A Love Of Your Own


Happy birthday Alan Gorrie, 64 today.

Love Of My Life


Happy birthday Brian May, 63 today.

Monday’s quiz


1. What is  John Key’s middle name?

2. According to Jane Austen  a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of what, and which book does it come from?

3. Who is the Minister of Archives NZ?

4. What are the occipitofrontalis and occiptalis and what do they do?            

5. Who said: ” No diet will remove all the fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat. Without a brain, you might look good, but all you could do is run for public office.”?

The taxi driver test


The taxi driver who picked us up after the National Party conference yesterday was from Pakistan.

He’d been in New Zealand for 10 years and had voted Labour because that’s the party he knew, the only one which had led a government since he’d been here.

But he liked John Key and he especially liked the government’s stance on crime.

He had come to New Zealand because it was much safer than his homeland and he wanted it to stay that way.

He also had a problem he hoped we could help him with because we were from the government.

We explained we were only volunteers, not MPs, but he explained the problem anyway.

It was a convoluted story which started with alterations to his house and finished with a $9,000 bill from the Auckland City Council for a few metres of pipe.

We told him to contact John Banks.

What’s good for employers is good for employees


The left are calling proposed changes to employment law a declaration of law against workers.

They might enjoy the rhetoric but they’re wrong.

Measures which make it easier for businesses to employ people are measures which are better for employees.

A Department of Labour survey on the 90-day trial period for new workers found:

    • Three quarters (74%) of those employed on a trial period had retained their employment once the trial period was over (a further 5% were still working within the trial period at the time of the survey).
    • In relation to the last employee they had hired on a trial period, 40% of employers stated they would not have or were not likely to have hired that person without the trial period.

People who wouldn’t have been offered jobs were and most kept them, what’s wrong with that?

Employees . . . experiencing trial periods had a range of views, recognising some benefits of trial periods for themselves as well as for employers, but also feeling vulnerable to unfair treatment and job loss. However for those retaining employment after a trial period (three quarters of those employed on a trial period), the experience was not negative.

The experience for employees on trial wasn’t quite as positive as it was for employers. But having a job, even if they knew they might not keep it, ought to be better than not having a job at all and most of those who were taken on for a trial were retained.

Extending the 90-day trial period to all employers was one of the measures aimed at icnreasing economic growth and productivity which John Key announced yesterday.

“Employment growth happens because a business is prepared to give someone a chance – often someone they have never met before and know very little about.

“The extension of the 90-day trial period to all workplaces is all about giving prospective employees a shot at work, and giving employers the confidence to hire.

Other changes to employment law announced included allowing employees the option of cashing in their fourth week of holiday and requiring unions to get employer consent for action to workplaces, with the proviso that access can’t be unreasonably withheld.

These measures aren’t a declaration of war against workers, they’re a recipe for industrial harmony.

July 19 in history


On July 19:

711 Battle of Guadalete: Umayyad forces under Tariq ibn Ziyad defeated the Visigoths led by their king Roderic.

1333  Wars of Scottish Independence: Battle of Halidon Hill – The English won a decisive victory over the Scots.

1544 Italian War of 1542: The Siege of Boulogne began.

1545 The Tudor warship Mary Rose sank off Portsmouth.

A highly ornamented ship with four masts and bristling with guns sailing over a mild swell towards the right of the picture, towing a small boat 

1553 Lady Jane Grey was replaced by Mary I of England as Queen of England after  just nine days.


1588 Anglo-Spanish War: Battle of Gravelines – The Spanish Armada sighted in the English Channel.


1692  Salem Witch Trials: Five women were hanged for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts.


1759 Seraphim of Sarov, Russian Orthodox Saint, was born (d. 1833).

1832 The British Medical Association was founded as the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association by Sir Charles Hastings at a meeting in the Board Room of the Worcester Infirmary.


1800 Juan José Flores, first President of Ecuador, was born (d. 1864).


1814 Samuel Colt, American firearms inventor, was born (d. 1862).


 1827  Mangal Pandey, Indian freedom fighter, was born (d. 1857).

Mangal pandey gimp.jpg

1834 Edgar Degas, French painter (d. 1917)

1843  Brunel’s steamship the SS Great Britain was launched, becoming the first ocean-going craft with an iron hull or screw propeller and also the largest vessel afloat in the world.


1848 The two day Women’s Rights Convention opened in Seneca Falls, New York and the “Bloomers” were introduced.

 Lucretia Mott was described as “the moving spirit of the occasion”.

1863 American Civil War: Morgan’s Raid – General John Hunt Morgan’s raid into the north was mostly thwarted when a large group of his men were captured while trying to escape across the Ohio River.

Morganmap.jpgMap of Morgan’s route

1864 Third Battle of Nanking:the Qing Dynasty  defeated the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom.

1865 Charles Horace Mayo, American surgeon and founder of the Mayo Clinic, was born (d. 1939).

1870 Franco-Prussian War: France declared war on Prussia.


1879 Doc Holliday killed for the first time after a man shot up his New Mexico saloon.

1896 A. J. Cronin, Scottish writer, was born (d. 1981).


1912 A meteorite with an estimated mass of 190 kg exploded over the town of Holbrook, Arizona causing approximately 16,000 pieces of debris to rain down on the town.

1916 Battle of Fromelles: British and Australian troops attacked German trenches in a prelude to the Battle of the Somme.

Australian 53rd Bn Fromelles 19 July 1916.jpg

1919  Following Peace Day celebrations marking the end of World War I, ex-servicemen rioted and burnt down Luton Town Hall.

1937 George Hamilton IV, American country singer, was born.


1940  World War II: Battle of Cape Spada – The Royal Navy and the Regia Marina clashed; the Italian light cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni sank, with 121 casualties.

Bartolomeo Colleoni under attack.JPG

1940 World War II: Army order 112 formed the Intelligence Corps of the British Army.

Flag of the British Army.svg

1942  World War II: Battle of the Atlantic – German Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz ordered the last U-boats to withdraw from their United States Atlantic coast positions in response to the effective American convoy system.


1946 Alan Gorrie, Scottish musician (Average White Band), was born.

1947 Brian May, English musician (Queen), was born.

1947 Prime minister of shadow Burma government, Bogyoke Aung San, 6 of his cabinet and 2 non-cabinet members were assassinated by Galon U Saw.

Myanmar-Yangon-Aung San Statue.jpg

1963  Joe Walker flew a North American X-15 to a record altitude of 106,010 metres (347,800 feet) on X-15 Flight 90. Exceeding an altitude of 100 km, this flight qualifies as a human spaceflight under international convention.


1964 Vietnam War: At a rally in Saigon, South Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Khanh called for expanding the war into North Vietnam.

1971 Urs Bühler, Swiss tenor (Il Divo), was born.

1976  Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal was created.


1979 Sandinista rebels overthrew the government of the Somoza family in Nicaragua.


1982 The Privy Council granted New Zealand citizenship to Western Samoans born after 1924. The government challenged this ruling, leading to accusations of betrayal and racism.

Privy Council rules on Samoan citizenship

1983 The first three-dimensional reconstruction of a human head in a CT was published.

1985  The Val di Stava Dam collapsed killing 268 people in Val di Stava, Italy.


1989  United Airlines flight 232 crashed in Sioux City, Iowa killing 112 of the 296 passengers.

1992  Anti-Mafia Judge Paolo Borsellino  and  five police officers were killed by a Mafia car bomb in Palermo.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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