Lowe for Albany

June 24th, 2016 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Auckland Future have announced:

Graham Lowe, highly respected former rugby league football coach and administrator, is to contest the Albany ward for Auckland Future in the upcoming council elections. He will join current Upper Harbour local board chair, Lisa Whyte as the second Auckland Future candidate.

Lowe coached the New Zealand Kiwis in the 1980s including New Zealand’s first win over Australia in 12 years in 1983. He went on to coach Wigan in their first championship win in 27 years during the 1986-87 British Rugby Football League competition.

According to Auckland Future chairman, Peter Tong, Graham brings a wealth of leadership experience to the team.

“We are delighted Graham has chosen to serve the city after such a distinguished career in rugby league coaching and administration. Decades of sport leadership can only benefit the working of Council at the governance level,” he said.

Graham said he was entering local body politics because the city needed strong leadership and a united team and he strongly supported Auckland Future’s aim to secure a centre right majority on Council.

“Ratepayers need to know what they are voting for and in Auckland Future they will get a team of councilors who want to cap rates, eliminate wasteful expenditure and work together collaboratively as a team. For the North Shore our first priority is to see Penlink brought forward as a matter of urgency.

Great to see two great candidates for Albany. Auckland needs candidates who will not vote for 9.9% rates increases.

English doctors want opt out for organ donations

June 24th, 2016 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Guardian reports:

Doctors will try to persuade ministers at Westminster, Holyrood and Stormont to introduce an opt-out system for organ donation to prevent 1,000 deaths a year because of organ shortages.

The British Medical Association will lobby the three parliaments to follow the lead set by Wales, which in December introduced presumed consent for organ retrieval. Under this system people who die in hospital are presumed to have consented to their organs being used for transplantation unless they have expressly indicated otherwise.

Great to see UK doctors voting for an organ donation system that will save more lives.

In NZ sadly some doctors seem to be against even an opt in system. You may have opted in by ticking your wish to donate on your drivers licence, but NZ doctors say they will refuse to even look at what your wishes are unless a family member ask them to.

I am mystified at how NZ doctors have ended up in such a different place to their UK counterparts.

Ombudsman backs former diplomat

June 24th, 2016 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The Government has rejected parts of a damning report into its handling of an inquiry into leaks from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Ombudsman Ron Paterson has told the Government it should compensate a former top diplomat whose career ended in tatters after he was targeted by the inquiry, which was instigated by the State Services Commission.

He has also recommended a formal apology.

The 2013 inquiry has already cost taxpayers as much as $1 million, including lawyers costs and fees paid to the woman who headed it, Paula Rebstock. 

State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie said on Thursday he did not agree with some of Paterson’s findings and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully stood by comments made at the time the inquiry was released.

McCully said the Ombudsman’s review criticised the steps taken in assessing the responsibility of particular individuals for “some very unprofessional behaviour” – but did not dispute that those behaviours occurred.

“My statement, made at the time of the release of the Rebstock report, referred to unprofessional and disreputable conduct but did not name any individuals. My statement was undoubtedly correct.”

The 2013 inquiry headed resulted in senior diplomats Derek Leask and Nigel Fyfe  being singled out , despite evidence the leaks that sparked it originated from within the State Services Commission itself. The person responsible cannot be identified because of suppression orders.

While they were not named in the State Services Commission-ordered inquiry, Leask and Fyfe were easily identifiable and their conduct was publicly  criticised by the State Services Commissioner and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully after personal emails were published revealing their opposition to restructuring of the ministry.

I make no comment on Leask and Fyfe specifically but there was definitely some disgraceful behaviour within MFAT at the time. The lowlight being calls being made directly to Phil Goff from an MFAT conference room.

In a statement, Leask said the 2013 findings against him and other MFAT staff had been rubbished by the Ombudsman.

“It is good to have the slur on my reputation removed. Today’s findings by the Ombudsman go beyond the vindication of my actions. The Ombudsman’s report suggests that the 2012/2013 SSC investigation was out of control from start to finish.”

Leask, a former deputy secretary of foreign affairs and New Zealand’s high commissioner in London, said It was a matter of great public concern that the SSC acted in the way it did.

In a statement, Rennie said he did not agree with all elements of the Ombudsman’s findings, in particular that in making findings relating to the investigation being outside its terms of reference.

But  he accepted that the way in which the investigation dealt with Leask “could have been better”.

Little playing coy on New Plymouth

June 24th, 2016 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Labour leader Andrew Little has been spending time in his old stomping ground – but wouldn’t be drawn on whether he’ll stand in the electorate again.

Little held a public meeting, ironically in the blue room, at the New Plymouth Club on Wednesday night.

He had attended the 2016 Citizens Awards at the New Plymouth District Council on Tuesday night and visited his former school, New Plymouth Boys High, on Wednesday ahead of the meeting.

However Little, who was soundly beaten by National’s Jonathan Young in the 2014 general election, remained tight-lipped on whether he would stand in the New Plymouth electorate in 2017.

“I haven’t made that decision, I have got to make that very soon but I haven’t made that decision,” he said.

Of course he won’t stand again. He got thrashed there last time.

He is looking for a safe seat. Almost certainly he is gunning for Rongotai.

NZ extremist jailed

June 24th, 2016 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

An Auckland man who distributed extremist videos, featuring footage of people being shot, beheaded and burned alive has been dragged from court screaming “Allahu Akbar”.

Imran Patel, 26, launched into the rant as he was jailed for three years nine months before Auckland District Court this afternoon.

“Tell John Key to stop being a slave to America and get out of Iraq. Allahu Akbar,” he shouted, while being restrained by court security.

It is understood to be the first person in the country to be sentenced over so-called terrorist material and the Crown said he had an “utter lack of insight and remorse”.

I hope once he is released, authorities keep a very close eye on him. Or buy him a one way ticket to another country.

In October, the Mt Roskill man sent text messages to 52 people with a link to an ISIS-made video, with accompanying words about revenge.

The montage showed 14 prisoners lined up before two men shot them in the head one by one.

“Each slumps to the ground after being shot”, the summary of facts said.

Patel received a warning from his cell provider the following day about the content of the message but went on to text a similar link 24 hours later.

The next video showed people in orange jumpsuits being beheaded by masked men and resulted in further censure by the telecommunications company.

On October 22, Patel was barred from sending messages.

His reaction was to get a new number and address the same 52 recipients.

“For those of you who complained [to the non-believers], remember that you’re a Muslim; please behave like one,” he texted.

So he went and got a new phone number just so he could keep sending out links to the terrorist killings. And he thinks it was un-Muslim to report his behaviour.

Patel has form. The Herald reported in 2014:

Imran Patel allegedly threatened senior members of the New Zealand Muslim Association, which owns the Avondale Islamic Centre in Blockhouse Bay Rd.

The alleged threats arose from tensions between two Islamic factions battling for control of the centre.

Patel and the imam, Abu Abdulla, were among those who had been barred from entering the mosque by the association.

Patel appeared at the Auckland District Court yesterday charged with verbally threatening to kill and/or do grievous bodily harm.

He threatens to kill. He circulates videos glorifying executions. I’m not that confident he is someone who will stop at words.

Oh actually he has gone further:

It can now be revealed that just over a year ago Patel was jailed for 10 months for holding a large knife to a driver’s throat and threatening to kill him while yelling an Islamic exclamation.

Patel gestured to the driver then ran across the road and held a knife – measuring 20cm – to the driver’s throat yelling, “Allahu Akbar” [Allah is the greatest], and, “I’m going to kill you motherf***er”.

So here is the challenge. This guy has not yet killed anyone, but he seems well on his way to doing so. How do we as a society stop him doing so?

General Debate 24 June 2016

June 24th, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

Brexit polls

June 24th, 2016 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

There have been nine polls since the shooting of Jo Cox. Six show remain ahead and three show Brexit ahead.

A simple average of them has Remain ahead by 46% to 44%.

If you break them into phone polls and online polls then:

  • Phone polls Remain 48% Brexit 44%
  • Online polls Remain 44% Brexit 45%

So I’d say the odds are in favour of remain but as always turnout will be key.

Very exciting to see an entire country voting on such a critical issue. The world awaits the result!

Kiwi kidnapped in Nigeria

June 23rd, 2016 at 4:12 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Prime Minister John Key said today in a press conference that there was no chance of the Government paying a ransom for the New Zealander being held hostage in Nigeria.

The Kiwi is also with at least two Australians, who were attacked on the outskirts of Calabar by gunmen who killed their driver.

Mr Key says it’s likely the kidnappers want money, rather than being part of a terrorist organisation.

But he says our Government has a strong policy not to pay ransoms.

Mr Key says paying a ransom would put a bounty on the head of any New Zealander who travelled to a dangerous part of the world, and would potentially make the situation worse.

It would sadly.

The Nigerian Government said it was throwing everything it could behind the operation to secure the release of a New Zealand man, four other expats and two Nigerians.

The group was kidnapped after their driver was shot dead as he was taking them to work.

They all worked for the Australian mining and engineering company Macmahon.

Nigerian Government spokesman Christian Ita said security services, the police and army were doing everything possible to ensure the release of the New Zealander and everyone else affected.

They knew where the group was being held, he said.

Nigeria is an extremely dangerous country to visit. There’s few countries I don’t want to visit, but that is one of them.

BNZ worried about Brexit

June 23rd, 2016 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

brexit

A reader sent this in. It shows how nervous global financial markets are if banks are warning they may have to suspend FX trading.

South Auckland Middle School vs other Decile 1 schools

June 23rd, 2016 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The South Auckland Middle School is a charter school and its student population makes it a decile 1 school.

So how has this school done against the average decile 1 state school for national standards. The data follows,. Note the SAMS data is for 2015 and the national average is for 2014 (as 2015 not yet available), but probably will not have changed much.

  • Year 7 reading 73% vs 58%
  • Year 7 maths 63% vs 57%
  • Year 7 writing 77% vs 51%
  • Year 8 reading 70% vs 62%
  • Year 8 maths 77% vs 51%
  • Year 8 writing 70% vs 52%

Again I remind people Labour has vowed to close this school down.

How network pricing may work

June 23rd, 2016 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

1466604294951

This graphic from Stuff gives a good idea how variable network pricing may work. The AA noted:

“This is a very different proposition to what we saw come out of Auckland Council last year with a proposed motorway user charge,” Irvine said. …

Motorists would receive a bill based on the number of kilometres they travelled on which roads and at what times.

The idea being that it would replace the petrol tax.  Like the AA I think it is a good idea. It is basically user pays rather than subsidies.

Another story that doesn’t reveal full state support

June 23rd, 2016 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Southland people are staunch and walk tall, but will struggle financially without speaking up, an Invercargill father says.

Invercargill residents Nathaniel and Kathrine Barrett, who work as chefs, are one of the reportedly increasing ‘middle-class poor’ families in Southland. 

They are looking to relocate to Christchurch or Dunedin for better hours and pay.

Invercargill Salvation Army Invercargill Corps officer Annette Bray said the organisation was seeing a growing number of people coming to them for help. 

“There’s a working class poor. More and more people are coming through.” 

It could be that there were two family members working but together they didn’t have a full time job, Bray said. 

“Twenty-five percent of people who come to us for help, somebody is working in the family. 

“Probably in days gone by, if someone was working in the family they were doing pretty well. But these days it’s not enough.” 

Nathaniel works about 20-25 hours a week, and Kathrine 30, but with restaurant clientele dwindling in the cold Invercargill winter they had fewer work hours. 

In a typical week, Kathrine would earn about $400 and Nathaniel about $360. 

Nathaniel said the Work and Income benefit had a $600 gross income cut-off point, which they earn above.

However, their weekly expenses topped $800. 

They sometimes could not afford their state home rent and they and their daughters, aged 1 and 2, may have to move in with family.

Nathaniel and Kathrine seem a good family, and I am sure it is very tough for them with such a relatively low level of income. But the article (as the media often does) doesn’t reveal how much state support they currently get. It would be:

  • Family Tax Credit $137/week
  • In-work tax credit $72/week
  • Childcare subsidy $500/week (if 50 hours used)
  • State house subsidy: $215/week (average for all state houses, unable to calculate for their actual house)

So even without them qualifying for a benefit, they still get a considerable amount of support from taxpayers.

General Debate 23 June 2016

June 23rd, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

No increase in teen cannabis use after legalisation

June 23rd, 2016 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Washington Post reports:

Rates of marijuana use among Colorado’s teenagers are essentially unchanged in the years since the state’s voters legalized marijuana in 2012, new survey data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows.

In 2015, 21 percent of Colorado youths had used marijuana in the past 30 days. That rate is slightly lower than the national average and down slightly from the 25 percent who used marijuana in 2009, before legalization. The survey was based on a random sample of 17,000 middle and high school students in Colorado.

The key data is for 2011 just before legalisation and 2015 afterwards. Basically flat at 22% in 2011 and 21% in 2015. The rate for ever used in their life also flat being 39% and 38% respectively.

Still await with interest other data on drug use and abuse and associated harms before and after legalisation. But this data is useful in showing teenage use did not increase with legalisation.

Gagging Councillors

June 22nd, 2016 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Changes to Nelson City Council’s Code of Conduct has the potential to gag councillors and turn them into spin doctors for the council, according to a researcher.

Massey University researcher Catherine Strong says a paper she published in 2014 found 10 councils from around the country had inserted phrases to state elected members could not criticise council, its policy, or actions.

Strong says Nelson has also re-worded its code in November, 2014.

The changes were similar to those made by councils she had studied for her paper, which she found had the potential to “fetter” free speech. 

Nelson City Council’s reworded code 5.10 currently states: “Elected members public statements expressing their opinion on matters before the Council shall not criticise the conduct of the Council, other elected members or officers of the Council.”

What nonsense. They’re trying to say a Councillor can’t criticise the Mayor. This would be like Parliament having a Standing Order saying MPs can’t criticise the Prime Minister. Any Council with such a provision in its code should scrap it.

Cultural snobbery?

June 22nd, 2016 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Danyl McL blogs on Te Papa’s purchase of Peter Snell’s singlet in an auction:

They shut down their award-winning publishing company so they could buy a fucking singlet.

Almost all his commentators of course agree with him. Putting aside the faulty logic (Te Tapa Press has not closed down), and comparing a one off purchase to ongoing costs, I do wonder if this is a sign of cultural snobbery – Peter Snell was just an athelete – that is not part of our culture and heritage and should not be funded by Te Papa.

For my 2c I reckon an exhibit that shows off Snell’s singlet and has a history of his running and gold medals would be hugely popular at Te Papa, and hundreds of thousands of kids would see it over time.

Another Green maths fail

June 22nd, 2016 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Nick Smith released:

Claims by the Green Party on contaminated sites expenditure expose how poorly they understand economics, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“Their claim the Government has underspent on contaminated sites clean-up by $32.6 million involves basic accounting errors that raise serious questions about their economic competence.

“It is a nonsense for the Greens to claim that the transfer of $11.3 million for the Tui mine clean-up from the annual appropriations to a multi-year one is a cut. The funding is identical but a multi-year appropriation recognises a particular project may be spread over a number of financial years.

Maybe we should crowd-fund a Treasury secondee for the Greens so they don’t make such basic errors.

Murphy scores the Auckland Mayoral candidates

June 22nd, 2016 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Tim Murphy at The Spinoff covers a recent Auckland Mayoral Forum. Most of the article is about Desley Simpson and if she’ll become Deputy Mayor, but he also scores the candidates out of 10 for their performance at the forum. His scores:

  1. Victoria Crone 8/10
  2. Phil Goff 7/10
  3. Mark Thomas 6/10
  4. John Palino 5/10
  5. David Hay 4/10
  6. Penny Bright 0/10 (a no show)

The haters of freedom of speech

June 22nd, 2016 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A petition to be sent to the Government demanding Mike Hosking be removed from television screens has now clocked up more than 14,000 signatories in just over a week.

Started by lawyer Dan Wayman the petition asks that Mike Hosking “be removed from public broadcasting at TVNZ”

I’m tempted to call these people cultural fascists.

First of all do they really think the bloody Government should decide who is and is not allowed to appear on television as a broadcaster?

Secondly they seem to hate views they disagree with, and want Hosking gone because he says things they don’t like.

This seems to be a phenomenon that mainly occurs on the left. I don’t recall 14,000 right wingers signing a petition demanding John Campbell be removed from public broadcasting.

If you don’t like what someone says, then don’t watch. Change the channel.

I think NZ is better when it has diversity of views on air – I think it is good both Hosking and Campbell are broadcasters.

But these cultural fascists hate views that are not their own, and think the Government should decide who is allowed to be on air. They can get f****d.

Speculation and spoilers: Game of Thrones

June 22nd, 2016 at 11:03 am by David Farrar

This post contains details of what is rumoured to happen in next week’s Episode 10, so do not read if you want that a surprise.

Read the rest of this entry »

The person who reported Mateen to the FBI

June 22nd, 2016 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Mohammed Malik writes:

Donald Trump believes American Muslims are hiding something.

“They know what’s going on. They know that [Omar Mateen] was bad,” he said after the Orlando massacre.

“They have to cooperate with law enforcement and turn in the people who they know are bad. . . . But you know what? They didn’t turn them in. And you know what? We had death and destruction.”

This is a common idea in the United States. It’s also a lie.

Firstly, Muslims like me can’t see into the hearts of other worshippers. (Do you know the hidden depths of everyone in your community?) Secondly, he’s also wrong that we don’t speak up when we’re able.

I know this firsthand: I was the one who told the FBI about Omar Mateen.

And he is not alone in this. In many countries the best source of information on radicalised Muslims comes from other Muslims.

Soon after Omar married and moved to his own home, he began to come to the mosque more often. Then he went on a religious trip to Saudi Arabia. There was nothing to indicate that he had a dark side, even when he and his first wife divorced.

But as news reports this week have made clear, Omar did have a dark outlook on life.

Partly, he was upset at what he saw as racism in the United States – against Muslims and others. When he worked as a security guard at the St Lucie County Courthouse, he told me visitors often made nasty or bigoted remarks to him about Islam.

He overheard people saying ugly things about African Americans, too. Since September 11, I’ve thought the only way to answer Islamophobia was to be polite and kind; the best way to counter all the negativity people were seeing on TV about Islam was by showing them the opposite. I urged Omar to volunteer and help people in need – Muslim or otherwise (charity is a pillar of Islam). He agreed, but was always very worked up about this injustice.

Good advice.

After my talk with the FBI, I spoke to people in the Islamic community, including Omar, abut Moner’s attack. I wondered how he could have radicalised. Both Omar and I attended the same mosque as Moner, and the imam never taught hate or radicalism. That’s when Omar told me he had been watching videos of Awlaki, too, which immediately raised red flags for me. He told me the videos were very powerful.

After speaking to Omar, I contacted the FBI again to let them know that Omar had been watching Awlaki’s tapes. He hadn’t committed any acts of violence and wasn’t planning any, as far as I knew. And I thought he probably wouldn’t, because he didn’t fit the profile: He already had a second wife and a son.

But it was something agents should keep their eyes on. I never heard from them about Omar again, but apparently they did their job: They looked into him and, finding nothing to go on, they closed the file.

So while he was not stopped, Malik did his best.

I had told the FBI about Omar because my community, and Muslims generally, have nothing to hide. I love this country, like most Muslims that I know. I don’t agree with every government policy (I think there’s too much money in politics, for instance), but I’m proud to be an American. I vote. I volunteer. I teach my children to treat all people kindly.

Our families came to the US because it is full of opportunity – a place where getting a job is about what you know, not who you know. It’s a better country to raise children than someplace where the electricity is out for 18 hours a day, where politicians are totally corrupt, or where the leader is a dictator.

Dr Malik sounds like a great American.

Geddis on Euthanasia

June 22nd, 2016 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Andrew Geddis writes:

First, earlier this month the Victorian Parliament’s Legal and Social Issues Committee tabled an extensive report on on its inquiry into end of life choices. This report proceeded the way that NZ’s Health Committee really should have done – it first examined how the State’s palliative care services are operating and what should be done to better improve this, before then turning to look at the issue of aid in dying. With regards that latter matter, the Committee concluded that:

“Assisted dying should be made available to adults with decision making capacity who are at the end of life and suffering from a serious and incurable condition, which is causing enduring and unbearable suffering that cannot be relieved in a manner they deem tolerable.

Suffering as a result of mental illness only does not satisfy the eligibility criteria.

Assisted dying should be provided in the form of a doctor prescribing a lethal drug which a person may then take themselves, or in the case of a person being physically unable to take the drug themselves, the doctor administering the drug.

The request to access assisted dying must be completely voluntary, properly informed, and satisfy the verbal request, formal written request, repeat verbal request procedure described [in the report].”

There’s a bunch of reasons why we should care what this Committee thinks. First up, it represents the conclusions of a group of MPs from a society that is (like it or not) pretty similar to our own. What is more, the report represents a cross-party near-consensus on the issue. The Committee consisted of three Labor MPs, three Liberal MPs  and one representative each from the Sex Party (yes – really!) and the Greens. Of these eight members, only one (from the Liberal Party) dissented from the recommendation. So you can’t just dismiss this report as the ideologically driven predetermined views of [insert whatever side of the political spectrum you disagree with].

It will be interesting to see what conclusions the MPs on the Health Select Committee reach.

So now that Canada has brought in a regime of legalised aid in dying, we’ve got a near perfect comparator for us as a nation to see if the claimed negative consequences of the practice eventuate. Will Canada’s introduction of aid in dying somehow harm the practice of medicine (or, at least, the practice of medicine in end-of-life situations)? Will it lead to elderly/depressed/disabled people being pushed by relatives or money-saving governments to end their lives? Will the suicide rate, especially for young people, trend upwards because of “mixed messages” about the practice? Etc, etc?

I agree Canada will be a good country to study to see what happens. While I support euthanasia in principle I am always ready to be swayed by evidence.

For the same reason I look forward to the results of Oregon and Washington legalising cannabis. Will it increase harm or make no difference?

General Debate 22 June 2016

June 22nd, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

Congestion charging for Auckland

June 22nd, 2016 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Simon Bridges announced:

Mr Bridges says it has found that achieving a step change in the performance of Auckland’s transport system will require a range of interventions.

“It concludes that while ongoing investment in new road and public transport projects will clearly be needed, greater use of technology and in the longer term, road pricing – or directly charging for road use, will also be part of the toolkit,” he says.

“The final stage of ATAP will look at what additional projects could be brought forward in the next ten years to support Auckland’s growth. If the benefits of early investment in these projects are significant, there may be a case for the Government and Council to make extra funding available,” Mr Bridges says.

Exactly how that funding could be provided would need to be considered after ATAP provides its final report.

“Auckland will need to accommodate an expected 700,000 additional people over the next 30 years. The emerging approach indicates a need to focus on ensuring transport enables and supports this growth, particularly through early investment in new growth areas in the north-west, north, and south of Auckland,” Mr English says.

“The approach also looks to better target investment to strengthen strategic road, rail, and public transport connections, as well as ensuring we’re making the most of the existing network,” he says.

Mr Bridges says the potential opportunities from current and future technology are exciting.

“ATAP is finding that by embracing intelligent transport systems early, we can position Auckland to make the most of any future benefits from connected and shared vehicles. Technology could also enable a progressive move towards road pricing.

There’s a lot of detail in the report dealing with both supply and demand issues. On the supply side it identifies further investment needed in roads, busways and rail.

On the demand side it says that network pricing should be considered, which is basically congestion charging. It means that you might pay to use certain network corridors, and pay more if using them at peak times.

I strongly support this. It is user pays. At the moment we have indirect user pays through petrol tax and licence fees. But the future will be and should be a more direct link between the roads you use and the amount you pay.

What is important is this is not used just to increase revenue for the consolidated fund. But as I understand it any transport revenue will remain dedicated for transport, and if direct charges come in, then indirect charges (petrol tax) may reduce.

This will be many years off, but it is good to see the Government moving in this direction.

Trump sacks campaign manager

June 21st, 2016 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, is leaving the campaign, following a tumultuous stretch marked by missteps and infighting.

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said Monday that “Lewandowski will no longer be working with the campaign”. She paid tribute to his “hard work and dedication” and wished him the best.

Two insiders told the New York Times that Lewandowski was let go.

Lewandowsky deflected any criticism of his approach, pointing instead to campaign chairman Paul Manafort. “Paul Manafort has been in operational control of the campaign since April 7. That’s a fact,” Lewandowski said, declining to elaborate on his dismissal.

You only sack your campaign manager when you’re in real trouble.

But he’s not the one who should have been fired. Trump needs to fire Trump.