29 August, 2008

Has Winston Peters finally been hooked?

Or will he wriggle off again.

There is no doubt about it. Winston Peters is a slippery fish. He fends off answering questions so well that even very experienced journalists are left wondering how he managed to do it time and time again.

Various news media have been full of this latest tale of undeclared donations for weeks, make that months, now the SFO is involved.

Will this be the end of Peters or yet another saga with an interesting name like the wine box was.

I would post a link but they are just too numerous.

Peters would be gone last election if it weren't for the sheepeople votes. The non-thinking voters who keep voting for him in either in Tauranga (last time they didn't but Bob Clarkson isn't standing this time) or by voting New Zealand First with their party vote.

I guess we may know by lunchtime....maybe....

I wonder if New Zealand First will survive the fall out.

26 August, 2008

Stop Pay Toll

That is what the big sign above the Auckland Harbour Bridge Toll Booths from 1959 to 1984 said.

In the 1970s it cost 20c to travel north (south was free). To put that in perspective $20 worth of petrol would run a mini from the outskirts of the North Shore to Newmarket and back for 10 days.

Why did I bring up that little bit of history from my WOF guy?

National's Maurice Williamson made a bit of a gaffe over the weekend.

Well, a huge gaffe really. Here

In his opinion your average motorist would be happy to pay $3 to $5 a journey to travel on uncongested roads.

Simple maths produces the cost of $15 to $50 per week. That can not be compare to the 20c per north bound crossing i.e. $1 per week (equivalent to $1.29 per crossing or $6.45 per week today).
Is this another item on National's secret agenda in spite of John Key's rapid back peddle away from the issue or is Maurice William suffering from a bad case of foot in mouth?
With the ferry fare for crossing the harbour at $10 return or $35 for ten trips he just might be.

Smack, or rather Anti-smack

The government, in the shape of Labour of course, has steadfastly stated that a referendum on the anti-smacking legislation can not be held on election day, despite the referendum with enough signatures being delivered to Parliament some weeks ago.

Holding such a referendum on election day would be much cheaper than holding a separate poll of course. Just think of all those halls that wouldn't have to be hired twice for a start. No, the government says there isn't/wasn't time.


There was time to organise it.

I think I have spotted a secret agenda.

If you were going to vote to repeal the anti-smacking law would you then vote Labour, who enabled the bill to become law in the first place or Green, whose bill it was in the first place?

National aren't the only ones using a lot of spin.

18 August, 2008

Is big brother watching?

Censorship is an ugly word.

It has all kinds a negative connotations.

It doesn't happen here ... or does it.

Take a look at this.
It's 10:24 long if you worry about that sort of thing.

Now I am inclined to take at least some of it with a grain of salt, it does sound like a conspiracy theorists fantasy, but I have seen more than one group shut down for "breeches of copyright".

Given the nature of some of the discussions I have to wonder if that excuse was just a little convenient.

I you think I am getting paranoid ask yourself this;

Where have all the msn chat rooms gone and why?

04 August, 2008

National slip up

The Nats have stopped waiting around for an election date and started to release some policy promises. Probably as a result of Joe Bloggs starting to have trouble telling National and Labour apart.

Have a look here if you want all the waffle.

Basically more tax cuts come April, more private enterprise involvement in government projects along with a raft of smaller things like funding for certain drugs via phamac.

What they didn't count on was someone with a recording device capturing a conversation with Bill English about asset sales.

First on the chopping block to fund all these promises appears to be Kiwibank.

That is one of the two remaining New Zealand owned banks not counting the Reserve bank (the other is TSB).

Something to think about.

We've been here before.

03 August, 2008

Silly Surveys - the public transport edition

No doubt you have been subjected to at least one of those dinner time phone calls asking for 5 minutes of your time to complete a survey. My secretary was the recipient of one a while back on the subject of public transport.

Unlike many others it was short and the results were published in the AA magazine.

Spotted the bias yet?

Apparently hardly anybody would consider catching the bus, train or ferry to go to the doctor or to go shopping.

Well Duh!

The reasons why were not reported and judging by my secretaries experience where not asked.

I can give you some idea why public transport sucks for shopping and doctor visits.

First - shopping.

Once upon a time, 20 - 30 years ago, you could shop at a small local supermarket within walking distance of your home. So close that making more than one trip a week was easy. The weight of a weeks worth of milk was no problem as that was delivered to the letterbox by the milkman and his milk boys.

In slightly more rural areas a couple of decades earlier there were such things as meat vans, bread vans etc that stopped at the end of the street.

No more.

Today's hunter gatherer, the modern housewife heads to a supermarket 4-6 times bigger than that small local one (which is now a video store and pizza takeaway) 2 or 3 suburbs away.

Her weekly haul can fill 5 decent sized boxes, judging by what ends up in the kitchen every week here. Two of those boxes hold just milk and chilled/frozen food.

Carry all that on a bus - I think not.

Carry all that from the bus stop home? -yeah right! pmsl

Then there is the doctor.

We are fortunate here that the nearest doctor is quite close by. A quick 5 minute walk up the road.

Right in front of the nearest bus stop in fact.

Up is the important word.

There is a rule of thumb here - you are sick enough to have a day of work and go to the doctor if you feel like collapsing at the top of the hill- that is half way to the bus stop.

People well enough to walk to the doctor don't often have to go to one - funny that.