BREAKING: Williams v Craig – The Verdict [LIVE POST]

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The Jury are coming back into the court room.  The registrar has informed media that they have reached a verdict.

14:43 Jordan Williams is in court.  The court is waiting for Colin Craig to arrive.

14:46 Colin Craig has arrived.  The registrar has left the court to ask the judge to come to the courtroom.

Bruce the Wandering Whale in London

Let me preface this episode by stating that this stop on the whirlwind tour of Europe was primarily at my daughter’s request – I had no real want/need to go back to London, having lived there some thirty years ago. That said, I did enjoy seeing the places I spent most of my time back then.

The immigration queues were as bad (if not worse) than I remember. Back then, this poor Kiwi boy, travelling on a Kiwi passport could only join one of three queues: UK Passport Holders, EEC Passport Holders and Others. This meant that I was always the last one back on the bus, since everyone I travelled with seemed to have either a UK passport or a Patriality stamp.

So, the queue system has slightly improved. There are now only two: UK/EU Passports and Others. No guesses as to which was the longest queue. And unsurprisingly, the bulk of those in the Others queue were obviously from the Middle East. It took us about 45 minutes from joining the queue to getting through.

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Map of the Day

Even Trotter is using a photo of Little looking spastic

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WHY, OH WHY didn’t Andrew Little keep his mouth shut? Or, when asked by a journalist to respond to the political observations of his party’s former leader, just stick to the time-honoured current leader’s script?

“I’ve enormous respect for the wisdom of Helen Clark. Her record of winning three elections on the trot speaks for itself. Her political observations are informed by the experience and achievement of many years. Only a fool wouldn’t listen very carefully to her advice.”

If that wasn’t sufficient, then Clark’s remark about Labour needing to “command the centre” should simply have been endorsed. Something along the lines of:

“She’s quite right about that. When questioned, the overwhelming majority of people position themselves between the extremes of left and right. And if you don’t secure the votes of a very big chunk of these centrist voters, then your party’s chances of being elected to govern are next to zero.”

A statement of the bleeding-bloody-obvious, of course, but sometimes the bleeding-bloody obvious is what people need to hear. It reassures them that you, and the party you lead, are in tune with their own general view of the world. Nobody gets to become Prime Minister by making voters feel that the Leader of the Opposition is out-of-tune with their general view of the world.

And yet, that’s exactly what Little did. He described Clark’s bog-standard pol-sci observation – that, to win, his party must “command the centre ground” – as “pretty hollow”.

Pretty hollow!

Yeah, Angry Andy really doesn’t do surprise questions very well.   Read more »

Labour’s crisis crisis

Liam Hehir explains Labour’s crisis crisis.

In 1991, the Soviet Union unravelled.

Its empire had been lost, its constituent regions declared independence and its economy crumbled. After decades of failure, the will to preserve the Soviet state was exhausted.

Nineteenth-century America was bitterly divided by slavery. This eventually led that country to civil war in which more than one million people were killed. At times, the very existence of the country hung in the balance.

The 3rd-century Roman Empire found itself beleaguered on all fronts. With the assassination of the emperor in 235, the Romans were plunged into a half century of repeated barbarian invasions, rebellious provinces, civil wars, plague outbreaks and the economic turmoil caused by currency debasement, known today as “quantitative easing”.

In each case, the countries involved were facing critical challenges to their existing order. In other words, they each found themselves confronted with a “crisis”.

Some came through better than others. America survived her civil war and is better for it. Rome got lucky with some good emperors and managed to buy another century before its final collapse in the West. The Soviets’ crisis was too much for their rotten states to withstand.

Many of our opinion-makers seem to be of the view that New Zealand is in the grip of a great crisis. Looking back through the news this year, we have seen the proclamation of a manufacturing crisis, an agriculture crisis, a regional economy crisis, a trust in politicians crisis, a healthcare budget crisis, a mental health crisis, an income inequality crisis, a wealth inequality crisis, an obesity crisis, a teacher recruitment crisis, a log-supply crisis, a water crisis and a casual racism crisis.

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A Green finance spokesperson is like an ash tray on a motorbike

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The Greens have made the right call handing the crucial finance role to their co-leader James Shaw.

Crucial?

Sixteen months too late, perhaps, but the right call.

The “promotion” was part of the reshuffle necessitated by Kevin Hague’s resignation. Read more »

Photo of the Day

Burning oil wells in Kuwait, 1991. Sebastiao Salgado/Amazonas Images/Sony Pictures Classics

Burning oil wells in Kuwait, 1991.
Sebastiao Salgado/Amazonas Images/Sony Pictures Classics

Sebastião Salgado

Salgado is a photojournalist who seeks out the most moving, unsettling, perspective-shifting images of life on Earth. From his mind-swarming images of the Serra Pelada gold mine to his most recent epic labour Genesis, which documents the last pockets of undamaged nature and unmodernised peoples on Earth, Salgado shows secrets from remote places: things you thought were lost, crimes you never imagined.

Salgado is not just a great photographer. He may well be the last great photographer – at least in the classic, humane tradition, working in black and white, telling profound truths. You can leaf through any of Salgado’s books and every few pages be pulled up by a shot that seems like one of the best photographs ever taken.

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Why is this even a story?

The MSM have breathlessly reported a story about a man and  woman having a baby.

Why was this story newsworthy? Well the woman had a vagina and the man had a penis ( all pretty standard equipment for pregnancy ) They fell in love and fell pregnant after penis in vagina intercourse ( again all pretty standard and nothing to write home about.)

The twist is in the clothing they wear, the gender they identify as and the fact that the woman cut off her breasts and the man had silicon implants inserted into his chest so that he could have breasts.

Despite all this window dressing at the end of the day a man still fell in love with a woman had sex and created a child. A man did not give birth to a baby, a woman who cut off her breasts and got a short haircut did. A woman did not become a father, a man who got boob implants did. End of story.

They are the couple who made history last year when the transgender ‘father’ fell pregnant by the trans ‘mother’.

…The new parents, from Ecuador, have opened up about life with their new baby after becoming the first transgender couple to fall pregnant in South America.

Transgender man Fernando Machado (left) - who was born a woman - gave birth to a baby in June this year, pictured with his partner Diane Rodriguez (right) - who was born a man

Transgender man Fernando Machado (left) – who was born a woman – gave birth to a baby in June this year, pictured with his partner Diane Rodriguez (right) – who was born a man

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Cartoon of the Day

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Credit: Roger Price

Listen up pansies, you are standing for public office not playing knuckle-bones with your sister

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It seems there are a bunch of pansies out there, from Colin Craig to recent local body candidates who are all crying foul because..shock, horror, people are campaigning against them.

They all cry dirty politics. Listen up cupcakes…there is no such thing. There is just politics.

The latest cry-baby pansy pants is a candidate in Queenstown.

A high-profile Queenstown Lakes mayoral candidate has asked police to investigate an alleged “campaign” against him, saying he has no time for dirty politics.

Businessman Jim Boult, who is on the Hawkins Group board and is a former chief executive of Christchurch Airport, says he has laid a complaint with Queenstown police over an alleged campaign.

In a statement, Boult said over recent weeks he had become aware of actions “which may have had the intent of trying to influence the outcome of the election against me”.

He said he wanted a clean race and did not have time for “dirty politics”.   Read more »