Monthly Archives: November, 2013

Asset Sale Announced

The government have announced the latest state asset sale as part of their privatisation programme.

Speaking from a lavish function in Sri Lanka, paid for in part by Fonterra and underpaid Tamil labour, John Key announced the sale of a 49% stake in TV3 Political Editor, Patrick Gower.

Mr Gower, the chief parliamentary brain behind the independent media network that still operates in part thanks to Stephen Joyce being mates with a number of people who work there, has been government owned since taking over from Duncan Garner.

Key said that this would be a fantastic opportunity for mums and dads to get their hands on a quality government asset.

“It’s a great chance for ordinary hard-working kiwi mums and dads who have some spare money left over at the end of an 80 hour working week working two jobs to try and keep their heads above water in the ever more ridiculous levels of the cost of living in Auckland and other parts of the country to buy a share in something they already own.”

Gower is reported to be delighted by the sale saying although he will be 49% foreign owned, he will remain 100% controlled by the National-led government.

The Politics of Corruption

You have to wonder sometimes.

It’s been a long time since I had any respect for politicians. Any respect at all.

During the late 1990s I worked at a (now defunked) Auckland company whose job it was to monitor the news. We produced recordings and transcripts of television & radio reports and talkback calls for a range of companies and politicians.

A client’s paranoia of how they were portrayed in the media was directly proportional to the amount of money they spent with us. The chief National Party strategist at the time was Murray McCully. His press secretary was on the phone hourly. Telecom just had a running order: transcript of everything that included a mention of the company.

When you are that paranoid about how customers / voters view you, rather than spending millions on PR and image control, wouldn’t it be better to do a bit of soul-searching, reflect on how exactly why people view you that way and change the way you conduct yourself so that people don’t have that view? Surely that’s far more sustainable. Surely?

Then again, personal reflection and growth is rarely seen in the political class. Look at some of those hacks who’ve been there for a while – your Mallards, McCullys, Englishs, your Goffs, Ryalls and your Smiths (choose any). All, at some point, no matter which “side” you represent, has lied straight to you either by a) contradicting something they’ve previously said, b) claiming they never actually said something they previously said, or c) misrepresenting or manipulating facts to suit their own purposes.

You try to get a politician to comment rationally on their allowances. Their justification borders on the ridiculous. National were fantastically outrageous this week with their “it’s within the rules.” I could go on about it being within the rules and yet morally wrong but I would be smashing my head against a wall made from the soft abdomen of many years eating and drinking in Bellamy’s (yet another unnecessary rort that we’re all paying for. Don’t get me started on air points).

The current political class is littered with examples of this nature. Rodney Hide, into parliament on the promise of being the “perk buster” and then out of parliament for ripping off the very perks he was fighting. The ultimate in parliamentary corruption.

With politicians being at the bottom of the heap as ‘least trusted profession,’ and voter turn-out at all time lows and falling, you’d think they’d start investigating the reasons for this.

No. Instead they just bumble on. Lying daily. Feathering their own nest with a vast range of perks and allowances the rest of us can only dream about. Using air points gained while travelling on parliamentary business for holidays with spouses. Getting the taxpayer to subsidise their superannuation, and while they are doing that, paying off a mortgage on an investment property in the city where they live.

These dirty, cretinous shysters will stop at nothing to further themselves and their power base. They are utterly corrupt in every decision they make. No argument. Who will I vote for now?

This post was initially going to be a gentle narrative on how I’ve changed my teaching practise this year after much soul-searching and personal reflection. After I started typing it turned into what you have read above.

The politicians made me do it.

Parata to Appoint Everyone to Everything

Hard on the heels of the weekend announcement to replace the elected Teachers’ Council with a board fully appointed by Education Minister Hekia Parata, the National Party has released further information on the plan. 

Ms Parata was keen to talk to reporters outside a garden shed in West Auckland that is being turned into a brand-new charter school with a $37 million funding injection from the recent float of Meridian Energy. 

“It’s a really exciting time in education,” Parata told the crowd, “I am now in charge of everything to do with education from setting national standards to handing out partnership school licences to appointing the board that oversees teacher registration.”

The sentence was met with a small round of applause from Patrick Gower and John Armstrong. 

“But I want to take this idea further,” she continued. 

Parata then went on to detail plans for her Education Ministry to take over the running of the entire health sector, including doctors, nurses and hospital food. She also announced plans for a new board that would replace the Independent Police Complaints Authority. 

“This authority has past its use-by date,” she told her adoring fans, “I will be appointing a new Police Review Committee whose job it will be independently monitor complaints against any police officers or police actions.”

Ms Parata also mooted the idea of Catherine Isaac to head the committee saying the former ACT Party stalwart was an ideal candidate because she had sat on many committees over the years and attended many meetings.

Armstrong and Gower quickly completed a knee-based “we’re not worthy” praise of Parata before she continued. 

“It’s important in these modern times,” she cooed, “that there is consistency. That is why from next year I will be appointing the list candidates for both the Labour and Green parties. For too long these lists have been filled with the wrong sorts of people and I think New Zealanders have had enough. We need some quality list candidates from both parties. Candidates like Catherine Isaac or John Hattie or even Bill Gates or Rupert Murdoch. Any of these fine people would make excellent candidates without all the hippy nonsense that has been associated with those parties in the past.”

Parata then finished the news conference by giving Gower and Armstrong plenty of kisses and cuddles and announcing plans to seize control of Auckland transport, Christchurch earthquake recovery, housing, conservation and the succession of the Royal Family in the United Kingdom of Great Britain. 

ENDS