Boris Johnson and Michael Gove set about each other with knives

Michael Gove announced that contrary to his previous position he was going to run for leader, effectively stabbing Boris Johnson in the back. Boris, for his part, then said he wouldn’t stand either, effectively stabbing Michael Gove as well.

Boris Johnson’s allies warned there is a ‘deep pit in Hell’ waiting for Michael Gove tonight after the Justice Secretary stabbed his fellow Brexit champion in the back saying he was not up to being Prime Minister.

Mr Gove delivered a brutal verdict on Mr Johnson’s capabilities and questioned whether his ‘heart and soul’ were in taking us out of the EU, effectively ending his hopes of succeeding David Cameron, as he announced his own bid for Downing Street.

Damning his friend with faint praise, Mr Gove said he had ‘enjoyed working with him’ during the referendum campaign. But he said: ‘I realised in the last few days that Boris isn’t capable of building that team and providing that unity.

‘And so I came reluctantly but firmly to the conclusion that as someone who had argued from the beginning that we should leave the European Union and as someone who wanted ensure that a bold, positive vision for our future was implemented, that I had to stand for leadership of the Conservative party.’

He added: ‘I thought it was right that following the decision that the people took last week that we should have someone leading the Conservative party and leading the country who believed in their heart and soul that Britain was better off outside the European Union.’

As the blows rained down on Mr Johnson this morning, key backers Nick Boles and Dominic Raab defected to Mr Gove’s campaign and arch-rival Theresa May won support from Leader of the House Chris Grayling – another Brexit champion.

Within hours Mr Johnson, who had been the hot favourite, was using an event that had been intended as his campaign launch to rule himself out.  Read more »

Photo of the Day

The Great Seal that held a listening device. Other grape-pit size transistor mikes have become available as the space age has developed,some from Japan for as little as $14. Private detectives specializing in divorce cases use one which can be secreted in a man’s food. When he swallows it, the warmth of the man’s stomach powers it, and it emits a high-frequency beep which can be picked up on a receiver 300 feet away. Another pill, with a different beep, is secreted in the food of the mistress. If the operative hears the two beeps together coming from the same room, he knows the two are making more than beautiful music together.” Photo: NSA.

The Great Seal that held a listening device. Other grape-pit size transistor mikes have become available as the space age has developed, some from Japan for as little as $14. Private detectives specializing in divorce cases use one which can be secreted in a man’s food. When he swallows it, the warmth of the man’s stomach powers it, and it emits a high-frequency beep which can be picked up on a receiver 300 feet away. Another pill, with a different beep, is secreted in the food of the mistress. If the operative hears the two beeps together coming from the same room, he knows the two are making more than beautiful music together.” Photo: NSA.

 Great Seal Bug

 That Time Soviet School Children Bugged the US Ambassador’s Office

In 1946, a group of Russian children from the Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organisation (sort of a Soviet scouting group) presented a carved wooden replica of the Great Seal of the United States to Averell Harriman, the U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union.

The gift, a gesture of friendship to the USSR’s World War II ally, was hung in the ambassador’s official residence at Spaso House in Moscow. It stayed there on a wall in the study for six years until, through accident and a ruse, the State Department discovered that the seal was more than a mere decoration.

It was a bug.

The Soviets had built a listening device—dubbed “The Thing” by the U.S. intelligence community—into the replica seal and had been eavesdropping on Harriman and his successors the whole time it was in the house. “It represented, for that day, a fantastically advanced bit of applied electronics,” wrote George Kennan, the Ambassador at the time the device was found. “I have the impression that with its discovery the whole art of intergovernmental eavesdropping was raised to a new technological level.”

There it hung until one day in 1952, when a British radio technician in Moscow, listening in on Russian air traffic, discovered something unexpected on one frequency: the sound of the British ambassador, loud and clear, along with other American-accented conversations. Thus began one of many exhaustive tear-downs of the embassy. They were looking to find a listening device—and they did, along with a new frontier of spying. The culprit was the Great Seal.

Inside the Americans and British found a tiny device the likes of which they’d never seen. So alien was the Great Seal Bug that the only appropriate name for it seemed to be “The Thing,” after the character in the Addams Family (which was then still just a New Yorker cartoon). It was a retroreflector.

Read more »

Pointless lawmaking from nanny-state National

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You know a government is tried and in its third term when they start having light bulb and shower head moments. Nanny National just had one of theirs.

You are allowed to drive a car and you can have a baby, but apparently you now can’t get a suntan on a bed if you are under 18.  This kind of fiddling around the edges is exactly what you’d expect of a bunch of wet lefties. Apparently, people under 18 aren’t capable of making informed decisions.

Parliament has passed a bill that makes sunbeds R18 and changes the way serious infectious diseases are managed.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says there’s strong evidence that people who use sunbeds increase their risk of melanoma and other skin cancers.

“There is also evidence that children and adolescents are more sensitive to ultra violet,” he said after the bill had passed its final stage.

“This legislation seeks to protect this vulnerable group while balancing the rights of informed adults.”

If only that was true.

Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

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Credit: Roger Price

Feminists should be outraged by this conviction and sentence

I really don’t like inconsistency in arguments. Modern feminists annoy me because they talk about the importance of women’s rights yet turn a blind eye to how women are treated in the Islamic world. They are happy to attack the patriarchy of other religions, such as Christianity, but will not challenge Islam in any way, shape or form. Equally, feminist attitudes towards abortion, and their arguments that it is a woman’s right to choose and her body, need to be taken to the logical conclusion.

For their arguments to make sense they need to  be consistent. They cannot, on the one hand, praise a woman who had two abortions in one year and call her decision “brave” and her article about her experience a “truth bomb”, and on the other hand condemn a woman who, for the exact same reasons, killed her newborn baby.

As pointed out in the below opinion piece, the difference between what Emile Weaver did and what happens in late-term abortion clinics all over America, was only a few minutes. How is it that one act is legal  and applauded as a feminist act while the other is seen as criminal and punished severely?

Read more »

National quite happy to damage companies and devalue their brands

Perhaps the National party need to reacquaint themselves with their founding principles, which say:

To promote good citizenship and self-reliance; to combat communism and socialism; to maintain freedom of contract; to encourage private enterprise; to safeguard individual rights and the privilege of ownership; to oppose interference by the State in business, and State control of industry”.

Certainly, John Key and Sam Lotu-Iiga have scant memory of those principles despite being the leader and a minister in a National-led government.

The bill that will force cigarettes to be sold in plain packets is back in parliament and on track to become law.

It passed its second reading on Thursday after being on hold since 2014.

The government last month confirmed it was going to put it through, and unveiled the proposed new brown-green packaging which is similar to that used in Australia.

Prime Minister John Key said at the time plain packages could be on the shelves early next year.

The government first mooted plain packaging back in 2012, the year Australia introduced it, and the bill passed its first reading in February 2014.

It went to a select committee, which supported it, but the government didn’t want to take it any further at that time because it was worried about the possibility of costly legal challenges from big multi-national tobacco companies.

The Australian government was being sued at the time, but in December last year legal action by Philip Morris failed.

Read more »

Attacker opens fire outside American nightclub and is shot by victim with concealed carry permit

Last week an armed gunman opened fire outside an American nightclub. You haven’t read about it in the news because it was not a massacre and because it runs counter to the anti-gun-lobby narrative. Not only was it not a massacre, there was no loss of life at all. Unlike the situation in the Orlando gay nightclub, this nightclub was not a gun-free zone. Because of this, one of the victims was armed. He fired back and hit the attacker. Imagine if the men inside the Orlando nightclub had been allowed to arm themselves. Fifty people would not have died if that had been the case. In fact, the cowardly terrorist may not have even targeted that nightclub if he had known that his victims could shoot back.

On June 12, a Muslim terrorist attacked a gay night club called Pulse in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 and wounding 53 in a three-hour ordeal that was the nation’s most drawn-out mass killing, and the deadliest domestic terror attack since 9/11.

This past Sunday, exactly two weeks to the day after the Pulse attack, there was a mass shooting outside a night club in South Carolina. I’m sure you haven’t heard about it, and for two good reasons. The first reason is that the attempted murderer was unsuccessful in killing any of his victims. The second reason is because the attempted murderer was stopped by a concealed carrier at the club drawing his weapon and putting a bullet into the bad guy.

Read more »

National no longer transparent and open

It’s the natural progression of government. When they first come to power they open up all the previous government’s dirty laundry and they are all talking about open government.

But, as they create their own mistakes and start hiding the corpses, “open” government becomes a liability.

Opposition parties have accused the government of flouting the Official Information Act.

“This government is increasingly secretive and devious,” NZ First leader Winston Peters told parliament on Thursday.

“We have 10 outstanding complaints still with the Ombudsman, one dating back to 2014, which are serial examples of how a casual corruption is creeping in.”

He said his party had a witness to Ministry of Social Development staffers openly belittling the OIA.   Read more »

Can Andrew Little win next year’s election? No, says Brian Edwards

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My good friend Brian Edwards has come out of retirement from blogging again.

This time he is giving his considered opinion of Andrew Little’s electability in the 2017 election.

See, I think this Andrew Little is a pretty good guy. Here’s what I said about him just after I’d come to that conclusion: “Whether being good and looking good, whether being yourself and acting yourself are entirely compatible is not something I want to canvass here. But I do know that if you don’t ‘come across’ on television and radio your chances of political success are greatly and quite possibly fatally reduced.  Read more »

Corporate tax dodger NZ Herald finally pays what it owes

The NZ Herald recently ran a campaign, fronted by Matt Nippert, against corporate tax dodgers.

They accused all sorts of companies of various nefarious tax activities but never once called into question their owners and their proven tax evasion. Now they’ve finally given in and settled with IRD for more than $36 million they owed for their corporate tax dodging.

Australian publisher APN News & Media, which includes the NZ Herald in its stable, has reached a binding heads of agreement with the Inland Revenue Department to settle its alleged tax avoidance case and other disputed tax issues for $36.3 million – around half the amount that was in dispute.

Read more »