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Random Thoughts on Random Things #5…

21 October 2013 1 comment

From Dunedin’s “Star” ( a weekly community newspaper, published by the ODT) on 17 October;

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Government not ‘abandoning’ city
Michael Woodhouse National Party List MP

  

I share concerns around the proposal to relocate jobs from Invermay to the new Lincoln hub. But it’s important to have balance in the discussion, and that balance has so far been missing from the pages of our local daily paper.   

The Minister of Science and Innovation, Hon Steven Joyce, has assured Dunedin the proposal will receive a high level of scrutiny, and has committed to testing the proposal further with the AgResearch board. That’s appropriate. AgResearch is a Crown Research Institute, independent of Government.   

David Cunliffe has strongly inferred that a Labour-Greens government may reverse the board’s decision. However, he stopped short of committing to do so.   

The Opposition is well aware Parliament would need to change the law in order to make that happen, breaking down the long›standing separation that protects our crown entities from direct political interference.   

They steadfastly refused to do that in their nine years in government when restructures and even redundancies were being proposed by crown entities and State›owned enterprises.   

The Opposition should be required to clarify their real position, rather than get away with offering the Dunedin community weasel words they have no intention of honouring.   

I also note that for all Mr Cunliffe’s hand›wringing over the proposal and its impact on Otago, when facing a Dunedin audience, he was lauding the positive impact the AgResearch proposals would have for Massey University when speaking in Palmerston North recently.   

Mr Cunliffe cannot have it both ways.   

Either Labour opposes the proposed merger, or it doesn’t. Either it will commit to reversing the decision should it take power, or it will not.   

No-one wants to see jobs move from the city. But it’s completely wrong to suggest the Government is abandoning Dunedin. There are now more doctors, nurses, students and academic positions than when we took office. Port Otago is reporting record freight movements, house prices are holding up, and there are many other positive signs of growth.   

I look forward to working with the new city council to continue promoting this city to the world.

 

Source: The Star

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Isn’t it interesting…

National List MP, Michael Woodhouse, devotes seven out of his eleven paragraphs bagging Labour, The Greens, David Cunliffe, and Uncle Tom Cobbly… but nowhere does he offer any practical solutions to a major crisis affecting Dunedin’s local economy. The gutting of the Invermay Agresearch centre will be a further blow to Otago’s regional economy – one that appears to have no rational basis (see:  AgResearch staff ignored)

One of National’s taxpayer funded spin-doctors really should take Mr Woodhouse to one side; whack him about the face with a wet fish; and advise him that criticising the Opposition’s suggestions whilst offering none in return – is not a particularly good look.

Especially when Mr Woodhouses’ own colleagues seem to be endorsing the gutting of Invermay:  Govt says AgResearch restructure is ‘logical’,

“It’s tough for individuals that may have to shift, but the upside is that I think we’ll get a much greater impact for our research investment in the agricultural area, which is really important to New Zealand.” – Steven Joyce, Economic Development Minister

What was that you were saying, Mr Woodhouse?

At this rate, don’t count on winning a local electorate seat any time soon.

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Random Thoughts on Random Things #4…

21 October 2013 7 comments

The latest “stroke of genius” from a government that has no other practical solutions to unemployment…

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Welfare cuts for almost 100 fugitives

By Isaac Davison @Isaac_Davison

4:36 PM Tuesday Sep 24, 2013
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett. Photo / Janna Dixon

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Social Development Minister Paula Bennett. Photo / Janna Dixon

Nearly 100 beneficiaries on the run from police have had their welfare cut in the six weeks since the policy was introduced, Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said today.

As part of the Government’s wide-ranging welfare reforms, a beneficiary on an outstanding arrest warrant for more than 28 days was given ten days to clear the warrant.

If they did not, they had their welfare cut, or up to half of it if they were a parent with dependent children.

Source: NZ Herald

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Because nothing will increasingly push people, who are already marginalised, further into committing desperate acts to survive than by removing any meagre life-support they might have access to.

And note this:  “welfare cut, or up to half of it if they were a parent with dependent children”.

So National policy will make desperate people even more desperate and force their children – who had no part to play in their circumstances – into  further marginalised, deprived, edges of society?!

Congratulations, New Zealand. We’re firmly on course for hitting rock bottom when  government policies wilfully  criminalise children before they’re even old enough to know what the f**k is going on around them.

Are we proud of ourselves yet?!?!

I simply point-blank refuse to believe that there are no viable, sensible – and compassionate! – alternatives to National’s hideousness.

This evil must be stopped by the next government.

 

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Random Thoughts on Random Things #3…

21 October 2013 5 comments

Why is it…

That drug testing the unemployed is seen by National Ministers as a good thing…

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Fail a drugs test and lose your benefit, job seekers warned

By Isaac Davison @Isaac_Davison

5:30 AM Monday Jul 2, 2012
Minister for Social Development Paula Bennett. Photo / Natalie Slade

Beneficiaries who refuse or fail drug tests while applying for jobs will have their welfare cut from mid-2013 under the Government’s next round of welfare reforms.

The National-led Government says there are now no consequences for drug-takers who opted out of job applications when faced with a drug test.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett told the Herald the new Welfare Reform Bill would have new requirements for drug testing, but the finer details were still being finalised.

National’s pre-election policy document said beneficiaries who did not apply for a job because a prospective employer asked them to take a drug test would have their benefit cancelled.

If they took the drug test and failed it, they would also be sanctioned.

Source: NZ Herald

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… But drug testing the Police (who regularly have access to lethal weapons), is a big No-No?

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Police minister says no to drug tests at work

Updated at 7:38 pm on 17 October 2013

Police Minister Anne Tolley says police staff should not be drug-tested in the workplace.

Her comment came after a police prosecutor on Thursday admitted charges of using and possessing methamphetamine, and using cannabis.

Anne Tolley.

Anne Tolley.  NATIONAL PARTY

Brent Thomson posted videos of himself using methamphetamine, and blogs describing his use of drugs at sex parties in April and May, online.

Police found a small amount of the drug “P” and syringes when they searched the 49-year-old’s home. He is seeking a discharge without conviction in the Waitakere District Court.

Thomson, who worked mainly in the Family Violence Court and the Auckland District Court, is also subject to an employment investigation.

Anne Tolley says the overwhelming majority of police staff are doing a fantastic job and they should not face workplace drug testing. She says police are quick to prosecute their own if there is any wrongdoing.

The Police Association agrees that staff shouldn’t be given workplace drug tests. President Greg O’Connor says the public should be re-assured by the systems that police already have.

Source: Radio NZ

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All together now; H… Y… P… O… C… R… I… S… Y.

Yep, hypocrisy.  National has it mastered to a fine art.

With a good helping of beneficiary bashing.

Because if you, as a government can’t fire up the economy to create jobs and reduce unemployment (as we had under the previous Labour-led government), then the next “best” thing is to paint the unemployed as “lazy druggies”. If enough of the middle class (those who  still have jobs or don’t regularly associate with unemployed friends and family) swallow this mindless pap, then that translates nicely into votes at election time.

Never underestimate the power of demonising a minority – especially if there are votes in it.

Just ask any old historian familiar with Germany in the 1920s and 30s…

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Jewish_shops_in_Nazi_Germany

 

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Previous related blogposts

Labour: the Economic Record 2000 – 2008

2013 – Ongoing jobless talley

 

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Random Thoughts on Random Things #2…

21 October 2013 3 comments

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John Palino

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John Palino. Cameron Slater. John Slater.

That’s quite a nasty, toxic little clique that Ms Chuang has gotten herself mixed up with.

What’s that old saying about supping with the devil? (Or his three mortal minions, for that matter.)

And does Slater’s nasty little tabloid trash mean that it is now open season on all right wing politicians and their own sordid little affairs?

If I was a National MP or Minister, I would be ruing the day Slater published his dirty little story on Len Brown and Bevan Chuang. Because now they are now all legitimate targets for left-wing bloggers. Is the House of National (and Slater, for that matter) purer than snow?

We shall see.

As for Ms Chuang – none of those three men (Palino, Slater Senior, Slater junior) mean her well.

As The Doctor says to his companions – when faced with nefarious forces of darkness – run!!

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Random Thoughts on Random Things #1…

21 October 2013 11 comments

Why is it…?

That a fictional woman, in fictional stories, wearing a mask,   is seen as a crime-fighting hero, fighting evil-doers and worth a billion-dollar Hollywood/entertainment industry…

 

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super heroes

 

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But a real woman in a niqab seems to freak out so many people?

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niqab-1

 

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Just something to ponder…

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Another good poll for a LabourGreen government

3 October 2013 3 comments

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red-green-up

 

 

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The election of David Cunliffe has had the desired effect; in yet another poll, Labour is up, whilst National is either down or trailing. If these polls are any indication, and barring any major f**k up from the left, we are on course for a change in government next year (if not earlier).

A recent Herald Digipoll had Labour  on 37.7%, giving  it 48 seats. With the Greens on 11.3%, giving it 14 seats, and with Mana’s one seat, the centre-left would have 63 seats in the House. (See:  Labour rockets in poll)  More than sufficient and not needing to rely on the unpredictable Winston Peters (who has still not ruled out coalescing with the Nats, post election).

The Herald Digipoll is backed up by the latest Roy Morgan poll (for which this blogger was recently polled as well, via cellphone – see: Mr Morgan phoned).

The results are a spectacular boost for a new LabourGreen government – and a death notice for the Tories;

 

 

Centre-Left Bloc

Labour:  37% (+ 4.5%)

Greens: 11.5% (- 3.5%)

Mana:  0.5% (n/c) 1 seat (?)

Centre-Right Bloc

National Party: 42% (+ 1%)

Maori Party: 1% (n/c) 3 seats?

ACT NZ: 0.5% (- 0.5%) 1 seat?

United Future: 0.5% (unchanged) 1 seat?

Conservative Party of NZ:  2% (+ 0.5%)

Unknown orientation

New Zealand First: 4.5% (- 2%)

 

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New Zealand Voting Intention - October 2, 2013

 

Source: Roy Morgan

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Gary Morgan, of Morgan polling, says,

“Today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows a large boost to Labour’s support (37%, up 4.5%) after the election of David Cunliffe as the new Labour Leader – now at its highest since Helen Clark was Prime Minister in October 2008. The boost to Labour’s support has come at the expense of fellow Opposition Parties the Greens (11.5%, down 3.5%) and New Zealand First (4.5%, down 2%).

“A potential Labour/Greens alliance (48.5%, up 1%) remains well ahead of National (42%, up 1%) and would form Government if an election were held now. The immediate boost to Labour support provides Cunliffe with a great ‘platform’ to explain why New Zealand electors should vote for Labour again.

“If Cunliffe can enunciate a consistent and concise message of the Labour Party policies and how they will improve the lives of New Zealanders and the country in general over the next 12 months, Cunliffe stands a real chance of being elected as New Zealand’s next Prime Minister at next year’s election.”

Indeed.

Roy Morgan explains it’s polling techniques, “This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile telephone  , with a NZ wide cross-section of 934 electors from September 16-29, 2013. Of all electors surveyed a high 5% (down 1%) didn’t name a party.”

It is interesting to note that the number of undecideds/wouldn’t say, are down by a percentage point. That means that just over a year out from the election, voters are making up their minds. And it isn’t looking too good for the Nats. The Nats promote a pseudo-“hands off” approach to economic/social problems (except for Skycity, Rio Tinto, Warner Bros, Southern China Airlines, Mediaworks, etc) – such as Brownlee’s infamous quip that the housing crisis in Christchurch is best left to the free market to solve (see:  Christchurch rent crisis ‘best left to market‘). Yeah, right.

People want active solutions to pressing problems. Throwing corporate welfare at companies like Warner Bros and Rio Tinto will not help struggling young New Zealanders into their own homes; feeding hungry children from poverty-stricken families; or create jobs for the 164,000 unemployed in this country. The latest Reserve Bank restrictions on first home buyers with low deposits – sanctioned by Bill English – will be the final straw.

When New Zealanders eventually  tire of flirting with  a do-nothing National government, they look to interventionist parties (Labour, Greens, and Mana) to do the job.

After two terms, the smile and wave frontman for National will be thrown out and their diabolical legislation can be reversed and consigned to the garbage heap of history.

 

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References

Roy Morgan Poll

Herald Digipoll

Fairfax:  Christchurch rent crisis ‘best left to market

Previous related posts

Mr Morgan phoned

Latest Roy Morgan Poll – on course to dump this rotten government

 

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