NZ

David Cameron promises to reduce benefits to get people off their arses

David Cameron is seeking to show a clear difference between his party and the opposition parties and is moving to reduce the levels of benefits.

He has done it once before and it was remarkably successful….now he is set to reduce the benefits cap even further.

David Cameron will reduce the annual benefits cap to £23,000 as the first act of a new Conservative Government, the Prime Minister has pledged in an interview with The Telegraph.

The move follows the “stampede to the job centre” caused by the original introduction of the £26,000 benefits cap which was heavily opposed by Labour and will form one of the key battlegrounds of the general election campaign.

In an interview to mark 100 days until the general election, Mr Cameron said that his reform of the welfare system is a “deeply progressive programme” that is “changing people’s lives”.

The policy will pay for thee million apprenticeships and everyone in Britain is given “the chance to make the most of their God-given talents”, the Prime Minister said.

Mr Cameron said that the promise of an immediate law after May’s election “tells you everything you need to know about our values”.   Read more »

Know your hypocrite: Andrea Vance

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What, pray tell, is upsetting our News of the World trained lass?   Read more »

The Green Party in the UK are “spiteful, malicious toddlers”

The Green party are the same the world over.

Their members are well meaning if somewhat deluded, but the politicians and parties themselves are crazy lunatics who have blood on their hands through their disastrous policies.

The Green party is having a bit of a surge in the UK at the moment and they are the real danger rather than the UKIP.

People are starting to wake up.

Reading the depressing news from Greece this morning, most Britons would be forgiven for imagining: “Couldn’t happen here.” A not-terribly-post-Communist politician is about to become prime minister, by promising that which is both arithmetically and politically impossible.

Well: beware Greeks bearing nonsense on stilts. Couldn’t happen here? Look again. Britain already elects Green Party representatives who can make Syriza seem like the thoughtful mainstream. Welcome to the city of Brighton and Hove, where the Green Party has been in power since the 2011 council elections.

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Syriza’s leader named his son in honour of Che Guevara? That’s nothing. Here’s Ben Duncan, at the time the Green Party councillor for Queen’s Park ward, on June 28 last year, tweeting about a memorial to the Armed Forces: “Armed Forces Day has certainly brought the hired killers onto the streets of #Brighton today. Hard to explain to my son!”

It certainly would be hard to explain to a son why he shouldn’t spit in such a father’s face, but I don’t think that was Mr Duncan’s suggestion. The local Green Party asked him to resign as a Green, or something – they have no formal whipping system – but he remains a councillor, and, as far as I can tell, continues to “work” for Green MEP Jean Lambert for which we – the taxpaying “we” – pay him something like thirty grand a year.

Brighton voters will have been less surprised than most, then, to hear Natalie Bennett, the Greens’ national leader, rhapsodising over her plans to convert the Army into some sort of counselling service.

That’s the thing about the Greens. They react in horror when one of their footsoldiers is caught being explicit over an idea – soldiers=killers, for example – to which their national policy is hardly antithetical. The only substantive difference I can see between Duncan and Bennett is that he was caught sneering, while she’s still allowed to pretend the drivel in her manifesto is just light-hearted, and “fresh and new”, as she put it at the weekend.

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Who is Andrew Little? Can Andrew Little Speak Under Pressure?

Andrew Little is going to face a huge amount of scrutiny for his public speaking. To compete with John Key he is going to have to speak fluently and with enough charisma to make people want to listen to him. This may be beyond a man who manages to speak as if he is boxing, always on the back foot and bobbing and weaving to get away from the punch.

In his maiden speech he is passable. A maiden speech is an easy speech with low expectations, and he manages to live up to those expectations.

The pressure goes on Little during the leadership campaign, and he does not do very well. He hems and haws and bobs and weaves and generally looks like he has not prepared properly.

His 45 second “My vision for Labour” is not particularly impressive. This is a set piece without anyone hostile around, so he can deliver it exactly as he wants, and repeat it if he does not like what he comes up with. It is a very slow start.

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“Independent” political commentator Bryce Edwards has no clue

Labour leader Andrew Little and Prime Minister John Key are both due to give their State of the Nation speeches tomorrow.

So, after last year’s lively election campaign and the ensuing Labour leadership race, what can we expect from this year in politics? And why are both of them giving their speeches on the same day?

Otago University politics lecturer Bryce Edwards says Mr Key is probably trying to “stamp out” Mr Little by giving him as little oxygen as possible.

But Dr Edwards says that might be difficult, with much of the media’s attention likely to be on his attempt to rebuild the Labour Party following the disastrous election result last year.

“John Key will be trying to snooker him at every turn, and stop him from getting publicity.”

Nice try framing this Bryce, but as you well know, the opposite is happening.  There is going to be relentless attention on Andrew Little from National to balance up the “independent” fluffery that you and your good leftie media mates are planning. Read more »

NZ Junk food manufacturers in for tough 2015

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Companies making ‘junk food’ look as though they’re in for a tough year.

If it wasn’t the Aussie council seeking to ban chips, chocolate and sugary drinks from parks, it is now UK ‘experts’ calling for a ban on junk food adverts.

The usual health experts suspects are calling for bans on junk food TV ads, saying they shouldn’t be aired before 9pm in the hope that parents will stop getting pressured by their kids wanting ‘unhealthy food and sugary drinks’.

The British Heart Foundation is saying ‘seven in ten parents with children aged four to 16 have been pestered by their children to buy junk food they have seen advertised on TV.’    Read more »

SPCA throw Bob Kerridge under the bus for telling the truth

The SPCA has distanced itself from claims by one of its officials who linked dog attacks to the owner’s ethnicity.

Auckland SPCA head Bob Kerridge said  people of some ethnicities had no idea of their responsibilities and “don’t care”.

But his boss, Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals chief executive Ric Odom, said responsible dog ownership was not a matter of race.

“Bob’s comments are his personal views and do not reflect the views of the SPCA,” Odom said.

“We proudly work with anyone who shares our common vision and would be horrified if Mr Kerridge’s comments led anyone to think that his personal views on ethnicity were shared by the SPCA.

“They are not.”

The SPCA believed responsible dog ownership was something every dog owner should practice regardless of their ethnicity or socio-economic status.

Weasel words.  Of course it is what people should do.  But Bob was observing what is happening now.  And is it really such a surprise that the same area where they back over kids in the driveway with monotonous regularity, the pets come of third best?   Read more »

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Labour’s Next President

The Labour Party is about to elect a new president after Moira Coatsworth retired. Labour desperately need a new president of the same quality as Mike “Fat Tony” Williams, New Zealand’s best political shakedown artist.

The most important role of any party president is to raise fund and build a war chest for the election campaign. Successive Labour presidents have failed abjectly, thinking fundraising was beneath them.

Andrew Little and Moira Coatsworth were both useless at fundraising, and as “Fat Tony” keeps saying, they have to ask if they want to get.

The two contenders are highly, if somewhat misguided, regarded union thug Robert Gallagher and Auckland University Professor Nigel Haworth.

Robert Gallagher has long been considered a man coming in the union thug wing of the party. He is known for his extremely abrasive personality and willingness to fight for even the most trivial point to the bitter end.

Rumour has it that the only reason he is running is because he wants to get his missus Carol Beaumont back into parliament as she is never going to get a job that pays as well as MP.

At least Gallagher recognises the role of fundraiser.

He would not set out what he believed the priorities were in the role, saying it was something he’d be addressing with party members. However, he agreed fundraising was an important factor.

The over-riding impression from Labour people is that he is dreadfully boring, rather dogmatic on minute points and certainly is no agent for change, in fact he is not even an agent.

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Lyin’, loopy, lusty, lascivious Len wants to run for mayor again

Someone needs to tell Len Brown ‘e’s dreamin’.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown has told an inner circle of friends and advisers he plans to seek re-election next year.

But rather than throw their weight behind the under-fire mayor, it is understood some supporters have told him he has no chance of winning a third term and should step aside.

They do not see any way back for Mr Brown, who has struggled in the wake of an extramarital affair and widespread criticism over management of the city’s finances.

Mr Brown would not answer questions about his political plans

I’m going to let the pictures tell the story

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Wasting police time, or community relations?

New Plymouth police have been rapped over the knuckles by national headquarters for taking a hospitable approach to those asking for a breath test.

It was reported earlier this month that people often entered the station asking to be tested. Officers, if not too busy, were happy to oblige.

However, New Plymouth police have now been told their approach does not line up with national policy – and that they should stop immediately.

“While these staff have acted in good faith and with the best of intentions, there is a risk if for example someone initially passes a test, then drives and is found later to be over the limit, or is involved in a crash, which could have tragic consequences,” Central Districts Acting District Commander Inspector Mark Harrison said.

Have we now turned into the United States, where people in official capacities are stopped from assisting the public out of kindness, in case there is a mistake and it causes some liability?   Read more »