People do read election flyers

November 20, 2008

I’ve often wondered if anyone actually reads election flyers but at least two people do because they complained to the Advertising Standards Authority about the contents of a couple from Act.

Family Party candidate Samuel Dennis objected to Act’s claim that it was the only party opposed to the Emissions Trading Scheme when his party was too.

The ASA received a complaint from another recipient disputing claims Act made comparing violent crime in New Zealand and the USA.

Both complaints were upheld.

Final sting?

November 20, 2008

Does this mean  The Hive  was only resting or has Queen Been just popped back for a final sting?

Busted Blonde’s v short holiday

November 20, 2008

Just six days ago Busted Blonde announced Roarprawn was going on a blog holiday and would be some time. 

But she’s back already and promising some fishy tales.

Anyone for scampi?

Thou shalt . . .

November 20, 2008

North & South asked readers to invent some new Commandments for the modern age.

They liked Neither wear your jeans too tight nor too baggy but the prize went to W. Johns for several suggestions which included:

Thou shalt not worship thy plasma flatscreen nor covert thy neighbour’s iPhone.

Thou shalt not propagate chain emails (even forsooth the most heartrending ones).

Thou shalt not dominate dinner-party conversations with endless debate over which school to send your children to.

I can see the merits in these and I’ve come up with some more:

Thou shalt RSVP by the due date (thanks for reminding me ex-expat).

Thou shalt return the books you borrow.

Thou shalt not let your cell phone take prescedence over the person you’re with.

Thou shalt not shout in to your cell phone in a public place.

Thou shalt delete addresses on emails before forwarding and blind copy if sending to any more than a few people who know each other well.

Thou shalt accept that politics is a difference of opinion not a war.

Thou shalt accept that being different isn’t necessarily being wrong.

Thou shalt disagree with issues without getting personal.

Though shalt not honk thy horn when approaching a mob of sheep on the road nor shalt thou stop in the middle of it to take photos.

Thou shalt give your name and number clearly at the start and end of a message left on an answerphone.

Thou shalt not speed up when thou gets to a passing lane after travelling below the speed limit before it.

Thou shalt not inflict thy bad mood on innocent bystanders.

Thou shalt offer to let the person behind you at the checkout go first if s/he has just a couple of items and thous hast a trolley load.

Thou shalt remember – and use – your manners.

Wholesome image not sexy enough for sales

November 20, 2008

Hayley Westenra  gets a round of applause from me for resisting demands to present a sexier image to boost sales of her recordings.

Kiwi soprano Hayley Westenra has taken a stand against the music industry, saying she ‘refuses to dress like a tart’ to sell records.

The 21-year-old singer claims she has been in a battle with her record company over her wholesome image.

“Oh there’s definitely the pressure,” says Hayley’s mother Jill. “You’ve only just got to see the artists that are in the media all the time and why they’re in the media and you can see it works.”

Unlike other young performers who have happily morphed from starlet to sexpot, Westenra has staunchly refused.

“Occasionally, I have had to stand my ground on image issues,” she says. “I am not a tarty person and I don’t wear those clothes when I am out, so I don’t wear them to perform or for interviews either.”

Hayley’s not the only star to take a stand against unreasonable demands to conform to an image. Deborah at In A Strange Land found this story on actress Emma Thompson who threatened to quit her role in a movie when she heard co-star Haley Attwell had been told to lose weight for her role. 

In contrast to mainstream cinema’s rollcall of skinny leading ladies with washboard chests, Atwell looks sensual, womanly and normal as a result. “This is where I get a bit fundamentalist, I’m afraid,” says Thompson, a long-time feminist and activist.

“It’s no joke: I would have made a big fat fuss and walked off.” She laments the body fascism of the film industry and, indeed, of society in general. So what can be done?

“Put on weight and say, ‘F..k off!”‘

Her eyes flash. “March into a store that doesn’t stock 38D bras and say, ‘I want a 38D bra or I’m never coming here again!’ If anyone larger than a size eight appears in a film, go and see it. Which is all my films, by the way,” she says with a smile.

“But the fact that Hayley listened to me was the real revolution here. She could have lost confidence and said, ‘I’d better lose a stone’, but she didn’t.”


The stands taken by these women are small steps on the long road to the respect for personal modesty and acceptance of healthy body shapes as normal.

Animal protection law could hurt farmers

November 20, 2008

Candaian farmers are concerned that a new law to protect animals could lead to abuses and hurt farmers.

Changes to Ontario’s animal cruelty laws risk giving too much unchecked power to protection agencies and causing problems for farmers trying to do their jobs, critics charged today.

Under a bill passed by the Ontario legislature today, people who abuse animals will face jail, stiffer fines and a lifetime ban on animal ownership. The act also creates exemptions for wildlife, agriculture and veterinary practices.

But Progressive Conservative Randy Hillier said the bill gives police powers to animal welfare officers with no oversight or accountability, and he’s worried that will lead to abuses as well as problems for farmers.

“The (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) enforcement officers only require two weeks of training before they get police powers, and to understand animal husbandry and livestock care takes far greater than two weeks,” said Hillier, who represents Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington. “To convey all this authority onto a novice with two weeks of police training, and take away any political accountability — we’re just asking for trouble.”

Former Conservative Bill Murdoch, now sitting as an Independent for the farming community of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, said he’s not comforted by the exclusion of standard farm practices from the Animal Protection Act because city people don’t always understand what farm work entails.

“It says on the bill you can’t cause distress to an animal. Well, you know, sometimes the farming things we have to do might cause a bit of distress, and somebody from the city wouldn’t even understand that,” Murdoch said. “I’ve heard some of the vets get complaints from people that drive up from the city because the cattle are standing outside in the rain or in the snow, (saying) those animals should be inside. Nowadays, cattle live outside all winter.”

Animal welfare is a top priority for good farmers but some normal practices cause distress.

Tailing is an example, but leaving the tails on lambs risk them suffering from fly strike later which would be far worse than being docked.

And ignnorance can cause a perception of cruelty which is totally unfounded. Tourists sometimes complain that farm dogs aren’t fed properly because they look thin compared with pampered pets. What they don’t realise is that they’re comparing canine athletes with couch potatoes.

PPI inputs and outputs up again

November 20, 2008

The high cost of fuel was the main contributer to the increase in producers’ prices in the September quarter.

Producers’ output prices went up 2.8% and input prices rose 3.7%

The wholesale trade outputs index rose 4.3 percent in the September 2008 quarter. In the year to September the wholesale trade outputs index rose 17.3 percent, the largest annual increase since the series began in the June 1994 quarter.

The wholesale trade inputs index rose 8.1 percent in the latest quarter, with higher imported crude oil prices being the major driver of this movement. In the year to the September 2008 quarter, the wholesale trade inputs index rose 25.2 percent, which is also the largest annual increase since the series began.

Increases in the price of milk at the farmgate and the price of  dairy manufacturing inputs were second to fuel in contributing to the increases in the input and output indexes.

The outputs price for dairying increased 24.4% and the inputs for dairy manufacturing  went up 20.2%.

Overall the PPI outputs index rose 9.8 percent and the inputs index rose 13.6 percent in the year to September.

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