You’ll Never Walk Alone


Happy birthday Gerry Marsden, 68 today.

This is dedicated to the people of Canterbury, South Otago, Southland and any where else which has borne the brunt of nature’s tantrums.

Word of the day


Pluviose – rainy, characterised by heavy rain.

Bird of the Year


Royal Forest & Bird’s annual poll to find the country’s favourite bird is underway. 

The Pukeko is leading so far with 621 votes.

Half Pie, campaign manager for kārearea, the New Zealand falcon, recorded an interview with Kakarapiti, a young male of the species.

Voting closes on October 13th.

Some members more equal than others


Labour is selecting its Dunedin North candidate this weekend.

Three people have been nominated to replace retiring MP Pete Hodgson, who has held the seat for four terms, are  New Zealand Nurses Organisation national adviser Glenda Alexander. current electorate committee chair and warden of Selwyn College, David Clark ; and former electorate chair Simon Wilson.

Taking part in the selection process will be three Labour Party council representatives appointed by head office, including a Dunedin-based representative; two Labour Electorate Committee representatives, selected on the day; one panel member elected by members attending; and the “popular vote” from members, which will count as one vote.

That gives six panel members and a vote from the floor.

In some selections, Labour’s head office officials have stacked the panel to ensure their preferred candidate is selected.

However, it is unlikely the head office appointees will go against the wishes of Dunedin North members.

The last time that happened, Labour lost the seat to National candidate Richard Walls, in 1975.

What’s the difference between Labour Party members in Dunedin North and those in Mana where unions out-voted members?

Big News has the story of that selection  which is confirmed by this comment from Alex in the North  at Kiwiblog.

If all Labour members are equal, those in Dunedin North must be more equal than their comrades in Mana.

UPDATE: Kiwiblog has more on this.

Quote of the week


“According to Dr Oppenheimer, however, these findings add to the body of literature which indicates that voter behaviour is irrational and that factors totally unrelated to politics affect the outcomes of elections.”

From posture and political psychology in the Economist..

Hat Tip:  Credo Quia Absurdum Est

Dedication to the cause


The ODT reckons Act is rearranging deck chairs on a political Titanic.

The woman coming in to help bail out the party after David Garrett walked the plank is Hilary Calvert of Dunedin.

Ms Calvert was a sole practice lawyer, specialising in property law, until recently. . .

. . . “I guess lawyers always find their way into Parliament partly because they care a lot about the structure of society and how it’s run and partly because they understand the laws and things a bit differently,” she told NZPA last month.

She left law to get into something more community focused and had been thinking about what to do, Ms Calvert said.

Parliament would be a good option — “that certainly counts as a serious community commitment”.

It also counts as dedication to the cause because it’s probable that she’ll be disrupting her life for what could be a very short term position.

Act’s chances of still being in parliament at all after the next election aren’t great and if the party survives it’s likely to have fewer than its current quote of five MPs.

Last on doesn’t necessarily mean first off, but Ms Calvert has only a few months to earn a higher place on the list and that would mean leap frogging other MPs. Unless someone steps aside voluntarily that would mean even rougher seas for the party.

September 24 in history


On September 24:

622 Prophet Muhammad completed his hijra from Mecca to Medina.


1180 Manuel I Komnenos, last Emperor of the Komnenian restoration died after which the Byzantine Empire slipped into terminal decline.

1625 Johan de Witt, Dutch politician, was born (d. 1672).


1645  Battle of Rowton Heath, Parliamentarian victory over a Royalist army commanded in person by King Charles.


1664 The Dutch Republic surrendered New Amsterdam to England.


1674  Second Tantrik Coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Chhatrapati Shivaji

1717 Horace Walpole, British novelist and politician, was born (d. 1797).

Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford

1725 Sir Arthur Guinness, Irish brewer, was born (d. 1803).


1841  The Sultan of Brunei ceded Sarawak to Britain.

Flag of Sarawak
Coat of Arms of Sarawak

1852  The first airship powered by (a steam) engine, created by Henri Giffard, travelled 17 miles (27 km) from Paris to Trappes.


1869 “Black Friday“: Gold prices plummetted after Ulysses S. Grant ordered the Treasury to sell large quantities of gold after Jay Gould and James Fisk plotted to control the market.

1871 Lottie Dod, English athlete, was born (d. 1960)


1877  Battle of Shiroyama, decisive victory of the Imperial Japanese Army over the Satsuma Rebellion.

1890 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officially renounced polygamy.

1896 F. Scott Fitzgerald, American novelist, was born (d. 1940).


1905 Lionel Terry killed Joe Kum Yung to draw attention to his crusade to rid New Zealand of Chinese people.

Race killing in Haining St, Wellington

1906  U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Devils Tower in Wyoming as the nation’s first National Monument.

1914 Sir John Kerr, 18th Governor-General of Australia, was born (d. 1991).


1935  Earl Bascom and Weldon Bascom produced the first rodeo ever held outdoors under electric lights at Columbia, Mississippi.

1936 Jim Henson, American puppeteer, was born (d. 1990).

1941 Linda McCartney, American singer, fashion designer and photographer, was born (d. 1998).


1942 Gerry Marsden, English singer (Gerry & The Pacemakers), was born.

1946  Cathay Pacific Airways was founded in Hong Kong.

1947 The Majestic 12 committee was allegedly established by secret executive order of President Harry Truman.


1948  The Honda Motor Company was founded.


1950  Forest fires blacked out the sun over portions of Canada and New England. A Blue moon (in the astronomical sense) was seen as far away as Europe.

1957  Camp Nou, the largest stadium in Europe, was opened in Barcelona.

Camp nou 2.jpg

1957 President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent 101st Airborne Division troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to enforce desegregation.

1962  United States court of appeals ordered the University of Mississippi to admit James Meredith.

1968  60 Minutes debuted on CBS.

The phrase "60 MINUTES" in Eurostile Extended typeface above a stopwatch showing a hand pointing to the number 60

1973  Guinea-Bissau declared its independence from Portugal.

1979  Compu-Serve launched the first consumer internet service, which features the first public electronic mail service.

Logo cs40.png

1990  Periodic Great White Spot observed on Saturn.


1994  National League for Democracy was formed by Aung San Suu Kyi and various others to help fight against dictatorship in Myanmar.


1996  U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty at the United Nations.

Nuclear test Nevada test site 1955.jpg

2005  Hurricane Rita made landfall in the United States, devastating Beaumont, Texas and portions of southwestern Louisiana.


2008  The Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago was topped off at 1,389 feet (423 m), at the time becoming the world’s highest residence above ground-level.

A tall silver skyscraper sits at a jog in the river beyond a bridge. The river and other along its banks buildings are in the foreground.

Sourced fron NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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