Sir Bob Jones

Add Karl du Fresne as an Air New Zealand hater

Property investor Sir Bob Jones and broadcaster Gary McCormick have both fallen foul of the airline for not complying with what Jones trenchantly calls its infantile nanny-statism. Both were banished to the naughty corner.

Jones ended up buying his own plane. McCormick has been banned for two years, an extraordinary act of arrogant corporate bullying that he intends to challenge.

I banned myself from flying Air New Zealand if I could possibly avoid it after an experience several years ago when I was booked on an afternoon flight to Sydney. I had to catch a bus to Canberra and made sure I had hours to spare, because experience had taught me to expect delays.

So it turned out. As the afternoon wore on, I sat through countless announcements of delayed departure times. I can’t recall precisely what reason was given: “servicing requirements” or “engineering requirements” or one of those familiar bland excuses that airlines use to cover up their slackness.

At one stage we were grudgingly given vouchers for the airport café, the value of which seemed to have been fixed so as to ensure we couldn’t actually buy anything edible. Otherwise the airline’s ground staff were characteristically missing in action.

In the event, our flight arrived in Sydney several hours late. I missed the last bus by minutes and had to make hurried arrangements to spend the night in Sydney, at considerable inconvenience both to me and the people who were expecting me in Canberra.

But what lingers in my mind was what happened when it became obvious, halfway across the Tasman, that I was at risk of missing my connection.

I approached three flight attendants who were idly chatting at the front of the cabin. I wanted to ask if they happened to know where the bus pickup point was at Sydney Airport – a piece of information that might save me vital minutes – or, failing that, whether they could suggest any other way of getting to Canberra at that late hour.

As they saw me approach, their conversation ceased and their demeanour changed. They looked at me with a mixture of alarm and suspicion. A passenger, doubtless wanting something … a problem, in other words.

When the most senior of the attendants opened her mouth to speak to me, it wasn’t to ask how she could help. It was to reprimand me, in headmistressy tones, for stepping across a line on the floor of the cabin beyond which passengers weren’t permitted. It seems I could have been a hijacker trying to get into the cockpit.

She had all the charm of an SS concentration camp guard. Needless to say I hadn’t noticed the line on the floor (who would?) and had no idea I had suddenly become a security risk. No matter. Rules are rules, and I had to be put in my place.

It was one of those moments when you’re so taken aback that you don’t think of an appropriately witty response until much later. (The French have a term for this: l’esprit d’escalier.) But I proceeded to seek the flight attendants’ advice anyway.

They not only couldn’t help me, but showed no interest in doing so. In fact they reacted as if it was downright impertinent of me to interrupt their chatter, although it was their airline that had caused my predicament.

Such things stick in your mind for years. It became my defining Air New Zealand moment, even superseding the memorable time my luggage – and that of most other passengers – was removed from an Air New Zealand flight to Tonga without our knowledge because the plane was overweight. The pilot casually informed us of this only when we were halfway to our destination.

Everyone has their negative airline stories, but almost all of mine involve Air New Zealand. It’s an airline that does a lot of things well, but it often appears unwilling to accept responsibility for the inconvenience it creates for passengers when it fouls things up.

That’s how McCormick fell out with the airline. He had been stuffed around by flight delays and decided that the least Air New Zealand could do was allow him a glass of wine in the Koru Club as a quid pro quo, even though he wasn’t a member.

I understand his exasperation, but that’s not the way things work with Air New Zealand. It determines the rules, and unfortunately they don’t include anything about getting passengers to their destinations on time or recompensing them if it fails to do so. Read more »

Putting the record straight – Bob Jones

Twice in successive weeks recently, I slammed the New Zealand media’s ludicrous behaviour in two New Zealand Herald satirical columns, over their infantile excesses following the ponytail incident. How ironic then that a few weeks later I should be the subject of their obsession with trivia. Here’s what happened.

I shot up to Auckland for a vice-chancellor’s university function, in my honour. As I’ve done countless times, I gave my ticket to the always helpful Koru Club ladies who set about re-organising me into the big leg room emergency seat and, if possible, and as indeed in that case, with no-one besides me. On the flight I was greeted by one of Air New Zealand’s most charming chief stewards, a Chinese chap, took my seat, donned my air phones to avoid the unbelievably childish safety claptrap, and had a pleasant 50 minutes’ read.

The following day at Auckland saw a repetition, marked by one of the X-ray machine officers shaking hands with me, saying he hadn’t seen me for a while. Such is the usual friendly conduct I and doubtless other regular Auckland-Wellington are accustomed to. Once again, I took my seat, donned my earphones and settled into my book, of which more shortly. There was a tap on my shoulder. I looked up to see a young hostess frowning at me and, assuming it was the usual seat forward silliness, pushed the side button and returned to reading. She tapped again. I took off the headphones.

“You’re in the emergency seat.”

“Yes.”

“Do you know you’re in the emergency seat?”

“Yes.”

“Do you want to change seats?”

“Not particularly.” Read more »

Face of the day

Sir Bob Jones Photo- getfrank.co.nz

Sir Bob Jones
Photo- getfrank.co.nz

Today’s face of the day Sir Bob Jones was escorted off an Air New Zealand flight for not following the safety briefing. Compared to Sir Bob I ( Spanishbride ) am not an experienced flyer by any means but I have travelled overseas and I was not aware that ignoring the safety briefing could get a person kicked off a plane. In fact when I was travelling between Wellington and Auckland I noticed businessmen who obviously flew the flight every weekend, relaxing with their eyes shut during the briefing. Let’s face it. When you are a regular flyer you don’t need to listen to the briefing every single time.

Oh well, Sir Bob handled himself with dignity and he can always cheer himself up by buying a ticket to the Whaleoil

Decade of Dirt celebration.

Read more »

Sir Robbo on ageing

Sir-Bob-Jones-1200

Bob Jones is a national treasure.  Don’t ask him questions unless you’re prepared to listen to what he really thinks.  Here is is take on standing on your wallet to look sexy when you’re older

You’ve been married a lot and had a lot of different partners: how do you charm the women you’ve been with?

I don’t set out to charm women, but I’ll tell you one thing – they like laughter, but they don’t like pranks. Read more »

Bob Jones… on Bob Jones

Love him or hate him, he’s national treasure icon.

5. What kind of father are you?

Not a conventional one.

I’m not going to watch them play football and go to school plays and that.

I didn’t want my parents to do that, not that they ever did.

Dad did watch me box once.

Thankfully I won.

No, I won’t tell you how many I’ve got.

Millions of daughters. Read more »

Rod Vaughan Hand In Your Mancard

Rod Vaughan has written a book.  Who?

Apparently Vaughan is legendary in news and current affairs but instead of writing a real man’s book about drinking, smoking, hunting, eating and shagging, he is caught documenting whinging like a little bitch about his treatment at TVNZ from Bill Ralston.  It is a nasty, catty excerpt written like a man who has ticked the days off a calendar to dish it.  I mean every second person in town has been sacked by TVNZ, you are not special.  Ralston didn’t bother with a departure lounge he allegedly would announce impending doom as exclusives to a mate who paid the bill to booze!

Most of us learnt of our fate from the ramblings of Ralston in the Herald or the Listener or whichever publication was taking him out to lunch. It was hurtful and sometimes humiliating but that hardly seemed to concern him as he made clear in a Herald interview:

‘You can’t keep calling meetings of 300 people every day to hear the thoughts of Chairman Bill. It’s not going to work. So if you can send a signal by whatever media that happen to be around, why wouldn’t you?’

Which is how I got to learn that I was in his sights. This, from him in the Listener: ‘There are people who have been here an awfully long time. Today is the 35th anniversary of Rod Vaughan entering television!’

And this which has milk all over four paws

But we soon discovered that what the mercurial and erratic Ralston said and what he did were very often two completely different things. This, after all, was the person who spent years bagging TVNZ, describing it as inept, boring and byzantine and then going all out to grab one of the top jobs there.

The self-described ‘smartarse at the back of the class’ was a classic case of poacher turned gamekeeper and his arrival at the state broadcaster left some wondering how the lunatic had managed to take over the asylum.

The defining moment in the man’s career and only reason I remember otherwise Vanilla Vaughan is he broke the rules of carrying a man card and interrupted another man deep in the craft art sport of fishing.

Screen Shot 2013-01-06 at 10.35.57 PM

Jones ran at him and smacked him in the face.  He looks pretty bloodied and beaten in this clip.  And sooking like a girl.

Imagine an entire career where you’ve slogged every day for forty years and you are remembered by a younger generation simply for being the guy who Bob Jones smashed in the face?

The Judge fined Jones $1,000.  Jones offered to pay $2,000 if he could hit Vaughan again.

Now THAT is legendary.

Jones v Yet Another Academic

Sir Bob Jones thinks “mangled language is now the norm”.  He calls out John Key, Simon Bridges and an academic with a doctorate from Harvard:

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright, has degrees from Canterbury University and California’s Berkley, plus a doctorate from Harvard, and she can’t speak English.

Jones opines that promoting the Maori language is a waste of time and money:

There’s been a sharp decline in language standards in recent decades, which ought to be a matter for concern. Yet ironically, it’s coincided with a growing romanticising about redundant languages, illustrated in New Zealand by the waste promoting Maori.

And gives an example of what is happening in the world with other redundant languages:

The same nonsense occurs elsewhere, such as in Wales, while National Geographic magazine is forever wringing its hands about the last two survivors, now in their 90s, who are the only remaining speakers of Wagamishoo or whatever. This is silly. It doesn’t matter and to extrapolate knowledge of a language as revealing the soul of the people and similar claptrap, as spouted here by the Maori language proponents, is sheer fantasy.

Underemployed in his semi-retirement, Sir Bob has just completed a soon-to-be-published book.

I have just completed writing a soon-to-be-published book on an aspect of our contemporary language following six years of hobbyist research. I thoroughly enjoyed this exercise but I certainly don’t romanticise it. Rather, language is a tool, nothing more and undoubtedly it is the prime reason for homo sapiens’ rise to the top of the animal world.

So who are the biggest piggies then?

Phil Goff has been all sanctimonious over MP troughing and travel thinking that he can drum up some support for his flagging party in this manner.

That is until today when the latest figures for Parliamentary expenses have been released and we find that the top 10 troughers are;

  1. Hone Harawira $53,084
  2. Phil Goff with $51,895
  3. Ross Robertson with $38,308
  4. Maryan Street with $37,631
  5. Lockwood Smith with $37,626
  6. Shane Jones with $35,074
  7. Shane Ardern with $30,532
  8. George Hawkins with $30,116
  9. Kelvin Davis with $29,978
  10. Rahui Katene with $29,339

That is on total expenses. It is far more interesting when you look at air travel alone, then the top 10 troughers are;

  1. Phil Goff with $29,166
  2. Ross Robertson with $25,742
  3. Rodney Hide with $25,163 (though now repaid)
  4. Hone Harawira with $24,330
  5. Mayan Street with $21,663
  6. Shane Jones with $20,735
  7. George Hawkins with $20,690
  8. Shane Ardern with $17,676
  9. Kelvin Davis with$17,619
  10. Damien O’Connor with $17,486

Looks like the top trougher MPs are almost entirely Labour. With 4% of the population believing Phil Goff is fit to run the nation he can hardly justify his excessive troughing and his sanctimonious high dudgeon attitude to travel expense of Rodney Hide and Hone Harawira.

Quite amazing that Ross Robertson, the absentee MP for Manukau East and Shane Jones a List MP figure in both lists of top troughers. Phil Goff is now officially a class A hypocrite when it comes to travel expenses.

Warning! Weapon of Mass Distraction

White powder found in PM’s mailPart of the Beehive was evacuated today after white powder was sent to the Prime Minister. The powder was found in mail sent to Helen Clark on the eighth floor of the Beehive. A spokesman for Helen Clark said several people… [NZ Herald Politics]

Remember last election, at a time when Labour was suffering in the polls all of sudden there was a foot and mouth scare on Waiheke Island? Turns out it was all bullshit, yet no-one was ever caught or prosecuted.

Today some fool apparently sent some white powder to the Prime Minister and the letter made its way all the way up to the 8th Floor of the Beehive when all of a sudden, lo and behold it was discovered.

I call bullshit on this. There is no way with all the security procedures in place around the Beehive that a letter arrived on the eighth floor un-opened.

Meanwhile though Idiot at No Right Turn has managed to blame it all on David Farrar. Fucking cock! Idiot, not David 😉

I suppose we will have to wait until the boys at the Standard return to their office that was cleared by the scare to blog that it was all John Key’s dirty tricks!

Is there a poll being conducted?

Weapon of mass DistractionGovt proposes ban on cellphones for driversA proposed ban on drivers using hand-held cellphones has been announced by the Government in a bid to reduce road accidents.
The proposed amendment to the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004 is scheduled to be released for public…
[NZ Politics]

Is it just me or does anyone else wonder why Harry Duynhoven pulled this little trick out of his arse on a day when Labour screwed up their taxpayer funded brochure so badly they look like the local primary school sending out invites to the school play.

Simply put we need this law like we need cancer.

A law already exists that the Police could use. It is called “Careless Use of a Motor Vehicle”. I suggest they start trying to enforce it.

In  five years between 2002 and 2007 there were 27 fatal crashes involving cellphones, 5 per year and we are passing a silly bloody law that isn’t needed.

If this isn’t blatent revenue gathering I don’t know what is. I call 5 fools a year terminating themselves by driving while using a cellphone natural selection.

Meanwhile we kill 18,000 New Zealanders a year because their mother might be slightly mad if she has a baby……priorities are all fucked up in this country for sure.