The “Decade of Whaleoil” series: Phil Goff the everlasting

Decade of Whaleoil

Decade of Whaleoil

June 10 2015 marks the day Whaleoil has been publishing for ten years.   I can’t account for the earlier weeks and months, but there haven’t been any days without content for close to a decade, that’s for sure.  I thought it might be fun to go back through the videos and relive some interesting moments in politics.

With Goff wanting the Auckland mayoralty, this video will become relevant again.  Here’s Whaleoil’s push for Phil Goff to replace Helen Clark.
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About time, Key fires warning shot at Auckland Council

My good friend John Key has fired a warning shot across the bows of Auckland Council.

NBR reports:

Prime Minister John Key says Auckland Council needs to take a step back from its ambitious Long Term Plan and look at what its primary responsibilities really are.

Mr Key told a Property Council breakfast the government is not happy with the council’s plan to spend half of the billions of dollars proposed for public transport over the next 20 years on heavy rail and a direct train between the city and the airport.

“The city rail link, although expensive, needs to go ahead, but outside of that the council needs to concentrate on spending money on building more local roads to provide infrastructure to greenfields housing areas where people will actually live.”

He says on the analysis the government has done, the council claims it will spend $2.4 billion on roading and public transport over the next three years. “Even with the $2-3 a week levy on ratepayers and businesses, which is a fancy name for a rates increase, the council will only spend $1.9 billion. Auckland is growing at boom levels and the council cannot afford to be spending less on transport.”

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Mental Health Break

Stick Len’s rail loop, here come driverless cars

As I said earlier this month driverless cars are the future, not stupid stuck on rails trains.

Don’t get too attached to your steering wheel and brake pedal because self-driving cars could be hitting our roads sooner than you think.

The first privately-owned driverless vehicles could start appearing in New Zealand in as little as two years, once European manufacturers start bringing them to market, Transport Minister Simon Bridges says.

Bridges is in the German city of Leipzig to attend the International Transport Forum’s annual summit, where a lot of the talk has been about the rapid pace of driverless car technology and how it could dramatically reduce the number of vehicles clogging up our roads.

Alexander Dobrindt, the German Federal Minister of Transport, arrived at the summit on Wednesday in a self-driving BMW and predicted the technology would start rolling off German assembly lines as soon as 2017.   Read more »

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Map of the Day

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Skin Colour of Current Heads of State


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David Cameron makes extension of charter schools programme key to his government

In David Cameron’s speech to the Queen he made a focus of education and the expansion of their charter schools programme.

The second big focus of this Queen’s Speech is championing social justice. That starts with education: a decent schooling for every child, no matter where they’re from. Our school reforms in the last Parliament were bold; one million more children are now learning in good or outstanding schools. In this Parliament they will be bolder still: taking over and turning into Academies not just failing schools but coasting ones too, as part of our new Education and Adoption Bill; opening not just a few more Free Schools, but 500 more.

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Hamas tortured their own citizens

Amnesty International, normally attacking Israel, has instead released a report on human rights violations in Gaza by Hamas, against their own citizens.

Amnesty International said in a report on Wednesday that Islamist Hamas committed war crimes against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip during last year’s war with Israel.

A ceasefire last August ended 50 days of fighting between Gaza militants and Israel in which health officials said more than 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed. Israel put the number of its dead at 67 soldiers and six civilians.

“Hamas forces carried out a brutal campaign of abductions, torture and unlawful killings against Palestinians accused of ‘collaborating’ with Israel and others during Israel’s military offensive against Gaza,” the human rights group’s report said.

A Hamas spokesman criticised the report as being unfair, unprofessional and not credible.

“The report is dedicated against Palestinian resistance and the Hamas movement … it deliberately exaggerated its descriptions without listening to all sides and without making an effort to check the truthfulness of details and information,” said Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman.

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Auckland Council trying it on

Transparency should be a matter of course for Local Government.

Every cent of expenditure should be published and the way the accounts are prepared should be clear. Right down to the amount of depreciation and asset values (which should be provided in list with identifying references).

The Council should show all debts including the little short-term loans that the Council provides itself interest free from different parts of the ledger. We want to know just how rotten the state of affairs are.

Auckland Council has always preferred to keep its accounts private. Mostly because they know their excessive expenditure and huge debts will raise hackles.

So what do they offer up? A chump’s two-bit parlour trick.

Auckland Council is entering a new era of openness by publishing details about the spending of ratepayer money, says chief executive Stephen Town.

He says the first publication of details of contractors and suppliers last month was part of a bid to give ratepayers better information about how the city is run.   Read more »

Sign of the Day

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Photo Of The Day

BFF's

“I Am His Hands. He Is My Eyes.”

Blind Mr Haixa scales a tree with the help of Mr Wenqi, so that he can find fresh cuttings to plant in the ground.

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