John Howard

Australia, the first ever nation to win a Darwin award?

Well one columnist in Australia thinks they should win a Darwin Award for being dumber than a sack of hammers.

I’M THINKING of setting up a national version of the Darwin Awards; you know, where they give an award to the stupidest way people manage to kill themselves each year, or, as the website puts it, “contribute to human evolution by self-selecting themselves out of the gene pool via death or sterilisation by their own actions”.

When I say “national”, I mean it literally – my Darwin Awards aren’t for people, they’re for nations. I’m going to hand out an annual prize for the dumbest, most imbecilic country on the planet that is setting out to destroy its own comfortable way of life via its own moronic actions.

I’m going to find the one nation that’s doing the equivalent of putting its head out of the train window to see if there’s a tunnel approaching.

And right now, Australia looks like being the 2014 National Darwin Award winner. Why? Because we are among the most collectively stupid people on the planet. Just look at the statistics – or rather, the opinion polls.

Apparently, a majority of us think Bill Shorten would be a better prime minister of our country than Tony Abbott.

Let me run that past you again – slowly this time, really slowly, because it’s obvious there are some pretty slow people out there: a … majority … (in other words, enough voters to win an election) … think … (i.e. have apparently used what passes for their brains and come to this conclusion) … that Bill Shorten … (a bloke who is so empty-headed he once said: “I don’t know what Julia Gillard said, but I agree with every word of it”) … would be a better prime minister … (in other words, be making every single decision every single day for three years that will determine the prosperity and financial success of every one of us and all our children) … than Tony Abbott (a bloke who, regardless of whether you like him or not, has as his sole focus a single-minded determination to fix the economic mess that this country is in).

Come again? Are we for real?

The best Darwin Awards always have a neat slice of bitter irony to them; like the guy who tries to impress his fiancee by climbing on to her balcony – on the 101st floor.

The irony with our National Darwin winner – Australia – is that the very bloke Australians want as their next prime minister was part of the team that got us into our financial mess in the first place.

Worse, Shorten is either so dumb or so devious that he is now opposing the very same $5 billion worth of cuts to spending that he supported when he was in government.

Read more »

The best strategy when you find you are flogging a dead horse is to dismount

Yes Russel, it's dead

Yes Russel, it’s dead

A wise bloke I know has a saying, one that I use often.

He says to people who seek out his business advice, usually too late I might add, that when you find yourself flogging a dead horse, then the best strategy is to dismount, and find another horse.

Which brings me to Russel Norman and his pathetic and I might add in some case defamatory attacks on me in parliament.

Did he not see the election results?

Of course the complicit media, and yes they are complicit as time will show, of course jumped in boots and all.

Heat on PM over Slater links – 3News NZ
PM refuses to answer Slater questionsRadio New Zealand
Key under more pressure over links with bloggerTVNZ  Read more »

In times of trouble you find out who your real friends are, often they are the ‘enemy’

I can relate to this:

Barry Cohen is a lovely man and as a Hawke Government Minister summed up the best of Labor – compassionate but practical, romantic but no dreamer, improver not revolutionary. Add, of course, he’s a man with great faith in Western civllisation.

He today writes that he has dementia and has had had to move into a nursing home:

When word got out that I had joined the list of dementia sufferers one of the first calls I had was from an old “friend”.

“A Mr Howard calling,” was the message from the nurse.

“I don’t know a Mr Howard, unless it’s the former prime minister.”

“That’s the one,” said the nurse.

I was deeply moved that a lifelong opponent had taken the trouble to ring to find out how I was and whether he could do anything to help. After a lengthy conversation, I told him, “This is what makes Australia a great country.”

Great men and women help make a great country. You’ve just heard about two of them.

Read more »

Misleading again, why can’t Cunliffe just tell the truth?

David Cunliife was taking questions yesterday at Stuff.

It was pretty hostile and the rest was filled with weasel words.

Like his addressing of the issue regarding Kiwis in Australia.

cunliffe-ama Read more »

Looks like John Key was right about boat people

via Keeping Stock

When National rushed through legislation about stopping boat people through parliament the opposition and their lap-bloggers squealed that it was unnecessary.

In 2010, Labour MP Phil Twyford attacked John Key on Red Alert:

Does John Key really think New Zealand is about to be hit by a wave of boat people?

“What I’ve said to the Australian prime minister is that we recognise there is a problem, and we recognise that from New Zealand’s perspective it’s a problem that is coming towards our shores at some point in the future.”
Mr Key said that from all the intelligence he had received, this was “a real issue”.

Has he looked at a map recently? There is a lot of ocean between us and them. Short of us putting out the welcome mat for people-smugglers it seems very unlikely they will make it this far.

In 2011, former Green MP Keith Locke accused the PM of scaremongering in this post on the party’s Frogblog:

John Key’s scaremongering about boat people flooding into the country damages New Zealand’s race relations, Green Party immigration spokesperson Keith Locke said today.

“While John Key’s approach may increase the National Party’s ‘redneck’ vote, as happened to John Howard in Australia, it will be at a cost to race relations in New Zealand,” said Keith Locke.

“Racial dog whistling about refugees is unbefitting of a Prime Minister.

And just last year, those bastions of left-wing reason at The Standard accused John Key of invoking the “yellow peril”:

Bad jobs numbers and a succession of collapses of major businesses weighing your government down? You need: distraction! How about an old classic from the New Zealand politician’s playbook – the Yellow Peril!

Passed on by Richard Seddon and Winston Peters, Yellow Peril’s now being wielded by John Key as he talks of vague, unsubstantiated threats that boatloads of Indonesians are heading for our shores (no, I’m not sure what terrors are meant to eventuate when they land, either)

Of course, the closest any boat people have actually come to reaching New Zealand was when our mates, the Aussies, thought about helping them

[…]

Never mind that Indonesia is literally 1/6th of the world away,* John Key wants us to know the ‘threat’ from boat people, threat of what I don’t know, is very real and something we should all be worried about. Far more worried than we should be about, say, the threat of losing our jobs. (* At nearly 4,000 miles the distance from the closest parts of Indonesia to New Zealand is the distance from Europe to North America and back. Most boat people make trips from Indonesia to one of Australia’s offshore islands, a journey of a couple of hundred miles. So, we’re being asked to believe that boat people are planning, for no apparent reason, to make a journey 20 times longer and over colder, rougher, open seas in the Tasman, when Australia’s right there, literally in the way – doesn’t seem like a profitable business venture for the people smugglers for a start, 20 times the operating costs.)

Read more »

Lessons from Australia for the Labour party

I have had people ask me why I post on politics in the UK and in Australia.

My usual answer is because I believe them to be relevant. Those two countries provide a hint as to what happens in domestic politics. Especially with the Labour party.

Whilst National maintains loose ties with the Conservatives  in the UK and somewhat closer ties with the Liberals in Australia it is Labour that maintains very close ties with Labour in Australia and the UK labour party.

Many of David Shearer’s and now David Cunliffe’s strap lines and core policies come from UK Labour. So watching what happens in those countries leads to a closer and better understanding of what is going on here.

Which brings me to Labour’s problems in New Zealand…and the similarity between the problems the ALP is currently experiencing.

THE time has come for someone to take the Labor Party by the scruff of the neck and shake it until it recognises reality, truly admits defeat, reorders its priorities and changes key policies that have failed it repeatedly at the ballot box.

[…]

Logic and survival dictate that the ALP must drop the convoluted arguments it has used for defending the carbon tax, the mining tax and its economic management for much of the past six years. Labor has to do what Tony Abbott did to the legacy of John Howard’s Work Choices, and bury and cremate the mining and carbon taxes.  Read more »

John Howard on parties, membership and ideology

John Howard was interviewed by The Australian in Australia and offers some interesting perspectives on political parties, membership and ideology.

“All political parties need reform,” Howard said in an interview with this columnist to mark the 40th anniversary of his election to parliament.

“The greatest problem that my party has, the greatest problem the Labor Party has, is that we no longer pursue with zeal the idea of expanding the membership.”

The problem has become ­particularly acute for Labor.

The party’s terrible result in the West Australian Senate ­election underscores the need for reform.

With its two lead candidates beholden to unions and each representing polar ideological ­extremes, it is not surprising Labor received a dismal 22 per cent of the vote.

Both Labour and National face similar issues here, though I suspect Labour’s issue is more pressing.

When Howard joined the Young Liberals as an 18 year old in the late 1950s, he said it was the “mission” of every member to ­recruit new members.

“We spend too much time arguing about what the existing membership does rather than throwing open the doors to new members.”

However, given the loss of members in both major parties, retaining new members has ­become a life or death matter. At Labor’s peak in the 1930s, it boasted a membership of more than 150,000. The Liberals had a membership of more than 150,000 in the 1950s.

Today, membership of both major parties has declined even though the population has expanded. Labor and the Liberals each have about 45,000 members nationally.

“People don’t join local sporting clubs, local churches, local service clubs and political parties the way they did 50 years ago,” Howard says.  Read more »

An important freedom

As the government in Australia moves to amend their draconian anti-free speech laws the howls of outrage from those which to keep the draconian laws in place is reaching weapons grade proportions.

The NZ Herald reports.

During last year’s election campaign, Tony Abbott pledged to change the law under which one of his staunchest supporters, the right-wing columnist Andrew Bolt, was convicted of racial discrimination for accusing nine fair-skinned prominent Australians of claiming to be Aborigines to secure jobs, awards and grants.

Now, under pressure from both sides of the political spectrum, Abbott may be ruing that promise to repeal or water down a piece of legislation that even his mentor and predecessor, John Howard, chose to leave intact.

Conservative Coalition MPs – backed by the right-wing Institute of Public Affairs and commentators including Bolt himself – want the Attorney-General, George Brandis, to scrap a section of the Racial Discrimination Act that makes it illegal to “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” a person on grounds of race.

However, ethnic community groups are horrified by that prospect, as are some Coalition politicians. The Liberal MP Ken Wyatt, the first indigenous member of the House of Representatives, has threatened to cross the floor, and Warren Mundine, who heads Abbott’s Indigenous Advisory Council, has warned him he is “heading down the wrong track”.

Bolt, meanwhile, is fuming over fresh claims of racism, aired by one of Australia’s most respected indigenous figures, Marcia Langton. Langton, who spoke out on the ABC TV discussion programme Q&A last week, subsequently apologised to the News Corp columnist for offending him, but added that “his obsessive writing about the colour of the skin of particular Aboriginal people is malicious and cowardly”.    Read more »

The Four Failures of David Cunliffe

Corporate whore and shill for Just Water, Mathew Hooton, has written at NBR about the four failures of David Cunliffe.

This week Mr Cunliffe managed no fewer than four foreign-policy fails.

First was his bizarre attack on Mr Key for not sufficiently reversing Helen Clark’s agreement with John Howard over social support for New Zealanders living in Australia.

Ms Clark’s deal in the early 2000s was atrocious.  As former Labour Party president Mike Williams observed, she got away with murder politically only because National was then too divided to adequately draw attention to it.

Undeterred, Mr Cunliffe moved on to Labour’s second foreign-policy blunder after Mr Key announced the government had cancelled the passports of New Zealand citizens, who are neither guilty nor even suspected of any crime but who wish to fight the fascist Assad regime in Syria.

Mr Goff quickly adopted the principled liberal position, invoking the Spanish civil war and saying New Zealanders had a right to travel abroad to fight tyranny. He condemned the cancelling of passports, especially of citizens who have committed no crime.

Mr Cunliffe contradicted him and called on Mr Key to consider jail for those who fight abroad.

Phil Goff was at odds with Cunliffe twice on that day. Is the leader really in charge?  Read more »

Abbott hooking into teacher unions, removing leftist dogma from curriculum

Tony Abbot’s government is making great strides, not for them the meek appeasement of unions that our government has in its approach.

Their education minister is set to start reefing leftist dogma from the school curriculum.

THE Abbott government will move today to reshape school education by appointing strong critics of the national curriculum to review what children are taught, amid fears a “cultural Left” agenda is failing students.

The Education Minister, Christopher Pyne, is seeking a blueprint by mid-year to overhaul the curriculum, warning that the rise of “remedial” classes at universities proves the depths of the problem in Australian classrooms. Vowing to restore an “orthodox” curriculum, Mr Pyne will today name author and former teacher Kevin Donnelly and business professor Ken Wiltshire to lead the review.

The appointments clear the way for reforms that could expunge parts of the history syllabus that Tony Abbott has blasted for favouring Labor and the unions but glossing over the work of Coalition prime ministers.  Read more »