Politics

John Drinnan was wrong but continues to dance on the head of a pin pretending he was right

John Drinnan is more often wrong than right. He likes to interview his keyboard and claim high ethical standards even when he seeks to hound people out of jobs for nothing more than differing from him in their political outlook.

When he gets things wrong does he apologise?

A source said another option canvassed was the notion of a show in the style of Jono and Ben, or Hard Copy. In this column last week – based on a conversation that looked at the review of Campbell Live, I mistakenly attributed this idea to a TV3 document.

Read more »

A reader emails Jim Hubbard

hubbard

Jim Hubbard penned a disgusting cartoon about me and my travels to Gallipoli to honour my great-grandfather Harry Crozier.

A reader was incensed and emailed him.    Read more »

Palestinian lives matter…only when Israel can be blamed for their plight

The media loves, about every two years when Hamas lights up, to promote how hard done Palestinians are by an awful and nasty regime in Israel.

But they pretty much ignore what goes on inside Palestinian territories or within Arab nations against Palestinians with crimes perpetrated by their own people.

Thousands of Palestinians face a humanitarian crisis that one official calls “beyond inhumane,” including rapes, beheadings and mass starvation.

Yet for once this suffering has brought no mass public outcry — no angry rallies in the streets or on college campuses, no calls for economic sanctions.

Not even a Twitter hashtag campaign.

Why? Because Israel has nothing to do with this nightmare.    Read more »

What a shame, I’d have supported him

Apparently there was a massive rumour going around that Kevin Rudd was going to stand for the position of Secretary-General of the United Nations…against Helen Clark.

But…

Rife speculation that Kevin Rudd would stand against Helen Clark for the spot of United Nations Secretary General has been called to a halt by his office.

It was reported Mr Rudd was campaigning for the post of United Nations Secretary-General, but his office today poured cold water on it in a statement.

“The answer now, as it has previously been, is that Mr Rudd is not a candidate,” a spokesperson said.

“Mr Rudd has made his position clear about the position of UNSG (United Nations secretary-general) numerous times.”

Read more »

Let the games begin: Nominations for Green co-leader (the penis kind) closed today

Nominations for The Green Party’s male co-leader spot close today.

The party yesterday announced it will hold nine provincial meetings for the contest between April 18 and May 9.

Meetings range from as far north as Whangarei to as far south as Dunedin.

The spot opened after father of three Russel Norman quit for family reasons. He spent nine years as co-leader.

We altogether have too many people quitting politics for “family reasons”.  It’s a code that’s used to cover up a number of missteps, some of them morally reprehensible, some of them legally reprehensible and some of them both.

Be that as it may, Metiria’s reign as a solo co-party-mum is coming to an end.

Who do you think will be the Green Party’s co-penis?   Read more »

When hypocrisy turns into a spectator sport

The Labour and Green parties have vehemently been anti-asset sales for decades.    The Christchurch mayor was a Labour MP against asset sales only a few years ago.

The Greens believe Christchurch’s assets are going to be sold, although the city council insists no decisions have been made.

It’s been discussing selling assets to help pay for the rebuild, and a consultation document has been released which proposes raising $750 million.

The council yesterday announced it had appointed financial consultants Cameron Partners to provide commercial advice on asset sales.

“The council is approaching the option with an open mind and will not make a decision until it has completed consultation on the plan,” Mayor Lianne Dalziel said.

“Asset sales are only on the table because we face an estimated $1.2 billion shortfall in funding, the proposal is to sell shares to strategic partners that have the community’s long-term interests at heart.”

The council owns assets including Lyttelton Port Company, Orion and Christchurch International Airport.

The Green Party’s Christchurch spokeswoman, Eugenie Sage, thinks it’s a done deal.

“Why on earth would Christchurch City spend money for financial advice on asset sales that may not even happen?” she said. Read more »

Clinton fanbois celebrating way too early

It is true that Hillary Clinton is the favourite to win the Democrat nomination, but could she win the presidency?

Well for a start we don’t know who the Republican candidate would be, and also there maybe a better Democrat nominee come out of the woodwork.

Hillary Clinton is not a good candidate, but the Republicans don’t have anyone much good either.

So we are left to Nate Silver for some analysis, and that isn’t promising for the fools lock stepping in behind Hillary.

There’s already plenty of bad punditry regarding the chances of Hillary Clinton — who officially announced her candidacy on Sunday — to become the 45th president. You can find Democrats boasting about their “blue wall” in the Electoral College and how hard this will make it for any Republican to win. Or Republicans warning that the Democratic Party rarely wins three elections in a row.

Most of this analysis is flimsy. So is the commentary about the ups-and-downs in early swing state polls. And when you see some pundit declaring a minor misstep to be a “game changer,” find someone else to follow on Twitter.

The truth is that a general election win by Clinton — she’s very likely to become the Democratic nominee — is roughly a 50/50 proposition.

Read more »

Government wants to stop on-line overseas betting

The Government is looking at clamping down on online overseas betting by New Zealanders, saying it deprives the local racing industry of important income by sidestepping the TAB’s domestic monopoly and results in less Government revenue in taxes.

Racing Minister Nathan Guy has announced a review of offshore online betting to be done by a working group chaired by former National MP Chris Tremain.

Mr Guy said the TAB had a monopoly on racing and sports betting under a regime that required the Racing Board to distribute profits back into the racing industry.

This was being undercut by increased use of online betting with overseas agencies, especially in Australia.

“This means offshore organisations make money on New Zealand racing and sports without paying their fair share of tax, or making contributions back to the racing industry or sporting organisations that make the betting possible in the first place.” Read more »

Tagged:

So about that zero tolerance policy huh?

The Police have maintained an incredible focus on road safety and speeding with their zero tolerance policy.

They deploy speed cameras on motorways where there is a dual carraige-way, with a median barrier and in some places in Auckland they are there every day.

And the result?

A 20% increase in road deaths.

The number of people killed on New Zealand roads so far this year is 20 per cent higher than at the same time last year.

The Ministry of Transport reported 95 people have been killed on the roads from January 1 to April 16 this year. In the same period last year, 79 people died on the roads.   Read more »

Is weak dairy the dry rot of the New Zealand economy?

Farmers say they aren’t seeing any signs of a milk price recovery.

It’s just fallen for the third consecutive time, down 3.6 percent overnight in the GlobalDairyTrade online auction, and it’s at its lowest level since the end of 2014.

Federated Farmers dairy chairman Andrew Hoggard says the trend makes a lift in this season’s payout less likely.

“We really do need to see some signs of a recovery, and so far we are not seeing them,” he said today.

“The Chinese market is weak, European exports to Russia have been dislocated, dairy regions around the world have enjoyed good weather and the northern hemisphere is awash with cheap feed grain.”

Mr Hoggard says there’s not much the industry can do about those issues.

“Struggling farmers need to talk to their banks and their accountants,” he said. “Especially in the drought areas there is a real need to keep a close eye on how much feed farmers have on hand and how much they will need through to the spring.”

Apart from the economy doing well on the back of Auckland immigrants and Christchurch rebuilding, a soft dairy sector is going to continue to provide challenges for the government as they try to balance the books and bring in that elusive surplus.

Weak dairy also provides the opposition with a convenient stick.

Read more »