Archive

Archive for the ‘People Being People’ Category

Foot in Mouth Award – Nicky Wagner, because disabilities issues are such a drag on a nice day

24 June 2017 3 comments

.

.

Bennett had it (and probably still does)…

.

.

Key had it;

.

.

… still had it;

.

.

Aaron Gilmore had it;

.

.

Steven Joyce has it;

.

.

Alfred Ngaro has it;

.

.

And it seems Minister Nicky Wagner has it;

.

 

.

Yes, indeed, Ms Wagner, we’re sure you’d rather be out on the harbour rather than having to mess around with boring disability issues. After all, it’s not your responsibility if some people  ‘choose’ to stay indoors rather than go sailing because they happen to have a disability.

Oh, wait, you’re Minister for Disabilities.

Yes, indeed, another National member of Parliament has revealed her innermost thoughts and feelings about us plebes. We are an inconvenience. Especially on a fine, sunny day.

Ms Wagner soon received a barrage of criticism for her 15 June ‘tweet’;

.

1h1 hour ago

really? your response to backlash is to double down and refuse to apologise?? I hope you end up on the news for this.

.

4h4 hours ago

Replying to

Then resign and give your position to someone with integrity and compassion. Shame on you.

.

14h14 hours ago

Replying to

So would everyone with a disability but not everyone gets that choice…

.

2h2 hours ago

Replying to

I suggest you step down then. Our communities deserve someone who wants to be there and makes a difference.

.

3h3 hours ago

Replying to

find a new job as a fisherman if representing our disabled community is too much of a chore

.

12h12 hours ago

Replying to

You tweet this? Clearly your judgement is poor. Make the most of your good fortune

.

2h2 hours ago

Replying to

I hear you- I hate it when our daughters disability gets in the way of our sailing. And biking. And overseas travel. Ugh

.

12h12 hours ago

Replying to

Well sorry for taking up your precious time by having a disability. I’d rather not have to think about it either. Ugh.

.

2h2 hours ago

Replying to

Oh my gosh. Your my mp. From my area. You told me disability was your most important thing to you. You lied to me.

.

9h9 hours ago

Replying to

Resign from your ministerial position. Such a flippant attitude when your meant to be meeting critical stakeholders of your portfolio! Shame

.

7h7 hours ago

Replying to

i can tell this tweet isn’t going to age well over the next few months…

.

And this (amongst many more) which sums things up in a nutshell;

.

10h10 hours ago

Replying to

No worries, sweetie, after September 23 you can spend as much time on the harbour and away from pesky work as you like. 😀

.

One hapless National Party supporter tried – without much success – to mitigate matters;

.

8h8 hours ago

Replying to

Nicky you might pay to reread your tweet slowly & listen to your words.The delivery of this measage is appalling. Goodluck defending it oops

.

Followed by,

.

Good try – but stop digging, Geoff.

Ms Wagner quickly realised the enormity of her blunder and attempted to make good with two follow-up ‘tweets’, about eleven minutes apart;

.

.

But by then, at least one representative from the msm had noticed the twitterstorm that had blown up around Minister Wagner;

.

8h8 hours ago

Replying to

We will all stand by and watch for your ‘clarification and apology.’ See Alfred Ngaro for further help.

.

8h8 hours ago

Replying to

Ummmm.. awkward. You could always resign if you don’t like your job! I know a bloke who does good harbour tours to the whales and dolphins.

.

Garner’s description as “awkward” would be an understatement.

Perhaps, as National Party supporter Geoff Booth said, “We all make mistakes“. But National ministers and mps have a track record of occasionally letting slip what they really think of  us serfs. And it isn’t very flattering.

If this is how Ms Wagner feels about spending time on disability issues, perhaps it explains why we have had three housing ministers – simultaneously – and yet we still have rising homelessness and worsening housing affordability.

Perhaps it explains why we have chronic health underfunding, including  over-stretched mental health services.

Perhaps it explains why we still have high youth unemployment of NEETs (Not in Education, Employment, or Training), and allowing 70,000 migrants to come to New Zealand because we are “short of skilled workers”.

Perhaps it explains why – when the economy is supposedly growing – wages have stagnated.

Obviously, National ministers would rather be doing something else.

In one way, former disgraced MP, Aaron Gilmore was the most honest out of the entire National parliamentary caucus; he really did express the innermost feelings of how the Born-To-Rule view us. I suggest Ms Wagner resign from Parliament and Aaron  Gilmore take her place. At least he’s more upfront and we know what we’re getting.

The rest of his National colleagues can also take a long, long cruise out onto the Auckland harbour.

 

.

.

.

.

References

Radio NZ:  Bennett ‘would consider another privacy breach’

NZ Herald:  Key – US journalist Greenwald ‘a loser’

NBR:  ‘Dotcom’s little henchman’

Mediaworks:  ‘Do you know who I am?’ – Aaron Gilmore

NZ Herald: Minister to students: ‘Keep your heads down’

NZ Herald:  Associate Housing Minister Alfred Ngaro reprimanded, apologises to PM over Willie Jackson comments

Parliament: Nicky Wagner

Twitter: Nicky Wagner

Twitter: Nicky Wagner – would rather be out on harbour

Twitter: Nicky Wagner – follow up on harbour tweet 1

Twitter: Nicky Wagner – follow up on harbour tweet 2

Previous related blogposts

Foot in mouth award – Former ACT MP exposes flaw in free-market system

Foot in mouth award – another former ACT MP plumbs new depths of dumbness

Foot in mouth award – Bill English, for his recent “Flat Earth” comment in Parliament

.

.

.

.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 19 June 2017.

.

.

= fs =

Advertisements

David Bowie – returning to the stars

11 January 2016 1 comment

.

david bowie

.

8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016

A fantastically, uniquely talented individual. His music was always original and provocative.

He was with us briefly, now he has passed on, and his atoms will return eventually to the stars, from whence they came.

Take good care of him, Major Tom…

.

.

= fs =

 

 

Categories: People Being People Tags:

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 =

Weekend Revelations #2 – Michelle Boag has a whinge

2 November 2015 3 comments

.

National Party staying strong on crime

.

From TVNZ’s Q+A, on 25 October 2015,

.

Q+A - 25 october 2015 - police - michelle boag - simon dallow

.

The Q+A panel were ostensibly discussing out-going Police Association President, Greg O’Connor’s persistent calls to arm the New Zealand police. At one point, former National Party president, Michelle Boag offered her views on policing-techniques in this country;

@5.10:

Michelle Boag: “…But, it’s, it’s a bit of a shame, that for most of us, certainly for me personally, the, the only direct engagement I end up with Police is when they stop me as they did yesterday morning when I was driving to golf at seven o’clock in the morning for a random breath test. Right, so that’s an instant confrontational thing. And, er, it just makes you think, ‘oh god, here they are, enforcing’ all the time-”

Simon Dallow: “So were you more annoyed or were you more pleased that society is being protected here?

Boag: “Er, well, I was annoyed because I haven’t had a drink for twenty years. And every time I get stopped on the way to golf early on a Saturday morning, I think, it’s a complete waste of your time. However, I know, if rather than saying my name and address, I say, ‘Listen, I don’t drink, you’re never going to catch me’, that I’ll probably get hauled up for, y’know, talking back to a policeman.

It should not be lost on most politically conscious folk that one of National’s strongest, most agressively promoted tenet is that of “Law and Order”. One of it’s seven main election billboards, for the 2011 election, was the image at the top of the page.

National’s political history is replete with passing laws empowering the police and spy organisations SIS and GCSB. (The GCSB was set up under National, under then-Prime Minister Robert Muldoon’s leadership.)

Since 2008, National has passed the following laws;

Search and Surveillance Act 2012

Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Act 2013

Government Communications Security Bureau Amendment Act 2013

Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill

The GCSB’s mandate was changed two years ago to permit it to spy on New Zealanders.

This, despite protests from New Zealanders up and down the country, opposed to extending the powers of the State into our lives. One wonders if Michelle Boag attended any of the anti-GCSB protests that’s been held around the country?

This is not the first time that a National Party apparatchik has been caught up in the new, murky atmosphere of surveillance, that is now part of our lives. In 2013, then-National Party president Peter Goodfellow, complained of being under covert surveillance by a private investigator;

.

national-party-boss-alleges-covert-filming

.

I blogged on the issue here: National Party president complains of covert filming.

And who can forget the outrageously delicious irony of National’s coalition partner, Peter Dunne, having his emails pinched by Parliamentary Services and passed on to the Prime Minister’s Department.;

.

emails-given-to-inquiry

.

Then-Fairfax journalist, Andrea Vance, also had her Parliamentary  phone and swipe-card records passed on to the PM’s Department (which was “assisting” the Thorn Inquiry), as an investigation was held into the identity of the secret source who leaked Vance a confidential report into the GCSB.

The irony is that even as Peter Dunne was rearing up and braying in self-righteous indignation at the invasion of his privacy, two and a half weeks later, he voted with National in the Third and final reading of the Government Communications Security Bureau Amendment Bill (now an Act) which passed it into law.

Now everyone in New Zealand could have their privacy invaded.

I blogged on the issue here: Parliamentary spies and games – some bad numbers

When governments pass laws extending the powers of the State’s security organisations, and increase surveillance capabilities of spy agencies, then it has created a fertile environment where privacy is no longer as sacrosanct  as it once was. Whether it be police stopping motorists at random to detect potential drunk drivers*;  a private investigator recording a conversation; or one government agency passing private emails on to another; or covert surveillance on potentially all New Zealanders,  a new norm has been created.

Michelle Boag may be indignant at being stopped on her way to her golf on a Saturday morning – but her right to unimpeded travel on our roads was extinguished a long time ago. The State now has the right to stop her as, when, and however, it’s security agencies ‘deem necessary’.

She may even have her phone and internet tapped, should she ever run foul of a future government.

All perfectly legal.

I love it when National’s quasi-fascistic law and order policies eventually catch up with it’s own supporters.

Thank you, Lady Karma.

.

"We are from the government we are here to help. - Ruatoki, 15 October 2007

    “We are from the government, we are here to help.” – Ruatoki, 15 October 2007

.

* Footnote:
It should be noted that this blogger has no problem with random breath-testing conducted by Police. Whilst this country is awash with cheap, easily-available booze; and whilst New Zealanders refuse to address our penchant for binge-drinking, random breath testing is one of the few means we have to protect ourselves and our families from liquored-up drivers. Michelle Boag needs to get over her preciousness and sense of entitlement in this regard. The next drink driver the police catch could be one  on her road, as she drives to her golfing rendezvous.

.

.

.

References

TVNZ Q+A:  Panel on arming the Police

Wikipedia: Government Communications Security Bureau

Fairfax media: National Party boss alleges covert filming

Fairfax Media:  Emails given to inquiry

Parliament: Government Communications Security Bureau Amendment Bill

Previous related blogposts

Parliamentary spies and games – some bad numbers

National Party president complains of covert filming – oh the rich irony!

It is 1984. It is ALWAYS 1984

National’s disdain for democracy and dissent

Those who love Big Brother

Welcome to new glorious People’s Republic of New Zealand

From the Horses mouth

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

.

.

.

314770_10150396588331397_707526396_10526548_1193185338_n

.

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

.

.

= fs =

An open letter to Pebbles Hooper…

.

Pebbles Hooper resigns from Herald roles

.

Ok, you’ve done the right thing… for now.

In a part of my mind, I *shock, horror* have a small degree of wistful sympathy for you, Ms Hooper. (No, not for what you’ve said – that was repugnant beyond belief.)

My sympathy is based on the premise of youthful stupidity.

I’ve had my own “youthful indiscretion” which caught up with me a few years ago.

I didn’t do hard drugs (the occassional toke was about the extent of my venturing into the realm of illicit substances).

I binge-drank until a final event around Christmas 1985 made me do some very fast growing up. (No, not drunk driving – that is one taboo I’ve had the common sense never to attempt.)

I could do stuff with my little Mini 1100 that was later featured in the cult movie, ‘Goodbye Pork Pie’. (Hey, I was in my early twenties – and young people are indestructible to Kryptonian-level, as we believed ourselves to be.)

I was a cad with women. (Though I loved and lost a few in the process.)

It wasn’t until my late twenties, with the anchoring of a good woman who came into my life, that I began to settle down, mature, and realise that just ‘cos I could do or say a thing, didn’t necessary mean it was automatically a Good Idea.

My politics changed with me as I matured into my thirties. My views softened. The world was not so much black and white,, as 99% shades of grey, with a sprinkling of other rainbow colours…

I associated with other people. More mature people. A wider cross-section of humanity.

In short, it took a while, but I grew up. (Most of the time.)

Ms Hooper, your life is ahead of you and whilst you have made a horrendous mistake that will be long remembered, you can (and hopefully will) learn from this experience.

Lesson 1: How would I feel if I were in that person’s position. Think deeply about that. It’s called empathy.

Lesson 2: Just because you can say a Thing, doesn’t mean you should. Yes, free speech exists – but others can use that same right to free speech to express their thoughts and feelings. And the feedback you get may not be pleasant. Free speech cuts both ways.

Lesson 3: Your coffee may be black or white, but the human condition is not. Ms Hooper, you may not understand this now. But you will by the time you are  50 or 60. One hopes.

Lesson 4: Shit happens. (No, I don’t like that cliche either.) In other words, people make mistakes. Only gods, cyborgs, supermen, and superwomen do not. I suspect you are none of these, so you yourself may make the odd mistake now and then. Just like you did yesterday, on Twitter. Think twice; thrice; more times, before passing judgement. Remember, that judgementalism cuts both ways, Ms Hooper.

Lesson 5: More like advice. You should surround herself with other, more diverse people. Those with the same mind-set as yours may not be good for your personal growth.

Just as when I was a pratty, right-wing, know-it-all, teenager, who could easily have been a member of ACT On Campus – I associated with a young chap who made me question my assumptions; Mark Davies, the son of trade unionist, Sonja Davies.

Mark was a communist (Soviet-aligned); staunch trade unionist; and anti-American, and we had the most heated, passionate arguments. Boy, he made me think. (I was grief-stricken when Sonja told me, many years later, that Mark had been killed in an industrial workplace accident.)

This will pass, Ms Hooper. But it depends what you do with this ‘stumble’ in your life, that makes it worthwhile as a learning experience.

I hope you make the most of it.

 

.

.

= fs =

There’s never a towie around when you need one…

10 April 2015 2 comments

.

UFO dumped stupid people

 

.

On Tuesday (7 April) morning, in Kilbirnie’s Bay Road, we spotted this black ute parked on the road, blocking access to the disability carpark. Note that the ute wasn’t actually parked IN the carpark. He just parked blocking it, and creating a nuisance to those trying to drive past.

.

towtruck parked blocking disability carpark - kilbirnie wellington - 7 April 2015 (2)

.

towtruck parked blocking disability carpark - kilbirnie wellington - 7 April 2015 (3)

.

The vehicle belonged to “Total Towing”. I wonder if I could’ve called up the company’s office and asked for their offending vehicle to be… towed?

.

 

towtruck parked blocking disability carpark - kilbirnie wellington - 7 April 2015 (4)

.

Note the car behind the ute, in the next image. The poor old bugger was patiently waiting to use the disability carpark. That made him double-park as well.

.

towtruck parked blocking disability carpark - kilbirnie wellington - 7 April 2015 (5)

 

.

Poor guy, I felt sorry for him. So decided to do something about it.

The ute’s engine was still running. That indicated that the driver had “popped out quickly” to do an errand, rather than longer-timed shopping.

Which suggested an errand quickly achieved… like going to the local Post Shop.

.

 

towtruck parked blocking disability carpark - kilbirnie wellington - 7 April 2015 (1)

.

Such as the Post Shop only a few metres from the carpark.

I walked inside and immediately saw the long queue waiting to be served. What’s the bet—?

In my best, loudest voice, honed after years of bellowing slogans at protest marches, I loudly asked,

 

“WHO OWNS THE BLACK TOW-UTE PARKED OUTSIDE THE DISABILITY CARPARK? THERE’S A DISABLED DRIVER WAITING TO USE IT!”

 

A guy with “Towtruck” emblazoned on his black t-shirt popped his head out of the queue…

Gotcha.

That would be me,” he said, quickly leaving the queue, “Sorry, thought I could just pop in and out quickly.”

No, mate, you weren’t thinking.

My reply was non-committal. I wasn’t going to sympathise with him one bit.

He quickly climbed into the ute, and drove off. The old guy moved in and parked his car.

Happy ending.

.

(Originally posted on Facebook group, You’ve got my Car Park, want my Disability too?, on 9 April 2015)

.

.

= fs =

New Clothing Standards set by National Party

10 February 2014 6 comments

The National Party has set a new standard how it expects the lower classes to dress. National ministers Anne  Tolley and Party-leader-in-waiting, Judith Collins, began with this sexist attack on Green Party co-leader, Metiria Turei,

.

PM says ministers not bullying Turei

.

Obviously, Tories cannot abide poor folk and their elected representatives becoming ‘uppity’ and above their ‘station’ in life. This public excoriation of  Ms Turei is the Tory way of telling some stroppy “n—-r” to get back in line.

All dressed up as “political argy-bargy”, to make it seem like Parliamentary business-as-usual.

The Tories won’t be happy until Turei (and poor folk)  dress accordingly,

.

Right way and wrong way to dress

.

(Note; the above examples of Dress Standards for Poor People is a guide only. The National Party suggests sack-cloth, grass skirts, and rags are always fashionable amongst the down-and-out. Nudity is fine – especially for comely females in the presence of male National MPs. Any unemployed poor person wearing shoes – of any description – will be immediatly means-tested and their benefit halved. Obviously they are receiving far too much if they can afford shoes.)

Next chapter in National Party policy: How changing the flag will raise 250,000 children out of poverty (but not too far out of poverty)

.

*

.

References

Radio NZ: PM says ministers not bullying Turei

.

*

.

Vote in 2014 dude - do yourself a favour

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 1 February 2014.

.

.

= fs =