Irony or hypocrisy?


Is this irony or hypocrisy?

Grey Power has been campaigning against the partial privatisation of a few state assets, among which are a couple of power companies.

It fronted the petition to get a politicians’ initiated referendum on the issue.

But it chose a private company with which to negotiate a deal for its members.

There’s both irony and hypocrisy in that.



Asset sales petition hasn’t got numbers


The petition seeking a referendum on the partial sale of a few state assets hasn’t got the numbers.

. . . Parliament’s Clerk of the House Mary Harris this afternoon said she had certified that the petition had lapsed because she could not be sure minimum number of signatures required by law had been met.

The petition needed the signatures of 10 per cent of voters to succeed which the Electoral Commission said worked out to 308,753.

But Ms Harris said that following a counting and sampling and checking process she found the petition was short by about 16,500 valid signatures.

The organisers of the petition presented it to Parliament in March claiming they had 393,000 signatures. . .

The petition was started by Grey Power but promoted by LabourGreen with the assistance of taxpayer funds.

They’ve got another couple of months to get the additional signatures needed but they should stop wasting their time and our money.

Might River Power shares will start trading on Friday.

Even if the people and parties behind the petition get enough signatures it will be far too late. The government will have received the money from the sale and will have invested some or all of it in other assets.

LabourGreen made this an election issue and lost.

Whether or not most people support the partial sale of a few assets, enough didn’t feel sufficiently strongly about the issue to vote to stop them.

They missed that opportunity; they’re short on signatures and attempting to get more will show they’ve got nothing better to do than pursue a lost cause.

Why save what few watch?


Grey Power has added its voice to the individuals and groups calling on the government to save the free-to-air channel TV7.

There is a case for public broadcasting but TV1, 2 and 7 are poor models. The first two are indistinguishable from other commercial channels and TV7 has such a tiny number of viewers.

Maori TV is a better model, but it rarely attracts much of an audience either.

Rather than wasting time and energy trying to save a channel hardly anyone watches, people should be trying to find ways to get the best of the channel’s programmes on TV1 where they’d have a better chance of attracting a greater audience.

He doesn’t understand how super works


The leader of Winston First has creaked into life again but his address to Grey Power shows he’s still confused.

Mr Peters told Grey Power’s annual meeting in Christchurch that superannuitants were not going to be better off under the tax changes the Government is going to announce in next month’s budget.

You’d think a former Treasurer would understand how superannuation works.

It’s based on the average after tax income. That means that if, as been mooted, tax rates decrease then superannuation increases.

Besides, the government has said that if GST increases then all beneficiaries will get a compensatory increase in their benefits.

He called his address Malice in Blunderland which gave Tariana Turia the opportunity to say:

Mrs Turia suggested he might be getting himself confused with the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, the March Hare or perhaps the Dodo.

Or maybe all of the above.

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition


Winston gets sillier by the day.

Several blogs have mentioned his speech to a Grey Power meeting in which he compared the priviliges committee hearing to the Spanish Inquisition.

My pick of the posts is from  Keeping Stock  who found a clip on You Tube which puts the comment into context.

Shorter blustering peterus facing extinction?


The zoological community is finding increasing evidence that the shorter blustering peterus may be facing extinction.  


Characterised by its immaculate pinstriped plumage and animal cunning, the peterus has defied previous predictions of its imminent demise because of its chameleon-like propensity for taking on the characteristics of former enemies when coalescing with other species.


Experts put this ability down to a lust for power which blinds the peterus to the contradictions in its easy assimilation into communities on which it has previously poured scorn.


The peterus has a parasitic relationship with the taxpayer which is aggravatged by a predisposition to pork barrel politics. It has several natural enemies including the media and anyone who thinks. It likes to give the appearance of integrity but has a weakness for baubles and while it would strongly deny this, it also has a history of hypocrisy.


Experts have not been able to explain the contradiction in the peterus’s predilection for gazing at its own image and its total lack of personal insight but many put it down to an unfortunate belief in its own superiority.


The species is semi nocturnal. Its natural habitat is late night bars but the peterus can also be found braying in the chamber. While it has a tendency towards ranging alone, the peterus can be charming and appears to be comfortable in crowds of sycophants like those found at Grey Power meetings.


It preys on the fears and prejudices of the insecure and the bewildered and has a symbiotic relationship with the blue-rinsed sub species of voter.


Scientists admit to several gaps in their knowledge of the species because of the difficulty in pinning it down and its inability to give a straight answer. They also display some wariness in approaching it because of its predisposition to rabid attacks when cornered.


The peterus has often displayed irrational behaviour and has been noticed recently digging furiously in a hole of its own making. Long time observers of the species admit to a grudging admiration for its ability to get out of tight spots in the past but believe that it may be too difficult for the peterus to extricate itself from this hole when it is so deep and becoming increasingly muddy.

Porkometer shows where to continue cull


Audrey Young  updates the Herald’s Porkometer after the budget.

The cost of promises included in the Porkometer do not include every Budget item. They are items that parties themselves have highlighted and bragged about. Totals have not been annualised. They may be spread over many years. That is because parties tend to announce funding over four, five or more years.

Last week’s Budget allowed for a total of $4.75 billion extra in operational spending in 2008-09 and $23.37 billion extra over four years. It also allowed $1.16 billion in capital spending and $1.91 more over four years.


Additional highlights:
* $10.6 billion over four years on personal tax cuts.
* $553.8 million over five years on faster broadband and digital strategy initiatives.
* $326.3 million extra in education including $182 million for extra teachers.
* $220 million over 15 years for Wellington City Council housing upgrade.
* $180 million for extra police.
* $155.2 million over four years to improve student allowances and eligibility.
* $72 million over four years for free off-peak travel for Supergold card.
* $37.8 million over three years for first phase of Hobsonville development.
* $30 million over three years for transport initiatives in Northland and Tairawhiti.
* $25.1 million over four years for Maori and Treaty initiatives including $5.3 million extra for the Office of Treaty Settlements.
* $24.6 million boost to caregivers of children.
* $23.3 million over four years to establish animal ID and tracing system.
* $18 million over four years to boost subsidy for hearing aids.
* $9 million over four years to monitor financial service providers.
* $7 million over two years to restore 19th century Mataatua Whare in Whakatane.
* $7 million to develop a Maori cultural venue on Wellington waterfront.

The cull which I started  and The Hive continued  could carry on with the $72 million for free off-peak travel, on the silly Supergold Card. The card is not the sort of thing the Government needs to spend time or money on; it’s best left to organisations like Grey Power who’ve negotiated a better range of discounts for members.


Besides being 65 or does not automatically make you in need. One of our staff is 78 and works fulltime; another is 77 and almost fulltime – he just takes Wednesday afternoons off for bridge.


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