Happy Birthday Mel Smith – 57 today.
One of the more common comments, as the working group held its conference on Tuesday, was the process has been a very good one. Which is – how shall we put this?… A very Wellington thing to say. The rest of the country tends to be more interested in outcomes than in process.
A cynic – which your columnist has been called, from time to time, mostly by people with a hopelessly rosy and deluded view of life – might suggest people admire the process when they don’t want to look too closely at its outcomes.
Trans Tasman on the Tax Working Group’s report.
(You can subscribe to Trans Tasman here).
Happy Birthday Andy Williams – 82 today.
The Impossible Dream comes from Man of La Mancha, the musical based on Don Quixote.
John Key will be attending the leaders’ meeting at the end of the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen.
In a media release (not yet online) he says:
“The circumstances have changed in recent weeks. While it’s unlikely a binding agreement will be reached at Copenhagen, political momentum is growing which is why in recent weeks a lot more leaders have indicated they will be attending.
“By my absence I wouldn’t want to give the impression that New Zealand isn’t committed to playing its part in the fight against climate change.
Greenpeace raised $5000 to send the Prime Minister to the conference. Will they give it to him now he’s going?
Japanese researchers have found that thinking about something sweet can cause you to store fat.
If thinking about food makes you fat, could thinking about exercise make you fit?
The Families Commission wants us to fund the expansion of Paid Parental Leave for new fathers to four weeks to enable them to spend more time with their babies.
Isn’t there more than a slight contradiction between that and subsidies for child care, paid for by us, to enable parents to leave their children while they work?
P.S. Lindsay Mitchell has a better idea.
On December 3:
1838 Octavia Hill, British housing and open-space activist, was born.
1842 Charles Alfred Pillsbury, American industrialist, was born.
1854 – Eureka Stockade: In what is claimed by many to be the birth of Australian democracy, more than 20 gold miners at Ballarat, Victoria, Australia were killed by state troopers in an uprising over mining licences.
The ‘Eureka Flag, flown during the rebellion
1857 Joseph Conrad, Polish-born British writer, was born.
1863 the land confiscation law was passed, allowing for the confiscation (raupatu) of Maori land as punishment of those North Island tribes who were deemed to have been in rebellion against the British Crown in the early 1860s.
1917 The Quebec Bridge opened to traffic.
1927 Andy Williams, American singer, was born.
1948 Ozzy Osbourne, English singer, was born.
1960 Bluff Harbour opened.
1952 Mel Smith, English comedian, was born.
1976 Byron Kelleher, New Zealand rugby union footballer, was born.
1976 Mark Boucher, South African cricketer, was born.
1984 Bhopal Disaster: A methyl isocyanate leak from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, killed more than 3,800 people outright and injures 150,000–600,000 others (some 6,000 of whom would later die from their injuries) in one of the worst industrial disasters in history.
1997 representatives from 121 countries signed The Ottawa treaty prohibiting manufacture and deployment of anti-personnel landmines.