The Green Taliban cost us the blunt end of a Billion dollars, and counting…

That ‘nice’ Mr Norman and his Labour sidekicks¬†cost this country a fair amount of money

Of all the MPs who might have asked awkward questions about National’s state asset sales programme, few would have guessed it would be the leader of the party which would have happily sold the lot.

A year to the day since the NZX debut of Meridian, the largest of the partial sales, ACT leader David Seymour delivered his first question in the House on Wednesday, with the pace of a 13-year-old giving a reading he couldn’t wait to be over.

But in asking about the rising share prices of the former state-owned electricity companies, he raised an issue which every other politician now seems unwilling to ask out loud.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been accrued by investors since the sales, especially since start of September.

The issue deserves another public hearing, as since it became clearer that National would govern again, those who purchased the shares have seen their investments boom, as the market reassesses what they are worth under John Key.

Seymour meant to make an attack on just the Opposition for its attempts to undermine the sales through the threat of regulation, NZ Power. Instead he raised a wider point.

How much did the political folly – from both sides of the House – cost the taxpayers, who as Seymour pointed out, will have to make up the difference?

Well, we lost a cool bil in actual sale income for the government to use to, oh, I don’t know, assist with housing or child poverty,say. ¬†And all the investors that were scared away lost out on earning their share of the gains. ¬†Gains that are now going to the very institutional investors that the Green Taliban wanted to prevent getting fat at the expense of every day mum and dad investors. ¬† Read more »

The month that was (monthly blog ranking post)

Another month done and dusted.  After the crazy wild ride of the election, it was both nice and odd to have things quieten down.   From the perspective of someone like me who likes every month to be bigger than the one before, it was a bit tough to see the numbers come back.

School holidays are always softer.  Daylight savings always has an effect.  Long weekends also chew some of our stats  away.  Add that to the general fatigue around the media (just check the media and other blogs Рall show similar decline), and October was always going to be a tough month to keep the graph pointing up.

In the end, 2,000,000 visits is hardly something to be upset about, but my “4 million pageviews by Christmas” is looking a little hopeful – being a good 800,000 short.

Cam’s been talking me off a ledge all month. ¬†“Wait until the other side of Dirty Politics starts coming out”, he says. ¬†There seems to be a lot of background noise as to who Rawshark is since John Key stated he knows. ¬†I suspect your, and our, rest period maybe over soon as all the (political/media) pus will be lanced from that particular boil.

So the good news for both of us is that you’re going to have a good show again, and I’ll get to click the visit counter as you come through the doors.

Let’s have a look at the numbers, as we do every month. ¬† Read more »

Does John Drinnan actually read what he writes?

John Drinnan is a fool.

His latest column mentions the decision b the Press Council to open up membership finally to online media.

This is interesting because in current proceedings before the Human Rights Review Tribunal I have¬†told I can’t be a journalist because i’m not a member of a voluntary regime like the Press Council, but the lawyer ignored the problem that until last week I couldn’t possibly join because their constitution wouldn’t allow it.

I also had to battle that premise int eh High Court, but fortunately Justice Asher saw through that attempt, not so you would know it from the perspective of the Human Rights Commission.

The idea of expanding the Press Council’s reach has been around for years and was given a boost after the Law Commission suggested digital media should join a combined media standards organisation, in return for receiving legal protections available to journalists. Then Justice Minister Judith Collins – a close friend of Slater – quashed that plan.

However the Press Council has since gone ahead with a scheme to represent digital media and blogs under its own steam, and that was unveiled this week.

But the ethics of bloggers and the media in general have come under deep scrutiny since Dirty Politics was published. Neville said it was clear in Press Council rules that publishers could not be paid for editorial.

“There is a grey area now with so-called native advertising, which is meant to be quality journalism which stacks up on its journalistic merits, even though it is sympathetic to one party.”

There were questions about whether the Press Council should have jurisdiction over native content, or if that should be covered by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Dirty Politics author Nicky Hager said the Press Council was getting into complex waters judging digital media on the basis of individuals rather than articles, and deciding whether they were journalism or not.

“My fear would be what could happen is that unscrupulous blogs could be given credibility but not end up with any accountability.

“Sometimes people are publishing public relations, and sometimes journalism,” he said.

Read more »

Why the silence? Bludgers don’t want us to know how much bludging they are doing

Team NZ always asking for more

Team NZ always asking for more

The bludgers in Team NZ are being assisted by the government who is playing secrets over precisely how large the bludging is.

This is completely unacceptable.

If taxpayers are stumping up cash then we are entitled to know just how much extra corporate bludging that Steven Joyce is happy to fund.

The Government will not say how much taxpayer cash Team New Zealand have requested to help bankroll their next tilt at the America’s Cup.

Documents about public funding of the yachting syndicate sought by the Herald through the Official Information Act were either heavily redacted or withheld by officials acting for Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce.

Citing the public’s right to know how its money is spent by public officials, theHerald has lodged an urgent appeal with the Ombudsman.¬† Read more »

I really get annoyed with people in Wellington telling people in Auckland all about congestion

David Farrar once again decides to comment on Auckland traffic issues, proving at the same time his lack of understanding of Auckland’s transport issues.

Then again i shouldn’t be surprised because when he comes to Auckland he calls up and asks if I want to catch up for a drink at 6pm…usually at about 530pm. He is doing what a lot if Wellingtonian’s do…thinking Auckland is just like Wellington, an incredibly tiny shithole where everyone is 15 minutes from town. It isn’t…he has never contemplated the fact that in order¬†to do that I’d be driving at least 30 minutes each way in peak hour traffic to have a drink when I don;t drink with someone who has his head inside his smart phone conducting Twitter conversations with pinkos who aren’t his friends.

Auckland is large. But this is his suggestion…

I support user pays for transport. A congestion charge is the best form of user pays ‚Äď a market charge. A toll charge is also an efficient mechanism of making sure users of the transport system pay for the benefits they get from them.

So I don’t think the Government should rule out congestion charges or tolls for Auckland Council, or other councils.

Yeah good oh, David….and precisely where would you put this congestion tax? On motorway on ramps? On Motorway off ramps?

Let me tell you what would happen.

People would exist or join motorways where there are NO tolling facilities. So if you decide it is the CBD that is congested and so off ramps into the city centre should be tolled that would mean covering the following exits: Symonds Street, Wellesley Street, Nelson Street, Cook Street, Fanshawe Street, Stanley Street, and Wellington Street.

What would happen is those coming from the south would exit the motorway and any exit ahead of Symonds street including as far back as Greenlane but also Market road and funnel themselves down through Newmarket further jamming the streets in and around Remuera, Newmarket and Greenlane. ¬† Read more »

Mental Health Break

Cat videos revealed as key recruitment tool for ISIS terrorists

Join ISIS or the cat gets beheaded next!

Join ISIS or the cat gets beheaded next!

Good to see the UN taking a break from chastising NZ for having worse child poverty than Romania, which strangely hasn’t shown up in the emigration stats as Kiwi parents rush off for a better life.

Catastrophic climate change reports are getting a little embarrassing and being kept quiet while some UN envoy has a hunt around to see if someone has found some somewhere, anywhere.

So the experts at the UN thinks foreign jihadis are joining medieval beheaders because they post fluffy kitten pics on the Internet.

Foreign jihadists from more than 80 countries have flocked to fight in Iraq and Syria on an ‘unprecedented scale’, according to extracts of a UN report.

Around 15,000 people have travelled to fight alongside Islamic State (ISIS) and other hardcore militant groups from ‘countries that have not previously faced challenges relating to Al Qaeda,’ it said.

The study found a new breed of terrorist was being attracted by the extremist group’s ‘cosmopolitan’ use of social media, pointing to examples when jihadists posted ‘kitten photographs’ on Twitter. ¬† Read more »

Map of the Day

Sponsored by What Power Crisis, click here for this week’s Solar Deal


 

B1O5-u8CcAEsE1S

2012 US Presidential Election result if only white men voted


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Armstrong gives the Green taliban a lashing

new-zealand-green-taliban-logo3

John Armstrong has given the Green Taliban a good strong lashing int eh NZ Herald today.

Not so long ago, any Green MP who suggested sipping camomile tea or some other herbal concoction to ward off the horrific Ebola virus would surely have been deemed by his or her colleagues to be guilty – but only of being eccentric.

There used to be a lot of it about. Who can forget the senior party official who marked the opening session of one Green Party conference by lighting a large candle in recognition of any spirits that might have been present or invoke any that delegates wished to be present. (Sadly, the candle had to be extinguished soon after this mind-boggling seance. It fell foul of more earthly and more mundane forces – namely health and safety regulations.)

No such hippy-derived mysticism is allowed to penetrate the almost corporate-like atmosphere of Green gatherings these days. The high level of professionalism and discipline now operating within the party organisation was evident in the damage control that swiftly swung into action on Thursday following Steffan Browning’s crackpot suggestion that the World Health Organisation start treating Ebola patients with homeopathic remedies.

Steffan Browning confirmed to us all that the Green Taliban is as has always been suspected, batsh*t crazy and dangerous. ¬† Read more »

Fran O’ on the Graceless Green Taliban

In many of our cultures we had the notion of allowing people we didn’t agree with, even at war with, safe habour so a conversation could be had. ¬†While under the protection of the host, the guest was treated with respect and dignity.

For an MMP party that never has been part of working together with anyone unless it suited their selfish ends, the Greens are the the problem yet again.

It’s time that we grew up as a nation when it comes to diplomatic courtesy. It’s time the Greens revoked their “unofficial ban” on visiting political leaders addressing the New Zealand Parliament.

Some of the world’s most powerful leaders like Germany’s Angela Merkel and China’s Xi Jinping are headed our way later this month after they’ve been to the G20 Summit in Brisbane.

Having political leaders of such calibre addressing our Parliament while it is sitting is not going to subvert our democracy. But the Greens’ overblown and juvenile stance that only New Zealand politicians should be allowed to address a sitting session makes us look absurdly pretentious…

“GIVE ME BACK MY FLAG!”

Enough said? ¬† Read more »