Saturday, December 10, 2011

This man is a Jack Vance villain. Your argument is nuncupatory.

Scholars are still arguing over which of Vance's arch-villainous Demon Princes served as the role model for Peter Dunne (above, left). Dunne is known as a politician of principle... the principle being that any coalition government cobbled together after an election should include him as a member. To further this noble cause he renounced his original membership of the Labour Party back when it was performing poorly in polls, and has founded or fused with a bewildering sequence of ostensibly centrist parties, so far including the Future NZ Party, United NZ, a different Future NZ Party, Outdoor Recreation NZ, and United Future NZ party. The common features here are (a) the presence of NZ in the name because target voters need reminding which country they're in; and (b) the reduction of each party's representation to a single MP, as Dunne sucks the members' money and enthusiasm until it is time to move to a new host.
It is usually bad form and looksist to criticise people on the basis of their appearance but when someone's preferred hair style is roadkill marmot fur stuck to the scalp then it becomes a matter of personal choice and is therefore fair game. Anyway, the result of the last election -- in which Dunne's party dropped to 0.6% of the vote -- is that he has become Associate Conservation Minister in addition to his existing ministerial warrants, as a lesson to novice Members of Parliament in the rewards of loyalty.

Now for many years the Department of Conservation has been using sodium monofluoroacetate poison (1080) against possums and mustelids in what remains of the native forest. The Sarkoy Master Venefice who was consulted for this policy advised that 1080 is better-suited to the purpose than mervan, twitus, furux, tox meratis or even cluthe.* The Harkennon Master of Assassins concurred, as did a trio of sinister cloak-wrapped alligators.

But the vermin killed by each distribution of 1080 in National Parks include feral deer and goats and pigs -- a recreational resource for hunters. More crucially, they are a financial source for people who guide and organise hunting trips for overseas tourists, and 1080 is seen as a threat. So there is a campaign to have it stopped. The campaigners present themselves as purely concerned for the interests of native birds, a subject on which they are better-informed than those effete office-bound scientists. Focus groups found that their original argument -- that New Zealand would be a better place if every kiwi were ground into patties and used to fatten deer -- failed to resonate with the public.

Hunting trophy #1

Hunting trophy #2
Now it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a lobby group in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a politician with flexible morals. In this case the politician is Dunne, who has been figureheading the anti-1080 campaign for yonks, and his ascension to the Conservation Department portfolio has raised eyebrows. My old mate Paul Callaghan was on the radio the other day, pointing out that the only animals Dunne seems to care about conserving are stoats and weasels.

Of course his motivation need not be financial. It may simply be a matter of professional courtesy.
* Cluthe "acts within seconds to paralyze and minutes to kill by means of muscle contractions (including contractile paralysis of the respiratory muscles)".

Left: Victim of cluthe poisoning resorts to self-administered cardiac massage to maintain circulation until medical assistance arrives


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

We used to play cluthe on family vacation when it rained.

ckc (not kc) said...

...I'd like to see this hair in a match against Trump's, perhaps "taped and dipped into glue and in broken and crushed glass"

...little known fact - it is not difficult to get a nun to cup a tory.

Substance McGravitas said...

The weasels are coming from INSIDE THE HAIR.

alison said...

hahahaha - loved the snide crack about Dunne & weasels; still sniggering.
And thank you for linking to my humble blog, kind sir. I have reciprocated the honour in my latest (for which this fine establishment should take some credit too).

Rachel said...

the last picture...

Is it Santa? And is that Mrs. Santa just cluthed or a quaint teutonic lion?