Monday, January 31, 2005

The next leader?

Prolific Labour mouthpiece Jordan discussed this Fairfax piece in today's press release/post. The Katherine Rich non-issue is merely a case of a reporter taking out his frustration at not being able to get a real story. However at the end of his post he does raise an interesting point about post-election leadership scenarios for National, although National will not tear itself apart like the crazy fantasies conjured up by some leftists.
I do not believe a National Party with Don Brash as leader can truly be a successful mainstream party. I hope I'm wrong, but for me, Brash lacks the leadership qualities neccessary to lead. He has been misquoted as saying he will resign if National does not 'win the election', it this did turn out to happen for whatever reason, I would hope he would remain a National MP and become Minister of Finance in 2008.
So who do I want to see lead National to victory in '08?
Gerry Brownlee?
er. no. thanks. but no.
Bill English?
National would most likely be polling the same as they are now even if they had kept English as leader, that said, he tried, he failed. Deputy PM 2008.
John Key?
Now this is who I want. The 'Great White Hope', along with Simon Power and Katherine Rich, he is the future of the National Party, he has the qualities, integrity and 'X' factor needed to lead NZ in the right direction, and less importantly, he's the cutest National MP by far. I'd like to see Katherine Rich as deputy, but realistically I doubt that will happen. I must confess that although my support for him is probably influenced by the $500 bet I made in 2002 that he would be the next National Prime Minister, it is sincere and genuine support.

Ann, Don't Cry.

Last night, while zoning out on BZP, I watched an episode of the CBC (Canada) current affairs show 'The Fifth Estate' entitiled 'Sticks and Stones' concerning the level of discourse in American cable news punditry. The most amusing part of the whole documentary is an interview with long-term crack addict - Ann Coulter. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't hate Coulter, she's amusing and interesting, much like the trolley-boy at our local supermarket who wears a white glove with sequins and pretends to be Michael Jackson. Anyway, after she gets pulled up for a factual inaccuracy - 'Canada sent troops to Vietnam' she gets the deer-in-headlights look as she realises she fucked up, but instead of admitting the factual error, like a sane person, she proceeds to tell the Canadian journalist interviewing her that he is flat-out wrong. After all, the guy is a Canadian journalist with over 25 years experience, what would he know about Canadian history?
This clip amuses me so much I have converted it to a low quality (941k) shockwave file for your viewing pleasure. (it looks best if you select 320 for 'resolution width' on the page)

Justification for War #27

Oh Hurrah! the 'Iraq Election' (aka this month's justification for invasion) was a 'triumph for freedom.' Only 41 people have died from attacks, and none of them were white so it's an 'outstanding success'. In unprecedented levels of sanctimony, neo-consevative bloggers and pundits have been ecstatic over the imposition of 'freedom' in Iraq, these of course the same people who wanted to 'raze Fallujah to the ground' and 'kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity'. The real reason for the patronising triumphalism is that now they can say, we have 'liberated' Iraq and given them 'freedom', the war is justified, anymore deaths are the fault of the Iraqi people themselves, now, let's go Bomb Iran.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Liberal Education Bias?

It's symptomatic of the ineffectiveness of the National Party's big waffle on welfare, that four days later the 'hot issue' for National is the wording and clip art used in a high-school History examination. The question in question?
It is 1980. You are a researcher who has been investigating Mäori land issues during the 1960s and 1970s.
Choose TWO people from the list below. For each person, write what they would have said for each of the questions that follow. Make the replies to the questions as convincing as you can.

PERSON 1: A National Party Member of Parliament not sympathetic to Mäori concerns
PERSON 2: Whina Cooper, a Mäori leader from Northland
PERSON 3: Eva Rickard, a Mäori leader from Waikato

QUESTION ONE
What is your opinion about government policies towards Mäori land during the 1960s and 1970s?
QUESTION TWO
What is ONE particular action you took in relation to a Mäori land issue during the 1960s and 1970s?
QUESTION THREE
Why did you take this particular action? (Write 50–80 words for each person in this question.)
Says National:
“This is not only blatant politicking but quite incorrect. The assumption that National is not concerned with Maori issues is totally wrong"
I think they have a fair point, after all wasn't this the regime that used the army to help remove Ngati Whatua from Bastion Point? Surely 'disdainful', 'contemptuous' or 'scornful' are more appropriate adjectives for that Government.
The other complaint National have concerns the clip art used to depict the 'National MP' -
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
What appears to be a stereotypical National MP - a Balding Middle Aged 'Suit' - is according to National, Don Brash - himself a stereotypical tory in a suit although obviously after a rhinoplasty. Despite the fact Don Brash was emphatically not an MP in 1980, (losing to Social Credit in East Coast Bays in that year), this is clearly evidence of a Labour conspiracy to 'brainwash' our children. How dare they teach them to see things from different historical perspectives! Because as all good right-thinking people know, anything that differs from your personal world view is 'bias' and not worthy of consideration.

What I found most amusing though is the previous question in the same exam, specifically the picture of this 'big fella' - apparently
"A politician who supported the policy of privatising (selling) state-owned forests"
So, is it Mike Moore? or Gerry Brownlee?

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Friday, January 28, 2005

Eyes on the Prize

Earler this month I read a WIRED story concerning problems preventing the DVD release of "Eyes on the Prize", one of the best documentaries ever made about the American Black Civil Rights Movement. The problems were due to copyright clearance problems with photographs and other material used in the film. Somewhat inevitably the internet has come to the rescue and this site is openly distributing digital copies of the film via bittorrent.
So a documentary about a movement that used civil disobedience is itself being distributed illegally in an act of civil disobedience. While we "never encourage piracy" anyone who is a regular bittorrent user with a bit of spare bandwidth should definitely download and help share this piece of history with the world.

Update - The links to the film have now been removed from the site in question at the request of rabid lawyers, however it is still available at various illegal bittorrent sites.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Orewa II - Media Suppository

Hysterical headlines are claiming Don Brash is going to 'bash beneficaries' and start a 'war on welfare' (Special hat tip to Fairfax for the dumbest headline of 2005) so what has 'Orewa II - Media Suppository' actually given us?

My initial reaction.....is that it? To use a terrible sports analogy, Brash had this speech to smack the ball out of the park, instead he nudged it round the corner for a single.
After leaking what I incorrectly assumed were the minor details of a 'major welfare reform package', I had hoped that National were saving most of the 'radical changes' for a national primetime audience, but no, we get some necessary but mostly minor changes to a system that is need of a radical shakeup. Decent, if bare-bone policy, but not something to base an election campaign around. This half-measure of 'welfare reform' could be an election winner if it were used as a secondary message behind what should be the primary (and far more positive) message to voters -
"You will pay less tax under a National government"

The issue of taxation is a much harder battle for Labour to fight, like Labour's adoption of National's 'equal treatment for all New Zealanders regardless of race' policy, if this single issue of welfare catapulted National back into the lead, Labour merely has to engage in a bit of percieved 'beneficary beating' of it's own and that distinct point of difference is again taken away from National. On the other hand Labour are much more vunerable on the taxation issue, they have continued to refuse to give taxpayers any sort of relief and because of the power of the socialist faction in the party there would be little chance of Labour being able to defuse this issue by again claiming National's policies as their own.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Monday, January 24, 2005

Die, Robot


US to send 18 'Robot Soldiers' to Iraq
The machines cost $US200,000 each and will 'save American lives', no word yet on how many Iraqi soldiers will be needed to protect each robot.

Destiny's Child

After spending most of the weekend getting high on amyl nitrate I happened to stumble across the DestinyNZ party website, and praise the lord they have policies and stuff.
Naturally I eagerly scrambled to find the 'God hates fags' policy, but alas the only gay bashing policy they seem to have is the rather tired 'abolish civil unions' and the 'define family as being a marriage between a man and woman with 2.4 children' etc. Yawn. As a gay man, I'm extremely disappointed, it's now nearly 20 years since me being me was against the law, and I've never really experienced illicit sex (some friends who went to Tasmania said 'it's really hot'). If I can't rely on Destiny to ban gay-sex then who will?

Much like National, Destiny seems to have borrowed ACT's social welfare policy. The 3000+ biblical verses about poverty are not significant enough to make welfare a 'moral value' for Destiny, unlike say, abortion, which is not directly referred to at all in the Bible. What I find very interesting about a 'moral values' party like Destiny is where the "minor policies" like education, health, defence, taxation etc place them on the political compass. It seems a former ACT hack has had a hand in writing most of their policies, which include lowering the company tax rate and repealing the Resource Management Act, although unlike the socialists from ACT, Jesus prefers a flat income tax.

Some of the other more adorable ideas I've come across are
-removal of the $170 marriage licence fee
-increased tax breaks the longer you are married
-no sickness benefits for drug or alcohol related illnesses
-legal rights for foetuses from the moment of conception
-NZ to join the 'coalition of the willing'
-vastly increased censorship of all media including the internet
-NZ to ignore 'politically correct' UN regulations
-believe 'church and state' should be 'interrelated'

They also snub United Future, stating that Christian Heritage is the 'only other Christian party'. How must Paul 'Hunger Strike' Adams feel? After all that hard work he's put in to make UF look crazy and now the popular new born-agains on the block don't even acknowledge your existence. 21 days of fasting for Jesus against fags isn't enough? What has a man gotta do to make you love him? (but not in that way)

As for Destiny wanting to march across Auckland Harbour Bridge, the solution is pretty simple, let them march, but keep the bridge open. They'll all be wearing their uniforms so they'll be easy to target... er... 'watch out for' if you happen to be driving.

Friday, January 21, 2005

The Lesser of Two Extremes

Yesterday Rodney Hide gave his first 'State of the Nation' speech to outline ACT's platform for 2005. He annouced a watered down taxation policy, said ACT would get 'tough' on crime and made vague references to school vouchers, healthcare privitisation, and an uninspiring welfare 'reform' policy. It was a damp squib. Earlier this week Jeanette Fitzsimmons gave the Green equivalent of a 'State of the Nation' speech a 'Chant to our earth mother Gaia' if you will. It set out the aims of the Greens for this election year, the speech included 'different' or what perhaps some would call 'insane' ideas such as banning oil in New Zealand. But it energised the core Green supporters, provoked interest from left leaning voters and prompted a barrage of contempt from many right wing commentators. Conversely the reaction to the ACT speech has been polite applause, a yawn and a snigger. Perhaps the liberal commentators (like those from this blog) are too busy on drug fuelled Big Day Out related benders to notice?

I want ACT to excite me as a centre-right voter, I want them to give me a reason to vote for them, because if they had a ideologically coherent set of policies or at very least some form of inspirational leadership, I would. I don't think it's too much to ask. I want my right wing party's policies and ideas to enrage those on the left, much as the Greens' does to their opposites. ACT's policies don't inspire me to vote for them, the core of their policies are still essentially the same as the right of National. What happened to the flat tax? You are the party of the right, not the centre-right, a progressive income tax system is the antithesis of what ACT is meant to stand for. ACT policy is flat tax. ACT proposing a progressive tax system is akin to the Greens supporting free trade or Winston championing increased immigration. And stop saying 'a tax cut for every worker' when for the 500,000 people who currently pay 15% the tax rate would remain unchanged (true, most of these taxpayers are not 'workers', but not all). Either change the policy so the statement is true or stop saying it. It does sound good but if it's not 100% true it tends to lessen the impact of the actual policy. On the subject of silly phrases, if you want to get lower income workers to vote for you, don't call yourself the 'workers party', rightly or wrongly by deed of their name - 'Labour' have got that brand-perception sewn up. Don't proclaim you are 'the conservative party' while standing in front of a logoboard that states you are 'the Liberal Party'. What is 'the message'? You are a conservative liberal? a liberal conservative? ACT likes gay marriage as long as there are tax cuts? they like the death penalty and want to increase Government spending on gay handicapped Pacific Island art exhibitions in Oamaru? I'm sure that the slogans 'liberal party' and 'the only party standing up for the workers' perform well in the rarefied air of a focus group but on your 30 seconds of national television exposure it makes you and your party look foolish.

So if ACT's policies and 'message' don't do much for me, do ACT's people make me want to vote for them? Well if someone like Muriel Newman is the second best candidate your party has then it's safe to say your party has a charmisa deficit problem (or your party is called NZ First). As such I can only see John Banks joining ACT for one reason, to become the party's leader. Like a vulture circling a charisma-deprived prey, Banks will wait for Hide to fall on his sword after the election and turn ACT into his own version of Winston First. I think even that nightmare/dream (depending whether you are Aaron Bhatnagar or not) would be more successful than what ACT's current rudderless direction will provide.

National needs a right wing coalition partner to govern, but perhaps ACT isn't the right one. I don't think National have much chance this year, so maybe it wouldn't be so bad if ACT crashed and burned after this election, at least then the right would have the opportunity to build a party that actually represents right wing ideals rather than just being National Lite with extra fruit and nuts.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Quotes of the Week

The Daily Show explaining how "September 11 changed the equation"
Even though 'The Daily Show' is the best comedy show on tv anywhere, it is only available in NZ on CNN as a weekly 'best of' on Sunday nights around 4am. or of course on the net through quasi-legal bittorrents.

"Why hasn't anyone been held accountable, either through firings or demotions, for what some people see as mistakes or misjudgments?"
"Well, we had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 election"

Dubya, of course, Apparently governments are only accountable for their actions at the 'moment' of an election, since this is his final term as president does that mean no-one can be held accountable for anything his administration does? This is possibly the most unconstitutional thing a US president has said since Andrew Jackson told the Supreme Court to enforce their own decisions.

A Female NZ political blogger? Where?

Why does NZ's pol-blog clique seem to comprise solely of pasty white males? There are no female NZ political bloggers, apart from Debrorah Hill Cone - currently on breeding related hiatus, but she doesn't count as she's a real journalist. (and no, writing for the Listener doesn't make you a journalist) What is it about the political division of this medium seems to turn women off? There's several NZ female bloggers writing on topics such as weight loss, television, 6th form poetry and more but none on politics..... or perhaps there are female pol-bloggers out there, doing a reverse bizgurl. I hope to change it in some way, and impart the views of a girl from the South Island to give some varation to the increasingly dull male dominated political discourse that we see in our gated community.
By the way, I was disappointed to see that the terzain loving lads from NZPundit described this blog as 'lefty' which given the sensibilities of the other two bloggers was a fair assumption to make, I hope to change that perception in the coming weeks.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

2005's Fights to Look Forward to - Battle of the Bloggers

Nothing attracts a crowd more than a good fight, in the spirit of this and my current favourite movie of all time (& soon to be 2005 Oscar winner) 'Million Dollar Baby', we introduce the first in a series of blog posts dedicated to the ancient art of fighting like a savage.

Jordan Carter vs. DP Farrar
Wellington Central General Electorate Seat

This is the battle NZ political bloggers are waiting for, the young spritely Jordan versus the salty battle hardened DP Farrar. As campaign managers for incumbent Marian Hobbs and former Wellington mayor Mark Blumsky, this looks to be a knockdown, drag out bar fight which will leave one man's pride bloodied and bruised on the floor of the NZ blog tavern. Despite representing the incumbent Hobbs, Jordan faces a tougher fight to protect his manhood than he would admit to. Blumsky is a popular figure in an affluent electorate that has elected the first (and probably last) ACT MP to ever win a constituency seat. Marion Hobbs, while a competent minister has a poor public image and cannot compete with Blumsky as a public speaker. A percieved weakness of Blumsky is that he was formerly president of United Future, but only voters who would never support a National candidate would view that as a negative. The voters of Peter Dunne's electorate in Ohariu-Belmont don't seem to have a problem with him being the leader of United Future as proven by his 12000 vote majority. Also, as roughly 30-35% of Labour list voters in Ohariu-Belmont voted for the United Future candidate to represent them, I don't think the 'great unwashed' view United Future as the bogeyman some of the left would like them to be. Granted, if Wellington Central was being fought under First Past the Post, Hobbs would win by around 6-9000 votes. As it is, looking at the 2002 results for Wellington Central, Hobbs only got 1238 more electorate votes than her own party's list vote, whereas the National Candidate Hekia Parata improved over her party's list vote by 3329. There's no argument Blumsky is a far stronger candidate than Parata, and with the trend of increased vote-splitting likely to continue in 2005 I pick Blumsky by 4000+. Of course Hobbs will remain in parliament as she should be around number 12-14 on the Labour list.

Projected TAB Odds
Blumsky $1.30
Hobbs $2.10

Oops. Sorry. My Bad.

The Washington Post (reg req) has reported the hunt for "weapons" which was the original justification of the war in Mess-o-potamia is over. It ended before Christmas due to lack of evidence and the escalating violence in the country. Surely in these cynical times we live in the least the CIA could do is pretend they found something. Iraq has a lot of things on her mind at the moment, it not as if she'd notice you planting a Nuclear bomb on her.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

'No election' for parts of Iraq

The puppet PM of Iraq has admitted the obvious in that there will be no elections in parts of Iraq.
With the candidates' names being kept confidential to stop assasination attempts and the international election observers observing the "election" from another country several hundred miles away (in Amman, Jordan) this is beginning to look like a election more fictional than this year's much anticipated Jimmy Smits(D) vs. Alan Alda(R) presidential election on 'The West Wing'.

Anyone for Irony?

Bill O'Reilly from Faux News discussing CBS-Rathergate Storm in a teacup -
"Now if political campaigns can work with powerful news organizations to denigrate an opponent, we're in big trouble here."
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth? The retarded (albeit effective) Flip-Flop campaign?
Irony anyone?
However unlike most of the rabid right-wing pundits in the States and online, O'Reilly actually puts partisanship aside and read the report.
"Dan Rather did not knowingly allow false documents to be aired. He simply relied on a woman with whom he had worked for years and got hammered. That's the truth, whether you like it or not."

Hi.

Welcome to threepointturn, a pitted sore on the flaccid gentials of NZ's Blog clique.

We've assembled three of NZ's most inexperienced writers with a combined political punditry experience of ...... what's the time? ..... 2 hours.

My name is Nick Eynon and much like Michael Bolton from the film 'Office Space', a malinged celebrity stole my name. Though not as bad as it was a couple of years ago, not a day will pass without someone asking if I'm that Nick Eynon and do I really like 14 year old girls from Invercargill.

Together with Manu we have formed a Wonder-Twin allliance to shake up NZ's blog world, or at the very least, write some pithy and ill-informed comments that no-one reads.

I met Manu at a tinnie house where I was helping my local Black Power business distribute cannabis to the needy. At that time I was a Crystal Meth addict, sometimes I wish I still was, as rehab has caused me to become a bore to my peers. Anyway, Manu is a wannabe political operative with one small flaw, he's a sociopath. Amongst New Zealand's blog clique I'm sure he'll be in good company. What better way for him to connect to the masses than through a medium through which you can shun all real human contact. In planning this blog we realised that one sure way to drive up traffic is to have a chick writing for us, so we got hold of Maxine (You're not the only one), Manu's second cousin from Greymouth. Given her location she is the ideal person to commentate on international affairs.

Given Manu has delusional political aspirations to be the next Jordan Carter, he will be discussing NZ Political events and items of disinterest. As I am a recovering drug addict and do nothing but watch TV and play on the interweb all day, I am the obvious choice to hold the role of Senior Media Analyst.

Well, that was an introduction to who we think we are, in the coming weeks, we hope to offend everyone who reads our blog (yes, both of you) at least once.