Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Yes, But What About The Children?

1:  JonKey and the Microphone.
All media people, politicians, and lawyers have one teeny, tiny thing drummed into them from birth. It's this: treat all microphones as live. And anyone who is having a "private" conversation when there are thirty or forty reporters, journalists, camera and sound guys milling about should always look at strange bags on their table and ask them that vital question" "WTF?" Ickshilly, as JonKey would say, his security people missed it, too.
I don't think for a moment that JonKey and The Banks-Robber suspected they were being recorded as they sat their in the full glare of cameras and camera lights. The fact is, however, they never even once considered the possibility. Call it arrogance. Call it ignorance. I call it idiocy, compacency, and incompetence. Now, the argument about whether they were having a private moment has been hashed over. It seems to be about a 60/40 split, with the 40% being those who would just die for their JonKey, he's so cute. If it was private, I ask, why didn't they ask that the cameras be turned off? Oh, yes, that's right: they wanted the gullible to see they were getting on famously well. The JonKey just doesn't want anyone to hear how famously well they were getting on. So well, it seems, that The Banks-Robber was just tickled pink to be taking instructions from the JonKey on how to get rid of The Embarassment, a.k.a The Brash-Faced Liar.
The JonKey is busy surfing a tide of undeserved popularity into the election. I think someone should be standing behind him at all times (Tony Ryall would do - he's a spectacularly empty suit) whispering "Remember George Dubbya, Remember George Dubbya".

2:  Did Doug Graham Really Suffer The Loss of a $12,000 Nest Egg?
Doug Graham, one of the very few right-wing politicians I have ever had any affection and respect for (due to his sterling work on the Waitangi Tribunal) has shown himself to be as craven and morally deficient as our incumbent PM.
Graham, lest you forget, was on the Lombard board went the company went tits up, owing some $125 million to investors. In yesterday's "Stuff" ( ) it was reported that he had told the court hearing (yes, he's up on criminal charges over the Lomad fiasco) that he had himself lost a $12,000 retirement fund when Lombard imploded, and he could "ill afford to lose it".
What? Remember, this is a man who was a Cabinet Minister for many years, earning over $120,000 per annum. He's a top flight Remuera lawyer, with a partnership in a big firm. He's a Director, earning thousands in fees. And he can "ill afford" to lose a measly $12,000?
Here's my take on that statement: if it's true, then he's a hopelessly dreadful money manager, and is therefore incompetent to sit on any board of any investment / finance company. If it's not trrue and he could easily afford to lose $12,000 (and a quick check of his bank and trust funds will show this very quickly) then he's perjured himself, and should be tossed in the brig. Pronto.
Also: Dougy-boy claims that he didn't know what the word "impaired" meant when applied to loans. Uh - say what? I hate to raise that incompetency word again, but sheesh! If you don't know the language, stay out of the conversation, Dougy-boy!
Oh - also: he said he resigned his position on the Board that day after Lombards was put into receivership, because he felt "there was nothing more I could do". Very noble, I'm sure - except of course there was nothing more he could do. The company was in receivership. He'd been fucking fired!

3: Celia Lashlie - lashing out?
An earlier headline to this story (again, Stuff) said that Celia Lashley has Lashed Out at Mums. That's now the lead sentence. Celia Lashley, of course, has done nothing of the sort. She has simply pointed out that parents of teenagers (not just Mums. Dads, too.) have to be firm with their kids, and to not let them get away with stuff.
We can take a lesson from her, by writing filthy emails to publications that let us down with mis-leading headlines.

BREAKING NEWS: I have a job interview next week. Fingers crossed.

Listening to: Simon and Garfunkel, "Bridge Over Troubled Waters". Still a great album.
Reading: Greg Bear "The City at the End of Time". No one could ever accuse Greg Bear of thinking small.
Movies watched: DVD: "Black Death", with Sean Bean. "Green Zone", Matt Damon. Both good. And we took the plunge and blew some bucks on a movie-theatre experience, "The Debt", Helen Mirren. Worth the blowing of dough.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Yes, but that's politics, isn't it?

The New Plymouth chairman of ACT, Morris Hey, has challenged the glorious Donkey to honour a deal and pull the National candidate for Epsom from the "race" for that seat, in order to let the ACT candidate, the oily John Banks, win - and thereby deliver 5 more seats for a Right Wing coalition.
This is, of course, not only deeply distasteful and cynical - it is about as anti-democratic as you can possibly get.
Not being entirely naive, I do understand that this kind of scurrilous deal-making has been a part of our political and electoral landscape since our second MMP election - hence my headline. But we do come back to a plain and basic truth that my old Granny taught me when I was a wee tacker: the fact that everyone does a thing doesn't make that thing right. To take Paul Goldsmith from the Epsom ballot in order to manipulate the result will be to take choice from the Epsom voters. There are undoubtedly a number (yes, 3 is a number) of Epsom voters who don't want Banks to be their local representative to Parliament, but who can also not bring themselves to vote Labour, Green, Mana, Maori, or (heaven forbid) United Ennui. If Goldsmith is removed from the ballot these people will be disenfranchised. Yes, Goldsmith will probably get to Parliament anyway, because he's high on National's list - but that is beside the point.
Meanwhile, Labour's campaign has, in many ways, proven the wisdom and courage of the decision to keep the Labour billboards local, and keep Phil Goof's (typo intentional) face off the posters. I don't actually believe billboard campaigns make much difference. You can't say anything of lasting value on them. To condense a heavyweight policy down to a five word slogan does nothing to inform anyone - although I'd be happy to be disabused. Perhaps they are very effective on voters who can't read, and who get their political news off a once-daily 2 minute news broadcast on The Rock or Hauraki.
I am getting depressed by Goof, though. I think the man is intellectually honest, but I'd like to see some real outrage in the face of the constant stream of half-truths and evasions from Jonkey and his band of lickspittles. Yes, he called the PM a liar. No equivation: he told the Jonkey to his face that he was a liar. He got a wet and warm Jonkey Donkey smile in response. I swear I could hear Women Of A Certain Age from as far afield as Gore going "Aaaaaw, isn't he lovely?" as they clutched their heaving bosoms. Goof has got to stand up in the debates and show where and how National has deceived us all over the past three years. He has got to let loose the dogs of war and show us how National is so far in bed with the Corporations that they can take it all orifices and still keep a smile going.
Labour's policy of extending the superannuation qualification age is right on the button. I do wonder why they couldn't have introduced it three years ago, though - oh, wait: it was politically dangerous. Well, Labour was toast three years ago, they're toast now, so where's the difference?
The Greens are going to be Labour's saviours. unlike the other parties (all of them) Green are at least honest. They call a spade a bloody spade. They're revealed the only somewhat revolutionary policy idea
so far - that of having a publicly owned organisation set up for people to invest their Kiwisavers through. It has the potential of saving up to 50% of all fees, giving ordinary NZers up to an extra $150,000 in their bank accounts at the end of their working lives. Mind you - even with the Greens, Labour won't get in. Notunless Goof actually does stand up and actually start shouting. Stop being so bloody nice, Phil!
National, of course, will hate Green's idea: anything that takes money out of their corporate masters' pockets and puts it into the hands of the workers will be seen as a Bad Idea, and consigned to the depths.
With a lovely smile, of course, as Jonkey Donkey 'splains that it's undemercritic, and that the markets must set the levels, and oh, pshaw.
Reading: I'm on a Len Deighton spree. Reading Hook, with Line, and Sinker waiting. But i also have the latest bernard Cornwell arrived from the Book Depository! What's a man to do?
Listening to: The Windy City Strugglers, "Snow On The Desert Road'. marvellous.