Bloggreen: September 2005

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Finally a religion that inspires me!

A friend sent me this via email today.

I hope you may enjoy this marvellous spoof of the "Intelligent Design" movement in the USA, which is serving up this re-hashed version of Creationism and trying to force it into the school curriculum. Its new rival "Pastafarianism" is now sweeping the globe via the Internet. It seem to me a wonderful way to deal with Christian fundamentalist intolerance - laugh it away. I read today that 55% of American believe that God created mankind from scratch. God help us!
You can read all about it on Wikipedia I for one love the idea of Pastafari, particularly the idea that global warming is caused by the decline in pirates. Beautiful.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Games for girls

And boys that like fun games ;) Fun game!!

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Isn't it funny how on Blogger just above the text box is the 'recover post' link, this is kind of like a recovery post. So the election is finally over, sort of. And thank god the initial media frenzy around the potential government discussions hsa calmed down, I think they all finally figured out that when the politicians keep telling them that we won't know until the specials are out, they actually meant it. So what does the next term hold for the Greens? Well, who knows. It all depends on the specials and if Nandor gets back in, which I think he probably will. We worked out that there's about a 85% chance of getting him back. And I really really hope we do. Firstly, because we need someone in there proactively working on positive solutions to the Corrections mess. The idea of building more prisons is about as sensible as building more roads to get rid of traffic. We need some serious investment in the prison education programme. I must say I was amused to read Graeme Capill moaning about the lack of access to education. What was he expecting? It's not all lounging around watching TV as people of his ilk tend to think it is. I have heard stories of people in prison spending six months trying to get hold of the prison educator and giving up. And these are people with post high school education. Can you imagine what it's like for people who dropped out before School C? One of the things that Nandor has worked really well with the government on has been corrections issues and I'd like to see him there pushing habilitation centres and better education services during the next term. So yeah, bring back Nandor!! But back to the Greens in general.. I want to see Jeanette as Minister of Energy, if we can get that, I will be happy. But to be honest, another term on the cross benches with a bit more Budget will satisfy me. As for me, I'm having a well earned rest, and getting ready for a big development in my life. I will reveal soon... But I just want to say thanks and well-done to all the volunteers from all the parties in this election. It was a messy election but all the people I had dealings with treated each other with respect, no matter what party they were from. I think that's a sign of a healthy democracy. Yay for us.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Yay Mike!

Congratulations to Mike Ward for winning the Supreme Award at the Wearable Art Awards last night. WOOOOHOOOO!!! Now I was hoping he would win a prize for this costume as it's pretty cool, but the Supreme Award YeHar! And I think Mike should take this award as not only recognistion of the masterpiece he has created but also his tireless commitment to the advocacy of the arts. Mike is not the sort of person who talks about the monetary value of art, but the value to all of us if we are surrounded in beautiful things. It's quality of life, stupid. I think parliament will not be as much of a colourful place without Mike but now he gets to go back to what he's best at, making beautiful things and inspiring the people around him to make this world a beautiful place. Well done Mike, you deserve it!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Saying it like it is

Radical Youth welcome our new overlords. The spectacle that was the General election has been and gone, your obedient and doting youth are still as marginalized as ever. While we cannot vote we appreciate the fact that you who are so wise and noble are willing to make decisions for us. We also like the fact that you so intelligently restrict you're voting to once every three years, and don't get to say what policies you like or disagree with. And as youth we really don't really mind that we are still discriminated against and disenfranchised. We especially like that we get paid less for doing exactly the same work. The election was great to watch, we think it was great that you all bought the messages that the parties sold to you. We think the lines about economic growth being the underpinning of our society were the best. However... We demand a world in which the voices of youth are heard, and one where the decisions that will affect our lives are actually made by us. The politicians have no regard for the youth. Why else then, would there be such a blatant disregard for issues such as global warming, which, although only beginning to express itself, will affect us our entire lives? You've failed us, by creating a world that relies on the destruction of the very systems of life that sustain us to maintain unrestricted material growth, meanwhile poverty afflicts every nation and exploitation is incorporated into law. Our generation has been handed a vision that requires continual consumption devoid of meaning. And we have bought into it as never before (advertising and television tell us who and what to worship.) We don't want a new world, we want this one back! And we'll do whatever it takes to reclaim control of our lives. Release here

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Tau Henare is back in Parliament. How weird is that? He is risen.

Election Three

So it's over 100% of votes counted and Labour has the majority. Here comes Helen for her speech... Yay thank you mainstream New Zealand! (although I would say fuck the mainstream, I'm part of a braided river). I am a wee bit sad that the Green vote has dropped a bit and the idea of parliament without Nandor does make me sad. But he's not gone yet and at least we're there! And I can't wait to see Keith run naked through the streets of Epsom!! Bring on the Labour government, no matter what it looks like... (bar Winston).

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Election Two

Yay this is getting better. Did have a few issues with the Greens being below 5% and the gap between the major two parties but went out for a bit and things got a whole lot better! And the one big surprise? Rodney's actually kicking ass! And Blumsky has conceded. yay! And we are now watching Jeanette's speech and the grin on her face has infected everyone in this room!! Damn she's wonderful.

Election blogging!

Tonight I will be reporting from the Green Party election party at Thistle Hall Cuba Street Wellington. We've been setting up here all afternoon and the place looks great! I certainly think no matter what happens in the polls we'll be rocking here tonight. So we're currently on 4.7% and smiling. There's a few people here and the bottles have been cracked... Til later.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Last day

Tomorrow the people of Aotearoa will go to the polls to decide the fate of the nation for the next three years and in some policy areas, beyond that. This campaign has been the closest in my memory and probably the dirtiest. It has been long and gruelling and very tiring. But the highlight for me has been talking to people on the street and restoring my faith that this country is bursting with people with vision. When I go and vote tomorrow I am going to vote with that vision in mind. I am going to vote with the hope that over the next three years we will have a Government that will be brave enough to deal with the effect the global energy crisis is having on this cuontry. I am going to vote with hope that our Government will turn its investment eye towards our children and their children and shift our economic investment from the bottom of the cliff to the top. I am going to vote with hope that my children will be able to enjoy this beautiful country as well as I have. I am going to vote with hope that we as a nation will have the courage to stand up to the idea that this planet has infinite resources. And I am going to vote for a future Aotearoa based on honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi, because this world will never move on from colonialist attitudes towards people and the environment until we respect, honour and celebrate difference and diversity. I hope all the readers of this blog will vote tomorrow and I hope you all vote with vision and hope. To all the people who have worked on this election, from all political persuasions, thank you. The fact that we don't have to use violence to exercise our democratic right to participate in the governing of this nation is a truly wonderful thing. Kei a koe te mana!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Don might not be racist...

But I did find it highly entertaining today while out campaigning to the lovely people in Wellington when some bogan started abusing us. We entered into friendly dialogue with the gentleman and it turned out he was wanting to vote for Don Brash because "he's the only one that will take us into war to defend the white race". Now with friends like that, who needs enemies?

The Onion does it again


Halliburton Gets Contract To Pry Gold Fillings From New Orleans Corpses' Teeth The Onion September 14, 2005 HOUSTON—On Tuesday, Halliburton received a $110 million no-bid government contract to pry the gold fillings from the mouths of deceased disaster victims in the New Orleans-Gulf Coast area. "We are proud to serve the government in this time of crisis by recovering valuable resources from the wreckage of this deadly storm," said David J. Lesar, Halliburton's president. "The gold we recover from the human rubble of Katrina can be used to make fighter-jet electronics, supercomputer chips, inflation-proof A-grade investments, and luxury yachting watches."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Get your own insurance

Check this bid on TradeMe. "Third Party Insurance against a National Government - whats it worth to you?"

Another Milestone/Millstone

Now if you were to wander over to the Green Party Tertiary Education campaign page you would notice something quite significant has happened to the debt counter. Yes folks, at lunchtime it hit $8 BILLION dollars. I went up to Victoria to check out HRH's visit and it was quite incredible. Labour got their shit together this time and had a parge bunch of supporters there with stacks of helium filled balloons (although we did wonder if it was in fact nitrous...). The balloons were a good tactic, because when the rabble of Nats turned up, they couldn't be seen past the balloons. But it was like a feckin rock concert! These Labour people were screaming and chanting "Helen, Helen!" and I was kind of stuck in the middle feeling like I was in the twilight zone or something. Her speech was pretty cool. It's the first time I've ever seen Helen give a public speech of that nature and it was quite fun to see her all rarked up like that. I certainly couldn't imagine Don Brash looking like he was having that much fun... Talking about issues affecting young people, click here to hear our Sydney-based candidate being interviewed on Hack on Triple J. Go James!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Geeky space politics thing

FIRST ONLINE GLOBAL PARLIAMENTARY HEARING WILL FOCUS ON SPACE SECURITY Questions from parliamentarians, journalists and citizens welcome On September 14 the US Congress will be the scene for a new departure in international politics. A group of democratically elected legislators from ten countries will hold a joint parliamentary hearing, webcast live to enable participation from other legislators, journalists and citizens worldwide. The hearing will focus on the future of outer space, and in particular on the possible deployment of weapons in space. The use of space weapons is under consideration by the US Air Force and is becoming controversial. Proponents see such weapons as essential to protect satellites. Critics argue that space-based weapons could also be used offensively, and could trigger a new arms race in space. According to the organisers, this will be the first of many international parliamentary hearings on different issues to be organised by the e-Parliament, a new global forum made up of democratic lawmakers. The aim of the e-Parliament is to enable legislators to form international networks on issues of common interest, and to help spread and implement innovative policy ideas. Participants in the Washington hearing represent differing viewpoints, and include several members of the US House Armed Services Committee, as well as the Chairs of Foreign Affairs and Defense Committees, or other leading legislators, from the parliaments of Australia, Brazil, Britain, Denmark, the European Parliament, Ghana, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Norway. Experts presenting to the legislators will include: Ambassador Henry Cooper, former Director of the US Strategic Defense Initiative Organization; Prof. Everett Dolman of the US Air Force; Theresa Hitchens of the Center for Defense Information; and Rebecca Johnson of the Acronym Institute. PANEL OF LEGISLATORS INCLUDES: Lyn Allison, Leader of Australian Democrat Party; Dr. Kwame Ampofo MP, Ghana; Aroldo Cedraz, Chair, External Relations and Defence Committee, Brazilian Chamber of Deputies; Congressman Terry Everett, USA; Air Marshal Lord Garden, Defence Spokesman, Liberal Democrat Party, British House of Lords; Ana Maria Gomes MEP, Vice-Chair, Subcommittee on Security and Defence, European Parliament; Bjørn Hernæs, Vice-Chair of the Defence Committee, Norway; Senator Silvia Hernández, Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee, Mexico; Jakob Axel Nielsen, Denmark; Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, USA; Gustavo Selva, Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee, Chamber of Deputies, Italy; Congressman Mac Thornberry, USA; Congressman Curt Weldon, Vice-Chair, House Armed Services Committee, USA; Hayashi Yoshimasa, Chair, Security Committee, Japan. NOTE: Hearing to be webcast (link and background information at as of 9 September) 10:00am-12:00pm US Eastern Time (14:00-16:00 GMT), and a legislators' dialogue to be webcast 1:00pm-3:30pm Eastern. To submit questions to experts or legislators or request further information, email any time before the event. To submit questions during the sessions, follow link to the webcast. If attending in person, conference begins 09:30am, Room 2105, Rayburn Building, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC. e-Parliament Conference on Space Security 2105 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 14 September 2005

Shock exclusive Brash in deal with the Devil!

Got forwarded this from a friend of mine and it did give me a wee chuckle or three ;)

From SNAP! Radio Interviewer: SNAP! Radio can reveal with great pleasure that Don Brash's call for help to rid New Zealand of this wretched government has gone far and wide. In fact rather wider than he expected. I would like to welcome to the show the Corruptor of Souls, Bringer of Destruction, the Adversary, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of This World, Father of Lies, and Lord of Darkness. The Devil himself. Well, Mr Devil, can you explain why you have recently been sighted around the Wellington electorate helping deliver National leaflets, putting up their billboards, and generally bringing a smile to Mark Blumsky's face. The Devil: Well, you know, I am a private individual and I don't like to talk about my forays in to politics. As you might be aware, I like to consider myself a very morals based creature. And I think right now that Don Brash is the figure in national politics who currently most fits with my view of the world. You know Christ threw the money-changers out of the temple, Don Brash would have told them to keep up the good work, invited them round for lunch and asked their advice on policy. I guess you would say I have sympathy for him. Interviewer: As opposed to Labour? The Devil: It is often better to go with the devil you know, but I feel it is now a time for change. It's been a good run with Labour - I still wear the red suit sometimes - I just couldn't handle the level of deceit. With Brash you know what you're getting, Interviewer: You mean usually the opposite of what he said yesterday and whatever Gerry Brownlee is currently denying? The Devil: Well, I don't think that's the issue right now, what we should be talking about is that I can really identify with Don Brash's 'my way or the highway' management style. Also, I've had enough of this fiddling around with capitalism trying to pretend its nice, no one wants to talk about the 500 pound lair-daemon in the room – capitalism is not nice it's about screwing people for as much as you possible can. Interviewer: So you support capitalism? The Devil: Indeed. It's certainly been around a while and can be relied on to deliver the goods in terms of evil. Feudalism had great opportunities. But you know times change. We move on. Interviewer: As you are aware, National has recently accepted the help of Closed Brethren to put out fliers and billboards. Do you feel comfortable with working with them on their campaign? The Devil: I'm completely relaxed about it. As I always like to remind people, the road to hell might be paved with good intentions, but the little paths to hell are often made by religious fanatics who hate humanity. Interviewer: So, any final words for our viewers The Devil: It doesn't matter who is in the Beehive, under capitalism, I'm always on the throne


Frog has a link to a short flash animation where the Green man comes to life to protect our Nuclear-Free status. It's cute, check it out.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

NZ Idol blog

I'm sick of talking about politics and I'm watching NZ Idol, so thought I'd share the pain with you all. Firstly, what the hell is up with Jessie? I was watching his performance thinking "Damn this is crap" and then all the judges just drooled all over him. What's up that? I hate to think what's coming that if Jessie was one of the best. Wait, the next guy is a little better, he has nice voice control. But the sound is pretty crap, who's engineering this? Sheesh. His name was Frank, and the judges seem to like it too. He obviously had an attitude problem and saw the light and pulle dhis head in. Oooh, what drama! Rosita is next (sorry if it's spelt wrong) and she's doing Jill Scott, which is a good start in my books. Jesus, she's fantastic! I'd pay lots to see her on stage with Jill Scott! She's a bloody natural. If I cared about this shit, I would want her to win. Seems the judges too, they just went up in my books. Advertisment Then we have Steve (mate), doing Santana, hmmm. He's icky. But can he sing alright, even if he tries too hard. And the judges agree with me ;) (and I'm not going to hold it against him that he's from Invercargill) Yay some reggae with Rongo doing a Katchafire cover. Bonus points are due for doing a NZ song, but he's not really doing himself any favours with this song. It's not the best of songs and it seems like he could do better with a better song... Judges are a bit iffy too. Advertisement Next one is Teresa and boy she can sing. It's not a song I like (at all) but I can see that's it not an easy one to sing, and she's pulling it off. Judges agree. Advertisement (aren't these becoming more frequent?) Nik is last (which is good, cause I don't think I can handle this much longer). And doing a Darkness cover. Aargh, he's awful, kill him now. Right, I've run out of NZ Idol tolerance for another 12 months, TV Off!!

Well done FT

I have really enjoyed the "12 reasons not to vote for..." series on Fighting Talk. And I must say, the latest contribution is the finest. Nice one Hamish.


There's something really entertaining about the stupidity of Nazis. Obviously it's not entertaining when they hurt people, which is why some people keep a feckin close eye on them. But when certain idiots decide that it's OK to post details and photos of anti-racist activists online, they can't expect to get away with it too easily. I thoroughly recommend you read this summary of what was done to one of these sites. It's based in Australia, but did have NZers on it. For the record, this guy is so seriously thick as shit it's hilarious. What isn't funny is that he thinks he's actually doing the public a service...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Is it just me?

Or is the youth wages rate just laughable when you compare it to the very similar debate that was held when we abolished gender wage rates? "Why would I hire a woman, when I could get a man for the same rate?"

Yeah right! #2

This from two days ago:

But National Party deputy leader Gerry Brownlee said this was nothing to do with the National Party. "We're not funding it, we don't know who those individuals are and we don't know what their motivation is but I think anybody who reads that pamphlet will find that pretty clear."

Yeah right!

Got this email from United Future:

Sadly, but perhaps predictably, the election has deteriorated into mudslinging and namecalling. United Future endeavours, for the most part successfully, to stay away from that territory but there comes a point when we need to respond. With that in mind my colleague Larry Baldock and myself have released the following letter to the media on Monday. It will be self-explanatory. Gordon F Copeland MP United Future - the Family Party Strong Families, Strong Country
This is from the same party that puts more releases out mudslinging and namecalling the Green Party than they do about their own policy.

Some fundamentalism for you

They're all coming out of the wooodwork at the moment it seems. Firstly, we have to Bretherans funding smear leaflets. Feedback would show their leaflets are actually doing the Greens more good than harm. As for Brash refusing to answer questions about whether he knew about the leaflets in advance? Dumb, dumb, dumb. Although as I was typing this post, I was informed that Noelle from bFM has an interview with Don where he admits he knew about the pamphlets. Like Jeanette I was surprised to hear that Sean Plunkett had been stepped down. I didn't actually hear the interview, but I didn't hear anyone I know saying it was that bad. Unbalanced sure, but worthy of suspension, certainly not. I really hope he is reinstated as soon as possible. And some news from the front line of anti-fascist activism. Some dumbass did a massive DDOS attack on the server that hosts (amongst many other things) the FightDemBack site. Stuff has the story. This is seriously dumb on the part of whoever is responsible. Especially if they call themselves nationalists. Many small, local businesses have been affected by this and the cost has been huge. They will go down, and I will laugh, hard. Speaking of racists, looks like Pauline Hanson has a new job! Interesting career move. Wonder if the NZ version will get inspired and hire Kyle Chapman for their next series. That is of course, unless he gets into parliament for the Direct Democracy Party (ROFL). And I'm now opening sweepstakes for the Green MP that gets the most cabinet posts after the election according to speculation. Currently Nandor is winning with three: Attorney General (according to Dunne), Justice (according to Dunne and Police (according to Winston).

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Another billboard

Another billboard
Originally uploaded by kakariki.
A friend of mine sent me this one. Don't know who came up with it so I can't credit their genius. But prove it was you, and I'll credit it!

But I really like this one. Good for an early morning cheer up!

Advertising galore!

I have to say (and yes I know I'm biased, but I've also got a background in art and design), that the Green advertising campaign is pretty feckin swish. Student media ads as follows: You'll have to get GreenSpin to see the TV ads, and Frog has the bNet ads. I particularly like the blah blah blah theme. Very clever!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Fun for everyone!

So there's one event every three years in New Zealand politics which just cannot be missed. Yes folks, the Aro Valley Community Meet The Candidate forum. And tonight was no let down. We had representatives from all parliamentary parties except for NZ First, plus the delightful presence of the Alliance, the Anti Capitalist Alliance, The Democrats, and the Libertarianz. I won't give you a blow by blow, because I can't be bothered. I will share my highlights though (in memory order). 1. Mark Blumsky, when asked what he would be the first thing he did if elected to represent Wellington "I will install security cameras in every dark stairwell". 2. The representatives from parliamentary parties who aren't MPs themselves spouting their opinion which was the complete opposite to what their party leaders would say (or have done). 3. Michael Appleby (ALCP) answering every question with "If we legalised cannabis..." 4. The person lying on the ground out the front being "Mark Drunksy".fight 5. The drums and fire outside (every Tuesday night, Aro Park, for those who don't already know) 6. Almost every candidate answering the question "If your party wasn't standing who would you vote for?" with "The Greens" And I'm sure I'll think of more, but damn it was fun. Nice to be in a place where there's a politically aware and vocal crowd! (Ha and I bet David to blog about it ;) )


Picture thankfully borrowed from Alan Gibson NZ Herald Who in their right mind would want one of these? Ick! And for the record, I really don't care who Winston thinks he's going to go with after the election. He won't get in anyway ;)

Monday, September 05, 2005

Get Green

Found this cool as website yesterday. It's called Get Green and was produced by the US Ad Council in the interests of raising awareness about important issues. So if you're wondering how you can make small differences in your own life to make a big difference to the life of this planet, check it out.


Yesterday the Greens launched the first ever multimedia manifesto CD Rom, called Green Spin. It contains video, music, info about the Greens and their policies. The best bit about this CD is that it means you can listen to all of the Green MPs talking direct to you, without the spin. Nice one to all those that worked on it.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

It ain't easy being Green (still)

I'm sure you're all aware of the smear leaflet (if not, check out frog) I must congratulate Jeanette on her handling of this one. The Green reaction definitely shows a political maturing. In 1999 and 2002 there were a number of leaflets distributed about the Greens. My personal favourite was the leaflet distributed in Ohariu-Blemont about how the Greens would make kids smoke pot at school! But we have learnt our lessons. The first thing about dealing with attacks is learning from other experiences. The Greens are by nature a threat to the dominant system so whenever we run for office, we should expect attacks. The Greens are also a global movement so we can learn from the experiences of other Green Party campaigns. Bob Brown was here this week talking about the experiences with the propaganda the Australian Greens had distributed about them before the last election, which was very damaging, and so close to the election there wasn't time to deal with the effects. The outcome in the Australian case was a victory at the Press Council, but too late for the election. What we learn from this is that attacks are inevitable. Attacks need to be dealt with promptly. And if attacks are dealt with successfully, they can have positive results. The other big lesson the Greens here have learnt is to pre-empt attacks. And this is what we have been doing, particularly with the drug policy. The biggest lesson we learnt after the last election is that we must front foot this issue, if we don't, we let our opposition tell the public what our policy is. If members of the public have heard what our policy is from us first, they are less likely to believe the spin about our policy when they hear it. The other part of front footing policy is educating members. I will not try and pretend that the drug policy is not a contentious one within the party, but it's not because people don't agree with it, it's that they don't feel confident responding to all the arguments. So we have been supporting our members to learn how to deal with these arguments. And I must say 10 and a half points to the effort that has been made. Now when Peter Dunne and others say things like "the Greens want kids to smoke drugs", he just looks the fool (as he did last week). And we have an easier time explaining the policy to people because the debate has moved on from whether or not drug policy will stop drug use to will it actually help reduce drug harm? And according to today's SST poll it's working. 34% supporting change to the current drug policy is a very high number. And I would put money on the fact that the 55% who didn't want a change in the law would be a smaller number once the arguments for change are explained to them in a rational way. For starters that the law as it stands simply doesn't work. Aah this election is fun.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

10 points

To Paul Henry on Agenda tonight who compared Peter Dunne's hairdo to a maimai, very clever. Aside from the personal criticism, the man got a whole 15 minutes on coverage and he didn't say once what he stood for. I don't get it. He did say how much he's scared of the Greens though. Of course, they actually stand for something, the planet.

More on Katrina

Just checked out New Orleans Indymedia and they have some very painful stories to read. Especially this one and this one. And in a bitter twist of irony, the last news story posted before the huricane coverage is a community meeting to discuss police brutality. Go figure.

Yeah, um... sorry bout that!

That was me going a bit busy for a while. So time for an update. Isn't the weather lovely! Last weekend I went to the Radio NZ minor party leaders debate at Circa Theatre in Wellington. And I must say what a refreshing debate it was! They were such a polite bunch of well-mannered politicians, who debated actual policy. I know this sounds radical, but it's true. Actual issues! There was stuff all rhetoric and the only hassles they gave each other were good natured and usually quite witty. I think they all performed very well, but I would give Pita Sharples the award for winning the debate as he started on the back foot, yet put across his vision and his party's vision exceptionally well. And I know this has been reported elsewhere, but I did find it entertaining that Winston declined to come due to not considering his party to be a minor party. Yeah right. Today's poll results are certainly backing that theory *snigger, snigger* I agree with frog that this is a shocking campaign from Winston, and I believe things can only get worse for him. It seems that some of the journalists who were usually pretty sympathetic to his schmoozy attitude have finally had enough of his arrogance and aren't giving him as much coverage as they used to. There was a time that he only had to open his mouth and he would get coverage, but he's struggling now. And when he won't even turn up to broadcast leaders debates, he is making silly mistakes when it comes to coverage. On that note, I'm pleased to see that the rest of the country is waking up to the realities of what's going on in Tauranga. I was up there at Easter and people were already talking about this threat to Winston's seat. Now I know that Bob isn't hugely keen on being a politician and this is getting the locals a wee bit miffed, but still, he's thrown his hat in the ring now, so he does have to follow through with it. I hope Don is on the phone with him giving him a rark up about how important he is to keeping Winston out. Imagine Parliament without him! Bliss! I don't know how much people pay attention to Winston in the House, but he is a vile, vile man. He says some of the most disgusting things to other people. And is one of the main reason the Wellington High students who did their violence analysis study condemned their behaviour so much. Change topic... I must send out all my aroha to the people of New Orleans. The disaster that they are facing is absolutely devastating and the response by the US government is making me sick. Five days without food is inexcusable for the richest nation in the world. I would be so angry if I was a citizen of America right now. Good to see the media actually having a decent analysis of the situation. Seeing mainstream media questioning the class and ethnic disparities over who has been looked after, and the comparisons to the spending in Iraq is a very pleasant surprise. And I must respond to Mr Farrar and his obviously misinformed comments about the Green Employment policy. Now to claim that getting rid of youth rates is going to disadvantage young people, Mr Farrar obviously hasn't spoken to many young workers recently. You try working in a pizza shop for 4 hours a day, earning $5 an hour before tax and then losing your job at 18 because they won't fork out the minimum adult wage. That is not fair. What also isn't fair is when 12 year old kids are going out to work to support their parents and have absolutely no legal protection when it comes to exploitation. What also isn't fair is that kids have to start working earlier now to get experience. If they start working at 18, they are starting on the back foot, from their friends. What also isn't fair is the fact that National Party policy will only make this situation worse. OK that's the end of my rant of the week. Expect more as I remember things I was going to write about. P.S. Who else knew that Maurice Williamson used to be a C++ programmer! He's an actual geek, crikey.