Word of the day


Doublethink – thought marked by the acceptance of gross contradictions and falsehoods, especially when used as a technique of self-indoctrination; the acceptance of two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct at the same time, often in distinct social contexts.

Terror To Love NZ Cup winner


Terror To Love has won the New Zealand Cup.

Favourite Smoken Up was second and Highway Terror  Highview Tommy came third.

So much for my positive names in picking horses for the race, I’d have been better going with a horror theme.

Labour’s shortcomings


Phil Goff has come up with a list of the government’s shortcomings.

Kiwiblog has responded with a list of Labour’s faults.

My list lays a lot less of the blame on the leader:

1. Dead wood MPs who should have resigned.

2.  A list which safeguards the dead wood at the expense of new blood.

3. Leadership aspirants who have put their ambition ahead of the party.

4. Disloyalty to the leader and party.

5. Constitution which gives power to unions above members.

6. The mistakes of the 99-08 governments.

7. Not ruling out Winston Peters.

8. Caucus failure to keep on-message without distractions.

9. Reckless policies and problem with numbers for them.

10. Phil Goff.

Complicating GST


Labour leader Phil Goff reckons removing GST is simple.

He says it will be taken off a lettuce, it will also be taken off a salad at the supermarket and the mayonnaise that is packed with it but it won’t be taken off either if they’re in a hamburger.

This raises several questions:

* What about if the salad is served on a plate rather than in a bun? Will it make a difference if it is dressed or undressed?

* If not, does this mean that salad is only healthy when bought from a retailer or wholesaler but not at a cafe, restaurant or bar? Does it also mean that mayonnaise is healthy when sold with a pre-packaged salad but not when bought separately?

* If making healthy food cheaper is the aim, why stop at fresh fruit and vegetables? Frozen and canned produce can be just as nutritious, sometimes more so, than fresh.

* If taking GST off fresh fruit and vegetables will really make a difference, why not make a bigger difference by exempting other healthy food like meat, milk, bread, rice and a whole lot of other basic foods which are also necessary in a healthy diet,?

* What is the sense of taking a few cents off basic food items like carrots and  much more, maybe even a few dollars, off luxury food like out of season strawberries or pomegranates?

* Is it really worth complicating the GST system which the rest of the world admires for its simplicity for a policy which will do little if anything to improve the health of the poor?

What matters more?


Polls keep showing a majority of people oppose asset sales.

Would a majority of people polled also be opposed to more debt or less capital investment?

I don’t think that question has been asked but those are the alternatives to National’s plan to sell up to 49% of the shares in a very few of the assets the state owns.

We cannot have it all. Until we return to Budget surpluses we don’t any money to spare for further investment in those assets or in other much needed capital development.

National recognises the problem, knows more debt and less investment aren’t the answer and so will follow the Air New Zealand model of mixed ownership and invest the proceeds in a Future Investment Fund.

The left is doing a very good job of drumming up opposition to this but in spite of that has not managed to dent National’s popularity.

Apropos of this, (for which I hat tip A Bee of A Certain Age)  Look Up At The Sky asks:

Is anyone else puzzled by poll results that show most New Zealanders don’t want the sale of state assets, yet most New Zealanders will vote for a National government?

The answer is simple: National is not proposing a wholesale sale of assets and other things matter more than the plan to sell a minority share in a very few of many state owned companies.

Labour and the left in general have put a lot of energy into opposing what they erroneously and deliberately label asset sales because they see it as National’s weak spot. But people vote for many different reasons and consider a variety of factors including policies and personality.

Polls reflect that although many are not keen on (and possibly don’t understand) the mixed ownership model National is proposing, people still prefer the party and its leader to any of the alternatives.

There’s still 2 1/2 weeks until election day. That could change and a single issue could change it.

But so far polls show that all things considered, regardless of individual policies, more people think National will be a better leader of government than Labour and that John Key is more popular than Phil Goff.

P.S. On Nine to Noon this morning John Palmer, chair of Air New Zealand, which is partially state owned and Solid Energy which is fully state owned, discussed how access to outside investment would help the companies.

Quote of the day


“All systems end up electing useless MPs. Democracy is not good at electing the best people. The best argument for democracy is having MPs sitting in Wellington knowing that if they don’t do the right thing, they will lose their seats.”  – Jordan Williams

NZ Cup picks


Earthquakes or not, Christchurch is putting on its glad rags for Cup and Show week.

Today’s race day at Addington and the feature race is the  New Zealand Trotting Cup.

The field is: Power Of Tara, Rangataua Ray, Choise Achiever, Mach Banner, Gomeo Romeo, Highview Tommy, Bettor’s Strike,Pembrook Benny, Terror To Love, Second Wind, Vi Et Animo, Devil Dodger, Smiling Shard, Smoken Up,  and Monkey King.

I know nothing about any of them so have gone for the most positive sounding names.

I’m picking: Choise Achiever, Second Wind and Smiling Shard.

In-work benefit for non working?


Labour plans to introduce an in-work tax credit for people who don’t work.

That is oxymoronic.

They could give more to beneficiaries but they can’t give an in-work tax credit to people who aren’t working.

It is also moronic.

The point of the in-work tax credit, introduced by Labour, was to incentivise work.

Working was regarded as better economically and socially than being on a benefit when it was introduced and it still is.

November 8 in history


1519 – Hernán Cortés entered Tenochtitlán and Aztec ruler Moctezuma welcomed him with a great celebration.


1520 – Stockholm Bloodbath began A successful invasion of Sweden by Danish forces resulted in the execution of around 100 people.


1576 – Eighty Years’ War: Pacification of Ghent – The States-General of the Netherlands met and united to oppose Spanish occupation.


1602 The Bodleian Library at Oxford University opened to the public.


1620 The Battle of White Mountain ended in a decisive Catholic victory in only two hours.


1656 Edmond Halley, British astronomer and mathematician, was born (d. 1742).


1745 Charles Edward Stuart invaded England with an army of ~5000.


1793 – The French Revolutionary government opened the Louvre to the public as a museum.


1836 Milton Bradley, American game manufacturer, was born  (d. 1911).


1837 Mary Lyon founded Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, which later became Mount Holyoke College.


1847 Bram Stoker, Irish novelist, was born  (d. 1912).


1861 – American Civil War: The “Trent Affair” – The USS San Jacinto stopped the United Kingdom mail ship Trent and arrested two Confederate envoys, sparking a diplomatic crisis between the UK and US.

1892 The New Orleans general strike began, uniting black and white trade unionists in a successful four-day general strike action for the first time.

1895 – While experimenting with electricity, Wilhelm Röntgen discovered the X-ray.


1900 Margaret Mitchell, American author, was born  (d. 1949).


1901 Bloody clashes in Athens following the translation of the Gospels into demotic Greek.

1917 The People’s Commissars gave authority to Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, and Joseph Stalin.

1923 Beer Hall Putsch: Adolf Hitler led the Nazis in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the German government.

1932 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected the 32d President of the United States defeating Herbert Hoover.


1933 – Great Depression: New Deal – US President Franklin D. Roosevelt unveiled the Civil Works Administration, an organisation designed to create jobs for more than 4 million of the unemployed.


1935 – A dozen labour leaders came together to announce the creation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO).


1936 – New Zealanders Griff Maclaurin and Steve Yates were part of the International Column of anti-fascist volunteers who marched into Madrid, bolstering the city’s defences against the assault of General Franco’s rebel armies.

NZers march into a besieged Madrid

1937 – The Nazi exhibition Der ewige Jude (“The Eternal Jew”) opened in Munich.


1939 The Centennial exhibition opened in Wellington.

 NZ Centennial Exhibition opens

1939 – Venlo Incident: Two British SIS agents were captured by the Germans.

1939 – Adolf Hitler narrowly escaped the assassination attempt of Georg Elser while celebrating the 16th anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch.


1941 – The Albanian Communist Party was founded.

1942 – Operation Torch – United States and United Kingdom forces landed in French North Africa. French resistance coup in Algiers, in which 400 civilian French patriots neutralised Vichyist XIXth Army Corps after 15 hours of fighting, and arrested several Vichyst generals.


1950 Korean War: United States Air Force Lt. Russell J. Brown shot down two North Korean MiG-15s in the first jet aircraft-to-jet aircraft dogfight in history.

1957 – Operation Grapple X, Round C1: Britain conducted its first successful hydrogen bomb test over Kiritimati in the Pacific.


1965 – The British Indian Ocean Territory was created, consisting of Chagos Archipelago, Aldabra, Farquhar and Des Roches islands.

1965 – The Murder (Abolition of the Death Penalty) Act 1965 was given Royal Assent, formally abolishing the death penalty in the United Kingdom.

1965 – The 173rd Airborne was ambushed by over 1,200 Viet Cong in Operation Hump while the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment fought one of the first set-piece engagements of the war between Australian forces and the Vietcong at the Battle of Gang Toi.

1966 Former Massachusetts Attorney General Edward Brooke became the first African American elected to the United States Senate.


1973 The right ear of John Paul Getty III was delivered to a newspaper with a ransom note, convincing his father to pay $US 2.9 million.

1977 Manolis Andronikos, discovered the tomb of Philip II of Macedon at Vergina.


1978 A 6.1 magnitude earthquake in Thessaloniki killed 40 people.

1987 Remembrance Day Bombing: A Provisional IRA bomb explode in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland during a Remembrance Day – killing 12 and wounding 63.


2002 Iraq disarmament crisis: UN Security Council Resolution 1441 – The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a resolution on Iraq, forcing Saddam Hussein to disarm or face “serious consequences”.

2003 The Harris Theatere opened commencing a renaissance in the Chicago performing arts community.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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