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John Roughan: NZ Herald’s white elephant

Written By: - Date published: 1:33 pm, June 26th, 2014 - 70 comments
Categories: john key, Media, public transport, transport - Tags: , , ,

There is one thing that shines through in the coverage of the biography of John Key today. It is by a veteran arselicker of the right – John Roughan, veteran editorial writer and columnist for the NZ Herald. He is someone  that I have no respect for because his writing has a short-term approach to Auckland that is more  characterised by stupidity and a rabid adherence to National’s partisan campaign needs. Both as an anonymous editorial writer and in his columns.

My main impression on John Roughan was gained after the NZ Herald ran a “white elephant” smear campaign in 2007/8 against the Northern Busway as it was being built and opened. In my view the only reason that a series of idiotic columns like this one were written was to further the short term campaign objectives of the National party, just as we are seeing at present. In it, he said that

Reportedly the parking lots are already filled most weekday mornings but it has made little difference to the motorway congestion. The public transport entrepreneurs intend that we forsake the car entirely and take a bus to the busway. I hope they are right but I really don’t think so.

Still, it is a road and there is an economic use for it. It is self-contained, access is easily controlled. Eventually it could be a tollway for general traffic, the only reliable solution to congestion.

Of course in practice, the northern busway has been roaring success in its main objective of getting people out of their cars and using public transport to get to work. As you can see from the green in the graph, public transport in rush hour across the bridge took off once the Northern busway was completed.

The reality is that the only problem with busway was lack of money put into providing park and ride buildings  on the North Shore. In my view this was in no small part due to the short-sighted editorial views of the NZ Herald with its vehement objections to the whole project.

Effectively the Northern busway project has saved taxpayers and ratepayers an incredible amount of money over the long-term because we won’t need to put in a new harbour crossing for quite some time. This is quite clear from the traffic volume stats.

As the Transportblog put it when reviewing the Harbour Bridge on its birthday this year.

Seemingly ever since the bridge was first built people have been talking about the need for an additional crossing. Amazingly despite serious discussion about another crossing popping up every few years there has yet to be a firm need for it and thankfully it seems to be one of those projects that are always needed in an ever shifting few decades. Buses have helped more and more people across the harbour while the suggestion of the bridge or its clip-ons falling into the harbour has been repeatedly dismissed by the NZTA. That is a good thing as a new crossing is expected to be hugely expensive at about $5 billion which is over twice the cost of the CRL.

Needless to say John Roughan was against the idea of the City Rail Link as well. Apparently for no other reason than it was rail rather than supporting the failed vision of a city of cars that he appears to love. As the Transport blog pointed out, his view was really badly informed.

Now eventually like most mindless conservatives, after a project is built and works he comes to think it was a good idea retroactively. For instance in this column last year where he was talking about a second rail harbour crossing …

The crossing would have to be under water and probably it would be connected to the northern busway that one day conceivably could be converted to a railway, but that, too, is a solution looking for a problem.

The busway, like the bridge, is fine.

The problem lies in roads closer to home. By car it can take as long to get on to the motorway as it takes for the rest of the journey. By bus it takes too long to get to a busway station. Once on the busway, you can be in the city in eight minutes.

Of course the real issue there is the abysmal lack of bus stations with large parking buildings.  From what I have heard, one of the main reasons that people from the Shore still take cars to work in town is because they can’t find a park within walking distance of the bus stations.

What is the bet that when these start getting built that he will find some reason to oppose them as well despite every person who uses the busway knowing full well that is the underlying problem.

The reality is that whatever John Roughan initially opposes with his typical unthinking short-term approach, do the opposite and you’re likely to get a good result. As one comment on the busway said

If John Roughan was in a Marvel comic, he would be called “Never Right Man”.

I think that sums him up. I suspect that whenever I get around to reading an epub with the arselicking biography he has put out about John Key, I’m going to find those same Roughan characteristics  that I have come to despise. The same short-term stupidity, kneejerk bigotry based on failed ideology, lack of fact checking, and a chronic inability to think issues through that we see in his columns and anonymous editorials.

But it can’t be just him. It is a culture that seems to permeate throughout the NZ Herald. Just look at Jared Savage’s repeated gullible coverage of Donghua Liu‘s ever varying statements or John Armstrong’s rather strange call for David Cunliffe’s resignation over a form letter requesting information are other recent examples.

70 comments on “John Roughan: NZ Herald’s white elephant”

  1. Will@Welly 1

    Had someone like the late Michael King (with apologises to his family) written this, or even Barry Gustatson, I may have ‘considered’ this a serious read. But no. This has all the hallmarks of ‘gutter journalism’, pushed out to coincide with a general election, and to rake in a few coins before the P.M.’s popularity fades.
    John Roughan, John Armstrong, WhaleOil, it really doesn’t matter who wrote it, it is only fit for one purpose. The bin!!

  2. Luke C 2

    Great post about the success of the busway. However warn that building vast multi story car parking buildings is a very expensive way to get public transport patronage. Much better to invest in walking, cycling and feeder bus services. That is much, much cheaper, and helps decongest the whole area.
    Currently there is a perverse system where people can park for free, but feeders cost money. This needs to be reversed. Bus and rail stations much better as areas of commercial development, rather than islands in a sea of parking.

    • bad12 2.1

      Luke C, if the point is the decongestion of the transport system then the expense of providing parking buildings at a specific point of Park’n’Ride would achieve far more at far less cost than adding to the clusterfuck of motorways,

      Obviously there are the ‘purists’ in the debate who would have everyone leave their cars at home, but,in the age of personal transport how likely is that to happen,

      To a certain extent Government and in this case Local government have to bow to what the people will accept, remembering all the time that this is a democracy and attempting by rule,regulation or taxation to force people onto public transport is pretty much an open invitation to have them force you from office, Park’n’Ride i would suggest is a meeting halfway of the wants and needs of both the people and the local Government,

      Given that there is obviously far more untapped demand for more parking to facilitate Park’n’Ride my view is that parking buildings will have to be added to the current components of the system at some stage,

      Far from being totally drab monstrosities such buildings should be designed and built as multi-function entities including shopping facilities as well as apartment complexes,

      Such a system would also work extremely well to unclog the Wellington motorway system…

      • karol 2.1.1

        I’d be a user of better feeder bus systems. I much prefer it to park and ride.

        • bad12 2.1.1.1

          All well and good karol as a matter of personal choice, but, your personal choice doesn’t necessarily invalidate the point i make about ‘this’ being a democracy where an attempt to force people to use buses only will likely result in those proposing such being forced from office,

          There are two competing sets of values at play, inherent in both Luke C’s and your comments which i would describe as the ideal,

          On the opposite side of this ‘ideal’ are those who do not consider green issues vis a vis their daily commute,

          The provision of a ‘more’ and ‘better’ bus system might provoke you and Luke C to leave the car,(if you have one),at home, however the constraints on park’n’ride might just provoke even more people to take their cars all the way into the city especially on the colder wetter days…

          • karol 2.1.1.1.1

            Where I live, given the congestion around places like New Lynn and Henderson at peak times, many would go for feeder buses to train stations – if both buses and trains were faster and more efficient.

            I use my local feeder buses. They do get pretty full, even now, when they are not very reliable or frequent.

          • Macro 2.1.1.1.2

            It’s actually not about forcing people to do anything, bad, it’s simply ensuring that an efficient service is available and when it is – surprise surprise people will use it.
            Aucklands Public Transport is being modelled along the very successful lines used in Australia – in particular Perth. We even inherited their past trains, and the electric new ones are very similar to those they adopted as well. Perth is very much like Auckland – spread out and people coming in from all directions. Having used their public transport recently I can tell you that unless you have a very good reason to want to use your car – its far more efficient and cheaper to leave it at home, and enjoy your ride in comfort into the City on bus and train. And all suburbs have feeder services to the main bus and train interchanges – it works very well.

      • DH 2.1.2

        That’s pretty much my thinking on it too. Park & ride works because it retains the convenience of cars, I just can’t see large numbers of commuters ever getting a bus to a bus station to catch another bus.

        One of the problems we had with it was commuters from further north taking up many of the car parks, people from the likes of Hibiscus Coast were driving down to the park & ride and then catching the bus. The planners didn’t think about that, so now they need more car parks. I don’t see it as any big deal, car parks cost heaps less than more roads.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1

          I just can’t see large numbers of commuters ever getting a bus to a bus station to catch another bus.

          I can but then I’ve been on buses packed with people doing exactly that.

          • karol 2.1.2.1.1

            yes. And also, I have noticed out west in Auckland, that a bus driver was waiting for a connecting bus to arrive from the city, before heading off into the suburban back streets. He waited for a while, then had a conversation over his inter-com with the driver of the connecting bus. They decided the other bus was way too delayed, so our driver then decided to head of with our bus load.

            They seem to be getting better at coordinating connecting buses/trains.

            • Macro 2.1.2.1.1.1

              With more services the patronage will increase again, ideally one very 10 mins. Then it doesn’t matter if you missed the last one by a minute there is another coming in 9. Yes I know – the knockers will say that 9 minutes is 9 minutes! But then maybe they need to look at being a little more timely themselves ;).

              • karol

                Waiting for a few minutes at a bus/train stop has its upside. There’s a feeling of being part of the community and environment rather than being closed off from it in a little metal box on wheels.

                It would help if there were more shelters that actually did keep out the wind and rain.

                • Macro

                  Yes that is a very important point. The Manukau City “interchange” if it can be called as such, is a case in point. Here is a vital hub in the South Auckland bus system sitting on the side of a high traffic area with room for one bus and one tiny shelter in a very exposed position and up to 3 or 4 busses (Intercity, Naked Bus, Airport shuttle, and Local) attempting to use this one stop at once! I have witnessed up to 100 people waiting for busses and the resulting chaos simply has to be seen to be believed.
                  It can be solved by removing some of the car park behind the bus stop giving room for busses to get off the road to pick up passengers, and building a decent shelter.

  3. fisiani 3

    a fascinating read that shows some of the reason why JK is so admired both in NZ and overseas by both left and right. he could be the first leader to take his party vote to over 50%. David cunliffe is unlucky to have to tackle such a formidable opponent with great social intelligence.

    • Sanctuary 3.1

      And to think I used to support broadband into rest home initiatives.

    • fender 3.2

      Yep

      Can you provide some evidence of “JK is so admired both in NZ and overseas by both left and right.”

      • fisiani 3.2.1

        Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, Barack Obama, David Cameron Angela Merkel, Stephen Harper Xi Jinping, Francois Hollande, Vladimir Putin do you want an exhaustive list of the members of the UN who gave him a standing ovation.

        • North 3.2.1.1

          Grow up you idiot acolyte FizzyAnus. Standard stuff you fool. Everyone at the UN does it. Ubiquitous. Like lift music.

    • framu 3.3

      ” by both left and right”

      so thats what fisty calls his testicles

    • Roy 3.4

      It has only just been released, so how did you come to get an advance copy, fisiani?

    • Once was Tim 3.5

      “……… admired by both left and right…..” But for the fact that your idea of the left is just a smidgeon right of centre – since that cyclical pendulum has swung so far in that direction.
      I’m supposing of course that you consider the Obama regime as being “left”, or perhaps even Australian Labor (who can’t even spell without an American rinse).
      Never mind – that pendulum is reaching its outermost swing. If not 2014, then 2017 (albeit if NZ Labour don’t wake TF soon there will be no NZ Labour).
      But I forget! I seem to remember I wasn’t going to feed you by replying to your comments since your purpose for being here is to disrupt the flow.
      Sincere apologies – as you were and are.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    “…If John Roughan was in a Marvel comic, he would be called “Never Right Man”…”

    I’ve been quoted!!!! :D

    The value of my autograph just doubled.

  5. john 5

    Criticism of writing quality lacks bite when you say ….

    “He is someone that have have no respect for because his writing…..”

    • Te Reo Putake 5.1

      Hate to resort to pedantry, John, but LP’s criticism is not based on Roughan’s grammar, but of his writing. They are two different things, after all.

    • lprent 5.2

      Fixed

      I don’t like my writing of english much either. No compiler and no real ability to test what it does makes it feel so irritating to a computer programmer who has a tool to check for simple egregious errors.

      However I usually write english in a single draft with minor editing after I research what I am going to write. After all I don’t get paid for this work.

      So my approach is in a marked contrast to John Roughan who seldom appears to think before he writes anything. He may be better at syntax, but his thinking is outright lazy and sloppy.

      I’d add that my partner Lyn, who is a writer of the infinite draft style, throws her hands up in horror whenever she gets forced to proof my posts and comments. However she will (if forced) to admit that the intent of my posts usually gets through.

      • Once was Tim 5.2.1

        “…….. John Roughan who seldom appears to think before he writes anything.” i.e. ‘think’ letalone do any actual research other than refer to the rumour, in your end oh!, or hearsay that emanates from within his little bubble – not unlike the many though that masquerade as ‘the’ 4th Estate.

        (Images and recollections of that bubble who today masquerade as a 4th Estate during their very brief tenure – as a club in premises once rented in Hobson Street Auckland. Fuck me!!! I suppose at least then, they actually cared and gave a shit even as they lolled around in a drunken stupor before going home to the missus to provide her with a beating)

        Thanks for that reminder!

    • North 5.3

      Pedant !

  6. TeWhareWhero 6

    Definition of a sociopath – with no particular person in mind of course …..

    Has a very high sense of self-entitlement – sometimes bordering on full blown grandiosity.

    Is highly manipulative.

    Converses easily and freely as long as it is on his terms.

    Lies coolly and persistently and can be extremely convincing especially when the lies are part of his complex belief about his own abilities and sense of entitlement.

    Appears to be charming and charismatic and interested in others but is actually emotionally shallow.

    Seeks leadership positions to facilitate his need to influence and dominate other people.

    Fails to recognise the rights of other and goes to great lengths to justify his own self serving behaviour.

    Is incapable of genuine remorse, shame or guilt and sees other people as opportunities or threats – his desired ends always justify the means no matter how many other people are harmed.

    Is not concerned about wrecking others’ lives and dreams and is essentially oblivious or indifferent to the devastation he causes.

    Can become incensed over insignificant matters whilst remaining essentially unmoved by things that would distress normal people.

    Likes to live on the edge and is drawn to high risk activities such as gambling.

    His need to engage in extreme risk taking is often misinterpreted as great coolness and cleverness when the risks pay off; when the risks don’t pay off, he does not accept responsibility but blames others, even when it is obvious he is at fault.

    Tends to move around a lot and demonstrates considerable entrepreneurial versatility but actually has a mediocre work ethic which is covered up by his glibness and ability to exploit others effectively and ruthlessly.

    • Mainlander 6.1

      Damn thats a long winded way to say “im jealous”

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Huh? Way to duck answering the sociopathic behaviour described

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.1

          …and plagiarise wingnut drivel that’s so old it’s gone mouldy.

      • framu 6.1.2

        im more interested in mainlander being jealous of sociopaths

        • Roy 6.1.2.1

          Well, it’s because sociopaths can make $50 million, if they score the right sort of job.

      • TeWhareWhero 6.1.3

        Mainlander, the ‘politics of envy’ argument is a tiresome cliche and evidence of intellectual bankruptcy – or laziness – especially considering that all I did was to list the primary characteristics of a sociopath – as defined by clinical psychologists.

    • anker 6.2

      TWW @ 6 1000+ Agree entirely.

    • Once was Tim 6.3

      Ah!!! well YES exactery, but as I read through the first few lines I couldn’t help but think of Rinny.

      I think the difference is that she’s aware of it whereas most sociopaths (of which she ain’t) are not.

      Hark at me! Opinions are still free tho aren’t they? If not then when did that happen?. GreyW and Anne can probably answer. I’ll buy them both a bottle of 6.95 Cleanskin, and I’ll even vow to use a real person rather than an automated checkout.

    • jps 6.4

      Intriguing to read that when JK was down in the dumps a few years back, he had a nice long think about it while on holiday in Hawaii, then came home and sacked 2 cabinet ministers for no real reason. Just to cheer himself up I guess.

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    “Portrait of a Prime Minister” nice title…

    This tome will likely have a similar fate to other ghost written/as told to; sports star, sports coach and vanity bios. Full price hardcover for a week or two, quickly issued in soft cover, then piled up at the Warehouse with multiple price stickers on. How did that Don Brash one sell? They will be sold at National Party fundraisers and be unwelcome gifts for some time to come.

    Glad lprent used the expletives instead of me for once! “Arselicker” is so evocative of Mr Roughan. He once called a green mate of mine “a loser, get out of my office” when this chap requested better coverage on the EcoNation project.

    • blue leopard 7.1

      You describe that book’s fate so well -funny! :lol:

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      I mean this thing on Key was written up after just 1.5 terms in office and no legacy to speak of. WTF egocentric insanity is this, its like being famous for being famous

    • ffloyd 7.3

      Maybe Mr Liu could be persuaded to buy a signed copy for, oh I don’t know, somewhere in the vicinity of ummmm about $20.000.00.

      • Will@Welly 7.3.1

        Mr Liu is assembling a large horde of ‘newly minted’ Confederate Dollars with which to ‘buy’ his personally autographed copy.

    • Tracey 7.4

      boag, hooton and farrar will buy enough to ensure it gets to best seller

      • Once was Tim 7.4.1

        they won’t ekshly ‘buy’ it though tracey, but theyll sure as hell contribute to the number disposed of such that it appears sales are good.
        I’m still waiting for the “Roughan Story: Rough and Tumble in the World of Jonolism”.
        I’ll piss on that in public if ever it rears its very UGLY head.
        Ditto “E – Spinners: Brothers in Jonolism, Bog Crawlers Apart”
        I’d maybe even buy that one

  8. ropata 8

    Why didn’t the publisher give Roughan’s drivel a more accurate title?

    • hagiography of a hollow human who has heaps of houses
    • biography of a bankster b*stard
    • portrait of a master pillock
    • how to buy friends and influence voters (by crosby textor)
    • tales of the smiling assassin (how to exploit a small country)
  9. Vicky32 9

    Yes. Decades ago, he had a column called “From the Right” (don’t know if it still exists.)
    Rather blatant I thought!
    Vicky

  10. Mike the Savage One 10

    You can all rail on here, about this that and the other, what is right or wrong, but without having a “stake” in the corrupt media, you are lost in a country, that is not really a democracy, as it is only such in “appearance”.

    When you have journalists work with politicians, promote books about a PM, with the intention of it to “sell”, which will naturally take advantage of the “popularity” of the PM John Key, and which is made easy by the same journalist working for one of the two main media corporations running media in Aotearoa NZ, then you are fighting a lost battle, I am afraid.

    New Zealand is a corrupt country, corrupted to the core, as it is NO different to the US and the way they run politics there, only petty differences remain, as the forces that run the show, they have the money, the bought servants and other players to ensure that the communication put out is the “right” one, the one to convince people that nothing should be changed.

    Do you seriously believe that you as Labour, Greens or whatever opposition party will ever get a “level playing field” in the given environment, that commercial advertising is an evil you simply have to put up with, and that working with the MSM is necessary, hence Labour, Green and other MPs turning up on “shows” like that “Paul (corrupt) Henry Show” on TV3, and that all this will NOT affect your credibility?

    It is beyond belief, how ignorant so many here are, that they think they will influence the vote by just commenting here and on a few other blogs, by going via “Fakebook” and other manipulative, useless “social media” to reach people on a wider scale, to bring about a change. The media is owned by the ones supporting this system favouring Key and Nats and ACT, the media want nothing of your views and alternatives, the media are “commercial”, that is their focus, the employees are tied into contracts (individual ones) favouring self promotion and competition, they will do all to take advantage of artificially created trends, like the “fantasy flair” around John Key, and this is what is delivered, no true information, no facts, nothing of relevance. The seduced, commercialised, divided public individuals fall for all the crap, and will ignore you, who are hardly noticed, and vote Key in again with massive “support”, thinking they need such a “leader”.

    Did anybody see the poll on TV3 tonight, with Gower, that horrible, ugly man, another mercenary, all out for himself and ratings? You are gone, Labour, this is it, you never had a chance from the beginning, and making too many compromises to please the same voters as the Nats, that has totally discredited the party.

    Labour no more, I fear, it is all over, this is an election campaign manipulated from the beginning, and Labour was too stupid to see it, and Cunliffe has also been pressured into insignificance by a self serving ABC Club, who rather do all to preserve their own seats, and do not give much concern to the voters they are supposed to represent.

    What a shocking situation in New Zealand now, what future, with all this?

    • karol 10.1

      Never give up. I’m going out there and telling as many people as possible to get out and vote – not just writing here. And have volunteered to help out the Greens – as a kind of foot soldier.

      It’d not just about critiquing what’s wrong. it’s about getting out there and by-passing the corrupt MSM.

      Now is not the time to be negative.

      Never surrender.

      • Mike the Savage One 10.1.1

        I admire your courage and determination, if only you will get people getting your message, but best of luck!

        • karol 10.1.1.1

          What’s to lose about giving it your/our best shot?

          • Mike the Savage One 10.1.1.1.1

            The “best shot” should be well thought out, and well structured and targeted, I would say, otherwise you waste a lot of energy. I met a fair few honest, hard working advocates, and while I give them much respect for motivation, honesty, and commitment, they sadly failed to understand the necessity to use communication means and methods that may bring results, and just continued to stubbornly hammer on with what they knew best, but which achieved sadly very little attention and results.

            So quality and sophistication and technique of communication and effort is paramount in an election campaign, I cannot see that the many players on the progressive movement side have got this worked out that well, I am afraid.

            Being weak and a bit too defensive in front of the enemy MSM does not get you anywhere, and hence I feel Cunliffe for instance, he only seemed more convincing by being firm and decisive in his few communications last week, when he and Labour were on the back foot. They should never even go to the level of “explaining” and “apologizing”, they should be unapologetically assertive, focused and actually aggressive, and that may bring in some votes. When Cunliffe explains too much, and is ambiguous, it does not come across well, when he is determined, and assertive, it is different.

            • karol 10.1.1.1.1.1

              At this time in the election cycle, there’s not really time for navel gazing. Some people like to spend a lot of time strategising.

              Now is the time to just get out there and engage with people, in the best way each of us knows – and with heart!

    • Bearded Git 10.2

      Gowerat surpassed himself tonight. A quick look at the tv3 poll numbers (assuming Colon doesn’t get a seat) shows Lab/Green/IMP going up, to around 42% and National going down to under 50%.

      The MSM collectively have thrown the kitchen sink at Labour over the last couple of weeks, yet on these numbers the election remains winnable.

      I loved the way Gowerat said something like “the Greens lashed out at both parties” and then there was an interview with Russell Norman making a mild mannered comment about how the Liu affair reflected negatively on both Nat and Lab.

      Gower is now, more than ever, ensconced in his luxury apartment on Planet Key.

      Meanwhile IMP are on 1.8% and they haven’t got started yet*. Game on.

      *the Hairdo is on Nul Points. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

  11. blue leopard 11

    lprent,
    Not to do with this post – just trying to get your attention, you are welcome to delete this comment after reading it.

    There is a really creepy ‘commenter’ that is showing up. Spambot? It copies something someone has said on the thread and has slightly different names like with a different foreign looking first name and last name sistemleri or sistemeri – just thought I should point it out to you because it has just posted a few posts again now after having done it sometime overnight (early in the morning) and I think it is particularly creepy.

    I am not going to link to one of its comments but here is a link to the comment above it http://thestandard.org.nz/take-action-against-the-herald/#comment-838907 where Weka and CV go on to discuss it’s behaviour

    • karol 11.1

      I’ve sent the latest comment from this entity to moderation with a link to your comment here.

      • blue leopard 11.1.1

        Thanks Karol, I see there are a whole lot from it over the last 10 minutes or so…

        • lprent 11.1.1.1

          Turkish spambot doing something different. Using valid comments and bypassing checks. Added it to wordfence which will broadcast it around the rest of the networks

  12. Ad 12

    Great writing LPrent well done.

  13. xtasy 13

    xtasy -

    John Roughan, I have this message for you, you mercenary of the capitalist rotten system:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7F_9FEx7ymg

    If you do not like it, rot in hell, you traitor of humanity!!!

  14. Jrobin 14

    Keep positive as Karol says and don’t let the bastards get you down. TV 3 poll wasn’t that bad as it was done before the Liu claims came unstuck. They are likely to be a bit loaded to the right too given the general corruption that appears to be rotting away at media in general.

  15. gnomic 15

    The journo – this is the man who recently filled column inches by explaining to his fellow citizens how signally they failed to understand the principles behind driving through the motorway intersections controlled by traffic lights. It must be hard living among these inferior types.

    “Traffic engineers must despair at the state of human intelligence sometimes. The light controls on motorway ramps are a great idea but about half the driving population don’t get it.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/john-roughan/news/article.cfm?a_id=5&objectid=11240612

    His organ – the journal of the ruling classes since the 1800s. Nothing learned from history since then.

    The right honourable smirking weasel – I become almost tearful at times when thinking about the millions he relinquished to serve his country. Other times I wonder how it would have gone for John had he been head of Merrill Lynch when it collapsed. Just as well he left the sinking ship. Not that the weasel was ever going to rise to the top, a long stretch of the imagination surely.

    Too bad he had to return to NZ to wreak havoc. But how can I say such things of a great man and a great leader as I recently heard him described. Can Roughan be right about the intelligence deficit?

  16. Tom Gould 16

    You’ve got to hand it to the Tories and the tory cronies at the National Herald. It goes like this. “They were picking on me so I thought about quitting. Oh no, don’t go John. Okay I won’t, but re-elect me just to be sure. Okay John. Why not stay for a fourth term too? Maybe, if you are good to me. Okay John, I promise to be good to you.”

  17. TeWhareWhero 17

    Apologies if someone has already posted this link from a Facebook page “humans of christchurch” -

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/746833501

    Read the comments.

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    John Banks appeared for sentence this morning at the Auckland High Court and received two months’ Community Detention and 100 hours Community Work. A copy of the judgment is attached here). I’d been waiting for the news that his application...
    Occasionally erudite | 01-08
  • Stuart’s 100 #5: A Traffic Free Queen St for Christmas
    Stuart’s 100 continues: 5: A Traffic-Free Queen Street for Christmas What if Queen Street stayed closed to traffic after the Christmas Parade? Every year for one Saturday in November Queen Street is closed to traffic for one of Auckland’s greatest...
    Transport Blog | 01-08
  • A thousand deaths
    Why was John Banks treated so leniently? Why didn't the judge pass sentence of death? The sentence imposed on John Banks for breaching electoral law raises a number of serious questions....
    Imperator Fish | 01-08
  • Herald on regional roads fiasco
    Here is Adam Bennet in the Herald today: Shaky case for $212m fast-tracked road plan The National Government's $212 million plan to fast-track regional road projects using asset sales cash is not backed by a strong economic case, documents released...
    Polity | 01-08
  • Killing civilians
    Emergency workers carry the body of one of the people killed when Flight MH17 was shot down A Gallup poll, of Americans by religious affiliation, about whether it’s ever justified for “the military” to target and kill civilians The same poll, posing the same...
    Cut your hair | 01-08
  • Is the GCSB tapping all our cables?
    So, at the same time the GCSB was planning to inflict their new spy-law on us, they were being visited by an NSA technician to discuss installing undersea cable taps:The most instrusive and powerful tools in the United States' electronic...
    No Right Turn | 01-08
  • July ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
     Image Credit: Learn Blog Tips There are now over 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake,...
    Open Parachute | 01-08
  • Sign up to increase cycling funding
    In June the Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on transport was released by the Ministry of Transport. The GPS outlines where transport funding will go over the next 3 years. Sadly it considered the business as usual of focussing on...
    Transport Blog | 01-08
  • Arrest of forest rights activists symbolic of what’s wrong in India