Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Normal service has been resumed

Ah, that's better. Normal service has been resumed.

Page 2 of the Herald has half devoted to trees and half to Rudman. The trees bit is up to standard being a classic much ado about nothing. Two arborial specimens have been absent for a whole year (God, how did we survive) and are now to be replaced by a 'developer' (evil toads those developers) at his own cost (north of $6000 as I recall) but the argument is whether they should have been removed in the first place. If all this wasn't so tragic it would be funny. Auckland is the most infrastructure deficient city in the civilised world and we worry about this cobblers?

Speaking of infrastructure Rudman tries to get upto flying speed over Telecom's laughbale apology for a broadband service but doesn't quite get to take off velocity. I will make a renewed effort not to read him this year as he makes me ill.

Further evidence that the 'silly season' is over and the real silliness can begin is provided by a couple of poilitical speeches and the PM saying something about Philip Field. It is 'unlikely' that he will stand for Parliament again. Great command of the bleeding obvious right there. I am caught in two minds as to when I want this waste of space's head on a plate. Part of me says now (or preferably last year) as his continuing presence propping up this Government and drawing a salary for no work is totally abhorrant and part of me says let him hang on as long as possible. This will then ensure that his eventual demise is as close to the next election as possible and will, therefore, inflict maximum damage on Labour in the polls. I suspect we will get the worst of both worlds. He will continue to take my money for a while yet and then will come a gutser too far out from the polls to cause maximum disruption.

Timing is everything. A lot of the criticism of John Key's less than blood curdling effort yesterday is that it lacks concrete policy. Indeed it does and that would be on purpose I would say. Far too early for that sort of thing. Put out policy now and it has far too long to to go tits up or, more importantly, people will become bored with it.

Winston is a Dagge isn't he? He was speaking as Foreign Minister and not as leader of NZ First. I want to be able to do this. 'I am speaking as the Pope and not as Mickey Mouse today' or 'Tonight, Matthew, I will be Atilla the Hun'. The possibliites are endless and would give a whole new meaning to life. Anyway Winnie gives a speech that must have had his head of Government cringeing over her feta. How does he get away with it? He stands up in Orewa and chastises those who would run down the Evil Empire whilst the headmistress has to try and put a brave face on things and say 'I only gave the speech a cursory glance' whilst all the time sticking pins in her George W doll.

Yes, the asylum has reopened for business and the loonies are in charge.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Father Foster

There has to be something worth reading in the Herald soon - surely there must. Winston telling Bananarama what to do in Orewa this arvo? John Key trying to hide his millions in Christchurch at about the same time? We'll see tomorrow.

Meanwhile Granny Herald is still full of padding and syndicated articles from overseas. Most interesting today is a piece about the decline of latin. It would appear that even in the Vatican, the Latinmeister (who, rather oddly, is American by the name of Father Foster) admits the language is on its last legs. He is making valient efforts to keep the language I hated at school but now find enormously useful going by putting instructions on Vatican ATMs in latin. Sounds a good bloke does Father Foster. He's had requests to translate the congratulatory messages he sends out to Bishops from latin into native tongue. Such requests have met with a polite 'Of course not'. The good Father is in a bit of strife though as he has lost his position in the Gregorian Seminary for teaching the language to students for no money. The world really is an odd place - thank goodness

Thursday, January 25, 2007

News of the Screws

Hell, this is a tedious brief to try and fill at the moment as there is absolutely nothing to write about. The custody row within a severely dysfunctional family being played out in the public gaze has no place in the newspapers and I refuse to even read about it - it's none of my, or your, business. I can't find the CYFS blogsite (not that I have looked that hard) and that leaves us with nothing. The Herald is still publishing pictures of people growing malanomas on the beach for goodness sake.

So, out of desperation, I followed Mr RH's link to the News of the World. I was born and lived the first twenty two years of my life in the UK and I should have known better. I should have been prepared for the afront to the senses that awaited me after that fateful click of the button. But no, I blithely went ahead and did it and the News of the Screws is even worse than I remember. It is dreadful in biblical proportions. I had to close the page after reading about fifteen words to save my monitor from irrevocable damage. Don't go there. Take it from RockHopper and myself: Matthew Ridge is a git - but I have known that for years.

Monday, January 22, 2007

International silliness

The United Kingdom provides the only amusement this morning.

I have never watched 'Big Brother', am never likely to and don't really understand what it is about. It sounds awful. But that not withstanding, I would have to have been living in a news vacuum over the past week not to have some inkling of the furore that has been caused (and the nasty under currents revealed) in Britain by the Shilpa Shetty business. Apparently the originator of the racial slurs has been 'voted out of the house'. Again, I'm not sure what this is but it sounds the product of the sort of mentality that made ducking stools and the stocks jolly popular. Anyway the evictee goes under the name of Jade Goody and there is a precis of her life to date in the Herald this morning.

If we (I) think New Zealand is in trouble Ms Goody is ample evidence that we ain't seen nothing yet. She is twenty five years old, fat, ugly and, more importantly, spectacularly thick. She is the daughter of a one armed lesbian from Bermondsey and a Jamaican who died in prison of a heroin overdose (I'm not making this up) and was allowed (encouraged?) by her tripod mother to roll joints at the age of five. She lives in Ongar making her an Essex girl - it somehow wouldn't be right if she wasn't. Her grasp of general knowledge is illustrated by her asking whether Saddam Hussein was a boxer (BA could put her right on that one) and whether a ferret was a bird. She used to be a dental nurse - I'll tell my daughter to be extra vigilent. Somehow all this has been manipulated by someone (I don't get the impression she could have managed it by herself) into making her a 'celebrity' with an estimated income over the past five years of between ten and twenty million dollars. Were you paying attention? Between ten and twenty million. I am gobsmacked. A society has to be in a really bad way to provide the environment for such nonsense.

While we are on the subject of thick people there is a side bar on a climate change piece about Prince Charles. What would he have made of his life if he hadn't be born into a bottomless pit of money? Old Air Brakes has cancelled his annual skiing trip so as to cut down the amount of airtravel he indulges in and thus reduce his carbon foot print. This is the latest nonsense jargon being peddled by those who howl at the moon and is becoming, like a lot of their crap, an 'accepted' phrase. What a load of bollocks. Carbon footprint my arse. The piece next to it is a preview of the latest IPCC report due out in a couple of weeks. I gave up half way through this piece of same old, same old and turned the pages back to gaze in wonderment at Jade Goody.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Speak proper like what I do

The only thing worthy of attention in the Herald this morning is on A2. The rest of the paper is still in R'n'R mode with kids still jumping off wharves and fluffy pets in shopping bags. I don't know what is worse this rubbish or the usual rubbish. I suspect that when the Beehive gets back in session I'll be pining for pictures of yorkshire terriers licking icecreams. Goes to illustrate what a basically un-newsworthy place this really is.

For those of you (are you listening #2 daughter?) who think that TXT SPK is an acceptable way of written communication in the real world there is a great story from Whangarei. Due to sloppy writing of by laws on the grammatical front owners of seventy year old cars as opposed to seventy year old owners of cars can apply for free parking permits. Marvellous. And to make it even better a bloke who owns a 1936 Morris has gone ahead and got one. There should be more of this sort of stuff. Over regulate my life if you must but at least do it with proper regard for the English language. I am as much in favour of grammatical correctness as I am opposed to most of what 'political correctness' stands for.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Ministerial cars

The Herald is not really back up to flying speed yet but the portents for the coming year are not good. Looks like we are in for more of the same; apalling journalisitic style and meaningless subject matter.

There is a piece this morning about MPs cars written by a young (I'm guessing here) reporter of the female persuasion who appears to have green stars in her eyes. We learn that the Climate Change Minister - now there's a concept to challenge logic for starters. 'A new sunspot has been bought into being after it was tabled under urgency in the New Zealand parliament last night' - Yeah right. Anyway, the Climate Change minister is reported as saying he is 'ashamed' to own a V6 motor to tow his caravan. Really? Confessing to owning a caravan is a bit suspect, but 'ashamed' of owning a middle of the road (pardon the pun) car? He then tells the cub reporter that he 'admires' hybrid cars. If you go to (and I suggest you do so on a regular basis - its like cleaning your teeth, a bit of preventive maintenance on the language front) it tells us: admire –verb (used with object) - to regard with wonder, pleasure, or approval. Hardly the word I would use when referring to a particularly unpleasant, gutless apology for an automobile. John Key is then 'shamed' into saying he's thinking of selling his big Merc (I really, really believe this) but probably wouldn't buy a hybrid because it could be regarded as a political stunt. More like 'I might sell the Merc but won't buy a hybrid because they are a heap of junk and I've got a shedful of cash so I'm in the market for a DB9'. I almost couldn't bear to read the interview with she of the need for tooth whitening and Botox. Ms Fitzsimmons has just bought a car with a sewing machine for an engine and is delighted that she can better the manufacturer's fuel efficiency numbers 'because of the way I drive'.

Spare us all this bollocks. The Herald must think we are stupid publishing this effluent. Why do it? I only read it to take the piss out of it. What is everybody else's excuse? Does anyone think that reading this tripe is going to a)influence what car they buy or b)alter the way they drive their chosen motor vehicle? In fact I may have just hoisted myself on my own petard as driving to the fields just now I switched the dashboard display to 'Fuel Consumption' and gunned the motor coming up Shakespeare Road (purely in the interests of research you understand). The beautiful whine of the supercharger filled my ears as I got the familiar kick in the arse from a four litre V8 and in the couple of seconds (and it would have been no more) that it took me to get just a teensy weensy bit above the lobotomised speed limit I managed 53.4 litres/100km. Marvellous.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Welcome 2007- money back, please

Well it has all come to a crashing halt sooner rather than later. Enough of pictures of pussy cats in shopping bags and let's get stuck in.

How I hate the three Ps - Process, Policy and due Procedure. If anything is done according to 'policy' it is OK no matter how stupid is the outcome. Conversely if an outcome is great but the 'process' hasn't been followed it won't do. These three Horsemen of the Dumb impinge upon my life on a daily basis. The extremes are those stupid instructions on how to make a cup of tea according to 'company policy' so that if you get scalded by the steam the company doesn't get sued - that sort of thing. I hate 'policy' with a passion at it strives to stop me thinking, making decisions about my own actions and being responsible for those actions. I will decide what I want to do and will then do it. If I stuff up (as frequently happens) it is my fault and I will not hide behind some bloody process.

What brings on this first nasal dislocation of the year? I was reading Garth George with a Marmite soldier in my hand as he was writing about deluded people. John Bracewell and Peter Dunne were on his list as were the Parole people over this Burton business. As I was digesting all this I heard on the wireless that there was to be an interview with a parole type person who was to justify their conduct over the whole sorry affair 'cos they done no wrong. This should be worth listening to and indeed it was if only to induce great waves of nausea and to put me in danger of running over pedestrians. I will stick to Hauraki on the short drive to work.

The interview was even worse than I had feared. The spokesman was a woman of the female persuasion who hailed from Blighty according to the timbre of her voice. She was an absolute pass master of bureaucratic nonsense speak and had a policy fig leaf that covered not only her naughty bits but those of the rest of her street. 'Had the offender breached parole provisions prior to December 5th?' 'I do not have information to hand concerning specific details of Mr Burton's case prior to December 5th but preliminary enquiries conducted by an interim board appointed to pursue this investigation indicate that the incident was handled in accordance with agreed policy and process'. The real answer, of course, is either 'Yes' or 'No'. And so it went on. 'How many people on parole offend?' 'I don't have those figures to hand but a majority do not offend' Note the cunning use of not answering the question. I was waiting for the interviewer to stop messing about and really put it on her. 'Your Deaprtment is a pack of wallies who couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery and when you stuff up royally like you have on this occasion you hide behind policy and no one in your worthless buraeucratic bunker will suffer any adverse consequence in their pay packet or career path' 'Policy dictates that a committee will be set up to fully and thoroughly investigate that proposition and the results will be tabled..........................'

Welcome 2007, I think I'd like my money back.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A country on holiday

It really is quite a comment on the state of this country that when the people who muck up the normal running of our lives are away what passes as 'news' dries up. Nothing has happened worthy of comment for weeks. The Herald has been full of reviews of barbequeing techniques from around the world, pictures of kids jumping off wharves in the Hokianga, silly stories about domestic animals etc.

Sure a few things have happened overseas but they don't really affect us even though we like to think we are part of the world. The Herald over the last few weeks has reflected the way that things should be here. Nice and sleepy with nothing much to bother us. OK, a bloke got shot at the weekend, all very sad and should never have happened but did 'cos government interfered with the Prisons Department but that got the sort of reaction I like from the Duty Minister or whatver Ruth Dyson calls herself when she is the government. 'We must look into this and make sure the processes are robust. Now please go away because I have a dozen Heinekens chilling off nicely in the fridge'.

I like this style of government. Trot out 'Meaningless statement No 1, Holiday Period for the use of' and do nothing. This is the way life should be organised. It won't last unfortunately as all the irritating ratbags will back form their hols soon.