Mull of Kintyrre


Happy birthday Paul McCartney – 68 today.

In 1976ish Otago Univeristy’s capping sextet rewrote the words of this to refer to the strikes which were holding up the building of Mangere Bridge.

It went something like: : Mangare Bridge, Muldoon’s enraged, Mr Rowling’s in tears. . .  over Mangere Bridge.

Yes Minister on local councils


Paul Eddington would have been 83 today.

Out of government in to government


Kiwiblog has a pie chart from Senate Communications’ breakdown of the primary occupations of MPs before they entered parliament.

Agriculture: National 12% Labour 0

Business :National 27% Labour 7%

Education: National 5% Labour 16%

Government::  National 19% Labour 28%

Health:  National 9% Labour 7%

Law:  National 16% Labour 7%

Other:  National 12% Labour 16%

Unions: National 0 Labour 19%

Not every MP will fit comfortably into a single box, for example lawyers and health professionals might also be considered business people; and someone who came from local government may well have had experience in the real world before or as well as being on a council.

Also I’m not sure what Damion O’Conner did immediately before he entered politics but I think he was a dairy farmer at one time.

However, those provisos aside, it’s very easy to see from this why Labour appears to have so little appreciation of business in general and agriculture in particular.

It also shows why too many have a cavalier regard for other people’s money.

Bryce Edward’s comment (@11 22) sums that  up:

This information shows how today’s MPs are increasingly “professional politicians” and are therefore more inclined to be interested in the personal remuneration and perks that come from what they regard as a “career” rather than a “duty”. Previously, MPs virtually all came from backgrounds where they had been in “proper/real” occupations and careers – Labour MPs were often wage workers, and National MPs were very frequently farmers, lawyers and in other middle-income professions. This situation has shifted enormously, and now there is – as we see in this report – a much greater likelihood of MPs coming into parliament at an earlier age and only having experience in “the political world” of lobbying, local government, PR, parliamentary research jobs, etc. So they regard their time as MPs as being part of a career path in which you try to maximise your remuneration and take advantage of the perquisites of what you regard as a “job” even though the public still consider you to be in service of the “public life” and hence don’t particularly like it when they grasp all the material comforts that they can get. So this partly explains the increased propensity for what is often called “troughing”.

Commenting on the findings Senate Communications says:

The survey by government relations specialists Senate Communications shows that almost a quarter of MPs have worked primarily in government or local government roles before entering Parliament. This has jumped from 15 percent in a similar survey six years ago.

What’s more, one third of MPs have worked in a political or bureaucratic role at some time in their lives.

Senate’s Government Relations Partner, Mark Blackham, says the result shows that for an increasing number of MPs, the world of government is their main life experience.

“The days are virtually over where people enter politics to fix things they find wrong in ordinary life. Now, they are more likely to enter government or party politics at a young age as a career move.

“The growth of bureaucracy and political interest groups allows many more people to find long term employment inside the world of national politics.

“MMP has strengthened the ability of political parties to keep their preferred MPs in Parliament – so MPs can choose to make politics a lifetime career.

“This means that the rarefied environment of politics is the main experience they draw on when making decisions,” Mr Blackham said.

That isn’t healthy for good governance or democracy.

Countering the trend toward more professionals soaked in government experience, is a parallel growth in „jacks-of-all-trades‟. Sixteen percent of MPs have had such a wide variety of jobs that is hard to categorise them as having one dominant career. This number has almost doubled over the past two elections. The span of work is often surprising – from stable hands to television presenters.

“These MPs are more likely to have had a wider experience of lifestyles and people, and are more likely to be innovators and self-starters,” Mr Blackham said.

“Innovators in Parliament have a fight on their hands against a trend that is turning Western politics into a kind of nation management-by-numbers,” he said.

The trouble is that so many of the people with skills which are needed in parliament are too busy applying them in other endeavours where they get better financial returns and don’t have to put up with the many downsides of political life.

Question for accountants useful for politicians


An accountant had a business failure as a result of which he lost almost everything.

Many of his former clients wondered how they could trust him to do his best with their financial affairs when he’d failed so spectacularly with his own.

That’s not a bad question to ask of politicians too.

I’d have thought someone’s attitude to the public purse might also be an important consideration if they were seeking election as  mayor.

If polls on mayoral elections in Auckland and Christchurch are to be believed, the majority of voters aren’t particularly worried about that.

If they were Jim Anderton’s big $100,000 trip to Europe   and spa treatments charged to his ministerial credit card  – against the rules, though later repaid  – and Len Brown’s misuse of his mayoral credit card would put them well behind but recent polls put both are in front.

I know little about local body affairs in either city. But I am sorry that character – about which attitude to spending public money on private purcahses  says much – doesn’t seem to count.

Shackles of poverty best broken by capitalsim not welfare


Trans Tasman takes its usual reasoned and throughtful approach to the Foreshore and Seabed issue and concludes:

Some authorities dismissed the foreshore and seabed decision as just another example of Key’s deal-making skill.What they miss is Key’s determination to honour the spirit of the Treaty of Waitangi, and harmonise race relations to a degree unmatched anywhere in the world. It’s a goal liberals find hard to accept coming from a conservative party, but is not so astonishing for those who believe capitalism, rather than welfarism, is the most effective instrument through which the shackles of poverty can be broken.

Trans Tasman is a weekly newsletter to which you can subscribe here.

June 18 in histroy


On June 18:

618  Li Yuan became Emperor Gaozu of Tang, initiating three centuries of Tang Dynasty rule over China.


1178  Five Canterbury monks seawwhat was possibly the Giordano Bruno crater being formed. It is believed that the current oscillations of the moon’s distance from the earth (on the order of metres) are a result of this collision.

Wfm giordano bruno.jpg

1264 The Parliament of Ireland met at Castledermot in County Kildare, the first definitively known meeting of this Irish legislature.

1429  French forces under the leadership of Joan of Arc defeated the main English army under Sir John Fastolf at the Battle of Patay.


1757  Battle of Kolín between Prussian Forces under Frederick the Great of Prussia and an Austrian Army under the command of Field Marshal Count Leopold Joseph von Daun in the Seven Year’s War.


1767  Samuel Wallis, an English sea captain, sighted Tahiti and is considered the first European to reach the island.

1778  American Revolutionary War: British troops abandoned Philadelphia.


1812  War of 1812: The U.S. Congress declared war on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1815  Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Waterloo leads to Napoleon Bonaparte abdicating the throne of France for the second and last time.

Wellington at Waterloo Hillingford.jpg

1830  French invasion of Algeria

1858  Charles Darwin received a paper from Alfred Russel Wallace that included nearly identical conclusions about evolution as Darwin’s own.  which prompted Darwin to publish his theory.

Three quarter length studio photo showing Darwin's characteristic large forehead and bushy eyebrows with deep set eyes, pug nose and mouth set in a determined look. He is bald on top, with dark hair and long side whiskers but no beard or moustache. His jacket is dark, with very wide lapels, and his trousers are a light check pattern. His shirt has an upright wing collar, and his cravat is tucked into his waistcoat which is a light fine checked=

1859  First ascent of Aletschhorn, second summit of the Bernese Alps.

1873  Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 presidential election.


1886 George Mallory, English mountaineer, was born  (d. 1924).

1887  The Reinsurance Treaty between Germany and Russia was signed.

1895  Minnie Dean’s trial for murdering a baby placed in her care began at the Invercargill Supreme Court.

Minnie Dean goes on trial

1900  Empress Dowager Longyu of China ordered all foreigners killed.

1904 Manuel Rosenthal, French conductor and composer, was born  (d. 2003).

1908 Japanese immigration to Brazil began when 781 people arrive in Santos aboard the Kasato-Maru ship

1908  The University of the Philippines was established.

Unibersidad ng Pilipinas.png

 1913  Sylvia Field Porter, American economist and journalist, was born  (d. 1991)

1915  Red Adair, American firefighter, was born (d. 2004) .

1920 Ian Carmichael, English actor, was born (d. 2010).

1923  Checker Taxi put its first taxi on the streets.


1927 Paul Eddington, English actor, was born  (d. 1995).


1928  Aviator Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly in an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean (she was a passenger,Wilmer Stutz was the pilot and Lou Gordon the mechanic).

1930  Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Franklin Institute were held.


1936 Denny Hulme, New Zealand race car driver, was born  (d. 1992).


1936 Ronald Venetiaan, President of Suriname, was born.

1940  Appeal of June 18 by Charles de Gaulle.

1940   “Finest Hour” speech by Winston Churchill.

1942 Paul McCartney, British singer, songwriter and musician (The Beatles)  (Wings), was born.

A man in his early sixties, wearing a white shirt and red suspenders during a concert on FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, 1 August 2009, standing in a pose of victory.

1945  William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) was charged with treason.


1946  Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, a Socialist called for a Direct Action Day against the Portuguese in Goa.

1953  The Republic of Egypt was declared and the monarchy abolished.

1953  A United States Air Force C-124 crashed and burned near Tokyo killing 129.

1954  Pierre Mendès-France became Prime Minister of France.

1959 Governor of Louisiana Earl K. Long was committed to a state mental hospital; he responded by having the hospital’s director fired and replaced with a crony who proceeded to proclaim him perfectly sane.

1965  Vietnam War: The United States used B-52 bombers to attack National Liberation Front guerrilla fighters in South Vietnam.

1972 Staines air disaster – 118 were killed when a plane crashes 2 minutes after take off from London Heathrow Airport.

1979 SALT II was signed by the United States and the Soviet Union.


1981 The AIDS epidemic was formally recognised by medical professionals in San Francisco, California.

1983 Space Shuttle program: STS-7, Astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.


1984 A major clash between about 5,000 police and a similar number of miners at Orgreave, South Yorkshire, during the 1984-1985 UK miners’ strike.

1994 The Troubles: the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) opened fire inside a pub in Loughinisland, Northern Ireland, killing six civilians and wounding five.

1996 Ted Kaczynski, suspected of being the Unabomber, was indicted on ten criminal counts.

A man in a jacket with handcuffs

2001 Protests in Manipur over the extension of the ceasefire between Naga insurgents and the government of India.

2006  The first Kazakh space satellite, KazSat wa launched.

Sourced from NZ Histroy Online & Wikipedia

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