The point, I guess, of this unfortunately humorous ad for a New Zealand domestic violence support organization is that, when you’ve been abused by an angry man-monster, you see angry man-monster faces everywhere. Sorry, but smiles should never be the result of viewing an ad for such a serious subject.
July 31, 2010
July 30, 2010
According to the AV Club Hollywood plans to remake Total Recall. I loved this movie when I was ~16: It had a mind-blowing sci-fi plot, appalling violence, humor, a chick with three breasts and a cat-fight between Sharon Stone and some other babe. It just didn’t get any better – but I haven’t watched it since I was a kid on the grounds that it might not have dated well. But the YouTube clips still look pretty great:
In other film related news I/S linked to this story announcing a plan to make a film adaptation of the H P Lovecraft novella At the Mountains of Madness. This is a really great story but most of it involves the heroes walking around an abandoned city reading hieroglyphs that explain Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythology and the city’s back story to the reader. There’s really no way to film it that won’t involve removing all these elements and replacing them with scary monsters that the characters run away from, which will make it just like every other horror movie around. If you’re going to adapt a Lovecraft story I’d go for Shadow over Innsmouth, which is already structured like a modern thriller film and handles most of the exposition through dialog and plot development. A Call of Chthlhu film could also be pretty great.
Senior Labour MP Trevor Mallard told Morning Report Mr Carter’s actions were probably triggered by pressure over his expenses and an unsanctioned trip to Tibet.
Mr Carter refused to discuss the trip with Radio New Zealand.
Carter still seems to think he’ll be back in the Labour Party before too long: Goff will get rolled and the new leader will beg for Chris to return and then he can go back to representing the good people to Te Atatu by spending their money on international plane tickets and five star hotel bills and everything will be right with the world again.
It really calls Clark’s judgement into question that she made this ridiculous little creature Minister of Education.
July 29, 2010
I’ve been sitting at my PC trying to come up with a satirical piece on Chris Carter but my imagination fails me. Putting the worst coup attempt of all time to one side: what can you say about a guy who single handedly undermines his party every time they start to recover in the polls and then demands the leader’s head because the party isn’t performing well in the polls? I wonder how many points they would have climbed in the wake of National’s labour law reform announcement if the Village Idiot for Te Atatu hadn’t picked this week to hatch his brilliant revenge plot?
Suspended Labour MP Chris Carter is calling for leader Phil Goff to go.
Earlier Mr Goff suspended Mr Carter from the caucus over an anonymous letter delivered to press gallery offices this morning tipping a leadership challenge.
The move to suspend Mr Carter came after an urgent meeting of the party this afternoon.
Talking to reporters at Auckland Airport, Mr Carter said he felt liberated.
“It’s the leadership I’m finding impossible at the moment,” he said.
“I’m hoping my actions will be a catalyst [for a change of leadership].”
There were a number of people who could do the job better than Mr Goff, he said.
“I just want to see Phil Goff gone.”
This’ll show Goff. How dare he very leniently discipline Carter over the MP expenses debacle, just because Carter repeatedly disgraced himself in public and was at the epicentre of a massive scandal that plunged the party even further down in the polls and dragged the entire institution of Parliament into disrepute.
Mr Carter indicated he would not force a by-election but continue to vote for Labour even if he was expelled and became an independent.
“I was elected for the full term of Parliament,” he said.
“If this has been my political death knell, so be it.”
Mr Goff said Mr Carter had no future in the Labour Party he led.
Poor little courtier. Lost his patron and now expelled from the court.
The Nats had the chance to back away from their wage-parity with Australia promises back in February when Alan Bollard declared that it was impossible. Instead Key doubled down. I guess the Nats are telling themselves that the gap started to widen again in Labour’s third term (so it isn’t their fault) and that they’re ‘growing the broader economy’ and that wage increases will be a ‘lagging indicator’.
Every time National introduces new legislation it points out that they included the policy (or a vague approximation of it) in their election manifesto and thus they have a mandate from the people. My memory of the election is that they campaigned on an end to the nanny state, wage-parity with Australia and very little else. If they have a mandate for anything surely it’s lifting wages?
Given that it was the main platform of their election campaign I wonder how long they’ll be happy to let it lag before they produce policy to specifically address this problem. Or is that what the budget was supposed to do? Does shifting the tax burden from income to consumption mean that – in their minds – they’ve closed the gap?
So just to recap, in the last three weeks alone Judith Collins has announced:
- That building more prisons and locking more people up in them is good for the economy.
- The recent shooting of a police officer who had a gun in his car but didn’t take it with him when searching a house is a good justification for more police to carry guns in their cars.
- That violent criminals assault police officers because when the police are caught commiting serious crimes the media refuses to cover it up.
July 28, 2010
I think Collins is probably the worst Minister in the current government. Some of the National Ministers are outstanding, others average, some stupid, some blinded by ideology. Collins is the only one that seems to hate most of the principles our society is based on – in this case that the police be subject to public scrutiny and held accountable for their actions – and be actively working to turn New Zealand into a more authoritarian, less liberal society. The only thing slowing her down is she’s even more interested in cheap media stunts and raising her own profile than she is in making the country a worse place to live.
Continuing the foreign investment in New Zealand discussion, this Fran O’Sullivan article has a lot of useful material and background. Needless to say, Australia’s policy towards foreign investment is totally different from ours but Treasury thinks the best way forward is for us to do the opposite of what works for them, ie keep doing exactly what we’ve been doing only more so:
The Treasury advised National to revoke the “strategically important infrastructure” factor and signal a comprehensive review of the Overseas Investment Act 2005. It wanted to promote and encourage the flow of foreign investment, simplify the investment screening process and reduce the number of investments caught by the act.
It believed that foreign owners of New Zealand assets were likely to have interests closely aligned to New Zealand’s national interests. “As a result we do not think screening of strategic assets is required,” the Treasury advised. “However, if some form of screening is desired it should be added as a separate category, rather than only in relation to assets that are located on sensitive land.”
Worth remembering in the discussion around foreign ownership of our assets is that the most damaging infrastructure sale in our recent history was largely domestic: the Fay Richwhite purchase of the railways, which were then asset stripped and run into the ground causing massive harm to the wider economy. I guess Treasury advisors all have advanced degrees in economics so they know that in a free market such behaviour is logically impossible and thus did not happen – but it, y’know, did happen and logic suggests that ‘some form of screening is desired’ but based more on trying to prevent infrastructure sales to investors that might destroy key pieces of strategic infrastructure for fun and profit, whether that investment be foreign or domestic.
Speculation is rife that NZ First leader Winston Peters and his former adviser Michael Laws are to team up again as part of a “relaunch” of the party this year.
Neither Mr Laws, who is to stand down as Whanganui mayor this year, nor Mr Peters would confirm the rumours. But MPs from both sides of the House and sources close to NZ First said they were aware of plans.
One source said Mr Peters had indicated he wanted to relaunch the party this year.
The annual conference will be in Christchurch in late October.
I think they’ll easily get 5% – they almost made it last time. Memories of Peters’ disgrace will have faded; they’ll be able to campaign against in favor of smacking, against the ETS, Chinese investment, the Maori Party, Whanau Ora, foreshore and seabed, the existence of Maori in general . . .
National will probably be able to rule out Peters as a coalition partner – which means (as I’m sure they’ll gleefully point out) that a vote for Labour is a vote for Michael Laws as a Cabinet Minister. That’s gotta be 100,000 centre-left votes right there.
And what if National did experience a sudden collapse in support (it’s not unthinkable) and Goff had a realistic prospect of running a coalition government with New Zealand First, the Greens and the Maori Party? Helen Clark couldn’t control Peters – it would be simply impossible to run a government with both Peters and Laws let loose inside the Beehive.