Wrong process, wrong person

October 22, 2014

When National launched its constitutional review it chose Steven Joyce to lead it.

He was a successful businessman who supported National but had never been intimately involved with the party and came to the process without baggage.

In stark contrast, Labour has launched its constitutional review and has chosen Bryan Gould to lead it.

Chris Keall nails the problem with that:

. . . if you must have a review panel, head it by someone who knows how to win elections. . .

Gould is a smart man, I’m sure. But he’s not a winner in the game of politics. The ex-pat was a senior MP between 1979 and 1992 – a period of course dominated by Thatcher and the Conservatives as Labour struggled to make itself look anything close to electable.

Gould has poured vitriol on Tony Blair – the man whose up-beat style and move to the centre saw the party finally return to power.

Many in Labour will agree with Gould’s critiques of Blair for going too far in greasing up the press, moderating policy, and poodling to America on Iraq. In various newspaper editorials and his memoirs, Gould won the moral high ground hands down. But he lacks Blair’s ruthless and practical streak, and focus on likeability, that’s so necessary to win power.

A key question for NZ Labour is whether to shore up the party’s base with hard left polices or move to the centre, where elections are won. No prizes for guessing where the academic Gould will land.

Just last Thursday, Gould was comparing Key to Kim Jong-un. Great lorks if you’re a humour writer for the Internet Party. Not so much if you’re trying to talk to middle NZ. . .

Labour’s lost the election for several reasons and because it has several problems, none of which are likely to be solved by a review led by someone who can’t talk to middle New Zealand.

In another contrast, National had its review, reformed its constitution and reorganised then changed its leader.

Labour is changing its leader as the review process begins.

When it’s got the process wrong and chosen the wrong man to lead it, the chances of a successful outcome aren’t high.

 


October 22 in history

October 22, 2014

362  A mysterious fire destroyed the temple of Apollo at Daphne outside Antioch.

1383  The 1383-1385 Crisis in Portugal: King Fernando diedwithout a male heir to the Portuguese throne, sparking a period of civil war and disorder.

1633 Battle of southern Fujian sea: The Ming dynasty defeated the Dutch East India Company.

1707 – Scilly naval disaster: four British Royal Navy ships ran aground near the Isles of Scilly because of faulty navigation. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell and thousands of sailors drowned.

1730 Construction of the Ladoga Canal  completed.

1734  Daniel Boone, American pioneer and hunter, was born (d. 1820).

1746 The College of New Jersey (later renamed Princeton University) received its charter.

1784  Russia founded a colony on Kodiak Island, Alaska.

1790  Warriors of the Miami tribe under Chief Little Turtle defeated United States troops under General Josiah Harmar in the Northwest Indian War.

1797 André-Jacques Garnerin made the first recorded parachute jump 1,000 metres (3,200 feet) above Paris,.

1811 Franz Liszt, Hungarian pianist and composer, was born (d. 1886).

1836  Sam Houston was inaugurated as the first President of the Republic of Texas.

1844  The Great Anticipation: Millerites, followers of William Miller, anticipate the end of the world in conjunction with the Second Advent of Christ.

1875  First telegraphic connection in Argentina.

1877  The Blantyre mining disaster in Scotland killed 207 miners.

1878 The first rugby match under floodlights took place in Salford, between Broughton and Swinton.

1883 The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City opened with a performance of Gounod’s Faust.

1895  In Paris an express train overran a buffer stop and crossed more than 30 metres of concourse before plummeting through a window at Gare Montparnasse.

1907  Panic of 1907: A run on the stock of the Knickerbocker Trust Company set events in motion that led to a depression.

1910  Dr. Crippen was convicted of poisoning his wife.

1919  Doris Lessing, British writer, Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 2013).

1924  Toastmasters International was founded.

1934   Federal Bureau of Investigation agents shot and killed notorious bank robber Pretty Boy Floyd.

1941  French resistance member Guy Môquet and 29 other hostages are executed by the Germans in retaliation for the death of a German officer.
1943  World War II: in the Second firestorm raid on Germany, the Royal Air Force conducts an air raid on the town of Kassel, killing 10,000 and rendering 150,000 homeless.

1944  World War II: Battle of Aachen: The city of Aachen fell to American forces after three weeks of fighting, making it the first German city to fall to the Allies.

1946  Deepak Chopra, Indian-American physician and writer, was born.

1953  Laos gained independence from France

1957 Vietnam War: First United States casualties in Vietnam.

1960  Independence of Mali from France.

1962   Cuban Missile Crisis: US President John F. Kennedy, after internal counsel from Dwight D. Eisenhower, announced that American reconnaissance planes have discovered Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba, and that he has ordered a naval “quarantine” of the Communist nation.

1963  A BAC One-Eleven prototype airliner crashed in UK with the loss of all on board.

1964  Jean-Paul Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, but turned it down.

1964  A Multi-Party Parliamentary Committee selected the design which became the new official Flag of Canada.

1966  The Supremes became the first all-female music group to attain a No. 1 selling album (The Supremes A’ Go-Go).

1966  The Soviet Union launched Luna 12.

1968  Apollo 7 safely splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean after orbiting the Earth 163 times.

1970  Tunku Abdul Rahman resigned as Prime Minister of Malaysia.

1972 Poet James K. Baxter died.

Death of poet James K. Baxter

1972 Vietnam War: In Saigon, Henry Kissinger and South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu met to discuss a proposed cease-fire.

1975  The Soviet unmanned space mission Venera 9 landed on Venus.

1976  Red Dye No. 4 was banned by the US Food and Drug Administration after it is discovered that it causes tumors in the bladders of dogs.

1981 The TGV railway service between Paris and Lyon was inaugurated.

1983  Two correctional officers are killed by inmates at the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois. The incident inspires the Supermax model of prisons.

1991 Dimitrios Arhondonis, was elected 270th Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch as Patriarch Bartholomew I of the Orthodox church.

1999  Maurice Papon, an official in the Vichy France government during World War II, was jailed for crimes against humanity.

2005  Tropical Storm Alpha formed in the Atlantic Basin, making the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record with 22 named storms.

2006  A Panama Canal expansion proposal was approved by 77.8% of voters in a National referendum.

2007  Raid on Anuradhapura Air Force Base carried out by 21 Tamil Tiger commandos.

2008  India launched its first unmanned lunar mission Chandrayaan-1.

2013 – The Australian Capital Territory became the first Australian jurisdiction to legalize same-sex marriage with the Marriage Equality Legislation Australian Capital Territory, 2013

 Sourced from NZ history Online & Wikipedia

Word of the day

October 21, 2014

Illecebrous -tending to attract; enticing, alluring.


What kind of writer are you?

October 21, 2014

What kind of fiction writer are you?

You’re an ocean swimmer:

The literary ocean is big enough for everyone. You don’t see other writers as competition, but rather fellow swimmers, and you’re always ready to reach out and help others stay afloat.

You probably believe that there are plenty of readers out there, so all you need is luck and skill and hard work to find your niche and make your writing dreams happen. You might sometimes feel overwhelmed by the size of the ocean and get a little lost in stormy weather, but you’ll always stay afloat and keep on swimming.

Your greatest advantage is your belief in yourself as a writer, which enables you to overcome any obstacles in your way.


Rules reduction task force launched

October 21, 2014

Local Government Minister Paula Bennett has launched the Rules Reduction initiative, opening the way for people to submit examples of property regulations and local rules that don’t make sense.

“People can now head to http://www.govt.nz/rulesreduction, to start telling us what bugs them when it comes to loopy rules and regulations,” says Mrs Bennett.

“I’m also pleased to announce the Rules Reduction Taskforce will be jointly chaired by Jacqui Dean MP, Parliamentary Private Secretary for Local Government, and Michael Barnett ONZM, Chief Executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

“Both Jacqui and Michael bring with them a strong understanding of the local government and business sectors and will be well placed to guide the Taskforce in its work to cut red tape.

The remaining members of the Taskforce will be appointed within the next month, and will include central and local government experts, and specialists from the building and trades sector, with further announcements to come on the timeline for the Taskforce’s work.

“I’m asking property owners, builders, tradespeople and businesses who have experienced the issues caused by irrelevant or unnecessary regulations, to help draw these to our attention,” says Mrs Bennett.

The information gathered will inform the Taskforce, which will consider submissions and ultimately recommend any necessary changes.

“Central and local government need regulations which are effective, and help get the job done – not get in the way. Regulations that frustrate property owners and business people also suck up councils’ precious resources in administration time and effort.”

“We need to hear from New Zealanders about examples that have got in the way of their building, renovation, landscaping, and home improvement plans, so that we can cut the red tape where it needs to be cut, to help them get on with the job.”

The submission form can be filled out online at http://www.govt.nz/rulesreduction

Facebook (facebook.com/cutredtapenz) and Twitter (twitter.com/CutRedTapeNZ) will be used to spread the word and encourage submissions via the online form to the Taskforce.

When we were altering our home last year, our builder told us he reckoned legislation, most of which was unnecessary had added about $20,000 to the cost of a new home.

Some rules are necessary for safety’s sake and to protect people from shoddy standards.

But this task force should have no shortage of rules which at least need to be simplified and probably could be done away with altogether.

And building won’t be the only area where fewer rules could reduce costs without causing any harm.


October 21 in history

October 21, 2014

1096 People’s Crusade: The Turkish army annihilated the People’s Army of the West.

1520  Ferdinand Magellan discovered the strait which was named after him.

1600 Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated the leaders of rival Japanese clans in the Battle of Sekigahara, which marked the beginning of the Tokugawa shogunate that ruled Japan until the mid-nineteenth century.

1772 Samuel Taylor Coleridge, British poet, was born (d. 1834).

1797  In Boston Harbor, the 44-gun United States Navy frigate USS Constitution was launched.

1805 Battle of Trafalgar: A British fleet led by Vice Admiral Lord Nelson defeatd a combined French and Spanish fleet off the coast of Spain under Admiral Villeneuve.

1805 Austrian General Mack surrendered his army to the Grand Army of Napoleon at the Battle of Ulm.

1816 The Penang Free School was founded in George Town, Penang, by the Rev Hutchings. It is the oldest English-language school in Southeast Asia.

1824  Joseph Aspdin patented Portland cement.

1833  Alfred Nobel, Swedish inventor and founder of the Nobel Prize, was born(d. 1896).

1854 Florence Nightingale and a staff of 38 nurses were sent to the Crimean War.

1861 American Civil War: Battle of Ball’s Bluff – Union forces under Colonel Edward Baker were defeated by Confederate troops.

1867  Manifest Destiny: Medicine Lodge Treaty – Near Medicine Lodge, Kansas a landmark treaty was signed by southern Great Plains Indian leaders. The treaty required Native American Plains tribes to relocate a reservation in western Oklahoma.

1879 Using a filament of carbonized thread, Thomas Edison tested the first practical electric incandescent light bulb.

1892 Opening ceremonies for the World’s Columbian Exposition were held in Chicago, though because construction was behind schedule, the exposition did not open until May 1, 1893.

1895 The Republic of Formosa collapsed as Japanese forces invaded.

1902 In the United States, a five month strike by United Mine Workers ended.

1917  Dizzy Gillespie, American musician, was born (d. 1993).

1921 Sir Malcolm Arnold, British composer, was born (d. 2006).

1921 President Warren G. Harding delivered the first speech by a sitting President against lynching in the deep south.

1921 George Melford’s silent film, The Sheik, starring Rudolph Valentino, premiered.

1929 Ursula K. Le Guin, American author was born.

1931 Vivian Pickles, English actress, was born.

1940  Geoff Boycott, English cricketer, was born.

1940  Manfred Mann, English musician, was born.

1942 Judy Sheindlin, American judge (“Judge Judy”), was born.

1944 The first kamikaze attack: A Japanese plane carrying a 200 kilograms (440 lb) bomb attacked HMAS Australia off Leyte Island, as the Battle of Leyte Gulf began.

1945 Women’s suffrage: Women were allowed to vote in France for the first time.

1945 Juan Perón married Evita.

1952 Trevor Chappell, Australian cricketer, was born.

1953  Peter Mandelson, British politician, was born.

1956 Carrie Fisher, American actress and writer, was born.

1959 The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, opened to the public.

1964 Peter Snell won a second gold at the Toky Olympics.

Peter Snell wins second gold in Tokyo

1965  Comet Ikeya-Seki approached perihelion, passing 450,000 kilometers from the sun.

1966  Aberfan disaster: A slag heap collapsed on the village of Aberfan, killing 144 people, mostly schoolchildren.

1967 Vietnam War: More than 100,000 war protesters gathered in Washington, D.C..  Similar demonstrations occurred simultaneously in Japan and Western Europe.

1969 A coup d’état in Somalia brought Siad Barre to power.

1973 John Paul Getty III‘s ear was cut off by his kidnappers and sent to a newspaper in Rome.

1978 Australian pilot Frederick Valentich vanished in a Cessna 182 over the Bass Strait, after reporting contact with an unidentified aircraft.

1979  Moshe Dayan resigned from the Israeli government because of strong disagreements with Prime Minister Menachem Begin over policy towards the Arabs.

1983  The metre was defined at the seventeenth General Conference on Weights and Measures as the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second.

1986  In Lebanon, pro-Iranian kidnappers claimed to have  abducted American writer Edward Tracy.

1987 Jaffna hospital massacre by Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka killing 70.

1994 North Korea and the United States signed an agreement that requires North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons program and agree to inspections.

1994  In Seoul, 32 people were killed when the Seongsu Bridge collapsed.

2003  Images of the dwarf planet Eris were taken and subsequently used in its discovery by the team of Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz.

2012 – A shooting at a spa in Brookfield, Wisconsin, left four people dead, including the shooter.

2013Record smog closed schools, roadways, and the airport in Harbin, China.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipeda


Word of the day

October 20, 2014

Popinjay – a vain or conceited person, especially one who dresses or behaves extravagantly; a person given to vain, pretentious displays and empty chatter; coxcomb; fop; Woodpecker; parrot.
Hat tip: Quote Unquote


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