Only 4/10 in the Guardian’s how well do you know your British history? quiz.

Hat Tip: A Bee of a Certain Age.

Thursday’s quiz


1. Who said:” If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” ?

2. Who wrote The Female Eunuch?

3. It’s femme in French, donna in Italian, mujer in Spanish and wahine in Maori, what is it in English?

4. Who is the NZ Minister of Women’s Affairs?

5. Oh yes I am wise/ But it’s wisdom born of pain/ Yes, I’ve paid the price /But look how much I gained/ If I have to, I can do anything/ I am strong (strong)/ I am invincible (invincible) . . .  what is the last line of this song (which is also its title)?

Witty rejoinder no joke


Parliament today is publishing a transcript of Question Time each day.

Among the gems yesterday was this from  Finance Minister Bill English:

Well, we get the benefit of the Labour Party’s advice in the House every day. Some of it we consider; a lot of it we dismiss just because it is wrong-headed or it comes straight out of the 1970s.

It’s a witty rejoinder but it’s not a joke – it’s also true.

Whole greater than sum of parts


Why did the receivers of the Crafar farms not offer the properties individually rather than only attempting to sell them all as a job lot?

I’ve asked this question several times and it’s been based on a misconception because the receivers did offer the farms separately or together.

A comment from JC yesterday pointed to a column by Fran O’Sullivan who explained:

“But KordaMentha receiver Brendon Gibson confirms there was no real difference between the way the Crafar farms were marketed here and overseas.

The wording used in the advertising material in New Zealand was quite explicit in what was being offered. “There is the potential to purchase a single property, a selection of properties, or the entire portfolio,” the advertisement stated.

This was patently clear in copies of the NZ advertisements which Bayleys placed.

The firm had been instructed to market the portfolio to the widest potential buyer audience possible and secure the best possible outcome by maximising the value of its clients’ property assets.

The receivers are duty-bound to get the best price.

Given there would be a much larger market for individual farms than the whole lot as a package I’d have thought that selling them separately would have raised more money than selling them all together.

Obviously not in this case where the value of the whole is greater than that of the sum of the parts.

It could be that those interested in single properties thought they’d get a bargain and didn’t offer enough. It could be that decent offers were made for the better properties but not enough was offered for the run-down ones.

There might be other explanations, but whatever the reason, the best offer was from  Natural Dairy but was turned down by the Overseas Investment Office. The next best offer was from Shanghai Pengxin and both were for all the farms as a package.

Having a stake makes a difference


TV3 reckons Port of Tauranga gets it right:

Throughout the Auckland dispute, the Port Of Tauranga has been held up as an  example of how Auckland could operate – profits are at a record high, and the  port seems to have a contented workforce which gets the job done quickly and  efficiently.

One of the major differences between the two port companies is ownership.

David Hone has worked at the port for 18 years and, like 90 percent of  employees, is a shareholder in the company.

He says “working in a place that you’re part owner [of]” means he’s more  invested in the success of the business.

It’s one of the key reasons the port is so successful, according to chief  executive Mark Cairns.

“If you have a stake in a company your behaviour changes when you’re an  employee,” he says.

Because Ports of Auckland is owned by the city’s ratepayers it can’t be  floated.

This is a successful company in which most of the workers have a stake – and one in which the percentage of local ownership has increased since it was floated.

During question Time on Tuesday Prime Minister John Key said:

 Interestingly enough, Port of Tauranga, back in April 2008, had 66.5 percent of its shares owned by New Zealanders; today it is 70 percent.

Floating the company has been good for it, its shareholders, most of whom are New Zealanders and among whom are almost all its staff, and it’s also been good for those who use the port.

There should be similar benefits for businesses and shareholders from the partial sale of energy companies proposed under the government’s Mixed Ownership Model.

March 8 in history


1126 Alfonso VII was proclaimed king of Castile and Leon, after the death of his mother Urraca.

1495 John of God, Portuguese-born friar and saint, was born.

1655 John Casor becomes the first legally-recognised slave in what became the United States.

1702 Anne Stuart, sister of Mary II, became Queen regnant of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

1722 The Safavid Empire of Iran was defeated by an army from Afghanistan at The Battle of Gulnabad, pushing Iran into anarchy.

1775 Thomas Paine’s “African Slavery in America,” the first article in the U.S. calling for the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery was published.

1777 Regiments from Ansbach and Bayreuth, sent to support Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War, mutinied in the town of Ochsenfurt.

1782 Gnadenhütten massacre: Ninety-six Native Americans in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, who had converted to Christianity were killed by Pennsylvania militiamen in retaliation for raids carried out by other Indians.

1817 The New York Stock Exchange was founded.

1844 King Oscar I ascended to the throne of Sweden-Norway.

1856 Bramwell Booth, the 2nd General of The Salvation Army, was born  (d. 1929).

1859 Kenneth Grahame, English author, was born (d. 1932).

1911 International Women’s Day was launched in Copenhagen by Clara Zetkin, leader of the Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany.

1917 The U.S. Senate votes to limit filibusters by adopting the cloture rule.

1921 Spanish Premier Eduardo Dato Iradier was assassinated.

1924 The Castle Gate mine disaster killed 172 coal miners near Castle Gate, Utah.

1929 Frank Borzage’s Street Angel, a silent picture with a recorded musical soundtrack, screened at Wellington’s Paramount Theatre – before this silent movies had been accompained by live music.

First 'talkie' draws huge crowds in Wellington

1936 Daytona Beach Road Course held their first oval stock car race.

1937 Juvénal Habyarimana, President of Rwanda, was born.

1942 The Dutch surrendered to Japanese forces on Java.

1943 Lynn Redgrave, English actress, was born  (d. 2010).

1945 Micky Dolenz, American musician (The Monkees), was born.

1946 Randy Meisner, American musician (The Eagles)

1947 Mike Allsup, American musician (Three Dog Night), was born.

1957 Egypt re-opened the Suez Canal after the Suez Crisis.

1963 The Ba’ath Party came to power in Syria in a Coup d’état by a clique of quasi-leftist Syrian Army officers calling themselves the National Council of the Revolutionary Command.

1966 – A bomb planted by young Irish protesters destroyed Nelson’s Pillar in Dublin.

1974 Charles de Gaulle Airport opened in Paris.

1978 The first-ever radio episode of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, was transmitted on BBC Radio 4.

1979 – Philips demonstrated the Compact Disc publicly for the first time.

1980 The first festival of rock music kicked off in the Soviet Union.

1985 A failed assassination attempt on Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah in Beirut killed at least 45 and injured 175 others.

2004  A new constitution was signed by Iraq’s Governing Council.

2010 – The stolen body of Tassos Papadopoulos, 5th President of Cyprus, was discovered in a cemetery near the capital.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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