Grievous Bodily

October 5, 2009

Craig Harrsion is the author of Quiet Earth  which is a very dark novel.

Grievous Bodily couldn’t be more different. It’s a laugh-out-loud story of which begins with the discovery of $100,000. That leads to chaos which the finders couldn’t have imagined including mistaken identity, thwarted lust and  close encounters with cow pats, puddings and pigs’ heads.

It’s another of the books I re-read each year and I laugh just as much with each re-reading as I did with the first.

dairy 10017

It’s out of print now, you’ll have to try Trade Me or second hand shops. It was read on Afternoons a year or two ago so an audio copy may still be available.

Post 5 in the post a day for New Zealand Book Month challenge.

book month logo green

Deborah at In A Strange Land has been reading Mitch and Monty by Kathy Scott, illustrated by Alex Scott.

Rob posts on Ian Grant’s The Unauthorised Version at Rob’s Blockhead.

And over at No Minister, Psycho Milt doesn’t want to be reading fiction as some kind of civic duty.


Argument Clinic

October 5, 2009

It’s 40 years since Monty Python’s Flying Circus first broadcast on BBC.


Monday’s quiz

October 5, 2009

1. Who said, “Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different”?

2. Who wrote Agnes the Sheep?

3. What is the most common meter in English poetry.

4. Which river ruled Mona Anderson’s life?

5. What did the Magpies say in Denis Glover’s poem?


Two seasons at once

October 5, 2009

The Kowhai on the shore of Lake Wanaka proclaims that spring is here but the snow on the mountains suggest it’s still winter.

winter & spring


Bloggers on AOS hunt for gunman

October 5, 2009

PM of NZ and Rivetting Kate Taylor both have updates on the Armed Offenders Squad search for the gunman in Hawkes Bay.


When does rent become a rort?

October 5, 2009

Kiwiblog has more on the Green Party’s accommodation arrangements and the issue has also been picked up by the MSM.

Julian Robins interviewed Metiria Turei on Morning Report and the Southland Times editorial says:

Interestingly, it appears to have been the party, rather than the MPs, who refunded the money. Interesting, because the Greens have been accused in the past of using trusts to buy houses in Wellington and then renting them out to their MPs, at a profit, of course.

This is the same accommodation rort that many MPs, from all parties, have got their grubby little hands into at the expense of the taxpayer, and it has to stop.

I don’t know of any other party or MPs who rent flats from their superannuation fund. But who has done it is irrelevant, it’s that they can which matters and that must be addressed.

MPs should not be out of pocket if they have to maintain a home in their electorates and accommodate themselves in Wellington. But the rules need to ensure they aren’t able to take the most expensive option to get a greater gain for themselves.


Something for nothing

October 5, 2009

A friend once spent a considerable sum buying absolutely nothing.

It was one of the lots at a fundraising auction for a charity he supports. He has everything he needs and the idea of bidding on absolutely nothing appealed to his sense of humour.

While I’ve seen anyone buy absolutely nothing I have watched people pay a lot more for something that it’s worth in aid of a good cause. Often they’ve bought tickets for a meal beforehand and paid far more for them than the meal itself cost. They might also have bought raffle tickets too. 

All of this is really a donation but if the worthy cause is a political party, would it count as one which needs to be declared?

If there was a set price for tickets to the function and raffles it wouldn’t. I think the same applies to an auction because, although there wouldn’t be a set price, the buyer gets something in return and, as with the meal and raffle, GST is payable on the money received. If I’m correct – and I’m not 100% I am – it would be a very simple, and legal, way to get round a donations limit.

I don’t understand the preoccupation with knowing the identity of donors of sums well below an amount that could possibly be regarded as likely to buy favours. A lot of people don’t have a very high regard for politicians but the idea that an MP, or government, could be swayed by donations of a few thousand dollars is ludicrous.

In spite of this there are calls for very low or no limits on anonymous donations from people concerned about transparency over money donated to political parties. To support their concerns they’ve pointed out that declared donations to Labour and National were well below the amounts they spent at last year’s elections.

But that overlooks the money which comes from membership and fund raising activity which doesn’t have to be declared.

I’ve no idea where Labour got its money but having been an electorate chair for National I know that a lot of small donations and some fund raising functions supported by a lot of members and supporters can come to a very tidy sum.  The people who contribute in this way are, like the friend at the auction, giving something for nothing more than the satisfaction of helping a cause they believe in.


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