Ernie Wise & Hamlet


Ernie Wise would have been 86 today.

Hear My Train a Coming


Jimi Hendrix would have been 67 today.

Word of the week



Hat tip: Jim Hopkins on The Farming Show.

Did you see the one about . . .


 Apologies and letters: Theodore Dalrymple explains why he feels sorry for Gordon Brown. – a post in response ot the furore over a hand written apology.

What are you getting for Christmas – PM of NZ shows why we should be grateful the world has moved on.

Principles of economics translated –  a very funny video, hat tip

It’s Urgent – really – a very funny video at Roarprawn.

Witi Ihimaera and plagarism – Quote Unquote has the best analysis I’ve seen on the issue.

Global Warping – Macdoctor on the need for integrity from scientists.

Jelly shaped person?


I’ve always known them as jelly babies.

But when I turned over the Air New Zealand lolly mix packet to read the ingredients yesterday I saw they’re now called jelly shaped presons?

Is this linguistic manipulation or does it just mean that one company has the claims on the name jelly baby and Air NZ gets its lollies from another?

Sports talk


* Adam Smith corrected me last week for calling the football match between Bahrain and New Zealand a test. Can someone enlighten me as to when a match between two national teams is a test and when it isn’t?

* 99 then out – how frustrating for Daniel Vettori.

We can’t keep going on like this


Baseline Budget spending increased three times more than inflation and economic growth in the last four years.

Finance Minister Bill English said:

“Baseline Budget spending has jumped 45 per cent since 2005 – at a time when inflation and the economy only grew by about 15 per cent.

“More than a third of all Budget vote areas received funding increases of over 50 per cent in the past five years and over two thirds received increases of more than 30 per cent.

“This kind of rampant spending growth is unsustainable and cannot continue.”

The table shows the increase in spending:


 These are unsustainable figures – and they exclude some expenses, such as benefits and Working for Families payments, the purchase of KiwiRail and loan write-offs.

This is Labour’s legacy but reversing it is National’s responsibility.

We can’t keep going on like this. The  government is borrowing an average $250 million a week, every week, over the next four years to continue providing public services and maintain welfare payments.

That is a hand break on economic growth and if it’s not checked we’ll be handicapping future generations too.

Affco profit down, dividend cancelled


Affco has announced a 57.9% drop in net profit to $25.37 million for the year to September 30  and is cancelling its final dividend because of uncertainty over the future.

Last season started well with farmers receiving reasonable prices for lambs after several years of dismal returns and Alliance Meats made  an operating surplus of $42.1 million from a turnover of $1.5 billion in the same period.

But Silver Fern Farms would have only made a profit of less than $7m if it hadn’t received the one-off payment of $37m from PGG Wrightson in compensation for its failed merger bid.

Calls for changes to the meat industry died down last season when prices improved. This announcement from Affco, following SFF’s disappointing result and expectations of lower prices this season will reignite debate on where the industry should go and the best way to get it there.

Confidence and contacts


What did you get from the Kellogg Rural Leadership programme? 

I asked this of fellow graduates at the programme’s silver jubilee celebrations last night. The answer was that we had all gained confidence and contacts. 

Kellogg started at Lincoln 30 years ago but hasn’t run every year so the current intake was the 25th

One of the people who’s spoken to every group is Ruth Richardson who addressed us last night. 

She left us with two messages: public policy matters; and the most important meeting we have each day should be with ourselves – i.e. we should always make time for an hour of exercise. 

The other speaker was Dr David Hughes, Emeritus professor of food marketing at Imperial College London.

He pointed out that the developing economies where we’re hoping to sell more produce eat a lot more white meat than red.

He also said that New Zealand’s reputation for very high standards of food safety is our biggest asset. But while people overseas think we produce good food most can’t name anything we grow because we produce more ingredients than value added food.

November 27 in history


On November 27:

1703 The first Eddystone Lighthouse was destroyed in the Great Storm of 1703.

 Winstanley’s lighthouse

1849 Te Rauparaha died.

1895 Alfred Nobel signed his last will and testament, setting aside his estate to establish the Nobel Prize after he died.

1874 Chaim Weizmann, 1st President of Israel, was born.

1924 the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was held in New York.

1925 Ernie Wise, British comedian, was born.

1940 The 16,712-ton New Zealand Shipping Company liner MV Rangitane was sunk by two German ‘auxiliary cruisers’ (armed merchant raiders), the Orion and Komet, 300 nautical miles off East Cape.

1942 Manolo Blahnik, Spanish shoe designer, was born.

1940  Bruce Lee, American actor and martial artist, was born.


1942  Jimi Hendrix, American guitarist, was born.

 1999  Helen Clark became Prime Minister.

2005 The first partial human face transplant was completed in Amiens, France.

2006 The Canadian House of Commons endorsed Prime Minister Stephen Harper‘s motion to declare Québécois a nation within a unified Canada.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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