The New Write
The Official Newsletter of the New Zealand Young Nationals
2 March 2003
"He [Steve Maharey] should get away from statism and bullshitting." - John Tamihere, Labour MP
1. A WORD FROM THE PREZ
2. PM WIPES OUT - DEBORAH CODDINGTON
3. HOT GOSS FROM PARLIAMENT
4. TOP TEN ANTI-FRENCH QUOTES
5. WEBSITE OF THE WEEK
1. A WORD FROM THE PREZ
Incredible for the second year in the row I am in the position of agreeing with a Labour MP. Less incredible is that it is the outspoken, straight shooter, John Tamihere. His comments on welfare are not new, but that does not make them any less valid.
Tamihere is correct when he says that the welfare system is "literally killing people with kindness." What incentive is there to get a job when ‘the government’ pays your way? Obviously very little, a problem that increases multi-fold when generations grow up living off their fellow taxpayers.
The premise behind welfare is to help those, who through no fault of their own, cannot look after themselves or their family. It was never intended to be long term yet any suggestions to tighten up the system to ensure that only those in genuine need receive taxpayer support is greeted with cries of "beneficiary bashing’.
Few in a civil society will begrudge those in genuine need of the support that they need, but it is a too way street. With the welfare privilege comes an obligation to the community – it seems that at least one Labour minister has realised this.
2. PM WIPES OUT - DEBORAH CODDINGTON
So, the Prime Minister, who has a fetish about keeping her word (Paintergate notwithstanding), has been caught out.
At the Auckland Knowledge Wave conference (or "knowledge ripple" as Bill Ralston accurately calls it) Clark said that proposals to return New Zealand to the top half of the OECD in 10 years were "totally unrealistic".
Yesterday in the House Bill English produced a 2001 document where Clark wrote: "These results are greatly encouraging for our goal of economic transformation and a return to the top half of the OECD ratings by 2011."
And how has the great Prime Minister of integrity dealt with this? Of course she can’t remember writing it and anyway, a spokesman said later, it was written by someone from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. How convenient. It wasn’t her fault. Yes Prime Minister. (Sounds like a certain painting – ed).
But there’s also the problem of the pesky Finance Minister who told Gilbert Wong in a Metro interview that he could happily confirm the government’s economic growth goal remained to "return New Zealand to the top half of the OECD in 10 years". That was published in December 2002.
Cunning linguists both of them. But they are also highly intelligent former academics and must know that the government’s policies are never going to return New Zealand to being a prosperous nation. A government that focuses on wealth redistribution rather than wealth creation is simply rearranging deck chairs on a leaky boat.
Just as the current peak of four per cent growth is the effect of reforms undertaken by the last Labour Government and subsequent National Government, much of the damage done by this Labour Government won’t show up for years.
By that time Helen Clark, a woman who prides herself on keeping her word, will be out of politics, fetchingly dressed in tights, shorts and braces, causing visual pollution on a mountain somewhere. She doesn’t have children to inherit her legacy. It’s Other People’s Children who’ll be suffering from her government’s cynical, dishonest, vote-buying rhetoric that "social cohesion" is preferable to prosperity.
Tell that to someone on $20,000 a week Helen.
Yours in Liberty,
3. HOT GOSS FROM PARLIAMENT
By New Zealand’s finest investigative journalist, Sneaky R Wilson.
*While Donna has apologised for her claims of losing weight, there is another claim from her I find slightly hard to believe. She has boasted that most of her clothes come from op shops, and cost only a few dollars. A source of mine in the clothing industry says this reeks of ‘bovine scatology’…
*It seems the Katherine Rich fan club has restarted in Dunedin, after a series of posters of her were stolen from the Otago University campus and have since reappeared in several student flats.
*Proving there is life outside Parliament, former National MP Roger Maxwell has a new career – as a movie star. The former Taranaki MP (1984 – 1999) plays a German officer in Tom Cruise’s movie "The Last Samurai".
*Also spotted outside Parliament this week was Rt Hon Wyatt Creech, rocking away at the Bob Dylan concert. The former Deputy Prime Minister was well known as a huge fan of Dylan – even after working 18 hour days as a Minister, he still found time at the end of each day to visit Bob Dylan websites and download tabs for his guitar.
*Oh dear, it’s tough when people don’t understand your jokes. Rodney Hide was in an Auckland fast food restaurant recently when he noticed a lady with her young baby sitting on a food tray. "How much does one of those cost?" he asked. The poor woman was confused, so Rodney helpfully explained that he would like to buy her baby and eat it.
*Did you know? In Luxembourg, the government sends a full copy of parliamentary debates to every household in the country. Lucky them.
*Word up to my homies – believe it or not, Jim Anderton claims he likes rap music, in the form of Auckland-based group Nysian Mystic. Not surprisingly, he also claims credit for the success of New Zealand bands the D4 and the Datsuns, thanks to his beloved Industry NZ.
It reminds me of the time Steve Maharey tried to boast that he was hipper and cooler than National MPs. "I listen to rap music," he proudly announced to a newspaper a few years ago. What groups, asked the reporter.
"Oh, Will Smith, the Backstreet Boys," replied DJ Stevie.
*It’s been a good week for Auckland Mayor John Banks and Christchurch Mayor Gary Moore – they have both been given large pay increases, around 40% each.
In fact, Gary Moore rung Banksie a few months ago, asking if he would come to a growth and innovation seminar in Christchurch. "Oh look sorry mate," replied Banksie. "I’m flat out and I just can’t afford to leave the country at the moment."
*And speaking of the Auckland mayoralty – I hear that a certain MP may be considering a run for the mayoralty next year. Here is what my source had to say:
"Could it be worse?
Aucklanders are currently paying for their sins
enduring the mayoralty of John Banks, unsuccessfully trying to outlive his homophobic past, greedily dealing with companies specialising in bee-pollen, and generally being a waste of space and rate-payers rates!
"But what’s on the horizon? Something better? Or is that bi-sexual parliamentarian, famous for doing nothing much, famous for being willing to attend any opening, anywhere, any time, and rabbiting on in speeches how she and Helen once went to movies together 20 years ago, planning to stand for election with the support of one of the local body quasi-Labour parties? Aucklanders must have been really bad in a past life to endure this mayor and this future candidate!"
(I just read the articles, honestly.)
*As I predicted last week, a certain right-wing Labour MP in the form of John Tamihere has begun to cause serious trouble for Helen Clark. The straw that broke the camel’s back was Clark’s decision not to reshuffle Cabinet, totally breaking the promise she made to Tamihere and several others last year.
The speculation around Parliament after the controversial welfare speech was whether or not Tamihere would stick to his guns. Not surprisingly, he has, despite the best attempts of Mike Munro and Heather Simpson.
It didn’t help that National MPs taunted him as he walked into the debating chamber on Wednesday. It certainly didn’t help when his own boss, Michael Cullen, interrupted him and stopped his personal explanation to Parliament. And Winston was like a red rag to a bull when he mocked Tamihere for "hiding behind the skirt of a woman", something deeply offensive to Maori culture, according to Winnie. Kia ora.
*Whoops, a National Party newsletter and survey asked respondents if they could "ejaculate" National’s IT equipment. Grubby.
*There appears to be no sign of the tension decreasing between Mike Hosking and his estranged wife. In fact, when a newspaper incorrectly listed Mike’s age as 36, Mrs Hosking helpfully emailed them with his correct age – 37. Ouch!
*Speaking of birthdays, Wednesday was Helen Clark’s birthday, and sickeningly, the entire Labour caucus sung her happy birthday. When asked, she said her plans for her 53rd birthday were "to work", as per normal. It’s the same way she celebrated her 20th wedding anniversary with her husband – "I might give him a call," she responded when asked about her plans.
Boy, the fun never stops with Helen!
*Sadly, ACT MP Deborah Coddington has taken to calling herself ACT’s Education "spokesman" in her press releases. Believe you me, there ain’t nothing manly about this foxy MP.
*I hear that Jim Anderton is seeking legal advice on how to once again avoid the party hopping legislation he helped create. With his party at 0.1% in the latest TVNZ poll the PCP is pretty much defunct, but Anderton doesn’t want to leave politics with no legacy. So one plan is to rejoin Labour before the next election and then claim credit for everything Labour has done. Only problem is, how does he avoid the legislation he has already made a mockery of?
*It’s time for another Fashion Police Report (a.k.a the Mapp Report)
-This week is muscular dystrophy awareness week, with a symbolic bow tie, and Peter Dunne has seized the chance to wear his dorky bow ties every day of the week. Rumour has it that his main advisor Mark Stonyer hates them, and has been fighting an on-going battle for years to stop Dunne wearing them.
-Sue Kedgley raised eye-brows on Tuesday with a bizarre costume featuring a huge shell necklace and at least five multi-layered levels of clothing, one of which appeared to be a sack.
-Sue Bradford is still proudly wearing her afro (or white-fro). An army of hairdressers have tried to style her hair, with no success. Apparently nothing short of a chainsaw can penetrate that mop.
-And Katherine Rich took the casual approach, wearing trendy white sneakers with her suit. Wayne Mapp was not impressed.
*Continuing the series of exposes on MP’s CVs: this week – NZ First MP Bill Gudgeon.
The ageing Mr Gudgeon is an old buddy of Winston and like several NZ First MPs, has a military background. However he got into a bit of strife before Christmas when it emerged that contrary to his CV, and various profiles, he never actually served in Vietnam or the SAS. To his credit though he wrote to Vietnam veterans to apologise and clarify.
And how quaint: when a reporter rang him about this, he said he didn’t want to be in the paper, and politely asked if the journalist would not publish the story.
Er, that’s not quite how the media works, Mr Gudgeon. You don’t really have a choice!
*One doesn’t like to boast, but I couldn’t help noticing two of last week’s Hot Goss predictions confirmed in the Sunday Star Times. Of course Mr Tamihere has caused headaches, but also my tidbit about a naughty journalist – pg A19 featured the story "TV journalist faces drug charge".
So don’t waste your money on expensive ‘Government Relations’ firms, when Hot Goss can keep you one step ahead of the headlines!
*And remember that the Scoop website, bound by defamation laws and standards of good taste, can’t always publish the full goss. Last week, for example, three items were censored. So if you still haven’t subscribed, email mailto: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are new to Hot Goss, check out previous editions at http://www.nocrap.org.nz/hot_goss_ind.htm
Till next week…My lips are sealed!
-Sneaky R. Wilson
4. TOP TEN ANTI-FRENCH QUOTES
1. "A Frenchman's home is where another man's wife is. There is nothing lower than the human race except the French." -Mark Twain
2. "I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me." -General George S. Patton
3. "We can stand here like the French, or we can do something about it." -Marge Simpson
4. "As far as I'm concerned, war always means failure." -Jacques Chirac, President of France
5. "As far as France is concerned, you're right." -Rush Limbaugh
6. "Going to war without France is like going duck hunting without your accordion." -Jed Babbin, Former Under-Secretary of Defense.
7. "The French are a smallish, monkey-looking bunch and not dressed any better, on average, than the citizens of Baltimore. True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whiskey I don't know." -P J O’Rourke
8. "The only way the French are going in is if we tell them we found truffles in Iraq." -Jay Leno
9. "France wants more evidence. The last time France wanted more evidence, it rolled right through France with a German flag." -David Letterman
10. "How many Frenchmen does it take to defend Paris? I don’t know, it’s never been tried." -Anonymous
5. WEBSITE OF THE WEEK http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport3/cwc2003/spl/lms/html/last_man_standing.stm
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