Word of the day

October 7, 2011

Taradiddle – a small lie, fabrication, fib; pretentious nonsense.

Backing winner to lose later

October 7, 2011

The Silver Ferns beat England 53-32 in Invercargill last night.

The Black Sticks beat the Kookaburras 3-0 in Hobart.

Here’s hoping the All Blacks give us a third international win tomorrow (difficult as I find it to say that when they’ll be playing Argentina).

Tonight Ireland meets Wales in Wellington and England meets France in Auckland in the first two quarter final rugby World Cup games.

The winner of these matches play each other in next week’s semi-final and the winner of that will meet the strongest Southern Hemisphere team in the final.

I don’t have an emotional attachment to any of the four remaining Northern Hemisphere teams.

I’ll be backing a winner to lose when it gets to the final where all fingers and toes crossed they will . . .  no I can’t bring myself to write it in case it doesn’t happen.


October 7, 2011

I could claim an improvement after the dismal showing in this morning’s quiz but most of the correct answers in my 6/10 in the Herald’s Rugby World Cup quiz were guesses.

Speakers office running on less than 50% of previous term’s cost

October 7, 2011

The final speech by speaker Lockwood Smith looking back on the 49th parliament, is worth listening to.

It includes some statistics, the most impressive of which came during his tribute to his staff.  Dr Smith gave credit to his senior private secretary who managed to run the Speaker’s office on less than 50% of the cost of the previous term.

Other stats:

  • The house sat for 1650 hours, 150 more than the previous parliament.
  • A quarter of those were in urgency and Dr Smith said he hopes proposals for changes to Standing Orders adopted by the House will facilitate less reliance on urgency in future.
  • Only two Members Bills received royal assent. That was only one fewer than in the 48th parliament and he hopes that proposed changes will enable more of those Bills to be considered next term.
  • The Finance and expenditure select committee was the busiest, in terms of reports presented to the House, the Commerce select Committee was a close second.
  • There was a 40% increase in the number of written questions asked of Ministers.
  • In spite of 17 fewer sitting days more oral questions were asked and Dr Smith put that down to Question Time continuing even when the House was in urgency.

Dr Smith turned from statistics to reflections on some of the memorable moments of the term.

Among these was a speech by Tau Henare who interjected with a mention of Linda Lovelace about which Dr Smith said: “you my colleagues seemed to understand what that meant, I had no idea what he was . . . on about.”

He finished by wishing his colleagues well, thanked them for treating him with courtesy and concluded with “Go the mighty All Blacks.”

Dr Smith has gained respect from across the House and outside it for the  improved behaviour in the House and his even-handed treatment of MPs. This was not always appreciated by Ministers who are held to a higher standard than those in previous administrations.

Friday’s answers

October 7, 2011

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who is Australia’s deputy Prime Minister?

2. Who said: “All our discontents about what we want appeared to spring from
the want of thankfulness for what we have.”?

3. It’s printemps in French; primavera   in Italian and Spanish and piringa in Maori, what is it in English?

4. Name the Greek goddess of love and beauty and god of music, healing, plague, prophecies, poetry, and archery

5. Where are the Barents and Arabian Seas?

Points for answers:

Andrei got three.

James got four; Cadwallader got four and a grin for #2; Gravedodger got four with a bonus for extra information; each therefore get an electronic bunch of bluebells.

Adam got three and a bonus for reasoning for #2.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


October 7, 2011

Oh dear – only 3/12 in Stuff’s RWC semi-finalist quiz on South Africa.

Genius does not follow politicians’ prescriptions

October 7, 2011

Quote of the week from Sir Paul Callaghan:

Sir Paul cites 20 top technology companies, not one of which is remotely a Clean Tech company, except in as much as they are all environmentally benign. “That latter, in my view, is all that matters, that and being the best in the world at what they do and hence viable and profitable. The evidence suggests what we are actually good at is not at all what the Green Party would like us to be good at. What we are good at is a result of brilliant entrepreneurship and business expertise. Such genius does not follow politicians’ prescriptions.”

Politicians should be reducing the burden of government both in cost and regulatory terms.

They should be ensuring the policy framework is conducive to doing business with necessary environmental and social safeguards.

They should then leave decisions on what business to do to the people doing it.

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