Friday, December 24, 2004

What to do? 

Two meetings and that's it for the year. Not sure what the break will bring blogwise - but all going well, not much. It's been an interesting year - and a fun sort of a habit to develop - next year promises to be a thriller (well - we hope so anyways)....

It seems that there are enough of you out there that swing by, so My Right will be back next year, maybe even spruced up a bit.

My Right wishes every realist the least unsatisfactory New Year possible, to the rest of you, happy holidays.


Thursday, December 23, 2004

'Don Brashologist' - bollocks 

Alister Barry is a self proclaimed 'Don Brashologist', which is apparently the title for someone that simply does not like the man and has access to a publisher with a similar mind set to provide him with a soapbox for sharing his views.

Kevin List (from Stoop) caught up with Alister and asked him to scare the be-jesus out of Joe Public with what he thought would happen if Don Brash was elected as Prime Minister. Kevin and Alister then proceeded to put the boot in wherever possible - it is just as well that left boots don't hurt much. But one question and answer did rankle My Right:
Scoop: National seem to be doing their best to portray Don Brash as a man of the people – although he doesn’t really seem to fit the mould of past leaders such as Jim Bolger and even Jenny Shipley?

Alister Barry: No he doesn’t actually like ordinary people – I think he’s probably scared of ordinary people – most of our successful Prime Ministers have been concerned about ordinary people and felt for them. When Don Brash was Governor of the Reserve Bank it was very interesting because he knew his own people – that is financiers and those in the upper strata of society, and gave lots of speeches around the country explaining Reserve Bank policy to them.

He virtually never spoke to women or Maori who were of course the people who suffered from Reserve Bank policy. Neither did he ever speak to any group of workers – for example a trade union meeting or an FOL meeting - despite the fact that he spent most of the day sitting up there in the Reserve Bank building deciding how he was going to f**k with their brains. He was trying to create a level of fear, how was he going to control their behaviour. How was he going to stop them demanding wage increases – that is what he spent his day doing and yet he was never brave enough to meet with them.

To point blank declare that Don Brash does not like people is Philistine. There is also the fact that Alister does not seem to incorporate 'financiers' and the 'upper strata' as 'ordinary people' at all (profession and wealth itself does not characterise a man).

I have meet Don Brash, engaging and pleasant man. I have seen Don Brash on the streets working a crowd of working class New Zealanders, enjoyed himself and was well received. I have seen Don Brash deliver a speech to a group of toffs, comfortable in that setting and very impressive.

News flash Alister - people spend a lot of time talking to their peers - usually whether they like it or not. Why as Reserve Bank Governer was he obliged to press flesh? Does your Bank Manager whip around the community to ask Joe Pub what effects his mortgage rates are having?

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

EML Awards 

The Eating Media Lunch annual (at least I hope it becomes annual) awards was screened last night. The entire show was good humour, but the two highlights had to be:
The desperate celebrity award - Lesley Martin, "killing your own mother and then writing a screen play about it is showing real dedication".

New Zealander of the Year - Ahmed Zaoui - enough said.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Almost to 'clear' 

Douglas White QC has released his findings on the John Tamihere koha saga - and everything is looking a little too temperate to my mind. One Labour press statement states:
It was, of course, also alleged that John Tamihere accepted a $195,000 ‘golden handshake’ when he had previously said he would not accept it. This was not strictly a matter that Mr White was asked to consider, but the Report does make some relevant comments:

The payment was not a ‘golden handshake’ of the type that Labour campaigned against in the 1999 election.
To have a random and overtly political throw away line like that does leave the door open for people to view the report on the whole as being slightly charitable.

Labour have been quick to proclaim JT's incorruptibility - but not to the point where he can be reinstated to Cabinet. This seems a little strange.

The move to leave 2 Cabinet posts open for next years post election bartering have been well explained. But on the same day as JT is reported to be deeply hurt by the decision to leave him out in the cold - he and Hellzilla appear side by side in an uncomfortable victory dance.

With the Inland Revenue investigation still running and opposition parties still sniffing around - JT doesn't appear to be clear just yet.

Monday, December 20, 2004

It's not what you do... 

There is a good column in the NBR at the moment that sums up the year in politics, and looks at how things have panned out the way they have in terms of support. Jeff Gamlin does not unearth any great theory or science - but neatly sums up what My Right has long lamented - that Labour simply do politics better than National.

Or in his words:
"In their own ways, both prime ministers worked on the basis that how you do things in politics can be more important than what you do.

For Ms Clark, a cautious approach to how things are done can persuade voters that her policy objectives are also moderate in tone, when this may not be the case at all."
He calls Clark a "process politician", but it goes beyond that. The entire party live for politics - the game. Hence, educated adults are willing to enter the debating chamber and wave jandals around, laughing uproariously (looking like complete wankers and loving it) when mocking someone for something they themselves specialise in (makes good copy when TVNZ obligingly dine out on it though).

As Gamlin observes - nothing can better highlight the quality of the spin from Level 9 than the fact that Don Brash is the one ending the year with the "flip flop" label. "Closing the gaps" has gone, "need not race" is in - this isn't so much a u-turn as a particularly boozy waltz.

As an aside, the NBR also look at how Labour have been allowed to get away with this with almost zero impact in the electorate. Media: Why NZ media oppose business.

All a bit bleak really - or maybe just a melancholy kind of a day....

Friday, December 17, 2004


Off to do a bit of research on the Foreshore and Seabed. Looking to confirm that Fish and Chips taste better on the beach, along with some other trifling matters.

Back Monday.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Press gives National their election campaign message 

There is a dynamite editorial in The Press today that spoon feeds National their Election message for next year. It is cogent, concise and conspicuous only for its simplicity. There are a number of themes that will resonate with the prized 'centre ground' - 'Labour are making beneficiaries of the middle class via rampant redistributionist policy' should be an easy message for National to sell.

I'll resist the temptation to reproduce the entire thing here, but here are a couple of key paragraphs:
Cullen and the Government are unabashed redistributionists. They believe in taking from the inventive, productive, enterprising participants in the economy and delivering, via an army of bureaucrats, to those who are not. Cullen's preferred method of creating a "fairer" society is to turn as many people as he can into supplicants for government benefits of some sort or another, the calculation being that the grateful beneficiaries will reward Labour with another term in office.

The buoyancy of the economy has disguised the fact that the present front-bench are traditional profligate tax and spenders.

Cullen has been spending a good deal of his time recently playing down the size of the surplus and trying to douse calls for tax cuts. He has raised the old bogey that tax cuts could only be achieved by slashing spending in areas like health and education. Voters may at last be recognising that this is nonsense.
Full Editorial - "Awash in money"

Comments from a Just Left tax post 

Comments would have to be what My Right likes most about Blogging. A blog is a nice way for a political sort to throw up some ideas, it is the reaction to those ideas that is most satisfying.

In particular My Right has enjoyed a number of exchanges with Just Left (Jordan Carter) - and hopes that he doesn't mind me lifting an exchange of comments from a recent post of his. It appears that Left and Right types frequent his site:
[original post]Australian Income Tax Rates

From 1 July 2005 the following income tax rates apply in Australia:

0 to 6,000 - 0%
6,001 to 21,600 - 17%
21,601 to 63,000 - 30%
63,001 to 80,000 - 42%
80,001+ - 47%

Interesting contrast with our system, where higher income earners pay less and lower income earners pay more. On the other hand, Australia has compulsory super payments they have to make which we don't...

[comments]The aussies have a capital gains tax as well. The medical levy is the same as the ACC levy. The company rate is 30% so I guess like in NZ self-employed people can cap their income tax to the company tax rate. Tough cheese for salary earners. In aussie you get a tax rebate if you pay your own private medical insurance. This is the way of the future as is a low income tax-free band.

While just comparing tax rates in highly successful Singapore the rates for salaried employees is

0 to 20,000 Nil
20,001 to 30,000 4%
30,001 to 40,000 6%
40,001 to 80,000 9%
80,001 to 160,000 15%
160,001 to 320,000 19%
320,000 plus 22%

Posted by: Simon | December 15, 2004 06:46 PM

I'm in Korea paying 4% tax, there are also levies for pension and health which the employer is supposed to match dollar for dollar (though my employer pays the whole lot including tax, utlities and lunch for me)

Posted by: stef | December 16, 2004 03:05 AM
Read the whole thread here...

The Tax debate is subjective and ideological - but ultimately about balance. We all want the best health care on Earth - but do we want that at the price of complete redistribution? When Jim Anderton is advocating corporate tax relief - you know the balance is way out of whack.

P.S. Jordan, your recent comment re "pissing yourself laughing" if you cut taxes on me before the Election is uncommonly encouraging. I'm pleased you can see the funny side of those evil tax cuts. So please, if you do get another term - continue to laugh it up chuckles and give me some cash back!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Stay staunch Dr Sullen 

Dr Cullen's steadfast refusal to acknowledge that he is over taxing every single working New Zealander has finally gotten to the point that it no longer annoys My Right!!

It was a conversation with the bro, Always Right, that lead to this 'disposition adjustment'. Always is very representative of middle New Zealand with Mrs Right, the job, the mortgage and three Junior Rights. A liberal and socialist at heart, he has disagreed with My Right on many issues - but finally we are united on Tax.

Even Always now thinks Sullen is taking the piss, and Tax is firmly on the agenda as an election issue. Or to quote exactly, "nup, fuck it mate – next year just give me a pay rise".

So there you go - My Right can now listen to Sullen bang on about 'the social wage', Helen talk about 'tax cuts being spending' and smile knowing that this philosophical refusal to acknowledge the blindingly obvious represents the best chance of a change of Government next term.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

My Right has always enjoyed Question Time 

But I honestly don't know if I can cope with the spectacle (or debacle) that will be Margaret Wilson as Speaker. To call her pious is akin to saying that Allah can come across as a little sermonic.

Jonathan Hunt at least retains reasonable humour and is, by and large, even handed in his management of the House (a few big calls aside). It is almost impossible to imagine the white haired one in the position. The Clerk must be more than a touch anxious.

So the sisterhood add one more "female first" record to their collection. This has to be the most dire.
Govt to nominate Margaret Wilson for Speaker.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Great Man 

If ever there was a man that epitomsed 'work ethic' - it was Arthur Lydiard. Hopefully the tributes over the next few days will remind us all of what a contribution this man made to the world - not just to the world of sport.

He is considered by many as the father of recreational running and one of the greatest athletic coaches in history. I think of him as a person that believed that hard work could achieve pretty much anything, and then proved it.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Enforcement not the issue 

My Right, like many others, will be sparking up his last fag in a pub this evening. Having always been inclined to go outside for a fag rather than smoke inside, the new law tonight will have very little impact for me.

But change is afoot and today during question time Deborah Coddington asked:
12. DEBORAH CODDINGTON to the Associate Minister of Health: How does the Government expect to enforce the ban on smoking in bars, and what measures will be implemented to deal with patrons and bar-owners who flagrantly disregard the law?
I think this is missing the point - the Government is effectively legislating for a social change. 24 'enforcement officers' will be operating with the backing of every punter brave enough to stand up for themselves and others. It will be an interesting transition to observe.

And not without issue I am sure. Any regular of Courtenay Place will be able to envisage one hell of a mess outside The Sports Cafe - wait for half time of the first big game. In fact - not many of the bouncers on that stretch will be looking forward to tomorrow night at all. I would not like to tell a pissed up punter that I was going to seperate him from his beer before he could have a smoke.

It will be an interesting transition - but I don't think the interest will lie in the 24 enforcement bunnies. It will be how Joe Sensible and Joseph Pissy Eyed Public choose to handle things that will hopefully not create headlines.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

You have to eventually lose your rights - surely 

Marc Alexander has come out and said what My Right has long believed - that some people are just bad. Pure and simple - bad. Not victims, not in need of rehab - simply in need of a judicial working over. Try this miscreant for size:
The justice system now has the chance to get it right after being too soft on the Rotorua teen who recently had $43,000 worth of fines commuted to 300 hours of community service and then failed to show up, United Future law and order spokesman Marc Alexander said today.

"The courts were too soft on him to start with. They did him a huge favour and he still thumbs his nose at them and society.

"This yob said himself that he chose not to pay the fines because he 'hated the police'..

Nigel Caleb Wikiriwhi Dixon, 17, of Rotorua, was due to reappear in court on Monday for failure to comply with the community work order, but didn't appear and was being sought by the police when he handed himself in. He spent last night in custody and will appear again in court tomorrow. Dixon was given more of a chance than he deserved, Mr Alexander said, and has shown no willingness to reciprocate.

"It's well past time to get tough with this kid.

"His fine let-off meant that his community work was effectively worth $143 per hour! I'm sure many law-abiding students would love to waive their study debts at that rate over the Xmas break. Instead some punk accumulates a pile of debt and thumbs his nose at the police, our justice system and the Rotorua community. "This was Dixon's ninth court appearance this year. He's had a long history of offending while on bail ... Just how many chances does one guy get?
Surely at some stage society (through the Police and Courts) have to accept that this prick doesn't want to play and remove him until he does.

Pissed off 

A day after Clark tells me that she can't take less of the money I earn off me because it would constitute spending out of her personal pet project budget, comes this gem from Jim Anderton after being absolutely slammed by the auditor general:
Examples of how the money was spent included $2167 for two people to stay at the exclusive Tongariro Lodge, $260 for hiring golf clubs and a $350 dinner at the Kermadec Restaurant in Auckland.

ACT leader Rodney Hide said yesterday that Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton's so-called "jobs machine" was a disgrace. "Heads should roll for such an appalling administration of taxpayers' money."

But Mr Anderton said the state of the economy and low unemployment were proof his policies were working.

"This is not an evaluation of whether the grant fund has been successful or not."

The programmes had been set up with the intention of not letting them become too bogged down in bureaucracy and red tape.

"I'd be more concerned if people said this is a very bureaucratic system which is useless . . . I'd be more worried about that, to be honest."
To be honest - I'm too pissed off to write anymore. Jim - if your junket department is responsible for reallocated beneficiaries and global economic conditions - then best you get started on eliminating global warming - because you might as well claim that as well.

Helen - tax cuts are not spending - this is spending.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Clark on tax 

In the House today responding to another attack on her Governments over taxation she actually said this:
"Tax cuts are spending".
Nothing could demonstrate the mind set of Clark and co - they simply can not accept that tax belongs to the people that generate it.

More particularly - individuals make better choices for their own spending rather than the Government making those spending decisions for them and chewing up half the cash through bureaucracy.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Civil Unions 

My Right has resolutely avoided posting on the much blogged Civil Unions Bill, having no strong views either way. But one passage from Upton on Line did seem to offer a compact analysis of one side of the argument - as well as highlighting the fact that this debate is not a new one.

Recently departed French philosopher Jacques Derrida put his case thus:
“If I was a legislator, I would quite simply propose the removal of the word and the concept of marriage from the civil code. ‘Marriage’, an incarnation of religious, sacred and heterosexual values with the accompanying vows of procreation and eternal fidelity, is a concession made by the secular state to the Christian church and in particular its monogamous form which derives neither from Jewish … nor Muslim [traditions]. In suppressing the word and the concept of marriage, this equivocation, this religious hypocrisy which has no place in a secular state, there would be in its place a civil union, something contractual, a sort of generalised civil marriage, improved, refined, flexible and able to be adjusted between partners of whatever sex or number.”
You can't deny the lucidity of his argument - agree with him or not!

Don Brash - politician 

An encouraging sign for National types last night as Dr Don appeared on Face to Face with Kim Hill. In a fairly assured performance all round, in front of a rather subdued Hill, Brash showed signs that he might well be able to handle Helen in debates.

The best example was when Hill tried to attack the Orewa speech and suggested that surely Maori were in need of help. After Brash reminded everyone that Labour had almost broken copyright law in adopting the 'need not race' mantra, Hill suggested that Maori were clearly over represented in all the wrong statistics (missing the point completely - but that's another post) - Brash simply asked her, "are they just as able".

Hill was speechless (in itself an unusual but wonderful thing),so sensing a simple winner, Brash repeated the question, nothing. And that was it - potentially damaging issue shut down with a points victory.

Kim Hill is no Helen Clark - but promising performance none the less.

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