Saturday, April 30, 2005

It's On

If you didn't already know, according to Keith Ng, the Public Address Poll dancer, our election date will be July 2nd. At least it'll be over quickly now. It's almost too odd a choice of date to be true with the Lions Rugby test in Wellington of all places that night. I don't see what Labour would gain from doing it on this day. At best I guess they figure them damn evil V8 lovin' cultural heathens will be too busy with the rugby to come out to vote Blumsky in Wellington Central.
At least even if it turns out to be untrue, National's rushed list announcement and the hushed acrimony that follows in the coming days will be fun to watch.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Uninspired

In a few days I'll be leaving the West Coast semi-permanently for the stench of Sydney. I will still blog here when I can, not that I have been an especially prolific contributor to date anyway. But at least I can now live up to my billing of Junior International Reporter, perhaps one day I will earn a promotion to the prestigious rank of "Correspondent" A girl can dream, can't she?

Personally it's disappointing to be leaving my home town behind, but politically I'm glad to be leaving before what I'm expecting to be Nationals biggest ass-whooping in well... three years. That's what I'm expecting will happen if the campaign is based around disingenuous billboards like this little NZ First style gem.
So all Petrol tax will be spent on roads. Huh? Really?
So for someone who uses taxed fossil fuel in a fishing boat off the West Coast, the tax they have paid will be 'spent on roads', when I refuel my car, whose roads will 'my' petrol tax be spent on? Will a Mainlander's petrol tax be contributing to the building of roads in Auckland? or will it be allocated according to where the petrol is sold? Meaning South Islanders as usual will be disadvantaged as we have more kilometres of road per head than the North Island as well as the fact the price of fuel down here is more expensive than in the North.
However my main problem with this is that I'm meant to believe that a Brash-government would ignore the negative externalities caused by the use of petrol in cars, so no 'petrol tax' money could be used for road safety programs, air-pollution reduction initiatives, cycle lanes, footpaths, accident prevention and recovery, environmental protection and enforcing the road code. So according to the slogan, these things will have to be funded out of general taxation, which means the burden of paying for the negative externalities of petrol usage will be forced upon every taxpayer.
Don't get me wrong, I won't be casting my party vote for the left, (although I will vote for Damien O'Connor) but if they continue with this type of vague and meaningless sloganeering it makes it harder and harder for me to vote National let alone support them. This type of dumb reactionary politics is the domain of a third party, not the natural party of government.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

InvestigateGate - Winners & Losers

Well, the Tamihere interview stoush finally looks to be put to bed, maybe, so who has benefited and who has lost from his indisgression and the ensuing media hysteria -

WINNERS

Ian Wishart
The man must be giving his thanks to Jesus for the foresight he gave him to not initially publish the holocaust comments for they have saved him the embarrassment of yet again being exposed as a blantant liar. He secretly taped John Tamihere, he knows it, John knows it, the staff at the restaurant know it. He must have gained immense pleasure from being refered to as a 'journalist' by the same reporters who normally refer to him as 'a self-righteous sack of shit'.

Helen Clark
I was a very astute of her to handle it the way she did, Clark again proved she has the right amount of pragmatism and leadership to keep the party together. This is shown by the transition of feeling on the right from triumphant glee to the wailing and gnashing of teeth. Tamihere no doubt had his "I didn't leave the Labour Party, the Labour Party left me" speech already written and Clark knew it. Although she did want him to resign, the 'severe' censure is a far better outcome for the party in an election year than an independent Tamaki Makarau MP.

John Tamihere
Aside from the gross misjudgment of talking to someone like Wishart (which is roughly akin to doing an interview with a NZ blogger or even letting one run your campaign).
The main has huge cojones. He fucked up, big time, was stuck neck deep in the shit, got given an out by his leader to allow him to slink off and hide for a fortnight, yet he still chooses front up to the other kids in his class he called rude names. He didn't do a Mark Peck and cry like a little bitch before slithering off to rehab, he took his 'volcanic' thrashing from the headmistress like an adult. For that alone, he still has the respect of most of the people that really count, the voters in his electorate.

LOSERS

TVNZ & TV3's impartiality
On TV3 (Hitler's channel) Tamihere was chased down the street by a reporter who didn't understand the concept of 'no comment', as revenge they screened some vox pops and they were all unsupringly negative. Then on Monday TVNZ's Maori affairs correspondent did some vox pops of her own, and yet they were universally positive. How odd that on two different days opinions could be so different, not that TV reporters would ever edit things to better fit an angle on the story.

MPs feelings
I'd glad our representatives make political decisions on their feelings, after all they aren't representing the people who put them into parliament, oh no, they are representing themselves. Harden up, if being called a tosser means you can't make non-emotive political decisions, you don't deserve to be in parliament.

Don Brash
Conspicuous by his absence during the whole affair, Don was more concerned with reliving the good times of early '04 on a Bay of Plenty beach. A real PM-in-waiting would have jumped upon the disunity in Labour, holding it up as an example of a party unfit to be in Government. However once the Holocaust comments were revealed, Brash jumped into action stating that he would sack any MP of his that made a similar comment, which considering he's sacked people for merely disagreeing with a small portion of his welfare policy seems rather redundant.

Chris Carter
Equated being Maori with being gay. Still a tosser.

Prime TV
I don't know which was worse, Perigo's overtly racist Tamihere-as-Billy T impersonation, or Paul Holmes cries of 'chequebook journalism' because Tamihere wouldn't come on a show with less viewers than Destiny TV to be berated by him.

Steve Maharey
On working with Tamihere - "I'm a professional politician"

No. He's not smarmy at all.

Fishing for Trouble

Stephen Ching, the timebomb Labour list-only candidate who Nick and Aaron Bhatnagar have blogged about is to have his position as Justice of the Peace (for hire) investigated.
Prediction - No 'criminal' issues will be found (he is a Labour candidate after all) but enough to remove him from his guaranteed MP spot at #42 on the Labour list.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Genocide of One

Faux-journalist Ian Wishart decides to deflect attention away from being proven to be lying about the acquition of the infamous Tamihere interview by dropping the J-bomb.
The Weisenthal Institute is the same. I’m sick and tired of hearing how many Jews got gassed, not because I’m not revolted by it - I am - or I’m not violated by it - I am - but because I already know that.

How many times do I have to be told and made to feel guilty?
Oh crap.
It's obvious to anyone that Tamihere is finished in the Labour Party now, they can take homophobia, racism and sexism from him, but something that can be construed as anti-semitism is a line they will not cross. Despite what those far removed from political reality say, if he chooses to stand as an independent in Tamaki Makarau he will win with a larger vote than he would've two weeks ago.
Amid the righteous indigination expressed through media outlets, the point Tamihere was trying to make has been missed. Of course, being Tamihere his issue was couched in the sort of language normally reserved for the fat guy in stubbies and jandals at the TAB. What I think he was trying to say was that some Maori are too focused on past historical injustice and murder by Pakeha colonisers. That statement in itself would have raised barely a murmur of complaint, perhaps even approval as most Pakeha love a good dose of Maori-bashing, however by using the Nazi genocides as an example he has provoked 'middle Nu Zillun' into a lather of sanctimonious fury.
Four days ago was the 11th anniversary of the start of the biggest genocide of my lifetime, an estimated 937,000 Africans were killed by other Africans over a period of months in 1994. You'd think with the (totally justified) standard set by last year's saturation coverage of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and today's coverage of the Buchenwald anniversary, the Rwandan genocide anniversary would have been all over television screens in the past few days, but no, much like the recent situation in Darfur, Pakeha don't care about black people killing other black people. We'd much rather watch the death of a salesman and the marriage of an in-bred. That's the real outrage here.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Fight for your right to Drink Milk?

This week's attempt to legislate attitudes comes in the form of a petition asking for the right to breastfeed anywhere to be created under the Human Rights Act. This proposal is flawed at conception because it dilutes the importance of the Human Right Act, the Human Rights Act protects people from discrimination based on their personal characteristics (gender, ethnicity, religion, sexuality), not the performance of an act. It is the right of management of public places to not have women breastfeed whilst on their property, just as it their right to ban screaming children. The campaigners also claim that Parliament should set an example by reversing a ruling banning breastfeeding in the House. There are enough screaming children in the House without allowing babies to bought in.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

My Biggest Mistake

John Tamihere called the Investigate interview the 'biggest mistake of my life" on TVNZ tonight.
Wasn't his biggest mistake not going and picking his brother David up from the Coromandel Peninsula when he asked him to?

Monday, April 04, 2005

I Love JT

John Tamihere is now the most effective opposition MP National have. His honest and candid rant via Investigate today guarantees him the Tamaki Makaurau seat no matter what banner he chooses to run under. Speaking the truth is a rare trait among politicians today and despite what the media says voters like loose cannons who represent their electorate rather than the party head office. He said so many things that I've been wanting someone from the opposition to say for months now, among them this gem
(The Parliamentary press gallery are) utterly and totally useless. And sycophantic. You know and I know there's no investigative journalism done in that bloody gallery. In the information age, we've got more ignorant people out there than there's ever been.
Never have truer words been spoken.
John will no doubt pay a heavy price for breaking the first rule of the Labour Party - Don't talk about the Labour Party.
Will JT be the excuse Helen needs to call a snap-election?

The Gossip according to John

So, John Tamihere has shot his mouth off again, and will no doubt take another beating from the Labour Gestapo (Had to get that nazi reference in). But was this the 'on the record' interview as has been claimed? It is commonly thought that Ian Wishart and Investigate have as much journalistic integrity as this blog i.e none, so I would not take anything Wishart says at face value. He has been very careful not to explicitly state that Tamihere agreed to have the interview recorded, merely stating that the tape recorder used to record the interview "was on the table in front of him". If you listen to the small snippet of the interview posted on the Investigate website, Tamihere's voice is barely audible, whilst Wishart's is loud and clear, which would indicate the recording device was placed in closer proximity to the interviewer than interviewee. Surely if this was the 'on the record' interview he has implied it to be, Wishart would have ensured the interview subject was recorded with the best clarity possible even at the expense of the audibilty of the interviewers own questions. So while there is no doubt of Tamihere's feelings to some members of his own party, there is significant doubt over the intentions he had in participating in this stitch-up interview.

"A good asset to have on the list"

Aaron Bhatnagar has a piece on yesterday's Herald story about Stephen Ching, (which mysteriously is not available online). Mr Ching, described by designated party blogger Jordan as "a good asset to have on the list come election time", is this year's insincere token gesture to the "Asian community" (see Choudhary, Ashraf) seems have a somewhat questionable past. Labour claims their party list is based on talent, but this seems to show it is based more on demographics and market research than ability. What's even more galling for me as a pair of candidates I favour, who have served their party for several years were pushed down the list into oblivion to accomodate Mr Ching. I guess rural male pakeha farmers don't fit "Labour's vision of New Zealand's future".

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Sunday, April 03, 2005

Loose Cannon

DPF points out that John Tamihere's highly amusing, yet ill-advised diatribe has been removed from the Labour Party website. Now TV3 is "considering legal action", I don't think it would be in TV3's best interests to take this case to court, at the very least Duncan Garner would no longer have a job if all the ethically deficient details of this story were forcibly revealed. Tamihere even though his hands are from clean in this whole affair, would greatly benefit from a Winston Peters style 'victim of the liberal/conservative/mainstream media' campaign.
This coupled with the banishment of the TV3 cameras from the House this week could provide for some 'interesting' political coverage on TV3 in the coming months.
Will TV3 be donating $25,000 to the Labour Party this election year?

White Chocolate

According to the SST Terry Ryan of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu is not actually the Maori he claims to be.
This hardly comes as a shock really, There are many Pakeha 'Maori' with pale skin, caucasian features and family names like Jones, Smith or McDonald in leadership positions at various iwi around the country. When you have organisations that provide services to people based purely on their ethnicity, you'd think a basic prerequesite for being in a position of power in such an organisation would be to check the whakapapa of the persons in charge. Of course when you challenge such a person on their ethnic background, you are then apparently racist and have sullied the good name of their half-Maori Great-Aunt.