A Simple Act of Protest

guest post by Salacious Crumb

The build up to this years’ election has got me thinking about New Zealand and what it means to be a citizen of this remarkable country.

It was no better highlighted to me than by a conversation I had recently with a Syrian man I know, who immigrated here just over two years ago.

A devout man, empathetic, highly intellectual and blessed with an irreverent sense of humour, he would, I am sure, dispel a number of stereotypes we have of people from that region.

When I asked him what he thought of life in New Zealand he looked at me for a moment in disbelief. He told me “You have no idea how lucky you are to live here. It is paradise”.

Paradise? Really? His rationale; the overwhelming sense of security, friendliness and fairness he and his family feel in living here. He was describing us as people, our way of life and our¬†isolation from many of the worlds’ ills.

This from a man who has had family members disappear and has nieces and nephews being raised with the constant sounds of shelling and gunfire. A man who lives with constant fear for those close to him still living in Syria, desperately trying to flee a nation destroying itself.

There’s nothing like a bit of perspective. ¬† Read more »

Mental Health Break

Len Brown announces big cuts to services and a decade of rates rises

You have to wonder if it isn’t just easier to curl up in a corner and give up. ¬†The man is so determined to have his train set, he’s slashing and burning the budget to find money for it. ¬†And, he’s focused on getting the rest out of Auckland rater payers’ pockets by increasing the rates year upon year.

Auckland’s rates are set to rise 2.5 per cent this year and 2.5 per cent the following year, before eight straight years of 3.5 per cent rate increases, the council’s draft budget shows.

Mayor Len Brown handed down a proposal of the council’s long-term plan this morning.

It outlined $16.6 billion in new investment and a plan to cap rate rises between 2.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent.

Brown said the three things he was focused on were keeping rates low, managing debt and fixing public transport.

“This budget is all about transportation,” he told a media briefing.

“Its about building and funding a fully integrated transport system.”

One of the losers of the budget was the area of parks, community and lifestyle, which would see a 9 per cent funding reduction.

It’s all about one train set. ¬† His reputation is completely destroyed as it is. ¬†He’s running out of time. ¬†(He’s praying for a Green/Labour goverment). ¬† And all he can do is hold on for dear life to his legacy project. ¬†A train set that will service only 27 business areas for less than 20% of Auckland’s working population. ¬†And that is¬†if they can be persuaded to use the train.

Read more »

Map of the Day

152vuzj

Wealthiest companies in Europe, by country

Click here for larger version.

Read more »

Chinese not to buy our stuff. But OK to buy theirs

Where are the howls of protest from Labour, Green and NZ First over this?

qwe

The Chinese buying a diarying business in the Central North Island is akin to treason apparently, so I can’t quite understand why nobody is upset about New Zealand largest and most economically predatory company doing the same thing?

How weird is this? ¬† Read more »

Socialist Cindy channelling my longest friend in caucus Scott Simpson

192b81c171458ca41823a82425907268bfcfe082_620x310

So after weeks of hoarding vandalism going unnoticed by the main stream media, mostly because those affected were mostly coloured blue, the NZ Herald has suddenly found the right angle on the story

As some MPs take steps to counter the vandalism of their campaign billboards, Labour’s Jacinda Ardern has taken quite a different direction.

The Auckland Central candidate was spotted defacing her own election sign.

The MP posted a picture of the sign – when it just had the eye cut out – on social media on August 9, with the words “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.”

After receiving suggestions the sign would be improved with a pirate theme, Ms Ardern obliged with a marker pen. She added lines to transform the missing eye into an eye patch.

“I’m just waiting for my parrot now,” she said yesterday.

“When it just had the eye missing it looked a little bit creepy. I certainly don’t condone [vandalising signs] but when you’re in politics it does happen from time to time and you roll with it. Sometimes it’s good to make light of it.”

From time to time. ¬†It happens. ¬†Apparently. ¬†¬† Read more »

David Cunliffe can’t lose

cUNliffeArms

Tonight’s head-to-head political debate between John Key and David Cunliffe will be a must-watch fixture on this election’s calendar. ¬† David has been painting himself as the underdog all week.

The expectation is that he will come off 2nd best. Read more »

Photo Of The Day

The Heavy Gustav, Hitler and generals inspecting the largest caliber rifled weapon ever used in combat, 1941

The Heavy Gustav, Hitler and generals inspecting the largest caliber rifled weapon ever used in combat, 1941

Great Gustav: The Biggest WW2 Weapon

Read more »

The anatomy of a hoarding vandaliser

Another superb bit of Ground Crew research here:

Hi Cam,

The letter below was in [yesterday]’s press.

image006

A quick internet search turned up this blog with a picture and his full name, C. Arthur Monteath-Carr.  

Read more »

I’m back

qwe