Word of the day

April 26, 2013

Apotheosis – elevation to divine rank or stature or to a pre-eminent or transcendent position; deification; an exalted or glorified example; a model of excellence or perfection of a kind; the highest point in the development of something; culmination or climax.

Less here, more there

April 26, 2013

The LabourGreen power policy is supposed to save households money but will less there compensate for having to pay more elsewhere?

. . . Though much of the commentary on the Labour-Green policy see it as a game-changer, with most households struggling with winter power bills, voters may be more ambivalent when they absorb the fact the tighter emissions trading scheme both Labour and the Greens have said they will enforce (including agriculture for example) will force prices higher across the household spectrum than the savings they project from their power price scheme.

There are doubts about whether the LabourGreen power plan will save as much as promised, if any at all.

But there’s no question about higher costs and it won’t just be as a result of the emissions trading scheme.

Their socialist policies with higher spending will require higher taxes and result in higher inflation and interest rates.

That in turn will lead to lower growth, if not recession.

All of that will more than cancel out the $300 a year less for power bills, which is a promise unlikely to be fulfilled anyway.

Friday’s answers

April 26, 2013

Thursday’s questions were:

1. What did General Bernard Freyberg reply to a British General who complained that New Zealand soldiers weren’t very good at saluting?

2. Anzac troops were at Gallipoli in an effort to control which strategic waterway?

3. When was Anzac Day first observed?

4.About how many New Zealanders died at Gallipoli?

5. How did you mark Anzac Day?

Answers follow the break.

Points for answers:

PDM gets four – your sentiment for # 4 was correct even if you didn’t give a number.

Andrei got four with a bonus for extra information and sympathy for the bereavement.

Gravedodger wins an electronic batch with five right and bonus for extra information.

Grant gets four. NZ History Online says 1916 but doesn’t mention the prayer service in 1915.


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Where’s the context?

April 26, 2013

Critics of Margaret Thatcher and her policies have long lists of what she did wrong and those who were worse off as a consequence.

But few of the criticisms I’ve come across in the wake of her death have put what she did in context.

The British economy was in a parlous state and the country was hostage to militant unions which led regular and prolonged strikes.

Something had to be done and Thatcher did it.

Whether she did the right things in the right way can be argued, but that she needed to act is beyond dispute.

Critics of “failed” policies of the 80s and 90s in New Zealand and their architects Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson take a similarly blinkered view.

They too have a list of what was wrong without even a nod as to why it was needed. The dire economic situation in which New Zealand found itself after years of over generous public funding, Budget deficits and protectionism required urgent action.

There might have been other ways in which to tackle the problems  but had they had to be tackled and more of what caused them would not have provided a cure.

The policies which caused the problems won’t work now either but the LabourGreen lurch to the left threatens to impose them on us again.

Grosser misses WTO job

April 26, 2013

Trade Minister Tim Groser is out of contention for the Director General of the World Trade Organisation.

Only two candidates, Mexico’s Herminio Blanco and Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo, remain in the running to replace outgoing Director General Pascal Lamy after two of three election rounds, Reuters reports.

Groser was well qualified for the position and a determined advocate for free trade.

He will continue to put his talents into working for New Zealand’s interests in trade.

Maori seats don’t give representation

April 26, 2013

Maori are being canvassed to register on either the general or Maori roll.

If they’re in Te Tai Tokerau and want decent representation they should be opting for the general roll because their MP, Hone Harawira, is a rare sight in parliament.

Mana Party leader has been absent for 49 of the 120 sitting days since the 2011 election.

Mana leader Hone Harawira described himself as going “to battle for those without a voice in Parliament” at his party’s conference this month but he has been a rare sight in Parliament this year. . . .

Speaker David Carter said a formal attendance record for MPs was no longer kept, but Mr Harawira had been given 49 days of leave since the 2011 election, during which Parliament has sat for about 120 days. Party leaders have more responsibilities than other MPs, but most, including Prime Minister John Key and Labour leader David Shearer, attend on two of the three sitting days. . .

Most Maori seats are considerably bigger than the average general seat which means even a very good MP would struggle to service the electorate well.

However, Harawira has the second smallest Maori seat so can’t use electorate size as an excuse.

Te Tai Tokerau  at 16,370 square kilometres is less than half the size of the three biggest general seats, Clutha Southland, West Coast Tasman and Waitaki,  and a fraction the size of Te Tai Tonga which covers an area of 161, 433 square kilometres.

Te Tai Hauauru covers 35, 825 square kilometres, Ikaroa Rawhiti is  30,952 square kilometres in area, the general seat of Kaikoura covers 23,706 square kilometres, and Waiariki covers 19,212 square kilometres.

A party leader does have other duties but if the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition generally make it to two of the three sitting days each week, Harawira can’t use that as an excuse either.

Although he is costing us more than any other MP who isn’t a minister:

Despite the cutback in travel to Wellington, Mr Harawira’s travel expenses for the first three months of the year were still higher than any other non-ministerial MP, including Mr Shearer.

Tariana Turia said Maori seats didn’t give Maori a voice,   Harawira certainly isn’t giving his constituents a voice in parliament but he’s still racking up a very large travel bill.


April 26, 2013

“If weeds are just plants in the wrong place,” she said, “Where’s the right place?”

“I’d like to think it’s someone else’s garden,” he said, “but that doesn’t keep them away from mine.”


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