The Dim-Post

July 29, 2008

Peters claims vindication as trust opens books

Filed under: Politics,satire — danylmc @ 9:37 pm

After intense media scrutiny the Spencer Trust has published details of its financial transactions over the last five years, prompting New Zealand First leader Winston Peters to demand an apology from the media and an acknowledgment that the allegations made against him regarding the trust were false.

The trust is administrered by Winston Peter’s brother Wayne Peters and it became a subject of speculation when millionaire property developer Sir Robert Jones revealed that $25,000 he had donated to New Zealand First had gone to the Spencer Trust. Winston Peters has denied that the trust has any involvement with himself or his party.

Copies of the trust accounts were released to the media by Wayne Peters this afternoon. While none of the trust’s expenses can be linked to New Zealand First some items on the list have raised eyebrows, including:

  • $235,000 to locate the remains of Russian psychics killed in classified KGB experiments, disinter corpses from secret military graveyard and transport their brains to an undisclosed address in New Zealand.
  • $180 – one year subscription to ‘Turf Digest’, recipient unnamed
  • $703,000 for five hundred miles of chain fencing and razor wire, referred to in trust accounts as ‘containment pens for survivors’.
  • $95,500 for dish time on the VLBI telescope array in Chichijima Japan for sending and recieving messages into deep space.
  • $23,230 auction purchase of the dreaded ‘Alexander Island Manuscript’, an untranslated occult tome discovered on an Antarctic Island amidst ruined buildings believed to predate the human race
  • $2.3 million – bulk buy of Benson & Hedges cigarettes; bill of sale specifies ‘enough for 10,000 years’.
  • $800,000 – materials and labour for ‘Ragnarok Dimensional Gates’ to allow infinite [redacted]; gates to be constructed in all New Zealand urban areas.

Wayne Peters has refused to explain what the purpose of the Spencer Trust is. ‘But let’s be very clear,’ he said. ‘This trust has no political agenda.’

Winston Peters has called for the national media to apologise to him and tender their resignations. ‘Clearly they have made wild and unfounded allegations that have no basis whatsoever. There was never any suggestion that there was anything out of the ordinary here and the facts have shown this to be the case.’

The New Zealand First leader would not comment on allegations made by former members of his staff that he has forged an alliance with a race of malignant extra-dimensional beings known only as ‘the c’.

‘I have spoken with party officials and they have advised me that I am under no obligation to discuss my negotiations with the c or any other demonic entities,’ Peters told a press conference this afternoon.

Peters refused to confirm or deny that the c have pledged to destroy all sentient life in the universe, challenging journalists to ‘ask them yourselves’.

Prime Minister Helen Clark was also reluctant to be drawn on the rumours that Peters intends to assist the c in their endless crusade of extermination.

‘If that member has entered into an unholy alliance with insane all-powerful, diabolic 128-dimensional beings from beyond time then he has done so as the leader of New Zealand First, not as a minister of the government,’ Clark said in a Newstalk ZB interview. ‘I would no more expect Mr Peters to explain his plan to betray and annihilate our species than I would for John Key and the hollow men of the National Party to explain their own secret backroom deals.’

‘However if Mr Peters does bring about the destruction of our race then that will obviously have a negative impact on the electorate,’ Clark added. ‘I think this is then a matter for the court of public opinion.’

National leader John Key has demanded that the Prime Minister challenge Peters on the details of his deal with the c and to confirm or deny that in exchange for his betrayal of humanity he will be allowed to remain alive, his lifespan satanically extended and left to reign over a dead planet strewn with rubble and corpses. However, Key has refused to rule out making a post-apocalypse deal with Peters.

Pontificating about polls

Filed under: media,Politics — danylmc @ 7:34 am
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Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right?

– Robert Orben

I’m not going to comment on poll results very much, because that would be a bit too much work; but the Herald have some new numbers and the usual post hoc explanations for them showing a Labour slump and National surge. The numbers buck the current trend so the poll may be an outlier, its also a relatively small sample size (n=770).

New Zealand First shows a slight increase – I don’t think this reflects on the current Peter’s scandal at all, which would have been happening during the tail end of the poll. These things seem terribly important to politics junkies but tend to take some time to filter out into the wider electorate.

The poll shows a large number of undecided voters and Herald journalist Paula Oliver thinks this may be good news for Labour; but undecided’s tend to break against the incumbant so maybe not.

If Labour have lost their bump then my (worthless post hoc) guess is that the Labour attacks on Key were working, but they’ve lost their effect now that Labour have backed off.

A lot of commentators have been clicking their tongues and stroking their beards in disapproval of Labour’s anti-Key rhetoric; realistically it is the only option the party has. They tried releasing policy and looking like a responsible government and it just drove them furthur down in the polls. Their only alternative is a circut breaker that can knock Key out of the game.

July 28, 2008

Do you like Phil Collins?

Filed under: books,movies — danylmc @ 7:17 pm
Tags: ,

He has the number one song in the country (I am a bit confused as to how this happened) and actor Christian Bale is starring in the nation’s number one film, The Dark Knight. These things are not related on any superficial level, but this classic scene from American Psycho ties them together nicely. Director Mary Harron and script-writer Guinevere Turner turned Ellis’s horrible, horribly over-rated book into a comic meditation on male vanity and 80’s pop-music – two subjects that are not entirely unconnected.

The youtube clip (featuring Bale, two prostitutes and two of Phil’s greatest hits) is definitely not safe for work.

July 27, 2008

Sunday Bobbleheads

Filed under: media — danylmc @ 11:45 am
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An unusually strong performance from National leader John Key on Agenda this morning; in his favour were the panelists Barry Soper and Fran O’Sullivan who were under some odd compulsion to keep asking Key the same question about Winston Peters over and over again:

Panelist: Would you have Peters in your government?
Key: That depends on the outcome of the current situation.
Panelist: Yes, but would you have him in your government?
Key: I’ve just said, it depends. If his answers to the questions put to him are satisfactory . . .
Panelist: Would you have him in your government yes or no?

And so on. Anyone being interviewed by Barry Soper instantly gains audience sympathy but Key also responded to Guyon Espiner’s more perilous questions rather deftly.

It’s not worth commenting on part deux of the Weekend Herald’s profile of Key, except to suggest that they clearly made a grave error when they sacked all their sub-editors.

The best thing in the papers this weekend isn’t even online: John Armstrong’s political diary published in yesterday’s Herald is hilarious. If you find yourself regaining conciousness in a dumpster over the next few days (I think I know my readership) it’s worth rummaging around in the filth for a copy of Saturday’s Herald on the strength of Armstrong’s contributions alone.

The Rice Visit

Filed under: Politics,satire — danylmc @ 7:52 am
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US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spent this weekend in Auckland meeting Winston Peters, Helen Clark and John Key. What were the motivations for her visit?

  • Investigate and personally report back to the President about persistent rumours that toilets drain the other way this far south.
  • Important for the Secretary of State to maintain relationships with key US allies like New Zealand and Samoa while Deputy Secretary John Negroponte serves largely ceremonial role, currently negotiating border issues between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Heard there was a nice handbag shop on Vulcan Lane; doesn’t really have anything else to do, so . . .
  • Intelligence briefing at beginning of week suggested Vice President Dick Cheney was in a bad mood; other side of the world just seemed like a smart place to be.
  • Will inquire into allegations made by Investigate Magazine that the Clark government is stockpiling uranium.
  • Demand explanation from John Key regarding Pentagon intelligence report that he is planning an alliance with Isengard.
  • Smile pleasantly at incompetent, disgraced foreign minister; when confident that make-up is fixed close compact and go meet Winston Peters.

July 26, 2008

Foreign Exchange

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 9:20 am

The Herald’s John Roughan is wild about John Key

Reading the first part of the Weekend Herald’s “unauthorised biography” last weekend I felt something close to excitement at the idea of a forex trader running the country . . . You would need caution and supreme instinctive confidence, moment by moment, to survive in forex dealing.

I’ve worked at merchant banks in London, New York and Tokyo and known many an FX trader – although none as successful as John Key. But as far as I can tell you don’t need any of the attributes Roughan is fantasising about – what you need is a good memory, concentration and the ability to work very long hours without a significant deterioration in those skills. So far Key has not shown any special insight into matters of economics or finance – certainly not compared with his deputy leader Bill English. As a senior manager at Merrill’s Key was probably good at strategy, organisation and handling his staff – all qualities he’s shown as leader of the National Party.

The reality of life in the banking world is that it is very boring and very demanding; not many people do it for more than a few years. The pay is good because the job REALLY sucks, not because the skills you need are particularly rare. And all the money in the world isn’t enough to compensate for the ever persistent knowledge that you are wasting your life. That’s probably why Key left it all behind to kiss babies in Pakuranga.

July 25, 2008

The child of pride

Filed under: media,Politics — danylmc @ 9:46 pm
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The tyrant is a child of Pride
Who drinks from his sickening cup
Recklessness and vanity,
Until from his high crest headlong
He plummets to the dust of hope.

Sophocles, Oedipus Rex

Actually, Sophocles aside I’m inclined to agree with Colin Espiner: Winston will simply not resign under any circumstances, Clark cannot sack him without bringing down the government, National are riding too high in the polls to risk anything that might upset their numbers. Winston gets a pass.

But his big weekend with Condi Rice is now a trainwreck. The only sane way for him to handle his press conference was to announce that he was appointing an independant auditor to investigate his trusts and party finances (‘And I am confident they will find no wrongdoing and that will put this matter to rest once and for all’). That’s not his style though and the conference was a catastrophe, with TVNZ political editor Guyon Espiner taking the almost unprecedented step of overtly criticising the foreign minister.

The Dominion-Post will almost certainly lead with fresh revelations tomorrow. Peter’s is scheduled to have a joint conference with Rice this weekend with the number of media questions restricted to four; two from foreign press and two from the locals (the questioners to be decided by ballot). That’s the theory/fantasy anyway – we’ll see how that plays out on the day.

In Winston we trust

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 7:20 am
Tags: ,

Winston Peters was born in 1945 and was named after British Prime Minister Winston Churchill – so it is interesting that his secret trust to which Sir Robert Jones donated is called the Spencer Trust. Churchill was a scion of the famous Spencer family, an old and powerful aristocratic dynasty dating back to the 15th Century.

Churchill seems to hold something of a fascination for a certain caliber of political mediocrity – President Bush has a bust of him in the oval office. I think its because Churchill spent much of his political life disagreeing with the experts and the conventional wisdom, and at absolutely key moments in world history Churchill was right and the majority were wrong. That’s a very attractive biography to a contrarian like Peters

The problem is, if you look closer at Churchill’s life and the overwhelming majority of his judgments (Gallipoli, India, the General Strike, the abdication crisis, just off the top of my head – the list of his blunders, both military and political is very very long) the experts with their conventional wisdom were right and Churchill was dead wrong.

He was right when it counted though and I suspect that’s how Peters thinks of himself; sure, he might have made a few trivial accounting errors and not crossed all the ‘i”s and so on, but on the big issues of the day (asians are evil!) he feels history will vindicate him.

July 24, 2008

Obama vs Kipling

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 8:32 pm
Tags: ,

Senator Barack Obama declared yesterday that there is a “growing consensus” in the United States and Iraq for a timeline to withdraw American combat forces, and that the United States now urgently needs to turn its attention to Afghanistan.

“The situation in Afghanistan is perilous and urgent,” he said, calling the country the “central front in the war against terrorism.”

“We must act now to reverse a deteriorating situation,” he said.

Afghanistan ‘urgent,’ Obama says
Boston Globe, 23 July 2008

When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.

The Young British Soldier
Rudyard Kipling, 1896

Superman is a Dick

Filed under: general idiocy — danylmc @ 11:09 am

This site has been around for a while, but just in case you haven’t seen it here’s the link.

It carries old covers of Superman comics in which the man of steel consistently comes off as kind of a jerk. This is one of my favorites:

(My wife and I just had some miniature paintings we bought in India framed; they’re very classy and one of them will probably end up in my study. But I would secretly be just as happy with a couple of these Superman comic covers.)

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