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Bob Jones: What drives the Screaming Skull?

A few years ago there was much puzzlement when the light quality suddenly improved in Auckland.

The explanation was simple. The miserably bleak John bloody Minto, otherwise known as the Screaming Skull, had left town to inflict his pervading black outlook on the earthquake-stunned citizens of Christchurch while their guard was down . . .

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Incite Politics

Bob Jones: ‘This dire duo should be flogged and certainly have no place in journalism’

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Bob Jones: Uphill skiing and wonky geography skills

God knows why but on Monday this week The Herald devoted the whole of page 3 to describing a tiny Canterbury husband and wife ski manufacturing outfit. The principal, Alex Herbert, asked what his company does, gave two memorable answers.

First, he said, “Kingswood Ski is a ski company”. Well bugger me! Who would have ever guessed it . . .

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Bob Jones: Is Todd Scott a liar?

The Dom’s collapsing circulation has seen the removal, on cost-cutting grounds, of subs and with it any semblance of quality control. This has its funny side.

Take an extraordinary published letter from reader Selwyn Boorman of Waikanae, which in normal times would never have seen the light of day.

Boorman opened with a rant about foreign investors renting to Kiwis, which without explanation he asserted was immoral. Then came this wonderful pearl.

“So here’s an innovative idea” Selwyn wrote, and he went on to propose the government borrow money and buy and build houses to rent to Kiwis. I’m not making this up.

Selwyn, where have you been these last near-eight decades in which the government has been doing precisely that? It’s called state housing, sunshine.

Is Todd Scott a liar?

Todd Scott’s latest rant reveals him as a liar. He writes, “Bob used to plead with me to publish him in print.”

I did no such thing; rather, I said I’d not participate in NBR’s radio interviews. He should remember the number of letters he wrote saying how grateful he was for me helping him out and how much he loved my columns.

I admire people who have a go and Todd epitomises this, he beginning life as a butcher. Furthermore, I’m saddened by the decline in the print media and the inevitable end of NBR as a newspaper. What is not admirable is the disgraceful way he’s treated his now-dwindling staff, for which financial pressure is no excuse.

Todd may wonder how I know so much about what’s happening. It’s called leaks, Todd, coming from inhouse – a reflection of your employees’ contempt. Try being nice to them. Your difficulties reflect the modern order, which has wiped out so many hitherto successful businesses. Hopefully, you can crack it on-line and having your staff onside will be essential for that.


Articles by Bob Jones are usually for silver and above subscribers. This article has been published outside of INCITE this week at the request of Bob.

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Sir Robert ‘Bob’ Jones — now New Zealand’s largest private office building owner in Wellington and Auckland, and with substantial holdings in Sydney and Glasgow, totalling in excess of two billion dollars — is a property investor, author and former politician, who has written fiction as well as books on property investment, selections of his newspaper and magazine columns, and reminiscences of former prime minister Robert Muldoon.

While at Victoria University of Wellington, he earned a ‘blue’ in boxing and contributed to a boxing column in the university’s newspaper Salient. A multi-millionaire, Jones earned his wealth through investments in commercial property via his company Robt. Jones Holdings Ltd. He founded and led the New Zealand Party in 1983. In 1989 he was made a Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, and in received the New Zealand 1990 Commemorative Medal.

Incite Politics

Bob Jones: Bible-burning and Koran-burning sessions needed in schools

Something calling itself the Secular Education Network hit the news protesting that bible-bashing in state schools is inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act. More particularly they claimed it’s discriminatory in favour of Christianity against other religions. That’s nonsense, akin to arguing that teaching French in state schools, which was compulsory back in my day, is discriminatory against teaching Italian.

My antenna always goes off when I read of activists using the umbrella description of “network”, or even worse, “collective”, as invariably it involves just one or two enthusiasts . . .

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Bob Jones: The end is nigh

Professional mourners outside Achilles House, NBR’s premises

Here’s a laugh. As some of you may know, Glasgow has lots of wide pedestrianised avenues in the heart of the CBD.

In the busiest lies an Apple computer store outside of which, all day, stands a bloke holding a large sign. It reads “Don’t come in here for your Apple repairs. 50 yards that way”, this followed by an arrow “is X store and we are cheaper”.

Imagine that here. It’s trickier because unlike the rest of the world, our cities have not embraced pedestrianisation, thus our CBD pavements are terribly crowded.

I particularly fancy the thought of someone outside a restaurant with a sign telling customers, “The food inside is rubbish. Eat at X’s restaurant across the road. It’s better and cheaper”.

Or holding a sign outside a law firm’s offices, pointing potential clients to a rival’s location for superior and cheaper service. That would certainly give the Law Society joyous opportunity for their specialty, namely full pomposity exhibiting, in dealing with the inevitable outraged complaints.    Read more »

Sir Robert ‘Bob’ Jones — now New Zealand’s largest private office building owner in Wellington and Auckland, and with substantial holdings in Sydney and Glasgow, totalling in excess of two billion dollars — is a property investor, author and former politician, who has written fiction as well as books on property investment, selections of his newspaper and magazine columns, and reminiscences of former prime minister Robert Muldoon.

While at Victoria University of Wellington, he earned a ‘blue’ in boxing and contributed to a boxing column in the university’s newspaper Salient. A multi-millionaire, Jones earned his wealth through investments in commercial property via his company Robt. Jones Holdings Ltd. He founded and led the New Zealand Party in 1983. In 1989 he was made a Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, and in received the New Zealand 1990 Commemorative Medal.

Bob Jones: Journalistic sloth and incompetence, Stuff stuff ups and dopey politicians

Journalistic sloth

A momentous event occurred in New Zealand a fortnight back, so much so when the history of this nation is written it will doubtless be listed with Rutherford and Ed Hillary in the annals of world-shaking Kiwi initiatives and occurrences.

That it was me who discovered this is further testimony of journalist sloth for it comprised a large two-column advertisement in the Herald and its journos should have spotted it first.

What happened was this. Nearing the end of reading the paper my attention was drawn to an excessively wordy large advertisement offering the position of Office Manager. I read it and nearly had a heart-attack for – steel yourself – listed at the bottom under the bold type sub-heading “The ideal candidate will have the following skills and attributes” – brace yourself again – “Diploma in Business or Management”. That was mind-boggingly unbelievable.   Read more »

Sir Robert ‘Bob’ Jones — now New Zealand’s largest private office building owner in Wellington and Auckland, and with substantial holdings in Sydney and Glasgow, totalling in excess of two billion dollars — is a property investor, author and former politician, who has written fiction as well as books on property investment, selections of his newspaper and magazine columns, and reminiscences of former prime minister Robert Muldoon.

While at Victoria University of Wellington, he earned a ‘blue’ in boxing and contributed to a boxing column in the university’s newspaper Salient. A multi-millionaire, Jones earned his wealth through investments in commercial property via his company Robt. Jones Holdings Ltd. He founded and led the New Zealand Party in 1983. In 1989 he was made a Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, and in received the New Zealand 1990 Commemorative Medal.

Bob Jones: Desperation and insanity

How long does NBR have?

Rumours are swirling about National Business Review’s financial plight but it’s hard to feel sympathy for its owner Todd Scott. He’s behaved abominably to too many people and being under a strain is no excuse. It’s reputedly payment up front now by his printers while renewals for the new cost-cutting driven, heavily reduced pages version are said to be in free-fall. That’s unsurprising as many subscribers wrote to me after his appalling failure to go to bat for my innocuous column this year, saying they would not be renewing.

But this takes the cake. Earlier this year the always readable Matthew Hooton wrote an article about Steven Joyce. As occasionally with Matthew’s contributions, it was crazily over the top. I don’t know Joyce but said at the time it’s my pick he will not turn the other cheek, and so it’s proved. For Steven pursued a libel action against both Hooton and NBR. To his credit, Matthew acknowledged his article was outrageous, openly apologised and forked out a large sum to Joyce.   Read more »

Sir Robert ‘Bob’ Jones — now New Zealand’s largest private office building owner in Wellington and Auckland, and with substantial holdings in Sydney and Glasgow, totalling in excess of two billion dollars — is a property investor, author and former politician, who has written fiction as well as books on property investment, selections of his newspaper and magazine columns, and reminiscences of former prime minister Robert Muldoon.

While at Victoria University of Wellington, he earned a ‘blue’ in boxing and contributed to a boxing column in the university’s newspaper Salient. A multi-millionaire, Jones earned his wealth through investments in commercial property via his company Robt. Jones Holdings Ltd. He founded and led the New Zealand Party in 1983. In 1989 he was made a Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, and in received the New Zealand 1990 Commemorative Medal.

Incite Politics

Bob Jones: World class stupidity, journalistic nonsense and blackface

There’s a widespread and accurate belief that local government politicians are sinecure-seeking no-hopers. That said we must temper criticism for if they didn’t put their hands up we’d have no democracy and spare the thought, Councils would be run solely by the bureaucrats.

But my God it’s bad now in the capital, so much so life-jackets have been issued for Council meetings so unbelievably cringingly wet is the mayor in particular, plus many councillors. And I’m not talking of passing showers degree of wetness, rather the mayor is tsunami level saturation who . . .

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Incite Politics

Bob Jones: On media awards and the perils of letting women eat human flesh

The demise of newspapers gave me one upsetting thought, namely the end of the highly entertaining annual media awards ceremony. Silly me! For of course the newspapers existence don’t matter a whit, as this year’s awards showed.

And so the morning after the awards I opened the Dom’ Post to see among numerous other purported triumphs, they proudly proclaiming they’d won the news website award. A few hours later, I read the Herald, to behold their bragging of winning – wait for it – the best website award.

So, nothing has changed. As has been the convention for quarter . . .

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