20 Nov 2009

Nosferatu Rises Yet Again.- The Twilight of New Zealand

The NACT vampire, Roger Douglas, has risen further from his grave carrying the instructions his assistant, Rodney Hide, will champion, as official Key lead policies, into the cabinet where the ministers are too busy rorting the taxpayer to scrutinise the sketched out legislation presented within the ACT written briefing papers. Given that Rodney's scenario, outlined at his ACT fundraiser breakfast in Christchurch is true (and judging from the Rape of Auckland legislation one doesn't doubt it) then we can see this NACT government presiding over the wholesale wreckage of the welfare state in order to satisfy the blood-lust of the corporate vampires forever circling the lobbies of this government.

Douglas' alternate budget,given prominence on the ACT website, will see,as reported in the national party's apologist organ, The Herald, the following:

A flat income tax rate, of one dollar in six, above a threshold of $31,200 with a higher tax-free threshold for those with dependents. (discredited when he proposed it during the 1980s - but revived here to capitalise on the NACT cabinet's memory losses.)

GST would rise to the same rate (16.66 per cent).

Company tax would be abolished, to be replaced by a flat asset tax of 0.8 per cent for all enterprises and for households with assets of more than $1 million. (who will be sucking whose blood? Another bite into the State's income rather than investment in the welfare of the country.)

Sir Roger's Budget would cut Government expenditure by more than a quarter within one year.

People would be expected to pay for their children's primary and secondary education directly; tax credits would be available for those whose tax cuts were insufficient to cover those costs directly.

They would also be expected to take out catastrophic health insurance and meet more minor health costs like GP visits, out of pocket. Accident, sickness and unemployment insurance would also be a matter of individual responsibility.

(So why not go the whole hog and remove all State support mechanisms and reintroduce voluntary charities and localised parish poor laws so the wealthy can feel good about themselves as they gaze over their estates?)

Trade barriers should be unilaterally removed and restrictions on the use of land, from zoning or the Resource Management Act, should be removed.

Labour markets should be further deregulated and immigration rules should be radically changed "allowing hard-working and entrepreneurial immigrants to freely enter New Zealand".

(Let's really, really screw the worker and reward the exploiter - and why would any hard-working, entrepreneurial individual want to come to a country whose policy is to exploit and screw them into the ground or is entrepreneurial code for "NACT only rewards those who know how to dine at the public trough and then claim justification (like "all my mates are doing it" Hide claimed )for the naked rort?"

14 Nov 2009

Is The Worm Turning??

Does Tracy Barnett's opinion piece in the NACT apologist paper herald the spring of disillusionment with the NACT Government of Engkeylish?

The tone of this article certainly indicates a dose of reality checking setting in - at least with one journalist.

The Biege Brigade - Key and his inaction

The scariest moment for any opinion columnist is when she discovers she doesn't have an opinion - and I just got there.

One year on from John Key taking office, and it feels as if New Zealand has entered the Age of Beige - and I can't think of anything more terrifying.

Our new Prime Minister is friendly. He genially pays for his wife's overseas airfares, his shirts are tidy, his comments evenly modulated.

When my American family asks if I like him, I reply, "he's fine", like someone's inquiring about how your school uniform fits. After that, I lose the plot. I can't tell you what he stands for or against. The depth of my analysis is that to his everlasting credit, he looks nothing like his dog-toy incarnation.

Admit it: John Key's most memorable moment in one year of office was seeing him on the stage of The David Letterman Show, smiling like somebody's brother-in-law you'd forgotten you went to school with.

When my colleague's column waxed rapturously of Key's first year, like our Olympian had just gotten a perfect 10 from a Russian judge, I was honestly befuddled.

I only know that my malaise is uncomfortable because it, too, is beige. Once in a while, my dander kicks in at his ministers' misguided priorities that seem to make stealth cuts to those least able to defend themselves - at-risk youth, the adult illiterate, disabled children, sexual abuse survivors.

In my newbie Kiwi way, this appeals most to my sense of fairness. But I'm waiting, waiting for this Prime Minister to fill in his paint-by-number canvas so I can see some kind of the bigger picture.

John Key's greatest asset, and deficit, is that he's managed not to show us much of his hand - and hence, where he's going.

It's as if we ordered a competent business manager for our Prime Minister, and forgot to ask for a leader, and no one seems to have minded much.

When John Key made Afghanistan his war - and it is indeed his war now - he quietly decided to re-deploy 71 SAS troops as though it was a business deal. I looked around for a reaction and found - nothing.

He's wagering his payoff will be some political capital with the new, sexier American president. Maybe joint military exercises or a softer approach to free trade.

As journalist Jon Stephenson put it so well, John Key is still a trader at heart. But my fear is that he is gambling with Kiwi lives. It seems we are content not to notice - until someone's son comes home in a box.

Face it, Afghanistan hasn't exactly been raging conversation at quiz night. There's a war on, and we're in it.

The perception, I suspect, for most people is that this is America's war, not ours. We've been graciously reassured by our new Prime Minister that our soldiers won't be put in dangerous positions, as if he can stage-manage roadside bombs.

I've written a few columns about it. But it is the silence that scares the hell out of me. It is as if I am back in America in 2003, when war was still far away from anyone's daily experience, and we were, to eerily quote Wayne Mapp upon his recent return from Afghanistan, "getting on with the job, so to speak" - in the same breath as much of Europe, and finally the American public, is questioning where this tragic fog of war is taking us.

John Key's stale, indefinable reassurance that Kiwis are "fighting terror" sounds like a punch line without the joke, eight years on.

The cost of war can't be measured by accruing political capital, as though it can be banked for a bigger prize. What we all seem to forget, with each successive generation, is that war is a moral choice with a huge price tag - a life exploded, a future dissolved.

Turn around, John Key, and show your colours. Define your administration as being an international leader, not a follower of American-pulled strings.

I don't know if I can stomach watching the mistakes of my former home being duplicated in my new one. If there is anything I feel I've earned the right to say, after watching two American wars unfold, and thousands of my countrymen die, it is to warn us all that there is nothing beige about the colour of Kiwi blood.

Lead us out of Afghanistan.

www.traceybarnett.co.nz

12 Nov 2009

The Free Enterprise dream - NACT agenda revealed



The cartoon in the NACT newspaper -The Herald - reveals the John Key dream - Free business enterprise and the stasi state of no individual liberties or civil rights.

6 Nov 2009

EDUCATION UNDER TOLLEY

How do these people survive?

ONE

Recently, when I went to McDonald's I saw on the menu that you could have an order of 6, 9 or 12 Chicken McNuggets.
I asked for a half dozen nuggets.
'We don't have half dozen nuggets,' said the teenager at the counter.
'You don't?' I replied.
'We only have six, nine, or twelve,' was the reply.
'So I can't order a half dozen nuggets, but I can order six?'
'That's right.'
So I shook my head and ordered six McNuggets


TWO

I was checking out at the local Countdown with just a few items and the lady behind me put her things on the belt close to mine. I picked up one of those 'dividers' that they keep by the cash register and placed it between our things so they wouldn't get mixed.
After the girl had scanned all of my items, she picked up the 'divider', looking it all over for the bar code so she could scan it.
Not finding the bar code, she said to me, 'Do you know how much this is?'
I said to her 'I've changed my mind; I don't think I'll buy that today.'
She said 'OK,' and I paid her for the things and left.
She had no clue to what had just happened.

THREE
A woman at work was seen putting a credit card into her floppy drive and pulling it out very quickly.
When I inquired as to what she was doing, she said she was shopping on the Internet and they kept asking for a credit card number, so she was using the ATM 'thingy.'

FOUR
Last month we hired a Typist who was none too swift. One day she was typing and turned to a secretary and said, 'I'm almost out of typing paper. What do I do?' 'Just use paper from the photocopier', the secretary told her. With that, the intern took her last remaining blank piece of paper, put it on the photocopier and proceeded to make five 'blank' copies.

FIVE
The NACT Education Minister was told she would be given a "helicopter overview"of tertiary education in N.Z. and wondered why she was given a set of briefing papers rather than a real helicopter ride over the city.

SIX
The same cabinet minister was given her meeting schedule that included a meeting with the Vice-Chancellors of the NZ Universities. She refused the meeting as she thought she was being insulted as she wasn't scheduled to meet the Chancellors.

Perhaps she want's the public to join her... judging by the earlier examples she's succeeding.

NACT Humour

The Economy is So Bad under a NACT Government that....

• I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

• I ordered a burger at McDonalds and the kid behind the
counter asked, "Can you afford fries with that?"

• CEO's are now playing miniature golf.

• If the bank returns your check marked "Insufficient Funds,"
you call them and ask if they meant you or them.

• Parents in Remuera fired their nannies and learned
their children's names.

• That NACT MPs have to take their girlfriends on holidays to preserve their emotional stability as the evidence that their policies don't work stack up.

And finally...

• NACT says they are looking into this Perk Abuse scandal.

Oh Great! The guys who have their hands deep in the taxpayers pockets are
being investigated by the people who claim they don't own the house their family trust own and can therefore rort the taxpayer for rent and who take their girlfriend on an all expenses paid overseas trip to attend a wedding and visit an amusement park while claiming to be a "perk-buster" and have their noses even deeper into the trough!!!
Really makes you feel confident doesn't it?