Crusher Collins: “I’d probably take up drugs”

MP Judith Collins

Government Minister Judith Collins says she’d probably end up taking drugs if she ended up having to work with cat-hater and pro-cannabis politician hopeful Gareth Morgan.

Morgan is making a push for the Government to legalise cannabis for anyone over the age of 20.

However, when questioned about the move by Ryan Bridge on RadioLive, Collins wasn’t overly impressed.

“Gareth Morgan, how can you hate cats? If I had to deal with Gareth Morgan, I’d probably take up drugs,” she told Bridge.

That’s a big call for the ex-Police and ex-Justice minister.   Read more »

Musings from the back of the high court

**Not actual stains on blue carpeted High court walls (but you get the idea.)

Yuk, I was so tired yesterday that I forgot just for a moment that the light blue carpeted wall behind my head bore the yellow stained imprint of hundreds of greasy heads of hair and I leaned back against it just for a moment. Fear of contracting high court cooties drove me to the front row for the first time in two weeks but that wasn’t my only motivation. Along with a number of other women I wanted to provide a friendly show of solidarity for a witness in need of support.

Read more »

“Colin Craig set aside a million dollars and was going to destroy me”

Rachel McGregor has finished giving her Brief of Evidence and has answered Brian Henry’s questions.  Colin Craig asked the court if he could delay his cross examination until tomorrow.  Her testimony appears to have brought up a number of issues that he wants to review before facing her.

“I remember two main things about the mediation [in the Human Rights Tribunal],” she said. “One was that my lawyer was reading out lines of [Craig’s] letters about how he wanted to kiss me, and Colin was adamantly saying that he treated me like a sister the whole time.”

She said Craig was saying, “yeah, well, I’d kiss my sister. I’d do what I say in the letter to my sister”.

“I and my lawyer thought it was absurd,” MacGregor told the court.

She said Craig also made the comment that “he’d set aside a million dollars and was going to destroy me“.

So this is how much Colin would love his sister.

MacGregor, who had received an $18,000 loan from Craig, said the politician threatened to increase the interest of the loan to scare her.

“He was trying to bully me into not going to court, that’s exactly what he was doing.

“The interest was going up really, really quickly. It was going up monthly.”

And now, to be totally clear – it’s finally out in public:

“I was mortified. He was trying to make me out to be crazy. He was trying to fudge the facts.”

The settlement agreement saw the loan and advances written-off, and MacGregor was also paid $16,000 [for work Mr Craig had held payment back for].

She said the “mutual resolution”, which Craig wanted it called, also implied she would withdraw her complaint of sexual misconduct to the Human Rights Commission.

“There is no way I have ever withdrawn my allegations, to this day my allegations stand concrete strong. What I withdrew was my complaint.

She wanted it all to end and took the path that looked like it would provide the quickest exit.

“The way that he wanted to do it looked dodgy, but on the other hand I just wanted to get this man out of my life, I just wanted it over.”

The way Craig wanted to do it was so creative that his own lawyer baulked and ended up testifying against Craig during the HRRT case.  That’s the case where MacGregor was awarded a record $128,000 against Craig.

As it stands, Mr Craig continues to deny that he sexually harassed Rachel MacGregor.   Mr Craig’s Brief of Evidence and responses to Brian Henry continued to stress that they both wanted the relationship, that Rachel came on to him and he put an end to it, and that they had to create boundaries around the working relationship to keep MacGregor from pursuing him further.

With that as a background, he did continue to write her long letters including poetry.  He also admits to getting excited when she was communicating with him.  And that he imagined going to sleep on her legs as a method to … go to sleep.

The case is set down for three weeks and has three days left on the time table.

 

– NZ Herald

Comment of the Day

Hello. This is about one-eyed one-eared goats. One was born in India last week and is reportedly venerated by villagers in Assam who hope it will bring them luck.

Less well-known are the one-eyed one-eared goats of Wellington; of which we possess several. Useless for most intents and purposes they roam aimlessly about the place until elected to City Council or, if especially useless, are drafted into the Wellington Police Alcohol Harm-Reduction Unit.

The one-eyed one-eared goats do considerable damage in these positions but are oblivious to any harm caused on account of their restricted, myopic, world-view and, let’s face it; the condition is caused by possessing only half a brain.   Read more »

Mental Health Break

The difference between Obama and Trump’s approach to Arab leaders

President Trump’s recent speech to Arab Leaders in Riyadh has been dismissed by non-business people as similar to ex-president Obama’s infamous Cairo speech in 2009. There were some similarities but there were also some key differences. President Trump as a businessman concluded his speech with “action points.” Businessmen are about action and making things happen. President Trump made demands of the people in the room.

THE INTROS

Obama opened with “Assalamualaikum”, going on to apologise for colonialism, proxy wars, hostility to Islam, and quoting the “Holy” Quran. He spoke of civilization’s “debt to Islam”, his responsibility to defend the Muslim faith, the hijab, and declare “Islam is a part of America”.

After this submissive introduction — having spent the first seven pages of his speech brown-nosing his audience — he noted that “violent extremists” needed to be confronted, closing with: “Islam is not part of the problem…”

Instead, President Trump dived right in, spending less than a page on the flattery — and there was scarcely any in that section anyway — getting to the first action point by page two of his speech: “This landmark agreement includes the announcement of a $110 billion Saudi-funded defense purchase…

Read more »

Map of the Day

Trevor Mallard ignored legal problems with religion in schools

Who is taking who for a walk?

The Ministry of Education identified that religious instruction in state schools might be discriminatory more than 16 years ago, but chose to take no action.

The identification was included in a 2001 confidential internal report to then Education Minister Trevor Mallard, on inconsistencies between the Human Rights Act and Education Act.

The ministry fought for nearly two years to keep parts of the report referring to religious instruction secret, citing legal privilege, but was forced to release the full version by the Ombudsman.

Forcing atheist and non-Christian students to either attend classes that were against their beliefs, or exclude themselves, could be “indirect discrimination”, the ministry’s legal department said in the report.

It’s quite a wedge.  Kids that are barely 7 or 9 years old are put in a position where their friends are different from them.  Some get to learn about God, others don’t.  So are not allowed to go into that room with their friends.  Their friends them come out later and talk about shared experiences others aren’t part of. Read more »

Paula Bennett wants the tip, please

Deputy PM Paula Bennett is calling for Kiwis to tip hospitality staff more often, in an effort to increase the quality of service.

The hospitality industry agrees, and new eftpos machines which automatically ask customers if they want to add a gratuity are becoming more and more prevalent.

Bennett, who is also the Tourism Minister, said Kiwi service was already good but she believed it was better in countries with a strong culture of tipping like the United States.

Tipping is great if it is a result of excellent service and the tip is freely given.  Where it comes unstuck is when there is an expectation to tip.  At that point, it is no longer a reward for good service.  It basically means the hospitality business and you are in a short term employment agreement to pay this person’s wages.    Read more »

Talk of the TPP resurrection has upset Prof Jane Kelsey

…the bullshit from the National government on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) since the Trump administration formally pulled out in January is really off the planet (apologies, I don’t usually swear in blogs, but I couldn’t find a suitable acronym).

BS?

A week ago, Prime Minister Bill English and his ever-so-earnest trade minister Todd McClay have been in Japan talking up a supposed consensus to proceed with the deal, mainly as a way of enticing the US back to the fold. This followed McClay’s tiki tour across a number of countries trying to resurrect the zombie TPPA.

McClay admits that he has nailed New Zealand’s colours to the mast without any reassessment of the supposed benefits of the deal without the US; he has only now asked officials to do the numbers. Presumably that will mean more of the shonky modelling they used to claim benefits from the original deal (which the media still often quote without acknowledging how bogus they are), and which failed to assess any corresponding costs (even the super-neoliberal Australian Productivity Commission said there was no net benefit to Australia once they were factored in). But National didn’t even bother to any research before jumping on the bandwagon to rescue the deal. Ideology rules.

ACT’s leader David Seymour, ever-eager to cement his credentials as a loyal lapdog, attacked Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First for criticising the move and claimed that ‘a renewed TPP would mean access to enormous overseas markets for New Zealand businesses’. So much for ACT’s commitment to evidence-based policy! Equally telling was his endorsement of the handcuffs the TPPA would put on governments’ ability to re-regulate areas where successive governments have abdicated their responsibilities, something New Zealand sorely needs. According to Seymour: ‘New checks and balances against harmful regulation are a positive for New Zealand businesses and consumers.’

The opposition to the TTP until now was almost totally all anti-American.   With the US now out of the picture, Kelsey and her supporters now have to pretend that their previous concerns are still valid.   Read more »