Sunday, November 09, 2008

We Called It!

Posted in January 2005

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.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Who is John Key? Part II: John Key is Barack Obama

Nominated by Chris Trotter and Peter Dunne

Barack Obama and Key both share English as a first language.

Both were born on a Pacific island, within four days of each other, so they could conceivably be twins.

Obama's middle name is "Hussein". John Key's middle name is "Putin"

Current opponent is a polarising female career politician with the initials "HC"

Obama has run on a message of change. John Key is a candidate of change.


Obama's election slogan is Hope. Action. Change.
John Key's slogan is I'm. Not. Helen Clark.

John Key is not a muslim.

Obama possesses oratory skills and charisma rarely seen in a modern political leader.
John Key has a classical tory lisp and the finest oratory skills since Don Brash.

Michelle Obama is a far more attractive "Dick Cheney" than Bill English.

Our verdict: No. if a comparision with an American Democratic canididate is really necessary, try John Kerry. "I was against the repeal of Section 59, before I voted for it, but when I'm charge I'm going to repeal it"

Monday, March 03, 2008

Who is John Key? Part 1

In the first of a possibly 300-part series, we examine the toughest question the media are asking of the National Party this year.
Just who is John Key?

As Key is seemingly absent of any discernible personality or policy, perhaps it would be more fun to use figures from popular culture to characterise this otherwise dull & uninspiring politician.

Don Brash's alternating characters of Mr Magoo & Montgomery Burns worked well for Labour three years ago and to win in 2008, an effective character needs be selected for Key.

Unfortunately the character Labour have created for Key thus far is "a vacuous rich-prick who is a incompetent fool and out of his depth and also a hollow man with a secret right-wing agenda to 'loot the state' for his rich anonymous donors."
This character is so contradictory and would really only be believable in the confines of a bad soap opera or US presidential politics.

National's 'positive' characterisation of Key as "Mr. Ambitious" however is just as ineffective, being two-dimensional and with only a little more depth than the real thing.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The deafening yawn

At the Labour Party's unofficial blog they allege corporate right wing media bias is afoot because of the 'deafening silence' about a speech given by John Key two months ago.

After all, both Labour & the EPMU (who have "no connection to the Labour Party") issued press releases about what Key said at a high-powered meeting with the Kerikeri District Business Association just before Christmas.

Surely this should be front-page news in mid-Feburary?

Or maybe there's a 'deafening silence' because it's such a obviously coordinated attempt at a diversion from the Owen Glenn saga.

If National-Lite had any spine, they would stand up and shine the light back on National's anonymous funders.
But it seems Labour's winning election strategy is to shy away from the issue and look like they have something to hide..

The height of this ridiculousnesses with the PM not shaking Owen Glenn's hand at the opening of the Auckland Business School he paid for!

Why is the PM of New Zealand kowtowing to a bunch of journalists who spend too much time reading kiwiblog?
A guy openly bankrolls your party and your former university's business school, and you reward him by chaining him to Mad Dog Mallard?
Fuck them, you're the fucking Prime Minister, shake his fucking hand and smile like you mean it.

It makes for a marked contrast between the two party leaders, Our Great Leader Helen does want to be seen with a businessman that has made millions of dollars of donations to her and the country, and yet John Key will hold hands with the head of a Maori Mafioso and hongi with a dodgy activist awaiting trial on firearms offenses.

Extreme naivety vs Hardened cynicism, what a choice we have this year.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Headline with a pun based on the word poll

Another bad poll for Labour in the Dom Post today. National with a sizable 23-point lead.
I must take issue with the analysis of the results though.

One in four of National's support base have switched to the party this year. That suggests Mr Key easily won the early election year jousting - at Waitangi, over boot camps for young offenders in his state of the nation speech, and at the opening of Parliament.


No, of course, the rise in voter support has be as a result of the narrative our serious and well-respected journalists create. Silly voters don't care about saving or earning thousands of dollars in interest over a lifetime, what they care about is Tame Iti, boot camps and the 20 seconds of John Key's opening day speech they saw on the news.

The DomPost also claims "The plunge in her support is likely to spark speculation of a leadership coup." (against Helen Clark)
Her preferred PM rating is 29%, her party's is at 32%, A difference of just three points, yet National is the preferred party of 55% in this poll, while Key only has 44% support for preferred PM, a difference of 11 points.

Labour have a lot of 'issues' to resolve this year, but Clark's leadership is definitely not one of them.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sensing Donors

Today on her blog at the National Herald, Audrey Young pondered "Was NZ First's mystery donation from Glenn too?"
This suggestion was based on the facts that NZ First received an anonymous donation of an unknown amount last year and Owen Glenn has donated money to political parties in the past and denied donating to NZ First.

In the world of the new media that's more than enough information to run with a story, after all what other possible conclusion could one make by looking at those two facts in isolation?

Though to be sure no-one thought she was lacking in journalistic ethics Young cautioned that

It is important to get fuller disclosure on this, not least to ensure that mud does not stick where it is not warranted.

Having unwarranted mud thrown about would be a terrible thing, so naturally as a responsible mainstream media outlet the Herald exercised restraint by making it the main headline on it's website for the afternoon.

Hilariously, later in the day, Winston Peters (in Africa), furiously denied the suggestion of a Glenn-NZ First donation to TVNZ's Espiner the Boy Wonder. Young later graciously accepted Winston's denial on her blog and said it was 'unfortunate that this may not be cleared up in a hurry' as Peters is not back in NZ until Saturday.

She's right of course, it was unfortunate and perhaps even inconsiderate of Winston to be out of the country, asleep and not available for comment while a senior journalist interviewed her keyboard about his activities.
There is a real story in there somewhere, after all Owen Glenn hasn't denied donating to NZ First nor has he denied that he has stopped beating his wife.

New Zealand's mostly widely read newspaper now has the less credibility than that of New Zealand's most popular blog. At least David Farrar has a disclosure statement.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Bastardisation of Kiwisaver

The mysterious 'Superpoints' brand was launched at the A1GP in Taupo recently, many a puzzled spectator wondered what the product was. A visit to their website gave little away.

It's seems 'Superpoints' is a new customer loyalty scheme, that will piggyback on Kiwisaver accounts.
Every New Zealand home will receive SuperPoints cards and an information pack in the mail.
SuperPoints is a new type of customer card designed to help all New Zealanders take advantage of earning points from a lifetime of shopping. These points get converted to cash and added to the fund, to help grow your money on top of the $1,000 kick-start from the Government to start your personal super fund for when you retire. Your points never expire. Over time funds will compound and can grow into thousands of dollars for retirement at age 65. The funds are held by Guardian Trust and advised by New Zealand's most expert and well-established organisations.

SuperPoints gives the opportunity to make voluntary contributions into the fund whenever people choose. This is done through technology that will be available in any shop displaying the SuperPoints sign.

The first step to financial freedom is collecting the free $1,000 kickstart, thanks to the combination of the SuperPoints card and KiwiSaver.

This just seems crazy.

Should taxpayer's money in the form of $1000 Kiwisaver 'kick-start' be used to gain market share from FlyBuys and other customer loyalty schemes?

Is it really fair that workers currently in a kiwisaver scheme are forced to save 4% of their income to get the $1,000 bonus, while non-workers will seemingly be able to access the $1,000 through a customer loyalty scheme.

And is this a Labour Party election-year bribe initiative ?

Or maybe there's a misunderstanding on my part about Kiwisaver, which I thought was meant to be a voluntary retirement saving scheme for working New Zealanders with contributions from the employee, the employer and the state, not a (partially) tax-payer funded customer loyalty program designed to get people to buy more crap at the petrol station.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Karma Keymeleon

There seems to be no limit to what John Key will say and do to form a government, not even insane photo opportunities like this

The way he's clenching The Godmother Titewhai Harawira's hand as if it was that of his own kin, seems eerily reminiscent of George W Bush's overly-enthusiastic hand-holding with Saudi Prince Abdullah

But if that's not enough to question Key's judgment with, there's this,

What the fuck is he thinking?

Seemingly an unholy National-Maori Party Coalition.
Crazy fucking times ahead.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Labour 1, National 2 aet

National has made another step towards becoming part of mainstream New Zealand by adopting Labour's policy for interest-free student loans.
This will mean the thousands of people who have a student loan can vote for a change in government knowing they aren't going to get fucked over by their loan in the future.
So why are National trying to bury it with 'dead rat' spin at a junket in Rotovegas?

Later this year Labour will have no shame when it comes to trumpeting their newly found love of personal tax cuts even though they are ideologically opposed to it.
If National's reasoning is because "we lost the last election" then why not just adopt all of Labour's policies and invite Our Great Leader Helen to take over a grand coalition and become PM for Life, and Honest John can go back to buying ghastly houses.

This policy will win National far more votes than that 'boot camp' garbage, all we voters ask is a little bit of (fake) sincerity when selling it, be happy about it!, it's your damn policy, you can always blame Brash/English,/Shipley/Richardson for the past.

CommunoFascism a GoGo

This blog has now achieved official political hermaphrodite status.

According the Labour Party's unofficial blog the Standard, we are of the right-wing persuasion, or as we like to call it - 'fascists', but now the ultimate arbitrator of NZ-blog political alignments, National's dpf has deemed us to be on the 'left' or rather, 'communists'.

Being listed as political opposites of & can only mean one thing, we are the NZ Blog-Clique's Peter Dunne.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Clark 1, Key 0.

The 2008 election wrestling season is underway after Honest John Key and Our Great Leader Helen gave 'state of the nation' speeches on successive days, and result is John Key and National still don't look ready to govern.

'Boot Camps' (although that's not how Key described them in his speech) is a tired old idea that is more suitable as the centerpiece of Winston First's election campaign than that of a potential governing party.
In Germany, a teenager was sent to an outsourced 'boot camp' in Siberia as it was a far cheaper option, perhaps Key could work out a deal with a struggling Pacific Island economy to run 'boot camps' there, in a similar way to which John Howard used Nauru to imprison asylum seekers.

Giving a 'discount' or 'voucher' for tertiary education to school drop-outs is a little insulting to the majority of students who work through the secondary school system and then face massive fees at the tertiary level. It gives the perception of being rewarded for bad behavior. The proposed system also seems easily open to corruption and unaccountability despite Key's assurances otherwise.

Labour's proposal on the other hand seems far more inclusive and perhaps even 'ambitious', rather than being an ambulance at the bottom of a cliff, an integrated apprenticeship system can engage the students before they get frustrated and drop out of the system, and of course it will help a large number of trade students, the vast majority of whom are not 'trouble-makers' and would not benefit under National's policy.

Which is the actual better policy for New Zealand means little compared to the reaction of the general public and the influence it has on the election, but I think Key's policy needed a bit more oomph to keep it in the minds of the average voter, perhaps packaging it with a populist issue like raising the drinking age to 20 would have worked better.

The funny thing is even if National wins the election, they'll end up implementing this Labour policy on apprenticeships in some form anyway.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

States of the Nationses

John Key is due to deliver his "Orewa" State of the Nation speech today, shortly afterwards America's Greatest President GW Bush will deliver his, one would hope, final State of the Union address.
Now if you're John Key do you really want to invite a comparison with GW Bush?

Key is rumoured to be speaking about the massive problem of there only being 8400 under 18 year-olds not in work, education or training, apparently the problem with early school-leavers was a lack of incentive, so now with the offer of 'subsided' tertiary education, which they would otherwise have to pay 'full-price' for at age 18, they have more reason to get out of our schools early and help National raise our local school's NCEA achievement levels.

Apart from this tiny fragment of policy, one would hope there will be something interesting or at the very least inflammatory in today's Key speech, however from what we have seen so far, the pre-election campaign of "Mr. Ambitious" appears to be anything but.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Great moments in APN sub-editing #745

Though to be fair, when you're as old and crotchety as Granny Herald, everybody seems like a teenager.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

McDonald's Kaitaia scores PR own-goal

McDonald's Kaitaia have won a gagging order against a former employee ordering him shut down his blog that discussed issues at his workplace.

Two offending posts were removed from the blog and the former employee is to "refrain from making any written statements or posting any information on digital media about McDonald's, or any of its staff", because there could be nothing more harmful to a large corporation than a badly written ramble by a former low-level employee.

However the offending blog posts were archived on technorati and have been reproduced on a blogger site here - McDonalds Kaitaia Blog
So congratulations McDonalds Kaitaia you have now ensured that more people will read the "offensive material" than ever would have otherwise and in the process damaged your reputation more than your former employee's misspelt words ever could have.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Murder on Facebook

I hate Facebook, I really do, however it seems to be becoming the default opt-in electronic surveillance system for the 20+ demographic. There are some privacy restrictions, however many people are either too vain or naive to understand that anyone in their "Network" (i.e the entire country) can look at their personal details.

The young Otago university graduate who was murdered by her former boyfriend two days ago had a 'open' facebook account, and the print media has not hesitated to browse her personal photo albums there to find suitably poignant pictures for their stories.

From the news reports about the 10 year age difference between the psycho ex-boyfriend and his victim and the personal photos on the victim's facebook page, we can deduce the probable identity of the murderer despite there being an interim name suppression order, although this was probably just for the benefit of the killer's employer who are quickly removing any trace of him from the internet.

The victim's facebook profile now remains permanently open on the internet for everyone to see, the genuine optimism of her young life frozen in time, along with the unfortunate choice of superpoke made a couple of months earlier by her eventual killer.
If anything can be learned from the aftermath of this horrible event, it's that people need to check the privacy setting on their facebook profiles to ensure they are not publicly accessible

If you come to an unforeseen ending do you really want any and everybody looking through everything you've ever posted on that site, and some jackasses publishing your personal photographs in a newspaper or linking to your personal details from their lame blog?