A classical education is never wasted

October 8, 2018

Hon Chris Finlayson at his erudite best in the general debate:

. . . I was trying to work out, the other day, the dynamics of this coalition Government, and then I worked out the answer, because it reminds me very much of that excellent play by Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus. Doctor Faustus is the person who sold his soul to Lucifer in exchange for a few baubles, but at the end of the day Lucifer demands his price. He wants the soul of Doctor Faustus. You, Mr Speaker, from your outstanding academic days at Onslow College, would remember Faustus’ last speech: “Ah, Faustus, now thou hast but one bare hour to live, then thou must be damned perpetually. O lente, lente currite, noctis equi!” because Satan has come to claim his soul.

That is the dynamic in this coalition Government. [Interruption] Well, I don’t what they learnt at Petone Tech, but that’s what Greg O’Connor and I did at St Patricks College. I don’t know that Greg O’Connor actually went to class very much because he was too busy down the front grounds smoking. But I digress.

This is what happened in the negotiation with New Zealand First. They sold their soul to “Old Nick”, to Lucifer, whom we shall describe as the Rt Hon Winston Peters—the vanquished member of Parliament for Tauranga and Hunua and Northland—so that they could have the baubles of office. When they got there, they said to themselves, “Great, we’re here. What are we going to do?” And they had no idea, because they weren’t prepared for Government, but, slowly but surely, “Old Nick” has called in the favours. [Interruption] I’m not talking about Dr Smith; he’s “Young Nick”. . . 

 


MoU is MoM

August 25, 2017

The Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party did a lot more for the latter than the former.

The Greens had everything to gain at the cost of Labour which only lost.

Often it was less a MoU and more a MoM – memo of misunderstanding

Any pretence the agreement is worth anything is useless now when the Greens have done a u-turn and decided to stand candidates in Ohariu.

They might try to say it is to maximise the party vote, and that will be one motivation. But James Shaw’s refusal to endorse the Labour candidate makes it something more.

One poll shows it has less than 5% support and a couple of others show it above the threshold but at only half the level of support it had a few weeks ago. The Greens without the safety net of an electorate seat are now fighting for survival.

Taking votes, whether they be electorate or list, from Labour, in the process, won’t worry them.

On the AM Show* yesterday morning, host Duncan Garner gave Shaw several opportunities to endorse the Labour candidate and he refused to do so.

The winner in this is National’s candidate Brett Hudson who has worked as a list MP based in Ohariu for three years as a Green candidate will split the opposition vote.

The Green Party has a new candidate in Hutt South, after the previous one pulled out a few weeks ago. That is good news for National list MP Chris Bishop who seriously eroded the majority of Labour MP Trevor Mallard last election.

Mallard is standing list only and Bishop, who has had a deservedly high profile in the electorate in the last three years, was odds-on to take the seat against a newcomer. His chances are even better now the Green candidate will split the vote in this seat too.

All of this begs the question: if Labour and the Green Party can’t play nicely in opposition, what chance would they have of doing so in government?

* Newshub covers the interview here but makes no mention of Shaw’s repeated refusal to endorse the Labour candidate.

 


Will armed police make NZ safer?

May 5, 2015

Police Association president Greg O’Connor wants all frontline police to be armed.

Would that make New Zealand safer?

Would it even make police safer?

It would at times but would it overall?

I am happy for any police to have pepper spray and tasers but I think the risks of all police being armed outweigh the benefits.


One too many but better than none

January 11, 2013

At least 67 serving police staff have been arrested in the past three years.

That is disappointing but it’s not all bad:

Police Association president Greg O’Connor said the figures clearly showed that police did not look after their own – in fact they did the opposite.

”If there were no police officers being arrested and charged ever, I think the public would have rightfully more concern that there was covering up. No-one who has had anything to do with police – particularly lawyers who look after police officers – would ever say anything other than they’re absolutely and utterly thorough.”

Mr O’Connor said many of the cases highlighted by the figures would have been found not guilty by the courts because had the offender been a civilian, he or she probably would not have been charged.

And he reiterated that not all of those arrested were employed as police but were police staff.

”But even one is too many,” Mr O’Connor said.

Even one is too many, but none could signal corruption.

In some countries police and the legal system might turn a blind eye to any of their own who transgressed.

That that doesn’t happen here is a sign that New Zealand’s regular top place in the world  corruption perception index  is based on reality.


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