Word of the day

June 20, 2011

Quisguous  – perplexing, puzzling.


Hubbards to face charges – UPDATED

June 20, 2011

“What would you have said if this had happened under a Labour government?” my farmer asked when news broke that Allan and Jean Hubbard were being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office.

I would have ranted and I would have been wrong. This is a matter for the law not politics.

There is no doubt the Hubbards did a lot of good for their community and the wider economy but there are very serious questions about whose money they used to do it, albeit for no personal financial gain.

In Counting the Cost Rebecca Macfie wrote:

If the Hubbards are indeed found to have committed fraud, their famously frugal lifestyle and commitment to charity – Hubbard estimates he has given away $200 million over the years – suggest they have not profited personally. But that’s irrelevant to the SFO: “Personal gain is not necessarily a requirement of fraud or theft,” says Feeley. “If I take $100 from you and say I am going to put it in the bank, whether I give it to the IHC or bet it at the race track, either way that would be a fraudulent act.”

A law unto himself, another Listener story by Macfie, provides a good background to the saga and if you enter Hubbard as a search term in the NBR the headlines tell a very sorry story.

Now the NBR reports D-Day for Hubbards?:

The Financial Markets Authority and the Serious Fraud Office were today set to lay charges in relation to a finance company, with speculation focused on Allan Hubbard’s Aorangi Securities and Hubbard Management Funds.

NBR was aware of last minute discussions between Mr Hubbard’s lawyer Mike Heron and the SFO over how the decision would be announced. A press release was due to be sent out by the regulators today.

It is a year and a day since the news first broke that the SFO was investigating the Hubbards.

It will have been a hard year for them – and for the people who trusted them with their money who will be lucky to get much, if any of it back among whom are the taxpayers who guaranteed deposits.

UPDATE: NBR reports: Hubbard to face 50 charges.


Key’s address to Aust parliament on TV

June 20, 2011

Prime Minister John Key’s address to the Australian parliament will be broadcast live on Sky channel 90 just before 5pm today.


Who do we trust?

June 20, 2011

The top three places in the Readers Digest Most Trusted people in 2011 go to scientists:

1. Sir Ray Avery, scientist, inventor, New Zealander of the Year 2010
2. Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister
3. Sir Paul Callaghan, physicist and New Zealander of the Year 2011

That is good publicity for scientists and science, although it is important to keep in mind the survey is biased from the start because participants are asked to rank people already selected not choose them themselves.

The others in the top 10 are:

4. The Hon. Justice Helen Winkelmann, Chief High Court Judge 
5. Roger Hall, film, TV and theatre actor, playwright
6. Bret McKenzie, comedian, actor, and musician 
7. Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, fashion designer
8. Jemaine Clement, comedian, actor, and musician
9. Simon Salt Gault, celebrity chef and MasterChef judge
10. Tony Kokshoorn, Grey District Mayor

Is this the first time a politician has appeared this high?

Certainly other politicians don’t score well:

The Rt. Hon. John Key, current Prime Minister (90);  Paul Holmes, broadcaster (91);  Paul Henry, journalist, radio and TV presenter (92);  Jim Anderton, Progressive Party leader (93);  The Hon. Bill English, Deputy Prime Minister (94); The Hon. Pita Sharples, Minister of Maori Affairs (95);  The Hon. Phil Goff, Labour Party leader (96);  The Hon. Tariana Turia, Maori Party co-leader (97); The Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, New Zealand First leader (98); The Hon. Rodney Hide, Minister of Local Government (99); The Hon. Hone Harawira, activist, and Member for Te Tai Tokerau (100).

Politician isn’t the least trusted profession though, that honour goes to journalists (sigh) and real estate agents. 

Fire fighters, rescue volunteers and paramedics are the most trusted professions (passing quickly over the point that volunteers aren’t professionals).

Participants weren’t asked if they trust this type of survey.


What’s Hone living on?

June 20, 2011

Last month Hone Harawira said that campaigning would be tough because he’d be doing it on the dole.

It’s up to the people of Te Tai Tokerau to judge if someone who’d been receiving an MP’s salary for nearly six years without saving enough to live on for a month  has the nous to be an MP.

They might also ponder how someone who purports to represent the poor and downtrodden doesn’t know there’s a stand-down period for people who’ve resigned from a job before they can receive a benefit.

The rest of us can ponder what he’s living on since he said he had no savings and he’s ineligible for the dole.

Someone with a better understanding of electoral law than I have might know whether donations to a candidate for living expenses count as donations which have to be recorded in election returns.


What’s fairer than free choice?

June 20, 2011

NZUSA is seeking a fairer alternative to the Voluntary Student Membership bill which is grinding its way very, very slowly through parliament.

But what’s fairer than free choice which is all that VSM aims to provide?

 


Leader in waiting for change

June 20, 2011

Prime Minister John Key in July North and South:

“I was lucky because when I became party leader National was in an upswing and the Labour government was in its dying days. I critiqued the government, but was able to spend a lot of that time actually talking about our agenda – what we’d do in power.”

Contrast that with Labour leader Phil Goff seen as to eager to moan in the Manawatu Standard :

The problem here is that Mr Goff looks like he enjoys negativity, that he lies awake at night pondering new ways to be a wet blanket. He frequently comes across as a little too earnest, a bit too eager to moan.

Opposition parties always run that risk, and keeping the Government accountable is important, but Mr Goff will soon need to show he can do a better job in the hot seat than Mr Key. In that regard, he has a great deal of work to do.

John Key took over National as it was gaining support and he’s built on that.

Phil Goff took over a party which had just been thrown out of office after nine years in power. Its support had been falling for most of the last six and he hasn’t been able to turn that round.

John Key has a united caucus, happy to work with him to earn another term in government.

Phil Goff has a divided and directionless caucus. His leadership is safe for now, only because none of his colleagues want to grasp a poisoned chalice.

National is getting on with the business of governing and clearly articulating a plan to build a better New Zealand based on savings, investment and export-led growth.

Phil Goff and Labour aren’t particularly good at critiquing the government. Every time they look like they’re getting somewhere with that they’re sidetracked by sabotage from within, own goals or side shows. If they’ve got a plan they’re having trouble articulating it.

National is running the country.

Labour doesn’t look as if it’s capable of running itself.

John Key is the Prime Minister.

Phil Goff doesn’t look like a Prime Minister in waiting, he looks like a caretaker leader in waiting for the inevitable post-election leadership change.


June 20 in history

June 20, 2011

451  Battle of Chalons: Flavius Aetius battled Attila the Hun. After the battle, which was inconclusive, Attila retreated, causing the Romans to interpret it as a victory.

De Neuville - The Huns at the Battle of Chalons.jpg

1005 Ali az-Zahir, caliph, was born (d. 1036).

1214 The University of Oxford received its charter.

1631  The sack of Baltimore: the Irish village of Baltimore was attacked by Algerian pirates.

1652  Tarhoncu Ahmet Paşa appointed grand vezir of the Ottoman Empire, served until 21 March 1653.

1685  Monmouth Rebellion: James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth declared himself King of England at Bridgwater.

1723 Adam Ferguson, Scottish philosopher and historian, was born  (d. 1816).

 

1756  A British garrison was imprisoned in the Black Hole of Calcutta.

 

1782  The U.S. Congress adopted the Great Seal of the United States.

US-GreatSeal-Obverse.svg 

1787  Oliver Ellsworth moved at the Federal Convention to call the government the United States.

 

1789  Deputies of the French Third Estate took the Tennis Court Oath.

 

1791  King Louis XVI of France and his immediate family began the Flight to Varennes during The French Revolution.

1819 Jacques Offenbach, German-born French composer, was born  (d. 1880).

 

1819  The U.S. vessel SS Savannah arrived  at Liverpool, United Kingdom – the first steam-propelled vessel to cross the Atlantic, although most of the journey was made under sail.

Savannah

1837  Queen Victoria succeeded to the British throne.

A drawing of a  young woman who holds her hand out for two men on their knees before her. Victoria receives the news of her accession to the throne from Lord Conyngham (left) and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

1840  Samuel Morse received the patent for the telegraph.

 

1862   Barbu Catargiu, the Prime Minister of Romania, was assassinated.

 

1863  American Civil War: West Virginia was admitted as the 35th U.S. state.

1877  Alexander Graham Bell installed the world’s first commercial telephone service in Hamilton, Ontario.

 

1893  Lizzie Borden was acquitted for the murders of her father and stepmother.

1909 Errol Flynn, Australian actor, was born (d. 1959).

1919  150 died at the Teatro Yaguez fire, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.

 
 

1924  Chet Atkins, American guitar player and producer, was born  (d. 2001).

1934 Wendy Craig, English actress, was born.

 

1942 Brian Wilson, American musician (The Beach Boys), was born.

1944 World War II: The Battle of the Philippine Sea concluded with a decisive U.S. naval victory. The lopsided naval air battle is also known as the “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot”.

 

1944  Continuation war: Soviet Union demanded an unconditional surrender from Finland during the beginning of partially successful Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive.

StuG III Ausf. G.jpg

1945  Anne Murray, Canadian singer, was born.

1946 Xanana Gusmão, President of East Timor, was born.

1948 Ludwig Scotty, President of Nauru, was born.

 

1948 Toast of the Town, later The Ed Sullivan Show, made its television debut.

EdSullivan.jpg

 1949  Lionel Richie, American musician (The Commodores) , was born.

1949  Alan Longmuir, Scottish bass guitarist (Bay City Rollers), was born. 

1950  Nouri Al-Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq, was born. 

1954 Michael Anthony, American musician (Van Halen), was born.

1956  A Venezuelan Super-Constellation crashed in the Atlantic Ocean off Asbury Park, New Jersey, killing 74 people.

1959  A rare June hurricane struck Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence killing 35.

 

1960 John Taylor, English musician (Duran Duran), was born.

1960  Independence of Mali and Senegal.

1963  The so-called “red telephone“ was established between the Soviet Union and the United States following the Cuban Missile Crisis.

1967 Nicole Kidman, American-born Australian actress, was born.

 

1971 Josh Kronfeld, New Zealander rugby union footballer, was born.

1973  Ezeiza massacre in Buenos Aires  Snipers fired on left-wing Peronists. At least 13 were killed and more than 300 injured.

 

1979 ABC News correspondent Bill Stewart was shot dead by a Nicaraguan soldier under the regime of Anastasio Somoza Debayle. The murder was caught on tape and sparked international outcry of the regime.

1987 The All Blacks won the inaugural rugby World Cup.

 All Blacks win the first World Cup

1990  Asteroid Eureka was discovered.

Martian L5

1991  The German parliament decided to move the capital from Bonn back to Berlin.

2003 The WikiMedia Foundation was founded in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Wikimedia Foundation RGB logo with text.svg

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


%d bloggers like this: