Just one thing . . .

November 3, 2008

If I was asked to name some of the ills Labour has foisted on us I’d be spoilt for choice.

But if I had to name just one thing it is the way they have turned so many people into beneficiaries because of policies based on their view of “fairness” rather than need.

Doug Graham summed up the reasons for this in yesterday’s Star Times:

Labour seems to believe the more of our money it spends on us the better it is and the more thankful we should be. It seems to enjoy the sight of long queues of Oliver Twists with a begging bowl asking for more. Most of us would say that if increasing numbers of us have to rely on the government for our very survival, then we’re heading for disaster and it won’t be long before people who really need help will suddenly find the cupboard is bare.

It’s better socially and economically to leave those who can look after themselves to do so and restrict tax payer funded assistance to people in genuine need.

Governments give and governments take away and if they give away too much in good times they’re forced to take it from those who need it most in bad times.


I’m confused too

November 3, 2008

This letter to the editor of the Sunday Star Times was chosen for its Winning Words award:

I’m Confused, and I suspect a lot of other ordinary folk are too.

We have rules about the financing of political parties and we have an Electoral Commission to enforce them.

These rules include one requiring parties to discose donations.

But if a party scretary fails to disclose donations because of an honest mistake we are told that this is not an offence – just go back and ammend the return.

Talk about Alice in Wonderland. If ignoring the rule is not an offence, why have the rule at all?

But wait, there might be some good in this after all.

We also have rules about how fast you can drive your car and a police force to  enforce them.

If I ever am pulled up for speeding through a town I now have the precendent that will get me off! “Sorry, office, I just made an honest mistake, I’ll go back and driver through here again.”                      

                                                                                                      Allan Pollock, Thorndon, Wellington.


MMP emasculates

November 3, 2008

The Electoral Finance Act has rightly received much of the blame for a dull campaign but Muriel Newman also points the finger at MMP:

The MMP system itself is also responsible for emasculating the campaign. Parties have turned a blind eye to the radical policies being promoted by some, lest they offend those who may become bedfellows after the election. As a result, policies are not being exposed to public scrutiny and the radical agendas of some parties are largely unknown to voters.

MMP also threatens good government and the democratic process by allowing minor parties to exert influence far beyond their electoral support. This is particularly true of the Maori party which only attracts the support of mainly activist Maori (about 2 percent of the population) yet is likely to win around 5 percent of the seats in Parliament through the racially based Maori seats.

. . . Former Labour Prime Minister Mike Moore puts it this way: “No major party dare question the Maori party because they know they will have to do a deal, best save that until later. But what some Maori party leaders have said should be reason for some tough media questions. For example, when a leader says they want equal representation in a government because it’s not about numbers, it’s a partnership, what does that mean?  Sorry, democracy is about numbers.

One of the strengths of the adversarial nature of parliament is the scrutiny opposing parties subject each other to. However attacks are sometimes blunted under MMP because MPs know their party might need the support of other parties and therefore they pull their punches.

At best this means policies and actions don’t get the rigorous examination they ought to have. At worst it could allow corruption to go unchecked and we had an indication of how that might happen in Labour’s refusal to accept the Privileges Committee censure motion of Winston Peters.


Herald for sale

November 3, 2008

Sir Tony O’Reilly’s Australasian media interests are for sale.

This includes the New Zealand Herald and a half share in The Radio Network.


SFF PGW deal still alive?

November 3, 2008

Silver Fern Farms  says its deal with PGG Wrightson is still “alive” even though PGW has defaulted on its agreement to take a 50% stake in SFF.

“We’re still awaiting a response from Wrightson — any propositions they can put forward to settle the transaction,” Silver Fern chairman Eion Garden said today.

“The transaction is still alive, albeit they are in default of the originally-agreed payment date.”

If, and when, the agreement was terminated, the cooperative would have to look at the options open to it, possibly another deal “to salvage some of the ashes”, which would have to be approved by shareholders.

“Of course, there’s the other option of pursuing a settlement with them,” Mr Garden said.


Boots save farmer’s life

November 3, 2008

Thick soled boots  and the quick thinking of a near by doctor saved the life of a farmer after he touched a fence wire which had come into contact with overhead power lines.


Another ATV death

November 3, 2008

A North Otago farm worker died on Saturday when the four wheel motorcycle she was riding rolled and landed on top of her.


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