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Archive for October, 2007

New hybrid Crown limos announced

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, October 23rd, 2007 - 25 comments

In an effort to play an even larger part in the fight against global warming the New Zealand government today announced the purchase of 20 specially produced Toyota Prius Hybrid limousines. These fuel efficient, environmentally friendlier vehicles will gradually replace the current crop of Ministerial vehicles. The car will seat up to ten people and […]

Blind ideology

Written By: - Date published: 3:03 pm, October 20th, 2007 - 37 comments

Tempting to leave this one to Kiwiblogblog but perhaps they need a break… DPF writes this morning: As I have said many times, most left wing parties do not share NZ Labour’s ideological hatred of reducing tax. Kiwiblog is starting to read like a National Party line-book. National desperately wants to position Labour as “ideologically […]

Political pants

Written By: - Date published: 12:43 pm, October 20th, 2007 - 8 comments

The website Twisted Twee is selling these babies nappies. The site warns “price fluctuates weekly depending on my swinging political opinion. This week Cameron pants are up.”

More lies from National and their Brethren

Written By: - Date published: 5:24 pm, October 19th, 2007 - 8 comments

Last year Gerry Brownlee told TVNZ that there was “no formal connection” between National and the Brethren. Last week John Key told a meeting on London that “there were no alliances between National and the Brethren”. Yet Andrew Simmons has just told the ABC that telephone canvassing done for National during the campaign was done […]

Social report

Written By: - Date published: 5:18 pm, October 19th, 2007 - 3 comments

The Ministry of Social Development’s Annual Social Report is worth a read. It shows good progress across a range of social indicators, but also that there’s still more to do. If memory serves me correctly, the importance of an Annual Social Report was a cause championed by Steve Maharey back in 2001 – it’s now […]


Written By: - Date published: 4:27 pm, October 19th, 2007 - 10 comments

The Herald reports that “As many as a thousand people joined a march in Whakatane to complain about children being caught up in the police operation.” The protest is one of many across the country. These protests make an interesting contrast with Trotter’s piece in the Dom today in which he writes: “It wasn’t the […]

Sweden catches the Key desease

Written By: - Date published: 3:38 pm, October 19th, 2007 - 6 comments

I know there is occasionally talk in New Zealand about “becoming the Sweden of the South Pacific” but this may just have us thinking again. A website under the name ‘The Local – Sweden’s News in English’ headlines ‘No conflict in Iraq,’ says Swedish court. Apparently Sweden’s Migration Court has turned down calls from a […]

National: it’s not worth the pay cut

Written By: - Date published: 1:46 pm, October 19th, 2007 - 58 comments

The National Party are clearly worried. They’ve done pretty well so far with the populist rallying cry of tax cuts, but they always knew their record on wages would come up at some point. Because as National themselves are fully aware, while tax cuts might on the face of it put more money into workers’ […]

Creative Commons: Wanna work together?

Written By: - Date published: 3:57 pm, October 18th, 2007 - 1 comment


Written By: - Date published: 3:23 pm, October 18th, 2007 - 31 comments

Look Mike, I know you know about the polls and I know you’re probably thinking about what you can do to turn things around. Well, I’ve got one little idea. Stop using their language. It’s pretty simple really – I mean it’s not gonna win the game or anything but it’d be a damn good […]

Hager’s response to Key

Written By: - Date published: 3:05 pm, October 18th, 2007 - 29 comments

I’ve just listened to the audio and it doesn’t sound like Nicky Hager’s too happy with Key’s claims made on RDU last week. At one point in that interview Key claims that Hager admits that the Brethren email may have been sent to the wrong address. Hager calls this a “complete invention” given his crystal […]

Unions to encourage election participation

Written By: - Date published: 2:53 pm, October 18th, 2007 - 1 comment

The Herald reports that new CTU president Helen Kelly envisages a more centralised union election campaign, “getting members to talk about politics and then convince others to get involved as well”. She goes on to say of the organisation: “Our message provides a vision of a fair society where amongst other things work pays, social […]

Defining political conservatism

Written By: - Date published: 9:53 am, October 18th, 2007 - 20 comments

A month or so ago we posted on a study that appeared to show that the brains of conservative and liberals differed. A related study has been conducted recently by UC Berkeley. It was looking for consistent underlying motivations to politically conservative agendas. Four researchers who culled through 50 years of research literature about the […]

Key’s flip-flops for sale on TradeMe

Written By: - Date published: 9:35 am, October 18th, 2007 - Comments Off on Key’s flip-flops for sale on TradeMe

The entry reads: These won’t be comfortable to wear or even be long-lasting but they do come with an interesting provenance. They are size 8. It has been claimed they were recovered from a rubbish bag collected from Parliament Buildings. Inquiries indicated that a practical jokester on National’s front bench carefully constructed them as a […]

First woman CTU president

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 pm, October 17th, 2007 - 2 comments

Congratulations to Helen Kelly, the first woman to lead the Council of Trade Unions. Helen replaces Ross Wilson, who’s been CTU President since 1999 (and who must now go on to head the ACC surely?), and together with Secretary Carol Beaumont and Maori Vice Pres Sharon Claire present a formidable trio at the apex of […]

Not my family, bro

Written By: - Date published: 4:10 pm, October 17th, 2007 - 25 comments

Radio Live reports that Richard Lewis and his Destiny Party have decided to form a new Christian party, this time without Gordon Copeland. They’re calling it the ‘Family Party’ and are trying to pose as a broad-based Christian movement. They have obvious reasons for doing so, but in politics it’s the money and the troops […]

Trotter in the Independent

Written By: - Date published: 2:48 pm, October 17th, 2007 - Comments Off on Trotter in the Independent

Apologies to The Independent Financial Review and to Chris Trotter for this rather large cut and paste from the second half of his article but it’s good stuff. If you enjoy it perhaps you’ll consider either buying or subscribing to the The Independent. The Press political editor Colin Espiner, in his “On the House” blog, […]

Can you save the rabbit?

Written By: - Date published: 2:23 pm, October 17th, 2007 - Comments Off on Can you save the rabbit?


Anne Enright wins Booker Prize

Written By: - Date published: 12:49 pm, October 17th, 2007 - 1 comment

Well I must admit to having been excited about the prospect of congratulating Lloyd Jones on winning the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Unfortunately it hasn’t turned out that way, the prize instead going to Anne Enright – congratulations to her instead! The Gathering by the 45-year-old Dublin writer was somewhat of a surpise winner, […]

Cash in envelopes and the Brethren in politics

Written By: - Date published: 10:44 am, October 17th, 2007 - 3 comments

A fascinating piece from the ABC programme Four Corners details exactly how the Brethren funded ads in support of the Liberals in Australia. After an initial whitewash from the Austrlian Electoral Commission, the source of the money paid in cash into a front company called Willmac enterprises is now under police investigation. This company paid […]

Aussie workers worse off under Howard

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, October 17th, 2007 - 47 comments

A new report (PDF) by the University of Sydney shows Aussie workers are doing markedly worse under a Howard government. His desperate bid to buy them back this week with the offer of tax cuts doesn’t address the deep unfairness they’re being subjected to by his doublespeak-ish “Work Choices” legislation. The Australia@Work study, published this […]

Nat censorship

Written By: - Date published: 1:56 pm, October 16th, 2007 - 40 comments

In light of National’s recent censorship demands regarding the photo of John Key on our petition (see below), an inquisitive reader has asked whether the Nats got authorisation for the use of Helen Clark’s photo on their 2005 billboards. Does anyone out there know? Mr Ansell? Perhaps one of our readers at National HQ?

Levin: hotbed of Tory militancy?

Written By: - Date published: 12:44 pm, October 16th, 2007 - 3 comments

Just had this sent through to me by a Levin reader. The reference to the Federation of Labour and getting the army in to sort out the workers should have been a dead giveaway that the piece was thirty years old, but in the timewarp that is Levin you never can be too sure…

Go the reds!

Written By: - Date published: 12:27 pm, October 16th, 2007 - 3 comments

Stuff reported yesterday that the New Zealand Kiwi Foundation is warning that “New Zealand’s national icon, the kiwi, could face extinction within the next 20 to 30 years, unless more is done to protect the fragile, flightless bird”. They’ve launched the ‘Fragile Kiwi’ campaign to help reverse a downward trend in kiwi population numbers caused […]


Written By: - Date published: 11:40 am, October 16th, 2007 - 18 comments

Indymedia reports that “In a wave of massive state repression, 300+ Police, in many cases armed, raided houses around the country today making 17 arrests.” They also claim the raids were “targetted at people involved in the Tino Rangatiratanga, Peace and Environmental movements.” From Stuff, Police claim to have found Napalm bombs, Molotov cocktails and […]

Blog action day: environment

Written By: - Date published: 9:55 am, October 16th, 2007 - 5 comments

It’s environmental blog action day. Bloggers worldwide are being encouraged to post on an environmental issue of importance to them. One issue. One day. Thousands of voices. DPF got in first this morning but I’ve got to admit to being a little disappointed with the content. His post on environment is essentially ‘Colin Espiner says […]

More on free speech in National

Written By: - Date published: 1:08 pm, October 15th, 2007 - 52 comments

Someone just sent me this. It’s an editorial from the Ashburton Guardian on Brian Connell’s firing resignation. Particularly over matters of Electoral Finance the Nats have sought to position themselves as “defenders of free speech”. Perhaps more accurately: “free speech as long as it’s Brethren speech”. This editorial suggests that the protections the Nats would […]

National on free speech

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, October 15th, 2007 - 127 comments

Shortly after Jim Anderton published a press release saying that he was adding his signature to our petition asking John Key to apologise for claiming the the war in Iraq was over we received the following email from the National Party. I guess when you’re so heavily reliant on style over substance, these are just […]

Banks? Thanks…

Written By: - Date published: 11:02 am, October 15th, 2007 - 1 comment

So you just had to do it didn’t you Auckland… And a shout out to publicaddress for the clip (there are more here)

Hollow Man v Shallow Man

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, October 14th, 2007 - 61 comments

Nicky Hager’s book, The Hollow Men in many respects contains no great revelation to those who have witnessed National Party politicians’ behaviour over the years. The major differentiator between Labour and National has always been that Labour is an inclusive party with fundamental values based on supporting a greater number of people. National on the […]

Email excuses

Written By: - Date published: 1:03 pm, October 14th, 2007 - 21 comments

Bill Ralston writes in his his column in the Herald today, “Okay, I know sometimes I don’t open all my emails, such as ones headed “PM Unveils New Electorate Office for Steve Maharey”, “Arbitration Amendment Bill Passed By Parliament” and “Free Viagra”. But, then, I’m not running the country.” He goes on to suggest that […]

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