Archive

Archive for the ‘On A Lighter Note’ Category

Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)

For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable…

Here’s a photo of a pretty flower,

.

 

.

Better?

Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video.

.

.

.

=fs=

Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)

For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable…

Here’s a photo of my cat,

.

.

Better?

Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower.

.

.

.

=fs=

The Cheesy Voting Sketch

.

.

Following the recent announcement that Shane Jones would be a NZ First candidate for Whangarei in this years’ election, Jones appeared on TV3’s ‘The Nation‘. Interviewed by veteran broadcaster, Lisa Owen, Jones repeated Winston Peters’ mantra of not declaring which major party they preferred to coalesce with, post election;

Lisa Owen: So, in terms of forming a government, potentially forming a government after this election, the thing is Labour could probably come with the Greens, and you’ve said before it would be a long day in hell if you served under a Green government. Is that still your position?

Shane Jones: Well, the garrulous Aussie, Norman has gone. He’s where he belongs, in the Greenpeace. So, I don’t think you should treat historic statements as being static facts; that’s the first thing.

Lisa Owen: But Metiria’s still there. Metiria Turei was there when you made that comment, and she still is. I mean, she once described you as being sexist and said you were a 19th century man living in the 21st century. Would you be happy for her to be one of your bosses?

Shane Jones: Oh, well, I look forward to debating with her in the election, et cetera, and I don’t get too hung up about various rhetorical missiles that are flung around. But in terms of forming the next government—

Lisa Owen: So, you’ve mellowed about the Greens, have you?

Shane Jones: Oh, well, we must move on from the imperfect part of my career. We’re going into a new phase where there’s a lot more diligence; there’s a lot more focus, but the passion is still there. In relation to the formation of the next government—

Lisa Owen: And more pragmatism?

Shane Jones: There’s one thing you can say about me, I was never doctrinaire or dogmatic. That is why, in many occasions, I parted company with the Labour party.

Lisa Owen: So you could work with the Greens in government?

Shane Jones: Well, I am pragmatic, but the reality is — first create the leverage by boosting the vote.

Lisa Owen: But you’re not ruling it out, then?

Shane Jones: No, all I’m saying is I’m going to win Whangarei, and I’m going to help Winston harvest votes up and down the country in nga hau e wha — the four winds — and then the wind that blows us into parliament is going to put the country on an entirely different course.

A verbose way of telling us he’s not telling us.

Which, because of NZ First’s continuing  bizarre policy of  refusing to make clear  their coalition preferences, reminded me of Monty Python’s cheese sketch. Adapted to our present circumstances, I present to you, The Cheesy Voting Sketch;

.

 

.

(A customer walks in the door.)

Customer (John Cleese): Good Morning.

Owner (John Clarke, in this version): G’day, mate. Welcome to Trev’s 4-Square Grocery Shop!

Customer: Ah thank you my good man.

Owner: What can I do for you, mate?

C: Well, Well, I was sitting in the public library on Victoria Street just now, skimming through ‘Only their Purpose is Mad‘ by Bruce Jesson, and I suddenly remembered I needed to buy a few cans of the edible nutritious seed from certain domesticated and husbanded plants of the legume family, specifically from the genus Phaseolus vulgaris.

O: Eh?

C: Beans, preserved in a tin plated and lacquered steel cylinder, sterilised by heat treatment.

O: Ah, canned beans!

C: In a nutshell. And I thought to myself,  I curtailed my Jessoning activites, sallied forth, and infiltrated your place of purveyance to negotiate the vending of some legumis comestibles!

O: Come again?

C: I want to buy some beans.

O: Oh, I thought you were complaining about the ‘Lorde‘  CD I was playing!

C: Oh, heaven forbid: I am one who delights in all manifestations of the screetching diva.

O: Sorry?

C: Nah, she’s cool, mate.

O: So she can go on playing, can she?

C: Most certainly! Now then, some beans please, my good man.

O: (lustily) Certainly, sir. What would you like?

C: Well, eh, how about a little Red Kidney?

O: Sure, mate. Now, would you like Watties, Pams, imported Italian, or Trev’s Surprise?

C: Pray explain, what is ‘Trev’s Surprise’?

O: Well, mate, it’s like this. You put your cash on the counter, I go out the back; grab half a dozen various cans at random; strip off  their labels, and you buy those.

C: But… how do I determine  the contents of those cans, my good man? They could practically be anything!

O: Correct, mate. They could indeed.

C: Prithee, good fellow, how does that benefit me?

O: Oh, it doesn’t, mate. You simply leave the choice up to me and it’s a total surprise to you when you get the cans home and open them up. They could be beans, peaches, sardines, jam, anchovies, marmalade, dog food, anything!

C: I’ve never heard of anything quite so ludicrous, dear chap. No one would be mad enough to  let you make such a choice on their behalf!

O: Oh, I beg to differ. It’s very popular, mate.

C: Is it!?

O: Oh, yeah, mate , it’s staggeringly popular at this time of the year, especially politically.

C: Is it!!??

O: Oh yeah.

C: What do you mean,’especially politically’, my little bourgeois entrepreneur?

O: Well mate, people give their vote to New Zealand First. Winston then takes your vote and applies it to another party of his own choosing by picking the one he goes into coalition with. You don’t choose, Winston does.

C: I’ve never heard of anything so unlikely! How many people allow this?

O: Oh,  about 10%.

C: Really.

O: Yeah, mate.

C : Really?!?!

O: Yeah, mate. I shit you not.

C: And what about the remaining 90% of voters? How do they choose whether they prefer a National-led or Labour-led coalition?

O: Oh, they make their own minds up. They want to know what they’re getting. Bit boring really, if you ask me.

So, would you like to try Trev’s Surprise, mate?

C: No thank you,  I prefer to know what I’m getting.

It might be dog tucker.

.

(With a nod & apologies to Monty Python’s Flying Circus. I’m sure they’d understand.)

.

.

.

References

Radio NZ:  Shane Jones to stand for NZ First in Whangarei

Scoop media: The Nation – Lisa Owen interviews Shane Jones

Youtube: The Cheese Shop sketch, Monty Python

Previous related blogposts

John Banks and Winston Peters, Apples and Oranges

A Message to Winston; A Message to John Key; and a Message to the Regions

Winston Peters recycles pledge to “buy back state assets” – where have we heard that before?

Expose: Winston Peters; the 1997 speeches; and neo-liberal tendencies

.

.

.

.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 2 July 2017.

.

.

= fs =

When Fact Follows Fiction – The Weird World of U.S. Politics

9 April 2016 5 comments

.

2016 US elections - broken Parallel Universe

.

Truth is stranger than fiction, they say. This has been proven time and again, and perhaps none so aptly as the 2016 US Election primaries, where a billionaire has risen to political prominence;

.

president-lex-luthor

 

.

Ooops, wrong billionaire.

I meant this one;

.

timecovertrumppresident2012

.

After all, one is supposedly “real” and the other is supposedly “fiction”.  Sometimes, it’s just so damned difficult to tell which is which.

The only thing missing?

This guy;

.

super bernie

.

After all, if the Universe is going to foist super-villains on us, is it too much to expect a counter-balance?

.

.

.

No cartoon neccessary

.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 4 April 2016.

.

.

= fs =

John Key is a principled man – except when a photo op arises (A Photo Essay)

20 March 2016 5 comments

.

Prime Minister John Key draped in current flag at NZ Open

.

“Key has led the charge for changing the New Zealand flag but clearly he’s open to being spotted in the current one, having been involved in some banter with former Australia cricket captain Ricky Ponting at the New Zealand Open golf tournament in Arrowtown on Sunday.”

The journalist – Peter Thornton – who wrote that piece has missed the point entirely: it was a photo-op.  Our esteemed Dear Leader would run naked through Hades if there was a photo-op involved.

Whether it be babies, kittens, or puppies…

.

john key photo op (1-4)

.

Though some weren’t quite so keen…

.

john key photo op (5)

.

Some turned out to be downright dodgy…

.

john key photo op (6)

.

.

And some turned into an unmitigated disaster…

.

Act member for Remuera, John Banks and Prime Minister John Key stop in for a cup of tea and a chat at the Urban Cafe. 12 November 2011 New Zealand Listener Picture by David White.

.

But let’s get back to kitten and puppies – always an easy, safe bet for a photo-op… (especially with a visiting compliant Royal chucked in for good measure)…

.

john key photo op (7-9)

.

Talking about visiting Royals – they are proven rich-pickings for Key to exploit for photo-ops…

.

john key photo op (10)

.

And there were photo-ops-galore with various sundry Royals…

.

john key photo op 11-14)

.

Chuck in an Aussie Prime Minister…

.

.

And another Aussie Prime Minister…

.

John+Key+Julia+Gillard+Visits+New+Zealand+HLo_hFr7PRPl

 

.

Yet another Aussie Prime Minister…

.

.

And – wait for it! – an Aussie Prime Minister!!

.

6862798-3x2-940x627

.

Ok, that line of Aussies was getting tedious. Let’s try something different.

A former New Zealand Prime Minister…

.

.

Or the current Brit Prime Minister.

Slow down, Dear Leader, you’ve got Cameron dead in your sights for that manly grip…

.

Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron (L), greets the Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key, outside 10 Downing Street in central London September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning (BRITAIN - Tags: POLITICS)

.

See? Nailed that handshake…

.

john_key_and_david_cameron__number_10_Master

.

Enough of Prime Ministers. Let’s try a current German Chancellor…

.

Angela+Merkel+John+Key+New+Zealand+Prime+Minister+IxtkHCovagLl

.

Or a US State Secretary…

.

John-Key-Hillary-Clinton-1200

.

Maybe another Royal…

.

john-key-prince-charles-rachael-park

.

And a Queen or two…

.

[*scrape, scrape, shuffle, bow, bow, grin like a commoner*]

[*scrape, scrape, shuffle, bow, bow, grin like a commoner*]

.

Key and Queens

.

Some bloke from China…

.

New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key (L) shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping during a welcoming ceremony of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, inside the International Convention Center at Yanqi Lake, in Beijing, November 11, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon (CHINA - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS)

.

And some bloke from America…

.

key1200

.

.

Here is our esteemed Dear Leader with perhaps The Most Important Bloke in America…

.

5399238

.

And we know what followed next…

.

key - letterman

.

Though perhaps not quite as embarrassing as this…

.

RWC_JohnKey

 

.

*facepalm*

But just to keep the “common touch” with the Great Unwashed…

.

Key in toy boat

.

And when you get tired of doing your own driving…

.

key-smile-wave

.

But for the Top Prize for photo-ops, you just can’t get more Ordinary Blokey than hanging out with Ritchie and The Boys…

.

GettyImages-89998537-e1445817662233

.

Still hangin’ out with Ritchie and The Boys…

.

1445739667347

.

Ah, John, I think this is The Boys telling you ‘enough is enough, go the f**k home!

.

Good night John!

.

Ok… getting a bit wanky now…

.

John-Key-All-black

.

And then it just hits rock-bottom, in Key’s eagerness to be In-On-The-Act…

.

eight_col_hand_shake

.

It’s obvious that our esteemed Dear Leader is not shy in front of a camera.

Any camera. (No bedroom jokes please – this is a family Blog.)

In the past, Key has worn several lapel-badges pinned to his jacket;

.

.

His most recent addition being the Kyle Lockwood flag-alternative;

.

Key with alt flag lapel badge

.

It appears that at no time has Key ever worn the current New Zealand flag on his lapel. One can only assume he is ashamed to wear it.

Which became confusing when he stood with current Aussie PM, Malcolm Turnbull, for another photo-op;

.

lapel badge - key - turnbull

.

It seems wholly inappropriate that Key stood in front of a large version of the current New Zealand flag – whilst wearing something on his lapel that carried no real meaning, and had not yet been decided by popular vote.

But perhaps Key has a deep abiding belief in the Kyle Lockwood flag-alternative and is exercising his personal commitment to change. He is committed to his principles.

Except…

When a photo-op presents itself…

In which case…

.

Prime Minister John Key draped in current flag at NZ Open

.

Screw those principles.

Smile for the camera, Dear Leader!

.

 

.

.

References

Fairfax media: Prime Minister John Key draped in current flag at NZ Open

Previous related blogposts

What are you hiding, Mr Key?

John Key: When propaganda photo-ops go wrong

Not all photo ops are welcomed events

Letter to the Editor – the Royal Visit and endless photo ops for Dear Leader

.

.

.

Annoying little guy and ritchie mccaw

.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 15 March 2016.

.

.

= fs =

The Best Laid Plans of Mice, Men, and Mechanoids…

6 January 2016 1 comment

From a recent Radio NZ news-story…

.

Zuckerburg plans to build AI in 2016

.

However, Mr Zuckerberg might ponder that a true AI (artificial intelligence)  might have something to say about being unpaid slave labour for a multi-billionaire…

.

Rosie_the_Robot_1c

.

.

.

References

Radio NZ: Zuckerburg plans to build AI in 2016

.

.

= fs =

Award for Idiot Comment of the Year – And the winner is…

19 September 2015 3 comments

.

Foot In Mouth Award - john key

.

As international prices for milk-powder plummet to historic lows, wiping billions from Fonterra’s pay-out to farmers; the economy; and tax revenue;  sending farms to the wall and collapse; and pushing New Zealand closer to recession – our esteemed Dear Leader, John Key, had this to say about the downturn;

.

"I mean - yes dairy prices are down a little bit..."

“I mean – yes dairy prices are down a little bit…”

.

Dairy prices are down a little bit…”?

And I suppose World Wars 1 and 2 were “nations disagreeing a little bit“.

You can always count on the sky on Planet Key being warm and rosy.

.

1373449-bigthumbnail

.

Contrast Key’s disingenuous, Pollyannarish positivity, with former Finance Minister, Dr Michael Cullen’s, warnings about the Global Financial crisis in June 2008, and how it was impacting on New Zealand’s economy;

“In 2008, New Zealand’s economy has begun to feel the effects of a challenging global environment. Global increases in commodity prices have seen the cost of food and petrol increase significantly here at home. Internationally, there are fears that these increases could impoverish tens of millions of people in developing countries.

The continued fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States and the resulting global credit crunch have led to higher mortgage rates and a weakening of the housing market domestically, squeezing the budgets of existing homeowners and reducing household spending and investment growth. The weakness of the United States Dollar has been an important driver of a very strong New Zealand Dollar, making life difficult for some exporters. Adding to this, farmers are battling drought in a number of regions and GDP growth will slow as a result.

While these challenges are not of New Zealand’s making, they are affecting New Zealanders today. And while the New Zealand Government cannot single-handedly bring down food and petrol prices or end the credit crunch, we have a responsibility to manage our way through these difficulties while protecting families from the harsh edges of any downturn.”

Cullen was up-front with New Zealanders, warning of tough times ahead.

Key treats us like children, because deep down, his barely-disguised arrogance taints and defines his view of New Zealanders.

Sometimes, though, the disdain he holds for ordinary Kiwis pokes through his public persona of “likeable blokiness”, and becomes manifested in sneering derision. As he has done with anti-TPPA protests and opposition to the partial-privatisation of state assets;

 

They don’t fully understand what we’re doing. My experience is when I take audiences through it, like I did just before, no-one actually put up their hand and asked a question.” –John Key, 27 October 2011

.

“Well, the numbers don’t look like they’re that significant. I mean at the moment it’s sitting at around about 40 per cent. That’s not absolutely amazing, it’s not overwhelmingly opposed. But the people who are motivated to vote will be those who are going to vote against.” – John Key, 14 December 2013

.
“They were expecting a big turnout, they were expecting a big vote in their favour and they didn’t get either of those. Overall what it basically shows is that it was a political stunt.”
John Key, 13 December 2013

.

There’s three groups – some are Jane Kelsey and her people; she’s been opposed to every single free trade deal… she’ll never agree. The second group are the Labour and the Greens people; they are there with all sorts of stuff… Labour in their heart of hearts are actually in favour, but they’re in that oppositional mode at the moment where they’re opposed to everything… then you get to the third bit with people who are genuinely protesting, but I think protesting on quite a bit of misinformation.” – John Key, 17 August 2015

With each passing year, it gets harder and harder to hide the real John Key from public gaze.
.


.

.

References

Radio NZ: PM shrugs off worries about economy

Treasury: Budget 2008

TV3 News: Key – TPPA protesters ‘misinformed’

Fairfax media: Asset sales promoted to seniors

NZ Herald: Asset sales proceed in spite of referendum

Fairfax media: PM playing down voter turnout

Previous related blogposts

Patrick Gower – losing his rag and the plot

Another media gaffe – this time it’s TV3’s Brook Sabin

John Key’s foot-in-mouth syndrome

National Minister refers to PM as “Wild Eyed” Right-Winger!

National Minister refers to PM as “Wild Eyed” Right-Winger!

.

.

.

don't ruin my hawaiian holiday - john key

.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 14 September 2015.

.

.

= fs =

An unfortunate advertising placement, child poverty, and breathing air

2 September 2015 6 comments

 

.

mike hosking - simon collins - 300000 plus kiwi kids now in relative poverty - nz herald

.

I was reading Simon Collins’ piece on child poverty in the Herald, and a small advert caught my eye… (See image above)

I’m not sure if Mike Hosking wants to be associated with our mounting child poverty crisis. It’s simply not his style. More accurately, it makes people like him feel queasy and uncomfortable. Rich people don’t like feeling uncomfortable – that is what wealth is supposed to eliminate. It reminds Hosking, and others like him, that whilst he is enjoying their wealth, others are surviving their poverty.

That sticks in his mind, deep down, somewhere, in the places where his parents tried to instill values of fairness in him when he was a child. That makes him resentful.

That is why the affluent; the rich; the powerful; the Comfortable Classes,  hate the poor so much. Otherwise, why do they invest so much time writing so defensively and caustically, when a blogger like Chloe King airs her views, in defence of the poor and the powerless? What is Chloe King to them?

Why bother?

Because they feel guilty.

Especially when she reminds them why they should be feeling guilty.

When  Mike Hosking made his views on child poverty perfectly clear on 9 April;

“Children cost money. If you can’t afford it, don’t have them. It’s not hard.”

– he was in full vengeful retaliation mode.

This was Mike Hosking – mouthpiece for the Comfortable Class – sheeting blame for poverty to the victims who have to endure it.

It would be like the victims of the Great Depression being blamed for being out of work; no money; and relying on soup kitchens to survive each day.

Now, when I was young, growing up, we lived off my dad’s sole income; mum stayed home and herded us kids. Dad’s income paid for the mortgage, food, power (a bill once every two months!), fuel for the car (an American  gas-guzzling, noisy, metal beast that I swear was a reincarnated T29 Soviet tank  in a former life), insurance, doctor’s visits (medicine was free – remember that?), and even a camping holiday to Taupo or somesuch place. We weren’t rich by any means. But dad’s income was sufficient for the things that average Kiwi families enjoyed.

And funnily enough, we didn’t need mass consumerism or seven day shopping and other such nonsense to get by.

The point is this; not being able to “afford kids” is like telling someone they are not worthy to breathe the air or drink water.

When did an act of nature become dictated by the amount of money a person had? Especially in New Zealand – a country  once upon a time we thought to be egalitarian?!

If our fellow New Zealanders “can’t afford” to have children, I suggest it’s not the cost of having children that is the problem. It is the inadequart income being earned by New Zealanders that is the core problem (I refuse to call it an “issue”) here.

In his article, Simon Collins presented two charts showing the growth (or lack thereof) of incomes since 1982;

.

Table1

.

Table2.

Notice how incomes for the lowest paid have stayed low – even after Working for Familes was introduced in 2004? The lowest ten percent have moved from $15,400 to $17,700. Last year, they failed to be counted as Collins pointed out;

The report does not include figures for the poorest 10 per cent of households, who include most beneficiaries, because the names of benefits changed in 2013 and some beneficiaries appear to have reported only how much they received since the new benefit names were created, missing out their incomes for the first half of the 2013-14 year.

Very convenient for the government, no?

Meanwhile, the top ten percent have increased their income by fifty percent, from $50,200 in 1982 to $75,400, last year.

Let’s be clear here. When right-wing ‘pundits’ and cheerleaders for the rich deride the poor for having children, this is barely-coded moralism and victim-blaming.

It is attempting to paint the poor as suffering “deeply flawed character”, almost to a DNA-level.

In fact, many right-wingers openly refer to welfare recipients as “inter-generational”; the subtle nod to ‘bad DNA’ being made without recourse to the more clumsy eugenics policies of you-know-who.

By blaming the poor for the temerity to have children, the Right shift the blame and deflect attention from the real question; why are people so poor that they cannot afford to raise a family as we used to, before the advent of Rogernomics?

Is it because, since 1986, Baby Boomers have voted seven tax cuts for themselves?

Is it because, as taxes were cut, GST was introduced and increased, as was user-pays in areas such as education?

Is it because simple things like medicine has gone from being free – to five dollars for each item?

Is it because trade unions are no longer able to advocate for their members, and wages have not kept pace with productivity, as this chart from the New York Times showed for US workers (and most likely applies here as well)?

.

04reich-graphic-popup

.

Yes. All of the above, and more.

The next time a right winger is ranting on about the “breeding poor”, remember that what they are really trying to say is;

… it’s their fault they are poor; they are unfit humans. Their bank accounts prove it.

… it’s not my fault I’m paying less tax than my counterparts did, thirty years ago. I just voted for it.

… only the Comfortable Class should breed. For we are superior because we have the moral fortitude (and good genes) to make money and keep it.

… don’t bother me about the poor. I’m trying to enjoy my Beluga caviar and Bollingers, thank you, without being reminded…

Well, too bad.

We will continue to remind you.

Don’t choke on your bolly.

.

tumblr_m7dd68VOFK1qjc27fo1_500

 

.

Create a society that values material things above all else. Strip it of industry. Raise taxes for the poor and reduce them for the rich and for corporations. Prop up failed financial institutions with public money. Ask for more tax, while vastly reducing public services. Put adverts everywhere, regardless of people’s ability to afford the things they advertise. Allow the cost of food and housing to eclipse people’s ability to pay for them. Light blue touch paper.” –  Andrew Maxwell, Irish comedian

.

.

.

References

NZ Herald: 300,000+ Kiwi kids now in relative poverty

The Daily Blog: Now we got bad blood – being poor in a rich world

Newstalk ZB: Mike’s Editorial – The cost of a child

NY Times: Bill Marsh/The New York Times
Sources: Robert B. Reich, University of California, Berkeley; “The State of Working America” by the Economic Policy Institute; Thomas Piketty

Previous related blogposts

When the teflon is stripped away

Mike Hosking as TVNZ’s moderator for political debates?! WTF?!

Mike Hosking – Minister for War Propaganda?

.

.

.

hosking - National - flag - wanker

.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 28 August 2015.

.

.

= fs =

Signs of the times…?

.

do_not_touch2

.

Noticed around Wellington, this last week…

Firstly at the well-known pub-restaurant, ‘The Backbencher‘, just across the road from Parliament. The famous eating establishment is well-known for it’s near-life-size puppet-caricatures of Party leaders. The one below is ‘John Key’;

.

sign of the times - john key - ponytail pulling (1)

.

One of the waitresses pointed out what was held in the John Key puppet’s hand;

.

sign of the times - john key - ponytail pulling (2)

.

Yup – an imitation pony-tail!

Meanwhile, across town, at the Heaven Woodfire Pizza restaurant in Upper Cuba Street, were these signs in their windows;

.

sign of the times - john key - ponytail pulling (3)

.

Notice the red “ban” sign at the left?

Methinks a certain pony-tail pulling incident has entered into popular culture and will be around for a wee while yet…

Not quite the “legacy” our esteemed Dear Leader wished for?

.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 31 July 2015.

.

.

= fs =

Today’s irony was brought to you courtesy of former ACT MP and Govt Minister, Rodney Hide

.

big-brother-is-watching-you

.

Either Rodney Hide is taking the piss, or Karma has well and truly caught up with one of the National Government’s previous political flunkies;

.

NZ Herald - Rodney Hide - ACT - Why am I under investigation - SIS - GCSB - surveillance - police state - nothing to hide nothing to fear

.

In case the story mysteriously disappears, here is the full text, from the NZ Herald;

The state apparently has me under covert investigation.

It began two weeks ago. My Christchurch friends and colleagues were served, some at home, some at work. They were summonsed by a senior insolvency officer who explained they could be apprehended should they refuse. Such notices are a detention, an arrest without charge.

The guys are motor mechanics, engineers and motor engineers.

They turn up the following Wednesday as ordered, each at separate times. The deputy official assignee swears their oath.

They are interrogated by private investigators from a firm called InDepth Forensics, Hamilton.

I have the recordings.

On Thursday I email and ring the PI firm. “Why are you investigating me?” They hang up.

I email and leave messages for Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment manager Mandy McDonald.

She won’t return my calls.

On Friday I go to the MBIE office in Christchurch. The boss can’t answer my questions: she doesn’t know what’s happening. She says she will speak to her solicitor and get back to me. She doesn’t.

I ring Minister Steven Joyce’s office. I make no progress.

I return to MBIE’s office on Monday. I’m refused an appointment. I’m told the deputy official assignee “only administered the oath”. But the deputy official assignee signed the recording as “interviewer”. I’m asked to leave. I refuse.

I wait quietly in the foyer for 2 hours.

Joyce’s staffer emails: But because the “Official Assignee [is] an independent body, and also under Hon [Paul] Goldsmith’s responsibilities, I do not think I can assist you further.”

Goldsmith is in Paris explaining how he’s making “it easier for businesses to increase productivity and innovate”.

I ring the Institute of Private Investigators. Useless. I email the Private Security Personnel Licensing Authority. Ditto.

I complain to the Privacy Commissioner. I don’t hear back.

I provide a two-page summary for local MP Nicky Wagner. She rings. Finally someone is taking my complaint seriously.

On Tuesday I drop in a letter to the Christchurch MBIE. Now there’s security. The guard tells me he’s there to see his girlfriend. I tease him.

Keith’s still there an hour later. He admits he has been called because of me. He wants to know if I will be back.

Tuesday night. Wagner must have kicked butt. Mandy McDonald sends a clearly hurried email. She assures me I am not under investigation. It’s taken nearly a week.

But why the questioning under the detention powers?

The next day I get a letter from another MBIE staffer warning me that reporting the content of their examinations of my friends and colleagues would render me liable to a year in prison plus a $5000 fine. But, according to the email from McDonald, I’m reporting a non-investigation.

Nothing to hide, nothing to fear, Rodders. That’s what John Banks kept telling us. That’s what John Key kept telling us. So obviously, the extension to the powers of the GCSB, SIS, and other government departments – which was supported by ACT – should be a non-issue, right?

Really, Rodney, you’ve been part of the growth of the Surveillance State in this country and now you complain that you’re being surveilled?

Really?

Well, my little cherubic,  Right Wing mate, you oughtn’t. It was inevitable really. After all, in the early days of the USSR, the nascent totalitarian State’s security arm (Cheka/NKVD/KGB) devoured many of the high-ranking Communist Party officials. They fell foul to their own pernicious State power.

Welcome to reality.

When Dear Leader’s security thugs throw you in jail for whatever transgression you’ve incurred against the State, remember to remind your   cell-mates that you were partially responsible for the following laws increasing the power of the State;

Search and Surveillance Act 2012

Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Act 2013

Government Communications Security Bureau Amendment Act 2013

Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill

Eventually, it all catches up with those in power – an intimate lesson Rodney has learned.

I bet he never thought it would happen to him?

Karma. I love that gal.

 .


 

References

NZ Herald: Rodney Hide – Why am I under investigation?

Additional

Search and Surveillance Act 2012

Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Act 2013

Government Communications Security Bureau Amendment Act 2013

Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill

Parliament: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill

Previous related blogposts

Citizen A: Kim Dotcom/GCSB special with Chris Trotter & Phoebe Fletcher

Nigella Lawson, GCSB, Christchurch re-build, and Malcolm Burgess on Campbell Live

Dear Leader, GCSB, and Kiwis in Wonderland (Part Toru)

The “man ban”; animal testing; GCSB Bill; and compulsory miltary training

David Cunliffe announces Labour Govt will repeal GCSB Bill!! **Updated**

A letter to the Dominion Post on the GCSB

An Open Message to the GCSB, SIS, NSA, and Uncle Tom Cobbly

The Mendacities of Mr Key #1: The GCSB Bill

Campbell Live on the GCSB – latest revelations – TV3 – 20 May 2014

TV3 – Campbell Live’s GCSB Public Vote

The real reason for the GCSB Bill

The GCSB Act – Tracy Watkins gets it right

The GCSB Act – some history

The GCSB – when plain english simply won’t do

The GCSB law – vague or crystal clear?

A proposed Labour-Green-Mana(-NZ First?) agenda – part tahi

One Dunedinite’s response to the passing of the GCSB Bill

The GCSB law – Oh FFS!!!


 

.

6a00d83451d75d69e201901e6882a1970b-800wi.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 27 April 2015.

.

.

= fs =

Someone at Fairfax is a subversive?

16 March 2015 2 comments

.

Pointed out to me by several Facebook readers…

.

fairfax - stuff - story - Customs seeks powers to disclose passwords  - customs can go fuck themselves

.

Note the URL?

http://www.stuff.co.nz/66957924/customs-can-go-fuck-themselves

Someone at Fairfax/Stuff has a wickedly subversive sense of humour.

I may have to re-new my subscription to the ‘Dominion Post‘…

.

.

.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 11 March 2015.

.

.

= fs =

 

A marketing campaign that didn’t focus very well

6 March 2015 1 comment

.

Driving around Wellington, this poster is prominent on bus-stops around the city…

.

Focus-2015-Movie-Poster

.

My first thought was; “Will Smith must’ve been paid a truckload of cash to front an advertising campaign for up-market sun-glasses“.

It was only when I stopped at traffic lights and noticed the lettering at the bottom of the poster that I realised it was actually advertising a movie, not sun-glasses.

I’d say this was one advertising campaign that wasn’t well focused on the product? Those young things in Marketing seem to have stuffed up on this one.

Regardless, when it comes to ‘sunnies’, Smith looked better here, as one of the Men In Black;

.

will_smith

.

Now that is C.O.O.L.

.

.

= fs =

Political joke of the week…

16 September 2014 Leave a comment

.

NEWSFLASH: Dotcom email almost certainly a fake, says handwriting expert hired by the National party!

 

.

.

= fs =

Political Joke of the Week…

6 September 2014 5 comments

.

John+Key+John+Key+Announces+Funding+Primary+MZb-5BV_mu_l

 

.

John Key was visiting a primary school and the class was in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings.

The teacher asked Key if he would like to lead the discussion on the word ‘Tragedy’.

So our Dear Leader asked the class for an example of a ‘Tragedy’.

Manu, a little boy stood up and offered: ‘If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playin’ in the field and a tractor runs over him and kills him, that would be a tragedy.’

‘Incorrect,’ said Key… ‘That would be an accident.’

A little girl raised her hand: ‘If a school bus carrying fifty children drove over a cliff, killing everybody inside, that would be a tragedy.’

‘I’m afraid not’, explained Key ‘that’s what we would refer to as a great loss’.

The room went silent. No other children volunteered. Key searched the room.

‘Isn’t there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?’

Finally, at the back of the room, little Johnny raised his hand and said: ‘If a plane carrying you and Paula Bennett was struck by a ‘friendly fire’ missile an’ blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy…’

‘Fantastic’ exclaimed Key, ‘and can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?’

‘Well’, said Johnny, ‘it has to be a tragedy, because it certainly wouldn’t be a great loss, and it probably wouldn’t be a fucking accident either!’

.


 

 

.

Fastest growing poverty

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

.

.

= fs =

Laughing/crying at Dirty Politics…

6 September 2014 Leave a comment

When satirists remind us at the absurdity of dirty politics…

.

BweeFx_CYAAn26n

.

The only ‘down-side’ to Emerson’s cartoon above is that the image of Key lying supine, with grotesque monsters bursting from his chest, implies that he was somehow an “innocent victim” in Dirty Politics.

I doubt that very much.

Especially as the next image implies;

.

 

Dirty politics - tui - yeah right

.

Ms Murdoch’s cartoon, on the other hand, is spot on;

.

BwzPWmWCUAAIB6w

 

.

.

= fs =

Dunne won’t read ‘muck-raking’ Dirty Politics

2 September 2014 1 comment

.

peter dunne - dirty politics

 

.

Full story: Dunne won’t read ‘muck-raking’ Dirty Politics

Because as we all know, ignorance is such bliss. Eh, Mr Dunne?

.

.

= fs =

Whale spotted off Wellington

2 September 2014 Leave a comment

.

whale in wellington

 

.

Full story: Whale spotted off Wellington

Shouldn’t that be a “Southern Right Wing Whale”?!

.

.

= fs =

Categories: On A Lighter Note Tags:

A positive story of political co-operation!

28 August 2014 2 comments

.

 

20-september

.

Wellington, NZ, 23 August – The following is a true story and shows how the natural inclination of the rank-and-file of our main left-wing parties is to work together…

I’ve been in contact with both the Green Party and Internet-Mana, to offer both parties a spot on my front lawn for election billboards.

The Green Party was the first to respond, and I outlined my idea to them that I wanted a billboard frame to be erected on an angle, so that Internet-Mana would build the second “arm” of a V-shape frame, and attach their own election corflute. The plan;

.

election frame construction

.

The Green’s billboard team were agreeable to the idea, and a couple of members arrived two days ago to erect their hoarding frame.

Before they started their work, one of the team members – Ian –  knocked on my door to advise that they had a spare hoarding frame. He offered a suggestion – and what followed was perhaps the most remarkable and positive story relating to this election campaign.

One facing was covered with the main Green Party hoarding;

.

 

Green Party

.

– with a smaller, detachable corflute (the plastic sign) attached to the other side.

Ian’s suggestion? That the second facing of the V-shape could be used by Internet-Mana, when they arrived, to attach their own corflute sheet. The small “Green Party” corflute could be easily detached and stored away until collection on 19 September.

In effect, two Green Party volunteers with no allegiance to another political party, had decided to extend a helping hand and assist Internet-Mana’s own election campaign by putting up a wooden frame for them. Nothing was asked in return. It was sheer Kiwi good will.

It was an amazing experience and perhaps, sometimes, we forget the good people of this country who want to participate in our democratic process – and not just focus on those politicians who are self-serving and negative. Especially to allies on the Left.

Without naming names, certain other people on the Left might reflect on this story.

.

 


 

.

vote mana labnour green

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 24 August 2014

.

.

= fs =

Planet Key!

3 August 2014 6 comments

.

This is simply brilliant…

.

.

Don’t forget to share far and wide!

.

.

= fs =

The Great Worldwide Treasure Hunt – NZ Herald style…

.

The craze/phenomenon  of treasure hunts in major cities around the world has finally reached New Zealand;

.

Worldwide treasure hunt for hidden $100 notes comes to Auckland

.

The New Zealand Herald has decided on a similar “treasure hunt”, as publicity to re-build it’s somewhat tarnished image and reputation from the last couple of weeks. The editor, Tim Murphy as announced a Herald-style treasure hunt, with prizes secreted around the city.

Solve the clues, and you could win a magnificent prize, courtesy of the Herald… [scroll down]

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

Your very own copy of;

.

portrait of a prime minister

.

Start the hunt early and avoid the rush!

.


 

References

NZ Herald: Worldwide treasure hunt for hidden $100 notes comes to Auckland


 

.

Vote and be the change

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 28 June 2014.

.

.

= fs =

Political Joke of the Week…

.

Key and Queen

 

.

 

John Key, in a private moment with Her Majesty the Queen;

Your Majesty, how should I run an efficient government?

Are there any tips you can give me?”

Well,” said the Queen “The most important thing is to surround yourself with intelligent people.”

Key frowned, and then asked,

But how do I know if the people around me are really intelligent?”

The Queen took a sip of champagne.

Oh, that’s easy; you just ask them to answer an intelligent riddle………. watch

The Queen pushed a button on her intercom;

Please send Tony Blair in here, would you?”

Tony Blair walked into the room and said,

Yes, your Majesty?”

The Queen smiled and said,

Answer me this, please Tony.

Your mother and father have a child, it is not your brother and it is not your sister.

Who is it?”

Without pausing, Tony Blair answered…

That would be me Ma’am.”

Yes! Very good, thank you Tony, that will be all“, said the Queen.

When Key got back back home to New Zealand he called Bill English to his office and asked him
the same question as the Queen had posed to Tony Blair.

Bill, answer this for me.

Your mother and your father have a child, it’s not your brother and it’s not your sister.

Who is it?”

Rubbing his chin and looking quite awkward, English replied,

Aww geeez boss, that’s a tough one, I’m not too sure,let me get back to you on that one.”

He went to his advisors and asked everyone, but none could give him an answer.

Frustrated, English went to work out in the Beehive gym and saw Hone Harawira there.

English went up to him and asked,

Hey Hone, see if you can answer this question.”

Shoot!” says Hone.

Your mother and father have a child and it’s not your brother or your sister.

Who is it?”

Quick as a flash (just like Blair) Hone answered,

That’s easy – it’s me!”

English smiled, and said,

Well Done ….. Good answer Hone !”

He hurried back to speak with the Prime Minister.

Hey John, I did some research and I have the answer to that riddle, the answer is …. Hone Harawira !”

Key got up, stomped over to English, and angrily yelled into his face,

No, you idiot ! ……. It’s Tony Blair ! ”

 

…AND THAT, MY FRIENDS, IS PRECISELY WHAT’S GOING ON AT THE BEEHIVE.

 

 

.

.

= fs =

Political cartoon of the Week!

29 June 2014 2 comments

.

 

john key cartoon garrick tremain

 

.

.

= fs =

A music moment: I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony)

.

 

.

Dedicated to certain Labour Party candidates…

.

.

= fs =

Categories: On A Lighter Note Tags: ,

Key – “I wouldn’t be here…”

.

From a TVNZ news report on 27 May;

.

Key - I wouldn't be here

.

At 1.11, Key remarks, without any hint of irony,

“My mother was Austrian, my father was English. You know, my wife’s parents came from Ireland. So under David Cunliffe, I wouldn’t be here…”

… Nah. Too easy.


 

References

TVNZ News: Pressure on Labour to reveal immigration policy


 

.

Kirk

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

.

.

= fs =

Bananas and RWNJs…

.

Interesting fact for the day…

.

 

bananas and right wingers

.

With right wing nut jobs, the figure can be closer to 99.9%…

 

.

.

= fs =