Tuesday, December 20, 2011


" I'd be really pleased to meet you if I could remember your name
But I got problems of the memory ever since I got a winner in the fame game

I'm a citizen of Legoland travellin' incommunicado
And I don't give a damn for the Fleet Street aficionados
But I don't want to be the back-page interview
I don't want launderette anonymity
I want my hand prints in the concrete on Sunset Boulevard
A dummy in Tussauds you'll see

Incommunicado, incommunicado

I'm a Marquee veteran, a multimedia bonafide celebrity
I've got an allergy to Perrier, daylight and responsibility
I'm a rootin'-tootin' cowboy, the Peter Pan, the street credibility
Always taking the point with the dawn patrol fraternity

Sometimes it seems like I've been here before
When I hear opportunity kicking in my door
Call it synchronicity call it deja vu
I just put my faith in destiny - it's the way that I choose

But I don't want to be a tin can tied
To the bumper of a wedding limousine
Or currently residing in the where are they now file
A toupee on the cabaret scene
I want to do adverts for American Express cards
Talk shows on prime time TV
A villa in France, my own cocktail bar
And that's where you're gonna find me

Incommunicado, incommunicado

Sometimes it seems like I've been here before
When I hear opportunity kicking in my door
Call it synchronicity call it deja vu
I just put my faith in destiny - it's the way that I choose

Incommunicado, incommunicado
It's the only way"

Fish Marillion

Yes reader or maybe there is more than one of you I am leaving I am gone tomorrow I will be incommunicado or rather in a negotiating battle with various family factions requiring  use of the computer that my faction is me and a senile old Labrador / golden retriever vs.  parent faction  they pay the bill have a golden retriever and my mut will defect to this faction. Oldest sister faction, two Adults 3 kids and two dogs very powerful faction. Next sister faction two adults 3 kids  might well offer bribes to my mut, but are currently domiciled in the UK giving a scarcity factor. That is like being gold against iron ore.

Shit it is like trying to be an opposition  Labour Party power player without having the name David. Hell I think they have 4 David's at the moment  not to mention  there unofficial advisor  David Farrar  who also advises the  government on a more official basis that they have a couple of David's as well .

And woman planning to procreate with me ( fat chance )  should be aware that I have having listened to
Jim Mora's programme today come to the conclusion  any offspring will be named Goliath or Golifisa.

I long gave up on that pointless  piece of prose called the bible but I love Christmas and I hope you all have a great Christmas

Monday, December 19, 2011

I hate shaving

I do it, my face is me but I do not do genitals and I have no intention to start. Please tell me why you would shave. I shave my face and get rid of  stuff I do not need. When you shave you  take someting I want. The in's and out's.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Congratulations Paula Bennett

I want to congratulate Paula Bennett ( National right ) on winning Waitakere. Had I been voting I would not have voted for her I would have voted for Carmel Sepuloni ( Labour left ). Waitakere was a safe Labour seat and now can be regarded as a marginal National seat or maybe even a swing seat that is likely to go to the government of the day, that is a fantastic achievement by Paula.

My heart goes out Carmel Sepuloni losing by 12 votes was a heart breaking result and my anger at the fools who ranked the Labour list and cost the Left this excellent MP is is is.... adjectives fail me.

They do not fail me how ever  when I read Nick K's post at No Minister   the blog is short and sweet.

Ugly stuff

These people have put this photo up of Paula Bennett on their Facebook page. The comments that follow by some people are just as ugly.
What despicable cretins."

The picture is despicable but cretins is not a word I would use to describe them adjectives do not fail me this time, they are mean spirited pricks and I have not used the C word because it is possible  Paula or Sepuloni  might read this and I would hate to offend either of them in a post that discusses them.

Paula, Carmel and for that matter I suspect Nick K and I all want the same thing, we want to see people working and contributing to our society. That some people who I have to assume are on my side of the political divide  would do this to you Paula disgusts me. We not only lost the contest of ideas by not having any until it was to late to work but we lost the contest on decency and fairness. Paula I agree on the destination not the road.

As an advocate on the left I apologise to you Paula and when The Standard  and Red Alert  say that this is totally unacceptable and apologise, please accept my apology. To accept it before lets them of the hook that Nick baited and I was so appalled felt happy to cast.

Nick didn't give a link to the facebook page rather to the group but I trust the guys at No Minister to tell the truth. When they get something wrong they always admit it.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Republican insanity continues.

It was my intention to have a laugh at the Republican contenders but as can often happen with google I stumbled on something more heartless than a Republican contender and that is HR 3630. anyway Siddhartha Mahanta blogs.

" On Tuesday, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed HR 3630, a bill extending President Barack Obama's 2 percent payroll tax cut. But the tax cut, which was set to expire on January 1 and will save the average American family an estimated $1,000 next year, is just about the only candy cane in this holiday stocking. The rest of HR 3630 is bursting at the seams with conservative goodies, including—get this—drastic changes to the unemployment insurance system that could force unemployed Americans to undergo drug tests, require them to get GEDs, ( General Educational Development test ) and greatly reduce the time they're able to receive benefits. "
Now that is just plain nasty. On December 5 a reader on Kiwiblog talked about his experience of being on the dole in NZ and on stuff today former MP  Georgina Beyer describes her life on the unemployment benefit both are a sobering read. Mahanta continues.

" Under current law, unemployed workers are eligible for up to 99 weeks of federal and state unemployment benefits. States pay for the first 26 weeks of those benefits, and the federal government foots the bill for between 34 and 73 more—the exact number varies from state to state based on each state's unemployment rate. If the Republicans get their way, workers who use up their 26 weeks would only be able to receive benefits through week 59—reducing their benefits by up to 40 weeks. The GOP bill also reduces the monetary value of the benefits it does provide."

A slash and burn approach that will see UI ( Unemployment Insurance ) liabilities to the Federal Government drop by over 50% on those figures. Now this is interesting.

"...Mark Zandi, an economic adviser for Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign, has estimated that each dollar spent on extending unemployment benefits generates $1.61 in economic growth. Meanwhile, according to an analysis from the National Employment Law Project (NELP), the Republicans' bill would result in $22 billion in lost economic growth and cost at least 140,000 jobs next year. With unemployment still hovering around 8.6 percent, those numbers are pretty catastrophic."

So ultimately the cuts will do more damage than good.

" Not content with simply slashing benefits, Republicans also want to impose new requirements on unemployment benefit seekers. Their bill would mandate that all UI recipients hold high school diplomas or GEDs and would allow states to drug-test applicants. But the bill doesn't provide any money to pay for those new hurdles, putting that burden on already cash-strapped state governments."

Effectively accusing the American unemployed of being drug users and shifting the cost to the State governments doesn't strike me as very clever but the Republicans don't strike me as very clever either.

" HR 3630 seems to pin the blame for being unemployed on the jobless, says Maurice Emsellem, a policy codirector with the NELP. "They're figuring that the record number of people who are out of a job today are out a job because it's their fault," Emsellem says.
But Jesse Rothstein, an economist at the University of California-Berkeley who has studied unemployment insurance, says there's little evidence that lack of education or drug addiction is the main problem for most unemployed people. "Most of the problem right now is that there aren't enough jobs," he says. The most recent data from the Bureau on Labor Statistics backs him up, showing 6.9 million people receiving unemployment insurance (out of a total 14 million without work) versus 3.4 million job openings in September. The BLS data "implies that measures aimed at getting people to look harder for jobs aren't likely to be very useful," Rothstein adds."

Stating the obvious is in the end a fairly pointless game in both America and New Zealand if there are no jobs there are no jobs and if the Euro zone falls apart it will get a whole lot worse Cameron Slater  spotted this in The Telegraph

"We have an atomic bomb that we can use in the face of the Germans and the French: this atomic bomb is simply that we won't pay," said Pedro Nuno Santos, vice-president of the Socialist Party in the parliament.
"Debt is our only weapon and we must use it to impose better conditions, because recession itself is what is stopping us complying with the (EU-IMF Troika) accord. We should make the legs of the German bankers tremble," he said"

I wonder if the Republicans have spotted it. At the start of this mess we were shown images on TV of people who had lost the house and job in the US in trailer parks they were philosophical about it America would recover, they were flying American flags. I don't see images like that on the news now I see Occupy Wall Street like the Tea Party they are incoherent  and unlike the Tea Party they are leaderless but Pedro Nuno Santos will be somewhere in the Occupy movement.

Danyl at the Dim-Post on a tangentially related issue made this comment today about the passing of Christopher Hitchens

" He was wrong on the great issue of the day: the invasion of Iraq – and he was so stridently, sneeringly, viciously wrong that his vanity never allowed him to walk it back. He spent a huge amount of time, energy and words railing against the existential threat of ‘Islamofascism’ when it turned out the great threat to the hegemony of the west was our own financial system."

Perceptive guy Danyl, the Republicans might want to think about the ultimate cost of shifting the blame for the recession onto the poor and unemployed. As the American dream  myth implodes the Republican response is to kick the most vulnerable in the teeth. Poor, unemployed and uneducated doesn't mean stupid.

The Antarctic. What a surprise

As we watch MV Rena and the destruction  that vessel is causing, have a think about Foreign Charter Vessels fishing our off shore limits and those fishing in our area of rescue. Today we have the report of the Sparta that has hit problems in Antarctica and in all probability is lost.

" Crew on board a Russian-flagged fishing boat which hit an iceberg in Antarctica's Ross Sea, are frantically trying to remove water from the vessel and repair a hole in its hull.
It could take several days before other boats reach the 708 deadweight-tonne Sparta, which is in distress after hitting an underwater iceberg.
The 23-year-old Sparta issued a distress call around 3am, the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) said.
A Hercules aircraft flew over Sparta today to assess ice conditions in the area. The ice was around 1.5 metres thick, RCCNZ said.
"Things are improving, but things are in a very serious situation," Andrey Kulish of San Diego's Sedna Industries Inc said.
Three vessels were heading toward the 23-year-old Sparta, but were having difficulty reaching it as there was heavy sea ice in the area, RCCNZ said.
Kulish believed the collision split a weld in the hull about 1.5 metres below the waterline. It had created a hole which flooded Sparta's biggest hold.
"We are using every pump we have and the water is starting to go down."

I would like to be wrong but let' have a look at Sparta

Well that does not inspire confidence.

It just gets worse. There is a review of Foreign Charter Vessels operating in New Zealand waters and the slavery that it encompasses but don't expect anything  to happen, National and the Maori Party have too many ties to commercial fishing to take it seriously.

" Kulish believed the collision split a weld in the hull about 1.5 metres below the waterline. It had created a hole which flooded Sparta's biggest hold.
"We are using every pump we have and the water is starting to go down."
The crew was working to redistribute the vessel load and to repair a hole in the hull, RCCNZ said.
The 48m vessel, with 32 crew on board, had a 30cm hole in the side, 1.5 metres below the water line, RCCNZ search and rescue mission coordinator Ramon Davis said.
The vessel was on a 13 degree lean and was still taking on water.
"So far, the crew has managed to keep up with the ingress of water. They have also attached a tarpaulin on the outside of the hull which is helping slow the rate of water into the hold." Davis said.
"If they can get all the water out of the hold that might lighten the ship enough for the hole to be above the water line, and allow the crew to repair the damage."

Good luck to them, I hope they can save the ship because it has 32 crew and about 700 tones of oil on board that will not enhance Antarctica. What the fuck was such a rust bucket doing fishing Tooth fish in the Ross Sea in the first place ?

If commercial vessels are operating in Rescue Coordination Centre NZ responsibility waters then at the very least they must meet our safe ship management rules. The foreign flag is a joke.

" A New Zealand boat, Sanford's partly ice-strengthened San Aspiring was heading toward Sparta. 
Another Russian boat run by Sedna, the 24-year-old Chiyo Maru no. 3, was moving toward Sparta, but it could not go through ice.
RCCNZ search and rescue mission coordinator Ramon Davis said San Aspiring was 870 kilometres from Sparta but would take four to five days to reach her.
A third vessel was 35 kilometres away, but was hemmed in by heavy ice and was unable to proceed. 
A US Air Force C130 Hercules from McMurdo Sound was due over the scene this afternoon."

I am not a Sanford fan but it would appear that San Aspiring is a NZ flagged ship and not a charter  vessel and is fit for purpose.

What a mess. This is a direct consequence of wholesale deregulation the sort of bullshit the right wing in NZ loves. The result is FCV fishing our fish with slave labour, National and The Maori Party  will scream  that is the only way to make a profitable return, well  fuck you both go look at Tallys.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas just about sorted

I am a bit of a fan off Christmas bar getting family members Christmas presents, I never know what to get people. I asked for suggestions for the niece's and nephew's from their parents and the got an email from a 6 year old nephew asking for a combination padlock. His mother ( my sister ) then emailed with instructions for me to pick up some stuff she had bought and an  phone call later I agreed to pay for the bought stuff and that resolved both sisters and my mother's present issues.

That left two nephew's and three niece's, further consultation resolved nephew's they would get combination locks as well. The niece's I should be able to sort out tomorrow with some felt pens and colouring books, my English and English based brother in law I have sorted.

Yes I am a total bastard, he gets the Silver Fern flag. I can think of nothing more appropriate for a supporter of the English Rugby Team who disgraced our shores both on and off the field. Actually the reality is that he was the easiest of all to sort and I had him sorted out well before the World Cup so I will use the flag to wrap the present.

I couldn't help myself and have blogged it before but the kid's are also going to get these but I will probably leave it to New Year to give them. I am a Hogmanay child and have some never used baby stuff from who ever was the Mayor of Edinburgh on the 1/1/67 unless Mum got maternal and gave it to one of my sister's.

I am not allowed to to buy myself   the boys a remote control helicopter something I have wanted  and  could blame a nephew's for, I never put the idea in  my nephew's  heads,

I didn't honest. But I will.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Time person of the year.

Time is an interesting magazine and one I buy when it has an Editor who understands that there is life outside of America. I bought a copy last year and it was Ameracentric I will probably buy one again soon and if it is of a reasonable standard buy another. On that note I will give Time a huge tick for  Project Detroit   a  blog initiative that involved Time correspondents  moving to Detroit and  reporting on line on the ongoing demise ( and recovery ) of Detroit. It could be heart breaking but it could also be inspirational but reading it and commenting on it I became a de-facto citisen of Detroit.

Today Time gave us its person of the Year.

The Protester as the cover says" From the Arab spring to Athens, from Occupy Wall Street to Moscow " somewhat surprisingly Occupy Auckland and Occupy the Octagon don't rate a mention on the cover but they may be in the article, I am not holding my breath. I haven't read the article but from MSM.

" Time magazine revealed the 2011 choice for its iconic Person of the Year cover live on TODAY Wednesday. The Protester is this year’s choice, managing editor Rick Stengel told Matt Lauer and Ann Curry.
“There was a lot of consensus among our people,” Stengel told the TODAY anchors as he revealed the magazine’s cover. “It felt right.” "

I have a favourite protest group, it isn't occupy anything though, but more on that later, this is funny, potentially my future Queen  ( although not Head of State ) was in the mix at number 5

" And coming in No. 5: Duchess Kate. Having captured the attention and affection of millions, the magazine says, the former Kate Middleton is now “poised to reinvent celebrity with restraint.” "

That is hard to believe.  However I  remember the Black Adder  Goes Back and Forth programme  and am reminded of the line in the closing music " At last a Queen who looks good naked."  which in turn reminded me of Princes Di and  Marillion's Fish and A Script For A Jesters Tear but don't blame me if it happens.

"  The fool escaped from paradise 
Will look over his  ( her )  shoulder and cry
Sit and chew on daffodils and struggle to answer "Why?" 
As you grow up and leave the playground 
Where you kissed your prince and found your frog
Remember the jester that showed you tears, the script for tears "

Back to my favourite protesters and a group cruelly ignored by Time Magazine.

The Femen   These women are opposed to sex tourism in the Ukraine.

" FEMEN (UkrainianФемен) is a Ukrainian protest group based in Kiev, founded in 2008. The organisation became internationally known for organizing topless protests against sex tourists,international marriage agencies, sexism and other social, national and international ills.[1][4][5][6][7][8][9] Some of the goals of the organisation are: "To develop leadership, intellectual and moral qualities of the young women in Ukraine" and "To build up the image of Ukraine, the country with great opportunities for women".[3] "

Now I love irony and I almost suspect Time Magazine of it except that they really don't get it. The Femen get my vote for protesters of the year.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kiwiblog on Phil Goff

DPF blogs

"Mr Goff has restated his commitment to seeing out this term in Parliament and says he intends to stand again in 2014."
" Oh good God. That will help the rejuvenation – not.
Who on earth would he want to stay on as a backbencher? Does he intend to outlast Ross Robertson? "

Actually I  mostly agree with him, but for reasons far different from the ones being articulated on Farrar's troll farm, ( one I enjoy very much ). A few days ago I blogged

" Phil Goff is finished and in many ways that saddens me, he is my MP and best one I have ever had. A few years a refugee my sister was working with was billed for what I can only describe as a huge cock up by the district health board they ignored my sister so I rang Goff's office and the situation was resolved in 24 hours. If he wants to stay on as MP for Mt. Roskill he has my electorate vote for life. It occurs to me though that Stuart Nash would be a good fit for the electorate should Goff stand down."

I stand by that but DPF is correct to point out the need for rejuvenation. Phil Goff  didn't astonished me with this and largely because I question his judgement at the moment. Phil is an incredibly loyal person unlike some of his colleagues but his loyalty now should not be to me his constituent in Mt. Roskill it is to New Zealand and he needs to think about what he can achieve for us outside of parliament in the real world. Ele at Homepaddock makes  the case for that.

John Key I noted but I can't be bothered finding the reference said a government appointment was  a possibility for Goff  if he retires. People of Phil's caliber are few and far between and we are not finished with you yet Phil. Leave and do better for us mate.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Torquemada"s Robes

" To don the robes of Torquemada, to resurrect the Inquisition,
And in that tortured subtle manner inflict questions within questions,
within questions.
Looking in shades of green through shades of blue;
I trust you trusting me to mistrust you."

Fish, Marillion, Emerald Lies

Saudi Arabia is a place our politicians try to spin as an important trade partner but I am not convinced actually I think they are a people ruled by a bunch of authoritarian pricks in cohorts with a another bunch of religious zealots. Today the BBC exposed the price of witchcraft and sorcery

" A Saudi woman has been executed for practising "witchcraft and sorcery", the country's interior ministry says.
A statement published by the state news agency said Amina bint Abdul Halim bin Salem Nasser was beheaded on Monday in the northern province of Jawf.
The ministry gave no further details of the charges which the woman faced.
The woman was the second person to be executed for witchcraft in Saudi Arabia this year. A Sudanese man was executed in September."

I hate capital punishment and how ever much I wish Anders Behring Brevick had the courage to go up against armed police in Norway, he was a coward who killed unarmed kids. That kind of makes me wonder about his insanity defence but then that is his lawyers not him I am guessing.

" BBC regionalist analyst Sebastian Usher says the interior ministry stated that the verdict against Ms Nasser was upheld by Saudi Arabia's highest courts, but it did not give specific details of the charges.

The London-based newspaper, al-Hayat, quoted a member of the religious police as saying that she was in her 60s and had tricked people into giving her money, claiming that she could cure their illnesses.
Our correspondent said she was arrested in April 2009."

Well if that is the case and I do not accept it on the testimony above an anonymous " religious policeman " then one might have thought some sort of fraud conviction would be appropriate. Incidental I can see no difference between the belief in Allah and the belief that a someone can cure you of illness by witchcraft.

" A Sudanese man was executed in September on similar charges, despite calls led by Amnesty for his release.
In 2007, an Egyptian national was beheaded for allegedly casting spells to try to separate a married couple.
Last year, a Lebanese man facing the death penalty on charges of sorcery, relating to a fortune-telling television programme he presented, was freed after the Saudi Supreme Court decreed that his actions had not harmed anyone.
Amnesty says that Saudi Arabia does not actually define sorcery as a capital offence. However, some of its conservative clerics have urged the strongest possible punishments against fortune-tellers and faith healers as a threat to Islam. "

Saudi Arabia reminds me of apartheid South Africa. This is the politics of hate, this is something we should not agree to, it is time to say good by to Saudi Arabia and you can't buy in New Zealand and  make it fucking clear to them if a NZ subject ( actually I would go further and include Australia, UK, US or Canada ) is ever included in there murderous plans then trey will be boycotted and if any other nations wants to join the core Commonwealth countries you are welcome.

Yes I know that America isn't part of the Commonwealth but it is part of Trotters  fist and just sometimes the fist should punch.

Hat Tip No Right Turn

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The English mob arrive

My sister and cousin or rather my cousins daughter so that will make her  a cousin of I think some other type of cousin I am guessing ( a second cousin ?), arrived with two of my nephews and a niece. I hate to think what my cell phone bill will be. Left work to meet them and the texts started arriving on at regular intervals I was able to read a couple at red lights, the first was from  my brother in law bitching about the weather in London, he can't get away from work yet and obviously wife and kids having a great time in the NZ summer was starting to weigh upon him. I had a certain degree of sympathy given it is a shitty horrible day in Auckland.

At the next red light I discovered he was tracking the flight and they were at 37,000 feet and travelling at 497 knots that was comforting because I was still in Pakaranga at this point. By about Mt. Wellington and another red light I discovered that the plane was,

"Really spooky-I can see it descending rapidly now. Down to 32,000 now."

OK I have my timing fairly good I am thinking and the phone goes quite until I get onto the ( south eastern I think it is called ) motorway to the airport, the phone goes but this time it is a call at the next red light I look at who my missed call was from and discover it is Private Number. That is usually Mum so after I park at the domestic terminal and start my walk to the international terminal I ring her at this point I discover a  feature on my cell phone, call waiting. I can't call Mum until I deal with call waiting in fact I can't do anything at all but deal with call waiting and I haven't a clue how to deal with call waiting.

As I walk through a bed of freshly sown beautifully raked  bed of grass talking to my cell phone begging it to give me that clue I glance up and see a guy  looking at me like I am a moron I think he was  trying to tell me what to do because it came to me take the bloody battery out.

" Yeah did you just ring me Mum ?"

I say, having really got on top of technology. I am told yes take your sister, cousin and kids  to domestic and check there luggage there. Apparently an earlier flight to the deep south is available but I  say you should be able to do that at the International terminal. That provokes debate between parents and I accidentally on purpose cut them off  and sit down to light a cigarette. I ring back and the consensus is I am right.

I can now, as I wait for them to emerge from immigration reply to  sisters husband, and do I tell him the plane has landed  and he responds that he can see that, the brain starts working and I remember he is tracking the plane in real time with some sort of  technology I have yet to discover I look at my cell phone and realise if it didn't have a fold out key board I would be lost and I forgive the cell phone, I know how to take out its battery.
They arrive I hug sister and cousin and get tackled by nephews who for some reason think the English are the greatest rugby nation in the world, the boys  figure that they aren't big enough yet to drop me and a re-education programme will be put in place soon. I fully expect them to be tackling their father from New Year on. I gather my  father  started this process tonight.

Today was a great day, a sister, a cousin  and three of my six kid's, I just need, another sister  another 3 kids  two brother in laws and  my brother in law's brother Rupert my parents and it will be great. To be perfect I would need Jim an Liz

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Got a letter from my Niece

" Merry christmas  love from Lucy to un cl e Hamish "

At 4 years old I am telling you my niece had a lot of courage to write, uncle is not an easy word but she nailed it.

Parents have been  consulted with regard to  presents not just the kids parents but my parents.

The British divorce Europe

The situation in Europe  changed fundamentally this weekend with the failure of the EU to reach an agreement as a result of a UK veto as Charlemagne notes

" In an effort to stabilise the euro zone, France, Germany and 21 other countries have decided to draft their own treaty to impose more central control over national budgets. Britain and three others have decided to stay out. In the coming weeks, Britain may find itself even more isolated. Sweden, the Czech Republic and Hungary want time to consult their parliaments and political parties before deciding on whether to join the new union-within-the-union.

So two decades to the day after the Maastricht Treaty was concluded, launching the process towards the single European currency, the EU's tectonic plates have slipped momentously along same the fault line that has always divided itthe English Channel. "

I doubt that the European agreements will actually work very well  but it would seem that there is now a core euro zone and a euro pus zone. The British and particularly the English hate Brussels, the Common Market remains ( bit of a shame from our perspective )  so I can't see any real advantage to Britain or Cameron trading away any more sovereignty in fact it will probably be to Cameron's political advantage.

"....The prime minister claimed he had taken a “tough decision but the right one” for British interestsparticularly for its financial-services industry. In return for his agreement to change the EU treaties, Mr Cameron had wanted a number of safeguards for Britain. When he did not get them, he used his veto. "

Tough decisions are quite easy to make if they go down well domestically.

" But especially for France, on the brink of losing its AAA credit rating and now the junior partner to Germany, this is a famous political victory. President Nicolas Sarkozy had long favoured the creation of a smaller, "core" euro zone, without the awkward British, Scandinavians and eastern Europeans that generally pursue more liberal, market-oriented policies. And he has wanted the core run on an inter-governmental basis, ie by leaders rather than by supranational European institutions. This would allow France, and Mr Sarkozy in particular, to maximise its impact.

Mr Sarkozy made substantial progress on both fronts. The president tried not to gloat when he emerged at 5am to explain that an agreement endorsed by all 27 members of the EU had proved impossible because of British obstruction. “You cannot have an opt-out and then ask to participate in all the discussion about the euro that you did not want to have, and which you also criticised,” declared the French president."

Sarkozy has a point but my take on the agreements it that euro core nations will have to submit national budgets to a supranational institute not the French Government.

" The 23 members of the new pact, if they act as a block, can outvote Britain. They are divided among themselves, of course. But their habit of working together and cutting deals will, inevitably, begin to weigh against Britain over time.

Mr Sarkozy and Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, have given notice of their desire for the euro zone to act in all the domains that would normally be the remit of all 27 membersfor example, labour-market regulations and the corporate-tax base."

From the British peoples perspective that is what happens at the moment. Should the UK withdraw from the EU I wouldn't expect an electoral back lash. That is however a long way down the track if ever.

" It says much about the dire state of the debate on Europe within Britain's Conservative party that, as Mr Cameron set out to Brussels, another Tory MP portentously invoked the memory of Neville Chamberlain, who infamously came back from Munich with empty assurances from Adolf Hitler. Mr Cameron may have made a grievous mistake with regard to Britain's long-term interest. But at least nobody can accuse him of returning from Brussels with a piece of paper in his hand."

Reminds me of this, from Yes Minister. The British are not real Europeans they never have been.

"There was nothing wrong with appeasement. All that World War Two achieved after six years was to leave Eastern Europe under a Communist dictatorship instead of a Fascist dictatorship. That's what comes of not listening to the Foreign Office."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fun and games at Ports of Auckland

This is a centre left blog and as such you might expect me to support everything the NZ Labour party does, or for that matter unions, decriminalisation of dope ( oh hang on I do support that with some proviso's ) etc, etc, etc. One of my must read blogs ( to steal from Farrar ) is the often acerbic, frequently above my head and always entertaining Cactus Kate who exposed the absolute rort that is the industrial action instigated by the Maritime Union against the Port of Auckland. From Catus Kate's blog

" Inflexibility's and old-fashioned work practices mean that labour utilisation at POAL is approx. 65% compared to approx. 80% at Port of Tauranga:
POAL’s crane drivers and deck foremen work on average 5.33 hours for every 8 paid
Straddle drivers work an average 6 hours out of every 8 paid."

Jaw dropping yet ? Here is some more from Cactus.

" Average wage for a full time stevedore at POAL was $91,480 ".

That is not a bad  wage. I have never driven a straddle or a crane. I have driven two types of fork lifts though when I was a varsity student and it wasn't hard work, or for that matter hard to learn. Hilariously  the union wanted us to join and demanded that we were trained to drive fork lifts or not allowed to, we pointed out that we were already unionised as members of the Otago University Students Association and as such were already covered and part of the " brotherhood ". It worked.

I worked that job for 4 years I started as soon as I left school at 17 and fiished when I started full time work  post university every holiday  and on Saturdays in term I had a job but I remember very well being called into the manager of the wharehouse office on one Saturday in term and shown the well you fucked up stats. My usual stuff up was three per week until my last week of work before going back to university when it jumped to 15. The average stuff up was about 8 per week ie I sent a retailer 440 gram Watties baked beans when I was meant to send spaghetti.

So my point is when your employer spots a problem ( the student job search guys, we  stopped concentrating in the last week ) and points it out rather than striking you might want to think about it. It is no secrete I am in the maritime industry and what I am hearing is that " piss pots" are not on so if a straddle driver needs to pee he / she doesn't have to do it in a pot instead he can radio in his position and a van will collect him / her and transport him / her to Head Quarters and she/ he will pee. And then be returned to the straddle. An evolution of about 1/2 an hour.

The "piss pot's" on offer are not buckets but porta-loo's with running water, toilet paper etc. It gets better.

Not PC  points out.

At the end of the day what the Maritime Union leaders want at the Ports is more power and prestige for themselves. Yet for some reason those outside the Union whose incomes are reduced by their actions can still be heard offering support. They should listen to William Jevons, who concluded:
“The Unionist overlooks the fact that the cause to which he is so faithful, is only the cause of a small exclusive class; his triumph is the injury of a vastly greater number of his fellow-workmen, and regarded in this point of view, his cause is a narrow and selfish one, rather than a broad and disinterested one. The more I
admire the perseverance, the self-forgetfulness, the endurance, abstinence, and a hundred other good qualities which English workmen often display during the conduct of a great trade dispute, the more sincerely do I regret that so many good qualities should be thrown away, or rather misused, in a cause which is too often a hurtful one to their fellow-men.”
At a time when jobs are scarce, money is short and everyone is having to tighten their belt, perhaps all sides might reflect on that.

The problem is I can't disagree with  what he says. The Maritime Union will achieve its objectives at the expense of struggle street New Zealand, those on a minimum wage the very people we on the centre left should be looking out for.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

2800 honour attacks and revolting racism in the UK

Last week we treated to the spectacle of a ranting racist woman abusing immigrants on the London Underground and it has emerged that this isn't an isolated incident and it did and didn't surprise me. I love London or rather my sisters London, it is cultural melting pot in many ways but a middle class one.

I had a chat to a young Black guy in a pub one evening and having spent my life from 8 years old talking with a Kiwi accent he was astonished when I told him I was Scottish then added by birth and explained that I was an immigrant to New Zealand. He laughed when I recounted a conversation  with a friend back at university at age 19 that we sort of found it difficult to reconcile a Black man speaking with a British accent something that was starting to emerge on TV in New Zealand in the early to mid 80's. We didn't object to English accented Blacks we just were unaware of them.

Our focus was South Africa and Black people were meant sound African or American and I ashamed to say it but if you were White Afrikaans we hated your guts, totally irrational because many of you were as appalled by apartheid as  we were.

Then we get this in the NZ Herald today.

" More than 2,800 so-called honour attacks - punishments for bringing shame on the family - were recorded by Britain's police last year, according to figures released yesterday.
At least 2,823 incidents of "honour-based" violence took place, with the highest number recorded in London, the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation (IKWRO) found.
The figures were compiled from 39 out of the 52 British police forces. The others were unwilling or unable to provide data. Eight areas recorded at least 100 incidents, the figures showed.
The attacks included murder, mutilation, beatings, abduction and acid attacks."

I despise what the "tube racist's" say but if you agree to join a community then  you should accept the laws of that community and if murdering your daughter because she was raped by your neighbour and refused to marry him I will start to tell people to fuck off. I will become the person on the train, actually I won't but telling them to fuck off is an option I would like to look at.

Should we be able to revoke citizenship ?

Banned again, thanks Labour.

It would appear that Labour have banned me from Red Alert something I note that is against their  stated policy on comments.

"Why isn’t my comment appearing?

There are generally three reasons that you comment doesn’t appear:
  1. It’s the first time you’ve commented – first time comments are held in a queue until they’re approved by a moderator, it usually doesn’t take long and after that your comments should appear automatically.
  2. Your comment has accidentally found its way into our spam queue – this might happen if you use language that triggers the spam filter, multiple website links within your comment, or are posting from an IP address that has previously been a source of problems. We check the spam queue regularly and it’s likely that your comment will be approved as above after a short delay.
  3. Your comment has been deleted – this generally happens if you’re abusive or off-topic. It’s form of moderation that is used rarely, and generally only after a warning. "
I am banned from blogging on Friendburst because I am a left wing progressive who takes the piss out of the Tea Party, Palin, etc. Actually quoting Pablo at kiwipolitico earned me that ban, go figure, a friend translated my name into Maori, Tama Hemi Tuati so I could go back as me, I haven't bothered going back I will tell the truth and  be banned again. Friendburst started out as an alternative to MySpace but the insane American right turned up and complained about any and all criticism of the right and for that matter America ( unless of course that criticism was aimed at  President Obama and specifically about his race something one blogger might want to think about at No Minister ).

OK back to my Red Alert " ban " well I have certainly commented before so that fucks up excuse number 1. I am in the spam queue, well if I am I have been in it for a long time, or most likely I am posting from an IP address that has been previous source of problems, ie I tell the truth. I haven't been abusive or off topic so  3 is out.

So what does this tell us about Labour, well certainly they have read Sun-tzu  ( Keep your friends close and your enemies closer ).  Whale Oil & Cactus Kate are allowed to comment on Red Alert but perhaps I should take some consolation in the words of a Red Alert commenter Old George who points out,

"....you need to bear in mind that often the heretic is far more hated than the infidel,..."

I suspect he is right. Labour hate people of the left like me who ridicule their idiotic policies because I am  meant to conform, independent thought is discouraged, Mallard actually argues for a four year term something I agree with but his lapdog Spud comes up with this counter argument.

“And we voted to increase drinking hours at the time rejected doing the same to Parliament.” Chur bro! :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D !
I couldn’t stand 4 years of National between elections :-(
My two cents is that 3 years is long enough and then let the people decide. :-D :-D :-D !!!!!"

Trust me that is insightful for Spud who clearly failed to follow Trevor's link to the Herald, what the fuck drinking hours and the length of a parliamentary term have in common is beyond me but clearly Trevor and Spud see the connection.

Labour have made an issue out of being open but clearly it is a load of shit if Red Alert is anything to go by.

Friday, December 2, 2011

David v David. The Nation and some of my thoughts.

Interesting watching both perform but at the end of the day the winner was Shearer. Cunliffe made a mistake slagging of Key's " billions" . That was a silly move, he should have left it at that was in the heat of an election campaign. Plunket caught him with the Helen Clark question and the momentary hesitation could almost have been interpreted as " dare I lie " about this. He is Helen's protege and Labour must move on from the Clark era. Ironically Goff was a bigger departure from Clark than Cunliffe could ever be, but Goff had little choice other than to give jobs to her inner circle but had he been braver  and ditched some of the passed used by date MP's he would have undoubtedly been rolled.

Shearer made it clear he was open to reform and Farrar at Kiwiblog points out

"As a National supporter, I know National will not always be in Government. I think a David Shearer led Labour Party will pose more of a threat to National, than any alternative leader. But I still hope that the Labour Caucus will elect Shearer as their leader, as if there is to be a Labour Government, I think the sort of policies we would get under a Shearer administration would be far better than we had under Helen Clark and Michael Cullen, or were offered by Phil Goff.

Shearer is backed by many reformers within Labour. A likely area of reform is around list ranking and candidate selection – specifically the heavy influence union affiliates get in these decisions. Many in the caucus are upset that new MPs such as Carmel Sepuloni, Kelvin Davis and Stuart Nash were ranked below longer serving MPs with union backgrounds. They lost some of their most promising talent from 2008. If a Shearer led Labour can reform the party so that it operates on a one person, one vote principle then Labour is far more likely to regain the votes of its former supporters."

That is excellent analysis come advice from Farrar that seems to have upset Trevor Mallard at Red Alert who has posted,

" Interesting to watch the line of the right on the Labour leadership.
Faux support for one candidate.
Is it because they think the Labour MPs will be put off. Or don’t recognise a double play.
But of course we will just ignore them."

That provoked Jester to point out in the comments.

" Trevor. So the right wingers are supporting Shearer to double bluff the labour party faithful into ditching Shearer and installing Cunliffe?
Maybe a triple bluff is in play?"

Bloody hilarious as some others point out if you are going to run the leadership campaign in public then people will comment. Others argue that it should be done behind closed doors involving only the caucus ( I assume a Cunliffe supporter ). As this  goes on I suspect Shearer will build a groundswell of support not just from rank and file Labour but from the public at large. On that point Clare Curren at Red Alert blogs.

" The leadership will be determined by the 34 votes of the Labour caucus on 13 December. But those votes will have been informed by the countless discussions occurring in all forums. At my children’s school camp yesterday south of Oamaru it was a hot topic and I was provided with various theories on the qualities of leadership. "

I hope she means it if I have interpreted her intentions correctly because like Clare I know Dunedin South well and given the choice between the Harvard  academic Cunliffe and  the bloke who stares down Somalian warlords Shearer they will choose Shearer every time. This isn't a critism of Curran but Labour lost the party vote in Dunedin and her majority was significantly cut. I gather she is thought to be in the Cunliffe camp and I think  that is a mistake if it is true.

I have made no secret that I would like to see Grant Robertson in the leadership role if he goes in as deputy to Shearer I doubt that will happen. Instead he could be destined for a role as leader of the opposition in similar circumstances to Phil Goff and just ask Phil how much fun that is.