The Basils

December 27th, 2011 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

in the Dom Post gives out his Basil awards. Quite a few I agree with:

Basil Fawlty worst comeback of the year: First equal: Don Brash and Martin Crowe. While Crowe briefly filled every unfit middle-aged Kiwi bloke with hope, Brash showed us why we should never listen to a politician who says he has done his own private polling.

Oh you can listen to them, but demand a copy of the results and the questions asked.

Basil politician of the year: John Key: Hard to go past a politician who increased his party’s vote and held up the Centre-Right share despite tough times.

Basil local MP of the Year: Annette King: from bowling clubs to school prize-givings to theatre events, she seems to attend everything.

I suspect clones.

Pruned Basil best losing local election candidates: First equal: Paul Foster-Bell and James Shaw. The Wellington Central campaign was dominated by policies not personalities. Nice.

A few people have remarked on that.

Basil wreath for civic stupidity: First equal: the murderous bus lanes on Manners St; the clumsy education campaign for recycle bins.

Maybe they should put up a big flashing sign in Manners Street with a running total of the number of people killed, just injured and near misses with the buses. I did prefer the old Manners Mall.

Purple Basil for most tiring local issue: The Wellywood sign – where normally law-abiding people considered the use of explosives.

Explosives would have been overkill. A chainsaw though ….

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11 Responses to “The Basils”

  1. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    I’ve never had a problem crossing manners without getting hit by a bus. If it looks like a road, assume it’s a road, and look both ways before crossing. Not too complicated, really?

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  2. Anthony (796 comments) says:

    Totally agree Put it away. Why not have a more direct route for the buses? I doubt DPF even uses the buses.

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  3. youami (44 comments) says:

    The absurdity of the Manners Mall change is that it was made in order to save 20 seconds per bus trip, but by removing the ability of buses to overtake other buses that are taking on passengers, the length of a trip has probably increased on average. So the multi-millions of dollars spent, several injuries and one death are all for nothing if you get one, non-Snapper equipped, Newlands bus ahead of you that seems to take 20 seconds to board a single passenger.

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  4. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    Carmel Sepuloni as most ungracious plummet into oblivion?

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  5. Anthony (796 comments) says:

    The route between the railway station and Courtenay Place should have dedicated trolley buses running every few minutes instead of the traffic jam of nearly all bus routes having to run right through town. Yes, that would mean some people having to change buses but it would make the public transport system function more efficiently and make the CBD a more pleasant place.

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  6. tvb (4,418 comments) says:

    Perhaps if Annette king had focused on being an effective nationwide politician labour would be in better shape today. She and others thought they could strop back to power when people cOme to their senses. The first 3 years in opposition were totally wasted. Long may that continue.

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  7. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    What about a Basil for the Christchurch City planners who decided (against the advice of our GNS) that rising sea levels were a greater natural hazard than Earthquakes.
    The NZ Institute of Geological Research and Nuclear Science records that between 1869 and 1988 there have been 12 earthquakes bigger than 6.0 on the Richter Scale within 150 kms of Christchurch.

    ECan’s Regional Policy Statement (RPS), Chapter 16, begins with some promise:

    “Chapter 16 – Natural Hazards.
    Natural hazards in Canterbury can be ranked by the potential damage that could result, for example, taken on an annual basis. Limited information suggests that the most severe regionally significant natural hazards in the region are, in order of importance:

    (1) Large magnitude earthquake affecting Christchurch.
    (2) Extreme drought.
    (3) Waimakariri River flooding of Christchurch and Kaiapoi.
    (4) Major tsunami affecting southern Pegasus Bay and Banks Peninsula, or Timaru coastline.

    Remarkably, or unremarkably, the Christchurch City Council’s translation of the Regional Council’s policies into their District Plan turns the ECan’s risk rankings on their head.
    The Plan’s section on Natural Hazards reads:

    “CCCDP 3.4 Natural hazards
    Within Christchurch there is risk from a number of natural hazards including:
    • possible sea level rises;
    • erosion of the coastline and rivers;
    • erosion of the Port Hills;
    • flooding from the rivers and the coast;
    • damage caused by high winds;
    • earthquakes; and
    • fires in rural areas….

    Furthermore, a recent Plan Change deleted the section requiring a 50 metre setback from the Heathcote river which was intended to “minimize the risk to buildings and infrastructure from liquefaction.” they wanted that land for “intensification”.
    Someone got that really wrong.

    Surely, any normal risk assessment must recognize that earthquakes are potentially catastrophic and come without warning. Rising sea levels on the other hand are not a problem and indeed the tectonic plate movements are more likely to determine sea levels in one hundred years time than sea level rising from supposed Anthropogenic Global Warming.
    So why do our Councils quite consistently rank rising sea levels as such a high risk natural hazard, given the much more serious and more likely immediate hazards we face from our location on the “Pacific Ring of Fire”?

    Once again our plan writers have made their own determination of what constitutes “an inconvenient truth” rather than the real risk of the “truths” the City is currently having to deal with.
    I can only conclude that Council’s officials and advisors have accepted the mantra that “Anthropogenic Global Warming is the most serious risk facing life on the planet”. This deep-seated belief means that any hazards connected to the AGW theory must pose the greatest risk. To rank earthquakes above rising sea levels means accepting that Al Gore, Missy Higgins, Danny deVito, and Cate Blanchett may have got it wrong. And what would our own Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences know?

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  8. dion (95 comments) says:

    Owen – not to mention Lucy Lawless.

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  9. Manolo (13,755 comments) says:

    I have no idea why the Dom Post keeps this pathetic writer as a columnist. Armstrong is a very poor commentator (on top of being an unabashed Green Party supporter.)

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  10. Peter (1,712 comments) says:

    Basil wreath for civic stupidity: First equal: the murderous bus lanes on Manners St

    Agreed.

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  11. David Farrar (1,894 comments) says:

    Actually I catch several buses a week in Wgtn.

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