Is anything of note happening here?

March 10, 2013

Many years ago a British TV programme lampooned New Zealand television for the items carried in the news.

I’m a little vague on the details but I think something to do with the theft of a few sheep had been a leading story at the time.

The implication was we were just a quaint little country where nothing of note happened.

Anyone whose been looking for serious current affairs on television could be forgiven for thinking this still applies.

Seven Sharp didn’t promise to be serious and has failed anyway.

I’d hoped for much better from TV3′s 3rd Degree. It promised much but delivered so little I stopped watching after a very few minutes.

I take it from several reviews, including One Guy too Many from Cactus Kate and why TV3 should hang its head in shame over ’3rd Degree’ and why I suspect Duncan Garner and Guyon Espiner would agree with me from Brian Edwards, that I was wise to do so.

There’s one last chance for television this morning. Q & A starts at 9am.

A media release from TVNZ says:

We speak to the Government’s Mr Fix It, Steven Joyce, about the deals with Novopay and SkyCity, and question how committed the government is to creating new jobs.

Also on the programme, should marriage be solely between a man and woman; we hear from a gay couple who question why they’re being treated as second class citizens. We debate the same-sex marriage bill with Labour MP Louisa Wall and Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig, and ask if gay couples should be able to adopt.

On the panel this week is political scientist Dr Raymond Miller, publisher Ian Wishart, and former Labour party candidate Josie Pagani.

Join host Susan Wood and political editor Corin Dann on Q+A at 9am this Sunday on TV One.

I probably won’t be. I have other things on my agenda this morning – as do most other people at 9am on Sunday. But I will try to catch up with what happened on MySky later in the hope that maybe one little corner of television thinks there is something happening in New Zealand which people ought to know about.


Greens want to rob Peter to pay Paul

January 29, 2013

Year after year remits at National Party conferences sought to ensure fuel taxes and road user charges went in to roaring roading and not the consolidated fund.

The AA and other organisations with an interest in transport lobbied in support of that too.

Eventually they succeeded.

Fuel taxes and road user charges have been directed at roads and not treated as a general tax since 2008.

Now the Green Party wants to go back to the bad old days:

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says Green Party Finance Spokesman Russel Norman’s plan to raid the National Land Transport Fund to pay for his “Rent to Buy Housing Scheme”, shows a complete lack of knowledge of public finance in New Zealand.

“Mr Norman seems unaware that roading funding is collected from road users through fuel taxes, user charges and fees. That money is then dedicated to the National Land Transport Fund, to pay for road policing, public transport and road maintenance.

“This dedicated funding or ‘full hypothecation’ was introduced in 2008.

“The Greens can’t have it both ways – paying for houses from road taxes would cause serious problems for the funding of core transport services such as public transport.

“The lack of investment in new roading projects would create long term bottlenecks in our transport system and create congestion, leading to greater fossil fuel use.

“”First it was crank up the photocopiers to print money, now its let’s rob Peter to pay Paul.” said Mr Brownlee.

Cactus Kate found the Green Party housing policy is aimed at people suffering from entitilitis:

Sharissa Naidoo, 25, and her partner have been renting together for four years and say they are desperate to buy their first home.

“The concern is if we’re wanting to start a family and move into a house that’s more than one bedroom, we can’t afford that,” Naidoo said.

Naidoo recently graduated with a Masters Degree in Sociology.

She is now sick of renting and expects the net taxpayer (you) to underwrite a home for her to live in with her “partner” (hate that word) of four years.

All of this, not even one year after her graduation ceremony in May 2012. . .

Taxpayers shouldn’t be funding people’s wants and taxes collected from road users should stay in the transport fund.


2012 in review

January 1, 2013

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 300,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 5 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

The top referring sites were:

  1. nominister.blogspot.co.nz
  2. kiwiblog.co.nz
  3. nzconservative.blogspot.co.nz
  4. keepingstock.blogspot.co.nz
  5. asianinvasion2006.blogspot.co.nz (Cactus Kate)

The post which got the most comments (51) was water quality concern for all.

The people who made the most comments were:

Robert Guyton # 1 and # 5 is the same person, I think he gets two spots because some comments are linked to his blog and others aren’t.

Thank you all for visiting, those who link and hat tip from their blogs and those who join the conversation.

I appreciate your comments, whether or not I agree with them. A conversation among several is far more interesting than a one-woman diatribe.

I especially appreciate that almost everyone debates the topic and critiques arguments rather than resorting to personal criticism.

I think I had to delete only one comment last year and only rarely had to take a deep breath.

And thanks to WordPress for the blogging platform and excellent service on the very rare occasions I’ve needed help.

Click here to see the complete report.


Spot the contradiction

November 19, 2012

Labour says it wants to make housing more affordable.

It’s even prepared to put public money into building basic houses for first home buyers.

* KiwiBuild: a 10 year programme to build 100,000 basic homes for first home buyers (less than $300,000). In partnership with the private sector and community housing groups.

* Two thirds of the homes built in the first 5 years will be in Auckland. Others will be in other ‘unaffordable’ centres such as Christchurch, Tauranga, Nelson, Wellington and Queenstown.

* Cost: a one-off $1.5 billion initial investment, to be recouped as homes are sold. Will also sell ‘housing affordability bonds.’

Though as Kiwiblog points out that $1.5 billion doesn’t take in into account the cost of interest.

Cactus Kate points out it doesn’t appear to be means tested.

That would, like several of the bribes from the last Labour government, mean help for those who don’t necessarily need it.

Another flaw in this policy is the contradiction between this attempt to make housing more affordable and the commitment to a capital gains tax which would make property more expensive.

It’s not the only contradiction from Labour’s weekend conference. The party also voted to reduce the voting age to 18 16 although it wanted to increase the purchase age for alcohol to 20.


Is affordable or wantable the problem?

July 20, 2012

When I first left flatting there wasn’t a great deal of difference between the house I lived in and my parents’ home.

The flat wasn’t as well built and the home was a bit bigger but it was just an ordinary three bedroom, one bathroom houses with few bells and whistles, as most houses were back then.

I was only renting but had I been looking at buying that’s the sort of house I’d have been looking at too.

Now the difference between what many young people are used to in their parents’ houses and what they can afford to buy as a first home is much greater.

Their parents probably started in modest houses, and only after saving a good proportion of the price for a deposit. Then by dint of hard work and saving upgraded to something  bigger and better.

It’s so much easier to go up than down and it’s understandable that people accustomed to designer kitchens, multiple bathrooms and other domestic comforts don’t want to do without them.

But it’s unrealistic for most young people to expect to start out where their parents finished.

Cactus Kate points out:

Until my generation (X) and younger realise that they cannot afford to live in the sort of homes in their 20’s and 30’s as their parents do in their 50’s and 60’s then housing affordability will always ultimately cause disappointment because somewhere and somehow we all want to own or rent a bigger home in a nicer area that we are stretched to afford.

Don Brash has a point about the supply of land on which to build impacting on prices .

Some towns and cities do have a land supply problem which pushes up the price.

But buyer expectations are also part of the problem.

If would-be home owners lowered their sights a bit and a little less demanding in defining what’s a wantable house they might find it’s a more affordable one.


Is cost of children public responsibility?

April 11, 2012

My mother was a tutor sister.*

She loved her job and was very good at it but when she married she gave it up while my father worked full-time as a carpenter and built their house in his spare time.

Looking back years later, she said it was ridiculous that she didn’t carry on working but that was something very few married women contemplated in the 1950s.

When we married nearly three decades later almost all women continued to work after marriage, though most gave up when they had children, at least until the youngest was at pre-school.

That has gradually changed and now it is not uncommon for women to return to work much sooner after having children.

Some do it by choice, some to keep up professional qualifications, some because they need/want the money.

There are both costs and benefits to taking time off to have children and continuing working.

The benefits of uninterrupted time for bonding and breast-feeding aren’t disputed.

Juggling the care of a baby and the tiredness that goes with it with paid work is demanding.

Women brought up to believe they can do anything can find full-time parenting very challenging.

The loss of a full or part-time income can strain family budgets.

But is it the public’s responsibility to compensate for that?

Proponents of paid parental leave think so and are delighted that Labour’s Members’ Bill to extend PPL to six months has been drawn from the ballot.

There’s been a range of views on whether or not it is affordable given high government debt and the need to return to surplus as soon as possible without threatening essential services.

I’ve yet to read or hear anyone questioning the need for PPL at all and whether the cost of children should be a public responsibility.

PPL is a benefit, paid for from taxes. Like ACC it gives more to those who earn more – at least up to $458.82 per week or the equivalent of $23,858 –   but unlike ACC the beneficiaries have not been levied for it.

Unlike any other non-contributory benefit, except superannuation, it isn’t means tested. A woman, or her partner, earning thousands of dollars a week has the same entitlement to PPL as someone on the minimum wage.

Is that right or fair?

I’m not convinced it is on principle and absolutely sure it isn’t in the current economic environment.

I might accept a case if it was means tested. But paying the equivalent of pocket money to high earners when the country is seriously indebted and the only increased spending in this year’s Budget will be for health and education – paid for by savings elsewhere – is a luxury not a necessity.

Lindsay Mitchell argues the economic case against the extension here.

Cactus Kate writes on parental pay madness.

Lucia Maria thinks PPL just grows the state.

* Tutor sister doesn’t exist anymore – that was a senior nurse who taught the junior ones in training hospitals.


Who else would they vote for?

March 7, 2012

The Sunday Star Times was excited by the 100 emails Prime Minister John Key received from people opposed to the sale of the Crafar Farms to Shanghai Pengxin, calling it a heartland backlash.

One farmer said he had been a National supporter for 45 years but the agreement to sell the farms to Chinese interests ahead of New Zealanders was the “final nail in the coffin”.

Key received more than 100 emails or letters opposed to the sale, most within days of the announcement of the deal with Shanghai Pengxin.

“For many years I have voted for National and I believe in the philosophies. I am utterly disappointed at the decision to sell the farms to a foreign buyer … 2011 will be the last time I vote for National,” one said.

Another wrote: “We have always supported you, and National, but we aren’t with you on this. We have to let you know how strongly we feel about this.”

One wonders how much these people understand about the National Party’s philosophy and principles because there is nothing there that would restrict the freedom of people to sell their own land to the highest bidder nor is there anything that would support xenophobia.

Regardless of that, 100 emails isn’t many on a hot-button issue.

“Pretty much on any issue in New Zealand I’ll get 100 emails,      and sometimes I get 10,000 emails if it’s a significant      issue. So there’s a mixture of views, no doubt about that,”      he told TV One’s Breakfast show.   

Mr Key said the Crafar farms sale was not the main issue farmers raised with him.   

“Certainly I’ve been around a lot of rural events – the      Waimumu Field Days, the Golden Shears on Saturday night – and that’s not really the issue they’re coming up and talking  about,” he said.   

“Some farmers come up to me and say `Look, I own the farm, it’s my property right and I should be able to sell it to      whoever I like.’ Others say they don’t want the farmland going overseas. There’s definitely a range of views but I don’t see it hurting National support.”  

People who change allegiance on a single issue aren’t strong supporters to start with, and any farmers who think they’re not happy with National only need to look at yesterday’s debate on changes to pastoral lease rentals to see how much worse off they’d be with a Labour-led government:

The Crown Pastoral Land (Rent for Pastoral Leases) Amendment Bill will replace the land valuation basis for setting rents on  pastoral leases (on mainly high country farms) with a system based on the income earning potential of the  farm land.

Labour MP Raymond Huo said his party was opposing the bill because it was subsidising some high country farmers and did not reflect the real worth of the Crown owned land.

Agriculture Minister David Carter accused Labour of the politics of jealousy and envy and said their policies in Government had shown a “lack of care for the most fragile farming environment’’ in the country.

He said former prime minister Helen Clark had attempted to “drive’’ the farmers off the land and turn it into part of the conservation estate.

The Government now wanted to allow farmers to pay a rent based on the income they could take off the land while maintaining it for future generations. The Crown, he said, had proven to be a poor caretaker of the high country land.

The loss of tussock at the top of the Lindis Pass is a sad reminder of what happens when the Crown tries to replace the high country farmers who have looked after pastoral lease land for generations.

Another example of how poorly Labour understands farming was last year’s beat-up on how much tax they pay.

As Cactus Kate asks, if farmers aren’t going to vote for National, who would they support?

. . .  Labour who will tax the sale on their farm at 15% who along with the Greens will make them pay for their pollution and treat them as the rich pricks they deserve to be treated as?  NZ First…hehe…..

The small number of farmers who have their noses in a knot over the farm sales are shooting the wrong target.

I have nothing against the sale of the farms to foreigners but those who do should be directing the ire at the receivers who insisted on selling the farms as a job lot rather than individually.  That would have opened up a far larger number of would-be buyers and made it much easier for locals to make realistic offers.


What will Labour’s union mates think of this?

January 18, 2012

David Shearer says it’s not his place to interfere in the dispute between Ports of Auckland and the Maritime Union.

“If I thought my comments would make a difference to the resolution I  would, but I think that’s something that’ll happen between the two parties, not  with my involvement.”

Who can blame him for not wanting to side with a union which Cactus Kate shows is clearly sexist and racist and is also out of mantrol?

It’s not like an opposition leader to decline an opportunity for publicity but when the union is on a path to nowhere he wouldn’t want to join them.

But what will Labour’s union mates who have so much power in , and provide so much money to, the party think?


2011 in blogging

January 2, 2012

One of the services WordPress supplies for its bloggers is an annual report at year’s end.

London Olympic Stadium holds 80,000 people. This blog was viewed about 330,000times in 2011. If it were competing at London Olympic Stadium, it would take about 4 sold-out events for that many people to see it.

In 2011, there were 2,419 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 8,791 posts. There were 93 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 7mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was October 20th with 1,947 views . . .

The top referring sites were:

nominister.blogspot.com

kiwiblog.co.nz

nzconservative.blogspot.com

keepingstock.blogspot.com

asianinvasian.blogspot.com (Cactus Kate).

The most active commenters were: Robert Guyton 1008 comments, Gravedodger 604 commments; Andrei 539 comments; PDM 311 comments and Inventory 2 249 comments.

Thank you WordPress and all readers and commenters.

UPDATE: Open Parachute has December’s sitemeter rankings and Whaleoil is now #1 with  260294 unique visitors last month.


Definitely David but divided over which

December 12, 2011

The Labour Party is united by the desire to be led by a David but there appears to be divisions between the members and caucus over which one.

The idea of running a primary by taking the contenders to the members seemed like a good idea at the time, after all what is a party without its membership base?

And it might have worked had the majority of members and caucus been of one mind.

But if discussion on The Standard is anything to go by, they’re not:

David Cunliffe performed very well today at the Auckland meeting, he is certainly a Dave that we need to have at the forefront of a reform agenda.

Once again with Shearer we see a politician who, really, you just want to hurry up and finish talking already. . . .

And

Just got back from Auckland Labour leadership meeting, Cunliffe and Mahuta absolutely superb clearly shaping up to be a very good political leadership team.

And:

Robinson out shone Shearer who constantly opened himself up to be attacked by making naive statements about woman and made judgement statements about who’s question was more important, oh dear! Both Shearer and Robinson where unable to answer questions on the economy as would be needed to take on Key or English. . . .

The vote now is in caucus hands should they not vote for Cunliffe and Mahuta I suspect Mps  such as Jacinda will learn a harsh lesson in politics that is when it comes to Leadership you vote best persons for the job not what’s in it for you. To those who are in the ABC club in the caucus I would say this, it cant be anyone but Cunliffe who takes us forward because Shearer is just not up to the job and both him and I know it and I suspect so do you. . .

And

It has to be Cunliffe, Shearer just does not gel with me at all.   When I first saw him on TV, I was reminded of Ol’ W, and how glad everyone was, when they had a president that ‘made sense’.

Nothing against him as a man or politician, however we are talking the next leader of the Labour party and we HAVE to get this right . . .

And

Just what I have been thinking since the leadership position became vacant.  I just can’t see the  quick mind, charisma and self-assurance in Shearer that will be necessary in Parliament and on tv!It has to be Cunliffe! Please Labour caucus, don’t let the Nats be there for another 6 years!!

And

. . . Of course, my opinion was not based on one meeting, but the meeting did confirm to me that Cunliffe, indeed, inspires me the most and has the best credentials.

It sounds like this is the opinion of the majority of the members who have attended the meetings…

But going by the support Team Shearer has – and from the response from the MP above – it’s a done deal.

And

“you can’t judge a person’s leadership qualities by a one-off speech and questions”

…which is why we must take into account performance in the house, performance in front of the media and all of these other aspects.

Across the board it is increasingly clear.

Cunliffe > Shearer

And

There is no contest. It’s Cunliffe and (hopefully) Mahuta. Anything less will be eventual political suicide.

What worries me… too many personal agendas amongst a number of Labour MPs who will vote both of them out of the game. If that happens, I will have to review my membership.

And let’s add instability through a potential challenge from the deputy to the mix:

So at this afternoon’s selection meeting Robertson was asked point blank if he would challenge Shearer for the leadership within 3 years. The question was ruled out of order but Robertson decided to answer anyway. He angrily recounted his wonderful Labour credentials and history of working for the party. He never gave anything even approaching an assurance that he would not challenge for the leadership. The silence was deafening.

And

The dilemma is he was for Parker and bailed. Will he bail on Shearer? Is it bad to want to be the leader of Labour? No ,to attain the office you need to put yourself out there. If Robertson needed to replace anyone in the near future Shearer would be the easier option. . .

And

 . . . I have to admit that David Shear has impressed me with his low-key relax approach,  but he made such comments as Tisard’s ’bruising experience’ of being as a female MP and so on were too out-of-date, too white-middle-class-male, and silly.

Style can be polished or re-shape, and yet to change/update one’s mindset is much harder. So I’ll go for David Cunliffe. 

And

Lets be honest the whole DC is not liked is straight out jealousy. Lets face it Helen C trusted Cunliffe and while I didnt always agree with what she did or how she did it, but she was no mug when it came to establishing who has talent and who has shall we say less. . .

And there’s plenty more where these came from to show that the new leader, whoever he is,  will have a lot of work to do to build bridges between the divisions in caucus and between caucus and the wider membership.

Keeping Stock reckons there will be trouble at t’mill and Cactus Kate is already ordering popcorn.


Voting for selves or party?

December 5, 2011

Who’s supporting whom in Labour’s leadership race is exercising the minds of political tragics.

I know, and care, too little about the inner machinations of the party and its relationships to make even a half-educated guess about who’s in which camp.

If you’re interested Whaleoil has done the numbers; Cactus Kate has divided caucus into forwards and backs  and Keeping Stock has a guess at who’s backing who.

But the more important question for the future of Labour isn’t which of the two Davids, Cunliffe or Shearer, has the support of whom, but why.

Are the members of caucus voting for themselves or the party?

The answer for those who’ve passed their electoral best-by dates, at least those on the list, is obvious. They’re voting for themselves.

If they were voting for the party they’d have already accepted the party they played in the election loss and would have announced their resignations to allow some of the newer former MPs who lost their seats back in.

Since they haven’t you can be sure they’ll be backing the candidate least likely to axe the deadwood – whichever of the two that is.


Desperate lies

November 21, 2011

How much lower will Labour stoop in its desperation?

Cactus Kate calls it  cataclysmic in vileness and she’s right.
Imagine how you’d feel reading this  if you, your partner or you child were ill.
Imagine how you’d feel reading this if your marriage or partnership was rocky.
Imagine how you’d feel if you were on a benefit and didn’t know this is lies.
Imagine how you’d feel if you had a young child, already working and feeling guilty about not being with your baby most of the time.

The woman who received it sent it to Whaleoil and said:

A very ‘classy’ threat from Labour (see attached), it makes me wonder how do they get information about my child… and even if info is accessible, the use of it is rather inappropriate.

Political parties have access to electoral rolls which gives occupations and that could show someone is a beneficiary. But to the best of my knowledge they don’t have access to information on which benefit someone receives or the age of their children.

Regardless of where they obtained the information it is inappropriate use of it, especially when they are lying.

Labour has form for this type of lie-based campaigning. Keeping Stock reminds us of their letter to state house tennents in 2005 and the impact that had on state servants who had to deal with worried recipients.

That letter was full of lies and so is this.

For the record, National’s welfare policy is to introduce the obligation to seek part-time work when the youngest child turns  six five.

UPDATE: As Deborah points out in  the comments the policy also says someone on a benefit who has a subsequent child will have a part-time work expectation when that child turns one.
Note the words part-time and expectation.
That is very different from: under National’s new welfare policy beneficiaries who get pregant will be forced to find work when their baby turns 1 which is what the letter says.
The policy applies only to those who have a child while already on a sole parent benefit and the expectation is for the recipient to seek only part-time work.

Farmers not a significant minority

August 17, 2011

A column in Federated farmers’ Farm review (not online) asks if former Feds’ president Don Nicloson will get a high place on Act’s list:

Act would be dumb to pass up the opportunity because who’d get the farmer vote in a choice between ‘Cactus Kate’ or Don Nicolson?

I’m not sure of the answer to that question but it doesn’t really matter because a party which thinks appealing to farmers will give it a significant boost can’t count.

Farmers are very much a minority, sadly, not a very significant one in terms of numbers of votes and within that small group of voters are many different views.

Don Nicolson might get a few votes from the rural sector but a younger, fiesty candidate who also happens to be female could well attract a lot more votes in total.

If I was ranking the Act list I’d also consider commitment and loyalty.

When Nicolson first mentioned he was thinking of getting political he didn’t seem sure which party he might favour with his candidacy:

He’s slightly cagey about the next step, saying people keep suggesting he moves into politics, but he’s waiting for an invitation first.

“I am hoping somewhere it’s either politics or business that I get into. I’m quite happy to get into politics but no-one is really asking. I’m being told I should be in politics by many people and under MMP the question is can I cut it and tolerate that?

“I’m prepared to give it a go – but I’ve got to be asked,” he says.

The link to the quote no longer works, but I blogged on it here, saying that politics is no place for shrinking violets.

Someone who is quite sure of which party they want to stand for and who has demonstrated loyalty and commitment is more deserving of a list place than someone who appeared equivocal about joining. 

I’d also want someone who would attract far more votes than farmers would provide.


Art good, business bad

July 17, 2011

Whaleoil has a copy of an email from Labour’s campaign manager Trevor Mallard instructing supporters to ignore the details of the party’s proposed capaital gains tax.

He says people aren’t interested.

Why wouldn’t people be interested when the details show just how flawed the plan is?

Collectables such as art, antiques, stamps and vintage cars won’t be taxed, businesses will.

Cactus Kate calls it the Jenny Gibbs exemption.

Buy something, hold onto it while it appreciates due to a combination of time and luck and you can keep all the proceeds when you sell it.

Take a risk and pour your money, time and energy into a business and you’ll lose 15% of the value of what you achieve when you sell it.

What do we need more of? Collectables or successful businesses.

The answer to that is obvious to all but Labour.


In her own words

June 27, 2011

It’s official – Cathy Odgers, who is better known as Cactus Kate, has confirmed she’s put her name forward to be a candidate for Act.

Seeking to be a candidate is the just first step on the journey to becoming an MP. But she has professional qualifications which could be useful in parliament and she is young and female which contrasts with other current and potential Act MPs. 

The biggest asset she bring to her party is loyalty, a quality which has been sadly lacking among Act MPs in recent times. In her own words:

Loyalty to the Leader of ACT and focus on the ACT Party principles is paramount in any potential candidate. ACT is a small party and in 2011 it has to be a unified party of qualified, motivated candidates heading into the election. I support Don Brash as Leader of ACT and I support unequivocally the campaign management team and Board.

No doubt the left is combing her blog to throw her words back at her but she doesn’t resile from them and points readers to  Deborah Hill-Cone who wrote:

Then there is acerbic blogger Cactus Kate, who positions herself as dangerously prickly but is actually a very kind person, in private, when no one’s looking.

Those on the pink to red end of the political spectrum like to think they’re the only ones with compassion. They’re wrong, there is at least as much compassion on the blue end.

Many of the differences over politics aren’t about the goal but the journey and how best to pay for the trip.

I am not an Act support and Cathy’s candidacy won’t change my voting preference. But one of the virtues of MMP is that it enables a wider range of views to be represented in parliament and having Cathy as a candidate could help the party broaden its support.


Will it be cACTus Kate?

June 25, 2011

Roarprawn said it first – Hong Kong based lawyer Cathy Odgers was going to become an  Act candidate.

Audrey Young takes up the story today:

Cathy Odgers, the author of the acerbic website Cactus Kate, is expected to be approved today as an Act candidate – one of the reasons sitting MP Heather Roy is likely to today announce she will stand down at this year’s election.

I know Cathy only though her blog and a few blogging related emails but she has one very good characteristic for an aspiring MP - loyalty to her party and its leader:

. . . politics must be about loyalty to the Party and that means publicly to its Leader while that person is still the Leader. If you are going to stab them then let it be in the front and behind closed doors in an appropriate party forum. And let it stay in that room.

Act has a reputation for disunity and as the party for old(er) men. Cathy’s candidacy will make a difference.

I wonder if her candidacy might also increase the chances of Rodney Hide staying on as a candidate for Act?

P.S.

Roarprawn says Roy was dumped and Keeping Stock asks is Cactus Act’s prickly solution?


Double standards on resignation calls

June 25, 2011

Alasdair Thompson dug a hole with his tongue when he said women are paid less than men because they have “sick problems” and he kept on digging.

But those from the left are demonstrating double standards in asking for his resignation.

If an employee was encouraged to resign for saying something stupid with no evidence of past problems the left would be up in arms.

Thompson’s initial comments were stupid. He compounded the original offence in subsequent interviews in which he appeared inarticulate and boorish.

That might be a disciplinary offence but demanding the resignation of a worker for one slip, albeit a very public and messy one which reflects poorly on the man and his organisation, is very dangerous grounds and in other circumstances the left would be the first to criticise anyone for doing so.

As Cactus Kate says:

Alasdair Thompson is a halfwit for even bringing up the topic. He’s worse because he attempted to defend his comments on television in a remarkable performance.

But it is not a sackable offence.  . .  Too often New Zealand has become a nation of “sack ‘em” whingers. Every time a white male (and they always are that hit the news) opens their mouth and upsets someone New Zealanders want them sacked.


If they can’t run the party . . .

June 13, 2011

Whaleoil’s release of Labour Party donations information will serve as a warning to any other organisation about the importance of securing customer information, especially when it’s held on computers.

As Inventory 2 says at Keeping Stock nothing is more important than protecting customers’ privacy and information.

So far the only information Whale has made public is that of Cactus Kate who blogs about her Labour donation shame.

Other donors will be at least as concerned about the lax attitude to their privacy which has enabled someone to access information so easily.

If they can’t handle other people’s money securely and run the party properly, voters won’t have much confidence in their ability to run the country.


A rare endorsement

May 11, 2011

I know the enemy of my enemy can sometimes be an ally if not a friend.

And the lesser of two evils could be better or at least a long way less bad.

And that politics is only a difference of opinion not a war.

And I know that parliament would be a better place without Hone Harawira with his radical left-wing and racially confused agenda.

But I just can’t bring myself to say vote for a Labour candidate.

However, I will point you to the logic of others who don’t let emotion cloud their views:

Adolf explains why in My enemy’s enenmy at No Minister and there’s rare, very rare, endorsements by Cactus Kate, Whaleoil, Kiwiblog, Keeping Stock, and Fairfacts Media.

P.S. The Veteran at No Minister has some local intelligence which reckons Hone Harawira and the media have over-estimated his support.

p.p.s. That local intelligence is supported by this email which arrived this morning:

As a rule, I don’t pass along these “add your name” lists that appear in e-mails,

BUT this one is important.

It has been circulating for months and has been sent to over 2.2 million people.

We don’t want to lose any names on the list so just hit forward and send it on.

Please keep it going!   

To show your support for the MP, Hone Harawera, and the job  he is doing please go to the end of the list and add your name. ………. 
 

 
 
 

1.  Titiwhai Harawera
2. 


No money to spare for wants

March 2, 2011

If a household had a large mortgage and a massive overdraft it ought to have already given up luxuries and reassessed what were absolute necessities.

If it then underwent a crisis – business failure, job loss, theft, fire, illness . . .  which added to costs and reduced income it would have to get even tougher on the difference between needs and wants.

This is the position the government is in.

The Budget was tight already and in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake it will have to get tighter.

The two highest priorities must be helping those in genuine need and economic recovery.

Had millions, possibly billions, of dollars not been wasted on people who ought to have been helping themselves, we would be in a much stronger position than we are now. As Cactus Kate says (in a post worth reading in full):

Capitalism seeks to create wealth. Socialism seeks to buy votes by spending it. For years leftist tilting welfarism has destroyed New Zealand’s chance of a nest-egg for this rainiest of days. Over-generous dollops of welfarism has spent up the nations inheritance for moments like these.

Christchurch and its people are in genuine need owing to circumstances beyond their control.

Some people in other parts of the country also have genuine needs which require assistance from the state.

But that is where welfare must stop.

There never has been a good argument for taking money from people in taxes, churning it through a bureaucracy then giving some of it back to those who don’t really need it.

Now more than ever those who can stand on there on feet must do so and leave welfare for people in genuine in need.

When you’ve got a large mortgage and a massive overdraft there is no money to spare for wants.


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