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Archive for March, 2009


Written By: - Date published: 11:39 am, March 26th, 2009 - 35 comments

The Key/English odd couple continue to give us a sweet and sour mix of messages – one with rosy promises that the recession will be over any day and the other issuing dark threats that we can’t have a stimulus package only public service cuts. In the real world there is a real economic disaster going […]

Wgtn/Chch DL double

Written By: - Date published: 10:20 am, March 26th, 2009 - 1 comment

Drinking Liberally is meeting this evening in both Wellington and Christchurch. DL Wellington has Andrew Little speaking at the Southern Cross Bar on “the greater Labour movement and how it can mobilise and lobby against the current National Government”. Talk starts at 6pm, people usually arrive from 5:30pm. [Facebook] DL Christchurch has Therese Arseneau speaking […]

Sinking shipping is stupid

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 am, March 26th, 2009 - 10 comments

Toad’s post on coastal shipping deserves re-posting: Coastal shipping is the most energy efficient means of moving freight. A ship consumes 75 – 80 percent less fuel than a truck per tonne hauled. It’s just got to be the way to go. The United States finally seems to be seeing this. A Bill before the […]

Give the people what they want

Written By: - Date published: 8:46 am, March 26th, 2009 - 39 comments

Stephen Joyce keeps saying the reason he has slashed investment in public transport to build more roads is that he is giving the people what they want. He says most people get to work in a car, so people must want cars. What wonderful logic. Imagine if we hadn’t introduced public health-care or public education because, […]

Stink line

Written By: - Date published: 7:55 am, March 26th, 2009 - 10 comments

Now “PC gone mad” has been used to the point where even people who think mimicking Tui’s “yeah right” slogan is cutting edge irony wouldn’t be seen dead using the phrase, National has needed to come up with something else to do the job. Because let’s face it, you need to keep creating the impression […]

Clean water worth paying for

Written By: - Date published: 5:28 am, March 26th, 2009 - 14 comments

Rodney Hide, who thinks nothing of spending billions on tax cuts for the well-off, is baulking at spending “some tens of millions” to improve water supply quality in rural New Zealand. A quick google of ‘water borne disease new zealand’ reveals the cost of doing nothing. There are 800,000 people drinking water that the Ministry of Health […]

House prices pop.

Written By: - Date published: 5:13 pm, March 25th, 2009 - 12 comments

First they go up, and then they come down. The Economist has an interesting table on the housing bubble. Those figures from the US just look outright scary. The result of the sub-prime mortgage and its consequent effects. There is also an interesting article in the Economist on the effect that increasing home ownership in […]

Lord Ashcroft woz here

Written By: - Date published: 4:33 pm, March 25th, 2009 - 17 comments

Boing Boing reports that: The London police have bested their own impressive record for insane and stupid anti-terrorism posters with a new range of signs advising Londoners to go through each others’ trash-bins looking for “suspicious” chemical bottles, and to report on one another for “studying CCTV cameras.” It’s hard to imagine a worse, more […]

Douglas gets it

Written By: - Date published: 2:16 pm, March 25th, 2009 - 15 comments

Roger Douglas in a press release today: National’s goal of a top personal, company and trustee tax rate of 30 cents in the dollar is laudable – but it must remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch, ACT New Zealand Finance Spokesman Sir Roger Douglas said today. “It is pointless setting […]

Trans-Tasman says Clark to head UNDP

Written By: - Date published: 10:47 am, March 25th, 2009 - 55 comments

From The Herald: Former Prime Minister Helen Clark will be named today as head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a report says. Political newsletter Trans-Tasman reported the appointment today, though a spokesman for Miss Clark, prime minister from 1999 until 2008, would not comment.

Righties rise in revolution re: retrospective law

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, March 25th, 2009 - 13 comments

No, wait, they didn’t. Idiot/Savant from No Right Turn explains: Back in 2006, the (then-Labour) government passed the Appropriation (Parliamentary Expenditure Validation) Bill, which retrospectively validated Parliamentary Services expenditure in the wake of a nonsensical, retrospective reinterpretation by the Auditor-General. The rabids in the sewer (and some supposedly outside it) preached revolution. Today, the (now-National) […]

The government gets a headline, we get potholes

Written By: - Date published: 8:09 am, March 25th, 2009 - 9 comments

No Right Turn puts the farce of the governments spin into perspective in Public relations replaces policy II. I’m just going to quote it… Earlier in the month the government announced that they were spending $1 billion on state highways. It was apparent from the original press release that this was purely an exercise in […]

Thanks, I guess

Written By: - Date published: 5:38 am, March 25th, 2009 - 25 comments

Growing up I always knew the rich had it better than us. It’s only now that I’m one of the wealthy that I realise how much we’ve got it in our favour. Next week the government is giving me, for no reason I can work out, another $1110 a year in tax cuts. That goes […]


Written By: - Date published: 5:38 pm, March 24th, 2009 - 22 comments

Prime Minister John Key has promised a national cycleway to solve the country’s economic woes. I intend to keep you informed of exactly how the cycleway is progressing. Yes, never fear, Eddie will dig out all the dirty details: how far the cycleway’s progressed, how many jobs it’s created, and how much it’s cost. This […]


Written By: - Date published: 5:18 pm, March 24th, 2009 - 15 comments

A Standard reader emails: Today at the beginning of question time a minute silence was observed for Mary Bachelor former MP for Avon who died recently. John Key spent part of the minute running through his notes. Disgraceful.

Oh Johnkey Donkey!

Written By: - Date published: 1:46 pm, March 24th, 2009 - 27 comments

We’ve been outed! By none other than Thelma (or was it Louise?) A promotional video for climate action, voiced by Susan Sarandon for Greenpeace in the US, holds New Zealand up as a beacon of hope on a sickly earth praising the former Labour Government’s plan to ban energy inefficient bulbs by 2009. Unfortunately for […]

National gives animal rights the chop

Written By: - Date published: 12:43 pm, March 24th, 2009 - 34 comments

Looks like National has more than workers’ rights on the chopping block. Animal rights activists are up in arms at Agriculture Minister David Carter’s plan to scrap the six-year moratorium on live sheep exports. Live sheep exports were stopped in 2004 after 5000 sheep died on an Australian ship bound for Saudi Arabia. Any one else […]

Pinch me

Written By: - Date published: 11:54 am, March 24th, 2009 - 17 comments

A cyclist and Standard reader writes: Pinch me. Maybe I’ll wake up in a world where a cycleway isn’t the government’s flagship idea for getting us out of the recession. You’ve got three more years of this mate.


Written By: - Date published: 9:51 am, March 24th, 2009 - 42 comments

This is just stunning: Mr Key was yesterday questioned about an employment situation where a person was offered a job paying $40,000 a year and told that the fourth week of leave would have to be included in this or the job would go to the “next in line”. He said this would not happen […]


Written By: - Date published: 6:44 pm, March 23rd, 2009 - 39 comments

That’s John Key speaking about Labour’s new fourth week of leave legislation back when the Nats thought they were going to win in 2005. His plan was to take your fourth week off you before it started happening in 2007 because that way you wouldn’t miss it. Now they’re trying plan “b” – put your […]

Gustafson on National’s strategy

Written By: - Date published: 3:27 pm, March 23rd, 2009 - 7 comments

Not many people know more about the National Party than Barry Gustafson, so I found it interesting to read his take on the Nats’ ‘softening up’ strategy in the Sunday Star Times [offline*]: A new govenment tries to “discredit things that you know you are going to change or try to change in the future. […]

Three strikes and you’re garrotted

Written By: - Date published: 12:10 pm, March 23rd, 2009 - 16 comments

The Toad’s ‘interview’ with ACT’s David Garrett is so good we had to steal it. Like all good parody, it’s easy to believe it could be real. An interview with ACT Party Law and Order spokesperson David Garrotte Toad: David, for many people, you first came to public attention when you appeared drunk on Eye […]


Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, March 23rd, 2009 - 28 comments

Bill Ralston: Key used a great example at a Combined Trade Union conference on productivity when he pointed out only 10 luxury 7 series BMWs were sold in the whole of the USA last month. Ah, so that’s what CTU stands for. Why would anyone employ this fool as a commentator?

A sheep in wolves’ clothing

Written By: - Date published: 11:33 pm, March 22nd, 2009 - 16 comments

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark when senior journalists like Fran O’Sullivan feel that they have to provide public relations advice to National’s errant  Ministers. It isn’t as though there aren’t enough PR people already in the Beehive to reinforce whatever John Key said about “phone-throwers or “temper tantrums”  at Cabinet last Monday. […]

The tiniest rolling maul in the world

Written By: - Date published: 10:08 pm, March 22nd, 2009 - 18 comments

So the pressure is building for National to get specific about it’s plans for fighting the recession. Therese Arseneau complained on Q+A today that Key has “no action plan”. Even Phil O’Reilly from Business New Zealand seemed to agree there wasn’t a clear plan. After all the money spent on National’s ‘Jobs Summit’ the extent […]

Sunday conspiracy humour

Written By: - Date published: 8:04 pm, March 22nd, 2009 - 17 comments

Barnsley Bill* has discovered (updated to here**) that Alexa reckons 11% of our visits come from India. Apparently BB thinks this means we are paying someone in India to fake our stats. This has ignited another round of hysteria among the rightwing nutters (commonly known as wingnuts) about The Standard. There has been a recurring […]

And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid…

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, March 22nd, 2009 - 3 comments

Q+A was quite good. Guyon Espiner was well researched and focused on the contrast between what Key says and what he does. Maybe Guyon has finally started caring now it’s him and his workmates who are in the firing line. Getting rid of that amateur Rawdon Christie and putting in a vastly experienced interviewer in […]

Anna Bligh wins Labor fifth term in Queensland

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, March 22nd, 2009 - 7 comments

Queenslanders yesterday elected Labor under Anna Bligh to a fifth term in government. Anna Bligh now becomes the first woman to be elected as Premier in Australia – Joan Kirner and Carmen Lawrence were both appointed after the resignations of Peter Dowding and John Cain respectively, and Anna became Premier in Queensland when Peter Beattie resigned. […]

Where would you get that idea?

Written By: - Date published: 9:55 am, March 22nd, 2009 - 19 comments

John Armstrong March 21 2009 – “So the National Government is variously inching, shifting, drifting, veering or lurching to the right, depending on where you stand on the political spectrum. Surprise, surprise… John Key may have portrayed himself as a moderate pragmatist in Opposition – indeed he is still doing exactly that as Prime Minister […]

More on the Commerce Commission

Written By: - Date published: 6:55 pm, March 21st, 2009 - 14 comments

On Thursday I linked to a piece in the NBR that suggested Simon Power’s appointment of Dr Mark Berry to replace Paula Rebstock at the Commerce Commission hinted at a radical shakeup of the consumer watchdog. Today John Drinnan has an in-depth piece in the Herald that suggests radical reform is indeed on the way, […]

Vampire economics

Written By: - Date published: 3:47 pm, March 21st, 2009 - 49 comments

Earlier this week the Prime Minister announced $2.5 million for tourism advertising in Australia.  New Zealand is not alone in trying to increase tourism as a solution to the recession.  Australia is trying to get tourists from here and other countries with wall-to-wall TV advertising on the back of that great flop of a movie […]

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