In Good Hands


This Friday’s poem was chosen because the hour is late and the verse is short.

It’s In Good Hands by Roger McGough from The Big Book of little poems by Roger McGough and Gyles Brandreth, published by Andre Deutsch Classics, 1999.

In Good Hands


Wherever night falls

The earth is always there

To catch it.


– Roger McGough –

You call that a state highway


Visitors from overseas are often bemused that most of what we call State Highway 1 wouldn’t rate as a major road in other developed countries.

I was reminded of this on the way down to Dunedint his morning. It’s a trip of about 120 kilometres which normally takes 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the traffic.

Today I left with an extra 20 minutes to spare and needed most of them because the traffic was heavy and there were three sets of road works which reduced the road to one lane.

I was behind about a dozen vehicles at the last stop and the front one was a very large, very slow truck. There were few opportunities to pass in the next 12 kilometres so only the first couple of cars behind the truck managed to get past. The rest of us had to trundle along in an unwilling convoy behind the truck at 50 to 80 kilometres an hour until we got to a passing lane.

It’s not good enough for the nation’s main thoroughfare, or as Jim Hopkins put it:

Wow! Santa is a lucky guy
He gets to whiz round in the sky!
He doesn’t need to lug his loads
Along this country’s hopeless roads
No campervans cause him delay
While we crawl down some motorway.
So, Santa, Santa, hear our voice
And pass it on the Stephen Joyce
(Our Minister of Transport new)
Who maybe will take heed of you
And start the job that must be done
To rebuild damned State Highway 1

Lunch with the PM


I had lunch with the Prime Minister today.

There was just John, his deputy Bill, MPs Jacqui Dean and Michael Woodhouse, National Party president Judy Kirk, a couple of hundred others and me.

He was relaxed and positive – no mean feat given this week he’s found that ACC is a few billion dollars short of funds and the nation’s books are around $3.5 billion in deficit.

They should have told us


The ODT editorial is headlined Fiscal Irresponsibility:

If it is true that there may be a $1 billion “hole” needing to be filled by the new Government, and the Clark Cabinet decided not to tell anyone about it, then it is obvious Labour is back to its deceptive tricks. . .

It may well be that on a strictly legal basis former ministers are not obliged to warn their replacements in a new administration of major unfunded problems, and it may be very amusing for a losing administration to chortle at the resulting political and policy fall-out, but it is entirely against the spirit of good government and the intent of the “no surprises” Fiscal Responsibility Act.

And that was before the second ACC blowout of a $1.3billion shortfall in the earners account was discovered.

Labour spent a lot of the election campaign warning about National’s secret agenda, but the secrets were Labour’s. They’ve sabotaged the incoming government and we’ll all be hurt by the fallout.

Festive verses from Jam Hipkins


Jim Hopkins gives us a peek at some festive verses from Jam Hipkins:

May Santa give you gifts galore
Some socks, some soap, and much, much more
But, fingers crossed, now things are black
Let’s hope he won’t give you the sack!

There’s more here.

Logo saga continues


The response to my email to the Electoral Commission asking why the logo on Rodney Hide’s jacket breached the EFA (see posts here and here) when the logo on Metiria Turei’s bathing suit didn’t said it was the logo not the slogan that was the problem.

I responded asking if there had been a decision made on logos and the response to that said there had been no published decision.

I replied asking if there had been an unpublished decision and if so when it would be published.

The response to that was: 

We only make published decisions

I’ve replied explaining: I’d had an email in May saying all logos which had been referred to the Commission would be considered when they considered the logo on balloons; I recalled reading that the matter had been referred to Crown Law for an opinion but I’ve seen nothing since; and asking when the decision on logos will be made.

I don’t think this is an unreasonable request, but perhaps I’m missing something.

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