The Good Life

January 14, 2010

Fairfacts Media pointed out on the post below that Richard Briars is best known for his role in  The Good Life.


Tuesday’s answers

November 24, 2009

Monday’s questions were:

1. What is a gnomon?

2. Which New Zealand author lost his left leg in 1940?

3. Who wrote Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge?

4.  Which author rode the Queen Mother’s race horses?

5. Who said, If you steal from one author, it’s plagiarism; if you steal from many it’s research”?

No-one got all the answers:

Fairfacts Media gets a point for the speed and wit of his response.

Andrei got 3 plus 1/2 for his answer to 5.

Samo got 2 and I think another 1 for the answer to 4  – although I wasn’t thinking of  Lester Piggot I think he wrote an autobigoraphy which technically makes him a writer.

PDM gets one and a bonus for his answer to 5.

Teletext is the winner with 4.

Paul Tremewan got 1 right and a bonus for teaching me something.

Tuesday’s answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

Shoot the lot

October 29, 2009

Dear Lord Stern,

Re your suggestion that the whole world should go vegetarian to save the planet.

Why don’t you just shoot all the people?

It would be kinder than letting millions die of starvation which is what would happen if we took your idea seriously.

Yours sincerely



If you don’t like my suggestion you may be interested in:

Inquiring Mind where Adam Smith posts on how Coppenhagen could threaten NZ’s very future.

Farmgirllive who says it’s time to get serious about countering this silliness.

Liberty Scott who says Lord Stern loses the plot some more.

and Fairfacts Media who urges Go on have that extra steak.

Rates rises raising ire

September 9, 2009

A Federated Farmers survey found that rural property rates have increased by an average of 12.5% in the last year.

The survey was self-selecting so was more likely to reflect the views of people with higher rates rises, but even so that is a very high figure when inflation was less than 3% in the same period.

A good deal of the problem is that rates are based on property values which are often unrelated to a farm’s earning capacity.

“Two farms, both under Maori trusts, face $100,000 rates bills this year. Another North Island farm, also run by a Maori trust, is staring down the barrel of a 50 percent rates increase just because it farms a coastal property that could be sold or subdivided. It pays rates based on the ‘potential’ value of the land rather than its current and future economic use as a farm.

A change to a greater proportion of rates from a uniform general charge and more user-pays might help reduce rural rates but the problem is greater than who pays for what.

Initiatives by successive central governments have passed more responsibilities on to local authorities without them passing on any extra funding. That has placed a greater burden on ratepayers.

The power of general competence granted to councils has also added to costs as they’ve got involved in more activities which have to be funded, at least in part, from rates.

Then there’s the question which Fairfacts Media raised of computers in libraries competing with private enterprise.

The Oamaru Library has recently installed computers. Online research capabilities are compatible with a library but email, Skype, TradeMe,  and other web-based features will be in direct competition with internet cafes.

The amalgamation of councils in Auckland will almost certainly not be the last. Rationalisation ought to reduce some costs, but that by itself won’t address the fundamental problems caused by property-based ratings system where how much you pay is not necessarily related to what services you receive.

If winter’s here . . .

August 10, 2009

Calving is in full swing, the first daffodil is in bloom in my garden and one brave rhododendron is flowering but it’s too soon to call it spring.

But  Keeping Stock warns winter’s tail can have a sting and Fairfacts Media reports the home fires are still burning in Kerikeri.

After a beautifully sunny day yesterdaythe house was warm enough to get by with a heater rather than a fire last night. But we woke to a frost this morning and it was -2 when I parked the car at the bottom of the hill which I’m tackling for my morning constitutional.


August 4, 2009

Former MP and Minister outside cabinet Phillip Field has been found guilty  of 26 charges.

Field, former MP for Mangere, was found guilty of 11 of 12 charges of bribery and corruption as an MP after the Crown said he had Thai nationals carry out work on his properties in return for immigration assistance between November 2002 and October 2005.

He was also found guilty of 15 of 23 charges of wilfully attempting to obstruct or pervert the course of justice. The charges related to his evidence to an inquiry into the work on his homes.

Crown Prosecutor Simon Moore is correct when he says:

“This has been a really important case, and bribery and corruption strikes very much at the heart of who we are as a people.”

The case is a nasty blot on our democratic fabric not just because Field is the first person found guilty of corruption as an MP but because of the way then Prime Minister Helen Clark and her Labour colleagues sought to protect him and hobble the Ingram Inquiry into allegations against him.

Kiwiblog has done an excellent post detailing what happened and when, concluding with:

Long before the Police investigation, the Labour Party should have denounced Field. Instead Clark, Cullen and the rest of the Labour Party defended him. That is why these convictions are their shame.

This would also be a good time for all MPs to come together and declare this should never happen again, and support an Independent Commission against Corruption that can investigate abuses of office by parliamentarians, senior officials and agencies.

The call for an Independent Commission against Corruption is seconded by Whaleoil.

Keeping Stock says:

And sadly, we can no longer claim to be a country where our politics are free from corruption. That will be Taito Phillip Field’s legacy to New Zealand, and to the Pasifika people he purported to represent.

Roarprawn asks:   He is the first but will he be the last?

No  Minister says (and shows): A good day for Tui.

Oswald Bastable says: Official – there is corruption in NZ politics.

PM of NZ notes: Only guilty of trying to help.

UPDATE: Fairfacts Media posts on The Guilty Party.

                  Macdoctor posts on Dishonour.

                 Dim Post says The Only Thing Taito Phillip Field is Guilty of is Corruption.

                Something Should Go Here highlights the Gobsmackingly Dishonest Quote of the Day.

UPdate 2:

              Monkeywithtypewriter posts In Praise of Ingram.

             Stephen Franks writes Reflections on Field’s Corruption.

Did you see the one about . . .

July 16, 2009

Holidays at Oswald Bastable

What’s the Point of United Future? at Fairfacts Media (one in a series looking at NZ political parties).

 How to cook a hairy sausage at Quote Unquote.

It’s not okay to be blind drunk and expect police to be there at Cactus Kate.

Spot the criminal at Macdoctor.

Today’s referendum at Keeping Stock (also one in a series).

Read aloud to your children at NZ Conservative.

The Four Pillars at Fenemy.

Comics in the clinics at Not PC.

And a new (to me) blog: A cat of impossible colour  (Hat Tip: Open Parachute)

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