Monday, June 27, 2016

Post truth, post hole

It seems that we live in the era of "post truth" politicians. An interesting take on the matter, considering the amount of lying that has gone on in recorded history. Perhaps a more accurate description would be the Couldn't Give a Bugger About the Truth era? It would certainly enliven future textbooks about the early 21st Century.
 "At this point it became obvious just how few buggers were actually given by politicians as it was conclusively proven that Trump was of an alien species but his voters continued to say he connected with real heartland Americans".
 New Zild has had its own share of non-fact-connected politicians but the current Prime Minister must be in the top 5 in the top No Buggers Given list. In the past he has opined about all and sundry with no scraps of credibility or knowledge to impede his decision making. For instance we know he has peed in the shower but not masturbated, he thinks Iraq is a safe place and he would not have shot the Gorilla. Many of his National party colleagues breathed a little easier after that one.
But he doesn't just limit himself to shower antics or zoo animal preservation, he also comments upon things that are central to the modern, go ahead Conservative government he leads.
Conservative governments have a bit of a checklist of things they will do, a comment I have made on this blog before, hopping into the poor people, lowering taxes for rich people and helping businesses to oppress their workers etcetera, etcetera.
This government has ticked all of those boxes and made a special point of Great Specialnesss about how they had "reformed" employment laws with the introduction of the 90 day rule. After they realised that this not a relaxation of the 4 second, dropping food on the floor rule, many New Zilders reacted with "Wahhht... my...did...rugby on". Unbeknownst to them the government had introduced legislation that allowed people to be employed for 90 days at low pay rates and even more excitingly dismissed with no reason and no backsies at any time in the 90 days.
At the time this was greeted by government spinners and lackies as a Great Leap Forward for industrial relations and the benefits would flow to all and young folks would get jobs and possibly everyone would get a panda to keep as a pet.  
Of course, it did no such things.
Five years on from the introduction of the 90 days rules a Treasury report has concluded that the introduction of the 90 day rule has had little to no affect on NZ employment issues. This is the Treasury, mind you, Friedmanites to the core and paid for by the Gubblement to find shit out when the troooooth is needed.
So the PM was in a bind, since his fairytale did not have the right ending and the people collecting the data are his inquisitorial shocktroops. Brilliantly he ignored that dumb ole report. People, he said, talked to him all the time as he went around NZ  and they said it had gone swimmingly and everyone was happy as two clams in whatever place would make clams happy. So there! To make sure that The Base would get what he was on about he noted.
"You can have a piece of academic research but it's quite different from the small cafe owner whose money is on the line, who is taking the risks and who actually rely on this kind of policy.
Academics amirite?
Still, quite brave of him to bring up small cafes after the ponytail pulling incidents of last year. But he is nothing if not something or other.


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Making silver linings out of sow's ears

Just look at the bollocks some opinionator wrote for a NZ weekend fishwrap, and was understandably too embarrassed to sign a name to:


The claim that
Boris Johnson moved to take power in Britain last night as he assembled a dream team to renegotiate relations with Europe and the world
is perhaps bleed-through from an alternative time-line, or was written well in advance and then forcibly adapted to circumstances, since the "dream team" turns out to amount to BoJo himself, plus Gove. That is to say, a pair of career pundits in search of more lucrative political careers who resent expertise and who can't be arsed planning how to exit through their own front doors, let alone from the EU. I suppose "world of fantasy" is a kind of dream.
Planned exits: Much over-rated
And then there was this exercise in consolation:
NZ Initiative executive director Oliver Hartwich said there were potential benefits for Kiwis, but we shouldn’t expect anything to happen overnight.
[...]
Hartwich said it could become a lot easier for New Zealanders with a travel bug to nab themselves a visa – but this all depended on who took over from Cameron.
‘‘Should it be Boris, he’s gone on and on about making it easier for Kiwis to go to the UK,’’ Hartwich said.
‘‘If you’re hoping for better visa availability, you should definitely be in the Boris Johnson boat.’’
Because if there's one thing we know about Johnson, is that he's a man of his word.
[Right]: Victorious Johnson as
depicted by SST journamalist
[Left]: Actuality. Reporters seek
interview; Johnson not to be found

Thursday, June 23, 2016

In Ham's Way.

"Oh" you might think "It is that little old New Zild again with the sheeps and cows and mad Sir Mr Peter Jackson of Rivendell, innit"
But no, there is more to this green and peasant land than just nice things. We have a long and proud tradition of being killed or killing in other people's wars. To this end we have armed forces and they are of particular note to this blog when we are trying to flog off old jets to people called  Hoss. Sadly this did not go ahead and we got a "bad seller" rating on e-bay chiz, chiz.
In recent times, NZ has responded personfully to requests from Iraq for jolly good soldiers to go over and teach their jolly bad soldiers how to do the soldiering. This request is an "Operational Matter' of course and so the general public has not seen it and the fact that it came so soon after the Prime Mincer (Hoban 1982) was over in the US hanging around the White House is like, whatevs.
At this stage everyone thought  that there was only a short time to go until the teaching time was up and the summer holidays begin, yeahaar.
Until Mr Spoilsport Prime Minister said "Ah no, youse have to stay there because it is a seething hellhole and indications are that the seethiness is not going to go down anytime soon, so sucks to be you" in typical Key government fashion.
This brings into play one of the great characters of the administration Gerry Brownlee. Yes, Gerry "the Peacemaker" who nearly engineered an incident with Finland and respectful co-worker with the Christchurch mayor in the re-build i.e. "Parker a clown".
So we are dealing with one of nature's gentlemen here. Who is the Minister for Defence, because honestly he can't do too much there, eh?
So what did Gerry have to say about the extended education mission in Iraq? With his intellect turned all the way up to 11 Brownlee opined
We’re not insulated from the sort of thing that we saw in Orlando.” – Gerry Brownlee, re NZ extension of troop deployment in Iraq
A truly memorable moment in NZ political history. Sadly, one of NZ's better radio journalists got to talk to Gerry and it was a bit of a slam dunk as the kids say:

Gerry Brownlee: "New Zealand is not immune to the sort of lone wolf attacks that you saw in Orlando a couple of weeks ago ... this is as much our war as it is anybody else's."

Susie Ferguson: " ... Are you saying that deploying New Zealand troops to Iraq makes New Zealand safer from homicidal homophobes?"

I imagine Gerry walking the streets of Wellington shouting at beggars for hours after this.  

Monday, June 20, 2016

Like a spine made of cornflakes

Continuing further into the exploration of the badly set jelly we call NZ society we come to the subject of infrastructure. I know, right, you had better grab a hot chocolate, with extra marshmallows and sit in the comfy chair.
One of the things that is pretty central to New Zild are rivers, all over the bleedin' place like they own it. Sluggishly galumping in the general direction of the ocean as the combined nutrient loads of the boom in dairying and century old sewerage systems ameliorate the wateriness of the water contained in them.
Of course Kiwis with their natural ingenuity and whatnot have found ways around these socialistic impediments to progress or even *dramatic piano chords in a manner reminiscent of Beethoven but not so much a copy as to have people saying "Oh, they've just nicked some Bate-whoven"* OVER the rivers!!
We call these bridges and they are much loved, until they fall down because bleedin' water scours away the supports and whatever magic holds them up. We love bridges so much we even have them over non-watery bits of the country because we are flexible like that. Our Minister for roads and bridges and whatever is even called Simon Bridges!! And he is a goat with floppy hair.

(Artist impression of Simon Bridges)

But now comes news that the steel used in four bridges on the Waikato expressway may be as structurally sound as Cornflakes. Interestingly enough, the expressway is to facilitate people driving into Auckland to not find a carpark and return in frustration and chagrin to Hamilton and prepare for another try the next day. The modern life we live!!
"But" you might ask in an entirely too sensible and non road company economics understanding, way, "surely this steel would have been tested?" Which shows how out-of-touch and old fashioned your ideas are because we don't do that asking and finding out stuff when we are the forefront of providing roads for Hamiltonians to get pissed off in Auckland. The Chinese steel companies that flogged   sold the steel to us in an completely up front and honest way, also had forms saying that This Steel is Actually Very Good, Actually"
 So what was the jolly old problem? Well it seems that the tests that were carried out were not so much as Internationally certified as they were A Bloke Ticked A Box Onna Form. This has alarmed the general citizenry not a jot because Mr Bridges has reassured us that:
 1) The bridges have not fallen down yet
 2)  The lack of testing happened in China not New Zealand
 3) It probably won't happen again.
 4) Has anyone got a box he could stand on?
Which is about par for the course for this spectator government. Standing around idly kicking the ground with their hands in their pockets, opening supermarkets, signing babies and kissing books.
While the Prime Minister seeks advice from his gut.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Engine Housing may become overheated.

"Oh" people might say "where is that Another Kiwi, with his wild stories of cheese theft?"
You may have read a comment by me on this very blog about not caring what happens to NZ now, "meant it, stand by it" (Scott Heron 1983). But, when the ape-like mutations who inherit this smoking crater of mine tailings are searching through the rubble maybe they will wonder "How did we get here, this is not my beautiful car" and then "Phwoar he's gotta big wanger, we should make him our leader." Then they will need more white middle class male rambling, there is always room for more.
We have had some major revelations in New Zild political circles. The first, and some might say, most alarming is that there are poor people in this sceptred isle. That's right! Actual poor folks, doing actual poverty and not living in leafy suburbs. This appears to have caught the politicals off guard and some sand has crept into the well-oiled spin gears.
Among reports of people living in cars and having a generally miserable time in Auckland, the Minister of Social Development  dispatched a "flying squad" of crack (with an 'r') bureaucrats to go around the cars offering help to people in cars. This was in conjunction with the Salvation army who do this week in, week out.
Except, of course, it didn't happen. The Sallies said that no one had come around with them and they don't go an knock on car windows, anyway.
The Prime Minister had, in an event that can only be described as a sad and feeble attempt at arse covering tragic misunderstanding, proclaimed loudly about how the people in the 8 cars knocked-up, as they say in the Social Work game, told the brave flying squad people they didn't want help. Imagine his disappointment when it turned out to be an imaginary load of monkey poo. Still, eh, Kiwis would like to have a beer with him, you betcha.
All of this occurred against the backdrop of a crisis, "What crisis?" in housing. People who may or may not be white, middle class New Zilders, are finding it difficult, if not actually hard, to find that Mi Casa we were all brought up to believe was your actual Nirvana. Without the drugs and shotgun suicide, although, maybe not.  This has occasioned some smart thinking from the aforementioned Minister of Soc. Del. who said "Give the poors $5K each to get out of Auckland".
This cheerful bribery to make Auckland housing numbers look better has only been over-shadowed by the frozen grin of terror on the face of the Minister for Finances as he heard the news for the first time and visions of empty biscuit tins in the tea-room fluttered across his mind. Apparently the MSD said that it was money just lying around and wasn't going to come out of her budget so stop hassling her, man.
The third prong in the multi-pronged attack on the NOT AN ACTUAL crisis has been the housing Minister Nick Smith who is an amiable prong of a chap, the sort that gets paraded around at family Christmas reunions as a warning about the dangers of too many concussions in rugby matches. Smith has taken to driving around the countryside  having press conferences in random fields which he claims the Government owns and has "lined up for housing". Predictably, he has gone to the wrong paddock on two occasions and the "lined up for housing" has turned out to be Kevin from Accounts saying that he thought that his grandparents lived near here.
I am beginning to have doubts about the competence of this government and wonder if it shrank itself down to a small enough size for a drowning 1) could it find the bathroom and 2)would it remember to put the plug in?  Possibly it would be living in a car telling MSD people to fuck off.
"But" you are saying "surely the tumbrels are rolling and the scaffolds are being constructed of properly tested materials to throw down these incompetent charlatans?" That would be where you are wrong as most Kiwis think that a charlatan is a type of French dessert in a funny shaped glass which their aunt used to like. On the contrary the PM is more popular than alcoholic chocolate drinks and the newspapers, talkback radio and comments sections of lesser quality blogs than this one are full of people castigating the poor because reasons that everyone knows.
And so it continues...

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Paul's Doric and Ionic columns were widely syndicated in early Christian-Era newspapers, but he bought and destroyed most copies after the commercial success of 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians, and now they are only available as bootlegs

Emperor's New Toupée
Donald Trump is open to new ideas on the staging of his acceptance of the Republican Party Presidential nomination at the coming Republican convention, like keeping party members and politicians off the stage, on account of their lingering loser-smell.
We’re going to do it a little different, if it’s O.K. I’m thinking about getting some of the great sports people who like me a lot. We may call it 'The Winners' evening.
The important thing is to avoid columns. For it was the presence of a styrofoam colonnade at the Democratic convention in 2008 that tipped off right-wing common taters to B. H. Obama's hitherto-unsuspected narcissism, hubristic imperialism, and indeed Satanism.
Those same critics are on the qui vive and would undoubtedly condemn any trace of vulgarity or pomposity or overweening ambition in the Trump nomination.

Fortunately here is Riddled to offer tasteful suggestions on DOIN IT RITE.

I myself have nothing against colonnades. What else is one to make when life gives one colons?