31 May, 2007

Will anybody listen?

I have been having a fair bit of difficulty trying to post on my blog this week.

My secretary has been busy with other things so I visited my friend Inky Rabbit to ask for her assistance in typing up my spiel on Kiwi Saver.

She was unimpressed when I politely jumped into her hutch for a talk about it. She refused to speak to me and hid in her bedroom.

Then I tried the youngest child but all he did was meow back at me!

Who does he think he is?

A cat?

I then asked eldest child. She decided to be particularly dense and pretended not to understand me so I decided to do it myself. Despite the fact that keyboards are not well designed for cat paws.

The Man Of The House overheard my conversation with eldest and obligingly set up his lap top on the table even positioning it so that I could easily sit and type. I thanked him nicely and was attempting to access this page when he started yelling and put me on the floor! No amount of cajoling on my part could convince him to allow me to use his computer.

I even tried to talk a passing bird into typing for me and was carrying it into the house discussing what I wanted to say when it flew out of my mouth!

No amount of pleading on my part could get it to come back.
I knew I should have just stuck to the topic of lunch.
My lunch that is.

I guess my diatribe on Kiwi Saver will have to wait for another time. A more irrelevant topic has come up.


Or rather the parliamentary prayer that is said at the start of every session for 154 years.

The speaker, Margaret Wilson, has sent a letter to all MP's asking whether they want to keep the pray and if the wording of the prayer should be changed. link

This has all become tied up in whether New Zealand has a state religion or not, as in;

  • If we don't have a state religion why to we have a Christan prayer at the start of every session of parliament?

  • Why do we have a national anthem with the first line "God of nations at thy feet"?

  • Why are Christmas and Easter public holidays?

Could it be Clayton's choice? The state religion you have when you don't have a state religion?

A quick look at the census data from 2006 shows that 55.6% of the population still identify themselves as Christan. Even if that is a drop of 5% from 2001 that is still the majority.

The prayer in question is this:

"Almighty God, humbly acknowledging our need for Thy guidance in all things, and laying aside all private and personal interests, we beseech Thee to grant that we may conduct the affairs this House and of our country to the glory of Thy holy name, the maintenance of true religion and justice, the honour of the Queen, and the public welfare, peace and tranquillity of New Zealand, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen."

Is having MP's pause for a few seconds to ask for guidance and to lay aside all private and personal interests such a bad thing given how given some of the behaviour in the House?

Let us pray that someone is listening.

23 May, 2007

Insurance and the Boy Racer

Boy Racers have hit the news again with the usual cries of what is the government going to do about it. As usual they have an idea and have appointed a fall guy, in this case Harry Duynhoven, to deliver it to the bleating sheep that politicians often mistake for the New Zealand voter.

The idea:

Compulsory Third Party Insurance.

Cue flash of de ja vue.

Now, on its own, this isn't such a bad idea. Every car owner should have some sort of insurance and if they did possibly the cost of insurance would decrease. Part of the conditions of getting insurance would be that the car is registered and has a current warrant of fitness so fewer complete bombs on the road. The insurance companies would be grinning all the way to the bank but any driver would be safe to sneeze in a queue of traffic with out being faced with a big bill should his/her car jerk into the back of a BMW in the process. It may even remove a few elderly cars from the road and force more of the perpetually broke on to public transport.

But as usual there is a catch. Aside from the cost to the 20 - 30% of car owners who don't have insurance that is.

The effect on Boy Racer problem will be:

No effect at all.
If you are looking for a way to teach Boy Racers that doughnuts are better fried, cooled and served with jam and whipped cream rather than burned on the road with diesel and a rubber tyre spinning at high speed you will have to think of something else.

The very term Boy Racer implies speed. Does insurance or lack of it slow them down?

Then there is the issue of the way cool modifications.

I know a Warrant Of Fitness guy so I bailed him up by sitting on his nice warm car bonnet and had a chat. A very effective technique for getting someone to talk to you if you have clean feet.

He sees a lot of boy and girl racers and their cars. Apparently not all boy racer type modifications are illegal. There is some great info about that here.

The police can green and pink sticker cars until the cows come home but if it meets the LTSA Warrant Of Fitness requirements the WOF guy will remove the sticker. The fact that a truck can be driven through some of the holes in those regs isn't the WOF guys problem. However I dare say a number of Boy Racers will get seriously pissed off if the police keep sending them back for unnecessary WOF checks. A WOF check isn't free after all.

What about all those unwarranted, illegally modified cars driven by boy racers. Will the lack of insurance get them off the road?
I am sure the police will back me up when I state that not even a flying pig can achieve that let alone an insurance policy.

Compulsory insurance won't even solve the mystery ding problem. You know the ones that appear when parked at the local shopping mall with no sign of the culprit or his/her insurance details.

To give Harry Duynhoven his due he did sound like he knew what he was talking about when interviewed on Campbell Live. Right up until he used an example of one of his own cars to state the cost of third party insurance.


I had my secretary check this. She started laughing.

A word to the wise Harry. The cost of insuring your old car with its old grey haired driver in New Plymouth is very different to a solo mum insuring the same vehicle in Auckland. Especially if anyone under 25 comes within cooee of the drivers seat.

The idea that compulsery insurance will stop Boy Racers breaking the law is about as effective microchipping dogs to stop them biting.

20 May, 2007

The Budget and Other Things that Leave Stains

What a lot of hoopla over Cullen's Budget this week.link In trying to please everybody it is starting to look like he has pleased nobody. Still with all the fuss the people seem to have forgotten all about the anti-smacking bill was passed with only 7 votes against it. link I am suddenly feeling a lot more confident about my chances of being elected. How Labour managed to pull that one off with all the opposition from the voters. Better still, managing to convince most of National to vote for it as well thus saving Labour from political suicide, I don't know. They must have been spinning like tops down in Parliament.

National's leader, John Key, is going about saying he will undo Labour's family support (aka family tax credit)legislation and give every one tax cuts instead. link Doing that may not win him as many votes as he thinks it will. Robbing Peter and son of a large amount to pay Paul a small amount may gain some votes but only as long as Paul doesn't figure out that that it is stealing candy, and even more basic sustenance, from babies.

This last week I have been enjoying this bunch of flowers, sent to me by an anonymous admirer. They look and smell lovely. My secretary has been quite strange about it and has heard muttering something about my flowers and Mother's Day.

I don't know what her problem is, I am too busy trying to get rid of these mysterious orange marks on by head and back.

Now she is laughing like a drain! Something about lily pollen stains......

18 May, 2007

Notice of Public Meeting

I will be holding a series of public meetings to discuss various topics.


The Plum Tree in the backyard


Every evening



Attendees are requested to please refrain from sitting on Cinnamon Bun's hutch.

14 May, 2007

Gangs and the banning of patches.

Sometimes a silly, unworkable, idea just doesn't die.

This caught my eye in the paper this morning.

As I pointed out last week here there is one very big problem with this idea.

To quote The New Zealand Little Oxford Dictionary;

gang n. 1. band of people associating for some (usu. antisocial or criminal) purpose. 2. set of workers, slaves, or

The wording of any such law will have to very carefully define what a gang is. Completely dropping meaning #2 and removing the brackets and the word usually in meaning #1 in the dictionary for starters. That is as well as defining what is antisocial and what gang regalia is. Other wise the patches on a kids school uniform, rewards for participation and achievement as well as house colour, would be outlawed as well as scout proficiency badges.

How about just clamping down on the criminal behaviour?

Would you believe that this animosity between Black Power and Mongrel Mob in Wanganui is so old that nobody knows what started it and now it is over the difference between blue and red? That is what was reported on television last week.

Maybe mandatory IQ tests for gun licence holders would be of assistance. But then again, given the non law abiding nature of these two gangs, maybe not.

It's all a bit like the over reported gang problem in North Shore between the Bloods and the Crypts last year. That basically came down to the colour of the uniform sweatshirts worn by to neighbouring secondary schools and an assumption by a reporter who reported a minor problem as a major one.

Asking the Cancer Society nicely to stop selling blue and red bandanas maybe be more effective than any law.

Could it really be as simple as that?

09 May, 2007

This weeks random rantings

Isn't there a lot of ranting going on in the media at present. Everything from gangs to drinking, teen parties and parenting to Auckland's cracking clippons.


I'll start with gangs.

There are calls from all over the place to ban gangs. The loudest seems to be coming from Micheal Laws, Mayor of Wanganui and former MP. Hardly surprising really given that all this is the result of a drive by shooting in Wanganui that left a child dead. link

The problem, apart from yet another law, is that in trying to ban gangs it is very easy for the same law to ban sports clubs, Girl Guides, Scouts and even the Salvation Army. All because they wear uniforms and have badges. A gang is just a group after all. The whole idea makes as much sense as banning a Scout Gang Show.

I think that part of the problem with gangs is that they have this complex about being laughed at for doing things that are down right funny. I've seen patched gang members ride up the street on their souped up bikes and what is not to laugh at? One of them had handlebars so high that no police officer would need to request that the rider put his hands up. His hands were already well and truly up. Gang members try to cover up this inferiority complex by doing illegal things and scaring the dickens out of everybody else.

So what is the solution?
Yet another law followed by cries of nanny state?
How about enforcing the laws we already have.


Which brings me to teen parties or rather out of control partying teens high on who know what. All that leads too is this. link
I have always wondered why people drink and taken strange substances at parties. I mean if you have to take some mood altering substance to have fun at a party it can't be much of the party.

That aside why are teens suddenly getting away with running a muck big time. Could it be the Rights of the Child legislation? What ever happened to the Rights of a Parent? Without those rights parenting has become all care and no responsibility.

Responsibility. That is what these out of control yoof need. As in taking responsibility for their actions. If they are not acting like children don't treat them like children.


Speaking of responsibility, now for Auckland's cracking up Nippon Clippons.

Transit has decided to ban trucks from the Nippon Clippon lanes of the Coathanger, due to fatigue cracks starting to reappear.link
That's right Aucklander's or rather North Shorites have been there before. In the late 80s/early 90s I am told.

Why do all these people want to cross that bridge anyway?
60,000 vehicles a year, mostly because businesses insist on putting their offices on the south side of the bridge and employing people on the north side. There are calls all over the place for another harbour crossing. Many cries of build a new bridge, build a tunnel, replace the existing bridge. link

At the speed Auckland's leaders tend to solve major infrastructure problems involving more than one council somebody better put in an order for some vehicular ferries now because no doubt they will be needed before the local body politicians make up their minds.

How about it Fullers?

04 May, 2007


During the last election campaign I made an appearance at the local school book parade.

I didn't go to the school book parade held today at the same school but my secretary did.

Someone else did as well.

A National party backbencher by the name of Jonathon Coleman.

I am seriously ticked off.

I have been told that he complemented the children on their behaviour say that they were better behaved than Parliament.

Pffffffffp! That is not saying much.

Why the heck does he think I am running for MP in the first place? I am not impressed.


Has anybody else got bored with the smacking debate yet?

I have.

My house mate, Minnie just smacked me for trespassing on her corner of the yard so my pride is a little wounded. I tried to explain that such behaviour will be outlawed in a couple of weeks even with that vague amendment but it was no use. Minnie doesn't think the law will apply to us since we are both cats.

She may have a point.

I'll be sure to remind her of that next time she is in the lounge when I walk in. It will be her losing some fluff and leaving in a hurry then.