Monday, 22 July 2013

Here we go with Judith & John or the ABC of NZ politics part 2

Last week I brought you the first half of a leaked document that is being used to train our new MPs. Of course since then there have been denials from the Government that this document is genuine and even suggestions (heaven forbid) that I made the whole thing up.

Clearly this is another case of brain fade from the ruling party and to prove that I publish for you this week part two of the MP’s primer.

Last week we learned the letters from A for amnesia (or had you forgotten that already – John certainly has), to M for mess which is what Judith and John will have to clean up this week after Smaug lashed out over the weekend. Trying to turn Wellywood in Middle Earth wasn’t such a good idea after all, was it Johnny?

N is for noes which is what you pick when you want to vote against a particular bill (in accordance with the party line of course). Lately it has also come to mean Novopay; a pay system developed to ensure teachers don’t get too powerful (or paid). It was teed up by the last Labour Government and its failings are therefore not the fault of the present Government despite being signed off by them in the face of advice from almost every quarter not to do so.

O is for obfuscation, which is an art you will be trained in for important occasions such as answering direct and confrontational questions from the press. (Does anyone in the Press Gallery still do this?). Simply put, it is a technique that involves using at least five words where one would have done. Your speech is delivered in a circular pattern that leads one inevitably back to the start without divulging anything that even vaguely resembles a direct answer. It has been unkindly suggested that “O” also stands for old-boys’ network, a club where your membership entitles you to preferential career advancement and wealth beyond your wildest dreams, but this is merely an ugly rumour perpetuated by the opposition. There is no such thing as an old boys’ network anymore. The name was first changed to old persons’ network and subsequently to ‘senior citizens’ network’, which as everybody knows is another name for Grey Power and nothing sinister at all.  

P is for posturing and populist. These two are a package deal. Posturing is the art of appearing to take a stand on the issue du jour. But the stand you take when posturing is the one in which the most votes lie so this makes it populist. There is no point in taking a stand on an issue that is likely to cost you votes and by implication, your place on the party list. It is important to remember when playing the posturing card to do so via an obfuscating speech (see under “O” above) to ensure you don’t say anything you might later be held accountable for. 

Q is for quisling. A quisling is not a small goose although the parallels with a bird brain are obvious. It is somebody who displays treachery and fails to recite the party mantra and sides with anything that emanates from the opposition benches. It also applies to coalition parties that join up with the opposition to form a government instead of helping the true party rule as they are born to.

R is for redacted. This is the process whereby dangerous information is removed from official documents to protect the press, the public and others from harm From time to time opposition members and media sources will unreasonably demand official documents and sometimes these will contain information that could compromise National’s security. Usually these are in the form of errors where it is incorrectly stated that a Government Minister knew about a certain person or series of events which that Minister has already repeatedly told Parliament they have no recollection of. To avoid humiliation for the compilers of these documents owing to their lack of accuracy the Government removes these damning pieces of evidence before releasing the documents and this is called redacting.

S is for SkyCity.  SkyCity is a philanthropic organisation that has the best interests of the ordinary New Zealander at heart. They are here to help the Government out by building a world class convention centre that will drag our economy out of the red that the Labour Party took it into and into the black of prosperity. The generosity of this great benefactor is so huge that it has agreed to fork out $402M of its own hard earned money to boost our economy by over $90M per year until the end of time. Furthermore they agreed to do this with no strings attached other than asking the Government to (quite reasonably) extend their gambling licence for a mere 35 years and allow a trifling 230 extra pokie machines and 40 extra gambling tables.

T is for taxation. This is the way Government funds all those free lunches free air travel for you and your family and expenses claims that you will have during your term in Parliament. It is collected by a fair process in which everyone except big business, which is the lifeblood of the country, pays their fair share. It is important to remember that big business has big expenses so it must be given big tax breaks to enable it to employ big numbers of people who can in turn pay big slices of their income in taxation to support us all (in Parliament that is).  

U is for unions a.k.a. the Anti-Christ. Unions are devious cults hell-bent on destroying the country. They are doing this in cahoots with the Labour Party and various other Pinkos. They seem to think that everyone is entitled to have a say in their workplace, the right to a fair wage and various other namby pamby rights such as holidays and sick leave.

V is for vertical integration. This is not only a flash term you can wave about like a big willy and confuse the public, but it is also the secret to business efficiency. Big companies get the opportunity to grow even bigger and to move into more diverse business fields through the medium of vertical integration. To understand it better you could think of it as ‘keeping it all in the family’ which after all makes sense since the family that plays together stays together. For example if you were to start a business where you developed seeds for farmers to plant, then it makes sense that you would also develop chemicals to fight off the diseases and pests they might encounter. Then you would start developing drugs to fight off the diseases people will get when they eat the food grown from those seeds and using those chemicals. It’s only logical to have all those businesses under one banner so you can help everyone at the same time as helping yourself.

W is for whitewash. This is another name for an enquiry into scurrilous allegations from the other side of the house. It gained the name because it is a nice clean way of airing your washing and showing that it is all Persil white and not mucky as alleged by the stone throwing hypocrites on the opposition benches.

X is for Xmas. This is the time of the year when Parliament closes down and you get to mumble some meaningless platitudes before taking off for your holiday home in Hawaii while the voters fight over the last tin of baked beans at the City Mission’s Festive spread.  

Y is for Young Turks. This term does not refer to youths from the Dardanelles, although Turkey was at one time ruled by a party of that name. In this context it used to mean a young movement within the National Party that was named after a similar group in the American Republican Party during the 1960s. This term has now fallen out of use as the modern party is just that; i.e. modern. It doesn’t need stroppy little upstarts trying to change party policy which has been very carefully developed with maximum input from the voters – or at least the ones who make the biggest donations to the election fund.

Z is for Zilland as in New Zilland. This is the correct way to pronounce the name of our fine country as demonstrated by our fine leader who has been setting the bar extremely high in the development of New Zilland Inglush.

So there you have it; the unabridged version of the new MP’s training manual. No expense has been expended on this invaluable resource and as you will have noticed, it is bringing obvious returns with the standard of representation we now have.

But maybe with returns like that we should bolt the gates and not let the buggers back in.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Let your conscience be your guide; or the ABC of NZ politics part 1

Politics can be a confusing arena for an impressionable and idealistic young person to be thrown into. It is all the more so as our educational standards begin to take a dive and the dumbing down of the general population becomes more universal.

This poses a problem for parliamentary parties in terms of the induction of new members into the house. It has recently come to my attention (through a leak in the parliamentary plumbing) that a new easy to follow guide in the form of a glossary of terms has been commissioned at considerable taxpayer expense to assist with this process.

At great personal risk of having my GCSB file expand to the point where they need to build a new annex to the ‘persons of interest repository’ I am going to share some extracts from that manual with you. To keep it simple (in keeping with this whole dumbing down policy), I have chosen to disclose only the first half of this glossary at this point in time.

For all intents and purposes it is the ABC of NZ politics.

A is for amnesia. This is the correct default position to adopt when asked about something you did or said that could have the potential to uncover your true motives or actions. It is useful for deflecting uncomfortable questions from annoying opposition members and avoiding public gaffes when being interviewed by the press. An example would be receiving a large donation from an influential person and then forgetting who they are to avoid being linked with anything in their life that might harm your career.

B is for brighter future or bullshit. The two are interchangeable as far as their meaning goes, but always take care to use the ‘bf’ version to avoid letting any furry felines out of any bags. For example you paint a dazzling picture of how the future might be and then flood the market with press releases designed to give the impression it is actually happening. Print enough press rereleases and eventually the silent (as in brain-dead) majority will believe you.

C is for corruption and cronyism. The two go together like a horse and carriage in politics. You will seldom find one without the other. They are an important side to politics (as in knowing what side your bread is buttered on). Neophyte members need to remember they are both pronounced the same; that is silently. A good example is letting a coalition partner off some misdemeanour in order to secure his vote for a key policy item.

D is for deception. This is not to be confused with the desk that sits out front in many offices. Rather it is a skill you will have to learn as a new MP if you haven’t already mastered it on the campaign trail. Put simply it usually means putting forward something that appears to give the people what they want but surreptitiously inserting caveats to ensure you won’t have to deliver. A good example would be holding a referendum at great expense to the voters but failing to remind them that you are not required to take any notice of their opinions.

E is for expenses. Expenses are your God-given entitlement now that you are an MP. They are not a trivial matter and should be padded out as creatively as possible throughout your term. You should always be on the lookout for new ways to include as many of your day to day expenses as possible under this category and obtain the greatest possible benefit to yourself from this free source of finance. Tip: seek out loyalty schemes such as Flybuys and Airpoints in order to maximise your benefits.   

F is for fraud. This is something of a moving feast and its precise definition is sometimes hard to pin down. Suffice to say it is something that is carried out by beneficiaries, company directors that don’t vote for your party and members of the opposition.

G is for gravy train. This is what you are now on and if you want to stay on it you must learn not to rock the (gravy) boat. Strict adherence to the party line will stand you in good stead here. Remember to let your conscience be your guide. For clarification, your conscience is also known as the party whip.

H is for hypocrisy. No this has nothing to do with medicine. It is another of those traits you will see in the opposition. It has no relation whatsoever to Ministers in your own Government who milked the state benefits to educate themselves while raising a child and then took those benefits away from those who followed in their wake. That situation is called adapting to a changing environment.

I is for interest (as in conflict of). Again this is something members of the opposition regularly have. Shoulder-tapping old friends for top Civil Service jobs is not conflict of interest as opponents might suggest. It is known as networking to fill important vacancies by saving the taxpayer the cost of interviewing unsuitable people who don’t possess the correct political ‘understanding’.

J is for just is (as opposed to justice). This is an important one. You are not in parliament to bring justice and fair play to the nation; that is the function of the free market. Hence you are here to see that it ‘just is’ with as little blatant interference from government as possible. All interference is to be strictly covert and covered up by refusals of Official Information requests on the grounds of national security or personal privacy.

K is for kiss my arse. This is another of the unspoken terms you will have to learn the meaning of. It simply means, “I have been elected to Parliament and now I will do what I want and all you voters can get stuffed because it will be at least three years before you can chuck me out. In the meantime I will ride my gravy train all the way to the end of the line.

L is for lobbyists. These are also known as political advisors. They are those nice well educated people who spend most of their time hanging around the offices of Ministers of the Crown. You will have little to do with them until you are made a member of the Cabinet. Then you will get to know what obliging, intelligent and helpful people these are. They can help you develop your policy while maintaining a continuous stream of extra benefits for yourself.  

M is for mess. This is what the opposition made of the economy during their last term of office. It is also a description of every piece of legislation they passed that is not in keeping with your party’s policy. It is also a useful descriptor for any new policy initiatives the opposition might care to present that oppose your own.

I intend to present the last half of this revealing document next week by which time I hope to have completely covered the meta-data trail that leads from my ‘mole’ to me.

In the meantime, be careful out there. I know I’ll have to be.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Year of the living dead

There have been a few deaths this year. I know this happens every year, but in 2013 we have experienced some rather unusual deaths.

The first of these was North Shore MP Madly Barry. She apparently died last week – or at least I have to conclude that she and some of her colleagues did because last week her beloved leader announced Government ‘support’ for the Auckland City rail loop.

Auckland head boy Lenda Hand Brown is thrilled to bits with this apparent u-turn although I believe it is more of a u-bend; i.e. it is full of shit. Closer examination of the announcement reveals that little is likely to happen before about 2020, which the more quick witted among the population, (that’s a small group including thee and me and bugger all else), have realised is outside their current term of office. Thus they are making promises somebody else will be expected to keep which is always a dodgy proposition.

Of course amid all this excitement nobody has noticed the demise of Ms Barry and her un-named colleagues. I have to assume that Madly has gone to that great compost bin in the sky because as soon as she was elected to Parliament she told everybody who would listen, and a lot of people who were trying desperately to block out her droning rhetoric, that there would be a CBD rail link before a second harbour crossing "over our dead bodies".

Just whose dead bodies apart from her own was unclear at the time, but obviously the North Shore MP herself is no more because she told us back in 2011 what would happen if that was the case. We believe her because in the Reader’s Digest poll to find the most trusted New Zealanders of 2013 we voted Madly in at number 51, which might not sound very good, but it was high enough to make her our most trusted politician. How about that for an oxymoron? Although perhaps the real morons here are the voters (again).

However I tuned in to Parliament after the announcement and I swear I saw the deceased MP for North Shore smirking away in the background and she looked alive enough to me. Either she has come back to haunt Jianqi for killing her off with his announcement or she has looked more closely at the announcement than the pussies of the press who have all breathlessly reported the whole thing as if it is really going to happen. You see we have three types of dead in New Zealand; the dead, the undead and the brain dead. Madly Barry is one of the former two, but so far I cannot confirm which.

But Ms Barry is not the only death we have had in public orifice this year. Maori Party co-leader Pita (Principle) Sharples has also apparently died just this very week. You won’t find this reported in the paper yet because the Maori Party are trying to keep it quiet until they figure out how to blame Hone for it.

In the meantime the news has been leaked in a careless press release about a leadership vote to be held in a fortnight’s time. This can only mean one thing; Mr Sharples is dead. He must be because he told us only a few months ago he would lead the party until he died. Therefore the fact that he is now being replaced can only mean he has shuffled of his mortal coil.

And here’s the scary part. I swear I’ve seen Sharples this week as well. So has he also joined the ranks of the living dead? This is becoming more unsettling by the day. There are already rumours that the corpse of United Featureless is roaming the corridors of the Beehive and I have also heard about an attempt to reACTivate another dead party.

These creatures were all scary enough in life, without malevolent forces re-animating them for eternity. Forget the economy; we need to deal with this imminent threat without delay.

To that end I have been doing some research on zombies and it seems that most ‘experts’ believe the best way to deal with a zombie is with a swift shot to the head. Their theory is that the brain is the only living thing they have. And here is where we have a BIG problem dear readers. We are dealing with politicians FFS. Where on earth are we going to find a brain among them?

Another ‘expert’ suggests removing their heads. Once again I have never seen a politician yet who can’t operate without using their head, so I guess that is not going to work either.

The most ridiculous method I came across was to nail them back into their grave beds with a steak. I ask you how the hell can you nail someone to anything with a slab of meat? (Hush your dirty mouths) I would have thought you would want something sharp like a spear or a dagger for that.

Unfortunately folks it would seem that for the present we are unable to rid the country of these hideous cannibalistic apparitions – at least not until around October next year. I have heard that a tick in the right place on a ballot paper can sometimes work and if that doesn’t work then I am reminded of an old rhyme; Remember, remember the fifth of November.