Word of the day


Odium –  strong dislike, contempt, or aversion; a state of infamy or disgrace resulting from hateful or detestable conduct; the reproach, discredit, or opprobrium attaching to something hated or repugnant.



5/10 in the NZ Herald’s changing world quiz.

When politics get personal


I doubt if any of us could plead not guilty to opening our mouths before engaging our brains.

Usually the worst it does is make the speaker look stupid.

But sometimes it does more harm, hurting someone else or uncovering something the speaker would prefer was left well buried.

Yesterday Labour’s finance spokesman and aspiring leader, David Cunliffe,  let himself engage in a misogynistic conversation with Paul Henry on RadioLive.

It’s easy enough to get led into such a minefield but seasoned politicians need the skill to get out without causing an explosion.

If Cunliffe has that skill he didn’t use it yesterday.

Instead he made a personal attack on Corrections Minister Judith Collins which was not only insulting to her but her husband and son.

He’s now apologised to her.

But the damage has been done. He sounded like a misogynist and let allowed political differences become personal antipathy. That reflects badly on him and causes yet another distraction from the things that are supposed to matter in Labour’s campaign.

In doing so he once more showed that while Phil Goff is being blamed for his party’s poor polling, a large part of the problem is because he’s being let down by his team.





Only 4/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz.

Walking to victory


Eric Roy has done it – completed his 320 kilometre walk across his Invercargill electorate at about 20 kilometres a day.

That’s near enough to a half marathon, each day.

I offered to join him on his walk in to Riverton on Tuesday but didn’t have a hope of keeping up with his average time of around  7 kilometres an hour.

When I first heard about his plan to walk across his electorate I wasn’t 100% sure it was a good idea but I’ve been proved well and truly wrong.

He met lots of his constituents who wouldn’t turn out to formal meetings, got a walker’s view of his patch and by starting early still had plenty of time left each day for his normal work.

He also proved he’s very efficient:

Mr Roy was weighed at the start of his trek in a fish factory in Bluff on October 11, and it turned out yesterday he had dropped 2kg from 136 to 134.

He said he hadn’t expected to lose much weight but it was a victory for efficiency. “You can’t get a car to do 320km for 2kg of fuel.”

He was weighed on different scales at each end of the journey, at a fish factory at the start and a wool store at the end. But as both were industrial and should be calibrated properly that shouldn’t affect the accuracy of the weight.

Greek accounting


The Greeks have contributed a lot to civilisation including democracy.

They have also given us the foundation of many of the words we use.

Unfortunately the quality of the contribution has been tarnished by the latest addition to the lexicon which is summed up so well in this quote of the day:

It appears that Mr Goff is a student of the Greek school of accounting — borrowed money isn’t a debt if you don’t count it. – Chris Finlayson on Facebook.

Saturday social


We were at a wedding yesterday and late nights aren’t conducive to writing posts.

It’s up to you to chat amongst yourselves on whatever topic you choose, within the bounds of decency.

Normal service will resume sometime this morning.


November 5 in history


1338  Ly Anh Tong was enthroned as emperor of Vietnam at the age of two, starting a 37-year reign.

1499   Publication of theCatholicon, the first Breton dictionary as well as the first French dictionary.

1530   The St. Felix’s Flood destroyed the city of Reimerswaal in the Netherlands.

1605   Gunpowder Plot: A conspiracy led by Robert Catesby to blow up the English Houses of Parliament was thwarted when Sir Thomas Knyvet, a justice of the peace, found Guy Fawkes in a cellar below the House of Lords.

1688  Glorious Revolution began: William of Orange landed at Brixham.

1743  Coordinated scientific observations of the transit of Mercury were organized by Joseph-Nicolas Delisle.

1757  Seven Years’ War: Frederick the Great defeated the allied armies of France and the Holy Roman Empire at the Battle of Rossbach.

1768   Treaty of Fort Stanwix, to adjust the boundary line between Indian lands and white settlements set forth in the Proclamation of 1763 in the Thirteen Colonies.

1780   French-American forces under Colonel LaBalme were defeated by Miami Chief Little Turtle.

1831  Nat Turner, American slave leader, was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death.

1838   The Federal Republic of Central America began to disintegrate when Nicaragua separated from the federation.

1850  Ella Wheeler Wilcox, American author and poet, was born (d. 1919).

1854   Crimean War: The Battle of Inkerman.

1862 Indian Wars: In Minnesota, 303 Dakota warriors were found guilty of rape and murder of whites and were sentenced to hang.

1872   In defiance of the law, suffragist Susan B. Anthony voted for the first time, and is later fined $100.

1881 – Attack on pacifist settlement at Parihaka.

Attack on pacifist settlement at Parihaka

1895   George B. Selden was granted the first U.S. patent for an automobile.

1911   Italy annexed Tripoli and Cyrenaica.

1911 Roy Rogers, American actor, was born (d. 1998).

1913   King Otto of Bavaria was deposed by his cousin, Prince Regent Ludwig, who assumed the title Ludwig III.

1913  Vivien Leigh, English actress, was born (d. 1967).

1916   The Kingdom of Poland was proclaimed by the Act of November 5th.

1916  The Everett Massacre in Everett, Washington as political differences led to a shoot-out between the Industrial Workers of the World organisers and local police.

1917   October Revolution: In Tallinn, Estonia, Communist leader Jaan Anvelt led revolutionaries in overthrowing the Provisional Government (As Estonia and Russia were still using the Julian Calendar, subsequent period references show an October 23 date).

1917  St. Tikhon of Moscow was elected the Patriarch of Moscow and of the Russian Orthodox Church.

1921  Princess Fawzia of Egypt, Queen of Iran, was born.

1931   Ike Turner, American musician, was born (d. 2007).

1937   Adolf Hitler held a secret meeting and stateed his plans for acquiring “living space” for the German people.

1940   Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to a third term as President of the United States.

1941  Art Garfunkel, American musician, was born.

1942   The Second Battle of El Alamein was won by the British Allies.

1963  Tatum O’Neal, American actress, was born.

1967   The Hither Green rail crash killed 49 people. The survivors included Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees.

1968   United States presidential election, 1968: Republican Richard Nixon won the American presidency.

1983   Byford Dolphin diving bell accident killed five and leaves one severely injured.

1986   USS Rentz, USS Reeves and USS Oldendorf visited Qingdao (Tsing Tao) China — the first US Naval visit to China since 1949.

1987   Govan Mbeki was released from custody after serving 24 years of a life sentence for terrorism and treason.

1990   Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the far-right Kach movement, was shot dead after a speechin New York.

1995   André Dallaire attempted to assassinate Prime Minister Jean Chrétien of Canada. He is thwarted when the Prime Minister’s wife locked the door.

1996   President of Pakistan Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari dismissed the government of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and dissolved the National Assembly of Pakistan.

2006   Saddam Hussein, former president of Iraq, and his co-defendants Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti and Awad Hamed al-Bandar were sentenced to death in the al-Dujail trial for the role in the massacre of the 148 Shi’as in 1982.

2007   China’s first lunar satellite, Chang’e 1 went into orbit around the Moon.

2009   US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly killed 13 and wounded 30 at Fort Hood, Texas in the largest mass shooting ever at a US military installation.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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