Word of the day


Nummamorous – money-loving; devoted to making money.

Independent body to set MPs’ expenses


Prime Minister John Key has accepted the Law Commission’s recommendation  that MPs’ and Ministers’ expenses be set by an independent body.

I acknowledge that Ministers’ and MPs’ expenses are a matter of public interest – hence the moves made during this parliamentary term to provide more transparency on their expenditure.

“It is important that the regime for setting Ministers’ and MPs’ expenses has the public’s confidence,” says Mr Key.

“The Government accepts the Law Commission’s recommendation that having Ministers’ and MPs’ expenses determined by an independent body will better ensure public confidence. Accordingly, it is the Government’s intention to accept the broad thrust of the recommendation to move decision-making regarding remaining MP and Ministerial expenses to an enhanced Remuneration Authority.”

Mr Key says prior to introducing legislation to Parliament, the Government will consult with the Speaker and other parliamentary parties on the detail of the Law Commission’s recommendation, such as the make-up of the enhanced Remuneration Authority and the specific matters to be handed over.

“In making this change, it will be important to ensure that the needs of Ministers and MPs to carry out their responsibilities continue to be met,” says Mr Key.

“Cabinet will consider the timing of the new legislation early in the new year, but it is my intention that it will be passed before the end of 2011. . .

This is sensible for both MPs and the public.

MPs can not take a disinterested view on their own allowances and the public has a right to know how public money is used.

Look what we lost


Looking at what we lost when John Clarke crossed the Tasman occupied Jim Mora and me on our chat about on-line matters on Critical Mass today.

Clarke and Brian Dawe have a satirical look at events in Australia each week, transcripts and videos of which are posted on the ABC’s website.  

Next stop on our journey through the internet was The Truth About Santa Claus at Stoatspring – a delightful recounting of a six-year-old’s learning experience.

Then, thanks to a tip from a listener/reader in response to last Tuesday’s reference to Simon Heffer’s style notes we moved on to Media Monkey at the Guardian  which showed that for want of an A a temper was lost. (If you’re offended by bad language you might be better not to go there).

Hunt the Slipper


This Tuesday’s poem is: Hunt the Slipper:  a romantic divertissement by Jo Thorpe.

Other Tuesday poems linked in the sidebar include:

Eulogy to Battles Lost  byAlicia Ponder.

The Wahine by Mary McCallum.

Tackling the Day by Pam Morrison.

 Dusk by Melissa Green

Three police cars and an ambulance


The usual peace of my morning constitutional was disturbed by the sound of a siren.

From my vantage point three quarters of the way up a hill I was able to watch a police car speed into the township, past the turnoff which would have taken it up to our road, and head further inland.

A few minutes later another siren heralded another police car and an ambulance. That was followed by a third police car.

As I was going back down the hill about 20 minutes later I saw the ambulance heading back to town at a sedate speed which suggested either no-one needed urgent help or everybody was beyond it.

The grapevine tells me it was the former – an altercation between a car and a truck had, thankfully, resulted in only minor injuries.

Promised bang, delivered whimper


I could just about feel sorry for Phil Goff.

The morning he’s making his last big speech of the year someone leaks a letter expressing no confidence in him to Kiwiblog.

Then he has a Freudian slip in his speech, confusing the current Finance Spokesman David Cunliffe with  former Finance Minister David Caygill. The irony is, as Keeping Stock, points out just as Goff is trying to paint a vision for the future he reminds us of the past.

Both stories became more newsworthy than the speech  itself, but then when you read the speech you see why.

He promised a bang and delivered a whimper.

When the economy is still in a fragile state there’s no room for big spending promises and he didn’t make any. But nor did he say anything else that’s likely to get anyone talking excitedly about him and his party around their barbeques this summer.

If you haven’t time to read the full speech, Not PC has an abridged version.

December 7 in history


On December 7:

521 Saint Columba, Irish Christian missionary to Scotland, was born.


43 BC – Marcus Tullius Cicero was assassinated.

1724 – Tumult of Thorn – religious unrest is followed by the execution of nine Protestant citizens and the mayor of Thorn (Toruń) by Polish authorities.

1732 – The Royal Opera House opened at Covent Garden.

1776 – Marquis de Lafayette attempted to enter the American military as a major general.


1860 – Joseph Cook, 6th Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1947).

1862 – US Civil War: Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas.

1863 Richard Sears, American department store founder, was born  (d. 1914).

1869 – American outlaw Jesse James committed  his first confirmed bank robbery in Gallatin, Missouri.


1888 Joyce Cary, Irish author, was born (d. 1957).

1900 Max Planck discovered the law of black body emission.

1921 Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Indian spiritual leader, was born.

1923  Ted Knight, American actor, was born.

1928 Noam Chomsky, American linguist and political writer was born.


1930 W1XAV in Boston, Massachusetts broadcast video from the CBS radio orchestra program, The Fox Trappers. The broadcast included the first television commercial in the United States, an advertisement for I.J. Fox Furriers, who sponsored the radio show.

1936 – Australian cricketer Jack Fingleton became the first player to score centuries in four consecutive Test innings.

Jack Fingleton.jpg

1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor – The Japanese Navy attacked the US Pacific Fleet and its defending Army Air Forces and Marine air forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Attack on Pearl Harbor Japanese planes view.jpg

1946 – A fire at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia killed 119 people, the deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history.


1962 Prince Rainier III of Monaco revised the principality’s constitution, devolving some of his power to advisory and legislative councils.

1963 The Bassett Road machine gun murders  took place.

Bassett Road machine-gun murders
1963 – Instant Replay was used for the first time in an Army-Navy game by its inventor, director, Tony Verna.
Screen shot 2010-12-06 at 4.30.42 PM.png
1970 The first ever general election on the basis of direct adult franchise was held in Pakistan for 313 National Assembly seats.

1972  Apollo 17, the last Apollo moon mission, was launched. The crew took the photograph known as “The Blue Marble” as they left the Earth.

1975 Indonesia invaded East Timor.

1983 – An Iberia Airlines Boeing 727 collided with an Aviaco DC-9 in dense fog while the two airliners are taxiing down the runway at Madrid Barajas International Airport, killing 93 people.

1987 – Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 crashed near Paso Robles, California, killing all 43 on board, after a disgruntled passenger shot his ex-boss travelling on the flight, then shot both pilots and himself.

1987 – Alianza Lima air disaster. A plane crashed killing all Alianza Lima team in Ventanilla, Callao, Peru.

1988 – Spitak Earthquake: In Armenia an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale killed nearly 25,000, injures 15,000 and leaves 400,000 homeless.


1988 Yasser Arafat recognised the right of Israel to exist.

1993 – The Long Island Rail Road massacre: Passenger Colin Ferguson murdered six people and injured 19 others on the LIRR in Nassau County, New York.

1995 The Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter, a little more than six years after it was launched by Space Shuttle Atlantis during Mission STS-34.

Galileo Preparations - GPN-2000-000672.jpg

2003 – The Conservative Party of Canada was officially recognized after the merger of the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

Conservative Party of Canada.svg

2005 – Rigoberto Alpizar, a passenger on American Airlines Flight 924 who allegedly claimed to have a bomb, was shot and killed by a team of U.S. federal air marshals at Miami International Airport.

2006 – A tornado struck Kensal Green, North West London, seriously damaging about 150 properties.

2007 – The Hebei Spirit oil spill began in South Korea after a crane barge that had broken free from a tug collided with the Very Large Crude Carrier, Hebei Spirit.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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