January 2017

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Wake up Bill!

Memo to Bill English: Election year is this year, not next year.

English’s cruisy start to the week suggests he has forgotten that.

He ditched the regular Prime Minister’s media spots on a Monday morning, designed by Prime Ministers past to set the news agenda, on the grounds it was Auckland Anniversary day.

That allowed opposition parties to fill the news vacuum and call for some leadership from English in responding to Donald Trump’s shocking directives aimed at refugees from the most desperate of war-torn countries and which discriminate against Muslims.

The Prime Minister’s only response (much later) was to say that the Foreign Minister would be responding.

English’s first item of business was the Karaka yearling sales and there’s nothing wrong with that.

The sale of horse-flesh is a thrill and still cheaper than Auckland real estate. Lot 181 sold for a mere $450,000 and was “an absolute bargain” said one onlooker.

Karaka was an important annual event for John Key and Helen Clark. But it was almost a five-hour appointment for English. In election year.

He strolled around the sales with the urgency of a teenager with a tea towel, not a new Prime Minister in election year with a busy agenda.

English bumped into Brendon McCullum, now a cricketing horse-breeder rather than a horse-breeding cricketer. But that was a private encounter. English needs public encounters.

Bill’s lackadaisical attitude extends beyond the McCully / UNSC2334 issue.  He’s not hungry for it.  He’s just coasting.

Good luck to all the MPs that have chucked their hats in the ring with him.  They must feel really confident now seeing how committed English is to their future in politics.  /SARC Read more »

Syria doesn’t even know who the enemy is, but McCully knows who the non-ISIS refugees are

It seems that it’s such a mess in Syria that even those who are doing the fighting can’t quite understand what side everyone is actually on.

The fresh clashes in Syria’s Idlib region between a dozen important Islamist and extremist rebel movements are battles for turf and authority on the ground – but they also mirror northern Syria’s ever-changing complexities, as local, regional and international actors change policies and tactics.    Read more »

Lorde on Trump (yes really)

Stay outraged people.

The Grammy winner, from Auckland’s North Shore, took to Twitter to warn the “old men in power” that there’s a storm coming, “the likes of which they cannot comprehend”.

“When I was 15 I didn’t know how to call a representative or protest efficiently, but every kid does now, whichever side they’re on,” the artist, whose real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor, tweeted to her 4.45 million followers. Read more »