Derek Fox

A complete and utter waste

Prior to the election we heard all about waste and we also heard all sorts of justifications for waste from the lickspittles.

Now the empire has fallen we are almost daily hearing about profligacy in the public service.

A case in point is the news today that a government department hired a Private Investigator to watch television to establish whether or not TV3 broadcast advertisments during the Rugby World Cup on Sundays.

This is nothing short of wasteful, useless government spoending pursuing laws that are ridiculous in the extreme. It is nanny statism gone mad to regulate television in such a way.

John Key should use this example to get Sir Roger Douglas to immediately convene the Razor Gang and start sharpening all manner of sharp things, but lets start with implements that cut large swathes out of things, you know, like scythes.

If a government department thinks this is a good idea there has got to many, many more examples of this sort of fuzzy thinking wee should be knocking on the head.

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New poll shows gap is closing….or is it?

New poll shows gap is closingNational is shedding support to chief rival Labour as the election nears, but it still has enough backing to govern the country alone in the latest Herald-DigiPoll survey. Like several other polls over the past month, the August… [NZ Herald Politics]

The NZ Herald has focussed on the gap between Labour and National closing but they have missed something in their analysis of the latest poll. That is the resurgence of ACT.

In this poll ACT is now polling above Winston First and above United Future. At 2.3% in the poll ACT would bring 3 MP’s to parliament meaning that Sir Roger Douglas will besitting on the gvernment benches.

With National at 50% and ACT at 2.3% that is 52.3% plus United Future and likely the Maori Party. Plenty of support there.

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Is Cactus Kate number 5?

I was thinking about ACT’s stated perferred option for their vacant number 5 position in the list.

The party’s board has left the spot vacant while it tries to entice someone to fill it – possibly a young woman to counter-balance the return of Sir Roger Douglas.

Now the reality for the ACT party is that only one person really fits this criteria and that is Cactus Kate. She is young, wealthy, assertive, a fan of Sir Roger and Rodney and an arch-loyal supporter of ACT.

I think they are waiting for her to finish her jaunt around the glamour isles of the world before announcing her candidacy.

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Douglas to campaign in Hunua

Douglas to take high position on Act listAct founder Sir Roger Douglas has agreed to take a high position on the Act party list – meaning he stands a real chance of being elected to Parliament.
When he agreed in March to stand for Act this year, he indicated that he wanted…
[NZ Politics]

Sir Roger Douglas is to stand for ACT in Hunua, adding to feckless absentee Labour candidate Jordan Carter’s pain.

Actually if Hunua voters are smart nd there is no reason to disagree with that assessment they would return Sir Roger as the local MP and vote National on the list.

It appears he will also take a high list spot as well.

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Don turns down Sir Roger, but I bet he thought about it

Douglas’ Brash attempt fails – 25 Mar 2008 – Politics: New Zealand Political News, Analysis and Comment including 2008 election coverage – NZ Herald

Don Brash has turned down overtures from Sir Roger Douglas to stand for ACT. Pity because I think Don still has a lot to offer.

On another note hasn’t ACT got its act together? Domination of headlines for 7 days straight. Bet they see a bounce in the polls.

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Sir Roger fisks Armstrong

Roger Douglas: Hard right? No, they’re hard left – 24 Mar 2008 – Politics: New Zealand Political News, Analysis and Comment including 2008 election coverage – NZ Herald

Sir Roger Douglas has given John Armstrong a right good fisking about the so-called “hard right”. But before I go into that I have to give a big ups to ACT for wheeling out Sir Roger because since they did ACT has dominated political thought and talk. I expect to see a rise in their poll rating, simply because with Sir Roger talking and opining they are in the news and in the news almost every day.

Now back to the fisking;

One expects Helen Clark or Michael Cullen to describe conventional economic thinking as irrelevant “hard right” ideology. That sort of deception is their stock-in-trade.

But for John Armstrong to claim that what I said last Thursday was to “spell out his ‘hard-right’ agenda for New Zealand’s economic salvation” is not only nonsense, but demonstrates how successful Helen Clark has been in labelling anyone who has an alternative policy as being “hard right”.

To call what I said “hard right” is hugely ignorant.

Ouch, that is one heck of a way to start your fisking, slapping former cabinet colleagues and sticking pins in a journalists eyes by calling him ignorant.

What’s “hard right” about adopting the education system of Helen Clark’s socialist heroes, Sweden? That’s broadly what Act is advocating.

The great irony there is that Helen Clark and Dr Cullen are behind the times even by socialist standards. The Swedish education system hasn’t been hard-left socialist since 1992. That year, the Swedes introduced what has always been Act policy – where every child gets a scholarship to take to the school of their choice. This puts the power in the hands of individual teachers and parents, not the state, and not the teachers’ unions.

Right, that is education taken care of and a slap down for Clark, Cullen and Armstrong, again.

Act’s objective is to move low-income people from a system that locks them into state dependency into a system where all New Zealanders can make constructive personal choices. Surely that is basic to the dignity of human beings.

Excellent, that is what National also believes in. Labour pretends that is what they believe in but they approach it from a State dependence perspective rather than a self improvement perspective. Now for the bullet points with which to machine gun the silly thoughts of “hard right”

Health – What’s “hard right” about guaranteeing people in pain an immediate operation instead of dying on a waiting list?

That’s what Act’s health policy would do.

My doctor tells me I need a knee reconstruction. I have health insurance so any time I decide, I can have it within four weeks.

What’s “hard right”, then, about giving all New Zealanders a tax break so they can purchase a health policy like mine and get immediate treatment when they need it?

Act is not “hard right”. Act cares enough to come up with solutions that cure the problems we face, not add to them.

He sticks it to National as well labeling them as hard left along with Labour. I think that is a bit harsh, but hey Sir Roger is trying to raise Act’s profile so I can understand the politics of the statement.

When it comes to two of the most important areas for people – education and health – Labour, National and all the other parties are hard left. They’re not even centrist, they’re hard left.

Oh, they’re happy I opened up most of the old state monopoly industries to healthy competition, they’ve got used to that and have seen the huge benefits obtained from doing so. They’re happy that we moved from what was essentially a communist lookalike system that nearly bankrupted New Zealand to a free market system that gives us free choice in these areas.

They’re not about to change back. Yet for some strange reason when it comes to the remaining monopolies, the social ones that I didn’t get around to reforming in the 1980s, for some strange reason they favour keeping our Stalinist education and health systems.

Brilliant, I am starting to like the sound of this, but wait there’s more.

I also suggested we might rent hospital wards to doctors, provided they could demonstrate an increase in productivity of 50 per cent and pay them a fee for services provided.

The facts are simple: without efficiency, improved equity is impossible to achieve. This policy would improve efficiency (output up 50 per cent) while improving equity 50 per cent, more people getting the treatment they need. This policy, aimed at ending hospital rationing, where sick people queue for surgery like the Soviets queued for bread, is not “hard right” policy, just common sense.

I love it, that’ll actually work. Specialists remember treat some patients in the morning and toddle off to the private clinics in the afternoon. By removing the need for them to toddle off we will get productivity gains. Lastly a tax policy I can embrace.

Tax – in the area of taxation, I made three suggestions:

* Increase the tax brackets to their pre-1999 value. Dr Cullen’s refusal to do so has cost the average family at least $30 a week. Hardly “hard right” policy.

* Drop Dr Cullen’s envy tax of 39c.

* Make the first $20,000 of personal income tax-free so people can afford to buy their own healthcare cover and risk insurance such as accident and sickness cover. Hardly “hard right” policy.

Kiwis need to understand that the issue is not equity or efficiency as Labour would portray it; it is equity and efficiency.

The first $20,000 tax free is great, sadly though the people who would most likely benefit from such a system are indoctrinated from a life of state teet-sucking that they can’t quite be;ieve that such a thing is possible.

All in all a great fisking and shafting of silly knee-jerk politicians and journalists.

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Oh dear, the voters in Hunua will love this

Just Left: Power woes in Auckland

Jordan is looking forward to campaigning against Sir Roger Douglas. I think his troubles are just a little more serious than that.

Apart from living some 22.1 km’s from the nearest boundary of his chosen electorate his blog provides some interesting insights as to what he thinks of the people in this electorate.

It’s pretty amazing, when you think about it a bit, that a city of 1.3m people should have one major power sub-station controlling its major energy needs. How the Auckland network operators could not foresee this as a risk and manage it in appropriate fashion is beyond me, and is very disturbing.

Beyond that, it’s even more disturbing that that same city of 1.3m should have crucial aspects of its energy supply held to ransom by a few hundred Waikato farmers. I simply do not think that the financial and aesthetic interests of wealthy land owners should override the legitimate energy needs of a third of the country’s population.

The government should do whatever it takes to ensure security of supply for major centres – both in a transmission sense and in a generating sense. And if that requires law changes, major public investment, focused energy conversation measures or a mixture of all three, then so be it.

Essentially just two short years ago he was telling the members of the Hunua electorate to HTFU, tough and so be it. I’ll enjoy watching him explain that one at the meet the candidates meetings.

Too Old, yeah right at least his brain still works

Claire Trevett: Old? Me? Look at Jim, says Roger Douglas – 17 Mar 2008 – Politics: New Zealand Political News, Analysis and Comment including 2008 election coverage – NZ Herald

Sir Roger Douglas is copping flack from other parties for his age. Sir Roger quips back;

Sir Roger himself scoffed at the “too old” suggestion, pointing out he was only one month older than his nemesis Progressives leader Jim Anderton – “and I was always better than him anyway”.

He could have added another line that he isn’t a killjoy and at least his brain isn’t atrophied like Anderton’s.

ACT has two comeback kids!

Potentially overshadowing the announcement that Sir Roger Douglas is returning to ACT is the news that Blair Mulholland has clearly
forgiven ACT for its sins of the past, and is allowing the party to let him seek the nomination as their Mt Albert candidate.

Like Douglas, Mulholland has stormed off in anger from ACT for it’s past failings, flailed them mercilessly in public, and now seeks to come back, to be a part of the clarion call to the public. In much the same way that Roger Douglas’ contributions to public policy was termed Rogernomics, so too we remember the Blairist third way of only a few ways ago. (Douglas was the way of the purists, Hide was the way of the
libertarian-populists, and Blairites follow the way of the fat Japanese lesbian looking for a fling via their online dating profile).

Remember – Mulholland is not disloyal and returning to the ACT fold after flirting with the broad church National Party. Oh no – it is ACT who have clearly said sorry and asked for his forgiveness. It says much about Blair’s character that he was good enough to forgive ACT and take them back by allowing himself to rejoin.

All we need now to complete the Troika of returning ACT politicos is Cr Aaron Bhatnagar, but sources tell WOBH that such a situation is unlikely to ever occur.

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Phone spam!

Just got called by a time-share spruiking business. Very conversational but ultimately annoying. Wouldn’t take no for an answer, then I figured since it was an Australian number I’d chat and play the anti-salesman with the amateur. 15 minutes phone call should cost them a bit.

The other night I also got the rasping voice of Sir Roger Douglas in a phone spam.

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