Margaret Thatcher

This mate is not for turning

The NZ Herald has gone all in on Judith Collins, deploying everyone to write articles about how terrible it is to support exporters, have a dinner and a glass of milk.

John Armstrong has this headline:


WONKY HEADLINE: John Armstrong shows he knows nothing of caucs sentiment

Well I have news for the tragics of the press gallery…this issue has done nothing of the sort….certainly not from this mate.

Mates don’t go septic with their mates because the media have a bunch in their panties. If anything this has strengthened the resolve of Judith Collins and her political mates.

The more they go on and the more they attempt to ‘get’ her the stronger she becomes. They have now unwittingly given her a massive name recognition boost, successfully shown themselves and the opposition to be hypocrites and bullies, and at the same time managed to soften Judith Collins image and show her as human and not an automaton.

Far more column inches have now been written about a dinner and a glass of milk and words that the minister neither wrote nor approved than any other political story in recent months or even years.

The talk of a leadership war between Steven joyce and Judith Collins is merely wishful thinking on the part of gallery journalists who usually sit in the gallery waiting for a messenger from which ever minister’s flunky or opposition spokesman is wanting a story or lines run.  Read more »

AMA: Cam Slater (the answers)

Thanks for all the questions.  Some of them were really weird.  Teach me for asking for them.  I’ll see what  I can do without it going off the rails.   Some of the questions already have answers in the public domain, but obviously you don’t know the answer, so I’ve provided it again for my readers.

It’s only fair that if you’re going to ask me straight questions, I will give you straight answers.  Don’t complain if you don’t like what you see.

Either way, hope you’ll enjoy the results!

Will you offer yourself as a parliamentary candidate (say) within the next 6 years?


What were the biggest issues you faced towards the end of your time as an Editor of a MSM? Newspaper?

Being lied to by management.  Not having the promised funds to make the changes they agreed I should make.

How long have you been married to SB?

22 years this May

When will there be a Whale paper and a Whale TV Channel?

Why no Whale Radio?   Whale TV and a Whale Paper won’t happen, although I am working towards expanding into the delivery of even more news. Stay tuned.

Do you think you could beat Chuck Norris at arm wrestling?

One of the skills I have is to know how to pick a fight I can win.  And that’s not one I’d pick.   Read more »

Gina Rinehart takes aim at the bludger classes

Gina Rinehart isn’t one to mince her words and she doesn’t hold back in her latest column:

Gina Rinehart has taken aim at Australia’s welfare system and its recipients, saying it is sending the country further into debt.

In her column in the latest issue of Australian Resources and Investment, Ms Rinehart said Australians are “living beyond our means”.

“Australians have to work hard or actually harder and smarter to create the revenue to be able to pay that bill. Something has to give, we can’t do it all.”

“I can already hear the left boiling with rage that I dare challenge their ‘bottomless pit’ and the belief that money doesn’t have to be earned before it is spent mentality.

Selwyn Manning is pretty bloody annoyed with Len Brown and his poll tax

Selwyn Manning is one of the few on the left of NZ politics that I have a lot of time for.

For the life of me I can’t work out how he manages to work with Martyn Bradbury. Probably says a great deal about his patience and fortitude. In any case I consider Selwyn to be part of the honourable left in NZ politics.

For that reason it is worth reading when he gets agitated, even more so when he is agitated by Len Brown and his poll tax.

Len Brown, this Mayor, this week raised the specter of a bastardised version of Margaret Thatcher’s poll tax (which he prefers to call an income tax). He also had the cheek to say the current system is “inherently unfair”.

Fairfax Media further cited the Mayor as stating the rates system is unfair ‘on people living on fixed incomes and paying high rates because of the value of their properties in areas like Devonport-Takapuna.’

Len Brown added that ‘only property owners pay rates but the Council is spending money on infrastructure and services for everyone’.

What absolute nonsense.

For those who rent, they too pay their fair share to keep this city’s infrastructure maintained, its facilities oiled, its bureaucrats, and administrators, and CEOs, and parks staff, and rubbish collectors, and communications officers, and strategists, and advisors, and secretaries, and librarians, and ethnic policy advisors, and art gallery workers, and Mayors in paid employment.

And yes, I know, they don’t pay rates directly to the Auckland Council, but by God they pay it to their landlords who in turn pay the Council for the privilege of owning a house in this good city.

Everyone… everyone already pays. What Len Brown needs to realise is we all know what he needs is more money, this idea isn’t all about fairness and equality. Far from it.   Read more »

Maybe this is the origin of Punk’d

It could well be.

A punk band called Crass…well..punk’d…the British government by making a hoax recording during the Falklands conflict.

The U.S. government blamed the KGB; British intelligence agencies pointed the finger at Argentine spies. They couldn’t have been further from the truth.

The full story of a hoax recording of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher can now be disclosed after a raft of secret documents were declassified in London. A crackly tape purporting to capture a confrontational phone call between Reagan and Thatcher in 1982 was created as a prank in the Essex bedroom of an English punk band, and yet we now know it was being analyzed by the British Prime Minister and top officials in Washington years later.

The tape, which was delivered anonymously to the offices of a Dutch newspaper, apparently recorded a serious disagreement between the leaders of the “free world” over Britain’s controversial conflict with Argentina in the Falkland Islands.

An enclosed transcript claimed the president told the Iron Lady “to control yourself” and upbraided her for sanctioning the sinking of an Argentine ship as it sailed away from the disputed islands, killing 323 people.  “Why was theBelgrano destroyed? You gave the orders to do it. The Argentines were leaving at the time,” Reagan supposedly said.

The editor of the NRC Handelsblad newspaper took the tape to London and played it for Sir Bernhard Ingham, Thatcher’s press secretary and one of her closest Downing Street aides. According to classified documents released on Friday, Ingham sought the counsel of other officials before telling the Dutch journalist “the conversation was a total fake.” “I regarded the whole thing as a fabrication, a hoax, a put up job,” he wrote in May 1983.  Read more »

The Argentinian economy must be rooted

The last time Argentina ignored the roar of the Lion

The last time Argentina ignored the roar of the Lion

The Argie economy must be on its knees with all the belligerence out of Buenos Aires at the moment.

Argentina has ridiculed Britain as an impotent colonial aggressor on the wrong side of history in the Falklands dispute, insisting it will not be cowed by “verbal and military threats” as “the lion roars but does not inspire fear”.

In a lengthy denunciation of British policy published in Argentine daily Pagina 12 (Page 12), Héctor Timerman, the country’s foreign minister, painted Argentina as a valiant underdog cheered on by the world in its David and Goliath-esque battle with an arrogant but ailing colonial power.   Read more »

Busting the poverty pimps

Our media loves to pimp the poor and tell us stories about poverty. The same happens in the UK and like here they get busted every time.

The latest poster child for the perils of poverty has just been busted for being a stupid cow.

This week, a charity called Church Action On Poverty launched a poster campaign that says ‘Britain Isn’t Eating’, mocking the Tories’ famous 1979 election campaign poster ‘Britain Isn’t Working’ that helped Margaret Thatcher to victory.

This time, the charity claims, the long queues are not for the dole office, but for food banks. ‘Thousands are going hungry because of benefits changes,’ it protests.

I thought of those posters when I read the story of Katie McGill, a 28-year-old unemployed single mum.

In an interview this week, Katie claimed her benefits payments soon won’t leave her enough to buy food and basic necessities for her two children.

Another victim of ‘cruel Tory cuts’? Hardly.

This Christmas, Katie gave her two children Mya-Renee, three, and Calvin, eight, two new bikes, TVs, DVDs and numerous computer games — all paid for after she took out eight payday loans that have left her £3,000 in debt.

The result? The repayments mean she’ll have no money left over from her welfare cheques to feed her children. Another candidate for the food banks, then.

Now, I realise that not all families in need have been as foolish as Katie — and that there are thousands who have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own, and who, with the cost of living soaring, are in genuine need. But I also suspect that there are a lot of self-indulgent and irresponsible fools like Katie.   Read more »

Cameron tells Argies to nick off

David Cameron has told the Argies that if they want another go over the Falklands then he is up for it.

David Cameron has promised to defend the Falkland Islands after a “momentous” year in which residents voted to remain a British overseas territory.

In a Christmas message, the Prime Minister, said the world should respect the overwhelming result of a referendum in March which came in the face of increasing calls from Argentina to negotiate the island’s sovereignty.

“2013 will be remembered as a momentous year in the history of the Falkland Islands,” Cameron said.

“So as we look to 2014, you can count on the British government’s continued support in countering the Argentine government’s campaign to claim the islands’ resources and to inflict damage on your economy.”  Read more »

Blinkered Totalitarians

The green taliban gets a good smacking from Sir Bernard Ingham, Margaret Thatcher’s former press secretary.

It is weapons grade sledging of the finest kind:

Sir Bernard, the late Baroness Thatcher’s former press secretary, said that the protesters are “guilty of hypocrisy, stupidity and exaggeration” and that the “lights will go out” if Britain is forced to rely on renewable energy.

He said: “It seems they want us all to live in their yurts, tepees and wigwams in a sort of glorious, save-the-planet pre-industrial squalor – regardless of our manifest objections. If that is not totalitarianism, I don’t know what is.   Read more »

Good Pundit, Bad Thinker

Russell Brand has made a big splash in recent times. However some do not like what he is about or saying.

I don’t agree with Brand’s politics but I think he is clever in many that he speaks well to his intended audience.

Parker Brown at The Atlantic disagrees though:

In a review of Russell Brand’s 2007 memoir, Andrew Anthony of The Guardian asked: “What will become of Russell Brand?”

More than five years later, the answer is that he’s developed a sideline career as a pundit of sorts: writing a piece about an encounter with Margaret Thatcher in the Temple in London, published the day after she died; embarrassing the hosts of Morning Joe in the summer (“Is this what you all do for a living?”); editing a special edition of the New Statesman; and calling for utopian socialist revolution during an interview with the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman, a move that has been tremendously popular, getting support from Time and Gawker.

This level of engagement isn’t usually in the purview of celebrities or comedians, but Brand isn’t typical here; he begins his memoir with lines from Percy Shelley, after all.

Over the last few years he has been edging towards seriousness, flirting with it at first, then finding its allure too great to return to writing solely about sex and heroin. As a comedian, Brand is witty, dark, and funny (“I was born with my mouth open, and my umbilical cord wrapped around my throat, as if I was thinking, ‘Well, if this is all there is, I’m off. Check please,’” he writes in his memoir). But the Serious Brand’s ideas—with the gravitas, and with the humor pared away—aren’t very good. In the case of calling for a socialist revolution, they’re quite awful.   Read more »