Someone’s eating my share

September 4, 2008

TV3 reports  that New Zealanders eat about 7 million servings of hot chips a week – nearly two servings each.

Someone’s definitely eating my share because although I have several vices of the culinary kind, chips aren’t among them.

Now if it was chocolate…


It’s only one poll

September 4, 2008

The latest Roy Morgan poll  shows a significant narrowing of the gap between National and Labour.

National is now at 44% support (down 3.5) and Labour is up 4 to 38%.

There is some comfort in the knowledge that New Zealand First has only 2.5% support, down 4 points to the lowest they’e been for a year.

The Green Party got 8%  support (up 0.5), Maori Party 3.5% (up 1.5), ACT NZ 1.5%  (unchanged), United Future 1% (up 1) and others 1% (up 0.5).

It’s only one poll and the gap was going to tighten. But why it has when John Key showed he had both gumption and principles when he ruled Peters out of a National-led government; and while Helen Clark is bound tight to Peters; Labour is bulldozing through the Emissions Trading Scheme legislation; the economy is in recession and the party has still to announce any policy defies logic.

Like Fairfacts Media over at No Minister I’m gobsmacked.

[Update: Maybe we can take some hope from No Right Turn who reports on a poll which shows the Christian Heritage party which disbanded in 2006 got more support (.4%) than the Alliance and United.]


Anonymity rules ok

September 4, 2008

If you’re making your views public on a blog should you also make your name public?

Adam Smith  over at Inquiring Mind brought this issue to my notice when he noted that Policy Blog has an issue with psuedonymous bloggers.

My name and political affiliations are there for all to see on the “about”  page of this blog. But I don’t have a job or business which might be compromised by anything I write.

Other people are not so fortunate.

Adam, Inventory 2 at Keeping Stock, Queen Bee at The Hive and Busted Blonde at Roarprawn all choose to keep their identities to themselves. But it’s not only those on the right of the blogosphere who prefer to blog anonymously, Poneke who has declared his blog a politics-free zone and Jafapete on the left also use pseudonyms.

If they were launching personal attacks against other people I would be less relaxed about their anonymity. But all of them write well reasoned and intelligently argued posts and comments – even those with which I disagree 🙂 – and I have never known any of them to indulge in personal invective.

I happen to know who Poneke is but respect his reasons for not telling the world his name. No doubt some people know, or guess,  who is behind his or the other pseudonyms.

They they choose not to blog under their real names is their perogative, and the people over at Policy Blog have the right not to accept their comments.


Hide takes NZ First to police

September 4, 2008

Rodney Hide has laid a complaint with the police  about New Zealand First’s failure to declare donations over $10,000 on its annual return to the Electoral Commission.

Mr Hide’s formal complaint letter to police outlined the apparent breach and asked police to investigate.

NZ First submitted its 2007 return late. It was due on April 30 but was not filed until May 16. If a prosecution was to made it would need to happen within six months – that is before November 16.

The commission spokesman said if a corrupt practice was proven the party secretary could be fined $20,000 and or a year in jail. If the offending was unintended the penalty was just the fine but if the secretary was found to have taken all reasonable steps and believed they filed an accurate return they had a defence.

ACT leader Rodney Hide said Mr Peters had to take responsibility for the mess given that the party’s 2007 return was two weeks late because party officials were waiting for him to sign it off.

“So Winston’s responsible for everything and it wasn’t that long ago that he was denying any knowledge of the Spencer Trust. Now we understand it’s a major funding route for his party,” he said.

It is the party secretary not its leader who is leagally responsible not its leader should a case be made. But New Zealand First is it’s leader and this reflects as badly on him as the party.


No means no

September 4, 2008

A British MP  has taken issue with Dame Helen Mirren for saying that women couldn’t expect to take a man to court for date rape if they’d voluntarily gone to his room, started having sex then asked him to stop.

The Queen star admitted she was the victim of date rape on several occasions in her youth because she didn’t have the courage to stand up to men who wanted to have sex with her.

Mirren added she never reported the incidents to police because the men had not been violent with her.

The actress also stated in the candid interview with British magazine GQ that it would be hard for women to press charges against someone they had planned on being sexually active with.

She told the publication: “I was (date-raped), yes. A couple of times. Not with excessive violence, or being hit, but rather being locked in a room and made to have sex against my will.”

“I don’t think she (a female rape victim) can have that man into court under those circumstances.”

And the star has been heavily criticised by rape victim supporters who say her comments only make it harder for victims to get the judicial system to take the crime seriously.

British Home Office official Tony McNulty brands Mirren’s comments “profoundly disappointing” and “very unhelpful”.

He adds: “No means no, means no, and that needs to be the message as clearly as we can in terms of rape.”

The idea that anyone – male or female – can’t have a change of mind and be safe from rape is an appalling one. Mirren contradicted the good she did by admitting she’d been a victim of date rape with her suggestion that it might not be a matter for the courts.

Ex-expat has more to say on the matter here.


Vulture

September 4, 2008


Amateurs?

September 4, 2008

Helen Clark excused New Zealand First’s failure to report donations as required by law because they were amateurs.

There are thousands of other voluntary organisations run by real amateurs who manage to meet their legal reporting obligations so amateur joins the growing list of invalid excuses for the party’s donations debacle.

But “amateur” doesn’t fit the experience and qualifications of the party’s office holders anyway.

Keeping Stock has a comment made by Turlough on Kiwiblog which counters that by listing the qualifications and experience of the party’s office holders. Members of the professional groups to which they belong do not normally regard themselves as “amateurs”.


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