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Archive for April, 2008

Who do you want answering the phone?

Written By: - Date published: 3:41 pm, April 30th, 2008 - 71 comments

Just received this parody of Hillary Clinton’s 3am ad, but with a New Zealand twist. Very funny.

Know your Nat: Judith Collins

Written By: - Date published: 3:36 pm, April 30th, 2008 - 45 comments

If National were the Government, Judith Collins would be Social Services Minister. That should be enough to send shudders down the spine of anyone who is worried about ensuring there is a safety net for the most vulnerable members of our society. Collins is rabidly anti the welfare state and a nasty piece of work. […]

The Golfball and Sickle

Written By: - Date published: 12:38 pm, April 30th, 2008 - 56 comments

Personally, I think it’s hilarious. A brilliant piece of activism that got the public’s attention and raised the issue of why we have American spy equipment on our soil. All without any real harm done and no violence. The wannabe semiotician in me loves that you’ve got a rag-tag bunch of ordinary people attacking a huge, […]

Right answer, wrong question

Written By: - Date published: 11:32 am, April 30th, 2008 - 3 comments

It’s not often National gets something right but their latest flip-flop, on bio-fuels, is a good policy (well, partially and for the wrong reasons). National has announced they will no longer be supporting the bio-fuel requirement in petrol because it may put up the price of petrol a few cents. The bio-fuel requirement was always […]

Herald Digipoll

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, April 30th, 2008 - 33 comments

Today’s Herald Digipoll has National up 2 points and Labour down 2, a result the Herald describes as the “Nats pulling away”. As ever you can’t read too much into a single poll, but the pattern continues to show National coming off the highs in the mid 50s it reached earlier this year and Labour […]

Tweaking the updates

Written By: - Date published: 3:45 am, April 30th, 2008 - 17 comments

Yesterday’s site issues were due to a combination of inadequate Expires (causing a lot more files being transmitted) and the web-crawlers grabbing the updated site. It blew out the memory. I’ve limited the simultaneous sessions to prevent that until I get more RAM. Bandwidth usage for this month is indicating this would be a wise […]

Aloha means hello and goodbye

Written By: - Date published: 2:28 pm, April 29th, 2008 - 59 comments

Strangely, given the fact the National Party is doing so well in the polls and looks to be the favorite heading into the election, things seem to be coming apart for them. We’ve heard a few stories about tense caucus meetings and divisions but mostly only as rumour and, in an election year, that sort […]

National on personal attacks

Written By: - Date published: 2:24 pm, April 29th, 2008 - 13 comments

Greenwoman just flicked us this:

Child beating petition falls short

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, April 29th, 2008 - 95 comments

Family First’s petition for a referendum on reversing the amendment to s59 of the Crimes Act that removed the defence of reasonable force for assault on a child (try saying that three times fast) has failed to get enough signatures. It needed 280,275 signatures and seemed to have enough but the Office of the Clerk […]

Put it on the kids’ tab

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, April 29th, 2008 - 6 comments

Some may have noted an odd series of questions in Parliament and press releases from Bill English around government borrowing over the last month. The questions purposely conflated the idea of maintaining current debt levels with increasing debt. We noted this at the time and Tane correctly picked the strategy: First, sow confusion about debt […]

On child poverty

Written By: - Date published: 10:27 am, April 29th, 2008 - 26 comments

The Child Poverty Action Group has released a report [PDF, 400k] showing there were 185,000 children living in poverty in New Zealand in 2004. That’s a big number but it is out of date and already well down from the dark days of the 1990s. It is estimated that higher employment, higher wages, paid paternal […]

7 reasons why cutting GST on food will not help

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, April 29th, 2008 - 30 comments

Scrapping GST is a classic, populist issue that sounds delicious in times of high food prices but at closer inspection – it doesn’t taste good at all and isn’t the best way to help those struggling to buy food. The cost of food and fuel has dominated the media over the long weekend and there […]

Repeating the mistakes of others

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 am, April 29th, 2008 - 13 comments

Remember National’s policy of charging a $50 levy on everyone convicted of or, maybe, charged with (Key keeps on mixing up the terms) an offence? Remember all the obvious problems with it enforcement, administration cost, natural justice issues, the pitiful size of the sum that would be collected? Well, it turns out we missed one. […]

Interview the leaders VI: United Future

Written By: - Date published: 4:47 pm, April 28th, 2008 - 19 comments

Thanks to ACT leader Rodney Hide for participating in our ‘Interview the leaders’ series this morning. Our next leader is the Maori Party’s Tariana Turia. The general question remains: Of which of your achievements in politics are you most proud? For the two other questions we’ve gone with Higherstandard’s question: Can you envisage a NZ […]

Clem Simich stepping down

Written By: - Date published: 3:13 pm, April 28th, 2008 - 14 comments

Clem Simich has just announced he will be stepping down at the election. As regular readers may have noticed I’m not generally a fan of National MPs, but Simich’s liberal voting record made him one of the better ones. To see Simich leaving to make room for the likes of Stephen Franks is not encouraging. […]

Buy it back

Written By: - Date published: 1:07 pm, April 28th, 2008 - 21 comments

I see that the Wellington lines network has been sold. Given the network has been in in the hands of foreign investors before I can’t see a sustainable argument for blocking the sale as the Auckland Airport bid was blocked. I do think the government should have bought it back. Electricity is too important to […]

Dunne: feathering his own nest

Written By: - Date published: 12:40 pm, April 28th, 2008 - 12 comments

Peter Dunne is once again touting his plans to introduce income splitting. It’s a policy aimed at helping out the wealthy. New Zealand Institute of Economic Research senior economist Patrick Nolan tells us that “80% of the tax gains of income-splitting would go to the top 20% of taxpayers”. Dunne was reportedly “not bothered” by […]

Pepsi vs Coke

Written By: - Date published: 11:53 am, April 28th, 2008 - 79 comments

Last week, Campbell Live ran an article about the framing of Key as slippery. It could have been an excellent piece on the merits of such attacks, the wisdom of them, and their effectiveness. In parts it was, but then Campbell did this: The shallow premise that politics is only identical brands competing for popularity, […]

Right question, wrong answer

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, April 28th, 2008 - 15 comments

Interesting to see people gradually waking up to what Fidel Castro, last year, called “The sinister idea of converting food into combustibles”. Even crazy ol’ Mike Moore writes about it today, although he is dead wrong when he calls biofuels “a populist Green response to global warming”. Environmentalists were always suspicious of biofuels, seeing them […]

Rodney Hide answers your questions

Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, April 28th, 2008 - 27 comments

We’re very pleased to have ACT leader Rodney Hide respond to your questions as part of our Interview the Leaders series. Question to all leaders:  Of which of your achievements in politics are you most proud? Making the IRD legally and culturally more accountable and responsive and getting my Regulatory Responsibility Bill to the Commerce Committee and, I […]

Upgrades

Written By: - Date published: 6:19 am, April 27th, 2008 - 73 comments

I upgraded the site tonight. There have been a lot of security fixes since we pushed a test site together in August 2007. It was only meant to be a trial (as I keep saying plaintively to the posters), and it sort of got away on us. This version is meant to be much more […]

Mistakes, I’ve made a few

Written By: - Date published: 2:22 pm, April 26th, 2008 - 91 comments

David Farrar’s three more prominent weaknesses came together in a speculator PR disaster yesterday. The weaknesses are his ego, his trick of using pictures of naked women to boost hits on his site, and his reverse midas touch, whereby every he touches turns to, well, it doesn’t turn out well. See, Farrar led the campaign […]

Fairfax reporting staggeringly awful

Written By: - Date published: 12:42 pm, April 26th, 2008 - 36 comments

This morning’s Dom Post buys into National’s “Aussie exodus” spin with a lead story claiming “A staggering one in 10 voters are considering a move to Australia” in the next twelve months. The facts, of course, are somewhat different. As we’ve shown before, as few as 0.67% of New Zealanders actually emigrate to any country […]

Helen Clark answers your questions

Written By: - Date published: 12:35 pm, April 25th, 2008 - 62 comments

We’re very pleased to have Prime Minister Helen Clark respond to your questions as part of our Interview the Leaders series. Question to all leaders: Of which of your achievements in politics are you most proud? I am proud to lead a government which has worked so hard to restore fairness, opportunity, security, and hope to many New […]

If I were National’s campaign strategist

Written By: - Date published: 11:05 am, April 24th, 2008 - 61 comments

National will not win by running on its rightwing principles and policy. For 20 years, New Zealanders have consistently said they do not want to sell public assets, they do not want weaker employment law, they do not want tax cuts at the cost of public service cuts, and they like government assistance like Kiwisaver […]

Roy Morgan

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 am, April 24th, 2008 - 32 comments

No real surprises in the latest Roy Morgan poll, but Gary Morgan’s hilariously bad political analysis continues. You’ll remember in the last Morgan poll our man Gary put the thirty percent increase in the Greens’ support down to Earth Hour, and this week he’s at it again: the Greens are down 2.5% to 6.5% – […]

Bad Comics

Written By: - Date published: 7:33 pm, April 23rd, 2008 - 12 comments

So, one internet comic writer challenged another internet comic writer to draw 200 bad comics and this was the result. Awesome on so many levels. I especially like number 10. I wonder if that will be New Zealand come November.

Clark’s answers delayed

Written By: - Date published: 4:33 pm, April 23rd, 2008 - 25 comments

We had hoped to have the answers for our ‘interview the leaders‘ series from Helen Clark today. I talked with the PM’s office and they explained the questions are with Clark, she’s been busy travelling, and we’ll have them as soon as they come back. So, they’ve asked for an extension and I said ‘fair […]

Does money buy happiness after all?

Written By: - Date published: 4:15 pm, April 23rd, 2008 - 29 comments

In 1974, economist Richard Easterlin, published a study in which he argued that economic growth didn’t necessarily lead to more satisfaction. In poor countries, gaining the necesseties of life raised happiness but beyond those gains there was no increase. This became known as the Easterlin paradox. Just last week, two young economists presented what they […]

Flat-Earthers heart climate change deniers

Written By: - Date published: 3:19 pm, April 23rd, 2008 - 4 comments

The Climate Science Coalition is the last of a dying breed; a rabid, climate change denying lobby group. Of late, they have been performing a desperate, last-ditch attempt to slow the introduction of a carbon trading scheme. And, now, it looks like they’ve received some heavy-weight support in the form of the venerable Flat Earth Society:

50 ways to help the planet

Written By: - Date published: 2:26 pm, April 23rd, 2008 - 5 comments

Check out 50 ways to help the planet. My favourites? Shower with your partner Invest in your own reusable coffee cup Picnic with a marker pen

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