Greens go redder

April 9, 2018

If political parties had to adhere to the Trade Descriptions Act the Green Party would be called the Reds and they’ve just voted to go redder:

South Auckland-based MP Marama Davidson will join James Shaw in the role of Green Party Co-leader, after the result of the leadership contest was announced this morning in Auckland.

Ms Davidson secured 110 delegate votes. Julie Anne Genter, the Minister for Women and Associate Minister of Transport and Health, also contested the Co-leadership role and won 34 votes. . . 

The party is split between members with a radical left social and financial agenda and those whose focus is the environment.

Davidson represents the radical left side. She has a lot in common with the woman she replaced, Meteria Turei, and is more likely to reopen the wounds Turei and her departure created than heal them.

Her radical left agenda could also cause more headaches to the government her party supports.

It is also more likely to prove true Heather du Plessis-Allan’s prophesy that the party will disappear in a decade:

 

. . . If you assumed the co-leadership contest between Julie Anne Genter and Marama Davidson was simply about two women interviewing for a job, you’d be wrong. It was so much more than that.

These women are the yin and yang of the Greens. . . 

This leadership battle was really a death match over which is more important to the Greens: the environment or beneficiaries. . . 

This is why the Greens won’t last 10 years unless they make big changes. The split personality can’t go on living together. Not only is the animosity in the party too great, but not all voters who care about the environment also want to give hand outs to beneficiaries. . .

Oddly enough the biggest threat is coming from the party the Greens are mostly likely to hiss at: National.

There’s a long tradition of Blue-Greenness within the Nats and things are really starting to ramp up. In his first interviews in the job, new leader Simon Bridges couldn’t have made it clearer he plans to go greener.

Once all the other parties go green, the Greens will lose their big point of difference. And what are they when that’s gone? . . .

They’re a radical left party as shown by the small group of Young Greens who threatened to resign if Genter defeated Davidson.

Passing quickly over their disdain for democracy, there is an element of karma in that for Genter.

She called for old white men to get of boards . She is white and old (in comparison to the youth wing). But she is 38 and lost to the older (44) brown woman.


We’re not sure

August 20, 2017

Not sure exactly what Labour’s water tax is all about?

Heather du Plessis-Allan nails it:

. . .Here’s a simple summary of Labour’s water policy: we’ll charge a royalty on water use, but we’re not sure how much, we’ll give some of the money to Maori but we’re not sure how much, and we’re not sure how it’ll work but we’ll figure that out in the first 100 days of government.

There is no excuse for announcing a plan that isn’t a plan. Bottled water exports have been an issue since at least October last year, more than enough time to come up with a decent solution.

Instead, Maori have reason to worry, farmers have reason to worry and cabbage-lovers have reason to worry. . .

One thing you can be sure of – it’s bad policy, it is a threat to accepted common law that no-one owns water and it won’t improve water quality.


Quotes of the Year

December 31, 2015

“It’s part of the foundation of everything we do. It forms the frame of our existence, both in business and our values in life. It’s very powerful. For us, it’s also about being part of a small community. We’re part of the Waitaki district but at the forefront of it all is our little Papakaio community. We all grew up and went to primary school here. I met my wife in primer one. A part of the responsibility of living in a small village is that you contribute to the village. We’ve all been involved in supporting the creation of the community centre, the tennis courts, the swimming pool, all those sorts of things.Ian Hurst.

“I’m getting the opportunity to indulge in stuff I really like for this and I do really like New Zealand’s native birds, and this project means I get to draw a whole lot of them, on a cow.

“At the moment I’m drawing one of our native birds that still exist [fantail], and then I will be drawing the ones that don’t.” – Joshua Drummond

It’s not that we don’t want Kiwis to achieve success, it’s that we don’t want them to change once they’ve achieved it. Or, as my colleague put it, they can be winners, but they shouldn’t be dicks. Heather du Plessis-Allan

  “I chose a nice tight turd and threw it as far as I could.” Adam Stevens  –  on his win in the cow pat throwing competition at the inaugural Hilux NZ Rural Games.

“This is obviously not a zero-hour contract. It could perhaps be better described as a zero-payment contract — . . “ Steven Joyce

” But I can no longer be bothered getting emotionally het up about people who take a different perpsective to mine. Unless, of course, they are socialists.” – Lindsay Mitchell

“I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers.

Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure. “- Oliver Sacks, professor of neurology at the New York University School of Medicine and author, on learning he has terminal cancer.

This is a Government that believes that what works for the community is what works for the Government’s books. So every time we keep a teenager on track to stay at school long enough to get a qualification or have one more person pulled off the track of long-term welfare dependency, we get an immediate saving, of course, and an immediate benefit for those individuals and for the community, and a long-term saving in taxpayers’ money – Bill English

“The nature of by-elections is it’s a very short period of time. We devoted a couple or three weeks, as the party does, to select the candidate Bit simpler for Winston; he just looks in the nearest mirror and selects himself.” Steven Joyce.

. . .  I’ve never disliked religion. I think it has some purpose in our evolution. I don’t have much truck with the ‘religion is the cause of most of our wars’ school of thought, because in fact that’s manifestly done by mad, manipulative and power hungry men who cloak their ambition in God. – Terry Pratchett

The most important steps the Government takes are those steps that support the confidence of businesses to invest and put more capital into their business, and to therefore, in the long run, be able to pay higher wages. The Government does not influence that directly. However, we can contribute by, for instance, showing fiscal restraint and persisting with  economic reform. This enables interest rates to stay lower for longer but enables businesses to improve their competitiveness and therefore their ability to pay higher wages. – Bill English

“Schools are not there merely to teach in the old words of reading, writing and arithmetic, but they’re there to transition young people, especially at high school, into the real world,” . . . – Canterbury University dean of law Dr Chris Gallivan

“I have built a confirmation bias so strongly into my own fabric that it’s hard to imagine a fact that could wonk me,” . . . . “At some level, the news has become a vast apparatus for continually proving me right in my pre-existing prejudices about the world.” – Jesse Armstrong

 ”You can’t leave a big pig in the middle of the road – it’s a bit dangerous.” An unnamed Dunedin woman whose close encounter with a pig she tried to rescue left her nursing bruises.

“Politics is not entertainment,” he says. “That’s a mistake of people who are acute followers of politics as commentators or people from within the Westminster village.

“For the voters it’s not entertainment, it’s a serious issue, it’s a serious thing that means a great deal to their lives. It is their future.” – Lynton Crosby.

. . . outside politicised bubbles, most do not think in terms of “left” and “right”. Outside the political world, most think in terms of issues to be addressed in a way that is convincing, coherent, and communicated in a language that people understand. Statistics and facts won’t win the support of millions; we’re human beings, we think in terms of empathy. Stories are more persuasive, because they speak to us emotionally. . . – Owen Jones

In the animal world there’s a miracle every day, it’s the same with humans if you just give them a chance.Dot Smith.

I sometimes feel that ‘my’ is a word that blocks love… if we thought of our children, our dog, our world, our dying oceans, our disappearing elephants, perhaps we would be able to change our mind set and work with each other to save lives, share happiness, and even save our world from the sixth great extinction which scientists fear is imminent. – Valerie Davies

I believe in smaller government.

I also believe the best way to achieve smaller government is to deliver better government. – Bill English

. . . My problem with such people is twofold. First, they believe that the perfect society is attainable only through the intervention of the state, and that this justifies laws that impinge heavily on individual choice. And second (which is closely related), they have no trust in the wisdom of ordinary people. They seem incapable of accepting that most of us are capable of behaving sensibly and in our own best interests without coercion or interference by governments and bureaucrats.  – Karl du Fresne

. . . this Government has always given credit for the stronger economy to New Zealand households and businesses, which, in the face of a recession and an earthquake, rearranged the way they operated, became more efficient and leaner, and got themselves through a very difficult period. We have always attributed the strength of the economy to the people who are the economy. – Bill English

The real test is not whether people have an opinion, it is whether they are willing to put the money up. –  Bill English

Tree and sea-changers may love the rolling hills and open spaces, but they can’t then object to the dust, smell and noise that are part of everyday life in the farming zone. – Victorian Farmers Federation president Peter Tuohey

If a trade deal threatened to wipe out a million dollar regulatory asset you owned, you’d fight it too. Just like the mafia didn’t want the end of prohibition.Eric Crampton

. . . And when we say ugly, we mean ugly from each perspective – it doesn’t mean ‘I’ve got to swallow a dead rat and you’re swallowing foie gras.’ It means both of us are swallowing dead rats on three or four issues to get this deal across the line. Tim Groser

I’ve always said worry is a wasted emotion. You have to plan for some of these things. We knew we could possibly have someone in the bin at some stage, so it’s just a matter of making sure you have everyone knowing what they have to do – Steve Hansen

“I want to enjoy this success: how could you get enough of this? We will worry about that afterwards. I just want to have a good time with a great bunch of men having played in a wonderful World Cup final. I am really proud of this team and being able to wear the jersey. If you get moments like this, why would you ever call it a day?Richie McCaw

“To think that Darren Weir has given me a go and it’s such a chauvinistic sport, I know some of the owners were keen to kick me off, and John Richards and Darren stuck strongly with me, and I put in all the effort I could and galloped him all I could because I thought he had what it takes to win the Melbourne Cup and I can’t say how grateful I am to them,” Payne told Channel Seven after the race. “I want to say to everyone else, get stuffed, because women can do anything and we can beat the world.

“This is everybody’s dream as a jockey in Australia and now probably the world. And I dreamt about it from when I was five years old and there is an interview from my school friends, they were teasing me about, when I was about seven, and I said, “I’m going to win the Melbourne Cup” and they always give me a bit of grief about it and I can’t believe we’ve done it.  . . .Michelle Payne

“We have just come 11,000 miles to congratulate the best rugby team in the world. But ladies and gentlemen, what the hell am I going to say to the Aussies next week?” Prince Charles

Here’s the thing — none of us get out of life alive. So be gallant, be great, be gracious, and be grateful for the opportunities that you have. Jake Bailey

nzherald.co.nz's photo.

 


Tweeting panel

August 8, 2015

TV3 asked me to join The Nation’s tweet panel with Generation Zero co-founder Kirk Serpes this morning.

It was an interesting exercise.

Good interviewers listen to what interviewees say and base their next question on what they hear. I tried to do that with my tweets but kept missing the next point as I was tweeting on the last and trying to keep up with other tweets coming in.

Lisa Owen interviewed Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings talking about the farm gate milk price announcement today. This was followed by  reporter Torben Akel discussing governments appointing ex-MPs to government boards and an interview with American journalist Ben Taub who’s been writing about why teenagers’ journeys to jihad. 

The studio panelists were Heather du Plessis-Allan, Jacqueline Rowarth and Bernard Hickey.

Having Heather on the panel was very good marketing for Story which she’ll be co-hosting with Duncan Garner. It starts this Monday.

You can see the tweets here.


Current affairs sails on

June 25, 2015

In the beginning was the good ship Campbell Live and the captain was John.

And John steered his ship through troubled waters and calm and braved many storms and was admired by many for his skill although sometimes his ship listed somewhat dangerously to port.

But his crew was not troubled nor were the people of  the left who praised him mightily for sailing into the right whence he created tempests.

But  every night Captain John was called to sail his ship in a race for the coveted trophy Ratings for the winner of this race was graced with advertising dollars.

But night after night Captain John failed to win the trophy though he navigated through diverse waters, from the shallows of celebrity to the depths of despond.

And so the admirals of the TV3 fleet spoke for they were unimpressed and they beseeched Captain John to change course.

And John said no for verily he stood on the poop deck of his own importance and did not want to chart another course.

So the admirals and Captain John parted ways and the good ship Campbell Live sank amidst the tears of its crew and passengers.

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth among the people of the left who were sore afraid that all the socialist treasure was lost with the ship and that current affairs would not sail again.

But lo, two experienced captains,  Heather du Plessis-Allan And Duncan Garner were enticed from other craft to command a new ship and the admirals said its name would be Story.

And the admirals said that Story would be a smart, fun and thought-provoking ship that would lead the way in daily current affairs.

And the people went about their business, eating their dinners, playing with their smart phones, accessing the internet and watching television or not as it wasn’t in the beginning but is now and may or may not evermore be.

 

 

 

 


Heels still height of misogyny

May 25, 2015

Heather du Plessis-Allan’s says it’s time to give heels a good kicking:

. . .I hate high heels. They’re the modern version of bound feet. I can’t understand how we’ve allowed balancing on one end of a short stick to become essential formal attire for women.

Here’s a little history lesson. High heels were originally worn exclusively by men. That was yonks ago when middle-aged French men still painted on lipstick and fake beauty spots. Heels were designed for riding, because the stirrup would catch quite nicely in the groove and allow the rider to stand up and shoot his gun. They were never worn for walking about.

You should try squeezing your feet into a pair of strappy shoes that look like they’ve been constructed from an electrician’s wiring leftovers and then trying to cross a steep street. If you lean acutely to the right you should just be able to avoid tumbling the other way down the hill. . .

If you’d like to know how bad high heels are for women, watch the next one you see tottering around in them. She’ll lead with her head. She’ll lean forward just a little too much. She’ll lift her knees just a little too high. She’ll pretty much walk like a pigeon. It’s murder for the spine.

I don’t want to be born to a gender doomed to carry my body weight on the balls of my feet. I don’t want to find myself walking around barefoot on my tip-toes long after I’ve taken my shoes off because I’ve grown so used to having Barbie-feet. . . .

It’s nearly three years since I blogged on this saying heels are the height of miogyny:

Being blessed, or cursed, with a thousand acre stride I’ve never been at home in high heels.

My rule of foot is that if I can’t stand, walk and, if need be, run in a pair of shoes, I won’t wear them.

The highest heels I possess aren’t very high at all because I put comfort well ahead of fashion. . .

That post was prompted by a piece in The Age by Anne Summers:

. . . Wearing heels can be uncomfortable and make you vulnerable to tripping or sinking into wet grass; not wearing heels invites the fashion police to denounce you as frumpy.

So, few women leaders will go flat-footed; most of them – like most other women – want to be stylish. But the choices for women today are not just between heels and flats; the height of the heel is the issue, and they have never been higher.

In an era when women are supposedly economically liberated and politically empowered, it seems fashion is doing its best to subvert this. A recent report found that Australian women were the most economically empowered of 128 countries surveyed. Yet, the woman executive or company director wanting a pair of ultra-glamorous Christian Louboutin shoes with their trademark red soles would find herself obliged to totter around on 16-centimetre heels.

“It’s like foot binding – except women are doing it to themselves,” says Kirstie Clements, former editor in chief of Australian Vogue.

She says Louboutin’s original shoe, the classic Pigalle pump, “made you walk sexily, looked beautiful and were comfortable”. They had 8.5-centimetre heels. Today Louboutin’s lowest is 10 centimetres.

These shoes are uncomfortable – “they cripple you before you even leave the house,” Clements says. Models at Alexander McQueen’s 2010 spring show refused to walk down the catwalk wearing his Alien shoes after several were hurt, one requiring knee surgery.

So, if women whose job descriptions require them to don extreme outfits are refusing to wear such shoes, why are ordinary women embracing them with such enthusiasm? Why would a woman who is trying to be taken seriously as a manager, an executive, a director or a politician wear footwear that belongs in the bordello? . . .

Why? Because it’s fashion and it’s very difficult to find shoes which combine comfort and style.

That difficulty also applies to clothes.

A lot of fashion is art, designed to be hung on models who are much taller and far skinnier than the average woman.

Those who thanks to nature, or unhealthy exercise and eating regimes, don’t look like models do their best with what they’ve got and what they can find to wear but it is rare to come across clothes and shoes to match which are both comfortable and stylish.

Heels are still the height of misogyny.

But just as years of scientific evidence on the dangers of the sun hasn’t stopped most of us thinking tanned skin is more attractive, we’ve been conditioned to think legs look better when the feet attached are shod in heels – and it even works for cows.

 


Flag of the day

May 19, 2015

The Flag Consideration Panel is inviting people to upload designs for a new flag.

There’s more than 1000 in the gallery already.

I plan to feature one most days.

Today’s is Te Waka by Trevor Andrews:

flag1

 

 

 

 

 

Apropos of the flag change process, Heather du Plessis-Allan writes:

. . . Google “Union Jack flags of the colonies”. You’ll find a picture of the Union Jack surrounded by, well, the flags of the colonies. They have one thing in common. Union Jacks blimmin’ everywhere.

India had a giant Jack, so it looked exactly like Britain’s flag except for the little sun right in the middle like a bullseye.

Canada had the red version of our flag except for a complicated shield where our Southern Cross is.

And, like the flag for South Africa and Tasmania and the early version of Malaysia, it had a little Union Jack in the right hand corner. Just like us.

Except, they don’t any more. They all changed their flags. And when you see all those old flags together, it feels like that little Union Jack in the right hand corner isn’t something special to us. It’s a stamp.

It means: these places belong to Britain. So, as for those of the other colonies, our flag will eventually change. If we don’t do it, maybe our grandkids will. . .


%d bloggers like this: