Phew

October 16, 2011

All Blacks 20- Wallabies 6.

I hope Julia Gillard enjoys the apple she agreed to eat in a bet with John Key.


Aren’t we supposed to be enjoying this?

October 16, 2011

Whether or not it’s only a game is open to debate, but it is sport and we’re supposed to be enjoying it.

Among the definitions of  sport are : athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature; diversion; recreation; pleasant pastime; jest; fun; mirth; pleasantry; mockery; ridicule; derision.

So here’s an electronic toast to the All Blacks with fingers and toes crossed in cautious optimism – which isn’t to be confused with either complacency or arrogance – that they and we will enjoy a lot more of the athleticism, skill, physical prowess, diversion, recreation and fun and not have to endure any mockery, ridicule or derision.


Word of the day

October 16, 2011

Pressure– the exertion of force upon a surface by an object, fluid, etc., in contact with it, the action of a force against an opposing force;  the force or thrust exerted over a surface divided by its area;  the force of selection that results from one or more agents and tends to reduce a population of organisms; the pressure exerted in every direction by the weight of the atmosphere; a sensation aroused by moderate compression of a body part or surface; the state of being pressed or compressed; to force (someone) toward a particular end; influence; a moral force that compels; to constrain or compel, as by the application of moral force; an urgent claim or demand; the burden of physical or mental distress; the constraint of circumstance; the weight of social or economic imposition; the stress or urgency of matters demanding attention.


Labour enveloped in more SMOG

October 16, 2011

It’s not easy being a candidate in a party which values your service as an MP so poorly it put you in an unwinnable place on the list three years ago.

It’s even harder when you’ve got nothing to be positive about your own campaign and party which leaves you trying to drag down your opponent.

You have to get what publicity you can, even if it’s negative, and the cheapest way to do that is with a blog.

But if you don’t want to score a SMOG (Social Media Own Goal) you have to be prepared to accept a range of comments, especially those which correct any errors you might have made.

Labour’s Invercargill candidate, Lesley Soper, doesn’t do that. She moderates the comments so only those supportive of hers stay on show.

But one of the commenters was canny enough to take a screen shot of some comments which didn’t pass moderation and sent it to Credo Quia Absurdum Est who has published them for the world to see.

Though all this is very small beer compared with the leak of the party’s IT policy a day ahead of its release.


Making the news

October 16, 2011

How much is a thousand?

It all depends and when we’re told 1,000 birds have died as a result of the oil spill from the MV Rena, it sounds like a very big number.

But a farmer I met at a party last night, put it into perspective:

“A thousand dead birds, what’s the fuss? There’d be at least that many ducks killed in Central Otago on opening morning, he said.”

Kiwiblog has some more numbers to add to that perspective.

Any oil spilled in the ocean is bad as are any wildlife deaths as a result of it, especially as the deaths wouldn’t be fast or painless. But the way they’re reported makes it sound far worse than it is.

Apropos of reporting, the media which has criticised Maritime New Zealand for its response and communications, are getting in the way of the salvage operation:

There are currently four vessels with media on board breaching the maritime exclusion zone. They are close to the Rena and they are disrupting salvage operations.

Air operations cannot be undertaken while these vessels are in the area and have ceased while this is resolved. This is because we cannot risk lifting or dropping off heavy equipment while these vessels are nearby.

We are at a critical stage of the salvage operation and these vessels need to leave the area immediately.

They have broken two of the basic rules I was taught at journalism school: ensure your story gives perspective and you’re supposed to be reporting the news, not making it.


Not tonight Robbie

October 16, 2011

Otago rugby teams have won a lot of first halves.

To the disappointment of fans they’ve not been as good at winning second halves.

When Robbie Deans was coaching Canterbury, it was very good at wining second halves, often in the final moments of a match.

Australia has always been good at doing that too, and did it again in last week’s semi final.

But not tonight, please Robbie.

For the sake of the nation’s blood pressure, tonight’s the night your team should play well but not too well and the All Blacks should win both halves.


Left parties unite to go backwards to future

October 16, 2011

The Labour, Green and Mana parties have announced they are uniting to take New Zealand backwards to the future.

The union follows a series of policy announcements in which the parties tried to trump each other in their effort to make political capital out of the grounding of the Rena.

Labour started by announcing it would not allow any off-shore exploration for oil. The Green Party countered by declaring the immediate cessastion of drilling off the coast of Taranaki would be a bottom line in coalition negotiations.

Mana trumped that by announcing the immediate phasing out of fossil fuels, nationalization of coastal shipping and the replacement of all ships by waka.

Tit for tat policy announcements ensued until the parties agreed that the best strategy would be to combine forces to take New Zealand backwards.

The LabGreenMana manifesto written in vegetable dye on recycled states the party’s aim in government will be to return New Zealand to its natural state.

Key policies include:

* The replacement of all imports with locally produced goods.

* Replacement of fossil fuels by renweable energy sources.

* Nationalisation of all land and conversion of all farms to organic production.

* Adoption of  homeopathic remedies and reflexology in place of conventional medicine.

The party’s logo will feature a dinosaur.

* Phasing out of cash in conjunction with a system of bartering.

A spokesperson for the new party said discussions were under way to determine how to reach consensus on co-leadership options.

Compulsory training in self-sufficiency will be introduced to schools


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