Word of the day

November 8, 2011

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

November 8, 2011

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

November 8, 2011

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

November 8, 2011

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?

November 8, 2011

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

November 8, 2011

“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

November 8, 2011

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.

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