Thursday, March 06, 2008

A serious chip on the shoulder

A couple of years back I read a rather raw and extreme speech which I hoped reflected a personal paranoia and not reality. Here is an excerpt;

This place is fucking appalling – men tell you what to do, men make you feel bad – men for the benefit of men shape the system. As students we are objectified – I have been one of the people who have made jokes about “easy first years” and I regret that – I did not do the sisterhood any favours. The reason why I made these jokes is because I bowed to covert peer pressure. I picked up on the language and I existed to be liked by men and envied by women but I was never going to be a fuckable first year so I went to student politics and that made me attractive to a whole other group of men – who run the place, who attack me, who judge me on whether they would fuck me or not.

University is a sad story for women and we don’t fight against it because we ignore it or see it as tough luck cause its normal.

Date rape, gang rape, sexual violence are all a norm here – it’s a joke because men make it so and they are the blokes, the boys club and they are putting us down and taking our jobs.

The place in question was Auckland University. The speaker ex-student President Kate Sutton. I mention this because I have noticed Kate is standing for Labour in Epsom. My knowledge of Epsom extends only to the fact that Rodney Hide is their current MP.

It appears Labour are not seriously entertaining changing that.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


I wanted to read Louisa Wall's maiden speech so went to the Labour Party website. No speech there. In fact she isn't even listed as an MP. Anne Hartley is though.

If Labour see Wall as a draw card for Maori they might need to start supporting her. Then again she may be about to experience the shortest parliament career ever. Can anybody think of a shorter one?

Pot calling kettle.....

And further on education, this is a gem. Rick Giles has locked horns with Stratford High School over the matter of blog accessibility. He received the following e-mail;

===== Original Message From =====
when you are able to determine that you are addressing the Principal of a school about a principle in practise perhaps we can take you seriously.
Diane ####
Principal’s PA

Notice the delicious irony in this piece of lofty high-handedness?

Paying for problems

The failure of the decile rating/funding system for schools is highlighted yet again by this report which shows one in five primary school children is anti-social, yet at the poorest schools the figure rises to over one in three. The problem is apparently that these schools are not adequately funded to deal with children with behavioural problems. I don't know why not. We have just received a bill for $350 for our local state school 'donation'. In fact this is the subsidy we pay to poor schools who get twice as much funding as ours. And still want more.

In any event it is the home lives of these children which lie at the heart of the problem. I would bet you anything you like that a large majority have come out of dysfunctional families created on the back of welfare. Which we also subsidised. That's the Kiwi way. We don't pay tax to solve problems. We pay it to create them.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

'Menacing' but not 'dangerous'

This is a typical 'being seen to do something' farce.

In Palmerston North "There were about 100 dog attacks on living things each year, about 12 of those were on humans."

But council's head of environmental protection services Wayne Jameson said the fact the city had no dangerous dogs was a reflection of "very good dog behaviour".

And so...No one should have to pay extra for their dog registration because there are no dangerous dogs in Palmerston North.

I know. Some days you have to pinch yourself.

A strange case of mistaken identity

I can understand the mistake being made with a kitten or puppy but what gives here?

Monday, March 03, 2008

More teenage single parents on welfare than officially exist

I wonder how many people tell porkies to the Census taker? For some time I have been trying to get a figure for the number of mothers aged 15-19 at March 2006. The figure I have been provided with is 4,107. I have argued with Statistics New Zealand that this is too low given there are usually more births to 15-19 year-olds in one year alone.

Anyway, after double-checking, I am assured that is the figure established through the process of self-indentification. Of these mothers 2,586 said they were single. I pointed out to my contact that at March 2006 there were 2,894 18 and 19 year-olds on the DPB and a further 6-700 16 and 17 year-olds on the EMA. So roughly three and a half thousand teenage single parents are on a benefit for single mothers yet, according to the Census, only two and a half thousand teenage single parents officially exist??

One can only assume the 'missing' 1,000 are telling Work and Income they are single (to qualify for welfare) but telling the Census taker they have a partner.

(In case you are wondering there were only around 40-50 male 18-19 year-old single parents on a benefit so that doesn't account for the difference.)

No silver bullet

Although I appreciate the need to improve saving habits among Kiwis I do not approve of using taxpayer money as an incentive. I don't have a KiwiSaver account. But I know people who oppose it in principle who have nevertheless taken advantage of the 'free' money. Apparently I am an idiot not to.

A study from Waikato Management School has shown however that as a scheme to incentivise saving it may not be very efficient.

The study found between only 9 and 19 per cent of KiwiSaver cash was new savings. "The rest is either reshuffling among existing saving and debt by KiwiSaver members, or else taxpayer and employer transfers which decrease national saving elsewhere," Prof Gibson said. "When the deadweight loss of tax incentives is taken into account, along with the administration, compliance and implementation costs, then KiwiSaver is likely to lower rather than lift national saving."

Great. Another grand redistribution plan failing to achieve its purpose. Another Labour policy supported by National.