Let the debaters debate


The first TV1 debate between John Key and Phil Goff was a disappointment.

There was too much happening with not just the speakers and chair but political commentators giving their views and questions from journalists in the studio and the public via video.

It was neither good entertainment nor good information.

Wednesday’s debate in Christchurch, organised by The Press, was much better. The two party leaders were able to address the audience and respond to each other with few interruptions.

Last night Jim Hopkins chaired the Queenstown Great Debate between finance spokesmen (they were all men) for National, Act, Labour, the Maori and Green Parties.

Like the Press debate, speakers were given the opportunity to express their views with little intervention from the chair.

It was broadcast live on Radio Live. You can listen to opening comments  here, the first hour here, the debate on asset sales here and the second hour here.

TV1 will have another debate between the National and Labour Party leaders.

They should learn from the mistakes they made with the first one and the good example of these other two debates: keep it simple and let the debaters debate.

Friday’s answers


Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: Someone once asked me why women don’t gamble as much as men do, and I gave the
common-sensical reply that we don’t have as much money.  That was a true but incomplete answer.  In fact, women’s total instinct for gambling is satisfied by marriage. ?

2. Name the jockey who rode for the Queen Mother then became a best-selling author of crime novels.

3. It’s cheval in French, cavallo in Italian, caballo in Spanish and hōiho in Maori, what is it in English?

4. What is an empanada?

5. Who wrote Black Beauty?

Points for answers:

James got four with a right track for #1 which earns him an electronic bunch of peonies.

PDM got two and a right track for #3.

Rob got two and a good try for #1.

Raymond got three and a near enough for #4 (it’s pastry rather than bread)..

I2 got four which wins an electronic bunch of peonies.

Andrei got three.

Adam got four, a sigh for # 4 and also wins an electronic bunch of peonies.

GD got three.



Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

Answer to debt isn’t more debt


Labour has finally come up with the money for its policies, or at least how it will find the money.

It will borrow 2.55 billion more in its first term and its extra debt will peak at $4 billion more.

The party’s blind opposition to the mixed ownership model for a few state assets – the model its MPs claim credit for with Air New Zealand – leaves them with no option but to borrow for capital development.

The answer to debt isn’t more debt nor is it higher taxes, increased spending and impediments to economic growth and employment.

The public see what Labour doesn’t – we can’t borrow our way out of a debt hole.

Labour needs Budget advice


Labour’s approach to costing its election policies bemuses me.

It’s a bit like building a house without knowing how much the labour and materials will cost.

How difficult is it to cost each policy as it’s being developed and keep a running total?

Opposition parties don’t have the same access to the books the government does, but since the books were opened in the PREFU Labour has had all the information it’s needed.

National even gave them a helping hand by costing their policies for them.

A party that appears to find it so difficult to work out what its policies cost and how to pay them is in need of budget advice and obviously doesn’t have the skills needed to handle the nation’s Budget.

Taking less isn’t giving more


Critics of tax cuts keep saying that wealthy people were given more.

Being allowed to keep more of your own money is not being given more, it’s having less taken.

Even though we’ve had tax cuts, people who earn more are still paying more tax than those who earn less.

Even if we had a flat tax rate that would be the case.

X per cent of a bigger number will always be more than X per cent of a smaller number.

Even after the tax cuts, around 70% of tax is paid by people who earn more than $150,000.

Costings will depend on growth


Which party would you expect to give us policies that deliver better economic growth?

National’s policies promote savings, investment and export led growth and are business friendly.

Labour’s require more borrowing for higher spending, are anti-business in general and anti-farmers in particular.

Adding costs and complexities to doing business, making it more difficult and expensive to employ people and doing nothing to reduce the burden of the state will hamper economic growth.

Keep this in mind when/if they produce costings for their policies today.

Whatever figures they come up will require economic growth and many of their policies will sabotage that.

November 4 in history


1333  The River Arno flooding caused massive damage in Florence.

1429   Joan of Arc liberated Saint-Pierre-le-Moûtier.

1576   Eighty Years’ War:  Spain captured Antwerp.

1677  The future Mary II of England married William, Prince of Orange.

1737   The Teatro di San Carlo was inaugurated.

1783   W.A. Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 was performed for the first time.

1791  The Western Confederacy of American Indians won a major victory over the United States in the Battle of the Wabash.

1825  The Erie Canal was completed with Governor DeWitt Clinton performing the Wedding of The Waters ceremony in New York Harbour.

1839   The Newport Rising: the last large-scale armed rebellion against authority in mainland Britain.

1852  Count Camillo Benso di Cavour became the prime minister of Piedmont-Sardinia.

1861  The University of Washington opened in Seattle, Washington as the Territorial University.

1864  American Civil War: Battle of Johnsonville – Confederate troops bombarded a Union supply base and destroyed millions of dollars in material.

1889  Menelek of Shoa obtained the allegiance of a large majority of the Ethiopian nobility, paving the way for him to be crowned emperor.

1890   London’s first deep-level tube railway opened between King William Street and Stockwell.

1916  Ruth Handler, American businesswoman and inventor of the Barbie doll, was born (d. 2002).

1918  World War I: Austria-Hungary surrendered to Italy.

1918  The German Revolution began when 40,000 sailors took over the port in Kiel.

1921 The Sturmabteilung or SA was formed by Adolf Hitler.

1921   Japanese Prime Minister Hara Takashi was assassinated in Tokyo.

1921  The Italian unknown soldier was buried in the Altare della Patria (Fatherland Altar) in Rome.

1922 In Egypt, British archaeologist Howard Carter and his men found the entrance to Pharaoh Tutankhamun‘s tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

1924 Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming was elected the first female governor in the United States.

1930 Phar Lap won the Melbourne Cup.

Phar Lap wins the Melbourne Cup

1937  Loretta Swit, American actress, was born.

1939   World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the United States Customs Service to implement the Neutrality Act of 1939, allowing cash-and-carry purchases of weapons by belligerents.

1942   Second Battle of El Alamein – Disobeying a direct order by Adolf Hitler, General Field Marshal Erwin Rommel led his forces on a five-month retreat.

1944  World War II: Bitola Liberation Day.

1950 Charles Frazier, American author, was born.

1952   The United States government established the National Security Agency.

1955   After being totally destroyed in World War II, the rebuilt Vienna State Opera reopened with a performance of Beethoven’s Fidelio.

1956 James Honeyman-Scott, English guitarist (The Pretenders), was born (d. 1982)

1956   Soviet troops entered Hungary to end the Hungarian revolution against the Soviet Union.

1957 Tony Abbott, Australia politician, Liberal leader, was born.

1962   In a test of the Nike-Hercules air defense missile, Shot Dominic-Tightrope was successfully detonated 69,000 feet above Johnston Island – the last atmospheric nuclear test conducted by the United States.

1966  Two-thirds of Florence was submerged as the River Arno flooded with the contemporaneous flood of the Po River which led to 113 deaths, 30,000 made homeless, and the destruction of numerous Renaissance artworks and books.

1970  Genie, a 13-year-old feral child was found in Los Angeles, California having been locked in her bedroom for most of her life.

1973   The Netherlands experienced the first Car Free Sunday caused by the 1973 oil crisis.

1979   Iran hostage crisis began: a group of Iranians, mostly students, invaded the US embassy in Tehran and took 90 hostages.

1993  A China Airlines  Boeing 747 overran Runway 13 at Hong Kong’s Kai Tak International Airport while landing during a typhoon, injuring 22 people.

1994   First conference that focused exclusively on the subject of the commercial potential of the World Wide Web.

1995  Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by an extremist Orthodox Israeli.

2002  Chinese authorities arrested cyber-dissident He Depu for signing a pro-democracy letter to the 16th Communist Party Congress.

2008   Barack Obama became the first African-American to be elected President of the United States.

2008  Proposition 8 passed in California, representing the first elimination of an existing right to marry for LGBT couples.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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