The New Write
Official Newsletter of the New Zealand Young Nationals
"A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."
-George Bernard Shaw
1. A WORD FROM THE PREZ
A fairly quick word this week as I have been tied up with things legal.
Since the last edition the government has once again broken its promise not to raise any new taxes after giving the "rich" a swift-envy driven-kick in the back pocket (remember 1999 - just $20 a week to end hospital waiting lists, more police and happiness ever after?).
This time Dr Cullen has had a crack at the drinking classes, ostensibly to curb "youth drinking". In reality it is a tax grab to pay for the decision to spend $34 million of your money and mine on the next America's Cup challenge. I am sure all those youth who have been getting drunk on Sherry are very grateful that they are in fact supporting the next Black Boat.
Once again the government has missed the point. Youth drinking problems cannot be solved by rules and taxation (and if the latter could work then the notorious RTDs would be first in the firing line). On the firing line enforcement can work but the police and other enforcement agencies are suffering from government cut-backs and are unable to exercise preventative policing before teenage parties get out of control.
Raising the drinking age is a simplistic and short-sighted approach. It is not young people drinking in pubs who cause the majority of problems - it is unsupervised or poorly supervised parties of often underage drinkers
that go out of control.
However the only way to tackle youth drinking is to bring it out in to the open. There is nothing wrong with alcohol, per se, it is the abuse of alcohol that causes problems and as with all things "not allowed" they become even more enticing. In reality responsible drinking can only be taught by example and openness within the family. As with virtually any social problem if the family breaks down problems are exacerbated.
The true question that should be asked about drunken youth is where is the family and why can't they help?
Answer that one Dr Cullen - I'll give you a hint, taxing a few bottles of booze isn't the answer.
2. SERIOUS BLOW TO NZ’S TRADE PROSPECTS
New Zealand farmers and exporters had Prime Minister Helen Clark to thank for the latest setback to a free-trade agreement with the United States, says National Party leader Bill English.
"This is the clearest signal yet from the American Government that Helen Clark’s foreign commentator role during the Iraq war has damaged New Zealand’s national interests," Mr English said.
"The Prime Minister was almost gleeful when things appeared to be difficult for the Coalition at one stage during the operation to oust Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Then there was her highly doubtful claim that the Coalition action would not have happened under a Democrat administration – a comment which required a subsequent apology.
"It is hard to over-emphasise the impact this agreement would have on the New Zealand economy, the injection it would provide to the rural economy and the extra money it would provide for education and health.
"A cynic would suggest that the Prime Minister, poll-driven as she is, is trying to work up an anti-American campaign, in much the same way as former Labour leader David Lange did over nuclear ship visits," he said.
Concerns are also rising over the impact on New Zealand’s economy if Australia alone gains a deal – particularly the flow of investment and capital across the Tasman.
3. HOT GOSS FROM PARLIAMENT
By New Zealand’s finest investigative journalist, Sneaky R Wilson
*Uh oh, punters – big trouble for Hot Goss and Sneaky this week.
I’ve received (via the Young Nationals) a very threatening legal letter, sent on behalf of a well-known organisation. It seems that they have had more than enough coverage in this publication for their liking and they are making some very serious threats.
I can’t tell you any more at this stage, but I’m afraid the signs don’t look good for the future of Hot Goss. My suggestion – if you have some good stories, any dirt you want to get off your chest, send them quickly to me at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org before the Voice of the People is silenced!
In the meantime, back to the goss…
*As revealed by Grant Tyrrell last edition, a disturbing case of racial double standards has emerged in Christchurch and seems to have slipped by the attention of the media.
It all started with United MP Marc Alexander’s strong criticism of Maori Television (and good on him). Anyway, he received a vicious and racist email, entitled “You dickhead.” Here is an excerpt from the text:
"It's people like you that give this country a bad smell you are nothing but an overstayer in this country. Piss off to where you come from that's under the stone you have just crawled out from Kia Kaha to Maori TV you are nothing but a motherf****r do you know who your mother is."
[The email writer] also said she had "a brown fist and a white fist to fight with you". "You have only a honky one."
But here’s the catch – this woman [The email writer] happens to be the director of a health organisation, funded by you and me via our taxes.
Hmmm. If a pakeha in a similar position made such racist comments, do think they would still have a job? Is that fair? You be the judge.
*Here’s a question for you: which Cabinet minister is seriously considering resigning before the next election, because she is sick of being forced to lie by Helen and her spin doctors?
*Email newsletters seem to be the new fad (The New Write started back in 1999), and perhaps the lamest example has emerged this week – United MP Judy Turner (who? - ed) has a new newsletter called “Hey Jude!”
*Another example of cringing political correctness emerged recently in Auckland, with the news that rats from an island in the Hauraki Gulf cannot be exterminated – DOC must relocate them, because they are taonga, apparently.
*And speaking of rats on desert islands…John Tamihere was asked by the Dominion Post who he would want to share a deserted island with, and his answer was Steve Maharey, because “we have a lot to talk about.”
*And in other media news, NZ Herald reporter Fran Mold is making the jump to work for TVNZ. New Herald political editor Audrey Young is not happy at having to look for two new reporters after Dr Vernon Small spit the dummy and quit, when he missed out on the top job. I understand Dr Small is now writing for business magazine ‘Unlimited’.
*Remember the NZ Music month t-shirt that Judith Tizard got in trouble for wearing in Parliament recently? Well guess what – the t-shirts are made in Australia! So much for local content eh?
*Oh how the times have changed. Helen Clark had her dinner at a university hostel in Dunedin ruined by hundreds of angry student protesters this week. Meanwhile, Lockwood Smith spoke in a celebrity debate at Massey, and received a warm welcome. The architect of student fees then spent three hours drinking at the famous Fitz pub, enjoying celebrity status with students who lined up to shake his hand and have a beer with him.
Imagine that 10 years ago - he would have been lynched if he’d dared to step foot in a university!
*Temper temper – a certain Labour MP of uncertain gender was spotted flying into a tantrum outside Copperfields recently, demanding that the café open up to serve her a hot breakfast. Even a sailor would have blushed at some of the expletives flying out of her potty mouth!
*Speaking of poor taste though, it doesn’t really compare to the MP who once farted loudly in a meeting before carrying on as if nothing had happened.
*For those Francophiles out there, you might be amused to know that the World Wrestling Entertainment's newest tag team is an evil French team – “La Resistance”. They wear yellow berets, and the cheering American crowds love to hate them. They are French, cowardly and gay!
*Last edition prompted a lot of questions about the two female TV presenters who are now in a relationship. All was revealed in a women’s mag soon afterwards, as paparazzi shots of the two Queer Nation presenters featured on the front cover. Remember – you read it here first!
*Which brings me to another interesting point - who took those scandalous, secret photos? Was it Sneaky R Wilson? Or was it their co-host Jonathan Marshall, recently in trouble with TVNZ for stalking Mike Hosking to try and get paparazzi photos?
And guess what – Mr Marshall also happens to be former Young National! He was a former deputy chair and policy chair of the North Shore branch.
*Speaking of tabloid rags, check out the May 2003 House and Garden magazine. Labour MP Janet Mackey, a true Kiwi battler from Struggle Street, shows off her elegant mansion in Gisborne.
Oh dear, it’s very bourgeoisie isn’t it? I wonder how she relates to all those beneficiaries and unionists she has to deal with in the Labour Party??
*A source of mine was at the Commonwealth Law Conference in Melbourne recently, attended by Margaret Wilson, at the taxpayer’s expense. Surprisingly, she didn’t attend the seminar on final appeal Courts, to the surprise of everyone at the conference, given that she wants to abolish the Privy Council. The general feeling was that she was trying to avoid questioning.
*Did you see Nandor in the media getting jiggy outside Parliament recently? Well, the bloody show-pony only began to dance more “vigorously” (i.e. shaking his dreads, looking to the sky for Haile Selassie) when the cameras were on him. A painfully staged performance. Anyway, he’s too old at 37 to be dancing to a hip band.
*Finally, a prediction for you. After successfully raising taxes on cheap spirits, Labour will soon consider a tax rise for Chardonnay.
Ha! Yeah right!
Till next week…My lips are sealed!
-Sneaky R Wilson
4. TOP TEN THINGS WINSTON PETERS WOULD HAVE DONE
WITH $4 BILLION SURPLUS
1. Move his office to Courtenay Place and deliver the budget speech from The Grand at 1.00am.
3. Forget $34 million for the Black Boat, it'll be $400 million for the Love Boat!
4. Renovate the Embassy Theatre in exchange for a hot date with Liv Tyler.
5. Buy a lifestyle block in Wanaka next to the one Shania Twain wants to buy.
6. Buy big set of binoculars for lifestyle block in Wanaka (see above).
7. Initiate a ministerial inquiry into links between the allocation of scampi assets and Al Qaeda.
8. Buy a golf course in Japan to "see if they can take some of their own medicine".
10. Hire a private detective to help Craig McNair find out who the Sneaky R Wilson who writes gossip for the Young Nat newsletter really is.
Please email comments, suggestions, and praise to mailto:StMolesworth@yahoo.com
5. WEBSITE OF THE WEEK
An interesting American site full of opinion pieces and features. Check out the section by Kevin Doyle, currently living in Wellington, with his reports from New Zealand.
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Editor: Grant Tyrrell