There is no such thing as a trans kid

You really have to wonder about some of the parents of today. In trying so hard to do the right things by their kids, they are setting them up for a miserable life. Those of us who have children who are now adults know that letting kids have everything they want is not necessarily a good thing. In fact, it can be disastrous for the children. These days, however, parents are being pushed into believing that identifying as a different gender from the one you were obviously born with is a good thing.

The consequences will be some crazy, mixed up adults and some people who will wish their parents had behaved like proper parents and thought about their children’s welfare first, instead of following the latest trends at the time. quote.

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Winston says Britain needs a ‘hard’ Brexit

Winston Peters and Nigel Farage

Winston Peters is now an expert on British and European politics. Apparently, he knew all along that Britain would face a ‘hard’ Brexit, and that this was always going to be the outcome. It is a shame that he didn’t tell this to Teresa May, who has spent the best part of the last two years trying to negotiate a deal with Europe that would be acceptable to her government. She clearly shouldn’t have wasted her time. She should simply have employed Winston instead. quote.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters says told The Country’s Jamie Mackay Brexit was never going to be easy. end quote.

Nobody ever said it would be. David Cameron resigned over it. Boris Johnston, having supported and promoted Brexit throughout, ran for cover once the vote was in. Teresa May took the poisoned chalice, and whatever anyone says about her, she has done the best she could. Many people in Britain applaud her for her effort, although not generally for the outcome. quote.

“I have said it before and I will say it again. The British parliament need to prepare for a hard landing. The sooner they prepare for the future, the better.” end quote.

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Where’s Jacinda?

Photoshopped image credit: Twitter

It is now January 18th, and no one has heard from Jacinda Ardern since before Christmas. She did not wish her long-suffering subjects a Merry Christmas or a Happy New Year, as she was obviously far too embroiled in having a holiday and enjoying herself. Almost a month has passed however and, since we pay her a salary of about half a million dollars, we taxpayers would quite like to see her at least start to earn some of that money, rather than being missing in action… or rather, in her case, inaction.

Even her best buddy and fellow globalist Justin Trudeau called on Jacinda this week to support Canada in its bid to stand up to China. quote.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday in an attempt to shore up support for its condemnation of China’s recent diplomatic actions.

The pair discussed the legal treatment and detention of Canadian citizens in China, and the extradition case of a Huawei executive in Canada, according to Trudeau’s office.

Brady said Canada was contacting its allies for support, just as New Zealand would and had done in the past.
“United we stand, divided we fall. The New Zealand Government needs to stand with Canada on this issue. We need the support of our friends and allies too and we must uphold our values-based foreign policy,”

A Newspaper
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The consequences of #metoo

Oprah and Harvey Weinstein

A year ago, women were walking on the red carpet, dressed in black designer dresses to campaign against sexual harassment against starlets. It was a moment in time of pure self indulgence, when women who made millions in the movies wanted sympathy for the way they chose to advance their careers. After all, everyone who went to Harvey Weinstein’s hotel room knew his reputation. For many of them, if that was what it took to advance your movie career, well so be it.

Like everything, there are unforeseen consequences, and these are now being identified in the corporate world. Women simply cannot have it all ways. Sad for ambitious women with real talent, but there it is. quote.

No more dinners with female colleagues. Don’t sit next to them on flights. Book hotel rooms on different floors. Avoid one-on-one meetings.
In fact, as a wealth adviser put it, just hiring a woman these days is “an unknown risk.” What if she took something he said the wrong way?
Across Wall Street, men are adopting controversial strategies for the #MeToo era and, in the process, making life even harder for women.
end quote.

This was inevitable. The pushback against sexual harassment in the workplace started back in the 1980s, and most younger men would not dream of treating women inappropriately at work nowadays. The actions of a few very wealthy, self indulged women have made life much harder for women trying to make it in the corporate world, because men steer clear of them with the aid of a 10 foot pole. quote.

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Brexit vote: May defeated

Brexit supporters

Teresa May’s Brexit proposal suffered a humiliating defeat in the House of Commons yesterday, voted down by 432 – 202.

While the rejection was largely expected, the size of the No vote is unprecedented. This was the biggest defeat in the Commons for over 100 years.

Not only is it extremely embarrassing for Teresa May – it puts her fragile leadership in jeopardy; it also puts the Conservative government at risk, as Jeremy Corbyn, unsurprisingly, has called for a motion of no confidence in the government. What exactly this means for Britain now is unclear. With only 10 weeks to go until Britain is due to leave the EU, there does not appear to be enough time to negotiate another deal, and with the EU having played hardball all the way through the last 2 years of negotiations, nobody expects them to suddenly offer better terms which Britain could approve. On the contrary, the EU have stated that they will not renegotiate the agreement. quote.

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Our immigration system is broken

During the election campaign, Jacinda Ardern said that Labour’s immigration plan was to reduce net migration by 20,000 to 30,000. Photo: Lynn Grieveson, Newsroom

Both Labour and NZ First campaigned on reducing immigration. That they have not done so after coming to power is shameful enough. What is worse, is that our immigration system is full of scams and nobody is doing anything to stop them. We are being exploited by opportunist migrants almost as much as if they were arriving in boats with no passports. quote.

Co-ordinator of Union Network of Migrants and the Indian Workers’ Association, Mandeep Singh Bela, said when one loophole was closed the next was found.
He said the latest scam was to advertise a job – as they required to prove there were no local workers available – but not include the salary rate.
Remuneration rates set by Immigration New Zealand made jobs attractive to New Zealand workers.

Rogue employers instead wanted to hire an immigrant who would then be easier to exploit, Mr Bela said.
“What they’ll do is advertise a job with no intention of hiring a local worker; there’s no intention sometimes of actually even interviewing those local workers.

“The employer already has a migrant worker in mind who he decided a deal with that he is going to exploit.
“The problem was when the visa application letter went to Immigration they did not even ask ‘Why? What was wrong with the other 20 who applied? What did their CV say?’

n quote.

“It takes away all the integrity in the system. It undermines the wages for local workers.” 

end quote.

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Capital gains tax: What we don’t yet know

Michael Cullen

The Tax Working Group (TWG) will publish their report next week. It will recommend the implementation of a Capital Gains Tax (CGT). What we don’t yet know is exactly how this tax is to be implemented. Michael Cullen will squeeze every cent out of it that he can and the results will be very damaging for those that already pay the most tax. quote.

Since it published its interim report, [the TWG] it has decided people should be taxed on assets they already owned, but only on the gains that they make after April 2021 – the so-called “valuation day” approach. 
That means if people bought shares in a company or an investment property in 2015 and then sold them in 2025, they would pay tax on any increase in value from April 1, 2021.   end quote.

This is fine for shares in listed companies but not so fine for a property, unless you are happy to go with the CV that applies at the time, and it’s completely impossible for businesses. Michael Cullen can play this down all he likes, but there will be some serious inequities if all businesses are not valued on or around ‘valuation day’. Michael Cullen might be prepared to accept a reasonable estimate, but the IRD will not. quote.

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Capital gains tax: what we know

The Tax Working Group’s report is due to come out at the end of next week, somewhat earlier than expected. What is not unexpected though is that we are being softened up for a capital gains tax. Make no mistake. The articles are coming thick and fast now, indicating what we always knew, which was that the TWG is going to recommend a CGT. Correction: the government has already recommended a CGT. The Tax Working Group is going to tell us how they will do it. quote.

It is understood the working group has held its last meeting and the report is now basically complete. The report will contain a plan to extend the taxation of capital gains, and to hand back the money that would raise through cuts to other taxes.   
Whether its recommendations are enacted will then be a matter for politicians and voters, with an ocean of water still to go under the bridge.

But chairman Sir Michael Cullen revealed in November that “a clear majority” of the 10-person working group had reached an agreement on a central package around the extension of capital income taxation – in other words, a capital gains tax.

end quote.

Well, knock me over with a feather. Really? quote.

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Will the government drop the MMP threshold?

Small parties that join forces with large parties often fare badly under MMP. The paradox is that under MMP, it is unlikely that any major party can govern alone, so major parties need minor parties to govern. The minor parties need major parties for political survival.

At present, there are really only two minor parties in parliament, and they both support the Labour government. The Greens have a large following, but their support is ideological. The realities of government sometimes find the Greens at loggerheads with their support base. Also these days, there are many Green MPs who can only be described as loose cannons: Golriz Ghahraman, Marama Davidson, Eugenie Sage and Jan Logie. It is obvious that the party has fallen a long way from the days of respected politicians such as Rod Donald and Jeanette Fitzsimons.

Then there is NZ First, which has always been essentially a one man show. Winston has commanded steady support over the years, because he has a reputation for ‘keeping the government honest’. However, Winston may have pushed his luck too far this time. Having campaigned on reducing immigration, Winston signed the UN Migration Compact, which has resulted in a very bad reaction from many of his supporters.

It is quite possible that neither the Greens nor NZ First will make the 5% threshold in 2020.

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Massey University fails to learn from the Don Brash saga

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas Photoshopped image credit: Pixy

Universities are supposed to be places where free speech, robust debate and critical thinking are encouraged. Clearly that is no longer the case in many universities today. Our own prime example is Massey University, which shut down a political club event because Don Brash was due to speak there.

I mean, Don Brash, for goodness sake. He’s about as threatening and dangerous as the average teddy bear. quote.

Right from the start, Massey made clear the decision to ban Brash was not just about security. Naively, the vice-chancellor took the chance to take pot shots at Brash. 

It quickly became obvious there was basically no substance to any security threat. If the event cancellation were purely about security, the university could have reversed its decision within days and apologised.
If the politics club and university were running out of time to be sure of hosting a safe event, they could have postponed it. Instead, the institution floundered and its communications were a mess.
The front cover of the final report proclaims that it will be about “lessons from this episode”. Yet there was a lesson almost impossible to miss and the reviewers missed it.

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