Is that they sell Mighty River Power, and a combination of uncertainty over water claims and depressed market conditions leads to a failed IPO, which means we lose 49% of the future revenue, but Key and English still have to raise taxes/borrow/cut spending to make up the deficit shortfall (because Treasury have already booked the profits from the sale of the assets onto their books).
That’s also a terrible scenario for the country, although if it pans out that way the Herald columns praising Key for his business genius, CEO style and visionary leadership will cheer us all up a bit.
Or a cheap excuse to see Megan Draper sing the Zou Bisou song again?
Via Morgan on Twitter, this alleged National Party election ad ‘from the 70s’ is doing the rounds:
The question is: is this a real ad, or a satire? Seems too extreme to be real – although dawn-raids era National was an overtly racist party. But were they this overt? If this was real wouldn’t it have entered into notoriety, along with the dancing cossacks ad? Wouldn’t we have heard about it before?
On the other hand, the nation was a lot more regional back then. It’s not impossible that this was an ad in a regional publication put out by a rural MP that nobody ever noticed until now.
If anyone knows the source of this ad, let me know in the comments and I’ll update the post.
I’ve been reading a bit of classic science-fiction recently, and I just finished Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness. Which is a very good book. It’s about a representative of an interplanetary culture making contact with an isolated planet of humans which are all hermaphrodites. (There are no sex scenes).
I thought I’d read it before when I was about nineteen, and I remember loftily dismissing it as ‘feminist science-fiction’. What’s odd is that I read The Handmaid’s Tale’ at about the same age, loved it and went around recommending it to people. Anyway, I didn’t remember anything about The Left Hand of Darkness. Maybe I didn’t even read it? The back cover of the edition I bought last week describes it as a feminist classic, maybe that riled my nineteen year old blood? (Or maybe I just skimmed through looking for sex scenes?)
Although I don’t think the book is a feminist text. It’s about gender, sure – but that’s because the book is about identity, and gender is a huge component of that. It’s about relationships, nationalism and patriotism as much as gender, if not more. According to Wikipedia the book will be made into a film (eh) and a video-game, which makes me smile every time I think about it. (‘You are in estrus. Find a compatible mate in ninety seconds, or restart the level.’)
Stuff details the story broken by The Nation, in which Clayton Cosgrove accepted donations from a company that stood to benefit from a private members bill drafted by Cosgrove:
Cosgrove said he accepted campaign donations from the company but denied taking payments for proposing legislation so that Independent Fisheries would stand to gain financially.
He was asked if he thought there was a conflict of interests by accepting money from a company who stood to benefit from the bill.
”There would have been a conflict of interest from any person and I have people donate money to me in support of all political persuasions,” he said.
”There would be a conflict of interest if it came with preconditions…there would be a very bad look and a lack of judgement if those donations were hidden and not declared.”
He said there was no conflict of interest because the donation came with no preconditions.
In total Cosgrove received $17,500 in donations from Independent Fisheries, all of which were declared, he said.
Here’s the problem: While Clayton Cosgrove knows his own soul and is confident he did nothing wrong, there’s no way for the public to discern between an honest MP who drafts a bill in good faith and just happens to receive a very large donation from a company which benefits from it, and a corrupt MP who takes a payment from a company for drafting a bill. Which is why MPs usually go out of their way to avoid this kind of confusion, and declare conflicts of interests when intersections of money, friendship and legislation pop up.
Labour (rightly) demanded that Nick Smith stop down over the ACC affair, and that John Banks step down over the Sky City donations: I don’t see how they can keep Cosgrove on the front bench.
It starts out with the possible discovery of the Higgs Boson at CERN:
physicists have found the stuff in atoms that they have long suspected stops everything in the universe flying apart. By smashing protons together at the speed of light . . .
And ends with a rant against environmentalism:
Geology says we should let oil prospectors go looking for it, environmentalism says we should not. Greens see a threat to rare sea life at that depth and a risk of ocean pollution if an accident happens.
If it happened I dare say the Southern Ocean would deal with it much as oceans deal with undersea volcanoes and material constantly vented from the cauldron below.
Science has been dominated by environmentalism for too long. What it gained in political attention and research grants has come at a cost to its power to excite us. If a subatomic particle has opened a door to phenomena we can barely comprehend, science will be wonderful again.
At least he admits that science is something he ‘barely comprehends’, although barely might be a bit too weak an adjective.
Because what can one say? John Armstrong on John Key’s ‘pragmatism‘:
Some on the left have long argued that Key’s portrayal of himself as a moderate conservative is a front and that behind the friendly visage lurks a cool-blooded animal as keen to push a free market-oriented agenda as any disciple of the New Right.
But Key is into his fourth year as prime minister, so that alleged alter ego would surely have emerged long before now.
Sure, the National minority government has undergone a slight lurch to the right since last year’s election, beating the drum on welfare reform, getting more hard-nosed on housing the poor, seeking to break the power of the teacher unions, slowly privatising the public service, and floating portions of state-owned companies on the stock market . . .
Image by Joe Wylie, based on a comment by Idiot Savant, who has a variation on this theme here.
My wife Maggie started back at work part-time this week, in her new job as a political and media advisor to the Green Party. So from now on I’ll be as biased towards the Greens as I was towards the Parliamentary Press Gallery when Maggie was their Deputy Chair.
I’m blogging less in general these days because of the twin demands of work and my nine-month old daughter. Being in charge of the happiness of someone else’s childhood is a big responsibility. (It still seems crazy that the hospital just let us take her home with us.)
Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed the unemployed will face drug tests to get the benefit.
I’m pretty sure National’s policy development process now consists of flashing ideas like this on a projector in front of a focus group of talk-back radio fans, and measuring how much drool and semen collects in a trough running beneath the chairs.
Last week National announced that they were going to reduce the number of unemployment beneficiaries by 30,000, because they cared about them SO much. Now we’ve seen how they’ll do it, I dread to see their solution for reducing childhood rheumatic fever rates.