Saturday, January 31, 2004

Hang 'em high 

The enquiry into Helen's mate Ross's spending has always been a joke - albeit a costly and unfunny one. But this is ridiculous:

Audit Office spokesman Robert Buchanan said: "During the inquiry phase, we interviewed the CEO and general counsel/company secretary of TVNZ about the specific matters that are addressed in chapter 4 of the report. No interviews were necessary of executives of NZ Post or IRL".

How can you 'investigate' the legitimacy of forking out cash to a mate without interviewing colleagues of the time? Do we know what the 'legal consulting' consisted of? Did it warrant over $100K? Did Ross have carte blanche on the NZ Post cheque book? If so - should the CEO at the time be dragged over the coals?

The whole thing reeks, and it speaks volumes about the media that Winston makes the front page, and this has been swept under the carpet.

At times I hate myself for looking forward to question time - but I do, and any relevant highlights will be posted here in due course.

Wage war - win peace prize? 

Dubbya and little Tony have both been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. I'm not denying that their actions will ultimately save lives (add your own 'make the world a better place' cliche here), but the Nobel Peace Prize? Nup.

Friday, January 30, 2004

Are the 'silent majority' finding their voices?? 

I just happened across an interesting couple of lines hidden at the bottom of a Herald article on 'that Brash speech'.

  "A phone poll by the Dominion Post newspaper found more than 2200 of 2600  respondents backed what he had said."

I don't know how the poll question was phrased, but if the first political polls of the year mirror that kind of reaction, the National Party goal of 30% support will soon need to be revised upwards.

Thursday, January 29, 2004


Cast your mind back to the tough talking from Tariana Turia, stating categorically that she would not roll over on the Foreshore and Seabed policy.

Well, over she has rolled. Tomorrows news will note that she will 'abstain' from the Foreshore and Seabed vote to stay true to the wishes of her Wanganui Hui (and presumably with the permission of Labour Party strategists who know the legislation will still get through, and see this as a tidy way to defuse a potentially nasty stand off).

For making 'your stand' by not voting, read, standing by and watching as legislation you so vehemently oppose goes through. It really is gutless tripe. The people she purports to represent should see this for what it is, a face saving nod and a wink to the Foreshore and Seabed policy. They may need to look elsewhere for some genuine representation.

'Sexed up' reporting and fack all else 

When a TV network becomes self appointed public prosecutor (or persecutor as the case may be), bad things can happen. Whilst nowhere near as tragic, or on the same scale, a lesson for TVNZ to be sure.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Majoritarian democracy, it seems simple, but is it too simple? 

Don Brash has quite clearly drawn his line in the sand, to see it, you will need to head 200 miles off shore. One New Zealand, no buts or maybes. "But I believe in plain speaking. So let me be blunt." said Dr Don, and he certainly was, click here for the full text of his speech to the Orewa Rotary Club.

This speech could strike a very positive note with what he has previously described as the "silent majority". Particularly for those who feel that a disputed reference to Sovereignty in a Treaty signed over 150 years ago can not over ride majoritarian democracy in modern day New Zealand. It is certainly appealing to think that we could go down this road and simply move on, but is that realistic?

Clark has come out and critiqued the speech labelling it as "divisive". Steady on Helen, patently separatist policies also tend to be divisive. When you can demonstrate that one group receiving more than another due to the colour of their skin is not divisive, I'll take you seriously. Perhaps you are waiting to turn us into a republic before you address broader constitutional issues?

Again I go back to what I think everyone is missing, sort out the Foreshore and the Seabed, and what's next?? The Treaty was designed and signed to establish a colony, a co-habitation agreement between a small group of people. How can that make its way into modern day policy making on issues a specific as health, education etc?

There can be no denying that injustices occurred and need to be addressed, wrongs need to be put right before we can move forward. But to have lawyers and radicals cynically manipulating the Treaty does no one any favours. Does any person or group have the authority to legitimately represent the interests of ALL MAORI? That would help, rather than disparate and overly 'legal' case by case consideration of each possible claim.

That is something for Maori to do, establish a single entity to represent them in front of the Crown. Then we would be a lot closer being able to sit together and sign off the one big 'grievance' - and that is the injustice inflicted on Maori over a sustained period - it is not as specific as a single slice of beach, a road, a right to a hip operation.

And anyone who can define the "principles of the Treaty of Waitangi" for me, please do. There is a long way to go on this one - but one speech does not a democracy make.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

As pointless as it is gross 

So Marion giggled her way through a sex shop looking like an embarrassed muppet, but honestly, what do these talk fests really achieve?

Small businesses have representative bodies that are quickly and routinely dismissed by this Government as extreme. So rather than "engaging in the process" with these groups, they send Boo Boo to get cuffed up - brilliant.

Marion Hobbs, cuffed up in a sex shop, someone take me to my happy place now.

Maybe this is why Helen hasn't put the boot in 

I was curious as to why our almighty leader was surprisingly sympathetic to Winston, and then it clicked. She may have to apply the same principle to one of her mates in the very near future...

Not the start they were after 

The National Party has started 2004 in much the same way as it has performed for the past few years. As much as I hate to admit it, at the moment, these guys just don't 'do politics' as well as the left.

The result is more out of synch announcements and back tracking when they thought (or now, as they never thought) they had scored a king hit on Winston.

Would anyone in the Labour Party decide to appeal to the speaker without first seeking approval from Helen? Me thinks not.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

God I'm looking forward to this year 

Tariana is digging her heels in and Dr Don is riding the this is seperatist policy wave.

The Greens have decided that if Labour are going to lose the Maori vote over the foreshore and seabed, well hey, they may as well pick it up, and why not?

And United Future couldn't get their half dozen remaining supporters together in time to decide which way they will swing on this one...

It's late on a Sunday night and now is not the time (for me at least) to delve into the legitimacy of the various policy positions, but saddle up, this year is going to be fun.

What price an election in 2004?

Saturday, January 24, 2004

TVNZ making a meal of it 

TVNZ, Susan Wood in particular, started quite well when they launched an assault on Winston Peters. But in the space of half an hour, Winnie was coming back. This article in the Herald is quite a nice wrap of the opening exchanges. All in all, bloody good tele all round.

But on Friday, TVNZ lost the plot. In what was supposed to be another 'interview' with a key witness, I can't help but think all that was missing was the script in front of them. 'Genny', the staff member with no axe to grind (but quite happy to put the knife in) had certainly read it thoroughly prior. You can see the Holmes interview called "More claims against Winston Peters" via nzoom. It could just as well be titled "The Holmes show have their first crack at a real life court room drama".

They can certainly coach a witness, but I thought they came out of this looking more than a touch desperate.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Exporters relax, Phil's optimistic and Mike has "options" 

I don't know how plainly they have to put it, but the Yanks are not sounding like the very, very, very good friends that diplomatic speak would have you believe.

As for a remedy for the crippling dollar , still waiting Dr...


My Right was not born confrontational, but is always susceptible to being baited.

In a recent post objecting to the Bush State of the Union address, No Right Turn derides Bush's non justification of the war in Iraq (I'm mixed on that one), is ansi re the Patriot Act (no argument there) and then objects to making the tax cuts permanent (Georgie Boy certainly didn't hold back - granted).

Then adds this gem, "make the tax cuts permanent (yeah, rob from the poor to give to the rich!". Not many things make my blood boil more than simplistic and cantankerous one liners about tax cuts (tax relief).

I don't enter arguments I know I'm not going to live long enough to finish, i.e. How should the world be structured? Socialism, Capitalism, something else? But if you want to crusade to turn the world into a global kibbutz, fine (crazy, but whatever flakes your pastry). But please do better than "rob from the poor to give to the rich".

How does taking less of what someone has lawfully earned off them equate to illegally stealing money off a disadvantaged person and back handing it to a wealthier person? Take the cliché value, emotion and 'Andertonism' out and look at the words. That is how you are describing reducing tax rates, and I think it is shite.

All he forgot to do was invite Kev Roberts to munch with him 

What is it with the media and their fascination with who eats with who and who gets the tab? I would like to think that sensible thinking Joe Public has bigger fish to fry (sorry, too easy). All news sources are currently dining out (sorry, but that's money) on Winston getting his fish and chips for free at Kermadec during the Scampi Industry inquiry.

If Peter Simunovich had corruption in mind, surely to god there are slightly brighter ways of going about it than shouting someone kai - if Winnie had a grand in notes as he walked out the door, that might be different. But he didn't - for gods sake, let it go.

The thing that is interesting is the pickle that Winston is getting himself into now as he tries to justify the 'doesn't need to be justified'. Conflicting accounts of the exact details of the evening in question are dressing this one up as some sort of major conspiracy, it's not. Ill advised? Certainly. Criminal? No.

Dinner, Viaduct, Night-time - anyone surprised than Winnie can't remember the exact details?

Education debate - I'll give you the other side and leave it to you 

Y Schpelling Dunnit Madder

Thursday, January 22, 2004

State of the Onion - bloody funny 

I haven't caught the speech or the transcript of Bush's State of the Union address yet, but this pictorial send up on The Onion is probably not too far from the mark!

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

The UN - worse than toothless, they can't even speak 

Anyone who screams 'unilateralism' and accuses George W as being a modern day Caesar (good article in The Independent by Chris Trotter pp 15 - not available online) - should look at this article about the goings on in Zimbabwe and ask themselves whether or not there is a viable alternative to seeing wrong and getting on in there and getting your hands dirty. If there is an alternative, I don't think it's the UN - and please don't email me about the motivational effects of crude oil, this is about the effectiveness of the UN - not the justification of the war in Iraq.

Either we give a toss about what happens in the world collectively, or we don't. If the UN can stand by and simply 'tut tut' while this is going on makes me really wonder how effective they can be. This is shocking, Mugabe is in the same league as Saddam - for gods sake, lets be rid of him.

This is well considered and deserves a genuine response 

If Education Minister Trevor Mallard can read this article re the NCEA in the Herald and not respond he is even more breathtakingly arrogant than I have long feared. John Morris, headmaster of Auckland Grammar School, knows a little bit about education.

Synopsis of his editorial if you're in a hurry is, NCEA = ideological dross that dumbs down our kids, but some of the not so smart kiddies are feeling a bit better about themselves as a result (Mr Morris is a little more in depth and constructive).

Trev, I hope you can do better than the snide and dismissive 'I know best' press releases of late. Either way, if you have the balls to publicly justify your bulldozer implementation of demonstrably flawed policy in the face of constructive feedback from a professional at the sharp end, I'll happily post it here.

Looking forward to it, but not holding my breath.

Mediacow is a gone burger 

So I was right and the sad news is that Mediacow has packed it in. I certainly enjoyed the emissions, and the cow assures me that the absurd prospect of a fart tax played no part in making their decision....

MediaCow signs off

What the hell was in them before? 

McDonald's is under pressure to drop the fat content and portion sizes on their menu in the State's in the face of increasing obesity law suits. It appears that the man with the big red boots has been forcing Big Macs down some American big rigs throats in their sleep again...

Why the hell they should have to do this I don't know, soon it will be illegal to make a car that goes over 100km.

But the bit that tickled me was, responding to a Canadian judgment, "McDonald's recently launched a marketing campaign to explain that it has a new recipe for Chicken McNuggets and now makes them with all-white meat." Be sure to look out for actual red meat in your next Big Mac when you are busy becoming an obesity victim.

If you think Australian Idol hurt.... 

It's confirmed, anything to do with New Zealand Idol, and I mean down to the tea they are drinking or disco biscuits they are taking, is going to be in your face for the next few months. As much as I hate to add to the exposure in this forum, I will despair once and let it go...

NZ Idol - saturate me

Today - someone dresses as a muppet (kind of), and gets treated like one, and in a remarkable expose by Stuff is genuinely surprised. Bless him.

Footnote - although not a fan of the format, I do think little old NZ could throw up some remarkable and incredibly diverse talent - lets hope so.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

For those who can stand more than a sound bite 

My post earlier today prompted me to revisit a speech by Simon Upton to the Knowledge Wave Conference in 2003. It is a quite weighty, but admirably neutral and constructive peace, delivered before the High Court decision on the Foreshore and Seabed. It seems more relevant now than ever.

Anyone with an interest in matters constitutional, and who believes that the Foreshore and Seabed debate overlooks addressing the crux issue of nation building and establishing a modern day New Zealand, would be well advised to print it and take it home for a peruse. The relevant text is largely found in the middle third. Here's a taste:

"The truth is that the Treaty is shipwrecked between three bodies - Parliament, the Courts and the Waitangi Tribunal, none of which can claim, simultaneously, the authority, the legitimacy and the public respect needed to point the way forward. So my first practical proposal is very simple. We must -

* carve out a space and find the people who can bring this debate back in touch with the public at large and propose solutions that an overwhelming majority of New Zealanders not only feel they can live with, but solutions that will come to be actively grasped as the basis of our nationhood."

Defining New Zealand, not just the beaches

This one has legs, sadly 

It's bound to be the defining issue of 2004 and no doubt there will be numerous posts about it here and elsewhere. My overriding feeling relating to the foreshore and sea bed debate is already one of sadness, regardless of the outcome.

No one is coming out of this one feeling good. If Maori establish full legal title (ownership), a few Maori in a position to reap the benefits will make plenty of cash. The vast majority of Maori may get a discount for their dip at the beach at best.

All Maori will cop a largely silent resentment from other New Zealander's who had nowt to do with the Treaty themselves - but are starting to get the impression that they are in some way personally responsible for past wrongs and should feel like begrudgingly welcomed guests in their country of birth.

If Maori do not establish full title, a large number of Maori will continue to feel robbed. The familiar names will continue to scream injustice and the ongoing bitterness will continue for some time.

Any way, plenty more to come on this one, I just hope the media take a responsible approach to a hellishly sensitive topic. Any sensationalism by politicians or media will be loudly scorned here.

It kicked of for 2004 with the Waitangi Tribunal foreshore hearing at the cake tin today.

Foreshore debate 2004, round one of many

Monday, January 19, 2004

One for the conspiracy theorists out there 

A 911 widow has is about to file a civil action against George Dubbya for "failure to act and prevent" the worst attacks on the US since Pearl Harbor. Whether or not this is a goer remains to be seen - I'll keep you posted.

Either way Kev Costner is probably planning his next 'JFK style epic' as we speak, only perhaps this time animated with Hank Hill as Dubbya.

GWB in the dock?

Sunday, January 18, 2004

The script reads well - let's wait and see how the production goes... 

John Tamihere has issued a bold challenge to what he perceives as nepotism in State funded Maori organisations. I can't help but like the way this guy goes about challenging what he sees as old school and 'in house' ways of doing things by certain Maori institutions trying to achieve modern outcomes (with modern tax payer funding). This item will be revisited when the findings of this pilot are released, let's just hope these findings are not kept within the whanau.

Tamihere promises no more nepotism

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Did things get a little hot in the kitchen? 

Media Cow appears to have made a sudden, and uncelebrated exit from the bloggosphere. This quote now stands alone on the site, "Lord Jones is Dead, Journalism largely consists of saying 'Lord Jones is Dead' to people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive."

Whilst Act denied to confirm or deny their involvement or association to Media Cow in Richard Prebbles "The Letter" late last year, Prebs promised more revelations and scandle to be revealed through this outlet, I would be very interested to hear if anyone has any insight on this sudden departure after enjoying such immediate high profile. Feel free to contact me with any theories, the more outlandish the better!

Media Cow or Online Hamburger?

Seriously Jim, even for you this is tenuous 

The people's poet (if you're from Wigram that is) Jim Anderton came out with a revelation this week - public policy costs money. That is the sort of insight that years in the chamber gives you.

In a press statement on Friday talking about research into the drug 'P' and the likes, Jim said; "This sort of research, and the programmes arising out of it, are vital and yet would be imperiled by a National-led government determined to hand out massive tax cuts to those already on high incomes".

Two things Jim, lowering tax rates reflects a government taking less of what is mine to start with, it is no hand out. Secondly, I would like to see the effect that decreasing the top tax rate has on the overall tax take and compare that to the daily welfare spend. It is scary to think that this sort of mentality is on the Government benches and also begs the question as to how big does a surplus have to be to fund research into this horribly destructive drug.

To link research on drugs to tax cuts shows the Progressives (that's what they are called by the way) policy for 2004 is, if you are earning 60K or more, you are a drain on society, stop this wealth creation nonsense and come back to the commune.

There's a link to the whole statement below if you can stomach it.

You earned it, now give it me or you'll end up on P

Thursday, January 15, 2004

It takes a real prick to make me agree with Mark Burton 

How the hell does Keith Locke get so much air time? Yesterday was the "un-winnable" war in The Herald, and today it is US planes landing in Christchurch. I'm all for someone saying what they think, representing the people etc.. But this guy says "I object" more times than a frecking lawyer. At least Burton brushed him off like the ally he is (when required). When election year comes around and the Greens need to establish a unique position and identity (and Labour may need the numbers) - this sort of mandatory press release (usually found on Scoop alone, but somehow Keith is mainstream fodder at the moment) could actually get interesting.

Give me some gas, and let me the hell out

I think he is onto something... 

When there's not a lot going on, I think a lot of editorials are better off for it. Try Garth George's theory that we are (or at least should be) responsible for our own actions. In between the pining for the good old days of his youth and lamenting the lazyness of the new New Zealander - there is certainly a point worth making.

Garth George Editorial

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Putting it out there... 

Welcome to My Right, a Blog that will endeavour to provide an alternative view on the ordinary, extraordinary and occasionally infuriating goings on in little old NZ.

I have no media background, so although I do retain some journalistic integrity by default, perhaps here is my opportunity to lose it. I am an ordinary NZ'er, with a job, a flat, a student loan and more often than not, an opinion.

The site name may lead you to believe that the posts to follow are 'from the right' - you may be correct, I have never bothered to classify or pigeon hole my thoughts myself. My standpoint on all issues is liquid, based on an assessment of the information in front of me, not a predetermined standpoint. The title 'My Right' is more about me excercising my right to have a rant - and what better medium than a blog (I don't think I would keep my balance on a soap box - not my style in any case).

I hope you enjoy having a read. If it provokes a response, starts a dialogue or makes you think - bonus.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com