Archive for the ‘Religion, Atheism, & Hollywood’ Category

The Shifting Faces of Simon Bridges

7 August 2021 3 comments



“Oops, I did it again
I played with your trust, in the political game
Oh baby, baby
Oops, you think I’m here for you
That I’m sent from above
I’m not that competent” – Apologies to Britney Spears


Part of youth and young adulthood is the propensity to make mistakes. We all make those mistakes, some trivial and forgotten in a swirling fog of time and dimmed memory –  some not-so-trivial and which eventually come back to haunt us.

It’s what we learn from those mistakes that ultimately matters. For most, those mistakes serve as a lesson: don’t do it again. There are bad consequences.

For others, those lessons seem to be a wasted exercise in life-experiences.

Case in point, Simon Bridges, National MP. Current MP for Tauranga and National’s spokesperson for Justice. In the Key/English administration, he held portfolios for Economic Development, Transport, Communications, Energy & Resources, Labour, Associate Finance and Leader of the House. One of his most notorious acts was to criminalise protests against deep sea oil prospecting by foreign corporations.

(Five years later, the Ardern-led government banned new deep sea oil prospecting anyway.)

Mr Bridges is also remembered for his opposition to marriage equality in 2013. His heterosexual chauvinism was blatant;

“I don’t think it’s the biggest issue Parliament is going to deal with anytime soon. It looks very likely to pass.

I have voted against it really for a couple of reasons. The first is all the feedback I am getting from my electorate makes it clear the majority of people of Tauranga are against it.”

Secondly, I think more than being a legal matter marriage is a deeply cultural, historical and religious institution built up over a very long time.

I wouldn’t change it lightly.”

Came the vote on the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013, he was one of fortyfour MPs who cast their ballot against allowing gays, lesbians, and transgender people to marry.

It appears that his comment as a young man in 1994;

“Oh I know him, actually he was a teacher of mine at school. How do I feel about him being gay? To be honest I’m not really into homosexuality, but I suppose if he’s going to come out and say it, I suppose it takes a bit of guts.”

— was still very much prevalent in his life.

By 2019, Mr Bridges appears to have moved on from his ill-concealed homophobia. Firstly he admitted his comments had been immature;

“Look obviously I was a very young, silly young guy. It’s an incredibly long time ago, my views have changed.”

He then conceded that his voting decision on marriage equality had been an error of judgement;

“I would change my vote today. New Zealand has moved on and so have I.” Admitting, “We all move on and we’ve got a law that’s working well.”

Interestingly, it was “New Zealand that had moved on“, dragging Mr Bridges and other “no”-voting MPs along for the ride. More on this point shortly.

Unfortunately, Mr Bridges’ assertion that “my views have changed” appears to have been short-lived or premature. His statement in Parliament, opposing the banning of conversion “therapy” (Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill) was one Giant Leap for A Man – back to the 1950s;

“National supports the core intention of this thought. People should be free to be who they want to be and to love who they want to love. There is one major sticking point, however, which means that although we want to be supportive, we are opposing this law until it is amended. It is very clear in Kris Faafoi’s interview on Newstalk ZB with Heather du Plessis-Allan, and any plain reading of this bill, that good parenting will be criminalised —

 — facing up to five years—it is exactly what it is saying—imprisonment for being parents to children under 18. The members opposite yell at me, but that is what Kris Faafoi said on Newstalk ZB, and it is wrong.

Parents should be allowed to be parents and to explore sexuality and gender with their children. But under this law, if a mum tells her 12-year-old son or daughter, “Taihoa, before you go on puberty blockers or other hormone treatment, wait till you’re 18.”, that mum will be breaking the law. National believes there must be an exemption for parents.”

He then proceeded to veer off on a tangent regarding transgender people, de-transitioning, and puberty blockers, whilst citing a case from the UK. They were talking points straight out of the transphobic minority hate-group, the so-called “Speak up for Women“.

It was as if the “very young, silly young guy” was standing in Parliament spouting the same homophobic/transphobic rubbish from which he had claimed to have resiled.

How many times can Mr Bridges express chauvinistic views against the LGBTQI+ and then expect an apology afterwards to be taken seriously?

How many “free passes” does a person get for making the same mistake over and over again?

Mr Bridges has accepted the need to ban conversion “therapy” when he opened his Parliamentary speech; “National supports the core intention of this thought. People should be free to be who they want to be and to love who they want to love.“.


So the question then arises, how can Mr Bridges and his National Party parliamentary colleagues,  ban a practice; making it illegal; and admitting it is ineffective;  but still permit parents to engage in the very same practice that would be illegal and ineffective?

The ‘logic’ of this escapes me.

It is akin to banning child abuse – but allowing parents to engage in child abuse.

It lowers the value of a child from being a human being and reduces them to property. Like a table or a car or a TV set.

It should be remembered that pet owners do not have the right to abuse their pets. Heavy fines and even jail terms await pet owners found abusing their companion animals.

So in effect, if parents are exempt from the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill, Mr Bridges has elevated the rights of pets above children; that pets have more protection under the law than children.

Is that Mr Bridges intent?

Mr Bridges colleague, National MP, Louise Upston also confirmed National’s position on conversion “therapy”;

“National wants to support this bill. We abhor conversion therapy and anything that harms or abuses, or creates issues for, any New Zealander to choose who they are, to be who they are, and to love who they choose.”

But then, again, she advocated parents having the right to practice a so-called “therapy” that has been declared ineffective and would be otherwise banned;

“I’d like to see when the bill progresses that there is clarity and a parental exemption…”

Despite headlines to the contrary, ACT was not much better. Although supporting the First Reading of the Bill,  they took their opposition to the Bill a step further, supporting not just “parental rights” but religious-based intervention, as Maureen McKee clearly advocated;

“Further to this, if the family wanted to seek religious guidance, and they were, say, salvationists, they won’t get that advice; they would not even get prayer…

… ACT’s concern is that the bill, in its current format, doesn’t just step on parents and religion; it actually stomps on it. The Government would be interfering and legislating what can be said in the home, how a family is to deal with an issue, and removes their ability to seek religious guidance.”

Preventing “religious guidance” – aka conversion “therapy” is pretty much why the Bill is needed to protect young people. Allowing an exemption for so-called “religious guidance” would make the law utterly pointless. (It would be like banning drink-driving – except if you have drunk beer, wine, or spirits. Otherwise drink-driving is banned.)

The response from many ranged from disappointment to outright disgust and anger. Even the Young Nats called for their Parliamentary “elders” to support the first reading of the Bill;



National’s Caretaker Leader, Judith Collins’ response was typical Judith Collins;



Way to go, Ms Collins. Being dismissive of their Youth Wing with an arrogant “the party won’t be dictated by its youth wing” is a great way to tell your activists how much they are valued. Or, as one high profile commentator and activist from the Rainbow community put it on social media;

“Bold to start your party’s conference by telling your youth wing to fuck off”

Meanwhile, National MPs might consider scrubbing posts from their social media accounts, such as this one;



Or, like this one;


facebook simon bridges big gay out



They have not “aged” well.

It beggars belief that Mr Bridges can attend Rainbow events and then make black and white declarations regarding LGBTQI+ that reflect his own bias;

It is important that we consider sexual orientation and gender identity or expression separately. Sexual orientation requires no medical intervention, whereas when it comes to gender identity/expression, parents are naturally concerned about being able to make decisions about their children being given puberty blockers and hormones … parents should be allowed to be parents.”

For the zillionth time; conservative/right-wing politicians should stay the hell out of the lives and bedrooms of LGBTQI+ people. Conservative/right-wing politicians do not get to choose “sexual orientation and gender identity or expression separately“.

And then turn up at Rainbow events as “supporters”.

So it was perfectly understandable that Auckland Pride Executive Director, Max Tweedie, confirmed that the National Party is no longer welcome at the Auckland Pride festival. Perhaps other Rainbow event organisors may follow suit.

Without much doubt, this Bill will pass into law. Parents will not be “criminalised” for talking with their children. Organisations/groups will be prevented from engaging in dubious conversion “therapy” practices.

The shield of “religious belief” will be stripped away – as it should be. Religion should never be a cloak for bad behaviours and practices from the Medieval Ages. If it were, their adherents would still be stoning gays, adulterers, etc, to death. (To spell it out; stoning is murder. Murder is surprisingly illegal, regardless of religious belief.)

We already see numerous examples where “religious belief” is just a cloak for what would otherwise be inexcusable, bigotted behaviour;



If National feels they can pander to conservative voters and to extremist fringe groups like “Speak up for Women“, so be it. There may be a few votes in it. But not enough to become government.

Remember what Simon Bridges said?

“New Zealand has moved on.”

Indeed, the country has. But National hasn’t. It is stuck in a past that has not existed since 1986 – but the rest of us (or most of us) have moved on.

The same arguments used against Homosexual Law Reform and marriage equality have been heard before: “freedom to be a bigot in the name of religious belief”.

The same arguments against the so-called “anti-smacking” bill have been heard before: “criminalising well meaning parents who want to beat the shit out of their kids”.

All these arguments to excuse bad behaviour have been heard before. And under the bright glare of scrutiny, they were dismissed for what they are: uninformed fear mongering and cheap political point-scoring for votes.

As was pointed out above, it is inconceivable that certain behaviour can be found to be ineffective and made illegal – but for some inexplicable reason, parents should be allowed to engage in that same behaviour which is ineffective and illegal for others. That is some twisted logic right there.

This Bill will pass. And National will be left behind, it’s MPs forced to recant in years to come.

By then, the Party may have fractured, splintering into it’s constituent groups; Rural; Urban Liberals; and religious right.

But in the meantime, as Maori Party/Te Paati Māori co-Leader, Rawiri Waittiti said in the same debate where Simon Bridges declared himself on the wrong side of history (yet again);

“Tēnā koe e te Pīka. Tēnā tatou e te Whare. I’m going to be on the right side of history in this debate, and I will not wait for a valedictory speech to apologise to the rest of New Zealand!”

No more apologies, Mr Bridges.






Parliament: Simon Bridges

National: About Simon Bridges

Radio NZ:  Govt plans hefty fines for offshore mining protests

RNZ: Parliament passes Bill banning new offshore oil and gas exploration

Sunlive: Final reading for gay marriage bill

NZ Herald: Gay marriage – How MPs voted

Newshub: ‘I’m not really into homosexuality’: Simon Bridges’ former gay views revealed

Newshub: Marriage equality, five years on – The Spinoff asks opposing MPs if they’d still vote no

TVNZ: Simon Bridges attends first Big Gay Out event, says he would now vote for marriage equality

Parliament: Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill — First Reading

NZ Herald: Act supports conversion therapy ban bill, National holding out over parental concerns

Twitter: Young Nats – Conversion “Therapy” – 10.29am Aug 5 2021

Newstalk ZB: Judith Collins – National will not be dictated by Young Nats

Twitter: Max Tweedie – Judith Collins on Young Nats – 2.38pm Aug 6 2021

Twitter: Nicola Willis – Wellington Pride – 6:01pm Mar 7 2020

Facebook: Simon Bridges attending Ending HIV Big Gay Out: 20th Anniversary

RNZ: ACT, National warn of conversion therapy bill ‘risk’

Rolling Stone: Ohio Allows Doctors to Deny LGBTQ Health Care on Moral Grounds

Twitter: @postingdad – conversion “therapy” –11.20am August 5 2021


Newshub: Marriage equality, five years on – The Spinoff asks opposing MPs if they’d still vote no

RNZ: Nights – Window on The World – People Fixing the World – LGBT community in Mombasa, Kenya

Other Blogs

Boots Theory: Laurel Hubbard is a trailblazer

Fightback: SWERF and TERF – The Red-Brown alliance in Policing Gender

No Right Turn:  Ending conversion “therapy”

The Jackleman:  Simon Bridges cannot be trusted

The Jackleman:  Calling all transphobes

The Standard: National used to be better than this

Highly Recommended Blogpost

Postingdad: This Bill Will Pass

Previous related blogposts

The Many Mendacities of Mr Bridges – National’s fair-weather “commitment” to a Climate Change Commission

Recycling – National Party style. Something embarrassing about Mr Bridges conference speech uncovered

Simon burns his Teal Coalition Bridges

Mining, Drilling, Arresting, Imprisoning – Simon Bridges

Letter to the Editor: Simon Bridges is a very naughty little boy!

Standard & Poor’s just sabotaged Simon Bridges’ tax bribe announcement

Simon Bridges – out of touch with Kiwi Battlers

Simon Bridges: the 15 March Christchurch massacre and winning at any cost

Simon Bridges: “No ifs, no buts, no caveats, I will repeal this CGT”

First they came…

Apartheid in Aotearoa New Zealand – yes, it does exist

Fairfax media and Kiwiblog revise incorrect story denigrating trans-people

Anti-trans activists fudge OIA statement – Report

The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response


Thanks to Helen for proofreading! Many thanks!





Liked what you read? Feel free to share.

Have your own thoughts? Leave a comment. (Trolls need not bother.)


= fs =


The NZ Taliban – quietly safeguarding our morals

From Whangarei,


Guesthouse refuses to let gay couple sleep together

Acknowledgment: The Dominion Post – Guesthouse refuses to let gay couple sleep together


Bigots/owners of the Pilgrim Planet Lodge refused to allow a same-sex couple, Paula Knight and Jane Collison to occupy the same room. Ms Knight and Ms Collison are a same-sex couple.

According to local Taliban morals-police, Ms Karen Ruskin,

Why do they assume that we have to change our standards, our values, to accommodate behaviour that is sodomy?This is our home, we are not a big motel.  In our home, where our grandchildren are, where our guests are, we don’t want sodomy.”

Acknowledgment: IBID

Now, it occurs to me that Morals Enforcer, Ms Ruskin (and her husband – I assume they are a married heterosexual couple) seem to be a bit confused about basic biology and more specifically, human anatomy.

Sodomy requires at least one penis to be involved. I’m assuming (again) that neither Ms Knight or  Ms  Collison packed one with their toothpaste, spare knickers, and phone recharger?

So – no penis = no sodomy?

Point two. I hate to be the one to break it to the Christian Morality Commissars, Mr and Ms Ruskin – but it’s well known that heterosexual couples do engage in sodomy. At least one ‘member’ (*snigger*) of a heterosexual couple has the prerequisite anatomical appendage: a dick. (No, not Aaron Gilmore. Not this time.)

So – one penis = sodomy.

Now call me the government Minister in Charge of the Bleedin’ Obvious – but if  Whangarei Wowser, Ms Ruskin (and her hubby, who also, I’m assuming once more, is in possession of a functioning penis) are so fixated on preventing sodomy from taking place under their roof – wouldn’t the appropriate policy be to ban all males from their Humble Heterosexual  Hostel?

Kinda stands to reason, really.


Penis = sodomy

No penis = no sodomy

So in reality, lesbian couples, single woman, post-op transgender-women,  and eunochs – should all be welcomed guests.

Unfortunately for  Mr Ruskin he’ll  have to live in the garden shed. Remember, he’s got a penis. And people with penii (correct plural?) tend to get up to mischief. Like sodomy.

That’s the problem with religious (?) moralists who take it upon themselves to look after our morals and mind our business – they often don’t think things through properly.

Now, unfortunately, I can already hear a chorus of conservatives and (some) assorted right-wingers who will be bleating the old mantra,

It’s their business – they should be able to do what they like!”

These are usually the same conservatives and assorted right-wingers who demand the abolition of the Treaty of Waitangi, asserting that there should be one law for all.

One law for all – except when  right wingers and conservatives demand the right to discriminate against anyone for anything.

Back to the local agents for Moral Correctness – the Ruskins.

I guess I won’t be staying at their Happy Hotel for Hitched Heterosexuals. After all, I have a penis (or I did, last time I looked).

And considering the number of times various right wingers have urged  me to “go fuck myself” over the years, the very real risk of me sodomising myself is  worth considering.

So the Ruskins will be safe from my penis.

I bet they’re relieved.


The Ruskins’ webpage promoting their motel doesn’t refer to a blanket ban on bumming (aka, sodomy), so I’ve taken the liberty of correcting that oversight,



Pilgrim Planet Lodge – no sodomy please.



= fs =

Colin Craig confirms he likes cartoons – Christianity is in safe hands

24 April 2013 3 comments


The civilian


In what can only be seen as  an own-foot-shooting, futile,  other-foot-firmly-planted-in-mouth exercise, Colin Craig today sicced his legal rottweilers onto the satirical blog, The Civilian.

Evidently, Colin “The-Fourteenth-Apostle” Craig didn’t see the humour in the satirical blogpost, Maurice Williamson looking pretty stupid after floods,  where the blogger  “quoted”  Craig as “saying”,

Williamson likes to talk about big gay rainbows,” said Craig, “but it would help if he understood what the rainbow actually means. After Noah’s flood, God painted a giant rainbow across the sky, which was a message that he would never again flood the world, unless we made him very angry. And we have.”

Let’s be clear here; Craig did not make that statement and most people with a reasonably high-functing brain would’ve understood that.

It was satire. Humour. Make funny. Happy la-la’s.

So for Craig to take offence and instruct his lawyers to send a threatening letter to The Civilian’s editor, Ben Uffindell, kinda beggars belief. In short – what a f****n  dumb thing to do.

For one thing, this story  has now exploded  into the mainstream media, and onto social media. The story has ‘legs’ and been  covered in the NZ Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio NZ, Newstalk ZB, and probably elsewhere. (And it will be further raised, discussed, and mercilessly poked fun at, this afternoon on Jim Mora’s panel-show at 4pm.)

So rather unsurprisingly, web traffic to The Civilian has skyrocketed,

Mr Uffindell said the website’s servers had been struggling to keep up with the massive spike of traffic caused by publicity of the incident.

Acknowledgement: Fairfax Media – Conservative Party threaten legal action over satire

This is the kind of publicity every blogger dreams about and  Ben Uffindell must be laughing with glee and thanking whatever gods he worships, for his lucky day.

Second point, Craig was quoted (?) in a NZ Herald story and stating,

I take these things pretty seriously. We are a serious political party and want to go a long way, so making sure that what is reported on what I have said, is accurate is important.


But when it comes to statements being reported in the public sphere … there is no room for humour.”

Acknowledgement: NZ Herald –  Colin Craig warns on satirical quote

“…there is no room for humour.”

Well, he’s got a point there. After all, how many people can forget Craig’s explicitly non-satirical comment when he labelled every young woman in New Zealand as whores,

“…We are the country with the most promiscuous young women in the world. This does nothing to help us at all.

Acknowledgement: TV3 –  Kiwi women ‘most promiscuous’ – Colin Craig

No room for humour there, I think. And when given a chance to apologise or withdraw that comment on TVNZ’s Q+A, on 13 May 2012, Craig shrugged it off with a typical rightwing cop-out, hiding behind the label of  “political correctness”,

PAUL  HOLMES:  “Anyway, the perception, I think, is that you blew it with that one bizarre comment. ”

COLIN  CRAIG:   “Well, look, I’m always going to be speaking my mind. As I say, I think it was a true comment. If people want a politically correct conservative party, then they’re not going to find it in the Conservative Party.

Acknowledgement: TVNZ – Q+A

Methinks there’s a strong stench of hypocrisy with Mr Craig having such a micron-thin-skin toward a satirical website – and yet has no hesitation in indulging in some casual misogyny slagging of every young woman in the country by calling them   “the most promiscuous young women in the world”.

Imagine if all 2.2 million women in this country instructed their lawyers to send a letter to Craig, threatening him with legal action for defamation?

For him, that’s “political correctness”.

But if a satirical website does it to him… *wags finger* “Tut, tut!”

The good news, folks, is that on Radio NZ’s  “Morning Report”, Colin “My-god-is-more-omnipotent-than-your-god” Craig  said,

Look, um, I know and people who know me think I’m pretty funny sort of a guy. I love cartoons.”

Acknowledgement: Radio NZ –

Colin Craig threatens to sue satirical website

Yeah, Colin, you’re a laugh-a-minute. In fact, people laugh at you more than you realise.



*** Update***

At 11:32 am this morning, Radio NZ reported that Colin “Invisible-beings-talk-to-me” Craig had withdrawn his threat of legal action because this “retraction” had been posted on  The Civilian,

This article is the subject of a legal dispute between The Civilian and Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig, which came about as the result of a legal notice that you can read in full here.

In this article, The Civilian published a statement which it attributed to Colin Craig regarding Maurice Williamson, “big gay rainbows” and the passing of the gay marriage legislation. We accept, upon further review, that Mr. Craig never made the statement attributed to him. We retract the statement and apologise to Mr. Craig for any harm we have caused to his impeccable reputation.

We would like to note that we have also taken the additional measure of bolding the statement in question so that everybody knows which thing it was that Mr. Craig did not say.

Radio NZ further reports,

The story is still on the website, but editor Ben Uffindel has written to the lawyers with a signed copy of the retraction and apology statement.

However, the letter is clearly tongue-in-cheek and is signed with a large smiley face.

Acknowledgement: Radio NZ – Defamation threat withdrawn


Mr Craig, you’re still a clown. As our American cuzzies like to put it,  consider yourself ‘owned‘.







TV3:  Kiwi women ‘most promiscuous’ – Colin Craig (9 May 2012)

Radio NZ:  Legal action threatened over satirical item (24 April 2013)

NZ Herald:  Colin Craig warns on satirical quote (24 April 2013)

Fairfax Media: Conservative Party threaten legal action over satire   (24 April 2013)

Newstalk ZB: Colin Craig goes after ‘The Civilian‘  (24 April 2013)



= fs =

And the Oscar for Union-Smashing and Manipulating Public Opinion goes to…

26 February 2013 4 comments


… Peter Jackson, John Key, and Warner Bros, for their cunning performance over, ‘The Hobbit‘!

In 2010, Jackson, Key, and Warner Bros, created mass public hysteria by suggesting that film production of ‘The Hobbit‘ would be moved overseas,  unless labour laws were changed; the union,  Actors Equity neutralised; and film subsidies increased.   (see:  Hobbit tax rebate swells to $67.1m in second year of production).

Only private schools and soon-to-be-set-up Charter Schools enjoy similar taxpayer funded subsidies.

Key duly bent over,  changed labour laws (See: Employment Relations (Film Production Work) Amendment Act 2010 – Legislative history) and turned actors and film technicians from being employees to “contractors”.

At the stroke of a pen – similar to a Decree issued by a lone despot in some authoritarian regime – National unilaterally changed workers from being employees to sub-contractors. The resulting changes were stark;

  • Employees can negotiate collectively for a collective agreement
  • Sub-contractors cannot
  • Employees had minimum wage; sick pay; holiday pay; appropriate employment/termination protections; etc.
  • Sub-contractors do not.

The law was passed in under 48 hours.

It subsequently turned out, according to an email from Jackson to National Minister, Gerry Brownlee, that the threat of moving ‘The Hobbit‘ overseas was non-existent,

Sir Peter Jackson told the Government he did not believe an international actors’ boycott would force The Hobbit overseas, emails show.

The message, sent to the office of Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee on October 18, is in stark contrast to comments the film-maker made earlier in the month.

On October 1, he said: “The Hobbit is being punished with a boycott which is endangering thousands of New Zealand jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of foreign income, for no good reason.”

Sir Peter dismissed the idea that movie production was moving overseas because it was cheaper to make films there.

“It’s completely absurd! Eastern Europe is only being considered because a minority group of the New Zealand acting community have invoked union action that has blacklisted our film, making it impossible to shoot in New Zealand.”

But on October 18, Sir Peter said the boycott had nothing to do with the movies potentially moving overseas.

“There is no connection between the blacklist (and it’s eventual retraction) and the choice of production base for The Hobbit,” he wrote.

“What Warners requires for The Hobbit is the certainty of a stable employment environment and the ability to conduct its business in such as way that it feels its $500 million investment is as secure as possible.”

The October 18 email also suggests Sir Peter thought the boycott had been lifted, even though he said in television interviews three days later he was unsure if it had been officially ditched.

Sir Peter declined to comment through a spokesman yesterday.

See: Sir Peter: Actors no threat to Hobbit

Actors, as well as film technicians, lost many rights, and Warner Bros got everything they demanded.

Two and half years later, and consequences  remained to be played out.

Yesterday (25 February 2013), the Oscar Awards were held in Hollywood.

The Hobbit‘ did not fare well,


Weta misses out on Hobbit Oscar



It might be said that events in New Zealand in 2010 – with the craven capitulation to Hollywood business moguls – did not escape the attention of actors and others in the film-making industry. The corporate-government assault on the rights of film workers has not been forgotten.

What is ironic, though, is  that Jackson, Key, and Warner Bros have forgotten that, in Hollywood movies, the ‘little guy’ triumphs in the end.

What was Frodo’s journey all about, Mr Jackson?




Previous related blogposts

Foreign fishing boats, Hobbits, and the National Guvmint (2 March 2012)

Key: When I say ‘no’, I mean ‘no’. Maybe.  (4 Oct 2012)

Muppets, Hobbits, and Scab ‘Unions’ (9 Oct 2012)

John Key’s track record on raising wages – 1. The “Hobbit Law” (11 Nov 2012)

Peter Jackson’s “Precious” (28 Nov 2012)



=fs =

Christians – can we vote on YOUR marriage now?

22 January 2013 13 comments


Lobby group presents petition against same sex marriage



72,000 signatories to Family First’s petition want the right to vote on other people’s right to be married?

That would be fair – if the rest of us had a chance to vote on whether or not those 72,000 Christians (?) should be married or not.

We could make it totally democratic and run on-going Referenda on  couples, through Facebook. Each couple could state their case to voters and the public could vote “Yay” or  “Nay”.

Is it too late to have a belated vote on whether Mr MCoskrie (and Garth McVicar!?) should be allowed to be married? (Not to each other, I mean. Although… )

This is how ridiculous it gets, that so-called “Christians”  think it appropriate to vote on other peoples’ private lives.

Little wonder that so many view religious fundamentalism as intrusive in our lives.




(Note: with apologies to Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Pantheists, etc, who are more tolerant. )




Other blogs

Ideologically Impure: Marriage equality and polygamy



= fs =

18 August – Cuba Mall – other things going on!

18 August 2012 1 comment



Continued from: 18 August – Aotearoa Not For Sale, Cuba Mall Gig

As well as the Aotearoa Not For Sale event, two other protests were occurring simultaneously in the Mall.

The first, by United Community Action Newtown (UCAN), were protesting at budget cutbacks to the Newtown Union Health Centre by the CCDHB.

UCAN organisor, Katie, and others from their group, handed out leaflets to passers-by, publicising cutbacks to their community health service,



Placards, publicising National’s cuts to community primary health services,



Another UCAN activist, with Matt the rapper,



And more placards, highlighting the desperation of a community to retain their health services,




Meanwhile, nearby, a group from  Falun Gong  were protesting at the Chinese regime’s persecution of members from their movement,




It was indeed a day of action for people in the community.




Related blogposts

10 August: Unhealthy Health Cuts

Copyright (c)  Notice

All images are freely available to be used, with following provisos,

  • Use must be for non-commercial purposes.
  • For non-commercial use, images may be used only in context, and not to denigrate individuals.
  • Acknowledgement of source is requested.



= fs =

Thou Shalt not – I repeat, NOT! – be intolerant!

11 January 2012 5 comments


Full Story


Ok, back to reality, as determined by this particuular quantum spacetime continuum…

Now, maybe I’m an old fashioned kinda bloke… maybe I see things a bit more ‘grounded’… But the ways I sees it, the things that really do undermine the “future of humanity” involves the following;

  • climate change – all that pollution we’re casually pumping into the atmosphere cannot be good for animals, plant-life, the oceans, and little children.
  • the widening wealth-gap – creating a social dislocation which may ultimately lead to social unrest, revolution,  collapse of governments (hence the Arab Spring and the London riots, last year), increasing number of failed states, and the Rise of the Planet of the Apes! (Ok, the last bit may be a tad fanciful. Or not.)
  • resource wars for oil, water, food… whatever is in short-supply due to the burgeoning human population on this little planet.
  • over-population – which you, Mr Pope, can actually do something about! When Big Bro up in the sky said “go forth and multiply”, he didn’t mean until there’s standing room only! He kinda assumed that we had enough common sense to recognise limits to what Planet Earth can hold and feed. (Hah! Fat chance! This is the Human Gimmee-All-You-Got Race we’re talking about here!)
  • and greed. The Human Race does Greed very well. Heck, there are political parties founded on the ‘Nobility’ of Greed – just ask the Republicans and our own, home-grown, National/ACT parties!

Those are the things I’d be worried about, Pope Bro. Not what a couple of blokes may or may not be doing in the privacy of their own homes. I mean, really, two guys hugging? Even snogging? What do you want them to do instead – don battle-fatigues and go shoot up a village somewhere?

Look mate. I know the Bible sez a few things about gays. Like, stoning them.

But the Bible also suggests that’s it’s ok to call a woman a witch and burn her alive, whilst  tied to a stake. These days, that would be called pre-meditated murder.

Ditto for stoning to death service-station workers who work on Sundays. (Though some might still advocate that for unionised-workers, I’m thinking.)

Time to move on. This is 2012AD. Not 2012BC. Hassling gays is not cool. We don’t do shit like that anymore.

There are worse things in the world today. Like the stuff I outlined above. And intolerance. You know “intolerance”? It’s where a Christian go into a Northern Ireland bar and blows up other Christians, ‘cos they were the wrong brand of christianity. Or a muslim who does the same thing in a mosque, ‘cos the muslims inside were the wrong flavour of Islam.

Now THAT is a threat to the future of the Human Race.

Not Bert and Ernie saying they love each other.

Got that?

Good. Amen.



Racism, Rape, and Religion

4 December 2011 21 comments

Just when you thought the human race couldn’t possibly be any more insane than it already is, we find two stories. One is from the most technologically advanced, wealthiest nations on planet Earth. The other is from a semi-failed state that is like taking a Tardis trip 1,000 years into the past.


Members at the Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church voted Sunday on the resolution, which says the church “does not condone interracial marriage.”

The church member who crafted the resolution, Melvin Thompson, said he is not racist and called the matter an “internal affair.”

“I am not racist. I will tell you that. I am not prejudiced against any race of people, have never in my lifetime spoke evil about a race,” said Thompson, the church’s former pastor who stepped down earlier this year. “That’s what this is being portrayed as, but it is not.”

Full Story


Melvin Thompson is adamant that  he is not a racist or prejudiced.

Of course not. Basing your beliefs on the colour of one’s skin isn’t racism. We all know that. Racism happens somewhere else.

Personally, I’m happy to dispense with the term “racism” and just use alternative terms. Like, ignorance.

There you go, Mr Thompson; you’re not racist, you’re just plain ignorant. Happy?

And from the other side of the planet, far removed from rural Kentucky, the human capacity for infinity craziness and cruelty carries on,


Karzai’s office said in a statement that the woman and her attacker have agreed to marry. That would reverse an earlier decision by the 19-year-old woman, who had previously refused a judge’s offer of freedom if she agreed to marry the rapist.

Her plight was highlighted in a documentary that the European Union blocked because it feared the women featured in the film would be in danger if it were shown.

More than 5,000 people recently signed a petition urging Karzai to release the woman. She had the man’s child while in prison and raised her daughter behind bars, which is common among women imprisoned in Afghanistan.

A statement released by Karzai’s office says that after hearing from judicial officials, the decision was made to forgive the rest of the sentence she received for having sex out of wedlock, a crime in Afghanistan. The presidential statement did not say when the woman was to be released or how much prison time had been pardoned.

The woman told The Associated Press in an interview last month that she had hoped that attention generated by the EU film might help her get released. With the film blocked, she said that she was losing hope and considering marrying her rapist as a way out. She said her attacker was pressuring her to stop giving interviews.

About half of the 300 to 400 women jailed in Afghanistan are imprisoned for so-called “moral crimes” such as sex outside marriage, or running away from their husbands, according to reports by the United Nations and research organizations. Fleeing husbands isn’t considered a crime in Afghanistan.

Full Story


Ever wondered what a society ruled by  misogynistic village idiots would look like? Welcome to Afghanistan, circa 2011AD. Or 1011AD. Or 11AD. (Makes no difference, really.)

The only difference  between these two stories is that our American cuzzies have no excuse. They have unfettered access to education and 21st century communications. And when even Presidential candidates indulge in a bit of outrageous racism, is there really that much difference between the two cultures?

It’s amazing the depths of ignorance human beings can plumb, especially when they claim to have a god on their side…



God vs Insurance Companies

30 September 2011 5 comments

This really needs no further commentary on my part,


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How to kill your kids

24 August 2011 3 comments

Gosh, just what New Zealand needs; an instruction manual from religious nutters on how to beat your children to death. Because, as we all know, we don’t have enough beaten; raped; maimed; and murdered children in our society.

Just a reminder how “good” we are at beating our children to death, here.  But maybe ten children murdered each year, plus the hundreds more who suffer permanent injuries/maimings, aren’t enough? Because it seems that there are “helpful” individuals out there who are willing to put together a ‘manual’ on how we can do it more efficiently.

And if it’s based on the scribblings of a 2,000+ year old religious text – all the better. Personally, I’m waiting for a book on child-discipline according to the ancient Aztec  Sun God worship .

I wonder if the next child killer; standing in the dock on charges of murder; will hold up this book and use it as an excuse for his/her behaviour?

“God said I can beat my child!”

How many deranged serial killers have also claimed to hear God’s voice?

Fact File:

“Data sets for the years 1997 to 2001 from each country include all deaths and hospitalisations from assault. The results show that a child in New Zealand is almost three times more likely to die from assault than a child in Sweden.”

So do we really need this book? It seems we’re pretty good at it already.

What killed Rugby?

11 August 2011 26 comments

We all know the saying about killing geese that lay eggs made of precious metals… But the the lesson seems to have firmly evaded those who organise rugby in this country, and indeed, worldwide.

It seems that huge truckloads of cash has severely blinded the IRB and NZRU to what this game should be about;  enjoying rugby.

Instead, it has became an exercise in marketing, ticket sales, squashing anyone who wants to sell pizza, and branding. It’s all about money, money, and more money.

Firstly, common sense has eluded the mind of Rugby World Cup minister Murray McCully, who okayed the use of cans at all rugby venues.

Up till now, beer had been served in featureless, light, disposable plastic cups. This was to prevent cans and bottles being used as unguided missiles by intoxicated rugby fans.

But Heineken is a major sponsor, and they want their brand prominent at all 13 games. That means selling cans, with the brand-name ‘Heineken’ clearly visible, instead of the safer, unbranded, plastic cups.



So what Heineken wants, Heineken gets: cans.

Never mind if  someone is injured by drunken hoons tossing cans. That evidently doesn’t matter. Evidently what matters is branding. Heineken wants you to know that the can that flew across the bleachers and concussed you was a Heineken – and not one of their competitors. This is important – so please remember to tell the medics when they arrive to treat you.

Money speaks with a very loud voice.

Then, in April, we heard the unbelievable situation that RWC fans will only be able to use cash, or mastercard (another sponsor) eftpos terminals at the games’ stadia.



Evidently a third form of payment will be available; “Tap & Go” cards. But these are not re-chargeable and fans will have to pay $5 to $10 for each new card.

So expect your method of payment to be controlled.

Though I’m surprised the WRC organisors haven’t tapped John Key on the shoulder and asked for a law change. At present, cash is the legal tender of this country. Imagine if the IRD/NZRU could deny fans the right to use cash.

Though I guess the government could always re-print our currency, with an WRC sponsor’s name on each bill. Why not? They’ve already shown a willingness to change our laws for other corporations.

Perhaps the worst example of greed is local bodies charging extortionate amounts for local businesses to amend their hours to cater for the influx of rugby fans.

For example, “to open later on game days, Papa’s Pizza and nearby businesses will have to pay between $7500 and $12,800 to a special Rugby World Cup “enabling” authority to hurry up the usual resource consent process.”



“Enabling Authority”? More like a local protection racket! But all quite legal according to the Rugby World Cup 2011 (Empowering) Act 2010, Part 3.

What a money-extorting piece of legislative bureacracy this is!!

And all enacted by a National Government that constantly harps on about how bureacratic “red tape” is strangling entrepreneurial business in this country.

So what gives with the Rugby World Cup 2011 (Empowering) Act?!

If this isn’t political interference in little business – then someone tell me what is?!?!

Auckland Council licensing and compliance manager Carole Todd admitted that costs to applicants for Part 3 approvals were “fairly high”, and said that,

“However these charges are set down in regulations and cannot be modified.”

The Ministry of Economic Development administers the Act.  Ministry senior solicitor Robert Rendle said,

“There are going to be a lot more people in Auckland who are going to be frequenting bars so it might be financially beneficial to pay the cost.”

In other words – pay up, schmuck! Or Luigi over there will put the heat on ya, reallll good.

Perhaps that is not as cheeky as Heineken/DB Breweries secretly reducing the size of their beer  glasses from 425ml to 400ml – whilst keeping the price of each pour the same. So 25ml less beer – for the same price. DB has also increased keg, Heineken, Export, Tui, Monteiths and DB Draught tap prices.



It seems that milk drinkers aren’t the only ones being milked in this country. Although the irony here also hasn’t escaped me; we were expecting to “swindle” overseas visitors with high accomodation charges – not be rorted ourselves.

In answer to media questioning, DB Breweries’ hospitality general manager Andrew Campbell said,

“In light of events in Christchurch, and in recognition of the challenges many operators are facing in this recessionary environment, we decided to delay our price increase [from April 1] until June.”

They’re blaming price rises and furtive reduction in glass sizes on the earthquakes in Christchuurch???


Well, I guess that makes a change from blaming sunspots, I guess.

And of course, there will be special “Sponsor Police” roaming the country, looking for anyone daring to “cash in” on the WRC without “authorisation”, or to prevent “ambush marketting”.




Economic Development Ministry solicitor Rob Rendle said there were no plans to set up special courts in New Zealand, to catch and prosecute unauthorised business activity although it could be appropriate to have judges on call to consider urgent matters that came up. “It’s just a possibility at this stage.”

Special courts? Oh, perish the though, Rob. Just summary execution out the back of the Stadium.



Are we having fun yet, peeps?

In case not, even those offering free, humanitarian assistance are being targetted by the vengeful alien fiends that currently pose as human beings running the WRC.

I refer to the St Johns ambulance service (the humanitarian assistance – not the vengeful aliens).



Yes, my fellow kiwis, the WRC organisors have “leaned” hard on St Johns – forcing them to cover up the sponsors of their ambulances, equipment, and clothing that may have been sponsored by community groups or business organisations in this country.

St Johns is a charity that relies on the generosity of businesses (such as the ASB) so they can go out and save lives.

St Johns is not a business itself.

St Johns has not charged a blimmin cent (that I know of) to the WRC for their services.

In return, to show their gratitude, the WRC have demanded that St Johns cover up the ASB logos of their sponsor. That’s pretty damned low.

If I’d been St Johns, I would have politely told the WRC to go take a flying leap into White Island, and hire their own medics and ambulances. Let the NZRU pay for emergency services if they’re going to be so miserly.  At the very least, I expect NZRU to make a very generous donation to St Johns for all this carry-on.

And when I say “generous”, I’m talking six figures, minimum.

What are the chances? Well, judging by the common sense and generosity of spirit shown by the WRC and sponsors… Nil.


Perhaps the most bizarre of all this naked greed; shameless price gouging; and merciless strong-arm tactics is this,



To quote the NZ Herald, to show I’m not making up this farce;

“Heineken is keeping a close watch on Lion Nathan after its Steinlager “white can” advertising campaign inched near to breaching its Rugby World Cup rights.

And the brewer – represented by DB Breweries in this country – is confident World Cup rights managers IMG will blow the whistle if its future ads go too far.

Heineken is an official sponsor of the tournament at a global level, while Steinlager is a sponsor of the All Blacks team. This means it can use its association as the All Blacks’ official beer, but it can’t claim any association with the Rugby World Cup.”

Both Breweries are sponsors – but they sponsor slightly different aspects of the event. I can’t even begin to tell you how utterly absurd this situation is.

Not content with harassing fans or small businesses, even the sponsors are beginning to cannibalise and consume each other?

Which brings us to the present, and current debacle,



Perhaps someone from On High can explain to me, and to 4.4 million other New Zealanders; how did we get to this?

How did we get to a situation where a foreign corporation now owns the clothing rights to a  “brand” that is one of our  most cherished institutions (the All Blacks – in case you had forgotten what this was all about – and I bet you had!) and can sell goods back to us with that “brand”, at exorbitantly high prices?!?!

Of course, I guess this was inevitable, really. We’ve been busily selling off our state assets, businesses, and farms to all and sundry – and then buying back the products/services that we once produced ourselves.

I bet it was only a matter of time before it happened to one of our most iconic institutions.

How did it get to this?

The answer is idiotically simple. We allowed it to happen. Because, truth to tell, my fellow New Zealanders – sometimes we are none-to-bright when it comes to dealing with big companies apparently offering us truckloads of money.

Oh, for the simple days, when rugby was rugby, and sponsorship consisted of a few plastic-corflute boards placed around a playing field.



We have well and truly given away our innocence. That, folks, is what killed rugby.

Are we having fun yet?


+++ UPDATE: More RWC Silliness +++


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Copy of sign seen in Greater Wellington Region, erected by supermarket. Clever buggers! (Sign’s corporate colours and company name have been redacted. This blog has no wish to assist RWC “sponsorship police”.) Note the blackened-out rectangle – what could that possibly signify?






Further Reading

Tew threatens to pull out of next World Cup

NZRU boss Steve Tew lobs a grenade at the IRB

Aussies back NZRU over World Cup complaint

NZ must reap what it has sown over World Cup



Blokes – we’re all the same.


God, after 13.7 billion years…

… he still hasn’t found time to shave.