Don’t let them lie together


The Free Speech Coalition has launched its first billboard:

The authorisation statement starts: Authorised as demanded by LabourFirst’s and the Green’s outrageous assault on free speech . . .

Hat Tip: John Ansell




People have to trust govt again – Glenn


Owen Glenn reckons the election is about trust  too – but he doesn’t trust Labour.

Labour’s biggest donor Owen Glenn has continued his battle with the party, saying Helen Clark once told him her cabinet lacks business experience – and the Prime Minister today did not disagree.

National’s John Key says that is proof from the horse’s own mouth that Labour is not fit to manage the economy in the years ahead.

Helen Clark has made trust and the economy central to this election.

But she is getting no help from the party’s half million dollar donor – turned arch nemesis – Owen Glenn.

In an interview with TV3’s 60 Minutes Glenn says when he met Helen Clark a few years back and talked transport she confessed her Cabinet lacked business experience.

This time Glenn’s gift was to National. He thinks Clark should go.

“Something has to change, a new wind has to blow through. People have to trust their Government again,” Glenn said.

He’s right on both points.

Labour squandered the good years so is definitely not capable of governing well now things are looking so bad, and we need a government we can trust.

Ice cream war


Adolf from No Minister left this comment on the post before this one:

There’s an ice cream joint in the village of Pokeno, just south of auckland, which serves the biggesterest ice creams in the world.

Wars have started with less provocative statements than that so I felt the defence of southern ice creameries warranted a post of its own.

The biggest ice creams in New Zealand used to be served by the Itchen Street dairy in Oamaru but they have now been overtaken by those served by the lovely people at the Hilltop store in Hampden.

Second place goes to the Dunsandel Store in Canterbury – a compulsory first stop after leaving Christchurch airport on our way home from overseas.

If we’re going international – the biggest, and best,  are served in Pergamino, Argentina, where you pay by the gram.

Better licked than spooned


An ice cream judge says that ice cream tastes better  when it’s licked from a cone than eaten from a spoon.

Kay McMath, a sensory scientist from Massey University and chief judge for the New Zealand Ice Cream Awards, said today the question of whether ice cream tasted better from a cone than when eaten from a spoon was a tricky hypothesis to prove as it involved such different procedures for different individuals.

“However there are some physical and physiological reasons why there are likely to be differences in flavour,” she said. “Flavour in ice cream is released when it’s warmed in the mouth to at least body temperature. During licking, the tongue is coated with a thin layer of ice cream where it is more quickly warmed, and the flavour is detected by the large surface area of the taste buds present on the tongue. By comparison, the spoon provides insulation to keep the ice cream colder when put into the mouth. Once in the mouth the tongue pushes the ice cream to the roof of the mouth to melt before swallowing. A smaller surface area is therefore involved in warming the ice cream to release the flavours.”

Mrs McMath said that because ice cream was eaten in smaller amounts when it was licked from a cone, the full melt and therefore the full flavour release occurred with every lick.

She said this scientific explanation supported the view that the longer the ice cream licking moment lasted, the greater the enjoyment.

That explains why it’s better eaten from a tea spoon than a dessert spoon and why softer ice cream which has sat at room temperature for a while – though not so long it melts completely – is better than when it’s straight from the freezer and hard.

I’ve always been a fan of the the longer lick – when I was a child I could make an ice cream bought at the petrol station at Evensdale last until we got to my aunt’s house in Dunedin which must have taken more than half an hour. At the time I was just trying to compete with my brothers to see whose ice cream could last the longest, but this study shows our sibling rivalry led to enhanced enjoyment of what was then a very rare treat too.

Not all cheeses are equal


Yesterday’s announcement on the Food Price Index showed the price of chedder had gone up 61.6%  in the year to September but the increase in the price of milk was, by comparison, a modest 12.6%.

I was puzzled by that difference and have found there’s more to the story  – the price of chedder has gone up much more than that for gourmet cheeses:

The 1kg block of mild cheddar cheese tracked for the FPI rose by 59.3 percent in the year to July 2008, while the 125g round of camembert had a flatter rise of 10.6 percent. Increases for cottage cheese (21.5 percent) and processed cheese slices (24.7 percent) were between those recorded for cheddar and camembert.

Andrew Smith, general manager of marketing at Fonterra Brands, said that the main production input costs vary for different types of cheese. He said the prices of block cheese – such as cheddars and processed cheese – are linked to international commodity prices. The significant price increase for mild cheddar over the past year is a result of the unprecedented rise in global dairy commodities. In contrast, gourmet or specialty cheeses, such as camembert, are linked to the price of domestic ‘white milk’, which has also increased but at a more modest rate than has occurred on the commodities market.

Fresh milk prices in the FPI increased by 10.2 percent in the year to July 2008, broadly in line with the 10.6 percent increase for camembert.

I’m still puzzled because I thought all milk was white; and the price farmers  get for their milk is related to international commodity prices whether or not it’s sold for export or town supply.

There is a small subsidy for the local market but that still doesn’t explain the big difference in the price of milk and cheese.

(The difference in figures quoted is because the first ones for the FPI are for the year to September and the second ones for the cheese story are for the year to July).

Remember the scandals?


Emily Watt and Tracy Watkins have a look at the scandals from the last election.

Among them is the $158,000 of public money which New Zealand First wrongly spent on their campaign.

Winston Peters said the party has now donated that amount to charities, but who’d trust him on that?

In August, The Dominion Post canvassed 45 prominent charities, who all said they had not been approached and would have turned it down.

Even if the party made the donations that doesn’t discharge the debt to the tax payer. 

Until it’s repaid every cent spent on their campaign is a cent they owe us which tells us that getting re-elected is more important to them than paying their debts.

What’s significant?


I’ve made a mistake – Helen Clark didn’t say Labour wouldn’t be making any more spending promises, she said they wouldn’t be making any more significant spending promises.

The key word is significant.

But can you trust someone who doesn’t think $25m and $29m are significant?

The projects may be worthy but I wouldn’t call $54m insignificant at the best of times, and a projected decade of deficits is a sign of very bad times.

Can’t trust them for two days 2


Apropos the previous post and Labour going back on its word that it wasn’t going to spend any more of our money, they’ve done it again.

Helen Clark announced $25m over 10 years for the New Zealand Innovation Centre at Auckland University.

As with the extra funding for dental services, I’m not arguing with the policy but as Inquring Mind says:

Adam ’s concern is that the other day the PM was reported as saying no more expensive spending announcements. So instead we will spend money we do not have in dribs and drabs and dress it up as a big thing.

Again spin not substance.

Again still spending, with no information on how it will all be paid for.

After the budget in May Michael Cullen said, “We’ve spent the lot.” That was bad enough but they didn’t stop there and are carrying on to spend money when we’re facing 10 years of deficits.

Can’t trust them for two days


Labour announced yesterday it will provide $29 million extra to help young people in remote areas get dental services.

I’m not arguing with the policy, dentists, dental nurses and doctors say the standard of dental health has plummeted.

But it was only two days  earlier that Helen Clark said they weren’t spending any more money before the election.

This is an election about trust remember and Labour has just shown we can’t trust them for two days.

17 more sleeps . . .


. . . to election day and advance voting  starts today.

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