July 27th, 2006 at 8:56 am by David Farrar

I can’t believe this. There are over 1,000 one child families with a household income over $100,000 who are receiving family assistance from the Government.

As I have said before, I can accept paying taxes to help out the solo parent with young kids, or the family earning just $40.000 with two or three kids.

But single people are being taxed, to pay welfare to families who have a higher standard of living than those paying the tax. It’s madness – robbing the poor to give money to the rich. Labour are turning every family in NZ into beneficiaries. A family with an income of over $100,000 with just one child does not need social welfare. It’s almost obscene.

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Two new TV Shows

July 26th, 2006 at 10:04 pm by David Farrar

Two new TV shows this week. The BBC brings us Extras, featuring Ricky Gervais of The Office fame, while HBO gives us Big Love – the story of a man with three wives.

I’ve actually been watching Big Love for a couple of months, thanks to my usual US friend who posts me a VHS of it, and have been raving about it to many of my friends. So not 100% new to me, but still good to see it on the screen here.

Big Love reinforces an old joke I can recall – “What is the definition of Bigamy – one wife too many, what is the definition of monogamy – the same thing” :-)

Seeing all the little tensions between the wives, kept beneath a polite veneer, is wonderful. And even stuff such as why he wears PJs to bed with one wive but is naked with another increases the tension. Highly recommended.

Extras is not as sidesplittingly funny as The Office (which literally was painful to watch sometimes) but it is damn good viewing. I’ve set My Sky to record the series.

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Heh

July 26th, 2006 at 9:08 pm by David Farrar

pdfile.GIF

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95% sure

July 26th, 2006 at 7:57 pm by David Farrar

The Red Letter is 95% sure that Geroge W Bush and the “neocons” didn’t actually plan the 9/11 attacks themselves.

I am 95% sure that Helen Clark didn’t murder the Tokoroa school teacher, as a diversion from the Ingram Report into Taito Phillip Field.

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What a surprise!

July 26th, 2006 at 2:18 pm by David Farrar

Margaret Wilson has just announced to the House that she will not be referring Taito Phillip Field to the Privileges Committee. Looks like he may get off scot-free unless Clark and Labour can be shamed into taking some sort of action. I wouldn’t hold my breath though.

A true disgrace.

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