Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The buck stops where exactly?

The relentless push for value deducted continues unabated in Godzone. We shouldn’t be surprised as we have elected a Government that cares only about feathering its own nest and despises everything that is good about this country.

Sooner or later their arrogance is going to result in some much more serious social consequences than we have seen hitherto.

As a New Zealander you would not be alone feeling you were under attack (or at least your way of life was) from all sides. It is quite exhausting trying to keep up with all the mayhem these jerks are causing. Let’s take a look at what is under threat.

The Economy:

 I find it rather ironic how a Government that focuses so much on the financial bottom line makes so many brain-dead short term decisions that don’t stack up economically. The most glaring example of this of course is the asset sales circus.

I don’t think I have seen a single commentator regardless of their political persuasion that has said selling these assets is a sound decision for the economy. Even the government hasn’t said that. If you look at what they have said I think you will find they have actually avoided that question instead relying on the ever-present TINA for an explanation. But of course there is ALWAYS an alternative.

If it wasn’t so tragic I would find it funny how they like to tell us they have no other way of getting out of debt than to sell the family home. As any fool knows when you sell a major asset; unless you have a cunning and foolproof plan to earn far more than you have been earning up to the point when you sold it, that asset will never be yours again. If the asset is merely a trinket, that is of no importance. However if that asset is a business in a market that provides an essential product or service, you will miss out on all those earnings for evermore.

It is also an extremely unwise move to allow strategic industries to fall into the hands of foreign powers. There are fewer industries more strategic to a country than the energy industry and the potential exists for us to be held to ransom over products that have been made with our resources in our country.

In a move that typifies the arrogance of this Government, Jianqi has announced a measure he calls a guarantee and which he would like us to think precludes that happening. Unfortunately our too often too compliant media have helped him in this regard by not exposing the package for the cynical sop it is.

His idea is to offer an incentive to Kiwi buyers. (That’s the millions of Mum and Dad buyers we are always hearing about who are champing at the bit to buy up huge chunks of companies they already own). His shonky smoke and mirrors deal is that those among the Kiwis who buy shares in these power companies will be up for an incentive bonus of extra shares if they hold onto them for (possibly) three years. As this is an incentive it means there is no compulsion involved and therefore no guarantee. Furthermore you and I will finance the cost of these extra shares and after the three years has passed and the punters have received their bonus shares they will have much more financial incentive to quit them to the highest bidder. But the media are all t5o busy breathlessly announcing a ‘guarantee’ from the Prime Manipulator to either notice or bother to tell their readers that this is all simply an elaborate illusion that belongs on stage with Paul Daniels or Derren Brown rather than masquerading as news in the nation’s papers.

The Environment:

Rapacious money men are attacking our land on almost every imaginable side. Jianqi and Aimless Adams are collaborating to allow almost every variety of planetary parasite access to our waters, mountains, farmlands and scenic delights to do with them what they will. Aimless seems to have dropped the second ‘d’ from her surname but the horrors she is contemplating would make even Morticia squirm. Make no mistake none of these projects they are contemplating ‘green-lighting’ are going to make any meaningful difference to our economy in a positive sense.

As always it will be the wealthy foreign companies and a few privileged and already very wealthy Kiwis that will benefit. No doubt our useless Government will limit the liabilities of these outsiders so they can walk away with very little responsibility for any damage they might cause much as those responsible for the Rena disaster have.

Give these guys another three years and we will have oil wells off the Taranaki, Bay of Plenty and Hawke’s Bay coastlines. Huntly, the Coromandel and the West Coast will be turned into giant honeycombs and Fiordland will be owned by Disney.

The Press/Media

As witnessed during the 2011 election, this Government is not fond of anyone who might wish to tell it how it is rather than how they would like to spin it.

We saw bizarre Government favouring decisions from Ombudsmen, High Court Judges and newspaper editors. Wasn’t that lucky for a government who didn’t want the truth to get out?

And just to make absolutely sure no truth seeps out into the awareness of the public they made good and sure by closing down TVNZ7, the only television channel that dared to question what they were up to and had the audacity to run programmes that didn’t always show the Government as an infallible and beneficent force.

Radio NZ will probably be next because the Natzis all avoid going on there as much as possible while meantime basking in a confrontation-free zone on commercial radio stations such as Newstalk ZB.

Some breaking news today is further proof they don’t want us to have access to any news programmes that actually attempt to find the truth. I read this morning that TVOne ‘s documentary programme Sunday, is to be cut back to a 30-minuyte format so we can all ‘enjoy’ the latest incarnation of New Zealand’s Got Talent. Apart from Q & A which is on during daytime, Sunday is about the only remotely serious news programme on the Channel and they want to cut it down so we can see more formulaic enfranchised crap instead. Marshmallow TV for marshmallow brains. Fortunately not every person in New Zealand has a brain that would be better used by being stuck on a fork and held over a flame. A great and encouraging example is Wellington alt-country outfit The Beens who sum up the Government we currently have in a great song called Not My Problem which you can find at http://thebeens.bandcamp.com/track/not-my-problem. I shouldn’t think it will get any airtime on any of the radio stations the Government approve of, but it deserves to go to number one for the sentiments it expresses. It’s also a good piece musically and the vocalist reminds me of Graham Parker.

I could go on about the numbers of Kiwis chasing greener pastures across the ditch, the underfunding of the health system, the rising unemployment figures and the widening gap between rich and poor.

It certainly ain’t Jianqi’s problem; but it’s all building up to a big one for us.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Half-baked Pita, anyone?

I saw a posting today on Facebook that said “Dear Maori Party - what's the point of sitting at the table when John Key has sold the table? It was a link to a short blog piece by Bomber Bradbury.

And Bomber is right on the money here. The carefully orchestrated displays of mock annoyance by Tariana Toofeeble and Pita Metacarpals were never anything more than a PR arranged mock grumpy face.

Tough guy talk was sprinkled about how they would have to ‘review their arrangements’ with the Natzis but their first mistake was to allow Jianqi to call the shots and decide when and where they would meet. This resulted in them sitting about like the new boy at school while teacher eventually got around to seeing them in his own good time.

They weren’t in a good position to bargain from the outset considering the money lobby’s darling doesn’t need their vote in Parliament as long as Peter Dung still loves him.

Add to this the fact the odd couple are very fond of the mana they think is rubbing off on them by being so close to Jianqi, and the fact Metacarpals doesn’t seem to be able to string two words together coherently these days and you knew it was always going to be a win for the Natzis.

Of course Little and Somewhat Larger came out grinning like imbeciles and saying how they had reached an agreement. This was true of course because they had agreed to agree with Jianqi. I don’t suppose anybody ever said an agreement had to be beneficial to both parties, but those of us with a mind for fair play always live in hope.

And while we are on the subject of fair play; what about the interests of the Maori Party’s constituency? Clearly the party leaders are not concerned about the issues their people have raised about the water which Jianqi says nobody owns. I would love it if nobody owned the water, but clearly somebody does otherwise farmers wouldn’t be required to pay for water rights to take water from rural streams and rivers. No matter how they try to dress that up with nonsense about administrative costs etc, people are still paying money for water. If those charging the money do not own the water then we could all quite simply tell them to get stuffed without risking prosecution. We are not able to do this, therefore it must follow that somebody owns this wet stuff.

However this is rather unfortunately being cast as simply a Maori issue. I believe it is far bigger than that and the numbers of people opposed to the State Asset Sale of the Century are surely testimony to that. Rather fortuitously a Maori group has come up with a fairly decent challenge to the process, but they have been seriously undermined by the performance of Toofeeble and Metacarpal who have not only let down their own people on this occasion.

I have always felt the Maori Party was a dodgy concept from the start. A political party based upon one single ethnic group can easily become self-obsessed and pose a major impediment to racial harmony. This particular party seems to have suffered from that fatal malaise so many Maori groups have suffered from over the years; poor leadership. Having said that New Zealand has hardly been blessed with a great lot of real leaders over the years in general.

Pakeha have had to shoulder the blame for nearly every gripe or woe that hinders the progress of Maori for nearly180 years. While it is true Pakeha did some very shitty things ‘back in the day’ and some of the flotsam and jetsam of Pakeha society have continued to act in a bigoted way towards Maori. It is grossly unfair and inaccurate to blame Pakeha for everything.

A lot has been said about how the settlers ‘tricked’ Maori out of land and many other things, but it is important to remember there were misunderstanding on both sides. To each race the other was a complete mystery and neither had any understanding of the other’s culture.

I don’t think it is a huge leap to lay some of the blame for how 1840 worked out at the feet of Maori leadership at the time. Clearly I wasn’t there – no, really I am NOT that old; but it is possible they let their people down by (a) Not being united (Remember the old adage – United we stand; divided we fall) and (b) because some of their leaders liked the bright shiny objects they were being offered by the glib talking Pakeha.

I dunno about you, but it looks a little like déjà vu to me; and I ain’t talking about the album by Crosby Stills, Nash & Young despite that haunting refrain in the title track, “We have all been here before”    

Friday, 13 July 2012

Who’s pulling our strings?

Time was when conspiracy theorists were made fun of by the bulk of the population, and to a certain extent that is still the case. However the joke is starting to backfire upon the mockers as it becomes increasingly obvious there very definitely are conspiracies and the theorists are quite often bang on the money.

I’m not talking here about moon landings, 911, Kennedy assassinations or reptilian shapeshifters, interesting though they might be; I am talking about ‘everyday conspiracies’ if you like. These are the ones organised by Governments, powerful cartels in strategic industries and businesses where competition is less robust or the major players fancy themselves as being more entitled than others.  

A great example of this is the sort of nonsense that goes on around sponsorship deals; especially those associated with a major international event.

Last year we saw an example of this with Addled Ass and the ridiculously overpriced souvenir All Black jerseys. This was a conspiracy in that Addled Ass was able to do this with the compliance of:

·         The IRB, who could have made some rules around the sales of merchandise

·         The NZRU, who could have made some rules around what their branded product would sell for

·         The New Zealand apparel retailers who went along with it and sold the items at the overinflated retail price instead of telling Addled Ass to shove them.

This year I learn Workers at the Olympic Games Village in London have been told they must not eat any chips other than McDonalds’ in their onsite canteen. That directive would be enough to make a bloke give up chips for life. Anyone who has tasted those limp, skinny, greasy bits of goop that McDeaths call chips knows they might be a lot of things, but like most of the toxic waste served under the golden arches their only claim to being food is that some silly buggers actually put them in their mouth.

The games bosses have relaxed the rules for the workers after a shit-storm of protest, but for those who can be bothered attending the games it will be nothing but McDeaths. To my way of thinking that is just making what would already be a dire experience a deadly one.

This might not seem like a conspiracy, but actually it is. After all to be a conspiracy, it only needs to be a plan agreed to by two or more parties and designed to commit a crime or a harmful act. The parties here are of course the International Olympic Committee and the Purveyors of Poison. And while it is not a crime to leave people with only a choice of McDeaths or McDeaths, (more’s the pity), it is definitely an act that is designed intentionally or otherwise to bring harm to a group of people. And you have to wonder why an event that purports to showcase fit and healthy people would want after finally encouraging people to leave their couches and attend the games to have them trough out on a load of unhealthy rubbish.

A couple of years ago we had a similarly stupid situation where Bug Wiser was the official beer sponsor for the Soccer World Cup and a bunch of people in orange T-shirts were evicted from the games and accused of ambush marketing. Of course that is exactly what they were trying to do, but the action by Cup officials to eject them was excessive. While it is true the orange was the colour of the Dutch brewery they were representing; it was also the colour of the Dutch soccer team. I’m only surprised the officials didn’t make them change their shirts before taking the field. Once again a conspiracy had been hatched between FIFA and Bud to deny the attendees any choice.

These are just three examples of corporate conspiracies, and while they are annoying, we can refuse to go along with them by boycotting events that allow the sponsors to hold such sway. It is much harder, though to counter the activities of companies with whom we have no option but to deal.

Telecommunication companies are a good example of this and they seem to be getting even more powerful.

As we all know the Telcos act pretty much as a cartel and they are forever lavishing money on lush adverts and PR to tell us how they are going to cover the whole country in Megultraincrediblyfast broadband which is crucial to all of us (so they say). In reality most of this warp speed stuff is of no particular advantage to us regular punters unlike reliable cellphone coverage or in many rural cases even a moderately fast broadband connection.

But no, we can’t have that because this fasterthanthespeedoflight shit is the bomb. Of course the reason is that this stuff is what is wanted/needed by large institutions that pay large sums of money for their set-up and Hooray Henrys who have more money than sense and like to show off they have the biggest and fastest broadband connection in their social circle. The rest of us would be thrilled to be able to use our cellphone from home or watch movies without experiencing a frozen screen at any stage.

 You know it’s a conspiracy when Vodafone made $151.2M net profit for the year ended March 2011 and recently spent $840M buying TelstraDim, while Telecom had net earnings of $878M for the 6 months ended December 2011 yet rural customers are still having to wait years for broadband and many city customers can’t get cellphone coverage. These guys certainly don’t lack the money to sort this inequity out; but they do lack the collective will.

The law and order situation in New Zealand is another example of a conspiracy. In this case the co-conspirators are the Government, the judges and to a lesser extent the police. The way it works is that the Government has been encouraging the police to work as a business according to departing Northland area commander Paul Dimery (an unfortunate name for a police officer).

Paul’s claims start to make sense when one looks at the sorts of targeted campaigns police have run lately. Most have focussed on matters that result in fines and many have already accused them of revenue gathering over their obsession with anyone who exceeds the speed limit by more than 4km/h. It has also been noticed that judges are for the most part handing out fines (along with disqualifications) for drunk driving. Surely if we want to stop drunk driving we should be handing out quite uncomfortable penalties rather than fines which are seldom paid and disqualifications which are often completely ignored by the offender? And surely if we want safer roads we might be more concerned about people who can’t keep on their own side of the road, failing to give way at roundabouts and intersections or who are driving erratically?

On the other hand if your plan is to ignore the safety aspects and simply collect revenue then I guess you would do exactly what they are doing now.

Makes you think, though, doesn’t it?

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Not really any mystery here

How can people be so stupid as to vote these guys back into power? How can people not see what is really happening with their rates money? How come people don’t understand they are entitled to (an employment agreement/an opinion/good service)?

These are questions you regularly hear being asked by people who care what goes on or basically give a shit. They are fair questions and sometimes it is hard to understand why people are so gullible, but a few items I have culled from recent news articles go a long way towards answering those questions.

The first of these is a short piece from SunLive dated 4 July 2012. Apart from the last line which refers to someone not mentioned elsewhere and whose role we don’t know, this story tells us of a 33-year-old Pukehina man who burned himself as a result of pouring petrol on a fire. Ashes to ashes, dumb to dumber.

The next tale is from the Bay of Plenty Times dated 3 July 2012. It tells of the ingenious cunning one Gate Pa resident whose partner had been caught drink driving in their jointly owned car on Sunday night, 1 July. Around 1am on Monday July 2 Ms Dipshit decided to go and pick him up from his place (apparently they don’t live together). The problem was that she took along her two kids and a belly full of booze. The cops recognised the car cruising in Gate Pa and decided to pull it over in case it was Sonny Jim who they’d nicked earlier. Imagine their surprise when the driver blew more than twice the legal limit and they realised they had got two hits from the same car in one night. Teaching the kids to drive drunk – fag-end!

My third sorry saga comes from Wellington, where a lot of sorry tales are made. This one I saw in the NZ Herald of Monday 2 July. The coaches of two Under 11 rugby sides got into an argument about how the game was being refereed by one of them. As they were unable to reach a meeting of minds they decided to resort to a meeting of fists upon heads. A couple of parents jumped in to pull them apart and later a parent was also assaulted by an 11-year-old player who was no doubt simply emulating his elders. The cops were called and the two bozos that started the whole thing are being charged with assault. The Wellington Rugby Union is scratching its head trying to decide what to do, while any sane person can see exactly what to do. Stick a fork in ‘em and turn ‘em over; they’re done.

And to show there really is very little hope for our nation; here is the final tale of woe or is that whoa if that’s what you yell at an Ass to tell them to stop being what they are?  

This one I first saw in the New Zealand Herald of 3 July 2012. It involved the two Mensa hopefuls from Mosgiel who were enjoying a quiet huff of LPG on a chilly Mosgiel afternoon. For the uninitiated, huffing is the practice of inhaling a gas or similar toxic vapour. The two bright lads each had a 9kg cylinder of the stuff and they were getting stuck into these, while keeping warm in front of a nice cosy gas fire. I gather huffing is a rather imprecise process and there is no guarantee one can inhale every last drop of the gas being released. As a result there is a certain build-up of what one might call stray gas that is released into the room.

These two young twits would have been frequently turning the valves on the cylinders on and off between each huff and as they got more whacked and less co-ordinated, I would imagine they took longer t turn the valve off each time. Anyway as I am sure you all know by now they eventually had enough stray gas in the place for it to erupt into flames, setting both them and the house on fire. Fortunately (or otherwise one might argue) they got out of the house and shortly thereafter a third gas cylinder which was actually being used to power the gas fire also started getting hot around the collar and blew half the roof off the house. Reminds me of the big stupid wolf - he huffed and he puffed and he blew his house up.

Is it any wonder people vote people who don’t have their interests at heart back into power? Is it any wonder people can’t see what’s happening with their rates money? Is it any wonder people don’t understand they are entitled to (an employment agreement/an opinion/good service)?

I don’t think so.