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Granny’s baked some patsies for you, dearie

Written By: - Date published: 10:48 am, February 21st, 2009 - 24 comments

Can you spot the question that wasn’t asked of Key by Armstrong and Young in their six page interview with him in today’s Herald? Is there too much “doom and gloom” talk at the moment, especially by and in the media? There’s a lot of debate among commentators as to whether your stimulus package will […]

The praiseworthy and the pitiful

Written By: - Date published: 1:04 pm, February 20th, 2009 - 23 comments

The praiseworthy and the pitiful is our weekly post on the little things that caught our eye but didn’t lead to a full post. This week: Tracy Watkins’ new blog A best of the political journos’ blogs I reckon. Watkins has been responding to comments, showing a bit of a sassy side, and her pieces […]

Thankfully, the election isn’t tomorrow

Written By: - Date published: 11:05 am, February 19th, 2009 - 148 comments

When John Key and Pita Sharples were jostled by two Maori men opposed to the National-Maori Party alliance, the thing that stuck in my mind was Key’s smile. Like Donald Trump’s hair, it was back in place immediately, covering whatever lies underneath. That smile, and the intensive, expensive, extensive image management it represents, are the […]

Tories bulldoze human rights, your rights

Written By: - Date published: 7:38 pm, February 18th, 2009 - 43 comments

The Attorney-General, National’s Chris Finalyson, has declared that the ‘3 strikes and you’re out’ Bill that National/ACT (and Finlayson himself) are about to vote for violates human rights. From Finlayson’s report: What does that mean? Finlayson is saying that giving a life sentence to a person who is on their third strike for an offence that […]

DL Christchurch with Therese Arsenau

Written By: - Date published: 1:13 pm, February 18th, 2009 - 4 comments

Drinking Liberally Christchurch has its first meeting of the new year on March 5, with political commentator and academic Therese Arsenau to speak. She had some interesting perspectives on what the Left needed to do during the campaign and I’m sure she will have some comments on what the Left needs to do now. As […]

Sleight of hand

Written By: - Date published: 5:55 am, February 18th, 2009 - 29 comments

We’ve been saying for some time that the $9 billion of fiscal stimulus that the Government claims it is putting into the economy in reaction to the global recession is no such thing. In fact, the Government is spending within the ordinary increase in spending allotted by the Budget back in May. And it is […]

That’s strange

Written By: - Date published: 2:49 pm, February 17th, 2009 - 13 comments

An hour ago No Right Turn posted a piece citing what was apparently a Ministry of Social Development press release, which he says was “confirmation that the government is planning to slash 500 to 1000 people from the Ministry of Social Development”. He gives a link to scoop for the presser. But Scoop has since taken it down […]

The media bash

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

* Did any journo ask Key how much the boot camp is costing per person? Follow my maths. Total cost of new youth punishment measures – $35 million on top of existing costs for 1000 youths per year. So, per youth cost = $35,000 on top of existing costs. Of that, the most expensive element […]

Micropartywatch

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, February 17th, 2009 - 3 comments

Wondering about the latest on New Zealand First’s leadership? Curious as to the prospects for a RAM/Workers’ Party union? The new blog Micro Party Watch promises to keep us up to date on the latest developments for the little extra-parliamentary parties.

Boots and all

Written By: - Date published: 4:18 pm, February 16th, 2009 - 51 comments

Tracey Watkins reports that National has announced details of its Boot Camps policy: “The military-style camp programme would target the 40 most serious young offenders and consist of up to three months’ residential training, using army type facilities or training methods.” 40? I thought this was going to be some massive project turning the next […]

Why do dummies lead our national debates?

Written By: - Date published: 3:38 pm, February 16th, 2009 - 31 comments

Why does the Business Roundtable employ an economic illiterate to represent them to the public and argue their corner on macroeconomics? Here’s some of what Roger Kerr has to say in his op-ed in Granny Herald today: “What seems to be overlooked is that the huge rises in core Crown spending in recent years – […]

You’ve got to know to ask the questions that matter

Written By: - Date published: 2:51 pm, February 16th, 2009 - 41 comments

When I heard Shell is looking at selling its service stations in NZ and its shares in Fulton Hogan, my initial thought was that the Government should look at buying – to keep profits in NZ, to help ensure competition in the market as Kiwibank has for banking, and so there is a publicly-owned network […]

Grassroots healthy

Written By: - Date published: 12:15 pm, February 16th, 2009 - 12 comments

It’s great to see a lot of grassroots activity around the Left at the moment. No Right Turn has set up the Progbills wiki. It’s open-source legislation, that works similarly to Wikipedia. You can go on and contribute to formulating draft Bills on left-wing issues, small bite-size pieces of draft legislation that would be ideal […]

Which end to break the egg, and other pointless debates

Written By: - Date published: 12:29 pm, February 15th, 2009 - 22 comments

The NZPA has revealed that Ministrial Services is employing fewer people on higher pay under the new National/ACT government than it did under the Labour-led government last year. David Farrar is spinning this as great news, they’ve cut the number fo people the Government is employing ‘hurrah’. Without a trace of irony, he says the […]

Do they know its credit crunch time?

Written By: - Date published: 8:22 am, February 15th, 2009 - 11 comments

Great video for the real victims of this recession, the ‘smartest men in the room’ who cocked everything up, the money-men. Bleed the World/ Let them know it’s credit crunch time

Culpae poenae par esto

Written By: - Date published: 1:45 pm, February 14th, 2009 - 49 comments

I just want to second Tane’s comments regarding the sentence for the killer of Pihema Cameron. A 12 year old Maori child acts as look out for some older kids in a robbery that goes wrong. That kid, Bailey Kurariki, despite not having even hurt, let alone killed, anyone is sentenced to seven years and labelled our […]

The praiseworthy and the pitiful

Written By: - Date published: 12:33 pm, February 13th, 2009 - 14 comments

Lockwood Smith managing of Question Time. B. Lockwood has made a commendable effort to get ministers to answer questions and cut down on some of the other bollocks that ruins Question Time. National MPs clearly expect that after years of complaining of ministers skirting questions it’s now their turn to do it, and Lockwood has […]

Wake up, Bill

Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, February 13th, 2009 - 32 comments

Bill English is living in a dream, and he may create a nightmare for the rest of us. Last week, he said the recession would be over in 6-12 months. He hasn’t bothered to announce any significant new spending in response to the recession – all the supposedly new spending he has announced so far […]

Sugar rush

Written By: - Date published: 6:37 am, February 13th, 2009 - 24 comments

John Key and Tracey Watkins have both (completely by coincidence) said we must avoid responding to the recession with a ‘sugar rush’ of spending. They’re just making excuses for National’s hopelessly inadequate policies for dealing with the recession but they are right about the need to avoid a sugar rush we don’t want to just […]

Fossil watch

Written By: - Date published: 1:16 pm, February 12th, 2009 - 25 comments

The hilarity continues. According to a person who was there, Douglas didn’t use his speech because it had been accidently leaked, and subsequently delivered on Youtube by a sockpuppet. The Herald, however, quoted from the speech as if he had given it. Turns out they didn’t bother sending a reporter. If a tree doesn’t fall […]

Reminder: Drinking Liberally Wgtn tonight

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, February 12th, 2009 - 3 comments

Just got an email through from the team at DL Wellington confirming that tonight’s event with Brian Easton is on despite the rain and will be under cover so you won’t get wet. Brian Easton is one of our leading left-wing economists and his talk will look at what can be done as NZ enters […]

What we should be doing

Written By: - Date published: 4:25 pm, February 11th, 2009 - 17 comments

As IrishBill has said, National’s so-called ‘kick-start’ is pretty underwhelming – bringing forward a few more roads and a bigger bridge so that a couple of times a year those Aucklanders that can afford to holiday in the Coromandel won’t create such a big traffic jam, 69 new State houses in six months (= bugger […]

More powers for the cops, that’ll solve everything

Written By: - Date published: 2:09 pm, February 11th, 2009 - 38 comments

I was going to write about the new DNA powers National/ACT is giving the Police, but No Right Turn has already done it far better than I could: The government’s bill allowing DNA to be taken from anyone arrested breaches the Bill of Rights Act [PDF]. The Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Amendment Bill would allow […]

Minimum wage rise a small but important victory for the Left

Written By: - Date published: 1:08 pm, February 10th, 2009 - 20 comments

Great, through concerted pressure the Left managed to force a 9-cent an hour real increase in the minimum wage from National/ACT. A 9 cent an hour real increase is not much but it’s a hell of a lot better than freezing the minimum wage at $12 an hour and letting inflation eat it as National/ACT had planned. The decision […]

More than words

Written By: - Date published: 11:20 am, February 10th, 2009 - 33 comments

I see the Maori Party has come out saying the increase in the minimum wage to $12.50 an hour isn’t enough, and that they still support both a $15 an hour minimum wage and a tax-free bracket up to $25,000 (about the full-time minimum wage income). Pity they didn’t do something about it when they […]

Es ist mein teil

Written By: - Date published: 12:46 pm, February 9th, 2009 - 28 comments

This year, the economy will shrink (at least) 1%. At the same time, the population will grow 1% (at least, growth may be stronger due to expats fleeing the UK). So, there’s going to be at least 2% less to go around (on top of a 2% reduction in GDP per capita last year). Now, […]

Just a little respect

Written By: - Date published: 11:33 am, February 9th, 2009 - 7 comments

David Farrar has a wee post where he laments that he is rarely credited when he breaks stories that are then picked up by the media. We have the same thing happen to us. We broke the story on the minimum wage – that National/ACT was planning a freeze, despite the Department of Labour recommending […]

In for a penny

Written By: - Date published: 3:15 pm, February 8th, 2009 - 44 comments

Key’s old arm cast has sold for $18,500 on Trademe. The money will go to the Fred Hollows Foundation to help blind people in the Solomon Islands. Great, a fair old dollop of money raised for a worthy cause. But let’s not stop there. A large number of people bid large amounts for two things of […]

The praiseworthy and the pitiful

Written By: - Date published: 1:35 pm, February 7th, 2009 - 3 comments

The praiseworthy and a pitiful is a weekly compilation of some of the comments we’ve seen around the traps that warrant some response, whether praise or criticism, whether for the substance of what has been said or the quality of the rhetoric. David Haywood’s piece on what would happen if the Herald had a ‘your […]

Lowering his standards ever lower

Written By: - Date published: 5:17 pm, February 6th, 2009 - 59 comments

Just when Farrar had made me happy, as I explain in this post, and had even been quite funny in his retort, he goes and reminds me I should never put anything past him. Today, he’s attacking the welfare system by running a post about a invalid beneficiary who he reckons can’t be an invalid […]

Employment numbers have both good and bad news

Written By: - Date published: 4:04 pm, February 5th, 2009 - 23 comments

The new employment data for the December quarter are out and they’re surprising reading. Now, the media will grab hold of the headline unemployment figure. At 4.6%, it’s up from 4.2% in the September quarter and brings the number of unemployed over 100,000 for the first time since 2003, which is about what everyone expected. But what you have to […]

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