Saturday, October 01, 2011

Terry Serepisos - just like government

There seems to be a recurring theme for me this week. Extravagance with other people's money. Terry Serepisos is one example. He owed millions to people who have taken him on trust; paid for materials to do work for him; paid wages for people to do work for him; taken on their own debt waiting for him to pay up. It struck in the middle of the night, worrying about monies owed to me, I may be a victim of his foolhardiness myself as a downstream domino.

People laud him for the Phoenix but he was spending money and building debt. He is really no better than governments using tax and ratepayers money for things they don't need and don't want.

For instance, my local government, the Hutt City Coucil, is an assinine spenthrift. There are signs going up all over the place (not signs of belt-tightening either).

In our street there are six Norfolk pines. They have been designated 'protected trees'. Fine. But every single one has to have its own sign (each a duplicate) to inform the public of their hallowed status among things with roots and leaves.

A nearby alleyway suddenly has a name with signs, at either end just in case you miss it.

Now these bloody blue signs are popping up everywhere telling us the name of our home. I thought I lived in Eastbourne but no, I live in Muritai. But some people who think they live in Eastbourne have it confirmed. Indeed they do live in Eastbourne.

Entering the bays an enormous sign has been erected with symbols I have yet to work out completely. One means swimming - not shit Sherlock. You can swim in the sea?
Another looks like a narrow bridge of which we have none. Maybe the knife and fork is a reminder to check your picnic implements are of the 'safe' variety.

All of it costs money that cannot be spent elswhere. I know that a number of local businesses are teetering on the brink. The lotto and confectionary shop closed two weeks ago. I am sure business owners and other residents regard this splurge of signage with the same bewilderment and anger as I do.

Spending other people's money in an unrestrained, devil-may-care manner is bad enough in a boom. In that respect I can comprehend Serepisos' activities. But not now and not the council. They are just kicking sand in our faces.

Perhaps I could fashion my own sign warning off sand-kickers. But it'll have to wait till I am back in the black.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Vernon Small poses a question about ACT

In today's DomPost Vernon Small asks whether John Key should continue to "hold out the lifeline to ACT" or:

"...would it be better in the long run (and more humane) to allow ACT and its damaged brand to die a quiet death? That may create room for a new liberal free market party to spring up on his right."

I have my own question.

I want Brash, but I don't want Banks. Do I want Brash more than I don't want Banks? If ACT polls like it did in 2005 that's what ACT will be. No good for me.

So I'll keep watching the polls and waiting for number three to be announced.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Gareth Morgan's vision

From Gareth Morgan's latest NZ Herald article:
"...we need a system of redistribution that gives to each adult the means to live in dignity in the absence of paid work, delivering to all the freedom to find a balance between paid and unpaid activity, while ensuring that all those who do seek paid work get rewarded for their efforts."

All of the above should be delivered through civil society (sorry, can't find a better term ). That is people finding the means to create a "balance between paid and unpaid activity" through their relationships with each other.

Gareth Morgan wants the state to deliver it to people through taking "the means" off one and giving it to another.

The civil society involves no force - Morgan's vision involves significant force.

The civil society binds people - Morgan's vision isolates them.

The civil society (with increasing interference from the state) is the long-standing basis by which many (but not all) have lived happy and fulfilling lives - Morgan's vision is merely a re-run of demonstrably disastrous utopian fantasies.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More on the ACT dope debacle

ACT was always supposed to be the party of ideas. That was what I constantly heard when I was involved. That means leading thinking; expressing possibly contentious ideas; and influencing reform.

When one of them rightly waves that flag, others run a mile. Pathetic.

Banks is an idiot. He doesn't, never did and never will belong in a party of new ideas. He can't even get his head around this debate not being about drugs good/drugs bad. It's about whether the way authorities and lawmakers currently approach them is effective.

The current approach is riddled with inconsistencies and hypocrisies. If that is what society thinks will make the best impression on young minds then it is deluding itself.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Campbell poll - 72 percent say 'yes' to decriminalising cannabis

John Campbell just conducted a poll on the back of interviews with both Don Brash and John not-over-my-dead-body Banks.

Should cannabis be decriminalised and 72 percent texted YES.

A Stuff poll shows 77 percent support.

A NZ Herald poll is less emphatic with 48 percent of over 16,000 saying yes.

Honestly? I am surprised but very pleased at that result.

As for the Brash/Banks schism, business as usual for ACT. Just much more publicly overt.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Good on Don

Kiwiblog reports Don Brash calling for the decriminalisation of cannabis. Good for him. Even the Greens aren't pushing this barrow anymore.

Act leader Don Brash is calling for the decriminalisation of cannabis.

He says prohibition of the drug hasn’t worked, and policing it costs millions of tax payer dollars and clogs up the court system.

He’s told TVNZ’s Q&A programme there are other ways to restrict the use of marijuana.

“It’s estimated thousands of New Zealanders use cannabis on a fairly regular basis, 6,000 are prosecuted every year, a $100million of tax payers money is spent to police this law,” says My Brash.