Thursday, June 28, 2007

iNo little green men n sight

The world is grinding to a halt. Even Garth George lets me down today. He spends his entire column saying absolutely nothing. There is absolutely nothing going on.
I would love to give the government a lambasting over this tightening of media laws surrounding the reporting of parliament. However it would appear to be supported by all factions of the house and so the whole lot of them deserve a good smacking. Totalitarian regimes of all flavours put in place measures to clamp down on criticism of themselves very early in the piece. Political satire has been a healthy part of a vibrant democracy since the days of the Empire being run by the Whigs (and probably long before that). Stopping it is stupid and dangerous. The obvious point that if MPs want to be shown up in a better light they should behave better is just that - obvious. If you don't want to be seen knitting, sleeping, telling people to indulge in sex and travel or giving the finger whilst working then don't do it. If you do and it is then demonstrated to your paymasters that this is the way you behave at work then fair enough. If I was seen to be knitting at work I think it would quite rightly be seen in a very dim light.
I'm still scanning the horizon for little green men.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

No clout beyond Mt Albert

Calm before the storm? The country has finally fallen off the planet? I don't know but there really is a dearth of anything going on at the moment.
The headmistress is jumping to the defence of Maori (in general) over those Frogs who have called their security company Maori. They have signalled their intent to exploit (her words and not mine) the indigenous people of Aoteoroa (which they are not of course) by coupling the name 'Maori' with what looks like a Zulu shield. Madam gets into full hadwringing mode and regrets that international law as it now stands means she can do nothing. Implications here are that she wishes the law was different so she could garner more votes from a sector of the electorate where here impact has markedly waned recently. It also infers that she thinks it is wrong that she is unable to exert her will over anything she fancies in the real world outside the 200 mile EEZ. She is used to doing as she pleases with anyone under her power. Odious, odious woman. I have started channel surfing when her face besmirches the news. This is wrong - I had to watch thirty seconds of E! last night. I say good on the Frogs. They chose the name because it reminded them of rugby and I believe them. Perhaps 'tight head' or 'second five' might have been better but no matter. I'm looking for the French grog wholesaler called Abo.
Granny's Editorial is also struggling to find current material on which to comment as it is giving an opinion on Bradfords votes for kindy kids idea - this about five days late. Nothing here that hasn't already been said but worth reading for a quote from a reader's letter. She (I think it was a she) points out that Bradford (amongst many other MPs) should have it pointed out to her that a Member of Parliament's function is take the views of her electorate to the house and fight the corner for those views. An MP's function is not to push their own political agenda. We will gloss over the fact that Bradford doesn't have an electorate as she is list MP. It would do her, and us, no harm for her to remember this basic tenet of parliamentary democracy.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sue Bradford and Tony Hancock?

What an apposite post yesterday giving the odious Bradford a mention. She crops up again and I must say has a knack of a) keeping her hideous face in the news and b) getting up my, and I suspect the vast majority of the country's, nose. Her latest outrage exhibits several traits. She couldn't think her way out of a paper bag and being thus intellectually challenged she cannot string two ideas (however nuts they may be) together to make a coherent policy. Last week she would not trust a sixteen year old to make the choice between a mince and cheese number and a tofu salad and this week she wants them to choose who will run the country.
She is of the opinion that sixteen year olds are as well informed about national politics as their seniors. A section of her desired new electorate interviewed on the News last night would seem to suggest otherwise. Two could not name the Deputy Prime Minister (I'll admit I can see the point of not burdening the brain with such useless information) and the third said through a simian grin 'Sweet. I'll vote Green so they will legalise weed'. The last monkey is the sort of constituency that Bradford knows she will appeal to for the reasons put forward. There are lots of them and she knows that. There won't be many sixteen year olds voting for sensible fiscal poilicy, strengthening the defence force and exploring new trade opportunities in Asia when the looney left is offering the keys to the short sighted toy cupboard.
Bradford and her ilk are a real threat to the continuation of New Zealand as a proper country. Conversely, perhaps, she should be encouraged to espouse even more of her ever more looney ideas as this will convince those who are blind by dint of not wanting to see that she has to be stopped. The only way to get rid of her and her kind is through the ballot box although even that is now harder than it should be courtesy of MMP.
Can you imagine New Zealand embarking on anything even resembling the no grog, no pornography laws being rushed through Parliament across the ditch? This would for starters appear to be proper use of Parliamentary urgency. It would also appear to be a pragamtic solution to a great problem and bugger the civil liberty side of things. Good stuff. There are many problems in this country that deserve beating with the same stick (pun intended) but it will never happen.
I'm going to start a collection of these. Victim photographs. They are a much undervalued artform. I've mentioned them before and I love'em. The subjects are classically people who have been bumped off hospital waiting lists. A cancelled 'cancer operation' is a sure fire free sitting in the photograspher's studio. Evictees from state houses get a consessionary rate as do relatives of victims of hit and run drivers. We had the aforementioned Bradford appearing in a photographic study from the early 21st century Victim Period yesterday. Another classic of the genre is featured today with a little gem of the gun collector who had all his weaponry confiscated. The connoiseur will notice the sutble introduction of a walking stick into the composition to gently emphasis the underpriviliged position this gent has in society. I'm going to ring up AUT this morning to see if I can enroll in a (state subsidised) Victim Genre Photography course.
This from the wireless and not the Herald. I was never a fan of the Goon Show - probably about five years too young - but was, and still am, much amused by the denizen of East Cheam, Tony Hancock. Fifity years ago the British Egg Marketing Board came up with a campaign that was fronted by Anthony Aloyisious Hancock with the catch phrase 'Go to Work on an Egg'. I remember it well in all it's black and white glory viewed on a 12 inch screen housed in a TV set the size of a large fridge. There were a series of ads as I recall all featuring short snappy monolgues from Mr Hancock. (Incidentally the copy for the ads was penned by Fay Weldon - I never knew that). The current egg marketing people wanted to re-run the ads as a fifty year (fifity years, remember) celebration of a landmark campaign. The ads have been turned down by the current Advertising Standards Authority because 'Go to Work on an Egg' does not promote a balanced diet. Barking.
I have never liked eggs and don't eat them. I do not blame Tony Hancock for this. Perhaps I should and I could then retire on the proceeds of my settlement with the British Egg Marketing Board.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

HIstory lesson

That I am strugglng to get the juices flowing with the curent crop of news should be obvious to all. I find it hard to get inspiration from pretty much anything that is getting into the Herald at the moment. It is all so repetitive. Anthroprogenic global warming - yawn. The Auckland City Vision council backing down on wastewater charges in council election year - what a surprise. Philip Field - he can wait until he gets a bit closer to the fire. Economic incompetence from the history graduate who has his hands on our purse strings. Whilst this is not news it does lead into two marginally more interesting topics.
History. Good stuff is history and one of its appeals to me is that in its purest from it is just bland fact and there should be nothing you can do to it. It is never that simple of course. Just ask any Japanese school kid what Nanking was famous for and you will probably be told noodles. It would appear that there is a move afoot to radically change the way history is taught in the Peoples Republic of Aoteoroa. The community is to have an input into what is in the local school's history curriculum. Now pick yourself off the floor - unless my eyes were decieving me this is what it said. There are worries from some quarters that this could lead to a distortion (surely not) and that, for instance, a local area could choose not teach not teach the Treaty in its classes. My worry would be that they would choose to teach nothing but the Treaty. This aside the whole idea is just nuts. How would it be assessed? External assessment would become impossible. We would then fall back on totally internal assessment and it would not be long before Titirangi would be known only for its noodles. The education system is suffering enough under the strain of a poorly implemented NCEA system without this crap.
The history graduate of greatest prominence in the land currently (mis)manages the country's finances. To pretend that he has no influence over Bollard is surely just that, a pretence. He sits idly by and watches our Alan piss in the wind? I don't think so. Bollard is taking a knife to the gunfight of international currency dealing. The, for example, Japanese currency dealers could see off his paltry war chest in under a week and he knows this. Why does he continue farting around then? I would imagine Bollard is not stupid and you don't become Governor of the Reserve Bank without being at least moderately good at hard sums. I can only imagine that he is being strongly advised by someone who thinks the only thing ever to have happened in Nanking was noodle manufacture. One definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result from your actions. Cullen is insane.
As are the rest of his mates. Thursday is Garth George day and it would appear my mate is as bereft of ideas as I am. He spends his entire column cataloguing how the country has gone downhill since 1999 when Helen and her cadres installed themselves in our lives. The list of deterioration is almost endless. He quite rightly points out that their only solution to our woes is more of the policies that have got us where we are now. Insanity by the definition outlined above.
Just to really depress one there are two pieces featuring Sue Bradford - complete with a picture of her wearing her 'victim' visage for God's sake. If you want confirmation of the harm that is being done to the country by those who currently hold sway in the Beehive you need look no further than Ms Bradford.
I was in a reasonable mood ten minutes ago - I think I'll go and cast myself off the Harbour Bridge.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Stirton's Thunder Bird

I tried, I promise you I did, but I must be thick because I got nowhere. The first page and a half of the Herald this morning are taken over by the latest in the never ending Treaty saga. A ’news’ bit and then Rudman who I foolishly read despite previous oaths on a stack of bibles that I would desist. The only bit of this I understand is why this Treaty business is a never ending saga. I’m even confused as to who is who and has jurisdiction over what. It is almost Abbot and Costelloesque in its serpiginous intricacy. ‘Who’s on first’ etc. This will never end and I suspect the people (lawyers) who are making the sort of decision that came out yesterday don’t want it to – they have families to feed. The settlement of a claim over some of Auckland’s cones with one iwi would be ‘unsafe’ (bloody OSH to blame again – is Mount Eden going to fall on a passer by?) because it does not take into account other iwis. That I sort of get my head around. Now it get’s complicated. Claims can only take into account matters pertaining to events after 1840 when the Treaty was signed. It is accepted that the iwi (Ngati Orakei I think) being turned down were the dominant players in the area concerned after that date. But the doges then say that history did not start in 1840 (you can see why lawyers get paid so much if they can think of that all by themselves) and so other claims must be taken into consideration. Too hard for me.

Then Rudman wades in. Typical of hand wringing pakeha when talking of affairs Maori he starts dropping Te Rao into his prose. This puts me off to start with. If you ring my place of employment and the phones are busy you get a thick Solihull accent whining ‘Kiaora and welcome to…..’ at you down the blower. I have lost count of the number of handsets I have deposited diced carrots over in the past ten years. Rudman bleats on about submissions to have maunga listed as World Heritage sites, mana and other things I suspect he understands about as well as I do – i.e. not at all. I give up and I suppose I shall just have to write off a few squillion dollars per annum of my tax take as fuel for the bottomless pit that is the Treaty Industry.

A couple of nutters make the rag this morning - Field Marshall/Air Commodore/Admiral Bananarama and Gordon Copeland. That the military gent is barking is beyond argument and Copeland adds to that affliction a large dose of naivety. Our Gordon wants to be half pregnant. ‘I want to be regarded as the 49th National MP’. Fine. ‘But I will vote for the Government on matters of Supply’ Eh? If you so want to be in National’s tent go the whole hog and do your bit to bring the pack of ratbags that occupy the treasury benches down. You cannot be both fish and fowl.

Which brings us nicely to the best bit of the paper this morning. Prehistoric birds. They have found in a valley in China the fossils of bits of the largest bird ever to wander the planet - there is a valley somewhere in China that contains anything you would care to find. I give you, ladies and gents, the Gigantoraptor. He was eight meters long and weighed fourteen hundred kilos. Or, to put it in language that is easier to understand, was a Tegel’s Size 2658. The artist’s impression of him is a bit disappointing I'm afraid. He looks a bit like your standard flesh eating dinosaur to which they have attached a beak after pulling out his teeth. They have then, rather unconvincingly, stuck a few feathers on his arms. A sort of pantomime prehistoric bird if you ask me. Still, he looks fierce enough and perfectly capable of snacking on a couple of Moa without any trouble. However the real gem of the story is not the Gigantoraptor. Oh no. The real star is the bird he took over from as the World’s Largest Ever Bird. This avian heavyweight (well welterweight now, I suppose) is resplendent in the name of Stirton’s Thunder Bird. Now how good is that for a name? I want one. I will be straight down to the pet shop in Archers Road after work and will hail the Michael Palin look alike behind the counter ‘Miss. I wish to purchase a Stirton’s Thunder Bird’

I think I might be thirty five years late – it’s been done before.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

According to Prebble

I wonder how much Garth George gets paid for his column. I wonder this purely because I reckon I deserve at least 60% of his this week's fee. All he has done for his column today is couch my scribblings of yesterday in infinitley more elegant prose than I could manage. Told you I liked Garth.
Sharing a page with Mr George is a piece by Richard Prebble. Remember Mad Dog Prebble? Haven't heard from him for years and had assumed he was pruning roses somewhere. Now I was only in this country in the latter years of his career but he seems to have led a most interesting and different life. His article this morning is giving the Headmistress a serve (so why wouldn't you read it?) and he has chosen her role as head of a Government in charge of the SOEs as his ammunition. He had a wide range of ordnance to choose from, of course, starting with her being a constant affront to my sanity.
Prebble's writing style is very odd. He seems incapable of constructing a sentence with more than ten words in it. He also seems to be unable to resist blowing his own trumpet about once evey fifty words. We hear twice that he used to be Minister of SOEs (indeed the very first of that ilk) and once that he was very good at it - and there is an advert for his new book thrown in for good measure. The main thrust of his argument is though, I think, a reasonable one. The SOE companies are not answerable to their shareholders (for the simple reason that they don't have any) and therefore make corporate decisions that wold be totally unacceptable if they had an AGM to front up to. Especially if that bearded fruitcake who wears tin helemets to such gatherings was present. Prebble points out that when SOEs were first introduced to NZ (i.e. when he was in charge) they were performing better than their private counterparts. He put this down to the fact the boards were made up with people who were selected because they were good at running companies. They had track records of turning in a profit and that sort of jolly useful stuff.
Nowadays SOEs perform spectacularly worse than their private counterparts. Current SOEs have boards made up of people chosen for their race, gender or some other politically acceptable parameter. Apparently one prominent SOE has a retired Archbishop on the board - not even one who is still out Archbishoping. Why is this patently stupid thing done? I strongly suspect (and I think R. Prebble wants me to think this) it is because the Government can then brow beat the board into doing its (the Government's) bidding. This entails hooverinig as much into the consolidated fund in as short a period of time as possible and sod the social consequences. Prebble (Mad Dog Prebble) wryly ends his piece by trotting out the old adage that there are no bad dogs just bad owners.
Life is a bit dull on the news front at the moment. It is just same old, same old. Government incompetance (that ain't going to stop anytime soon - ask Damien O'Connor), native trees, Auckland's water and Bruce Hucker (I really can't be bothered with this - Hucker gets a lot more Press than his worthless life deserves as it is), the myth of man made global warming, and so it goes on. We need an invasion of little green men to liven things up a bit.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Government nominated Pie Day

I avoided wading into the pies in the tuckshops business yesterday because I had an uneasy feeling about it. The unease was caused by the fact that in its basic tenet it has a good idea - make people healthier. What can be wrong with that? I have thought about it and the main problem soon becomes obvious. The problem is not with the pies but with the bloody compulsion and do as you are told attitude of the government - again. Then the opinion page of The Herald cements home the unease - even the logic of the measures to support the healthy ideal are wrong.
There is a piece this morning by a Food Technology Lecturer (whatever the hell that is) who does us all a great service by pointing out (rather pedantically for the slower of us) the difference between food and diet. He makes the comparison with weather and climate - and not a bad comparison either. A single pie is as fine as a pottle of chips is as fine a bottle of Coke is as fine as an organic nutburger. The problem would be if you ate just pies and chips and Coke and nothing else. Presumably you wouldn't look so flash if you just ate nutburgers either - and you'd have considerably less fun in the process. For starters you would be surrounded by the sort of people who do eat nutburgers all the time and that in itself would be cruel and unnatural punishment. So the problem is not what the Tuck Shop sells but what the kids chose to buy from it. These choices could be made healtheir if the kids' parents (or in 30% of cases parent singular) told little Johnny that a bit of moderation in all things is a good idea. A pie as part of a balanced diet is OK.
But that is not our all controlling Government's way is it? Without asking us they decree that pies are to be banned. The best we can hope for is a pie 'four times a year' on Governmnet nominated Pie Day. Paradoxically this pie ban is a good thing because it is looking like another straw on the back of the camel of the nation. The Government tells us that we cannot smack our kids, that we cannot cut down trees on our own property, have to ask them permission to make any alterations to our own houses and then have them inspected to make sure we have done them to their satisfaction (oh, and you can now pay us for the privelege) and now they tell us what our kids are allowed to buy with our money.
I sense that, at last, the great unwashed have had enough of being told what to do. And told by who? Intellectual titans? A coterie of natural successors to Bertrand Russell? No we are being told what to do by a band of failed school teachers, career political activists, sociology lecturers and Keith Locke. Except for those terminally 'lifetime Labour' wallahs who would still vote for them if sticking your head in a gas oven was actually on the Labour manifesto I feel that come next September enough of the rest of the country will have the common sense to get rid of this pack of uselss pratts. Even those long term beneficiaries (two three generation types) who wouldn't bite the hand that feeds them shouldn't be too worried. Any new administration wouldn't dare stuff up their cosy lifestyle paid for by yours and my taxes. Well they wouldn't for a week or two.
Mr Food Technology Man also does us another favour in pointing out the myth surrounding 'natural' and 'additives'. You know the drill. If you can put 'all natural ingredients' on a food ingredient list one mouthful will have you looking like a supermodel, performing like an Olympic athlete and living to 124. By contrast should you eat anything that contains 'additives' or, God forbid, GE ingredients you will be covered in boils and pustules by teatime and should give up buying boxed sets of CDs. This is of course complete bollocks. Just because a thing is natural does not mean it is good for you. Hemlock is natural but I wouldn't suggest stirring that into your smoko cuppa. Cow turds are natural - fancy some spread on your toast? China lives on MSG (and little else I sometimes think) but you don't walk into the killing fields once you go North of Hong Kong. Do you really think Unilever put preservatives in their food with genocide in mind? Do those blokes wearing white coats who walk around green houses putting bits of frog DNA in tomatoes do it so that the denizens of Foxton all grow seven fingers? Of course they don't.
Those who howl at the moon and would have us eat everything produced as it was in the fifteenth century are just plain bonkers. We can do that if we still had the population of the fifteenth century to feed and were prepared to put up with standards of living (and a life span - I would have been in my box about ten years ago) comensurate with those times. We live in the twenty first century and have to adjust our lives accordingly. Farming and horticultural practices of today are vital or the world would starve. And who would starve first? The CEOs of Mighty River Power, Fonterra and Unilever? Would they buggery. The first to turn their toes up would be the poor and the 'victims' of the world. The very people who are running around telling us that the current way of the industrialised (read pragmatic) world is evil. Funny that.

Monday, June 11, 2007

New Green pages - yuck

Yes, RH, thank you for that information which by now (four days later) falls into the 'great command of the bleeding obvious' category. I, amongst others, accused mainstream politicians of grandstanding over this whole sorry affair but it would appear that our Brendan got in first and is showing the dog with a bone stamina at which his sort is very adept. There is a truckload about his latest tirades in the Herald this morning including the 'affront' or 'insult' or whatever to the twenty year old son at being interviewed in English. This despite his attending tertiary education which, I assume, is the Samoan Language Nuclear Physics and Business Administration course run by one of our so called Universities. Brendan even manages to remind us that he and his ilk are victims. Yawn. I and the rest of the real world stopped listening to this sort of bollocks decades ago. Brendan should go to the opinion page where he can drool over a picture of Michael Joseph Savage taken in 1938.
This image accompanies another Marxist diatribe lamenting that the current administation is too far right leaning in changing the basic tenet of 'Welfare' in the Peoples Republic of Aoteoroa. This piece is very well written in asmuch as it is not quite so bad to get you giving up on it after two sentences (more of this later). It only gets really nauseating after you are commited and might as well finish it off. Even the worst Sherlock Holmes story (and they are not all bloody wonderful) is well enough written to keep you going to the end. So it is with this piece written by two academics (what a surprise) about how the change from 'true welfare' to 'welfare in sheep's clothing' is being foisted upon us in the guise of a BIll to be passed in Parliament that very few have noticed or even heard of. (And by the way, how much of that goes on? A lot more than you or I dare imagine I would venture.) The day of the serious handout is over. People will actually have to do something to get money. The bottom of A11 is worth reading if only to wake you up as to how the truly deranged think.
Reading the Herald on Mondays just got a whole lot quicker as I refuse, I flatly refuse, to read the new regular feature. This is a double page 'Green Pages' spread somewhere near the front. Now this really is something that is so bad you have to give up after two words let alone two sentences - but there are two pages of it. They have mercifully tinted the paper green to warn that an assault to the senses and sensibilty are perilously close. The only bit I dared read was a link to a Government website where you can calculate your own personal carbon footprint. This below an image of a footprint in the sand. What have I done to deserve such cruel and unnatural punishment so early in the day, so early in the week? What sin have I committed to earn such an emetic at Marmite soldier time? Whatever it is I promise I won't do it again but please don't ruin my Mondays with this cobblers.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Work at breakfast time

Running late this morning as I had an emergency lure (an Andromeda as it happens) to make so my wife could get it into the Post first thing. I, therefore, had to enjoy my Marmite soldiers with a tube of cyanoacrylate as opposed to the Herald. I have not seen past the front page today so I did not have the opportunity to pursue something that has been worrying me for days.
Who is Brendan Sheehan? This very non Samoan Muliaga family spokesman has me worried. Who the hell is he? I hear on the wireless that he is now asking the Prime Minister to regulate the power industry and look into the SOE's profits. This is not your usual grieving family spokesman talk is it? Keep an eye on our Brendan, there is a lot more to him than a superficial glance would reveal. Who is Brendan Sheehan?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Warship? Give me a break

In case you hadn't noticed I dislike this current administration with a passion but they are sinking to new lows.
Their reaction to this power nonsense is typical of a left wing outfit that cannot exist without rules, rules, rules and the corresponding bureaucarcy to support them. We'll come onto the hypocrisy in a moment. The knee jerk to the events of the last week is to invent a whole raft of new rules surrounding cutting off power supplies. It will now be a power company's responsibilty to identify 'vulnerable' customers. They than have a whole swag of things they must do to stop these 'vulnerables' becoming 'victims'. The mention of these two overused words makes my flesh creep - they are right up there with 'respect' and 'process'. There are four categories of circumsatance that can put you in the vulnerable basket and then you have to be referred to the Misinstry of Social Development (how apt - Socially Developed into spineless pawns of the State) who will send officers around to do an 'assessment'. The Company is then obliged to point out what 'support agencies' are available to help you out of your financial hole. And so it goes on. Note the use of words like 'obliged', 'must' etc. Bloody government compulsion at every turn. With the mandatory (the compulsion on their side now) army of wallahs with clipboards to 'enforce' it all. The language is scary but the thinking behind it all is more so.
Labour is not in the South Auckland Samoan community's best books as a result of the ongoing Philip Field excesses and so The Headmistress is in full attack mode. She will be at the memorial service today - presumably with a flower in her hair or wearing a lavalava or whatever is culturally appropriate on such an occasion. If this is not political grandstanding of the first magnitude I don't know what is. When it comes to this sort of thing she is as shameless (or probably more so) than all of them. She is also shameless in slating the SOE on renaging on it's 'social responsibilty' as outlined in its operating manual. We saw no such worries during all the years she has been happily hoovering the same SOE's profits into the consolidated fund. Concerend for the welfare of her subjects when it suits her and happy to publically wave the policy manual at the company to prove so. I am surprised she can even lift the policy manual up to wave if it is anything like the manual I am supposed to read and comply with in my corner of the field.
This tome is beyond belief. It is written by coteries of people who I am sure would wear sensible shoes and eat feta. The manual would take you five minutes to walk round. No one ever reads it (I think it is them actually) because they would have retired before they finished. But should anything in the ploughing of a furrow go awry you can instantly be whacked around the whiskers with Section 3 Paragraph (b) Subparagraph (iiia). There are twenty five pages in our policy manual on how to perform a task that on average takes 45 seconds - and I am not jokiing.
Such is the world of those who would control by micro-management.
Just when the dark storm clouds of depression were gathering on my mood for the day things got worse when I glanced upon the cutaway graphics explaining the Navy's new vessel. This will be good, something to raise the spirits. A few minutes glancing on a big grey ship bristling with inventive ways to take your head off. Silly me this is new Zealand. The Navy's new vessel is not a warship at all; it is a RoRo. The HMNZS Canterbury has 'proudly' inherited it's predecessor's number 421 but has had to have it's designation changed from F421 (Frigate) to L421 (Landing Ship). It might just as well be designated P&O421. It would appear that this bloody government's emasculation of our defence force is virtually complete. Under the 'armaments' section it is stated that the Canterbury is 'not designed to be used in dangerous situations like opposed landings'. It is therefore armed with a water balloon catapult and some very large loud speakers through which to play old Fred Dagge CDs. This terrifying warship has 'diesel and electric motors that can propel it at nineteen knots'. How impressive is that? How awestruck with performance figures like that will the matelots on the Nimitz be as P&O421 disappears in it's wake handing out blankets to refugees. This new vessel is a disgrace to a defence force and should be stripped of its battleship grey paint and be reliveried in orange and lime green with a couple of painted dolphins frolicking along the waterline. It should then be given to the Ministry of Transport.