Best done quickly

March 25, 2011

MacBeth was right: If it were done when tis done, then ’twere well. It were done quickly and Darren Hughes has followed his advice by resigning from parliament before the mess surrounding police inquiries gets worse.

This is not an admission of guilt and he says:

Although people are commonly thought to be innocent until proven guilty, it has become clear to me that this doesn’t apply in the political arena,” he said.

“I have done nothing wrong, and I remain confident that the legal process will have the right outcome.

“My immediate focus is on clearing my name. I will continue to co-operate fully with the Police inquiry, which will unfortunately need to continue in the glare of publicity.”

One motivation for his resignation is to take the heat off the Labour Party but there are enough question over Phil Goff’s handling of this issue to make that unlikely, especially if the rumours of the New York Branch of the party is helping MPs do the numbers to roll Goff.

MacBeth was mulling over an assassination when he spoke about acting quickly. It is probable that at least some Labour MPs are contemplating the political equivalent.


Word of the day

March 25, 2011

Pabulum – food, provender; a subtance that gives sustenance; insipid intellectual nourishment.


Friday’s answers

March 25, 2011

Thursday’s questions were:

1. What is ombrology?

2. Who said: “Statistics are the triumph of the quantitative method, and the quantitative method is the victory of sterility and death”?

3. Who wrote the poem The Magpies?

4. Name three of the seven instruments usually found in the woodwind section of an orchestra.

5. Name the ship which landed at Port Chalmers with the first settlers for Otago on March 23rd 1848. 

Points for answers:

Gravedodger got four right with a bonus for the witty weather observation which wins an electronic bloom.

Adam got three and a smile for his question.

Andrei got four and a bonus for extra musical detail which also wins an electronic bloom.

David got two right.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


Here to help which cause?

March 25, 2011

The principal and all but a couple of teachers at a primary school were happy with the introduction of National Standards.

Then the people turned up to train them and mixed with the training they had a lot of criticism of the introduction of the standards.

How unprofessional is that?

As former States Services Commissioner  Mark Prebble told Kathryn Ryan:

“Public servants have to implement the policies of the government of the day

Many people come to government to try to support a good cause. They don’t realise the one who has to determine which good cause is to be supported is the democratically minister of the day.  . . .

 A key part of the role of senior public servants is to explain to them well it is the minister who has to take the heat in public about that and the public servant really isn’t just employed to follow their own interests and if they want to follow their interests they can go and work in the private sector like anyone else. . .

. . . No public servant should be zealous about the particular cause they’re interested in. They should be zealous about democracy and respecting the law. . .”

The  public service must be apolitical. . .

The people who visited the school were paid from the public purse to help implement government policy but instead were doing their best to sabotage it.

If it happened at one school, how many others also found the people sent to help were advancing their own cause rather than giving the professional development the teachers sought and how often does this happen with other policies?

We’ve spent this week with a group of farmers. Each time tenure review was raised the glacial pace at which it proceeds was criticised.

You could be excused for wondering if this is a deliberate policy on the part of some of the public servants involved in the hope that they can delay the process until the government changes.


Inappropriate is the appropriate word

March 25, 2011

Inappropriate is an often overused word but it is the appropriate one to apply to the most generous interpretation of the story which has resulted in Darren Hughes standing down from his positions of Labour Party whip and education spokesman.

Rob Hosking writes in the NBR:

The 32-year-old Otaki MP may not have broken any laws. But the picture his behaviour paints is hardly that of a diligent and seriously hard working MP. 

No charges have been laid, it is possible none will be and that the generous interpretation is the correct one.

But even if that turns out to be the case, the story has already damaged Hughes’ reputation and calls into question his judgement.

It is also adding to speculation on whether or not Phil Goff will lose the Labour  leadership before the election.

Hughes did the right thing by admitting he was the MP whose behaviour was being investigated which removed suspicion from his colleagues. But even so the personal damage from what appears to be at best inappropriate behaviour could result in equally serious political damage to his leader and party.


March 25 in history

March 25, 2011

On March 25:

1199 Richard I was wounded by a crossbow bolt while fighting France.

1306 Robert the Bruce became King of Scotland.

1347 Catherine of Siena, Italian saint, was born d. 1380).

1409 The Council of Pisa opened.

1584 Sir Walter Raleigh was granted a patent to colonize Virginia.

 

1634  The first settlers arrived in Maryland.

1655 Saturn‘s largest moon, Titan, was discovered by Christian Huygens.

1802 The Treaty of Amiens was signed as a “Definitive Treaty of Peace” between France and Britain.

Gillray - The First Kiss.jpgJames Gillray, The first Kiss this Ten Years! —or—the meeting of Britannia & Citizen François (1803)

1807 The Slave Trade Act became law, abolishing the slave trade in the British Empire.

1807 – The Swansea and Mumbles Railway, then known as the Oystermouth Railway, became the first passenger carrying railway in the world.

 

1811 Percy Bysshe Shelley was expelled from the University of Oxford for his publication of the pamphlet The Necessity of Atheism.

1821 Greeks revolted against the Ottoman Empire, beginning the Greek War of Independence.

Epanastasi.jpg

1847 Duel between Dr Isaac Featherston, editor of the Wellington Independent, and Colonel William Wakefield, the New Zealand Company’s Principal Agent in New Zealand.

Wakefield and Featherston duel

1881 Mary Gladys Webb, English writer, was born  (d. 1927).

 1894  Coxey’s Army, the first significant American protest march, left Massillon, Ohio for Washington D.C.

 

1897 John Laurie, Scottish actor, was born (d. 1980).

 

1899 Burt Munro, New Zealand motorcycle racer, was born (d. 1978).

 

1903 Racing Club de Avellaneda, one of the big five of Argentina, was founded.

Racing Club's Crest

1908 Clube Atletico Mineiro was founded in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Atlético Mineiro

1911 In New York City, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire killed 146 garment workers.

 People and horses draped in black walk in procession in memory of the victims.

1913 Sir Reo Stakis, Anglo-Cypriot hotel magnate, was born (d. 2001).

 

1914 Norman Borlaug, American agriculturalist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born (d. 2009).

1917 The Georgian Orthodox Church restored its autocephaly abolished by Imperial Russia in 1811.

Georgian Apostolic Autocephalous Orthodox Church logo.gif

1918 The Belarusian People’s Republic was established.

1922 Eileen Ford, American model agency executive, was born.

1924  On the anniversary of Greek Independence, Alexandros Papanastasiou proclaimed the Second Hellenic Republic.

1934 Gloria Steinem, American feminist and publisher, was born.

1937 Tom Monaghan, American fast-food industry entrepreneur, was born.

Dominos pizza logo.svg

1939 Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli beccame Pope Pius XII.

Pacelli12.jpg
   

1940 John A Lee was expelled from the Labour Party.

John A. Lee expelled from Labour Party

1941 The Kingdom of Yugoslavia joined the Axis powers with the signing of the Tripartite Pact.

E-tripartite-pact.jpg

1942 Aretha Franklin, American singer, was born.

1947  An explosion in a coal mine in Centralia, Illinois killed 111.

1947 Elton John, English singer and songwriter, was born.

1948  The first successful tornado forecast predicted that a tornado would strike Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma.

Damage to United States Air Force bombers from the first tornado.

1949  The March deportation was conducted in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to force collectivisation by way of terror. The Soviet authorities deported more than 92,000 people from Baltics to remote areas of the Soviet Union.

 “Enemies of the people”: 72% of deportees were women and children under the age of 16

1957  United States Customs seized copies of Allen Ginsberg‘s poem “Howl” as obscene.

 

1957  The European Economic Community was established (West Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg).

1958  Canada’s Avro Arrow made its first flight.

1960 Steve Norman, British saxophonist (Spandau Ballet), was born.

1960 Peter O’Brien, Australian actor, was born.

1965  Sarah Jessica Parker, American actress, was born.

 

1965  Civil rights activists led by Martin Luther King, Jr. successfully completed their 4-day 50-mile march from Selma to the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama.

 

1969  During their honeymoon, John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their first Bed-In for Peace at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel (until March 31).

1971 Beginning of Operation Searchlight of Pakistan Army against East Pakistani civilians.

1975 Faisal of Saudi Arabia was shot and killed by a mentally ill nephew.

The image above is proposed for deletion. See files for deletion to help reach a consensus on what to do.

1979  The first fully functional space shuttle orbiter, Columbia, was delivered to the John F. Kennedy Space Center to be prepared for its first launch.

Space Shuttle Columbia

1988  The Candle demonstration in Bratislava – the first mass demonstration of the 1980s against the communist regime in Czechoslovakia.

1992  Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev returned to Earth after a 10-month stay aboard the Mir space station.

Sergei Konstantinovich Krikalev.jpg

1995  The world’s first wiki, a part of the Portland Pattern Repository, was made public by Ward Cunningham.

 

1996  An 81-day-long standoff between the anti-government group Montana Freemen and law enforcement near Jordan, Montana, began.

1996  The European Union’s Veterinarian Committee bans the export of British beef and its by-products as a result of mad cow disease (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy).

 

2006  Capitol Hill massacre: A gunman killed six people before taking his own life at a party in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

2006 Protesters demanding a new election in Belarus following the rigged Belarusian presidential election, 2006 clashed with riot police. Opposition leader Aleksander Kozulin was among several protesters arrested.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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