Saturday, October 11, 2008

Flatter and fairer is what we need

These guys want politicians to essentially put aside their differences and resolve how to ride out the economic crisis.

If politicians can't put aside their differences in the good times, how are they going to do it in a crisis, when the outcomes riding on their decisions are even more crucial? Having said that, there is no real difference between Labour and National and they should be able to concur on some nutty statist 'solutions' like enticing ex-pats home with tax breaks those of us who stayed here won't get.

It's all a bit holier-than-thou to slag off tax cuts to middle New Zealand but then suggest targeted tax cuts as one of their own silver bullets. More state manipulation of the tax system and bestowal of privilege should be avoided now as much as at any other time.

Flatter and fairer is what we need. (And I wish economists would stop referring to subsidies as tax credits. In my dictionary a tax credit is only possible if an entity or individual has paid some tax. Soon we will hear social welfare benefits referred to as 'tax credits'. The language is intended to neutralise emotions and sanctify receipt of other people's money.)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Suspend the sex education lessons - now

Remember this wee baby?

And people say children grow up so fast.

Daisy is on heat. Forgive my naivety but I haven't had the privilege of sharing a house with a cat on heat before. And this cat rivals Cactus Kate in the over-abundance of testosterone stakes.

Unfortunately the kids have realised they can get her going simply by simulating her "I'm ready, boy am I ready " mewls. The first few times we watched her wiggling her arse and lifting her back legs at anything that moves it was hilarious. But I am so over it.

We all need to get some sleep at night - her included.

Anyone for a kitten?

Labour has widened income gaps

There is significant disparity between the growth rate of average weekly income (for all people, from all sources) between Auckland and Wellington.

Auckland has seen the lowest increase of 16 percent in the five years to June 2008, whereas Wellington has enjoyed a 35 percent increase, the second highest in the country. I have charted the various regional increases below;

Taranaki 41 percent
Wellington 35
Nelson/Tasman/Marl/West Coast 33
Southland 31
Otago 30
Gisborne/Hawke's Bay 26
Bay of Plenty 25
Canterbury 24
Manawatu-Wanganui 19
Waikato 19
Auckland 16
Northland 16

In 2004 the difference in the regions between the highest incomes (Auckland) and lowest (Otago) was $169

In 2008 the difference in the regions between the highest incomes (Wellington) and lowest (Northland) is $246

Isn't it ironic how the great equaliser's - the Left - through ever-increasing government, have only managed to widen income gaps.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Coro St trumps candidates?

Yesterday evening saw the local Rotary-organised meet-the-candidates assembly which is traditional and held in the Muritai School hall. It usually pulls the biggest crowd of the campaign at 2-300. Last night 60 people showed up to hear 9 candidates. Theories as to why ranged from it being Coro night to people having already made their minds up. I tended towards the second. Or is it simply that meetings have had their day?

The memorable moment for me was when a member of the audience asked what each party intended to do about the continuing persecution of cannabis users? NZ First's Ron Mark leapt quickly to his feet, strode to the mike and said, "Nothing" and sat back down. Trevor Mallard followed suit, "Nothing", and finally the National Party candidate stood and said he would be the "third stooge" and agree with both. I saw red. So I walked to the edge of the stage, carefully confirmed that ACT had no policy to decriminalise but that, being at the socially liberal end of the party, I opposed prohibition. Then turning to the aforementioned candidates I lambasted their position, describing the worsening, highly destructive affects of prohibition, and their collective refusal to abandon the status quo, as negligence. To be honest I can't remember quite what I said but to my surprise the audience enthusiastically cheered. I am not sure whether it was because I was angrily dressing down the three stooges or because they agreed.

But I do believe the ground is shifting on this one. Not before time.

(The Green candidate later thanked me for what I had said and even forgave me for my remark about their billboards which she had waxed lyrical about during her speech. Responding in my address I pointed out that every party could justify having children saying Vote For Me on their billboards and if it was a choice between Sue Bradford and children, they probably would.)

"The pain of bureaucracy"

Fortunately the Hutt News is still publishing letters from submitters who are also temporarily candidates. The Dominion Post will not while the election campaign is on. I had an amicable conversation with their letters editor about their policy and she confirmed this. At least I now know not to waste my time.

I like the title this one was given.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Treasury costs ETS

Now where would you go to find the projected cost of the Emissions Trading Scheme?

Well, I sure as hell wouldn't have looked for it under Culture and Heritage. But there it is. Projected to cost the taxpayer a mere $billion within 5 years. But that's just the direct costs....

It's not over yet for Helen

Here's what Helen Clark told the Maori Women's Welfare League 56th Conference on Friday;

You have my word : under Labour, the Maori electorates will stay as long as Maori want them to stay.

Every five years, the Maori electoral option gives Maori that choice.

It would be wrong, wrong, wrong for a Pakeha majority to take that choice away.

Yet under National Party policy, there would only be one more election with Maori seats after this one.

In electoral terms, that’s gone by lunchtime.

"You have my word". Intimate and compelling. Clark now has a powerful tool to pull the Maori party vote (and the Maori Party support.)

A tool possibly powerful enough to win another term.

What will Turia do? Turn her back on the party that stole their property rights to support a party that will steal their electoral power-base?

It's going to be fascinating.


Today's Dominion Post features the front page headline "National plan for life to mean life - two strikes policy for violent crimes".

Ye Gods. Gazumped. ACT's policy is only three strikes.

Clever move by National. Makes ACT irrelevant on the very ground they chose to fight the election on.

Where ACT should have gone - publicly - is to the root of most crime and the best way to prevent it. Serious and radical welfare reform. National would never follow them there.

It's OK to lock up high risk violent offenders for life but what about the next generation of criminals being bred every day under our policy of paying people without the means - either material or emotional - to have babies? Under our obsessive state-backed anti-adoption stance? Under our 'the child is always best with its biological mother' policy? Under our 'if you have an addiction you can live off the taxpayer' policy? Under our 'being a victim of ongoing domestic violence but staying with the perpetrator qualifies you for the DPB' policy? Under our 'men are alienated and neutered by the anti-male bias of the welfare system but we don't give a shit' policy?

No. National wouldn't go there.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

A day with the MP for Epsom

Steve Braunias (I thought he had retired?) spends a day with Rodney Hide on the campaign trail. Steve's writing is always to the point; sharp bordering on lethal. But I think he has spared Rodney. It mightn't be a winner for ACT but certainly won't harm the high-profile MP for Epsom.