Archive | March, 2014

Kim Dotcom 2017

29 Mar

Its November 2017 and the Governor General has just asked Kim Dotcom to form his first Internet virtual Government. For many its a surprise that what seemed like a desperate single issue commercial sales proposition for a political party has managed to get this far. Just 3 short years since we laughed at the idea of New Zealanders voting for internet speed.

Of course its not all been plain sailing , the rise of single issue commercialism has caught on. Dotcom had to spend weeks negotiating with the Whittaker’s Chocolate Party. Who eventually decided to merge , create a vote Internet chocolate bar and now provide the opportunity for everyone on broadband to download Whittaker’s chocolate to a mobile device. And there have been casualties.Peter Dunne tried to merge with Dotcom yet he became a casualty after admitting that although he used the Internet he felt it his right to decline to confirm he was still on dial up.

The 2017 election became a closely fought battle. The Internet Party struggled in many rural areas against the hastily arranged Tony s Tyre Service party. The offer of high speed tyres was too much. John Key was late off the blocks and had to settle for selling the National Party to Crafar farms and offering any voter a game of golf with him. The late merger with the newly privatized electrical industry brought some money to the coffers but few votes. And at the same time they lost support to the Fonterra Milk Powder Party( not a euphemism for certain drugs).

So its certainly been unpredictable , the rise of political parties without politics should have been a blessing to John Key , but alas has seen him out of office. The only politician to have remained constant has been old Winston. Now leader of the only opposition left , still unable to answer any straight question and still standing.

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The search for political satire

25 Mar

I am on a quest. For the most perfect political joke about the corn law reform. Why ? Well why not.
George Bentinck,Lord Stanley and Robert Peel walk into a bar. Stanley buys a packet of crisps, Bentinck pays for them and Peel looks for maize flavored snacks on account of …
Okay needs some work admittedly and maybe some footnotes. But the point is politicians must have been able to be satirized in the past, when they had principles and character or even lack of principles. Peels beliefs , odd though they were , took him to all sorts of places. How did maize feature in the corn laws ?
I was watching an old episode of spitting image on youtube the other day. What a waste of time. In my mind I had remembered it as an unmissable half hour of biting satire…it wasn’t. It had a couple of politics jokes but mainly it was carry on style pop culture stuff. It ridiculed the media to some extent , but it wasn’t satire. Why not..maybe Thatcher and Major were beyond satire.

The world over there’s been a slow march to a point where satire and reality have cross pollinated.

Bentinck,Peel and Lord Derby walk into a pub. The barman asks them about Irish Education reform …nah

In New Zealand a party that during this Parliament had associate responsibility for Education has a party leader who has no moral issue with incest. Jonathan Swift couldn’t have made that up. At least we knew his eating people thing and the big talking horses were meant to convey another meaning. This guy …Then we have another party leader who is not convinced man went to the moon but is convinced that he can break the law. Yet he hopes to be in Government later this year.

There is no need to satirize when the World looks like this.

Lord Palmerston walks into a commons bar , no real joke here as Irish lords were not part of the House of Lords ..not funny I know …

In Britain there’s the media gushing UKIP. At the last general election they were obsessed with clothing and appearance. A sort of racist Geoff banks.
They wanted to paint trains traditional colours ( are there some new non traditional colours that have been discovered ?), make taxi drivers and theatre goers dress up ( though not sadly in fancy dress ). Imagine getting into a taxi and being able to say to the driver , ” Here I had that Darth Vader driving me last week “. They are pro proper pint glasses and wanted an investigation into discrimination against white people at the BBC…couldn’t make it up.

Colin Craig , Nigel Farage and the Duke of Wellington walk into a pub …everyone else walks out …

My quest continues, satire may have dies in the 1840s. But in the current political climate how am I to know ??

Adventures with a Cyclone

16 Mar

I got a call on the way back home on Friday…

” Hi Dad where are you ? “

” Ill be home in about 40 minutes …how are you ?”

” Cyclone Lucy is coming …we’ve just been looking at the forecast”

There was genuine excitement in his voice . When I got home Che and Luka were both really excited. Che took me through the details and showed me a book which gave useful information and the difference between hurricanes , cyclones etc( no I don’t remember).

When we went out to feed the Calves Luka kept saying ” Oh Lucys coming ” as though it were an expected guest …which it was..should we have been concerned ? I dont know , but they were interested and enthralled.

The wind got up the first evening and there was some rain , though not as much as I expected. But more than the Cat wanted.

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I hardly slept , the wind sounded awful. My mind was awake. I had no idea what to expect from a cyclone, would it take roof tiles off ? Would my insurance replace the whole roof if that did happen ( please ) , did I leave things outside I shouldn’t have ( of course ). What was that important thing I was going to do ( still cant remember ) did I pay the phone bill ( not sure …) then it was morning . More wind , little rain and only seconds after the coffee was made ( thanks Helen) …the power went off !

And kept going off and on all day. Tedious at times , humorous at others.

The rain we had had was enough to create mud and the younger children enjoyed rolling around in that until they went in for a bath.

 

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We thought the Calves needed some dry time and brought them into the stables for the evening.
Then as the wind got back up and the rain never really materialised a moment of serious challenge …Che wanted to play Monopoly…which we did …and of course I lost …20140315_163324….because nothing says adventures with a cyclone that never really showed like a board game.

Key wants 6 months to build his Adams Family coalition

11 Mar

It seems bizarre that the Prime Minister would announce an election 6 months in advance. Given that the Parliamentary term is 3 years that the last sixth of the term written off. Campaign mode.
The excuse of needing to have the Election early may be valid , but it could still have been called in July. Why have such a long campaign?

For me it seems simple , Key and his team must believe that 6 months of scrutiny will crack Cunliffe and more importantly allow him to shore up his Coalition partners, the Adams Family of New Zealand Politics. Colin Craig and his belief in smacking his daughter. ACT and their belief in sleeping with your brother, and Peter Dunne who may hold these or other beliefs but will defend his right to keep them private. Frankly they are odd. Logically you would have thought a long campaign would be a disaster for those guys. All those questions , all those moon landings . The right block on paper looks more likely to form a coalition.

For Cunliffe he must be hoping that the Conservatives get to 4.99% and Winston continues his sulk. Even then though the chances of forming a minority Government look hard.

The main challenge for Keys Government of all the Adams Family doesn’t look like the formation , its what will happen next. ACT implode every time they get power , the Conservatives may well too !

Ernest Marples ..the rich mans Ronnie Briggs

10 Mar

I woke up this morning thinking about writing something on Ernest Marples. I know this thought would make an awful blues song , what rhymes with Marples ? I also know this may seem strange , but having looked at him recently I think he is one of the more overlooked corrupt politicians. Why his name is not a byword for corruption is interesting in itself.

Then I saw Lewis Baston had posted a defence of him only several days ago
http://www.conservativehome.com/thecolumnists/2014/03/from-lewis_baston-ernie-marples-yes-a-rogue-but-he-brightened-up-the-1950s-and-he-made-things-happen.html

I’m not sure of Baston is pulling our collective legs , like a centipede physiotherapist. However for Baston , Marples is a rogue. A rogue who had impact. A fancy dresser , though not of the pirate costume variety , more of the orange shoe variety. A Minister who achieved lots. And he did. Premium bonds , Postcodes, traffic wardens , housing expansion , road expansion. He was Minister for all those. However I think whoever was Minister at that time , when transport boomed on the roads would have followed a similar path( ha ha ) as he did.

So why corrupt. Well leaving aside his use of prostitutes as a moral issue, he used his skills as Minister of road building at the same time as owning 80% of Marples Ridgeway a construction company. They were awarded many contracts during this period. Some were even not the most economical for the taxpayer. He did eventually sell the shares to his wife (!). He eventually lived out his life in Monaco , in a chateux. Nice. Well yes but he had extracted a couple of million pounds from the business and ran away before the Inland Revenue could seize his assets. Baston calls this an ” irregularity ” others have called it ” Tax Fraud”.

While he sat in exile , out of reach of the authorities , with his money earned from dubious practices he struck me as a Ronnie Biggs type character. Maybe he is Bastons loveable rogue , but not one I would have slapped on the back. And as he sat in exile his tenants in London slum properties sat in rather less luxury wondering what was to happen to them.

Having said that if Lewis Baston really is writing a book about him I would love to read it !!
marples

The obligatory Transport Minister picture.

Cows

9 Mar

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We knew it would happen sometime. It was always something that seemed inevitable. Cows. Since I saw the episode of the Good Life where Barbara and Jerry bring a Xmas gift of a Cow , it feels like we have been holding out.

They are really almost always a rescue case, however you look at it. On farms most Cows are lucky to live a few years at best and are either mass produced for milk or meat. These are going to be pets , happy grazers and hopefully Mothers.

We saw these advertised the other day , they are young. Very young. One was 2 weeks the other 4 days. They are not much bigger than a Dog. We had to move quick to get them but once we knew about them felt we had no choice.

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They seemed a little lost on the journey home. We managed to get them into a trailer , they mooed loudly whenever we went past other Cows and kept leaning on each other.

When we got then home they didn’t really feel like getting out of the trailer. So they stayed in it for half an hour , door open , just looking at each other. No animal can look as lost as a Cow can.

The Ponies got excited when they saw them , the Calves got excited too. A symphony of mooing.

Then the madness of feeding them. Calves get taken from Mothers to maximize milk going to the dairy. The dairy process that and turn it into milk powder , which gets sold back to people to feed calves. A whole industry exists around the same outcome that could be achieved by leaving them there…but I digress. We were up early this morning ( for us anyway !) to feed them, having heard only the odd moo in the night.

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They are cute. They enjoy being scratched , they enjoy lying down with each other. They are happy to give you a rough cow lick. Tonight they were chasing chickens.

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They will live for 18 to 25 years, so that’s some commitment we have taken on. They are now called Honey and Willow , Herefords we believe. I am now registered as a Person In Charge of Animals and we are in the farming system. Oh and when they stand on your foot it hurts.

Eggs ?

4 Mar

New Image

They Wander

They Free Range.

Sometimes they go up the driveway.

They never cross the road …not even as part of an elaborate joke.

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They come home to roost. Well most days.

Sometimes they go into neighbouring fields.

Sometimes they go into neighbouring properties.

How are they to know.

They avoid the Dog and the Cats.

They find plenty to eat.

They love fruit !

But they don’t seem to leave any eggs anywhere we can find them ! We have this lovely flock but no eggs !?

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Luka searched the tree house tonight…but still no eggs.

Maybe they just don’t feel like it ?

Maybe they leave them up the drive.

Maybe they leave them in a neighbouring property ??

Maybe the Dog and Cats find them ?

Maybe its the fruit ???