Editorials 9 June 2010

June 9th, 2010 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The NZ Herald criticises for his council credit card use:

Today, Mr Brown will be wondering how seriously he has been tripped up by, as is so often the case, a relatively trivial sum of money.

Having admitted making personal purchases on his council credit card, including a $148 mini hi-fi system, he says that he has now reimbursed the council for personal expenditure totalling $579.27.

What has not been absolutely clear to me is when the reimbursements occurred. Was it the day after the purchase? Was it within a month once the statement turned up, or was it only when the media asked for copies of the credit card records?

The episode leaves problems for Mr Brown. First, he has allowed himself to become the subject of questioning at the very time that the issue of politicians’ expenses and allowances has been under intense scrutiny in New Zealand and in Britain.

This, at the very least, smacks of carelessness, while also suggesting a lack of judgment. Mr Brown may well have thought that no harm would be done by charging the hi-fi to his council credit card because he did not have his personal card and it was “essential” to get it that day.

I’m still a bit mystified by this. Most people also have an ATM card as well as a credit card. Did he somehow manage to leave all his cards behind except the Council one?

The Press criticises secrecy at Christchurch City Council:

Trying to extract financial information from the Christchurch City Council is all too often an exercise in frustration, and the dollar signs surrounding the Ellerslie International Flower Show have been an instance of this.

has for several months wanted a cost breakdown of this year’s show. When the council belatedly responded, it did give an overall cost of $2.97 million, but not the detailed breakdown of an event upon which much public money has been spent.

Unfortunately, this secrecy over the show has been typical of the council. It was only last September, almost two years after it bought the show, that the council deigned to reveal how much it had paid for it.

The ratepayers right to have details of what they are funding, should outweigh commercial considerations.

The Dom Post wants an independent inquiry into the Gaza flotilla incident:

It is a basic rule of justice that those accused of a crime should not sit in judgment on themselves. For that reason, Israel should not be ruling on the rights and wrongs of its attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla last week.

Determining who is to blame for the deaths of nine people aboard a Turkish ship should be the work of an independent international body, as proposed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Mr Ban has suggested that former New Zealand prime minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer be appointed to head an international panel that would include representatives of Israel and Turkey. It is a sensible suggestion that would ensure the countries directly involved have a voice in the inquiry. But no sooner had he put up the idea than Israel’s Washington ambassador, Michael Oren, shot it down. “Israel is a democratic nation. Israel has the right and ability to investigate itself,” he said.

Israel should think again. The inquiry represents an opportunity as well as a threat to Israel. Mr Oren’s argument is the equivalent of the accused in a criminal case demanding not only the right to defend himself, but the right to present the prosecution’s case and to pass judgment once the evidence has been heard. It is not credible.

I agree that Israel should agree. An internal inquiry will not have credibility.

And finally the ODT looks at a health programme:

Apart from the trendy acronym – B4SC – by which it is known in certain quarters, there is much to be said in favour of the Before School Check programme implemented by the country’s district health boards in 2008-09 at the behest of the Ministry of Health.

The intention of the programme is the early detection of health needs with referral on to appropriate specialists.

This makes good sense: health and general wellbeing issues (for example, growth, dental, vision, hearing) detected early, and remedied, are issues that could otherwise evolve into capital intensive or resource-hungry problems.

Identified and addressed, the expensive ambulance at the bottom of the cliff becomes somewhat redundant, as do the various interventions required as the child makes his or her troublesome descent.

Introduced under the last Labour administration, the initiative came sharply into focus when Health Minister Tony Ryall, unhappy with aspects of its implementation, called for a review last year.

He subsequently announced in April that it would continue.

They key is making sure the programme reaches those most in need.

Tags: , , , , ,

36 Responses to “Editorials 9 June 2010”

  1. Jcw (95 comments) says:

    The Gaza blockade is a failure. It is only strenghting Hamas. Its about time Israel gave up this strategic and tactical failure before the Gazans become dangeorusly isolated from rational ideas and made mad by the perpuation of the siege mentality that has already driven Isreal insane.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    Why does the UN want to investigate this latest flotilla incident and not any of the other incidents where governments have killed people? I don’t recall a UN investigation (or even anyone calling for an investigation) for the recent South Korean ship sinking, Turkish killing of Kurds, Russian invasion of Georgia, Russian bombing of Chechans, French and Russian killing of Somali pirates, Sri Lankan killing of Tamils, North Korean operation of concentration camps, Iranian killing of election protesters, Iranian supply of weapons to Iraqi terrorists, Zimbabwe killing of civilians, New Zealand killing of Taliban, etc.

    Why single Israel out in this way? Is it for the same reason that the UN Human Rights group repeatedly singles out Israel for criticism while ignoring more serious human rights issues? Is it for the same reason that the UN racism conference turned in to a stage for anti-semites? Is it the same reason that the recent non-proliferation treaty conference turned in to a stage to beat Israel, even tho Israel isn’t a treaty member?

    I’d prefer that New Zealand didn’t have anything to do with UN-sponsored anti-semitism.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Monty (978 comments) says:

    Len Brown exemplifies all that is wrong with the attitude of the left. Essentially they have no respect for the value of other people’s money. This will become abundantly clear when the spending on the taxpayer funded credit cards of the Ministers of the previous Labour government is released. I understand there have been delays due to find heavy haulage trucks for all the documents associated with Labour’s spending.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Scorpio (415 comments) says:

    Len Brown said on TV3 last night (in a carefully crafted PR exercise) that he paid the money back after a reconciliation of his credit cards account – 2-3 months after the debt was incurred.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Jcw (95 comments) says:

    A response to Davidp:

    Why does the UN want to investigate this? Well presumably so it can reach a fair and reasonable conclusion before taking action against Israel. The recent sinking of the South Korean ship was investigated by the South Koreans, its investigation found a smoking gun and was acceptable internationally therefore it was not necessary to have a UN lead investigation. Why investigate the Turkish mistreatment of Kurds…. its not necessary as its clearly evident and so international condemnation has been voiced even without investigations. Russia was internationally condemned for its actions in the 2008 South Ossetia war, Sri Lank for its treatment of Tamils. Sanctions have been imposed upon members of Mugabe’s government. Nothing murky to my knowledge has occurred between NZ and Taliban forces.

    Thus all your supposed examples of null-reactions are clearly false, your insistence that this UN investigation is the result of anti-semitism is a paranoid delusion. It appears that the actions of the Israeli military were sub-optimal, hopefully an investigation into their actions will shed more light onto to the matter and reveal if such loss of life was necessary.

    Regardless of the outcomes of the investigation, it is clear to any impartial observer that Israel’s actions hurt itself whilst strengthening Hamas. The primary outcome of the flotilla raid will be increasing sympathy for the Gavan’s in the west, and a decline in sympathy for Israel. Its about time people on both sides started using common sense. One can only dream….

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Bob R (1,376 comments) says:

    ***Len Brown said on TV3 last night (in a carefully crafted PR exercise) that he paid the money back after a reconciliation of his credit cards account – 2-3 months after the debt was incurred.***

    Did he explain it in rhyme?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. kowtow (8,487 comments) says:

    The UN as currently constituted is a sick joke.

    I read Roland Dallaire’s book Shake Hands with the Devil……about the Rwandan genocide.

    Basically the UN and the world sat back and let it happen,in full knowledge of what was going on. Oh,but when Israel is involved we”ll all get on the jihad band wagon.

    It’s all part of the slow walk that is now the suicide of the west.

    Watch the Dutch elections on today ,hopefully Wilders can be a kingmaker. Watch the MSM cry racism.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Len Browns trivial sum of money serious… what about Jonathan Young’s trivial declaration… is that also serious.

    Christchurch City Council:
    The ratepayers right to have details of what they are funding, should outweigh commercial considerations.
    Yeah right.. what planet are you on DPF … these are local councils we are talking about… just about all council meetings now have a public excluded section because of commercial senseativity.. So what rights.

    Health programme:
    They key is making sure the programme reaches those most in need.
    I’m sure the Maori party are taking care of that… the money for it anyway.

    Gaza flotilla incident:
    Israel has the right and ability to investigate itself.. and defend itself… and it don’t give a dam what the rest of the world thinks.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “…Len Brown exemplifies all that is wrong with the attitude of the left. Essentially they have no respect for the value of other people’s money….”

    ever heard of bush jnr…?

    and what he did to the american economy/the world/the environment…?

    whoar…!….

    ‘bushie -the-destroyer’…

    eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. tvb (4,425 comments) says:

    Brown is either too stupid to be Mayor because he cannot figure out which credit card to use, for what purpose, or he is dishonest. Either way he is not suitable.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    gee..tvb…

    funny how he is creaming banks in the polls..eh..?

    he will be your next mayor of auckland..eh..?

    the right is going to receive a serious backlash in these elections…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    davidp

    Why does the UN want to investigate this latest flotilla incident and not any of the other incidents where governments have killed people? I don’t recall a UN investigation (or even anyone calling for an investigation) for the recent South Korean ship sinking, Turkish killing of Kurds, Russian invasion of Georgia, Russian bombing of Chechans, French and Russian killing of Somali pirates, Sri Lankan killing of Tamils, North Korean operation of concentration camps, Iranian killing of election protesters, Iranian supply of weapons to Iraqi terrorists, Zimbabwe killing of civilians, New Zealand killing of Taliban, etc.

    It’s all a set up like the Goldstone report, if I was Israel I would say get stuffed until you’ve investigated all of these.
    Can Israel trust the UN and it’s members?
    read the UNHuman Rights Council for clarity
    http://weeklystandard.com/blogs/syrian-rep-promotes-blood-libel-un-human-rights-council

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Sean (301 comments) says:

    The Gaza flotilla issue is not a legal matter – its a political matter and the sanctimonious comparisons to legal concepts such as a fair trial and due process are otiose. The UN can investigate all it wants. It has all the information it needs right now to come to the only conclusion it can possibly reach. Meanwhile the political situation will continue until a political solution acceptable to the parties is arrived at.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    “# Jcw (77) Says:
    June 9th, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    The Gaza blockade is a failure. It is only strenghting Hamas. Its about time Israel gave up this strategic and tactical failure before the Gazans become dangeorusly isolated from rational ideas and made mad by the perpuation of the siege mentality that has already driven Isreal insane.”

    Alright then lets just take a look at this shall we. The Gaza Blockade is a falire? Well its certainly had an effect on the number of rocket and motar attackinf on Israel (something else the UN nevers stirs to investigate) Have you looked at any stats jcw?

    As a strategy it has succeeded in protecting civilians in Israel, so wrong there. As a tactic it has clearly hurt Hammas or they wouldn’t be squealing like little bitches. Its also been successful as far as the Egyptians are concerned too and they, like Israel allow aid to transit their nation with inspection. The UN doesn’t get all in a flap there either.

    “Gazans become dangeorusly isolated from rational ideas and made mad by the perpuation of the siege mentality that has already driven Isreal insane.”” Good lord what to do with this. Well firstly Gazans? Go to the meetings, they prefer the Roman name for the area, Palestinians. Also are you familier with any of the sub-groupings at all? For instance currently the terrorist group Hammas is in control. they got control by waging war on Fattah, the very slightly less insane group. Hammas killed at least 1,000 of them in this war… but this is of no moment to the UN.

    Newsflash jcw these people have been issolated from rational ideas for close to a century. They think people like Helen Thomas, Keith Locke and John minto represent the west. Item 1 in the Palestinian Charter is the destruction of Israel. Israel hasn’t gone insane, its jus tplain getting pissed off with having a bunch of genocidal maniacs permitted to fucking shell them randomly (some times from right next to a UN position) on a daily basis. They’ve behaved like mad dogs and they’ve been confined like mad dogs for public safety. Israel is sureounded by 600,000,000 people who want to exterminate them and every 10 15 years take a shot at doing just that. Wehreupon Israel kicks their fucking asses all the way back to Cairo and Damascus before the UN wets its fucking nappies and makes everyone go back to their start positions.

    The UN will NEVER let Israel defeat an Arab nation and will NEVEr lift a finger to protect Israel from them. They can’t be negotiated with, they can’t behave rationally and they will always be protected. WTF would you like Israel to do? Outside obligingly climb inot the fucking ovens without complaint I mean.

    Please, if you are going to make such sweeping claims at least do so with a smidgen of information and context first. Some factual accuracy wouldn’t hurt either.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. aardvark (417 comments) says:

    David, go to the Campbell Live website and watch JC’s interview with Brown last night. It will answer almost all of your questions.

    I’m not supporting or berating Brown’s position on this — I’ve taken the Kiwi-sheep stance: it doesn’t affect me so I don’t care.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. tvb (4,425 comments) says:

    I resume his defence was “oh shucks I did not realise which card i was using please forgive me”. In other words I was stupid. I have two cards both mine I know exactly which one I am using.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. backster (2,174 comments) says:

    In my view BROWN fails to meet the integrity test expected of his High Office. His weak excuses generally delivered through various political chaperons wouldn’t be acceptable from the Office Boy who would be sacked.

    As for Palmer being involved in an inquiry into Israel. The left is unified in its support of Israels enemies as can be gathered by the vindictiveness of Billy Borker and other contributors to this blog. In any case Palmer would take several years and at least a thousand pages of goblelygook to reach the wrong conclusion.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Chuck Bird (4,891 comments) says:

    What has not been absolutely clear to me is when the reimbursements occurred. Was it the day after the purchase? Was it within a month once the statement turned up, or was it only when the media asked for copies of the credit card records?

    David, what is also unclear is whether he notified the accounts dept. of his private purchases or did accounts come to him and query unusual purchases. If I had have been in his position and found for some reason I only had my council credit card and purchased items I thought I needed urgently I would have emailed the accounts dept. the next day at work in case I forgot later and to cover myself.

    I’m still a bit mystified by this. Most people also have an ATM card as well as a credit card. Did he somehow manage to leave all his cards behind except the Council one?

    I heard Brown on Campbell Live say that he and his wife shared one credit card. I would say this would be most unusual. As you say most people have an ATM card. Campbell let that slide. In this case he was referring to the stereo. I wonder if he purchased his groceries the same day and had not found his credit card or ATM card.

    A couple of councillors requested details of mayoral credit card use. I quote part of their request below.

    Specifically we are requesting copies of:
    • all credit card statements associated with any credit card used by or for the Mayor of Manukau from 13 October 2007 to present.
    • all receipts, invoices, notes, or other such documents to vouch for expenditure charged to the mayoral credit card from 13 October 2007 to present.
    • the credit card expenditure policy relating to credit cards issued by Manukau City Council, including the mayoral credit card.

    It will be very interesting to see the response from the Chief Executive.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. ben (2,380 comments) says:

    I am mystified by the Len Brown spending as well. I recall a business partner once being caught with only one card, our business ATM card. He went ahead and put a $7 lunch on it. The very first thing he did when he got back to his PC was email to say what had happened, sorry, won’t happen again, nothing to see here.

    Surely Len Brown should have recognised the risk he was taking and that it would look bad if and when it got out. Why didn’t he make it an absolute priority, having used the credit card, to email his PA or a colleague saying what had happened, just to protect himself? Or, you know, repay the money. Also – why more than once. Ok, he’s been caught short once. But why so many personal charges. A bit fishy, me thinks.

    I recall buying a PC but the monitor arrived late, so – keen to get the PC going – I went in to work after hours and took a spare monitor. Of course the risk was that I would be charged with stealing, so in advance of taking the monitor I emailed a colleague saying this is what I was doing. Simple, really. Maybe I should be running for mayor.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Scorpio (415 comments) says:

    Caught short without his personal credit card at Dick Smith – he could have called his wife/partner and got the credit card details from her. He could have used a cashflow card. He could have gone online and transferred money directly using internet banking. Or just not bought the stereo.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    The Dompost might want a “so called ” independent inquiry into why Turkish int through proxies initiated an international incident to scupper Netanyahu’s trip to Obama , I’d say his problem is more endemic than one off event.
    http://weeklystandard.com/blogs/why-israel-isolated

    Obama’s foreign policy goals in the Greater Middle East are to leave Iraq (and, beginning in 2011, Afghanistan), peacefully convince Iran to give up hope for nuclear weaponry and regional dominance, resolve an Israeli-Palestinian conflict that even the most ardent peace processors recognize as insolvable, and forge an entente with “the Muslim world.” Is it any wonder that Israel is isolated, when her most powerful ally seeks peace and comfort and “normality” at any price?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. berend (1,709 comments) says:

    Scorpio, I’m sure Dick Smith would recognise Len Brown and let him buy on credit if needs be…

    But in the big scheme of things John Key is stealing much more from the taxpayer with his upcoming ETS than Len Brown.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    MikeNZ 4:24 pm,

    Obama’s foreign policy goals in the Greater Middle East are to leave Iraq (and, beginning in 2011, Afghanistan), peacefully convince Iran to give up hope for nuclear weaponry and regional dominance, resolve an Israeli-Palestinian conflict that even the most ardent peace processors recognize as insolvable, and forge an entente with “the Muslim world.”

    This idiot really does think he’s the Messiah, doesn’t he!?
    I wonder if he’s also able to walk on water and turn water into wine? – probably manages that prior to morning tea.
    Delusions of grandeur, methinks.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    “I wonder if he’s also able to walk on water and turn water into wine?” – to save time he just walks on wine. Means he can make his tee-off time.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Hmmm.. I think Len Brown talks porkies.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Pete George (23,578 comments) says:

    This idiot really does think he’s the Messiah, doesn’t he!?

    Don’t you people like competition?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Inky_the_Red (760 comments) says:

    The Christchurch City Council have been increasingly undemocratic and unaccountable.
    The CCC often hold votes in secret where the public don’t even know what was agreed let alone who supported the mystery.

    Come the next election sideshow Bob and his cronies should be looking or new jobs (or go back to talk back radio)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Repton (769 comments) says:
    Obama’s foreign policy goals in the Greater Middle East are to leave Iraq (and, beginning in 2011, Afghanistan), peacefully convince Iran to give up hope for nuclear weaponry and regional dominance, resolve an Israeli-Palestinian conflict that even the most ardent peace processors recognize as insolvable, and forge an entente with “the Muslim world.”

    This idiot really does think he’s the Messiah, doesn’t he!?
    I wonder if he’s also able to walk on water and turn water into wine? – probably manages that prior to morning tea.
    Delusions of grandeur, methinks.

    The most unachievable goal there is obviously peace between Israel and Palestine. But … so what? Imagine you’re PotUS, and some reporter asks you about your long-term goals for Israel-Palestine. Are you really gonna say, “yeah, we think the whole thing is hopeless so we’re just gonna keep supplying arms to Israel and let them do what they like” ? You know that Kiwiblog (and blogs the world over) would be savaging him for a remark like that. Of course he’s going to publically say he’s working towards a lasting peace in the area. Whether he thinks it’s achievable, I don’t know — but publically, that has to be the position.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Bob R (1,376 comments) says:

    ***MikeNZ (2080) Says:

    June 9th, 2010 at 4:24 pm
    The Dompost might want a “so called ” independent inquiry into why Turkish int through proxies initiated an international incident to scupper Netanyahu’s trip to Obama , I’d say his problem is more endemic than one off event.
    http://weeklystandard.com/blogs/why-israel-isolated

    “Obama’s foreign policy goals in the Greater Middle East are to leave Iraq (and, beginning in 2011, Afghanistan), peacefully convince Iran to give up hope for nuclear weaponry and regional dominance, resolve an Israeli-Palestinian conflict that even the most ardent peace processors recognize as insolvable, and forge an entente with “the Muslim world.” Is it any wonder that Israel is isolated, when her most powerful ally seeks peace and comfort and “normality” at any price?”***

    1. Obama qualified the 2011 Afghanistan deadline by saying “taking into account conditions on the ground.” In other words, it will continue indefinitely.

    2. The Democrat’s aren’t going to risk alienating their major benefactors.

    “Exit polls showed Obama won about 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008, but Jewish political strategists believe his level of support among the bloc has dropped in recent months.

    The impact on the Democratic Party could be significant.

    Jewish Democratic donors are believed to make up 25 to 50 percent of the party’s major contributors — those who give more than $25,000 — according to sources familiar with Jewish fundraising.

    Some Jewish fundraisers estimate pro-Israel donors give $20 million to $30 million to federal races in an election cycle.”

    http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/89941-jewish-donors-may-be-chilled-by-israel-policy

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Jeremy Harris (319 comments) says:

    I just think Len Brown played it a bit loose with all his credit cards, it rates up there in the “yawn factor” of JK’s winery interests for me…

    My question is why does a mayor, any mayor, need a council credit card at all..?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Repton 5:41 pm,

    The most unachievable goal there is obviously peace between Israel and Palestine.

    So you think his aims to “peacefully convince Iran to give up hope for nuclear weaponry and regional dominance”, and “forge an entente with “the Muslim world.” “ will be just a walk in the park!?

    No doubt he’ll be able to work those in between rounds of his busy golfing schedule.

    Sorry, Repton, but there’s just no getting around that fact that OB1 is a self deluded pompous dickhead. And like I’ve said before; [his] trying to appease Islam will be about as effective as Chamberlain’s attempt to appease Hitler pre WWII.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    Kris
    Wasn’t too peaceful to these 57 Pakistanis.
    http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report_57-pakistani-hindus-convert-to-islam-under-pressure_1388695

    He said that Sardari Lal’s older brothers Hans Raj and Kans Raj remained Hindus. Hans Raj too has said that he might consider converting to save his job. He said that life was ‘just easier if one was Muslim’ and he wouldn’t be discriminated against.

    If it wasn’t so serious I’d be looking forward to our lefties having to convert to make life bearable.

    another link on how poor people are in the blockade.
    http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2010/06/danish-report-from-gaza-wheres.html

    Yousuf al-Assad Yazgy owns a fruit and vegetable outlet here in the market. All his fruit is imported from Israel.

    “Not all fruit and all vegetables come from Israel. Ours does. They come from Israel. But in the Gaza Strip there is not very much fruit cultivated. Mostly tomatoes, potatoes and vegetables. So here with me are the vegetables and watermelon were from Gaza. All the fruit comes across the border from Israel,” he explains, but also says that there can be long periods when the border is closed, and which therefore fruit does not come in.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. tvb (4,425 comments) says:

    The latest in this line of credit card misuse is Shane Jones. Is he going to run the I am stupid defence as well. In his case it was $5,000. Well he is too stupid to be trusted to be a Minister again.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    MikeNZ 7:30 pm,

    Kris
    Wasn’t too peaceful to these 57 Pakistanis.
    If it wasn’t so serious I’d be looking forward to our lefties having to convert to make life bearable.

    Like I said to some leftard the other day; You guys won’t realise the truth about Islam until the Jihadists are holding aloft your severed head whilst screaming “Allahu akbar”.

    another link on how poor people are in the blockade.

    Let them eat cake, I say.
    Poor deprived bastards – life really is hard in Gaza. (Pass me another Tui, mate)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. Pete George (23,578 comments) says:

    I don’t like the extremes and extremists of Islam, and I don’t agree with the more moderate ideas behind how it is practised either. A lot of Christians seem to have evolved way past that to a much more reasoned and reasonable position. Some apparently haven’t.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote