Is nothing sacred?


Michael Jackson  is going from bad to verse – he’s set the works of Robert Burns to music.

I wonder if while doing so he pondered on: O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us!

Saturday’s smiles


A back country sheep farmer was grazing his flock on the long acre of a
remote pasture in outback of Otago when suddenly a brand-new and shining 4WD emerges from a dust cloud.

The driver, a bloke in an Armani suit, Gucci shoes, Bolle sunglasses and
Yves St Laurent silk tie, slides down the window and says, “If I
tell you exactly how many sheep and lambs you have in your flock, will
you give me a lamb?”


The farmer looks from the man to the peacefully grazing herd and
murmurs, “Why not?”

The well-dressed bloke whips out his notebook, connects it to his mobile
phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS
satellite navigation system to get a fix on his location which he then
feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an
ultra-high-resolution photo. Then he opens the digital photo in Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg Germany. Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored. Now he accesses a MS-SQL database through an ODBC-connected Excel spreadsheet on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

Finally, he prints out a full-colour, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturised LaserJet printer, turns to the drover and says, “You have exactly 2,586 sheep and lambs.”

That’s right.” says the farmer. “Well, I guess you can take one of my
lambs,” And he watches the man select an animal and stuff it into the
back of his 4WD.


Hey,” muses the grazier, “If I can tell you exactly what you do for a living, will you give me back the animal?”


The man thinks about it for a second and then says, “Okay, why not?”


“You’re a bureaucrat from Wellington” says the farmer.


“Wow! That’s correct! But how did you guess that?” the bureaucrat asks.

No guessing required.” answered the farmer. You showed up here even though nobody invited you; you wanted to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You tried to show me how much smarter than me  you are; and you don’t know a thing about sheep. Now, give me back my dog.”


Casualty list


Stuff has a list of Helen Clark’s ministerial casualties. The ones who have been sacked, suspended, stood down or forced to resign under her leadership since 1999 are:

June 28, 2000 – Dover Samuels

October 31, 2000 – Ruth Dyson.

February 23, 2001– Marian Hobbs and Phillida Bunkle (Alliance)

July 23, 2003 – Harry Duynhoven.

February 20, 2004 – Lianne Dalziel.

November 4, 2004 – John Tamihere

May 16, 2005 – David Benson-Pope.

October 19, 2005 – Taito Phillip Field

March 20, 2006 – David Parker.

July 27, 2007 – David Benson-Pope (again).

August 29, 2008 – Winston Peters.

If losing one minister may be regarded as a misfortune and two looks like carelessness, what can be said about losing a dozen?

The explanations for the ministerial falls from grace on Stuff is here and The Herald has photos here.

Meanwhile out in the real world…


I’ve just picked up today’s papers from a dairy and commented as I passed them over to the young bloke serving me that these are interesting times politically.

He replied, “What’s happening?”

I pointed to the front pages of The ODT, Press & Southland Times I’d just handed him and others on the counter in front of him with their respective headlines: PM Moves to Control Damage; PM Forces Peters to Step Aside; and Peters Goes Quietly Despite Still Claiming Innocence.

The young man said, “What’s he done now?” and then, “Are there elections this year?”

Labour’s list ranking


The Labour Party list ranking process is taking place today.

The task will be more difficult than usual because polling suggests Labour could have a smaller caucus after the election than it has now so any new blood will be introduced at the expense of a sitting MP.

Once the list is announced Helen Clark’s job will get harder because she’ll have to be careful of the fragile egos of the MPs whose high opinions of themselves are not reflected by the list ranking.

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