Monday, 18 November 2013

New Slang

Still trying to decide what to do with ETS.  Paranormal commented (I'm quite flattered), and that's inspired me to say something, though I'm not sure what.  So for today it's probably too late to say anything, or decide anything.  Maybe tomorrow.

Oh, Inverted World - The Shins, 2001

Sunday, 30 June 2013


The government that was elected on a platform of lower taxes has brought us today...
Increased taxes, again. Check it out at your local petrol pump.
But wait, there's more!!!
The government that campaigned as being fiscally knowledgable and competent plans to dedicate the tax increase to projects that provide no return on the investment. In fact, for every dollar invested they expect a return of 20c to 80c.

Violent Femmes - The Blind Leading the Naked, 1986

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

And She Was

Australia has a new Prime Minister, or, at least, tomorrow Australia will have a new Prime Minister.
It's a measure of how immature Australia still is (and we are hardly any better) to see how poorly Julia Gillard was treated as Prime Minister.  I came across this website (Anne Summers), with an analysis of just how bad things really were.  Here's a link straight to the youtube video.
NOTE - Not Suitable For Work, even remotely.
Tackling sexism seems to be one of the really notable things Julia Gillard did as PM.  Her demolition of Tony Abbott last year was a sight to behold, and made me wish we had politicians of her calibre here.
It's a poor reflection on NZ, as a nation, that two of our best political leaders have been Australian.  All we get served is the vanilla custard leaders of the two big parties, with the main difference is that Labour's is flavourless and watered down, whereas National's has sat in the hot sun for too many days and is rotten.
So, tonight it is farewell to a ground-breaking leader, in some pretty dire and undeserved circumstances.  And unfortunately Labor is still toast, of the "golden brown" variety.

Talking Heads - Little Creatures, 1985.

Monday, 24 June 2013

One Eye Opened

I've been polled twice in the last month.  Once by Ipsos, and the other time by Roy Morgan.
From experience I know that Roy Morgan do call mobile phone numbers.
3Ds - Hellzapoppin, 1992.

Immigrant Song

Why are we importing people when unemployment is so high?  Because Christchurch needs to be rebuilt?  Because we don't have the skills that the people we are importing have?  Why not?  We've failed to prepare for the future.  This failure doesn't just do the untrained and unemployed a disservice, it also does the disservice to the people who need their city rebuilt.
How has the government supported people to get into training, and develop their skills over the last few years?  Patchily, at best.

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin III, 1970

Thursday, 6 June 2013


Once upon a time my grandparents paid for a dam to be built.  When they died, they gave the dam to my parents.  And when they died, they gave the dam to me.  The dam is willed to my children when I die.  Or it would be, but the government confiscated half of it, and sold the half they confiscated to their mates.  They told me I should be happy with the half I still have, lest they confiscate that and sell it, too.  And that in exchange, they would use the cash they received to purchase things that governments tend to purchase anyway.  Seems like a bit of a con to me.  However, that's not my gripe.

My grandparents paid for the dam.  When my parents inherited it, it had been paid off.  Sure, it cost a bit to run, things like oil for the moving bits, de-silting the dam, overhauling the generators every decade or so, replacing worn turbines, that kind of thing.  But overall it was pretty cheap.

Then along comes a peacock called Brent Layton, a bloke with a vested interest if ever I saw one, who puts up this hypothetical argument.  Essentially what he's saying is that I should pay the operational cost and the cost of the dam as if it were new.

Well, I sure as hell don't do that with my car.  It's well paid off and all I pay for is oil, petrol and tyres.
So why should I do it for my dam?  No abstract answers accepted.

Therapy? - Nurse, 1992

Friday, 3 May 2013

Damn Shame

There's plenty of others talking about Aaron Gilmore and I'm going to add my bit.

A true gentleman is one who is never unintentionally rude - Oscar Wilde

Being rude to bar staff, waiters and shop assistants is not OK.  Aaron Gilmore, who has never been in the limelight for good reasons, has destroyed his career as an MP.  This would be a reason for celebrating if I was sure that there were not a hundred others waiting to replace him.

I'd like to see him stay in parliament, as a National MP, until the next election.  The more damaged goods, like John Banks, that the government collects on the way to the next election, the better.

At a fundamental level it is clear enough what he has done wrong.  But there are other things.  He has shown the born-to-rule tory attitude that pervades National at present.  The PM and his senior ministers have done an excellent job of hiding it (as opposed to destroying it) and they will be mightily upset that the most junior of their team, their most marginal MP, has undone their work.

Verlaines - Some Disenchanted Evening, 1990

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


Recently it occurred to me that dumb advertising bugs me.
I bought my first bottle of milk in Fonterra, the dairy farmers' collective, have been plugging recently. It was more expensive than before; I should have expected that.
The advertisement is dumb. Transparent cows, hollow and half filled with milk, tryind desparately to avoid sunlight. For goodness sake, there is so much wrong with this.
Cows are made of meat and bone and sinew and skin. They are not hollow.  Anthropomorphising them dissociates the link between cows and cheap beef mince.
Cows hold about twenty litres of milk in their udders before it becomes very painful. They do not hold the hundred or more  litres and it does not slosh around theiir bodies
Cows seek shade for their own comfort, even though we breed them with black hides and cut down trees to make the grass grow better. They don't seek shade so their milk tastes better to us.
Cows lactate for the benefit of their offspring, not for humans. It is a curiosity of nature that we drink the milk of other species.
Once it gets to our houses, milk spends most of its time in the fridge. Once the door of the fridge is shut it is totally dark on the inside. Whether the milk bottle is opaque or not becomes irrelevant.

Triple layer light-proof milk bottles. Pointless technology introduced solely for the purpose of justifying price increases.

Kelis - Tasty, 2003

Thursday, 18 April 2013

There is a Light that Never Goes Out

Labour and the Greens announced today their plans to reform the electricity sector.

It's not a bad start, and the message that power bills will drop by more than $20 per month is simple and powerful, especially when compared to the likely retorts from National, which will be "bad economics/stalinism".

I read some commentary that this will leave a hole in the government's accounts.  The other side of that coin is that it will leave money in people's pockets; it's kind of like a tax cut.  So National can't really use that line of argument, because they say they like tax cuts, though their actions say the opposite.

In my opinion it is just a start.  Labour and the Greens still appear to believe that electricity is a commodity, whereas it is in my opinion an essential service.  As a commodity the system is run to maximise return on investment, or in simplified terms, profit.

There's a school of thought that says by maximising the profit the system becomes efficient, through competition.  It's a reasonable theory, the practice is somewhat different (the same applies to communism - good as a theory, doesn't work in the real world).

So even with Labour and the Greens plan implemented (and the latest Roy Morgan poll tells us they will get the chance, because National are festering in their own muck), we still have competing electricity generators supplying a single buyer of electricity.

The change of mindset I think is necessary follows on from treating electricity as an essential service is this:
the system should be run to provide electricity at a minimum cost.
The way to achieve this is not by "hoping it will be achieved as a by-product of competition between companies trying to maximise their profit".
It is quite possible to work out, every year, month, week, day, hour and minute, how to run the generation, transmission and distribution system as components of a single system to produce electricity for the lowest possible cost.  It is a complex task and requires clever people, however, the techniques are well known and the data are available.  The obvious question is - "if it's that easy, why hasn't it been done?" and the obvious answer is "electricity is sold on a market, there's no money to be made from changing how we produce and sell it".
Disappointing, really, the money saved could surely be put to better use.

The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead, 1986

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Essential Services

Parliament was a total farce again today.
The Speaker seems to have levelled off at a fairly consistent level of bias toward the government, inability to control the house and general poor process.  He's better than his worst, but still not very good.
The star today was the PM, with personal explanations required before and after question time, and this really surreal bit in the middle where it looks remarkably like he forgot to remember to forget.  All I can be thankful for is that he's amusing, because it seems he's not much of anything else useful, like competent, or attentive, or diligent.

Herco Pilots - Essential Services EP, 1981

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Morning

In Hallswell.

Jospeh Haydn - Symphony No. 6, 1761

Blind Eye

There' some mighty funny stuff going on as part of the Christchurch rebuild.  The whole EQC, insurance company, insurance broker, contractor, subcontractor loop seems to be being exploited; the longer the chain the less accountability there is and the greater scope there is for underhand practices.
Some people are making a fortune on the difference between what is quoted to property owners and what is quoted by the subcontractors who are doing the work, and were all paying for it.
I'd wondered what Winston was on about, however the money trail is becoming easier to follow.

Hunters & Collectors - Ghost Nation, 1989

Of Course

Rather than trying to find out why the GCSB spied on people illegally, the government will change the law so the GCSB's activities are no longer illegal.

Evidently there's something unclear about:

Restrictions imposed on interceptions

14Interceptions not to target domestic communications
  • Neither the Director, nor an employee of the Bureau, nor a person acting on behalf of the Bureau may authorise or take any action for the purpose of intercepting the communications of a person (not being a foreign organisation or a foreign person) who is a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident.

But is it necessary to allow the GCSB the power to intercept and read our various communications?  Yes, of course it is.  Otherwise, how will Judith Collins know which of our children's cellphones to confiscate?

Jane's Addiction - Ritual De Lo Habitual, 1990

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Bohemian Rhapsody

Mercury was the god of profit and thieves, amongst other things.  It always struck me as odd that a power company would co-opt the name, however it's a fact that one did.  And so we ended up with Mercury Energy.  A division of the soon to be owned by people apart from you and I Mighty River Power.

Their recent advertising has caught my eye.  They've introduced a thing called GEM, an acronym that stands for Good Energy Monitor.  Good, I suppose, because "Energy Monitor" is dull, though that's all it is, and because it results in a much better acronym.

It achieves two things.  It allows you to read your electricity meter without going outside.  It presents the data from the meter in a user-friendly and flexible format.  And neither of those things are particularly new, it's always been possible to do this, but it's required a little bit of effort and enough knowledge to read the meter.

The introduction of what are referred to as "smart-meters" began a few years ago, and it is being rolled out across the country.  Smart meters do have a couple of genuinely new features.
They can be read remotely, so there's no need to have a meter reader come around every month or two.  Apart from the resulting job losses, there are quite a few positive outcomes from this.
They can also be used to change the price of electricity with time, and this is actually what GEM is about.

Electricity demand has a diurnal profile.  That is, the highest demands occur in the morning (before people go to work) and in the early evening (when people return from work).  Market theory says that as demand rises, so should prices and as demand drops (as it does overnight, when everyone goes to bed), so also should price.
And that's what smart meters can do - allow anyone who wishes to do so to follow the market and bow to its whims.  I won't, because I am sufficiently well paid and the savings I can make from keeping an eagle-eye on a website showing my electricity consumption are not worth the effort.  It seems to me that most people won't be bothered either.  Which does four things.  It leads me to wonder about the fate of people who will watch their meters.  It leads me to wonder why Mercury Energy are doing this.  It leads me to wonder what I should do.  And it leads me ask, once again, could we as a society do this better?  So, in order:

There are people out there to whom an extra few dollars on the electricity bill each month makes a world of difference.  The active promotion of smart meters will focus them for a while on meter-watching and minimising their energy bill by going without when prices are highest.  It will be considered by people who have never gone without as enabling and enhancing individual choice.  Like choosing to go without heating in the middle of winter is a choice.  As someone who went without heating for several winters, I know from experience its not a choice, its using an abstraction ("the market") to inflict cruelty.  Smart meters encourage further suffering.

Why are Mercury Energy (and others) doing this?  It's simple.  They are commercial enterprises, if it isn't making money, it isn't happening.  So it's to make money.  The best I can figure is that it is intended to make consumers feel responsible for the cost of electricity, by giving them the feeling that they are in control of the cost.  Of course, individual consumers have very little control over electricity prices.  The reforms overseen by Max Bradford and National in the 1990s took something flawed but functional and amplified the flaws while keeping the appearance of functionality.  My expectation is that rates and thereby prices for electricity will rise, and the suppliers will use tools like GEM to say "we gave you control and it's up to you to use it", to deflect the criticism directed at them as prices rise.
Why do they need to increase prices?  To pay for the quite realistic 73% pay rise for the directors, perhaps. No, even though most of us got a percent or three if we were lucky, and 73% is genuinely ridiculous, that's not it.  Prices need to be increased to increase profits, which are necessary to meet the requirements of the commercialise model for electricity supply.  That's all.

What should I do?  Very little, I suspect.  All I can think of is that there are appliances coming out that can link to the smart meter and operate when rates are low.  This will mean my washing machine and dishwasher will run late at night and the spin cycle will wake me up.  <sarc>Being woken up will of course be a good thing because when the children tidy their rooms and leave a giant mountain of washing, I will need to be woken so that I can empty the washer and put a new load of washing on.  And another after that.  Because what I really want, after a full day of work, is to be up all night doing the washing.  Waking from my few hours sleep to a dishwasher that needs to be emptied so everyone has clean plates, bowls and cutlery for breakfast will be something to look forward to.  And with the hot water cylinder on ripple control and all the hot water used by the washing machine, a cold shower in the morning will be really refreshing.  I can't wait for smart meters and the opportunity to totally change my lifestyle around to suit the all-powerful market forces. </sarc>.  It seems likely that the first generation of smart appliances will have a premium, and I'll have to work out whether the benefits of buying one outweigh the extra cost, or whether it's better to wait until smart-meter compatibility is the default.

And could we do better?  Certainly.  The service that is delivered (and it is a service, I can't fathom why Mercury refer to it as a product) is the same everywhere, 50Hz 230V electricity.  Does having ten retailers marketing their service to me make that service any better?  No.  Does having five generators selling bulk electricity to the retailers make the service I receive noticeably better?  Still no.  Could it be run more efficiently if we applied some brains to its operation, instead of saying "It's in God's hands.  God will look after it, and make it work" (Pick your own god, the current ethereal abstraction is most commonly referred to as the market.  You can read about his recent works in the business section of tomorrow's paper)?  Yes, we could.  We just don't, and so we pay the price.  Literally.  Fortunately for people like me we have the aforementioned market to distribute the costs to those who can least afford it, and to absolve me of responsibility.

Footnote - smart meters, coming soon to a water supply near you.  Why restrict yourself to getting rorted for electricity when you can get rorted for water too?

Queen - A Night at the Opera, 1975

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

You Forget

David Shearer forgot $50,000
John Key forgot his TransRail shares
John Banks forgot, umm, pretty much everything.
Both Johns forgot the tape recorder was on.  And that their well publicised meeting was being held in a public place.  Oops
Bill English forgot he lives in Wellington, with the rest of his family
Paula Bennett forgot that private information is, well, private.
Phil Heatley forgot a bottle of wine, or three.
Shane Jones forgot he watched some videos.  Or, he remembered but didn't want to say.
Nick Smith forgot that ministers mustn't be seen to be improperly using their position.

Elsewhere, comparisons are being made about who was worse/worst, and justifications on the basis that "they did it too/first" are being put forward.  But none of it is good enough.  Because who cares who is leading the race to the bottom?

David Shearer is no good as leader of the Labour Party.
John Key is no good as the leader of the National Party, nor as the PM
John Banks is just no good.  And the food at Tony's was terrible.
Bill English was no good as the leader of the National Party.
The crap we have to put up with from our political leaders is appalling.

David Kilgour - Here Come The Cars, 1992

Monday, 25 March 2013


Damien Grant is one of Granny Herald's resident twits.  I suspect, based only on what he writes, that his employment at the Herald continues because he makes the other columnists look good (even when many of them are not).
This weekend Damien wrote about Watercare's connection charges.
And at The Standard, RedLogix demolished Damien's arguments.
I'm not a big fan of Watercare and their corporatised model of water distribution.  However, development charges are something they do in a transparent manner and a decent journalist with some understanding of the issues could pull the development charges to bits, if they were unfair.  Needless to say, Damien does not even make an attempt.

So, apart from what Redlogix raised (essentially an unfair comparison is made, based on implied and incorrect assumptions), what was wrong with Damien Grant's piece?
He missed the opportunity to examine whether telecommunications companies are cross-subsidising, and if so by how much, and why?
He missed the opportunity to examine what effect the UFB initiative, a $1.5B government subsidy, has had on how costs are allocated within the industry. And to ask whether it should have been the private sector that funded UFB instead?

The actual costs of a water connection are pretty much fixed.  Suggesting that the proportion paid by developers should be lowered are not suggesting the total cost should be lowered, because such a suggestion is stupid.  Rather, what they are suggesting is that the difference should be paid by the existing customers.  Which is another way of suggesting that the existing customers provide a subsidy.  That developers should be allowed to dip into everyone else's pockets so that developers can make more of a profit.
In the same way that the privatised gas and comms utilities that Damien Grant holds such a high opinion of do.  No, thanks, I've had enough of being fleeced.

Therapy? - Troublegum, 1994

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Hey Hey, My My

A while back I compared the governments actions to actions typical of dictatorial regimes.  And that caused a bit of a fuss, at the time.

But it occurred to me that the present government has committed some significant time and effort into attacking what it sees as competition, specifically, local government.
National and its coalition partners have and continue to actively interfered in local government in our two major centres, are implementing changes to the Resource Management Act, have acted to undermine the Local Government Act and confidence in local government (halted only by Nick Smith's last fall from grace) and have fostered discussions around reform of local government that would make the reorganisation of Auckland look like a good thing for democracy.
The unicameral parliament we have, with weak oversight by the governor-general, and the terrible Speaker we currently have in Parliament are tempered only by MMP (no wonder we voted to retain it) and local government.
It is my opinion that we need stronger and more democratic local government, to balance the power of central government and to keep local decision-making, well, local.
The National government are not dictatorial; they have a majority (of one) in parliament and were democratically elected.  However, they are, in my opinion, acting in a way the dictators act, and in the long term this benefits only a very few people.  And that's just wrong.

Neil Young - Rust Never Sleeps, 1979

A Fire Burns

A silver-plated jet comes home....

The Church - The Blurred Crusade, 1982

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Big Yellow Taxi

They certainly did pave paradise and put up a parking lot, if you consider the the CBDs of Auckland and Wellington are paradise.  Or once were.
Now, having paved it, the government that believes in less tax and fewer taxes is considering including carparks in FBT calculations.  So that'll be more tax revenue and more taxes, again, then.  Thanks National.
If National were committed to making either Auckland better places to live and work, it would be sensible to implement policies that reduced the need for carparking in the CBDs.  Instead they are stretching the boundaries of Auckland and suggesting that the ratepayers should bear the costs.  Unbelievable.

Joni Mitchell - Ladies of the Canyon, 1970

Three Strikes

Question 11 in parliament, yesterday, was described by one MP as a circus.  And it was.

Lockwood Smith became a reasonably good Speaker.  David Carter is new to the job and it shows.  He has made a bizarre ruling where a question is put to a Minister three times and if no satisfactory answer is obtained, parliament moves on.  He said so here:

Mr SPEAKER:... I have established a regime by which if a question is not answered to satisfaction, then we have the question three times. Beyond that we have got to move on, otherwise we could sit in the House on the same supplementary question for a long time. Now we are moving on

Strike me down - that's out and out ridiculous.  If a Minister won't answer a reasonable question there are two outcomes.  First, the Speaker makes them answer it.  Or second, they either resign or are dismissed.  National have set increasingly lower standards and continue to amaze, and not in a good way.

Kelly Price - Mirror Mirror, 2000

A Forest

The Cure - Seventeen Seconds, 1980

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Too Much

Nick Smith has vowed to "smash" the Auckland City limits.

Not because it's a good idea (it isn't a good idea), but for a variety of apparently unrelated reasons:

  • National, in spite of all the smiles and positive media messages, do not like Len Brown and will not forgive him for beating John Banks for the mayoralty.
  • Labour, in a brief flash of political brilliance (probably by accident, given their recent performance) caught National flat footed on housing.  Until Labour stuffed that up, too.  However, National need to appear to be competent in this area and their message is clearly stated, not implausible and has a neat appeal to people's desires.  Once again Labour are out-communicated.
  • Some of the people who stand to benefit the most from relaxing the urban limit are also close friends of National MPs.

From the Herald:

[Nick Smith] said his focus would be on opening up land supply because land prices were the biggest factor putting home ownership out of reach of many Aucklanders.
That's land supply being the constraint according to Dr Smith, not the high cost of living due to speculative investment in land and certainly not high unemployment or low wages with stagnant wage growth.  Uh-huh.
"There's no question in my mind that we have to break through the stranglehold that the existing legal metropolitan urban limit has on land supply," he said.

And that clinches it for me - the statement above tells us more about Dr Smith's mind than it does about metropolitan urban limits and land supply.  Remind me, why was he allowed off the back benches, again?

The Bats - Silverbeet, 199

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Gone Fishing

Robert Winter - please come back to the blogosphere.  We miss you!

Consolidated - Play More Music, 1992

A Transport of Delight

The ever-anonymous editor of the Herald has opined on the tram in Auckland.

It's not much of a tram, it runs on a very small circuit in the Wynyard Quarter, which, for non-Aucklanders, is  a short walk (ten minutes or so) from the downtown end of the CBD.  The area is going through what is referred to as "urban-renewal", which basically means the fish factories, warehouses, Americas Cup yacht bases and oil storage bunkers are being demolished and replaced with glass offices, glass apartments and expensive cafes with underpaid staff from the other side of town.  Right now it's a hodge-podge of all kinds of stuff, in ten or twenty years it will probably be nice, if you like that kind of thing.

Was it a smart place to put a tram?  Well, it showed a lot of foresight.  And read the tram blog.

It's a bit disconnected from the rest of the city.  Apart from the obvious "leave it as it is" solution, there are two other possibilities, shut it down, or allow it to expand.  And the editor chooses to accentuate the negative, favour pursuing the small-minded provincialism that blights New Zealand.

A comparison between Melbourne and Auckland is made.  And it's not unfair to make that comparison, both cities were founded at about the same time, both are major cities with temperate climates, by the sea.  Melbourne's tram system is brilliant.  It goes all sorts of places, it's cheap and convenient, it's part of the city-scape.  Auckland's tram system is a start.  Or a restart.  Melbourne also has a comprehensive urban commuter rail network, as well as buses and motorways.  Whereas Auckland has a bit of a rail network, as well as buses and motorways aplenty.

The thing that gets me about this material is that the editor has not considered the inherent contradiction in their editorial.  Part of the reason why Melbourne is a better place to live than Auckland is due to the transport.  Advocating against something different, when that difference has worked elsewhere, is dumb.

Flanders and Swann - At the Drop of a Hat, 1957

Know Your Product

Watched the first segment of Seven Sharp, when it was launched.  About the nicest thing to be said about it is that it is a good cue to change the channel to anything else.  A lot has been said about Seven Sharp, elsewhere, and there's no need to repeat it here, and I am incapable of refuting much of it.

Watched the first segment of 3rd Degree this evening.  Loved it.  Not a fan of Espiner, or Garner, but 3rd Degree started off with a bang and I will make a point of watching it again.

Well done TV3.  TVNZ, get yourselves together.  Know your product.

The Saints - Eternally Yours, 1978

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


There was a bit of a miscommunication between me and my car - the outcome was that it was sold as scrap.  Evidently those warning lights are for real and shouldn't be dismissed as an electrical malfunction.

So I've done without a car.  Living more than ten kilometres from town (and the nearest shop) made this seem daunting, initially, but it's not been bad.

The main downside is that getting places requires a bit more resourcefulness, and forethought.  Rain is another problem.

On the upside:

  • no registration or warrant of fitness costs.
  • no insurance to pay.
  • no tyres, batteries, oil, filters, coolant, brake fluid to renew.
  • no petrol
  • the extra walking and cycling have given me a new perspective on my surroundings, and there's less of me too.
  • sharing vehicular transport is a good way to get time to think, and to make friends.

Gary Numan and the Tubeway Army - The Pleasure Principle, 1979

I'll Say Goodbye

Goodbye to Leslie Longstone.  And 10c of my tax money last year.

Is it just me, or does a $425,000 golden handshake, after 13 months, seem excessive.  That's almost $200 for every hour worked, in addition to regular pay.

Responsibility lies with the minister, who must explain this.

Meanwhile Halswell Residential College has had its budget cut by about a million dollars and is looking to cut its costs in the usual manner - transferring the costs to WINZ.

Hekia Parata is the worst Education Minister since, well, unfortunately, Anne Tolley.  Her only achievement is to make her colleagues look competent, when they are not.

Dance Exponents - Prayers Be Answered, 1983

Monday, 4 March 2013

Rock'n Me

He [took] the issue to the country [] at the [] General Election, he was able to form a government, and he was able to pass the requisite legislation; that's how our democracy works.Inventory2

The trend is your friendJohn Key
May these words come back to bite you both on the arse.

Steve Miller Band - Fly Like An Eagle, 1976

You Can't Hold On Too Long

Why would News Corp be selling its 44% shareholding in Sky TV?  And at 7% below the price it was trading at on Friday?

Rupert Murdoch is a canny man, and did not become phenomenally wealthy through pure luck.  He has realized that SkyTV's future is bleak, and that as competition from new media increases the business model the Sky TV uses will become obsolete.

The Cars - Candy-O , 1979

Hello Again

My holiday in Albania lasted somewhat longer than expected.  It gave me plenty of time for reflection and possibly made me a better person.

I'm not sure what will become of Every Tiny Straw.  Blogging is something I do for a variety of reasons, many of which come back to vanity.  For the moment it is my intention to continue to write.

The Cars - Heartbeat City, 1984