Word of the day

August 27, 2019

Ennui – a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement; a feeling of weariness and discontent   Resulting from satiety or lack of interest; a feeling of boredom and mental tiredness caused by having nothing interesting or exciting to do.


Thatcher thinks

August 27, 2019


Rural round-up

August 27, 2019

Has farming lost its ability to influence? – Lindy Nelson:

The Agri-Women’s Development Trust’s Lindy Nelson questions if real is the new fake and fake is the new real when it comes to media coverage of agriculture.

I’ve been thinking about influence lately and how as a sector we seem to be losing the ability to do this effectively with our fellow New Zealanders.

As hard as we try to tell our good stories, others speak louder about all that is wrong with how we produce grass-fed, free-to-range food.

So it was fascinating to listen to Frederic Leroy at the Red Meat Sector Conference recently present “Red meat – facing the challengers in the post-truth area. What’s real, what’s not“. . .

Ag Proud engages urban folk – Neal Wallace:

Southland farmers have formed a group to engage with their urban neighbours on what happens on farms and why.

Ag Proud member Jon Pemberton says stress among farmers from a recent winter grazing media campaign by activists was the catalyst for its formation. It launched last week by hosting a free barbecue in Invercargill to engage with city people.

It does not have an agenda other than to celebrate the rural sector and to share that pride and information about what farmers do and why.

The movement also hopes to highlight the issue of mental health among those in rural NZ. . . 

Government must provide leadership– Allan Barber:

In contrast to its positive social agenda to improve the average person’s lot by lifting the minimum wage, increasing teachers’ pay rates and attempting to increase home ownership, this government seems to have gone missing in action with respect to the farming sector. Apart from Primary Industries Minister Damien O’Connor’s rather lonely efforts as a cheerleader for agriculture, other government ministers only pop their heads above the parapet when there’s some good environmental news or forestry initiative to crow about, or a new, and scientifically flawed, methane reduction target to ask farmers to meet. 

Agriculture contributes about 80% of merchandise exports and employs 15% of the workforce which underlines how critical the sector is to the New Zealand economy. Yet to observe the government’s attitude, one would think agriculture’s contribution to the economy was relatively insignificant or easy to replace. When it comes to addressing climate change and formulating the Carbon Zero strategy, agricultural production, at least red meat and dairy, appears to be an inconvenience which must be discouraged so New Zealand can meet a set of unachievable targets. These targets are being negotiated against a backdrop of dire predictions about the catastrophic effect of global temperature and sea level increase which the world’s economies should have addressed 50 years ago to avoid disaster. . .

Cavalier announces strategic collaboration with NZ Merino Company –  Rebecca Howard:

Cavalier Corp announced a “collaboration” with the New Zealand Merino company as it looks to cash in on a growing consumer trend toward natural fibres and away from synthetics.

Yesterday its shares tumbled after it said it will write-down or impair the value of goodwill and various plant and equipment by as much as $9 million and was in discussions “with a respected industry participant regarding a collaboration that will build on Cavalier’s capabilities and make a transformative change into a design-led, wool focused company.”

Today it identified that company as New Zealand Merino. Chief executive Paul Alston told BusinessDesk that NZ Merino wasn’t buying a stake in Cavalier but would supply them with wool and use their expertise to help market and promote the benefits of wool. . . 

Woolless lamb ‘one of the ugliest lambs I’ve ever seen’:

A Rotorua farmer reckons he is the proud owner of the ugliest lamb he has ever seen.

Javier Browne said the “really shy” newborn was now a family pet.

One of a set of triplets – the lamb is woolless, basically bald – and a genetic rarity.

“When I first saw her I was shocked, didn’t really know, like ‘is that actually a sheep or what’,” Mr Browne said.

5 ways UK farmers are tackling climate change – David Brown:

Farmers are on the front line of climate change – vulnerable to changes in temperature and rainfall, as well as increasingly frequent extreme weather events.

They also face criticism , in particular over greenhouse gas emissions from the meat and dairy industry, with calls for a move to a more plant-based diet.

Agriculture is currently responsible for about 9% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, mostly from methane.

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU), which represents 55,000 UK farmers, has set a target of net-zero emissions in British farming by 2040. . . .

Could the Biblical practice of gleaning cut food waste? – Rebecca Wearn:

It is a hot July day in Lancashire and a dozen people are gathering on a dusty farm track two miles outside the market town of Ormskirk. They are gleaners – volunteer harvesters picking what’s left in the ground.

It’s for a good cause: the unwanted kale from this farm will be donated to local food projects and charities. And it is good weather; the broad blue sky is softly streaked with cirrus clouds. Cabbage white butterflies flit between the chamomile blooms and bushy deep green brassica leaves.

Feedback Global is one of a handful of campaign groups organising gleans across Britain. It’s seen its efforts swell – more than doubling the days in the fields between 2014 and 2018, working with four times as many volunteers and harvesting more than a hundred tonnes of unwanted fruit and vegetables from farms – that would otherwise be left to rot. . .

 


In need of govt that knows what it’s doing

August 27, 2019

Kerre McIvor has tuned into a widespread feeling that the government doesn’t know what it’s doing:

She says that the previous National Government felt more like they were in control of the steering wheel.

“This Government, I just get a sense they have no idea what they are doing.” 

She also took aim at Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her refusal to answer questions. 

“I don’t get the sense she’s across her job.”

“You would think even she could set the agenda and put it to him and get the people to brief you. Just one solid answer would be fantastic.

“You’re in charge of the country, act like it!” 

McIvor says that Labour probably didn’t expect to be in Government after the last election, but that was 18 months ago and they should be up and running now.

“I get the sense that they are still trying to get their heads around the job, but this is their job. This is what they have been training all their lives to do – be the Government – and they aren’t doing a very good job of it.” 

I happened to tune into Newstalk ZB yesterday morning when this was being discussed. In spite of pleas from McIvor for people to call and counter her view, almost every call and tweet agreed with her.

Labour wasted almost nine years in opposition with in-fighting. It did little to no policy development and the problems with that have been compounded by its coalition partners.

Bill Ralston opines:

. . .It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the lack of planning and joined-up thinking is a result of the fact that the three political parties in charge have wildly disparate views on what should be done, and, in many cases, nothing is done to genuinely address a problem because one or more of them will block the others’ programme.

The only part of Government that seems to be working in high gear is its publicity machine. Press conferences are held, photo opportunities delivered, media releases pumped out and the appearance of action is created. However, when you look closely, too often you see the scheme just announced is largely cosmetic and does not address the core of the problem. Worse, public money is devoted to a cause but there is no advance planning as to how it should be put to best use.

It seems to me that the Government is making it up as it goes along, occasionally content to be seen to be doing something about problems but not really addressing the causes, because the coalition parties cannot agree on policies. . . 

How long before this starts to show in the polls?

 

While the government is floundering, National is working hard to develop policies and yesterday announced its economic discussion document.

Simon Bridges started by explaining something the current government doesn’t understand: why their economy matters:

A strong economy means New Zealanders have more in their back pockets to afford the things that matter to them.

Whether that is putting more food in the table or being able to afford nice things for your kids.

A strong economy also means we can invest in the things that matter to New Zealanders.

But a strong economy, first and foremost, needs confident thriving businesses that are willing to invest in new technologies, create more jobs and pay higher wages.

National recognises that Government does not drive the economy.

The economy is driven by all of the people who have good ideas, get up early, work hard, invest their time and money, take risks and try and build opportunities for themselves and others. It’s driven by the people in this room.

New Zealanders need a Government that backs them to compete on the world stage and provides the foundations they need to get on with doing business.

New Zealanders also need a government that knows what it is doing, where it wants to go and has a plan for getting there, none of which this government does or has.

Some of the commitments in the discussion document include:

  • Requiring all government departments and government agencies to pay their contractors on time and within 30 days;
  • Establishing a ‘Small Business Payments Guarantee’;
  • Repealing 100 regulations in our first six months of office;
  • Eliminating two old regulations for every new regulation introduced in our first term;
  • Requiring quality cost-benefit analysis for any major new regulation;
  • Māori land reform; and
  • Ensuring the Treasury has a greater focus on providing sound advice on the effectiveness of Government spending, identifying wasteful spending and driving higher productivity in the public sector;

We’re also proposing or asking for New Zealanders feedback on:

  • Considering new innovative approaches to infrastructure funding;
  • Pricing mechanisms to manage the flow of traffic that are revenue neutral;
  • Allowing savers to deduct the inflation component from their interest income;
  • Accelerated depreciation of business assets;
  • Removing the ability for Governments to give preferential pay agreements to union members during public sector wage negotiations;
  • Bank account number portability; and
  • Removing all remaining tariffs.

And we’re re-confirming a number of previous commitments, including:

  • Indexing tax thresholds to inflation;
  • Repealing the Regional Fuel Tax;
  • Overhauling the Resource Management Act;
  • Reintroducing targets in health, education and law and order;
  • Encouraging direct investment in productive assets by overturning the Government’s foreign investment changes;
  • Repealing the ban on oil and gas exploration; and
  • Repealing recent Government changes made to the Employment Relations Act, such as removing 90-day trial periods.

Some of this continues work National did in government, some of it is new.

All of it shows a party far more prepared for government and running the country than the ones that are supposed to be doing it now.


Quote of the day

August 27, 2019

As long as you persecute people, you will actually throw up terrorism.Antonia Fraser who celebrates her 87th birthday today.


August 27 in history

August 27, 2019

479 BC Persian forces led by Mardonius were routed by Pausanias, the Spartan commander of the Greek army in the Battle of Plataea.

410 The sacking of Rome by the Visigoths ended after three days.

663 Battle of Baekgang: Remnants of the Korean Baekje Kingdom and their Yamato Japanese allies engaged the combined naval forces of the Tang Chinese and Silla Koreans on the Geum River.

1172  Henry the Young King and Margaret of France were crowned as junior king and queen of England.

1232  The Formulary of Adjudications was promulgated by Regent Hōjō Yasutoki.

1689  The Treaty of Nerchinsk was signed by Russia and the Qing empire.

1776 The Battle of Long Island:  British forces under General William Howe defeated Americans under General George Washington.

1793 French counter-revolution: the port of Toulon revolted and admitted the British fleet, which landed troops and seized the port leading to Siege of Toulon.

1798 Wolfe Tone’s United Irish and French forces clashed with the British Army in the Battle of Castlebar.

1803 Edward Beecher, American theologian, was born (d. 1895).

1810 Napoleonic Wars: The French Navy defeated the British Royal Navy, preventing them from taking the harbour of Grand Port on Île de France.

1813  French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte defeated a larger force of Austrians, Russians, and Prussians at the Battle of Dresden.

1828 Uruguay was formally proclaimed independent at preliminary peace talks brokered by Great Britain between Brazil and Argentina during the Argentina-Brazil War.

1859 Petroleum was discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania leading to the world’s first commercially successful oil well.

1875 Katharine McCormick, American women’s rights activist, was born (d. 1967).

1877 Charles Rolls, British co-founder of Rolls-Royce, was born (d. 1910).

1896 Anglo-Zanzibar War: the shortest war in world history (09:00 to 09:45) between the United Kingdom and Zanzibar.

1899 C. S. Forester, British author, was born (d. 1966).

1904 The foundation stone for Victoria College (now Victoria University of Wellington), was laid.

Foundation stone for Victoria’s first building laid

1904 Norah Lofts, British author, was born (d. 1983).

1908 Sir Donald Bradman, Australian cricketer, was born (d. 2001).

1908 Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States, was born (d. 1973).

1911 Joseph Pawelka escaped from Wellington’s Terrace Gaol – the last in a series of bold but seemingly effortless prison escapes Pawelka made over an 18-month period.

Pawelka's last prison break

1921 The British installed the son of Sharif Hussein bin Ali as King Faisal Iof Iraq.

1922 The Turkish army took the Aegean city of Afyonkarahisar from the Greeks.

1928 The Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war was signed by the first fifteen nations.

1932 Antonia Fraser, British author, was born.

1939 First flight of the turbojet-powered Heinkel He 178, the world’s first jet aircraft.

1942 Daryl Dragon, American keyboardist (Captain & Tennille), was born.

1947 John Morrison, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1962  The Mariner 2 unmanned space mission was launched to Venus by NASA.

1979  An IRA bomb killed  Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma and 3 others in Sligo. Another bomb near Warrenpoint killed 18 British soldiers.

1982  Turkish military diplomat Colonel Atilla Altıkat was shot and killed in Ottawa. Justice Commandos Against Armenian Genocide claimed responsibility, saying they were avenging the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians in the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

1985 The Nigerian government was peacefully overthrown by Army Chief of Staff Major General Ibrahim Babangida.

1991 – Moldova declared independence from the USSR.

1993  The Rainbow Bridge, connecting Tokyo’s Shibaura and the island of Odaiba, was completed.

2000  The 540-metre (1,772 ft)-tall Ostankino Tower in Moscow caught fire, killing three people.

2003 Mars made its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years, passing 34,646,418 miles (55,758,005 km) distant.

2006  Comair Flight 5191 crashed on takeoff from Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky killing 49 of the 50 passengers and crew.

2009 – The Burmese military junta and ethnic armies began three days of violent clashes in the Kokang Special Region.

2011 – Hurricane Irene struck the United States east coast, killing 47 and causing an estimated $15.6 billion in damage.

2013 – Riots between two religious communities started at Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


%d bloggers like this: