Let’s Just Be Clear

Posted: August 31, 2014 by cracker666 in Uncategorized

Me drawing attention to myself, not my blog.

Me drawing attention to myself, not my blog.

TV3 had this on tonight’s bulletin:

So how seriously should we take blogs and bloggers?  “Much of what enters the blogosphere isn’t very reliable and often it’s lies,” says media commentator Dr Joe Atkinson. “Much of it is also quite extreme. It’s not moderate, middle-of-the-road stuff. It’s people trying to get attention.”

We’ll give Dr Atkinson the benefit of the doubt and say he said a lot more and only this soundbite was used.

As a blogger (albeit very much part time at the moment), if I wanted to get attention, I’d get nude during tomorrow night’s Jonathan Lemalu recital, not by blogging.

My blogging has always been to DRAW attention, not get it for myself.

I want to draw attention, in particular, to the profligacy and incompetence of local government.  Did you know, for example, that one local Council is missing key audit policies?  (more on that in the next couple of weeks)

At CQAE, we also work on the basis that our assertions are fact-based.  That’s why I have at least five Local Government Official Information Act or Official Information Act requests on the go at any one time.  Some of them come to nothing, some of them pay off big time.

Any “extreme”, immoderate blogging is usually thanks to the material received from our wide network of tipsters and the official releases mentioned above.  I never cease to be amazed by the stupidity that permeates central and local government.

We also play a long game.  The Stadium, for example, is going to take a long time to deconstruct the financial goings-on around the rebuild.  There’s no point rushing into it, especially as no-one else is looking at it in the same detail at the same time.  We’re not going to get scooped.

So while Joe might be talking about other bloggers, you can guarantee there’s only the good stuff here.  And we assure discretion, unlike some…

Reasons Why Labour Doesn’t Have A Dog Show #29816

Posted: August 29, 2014 by cracker666 in Uncategorized

I saw a heartfelt plea from a voter yesterday.  They have had no luck in making their voice heard with a particular Government Minister, so they sent it to the Opposition spokesperson.

Makes sense.  Any Shadow Minister with half a brain would take the issue, run with it, paint the Minister as being a sit-on-their-hands-heartless-bastard, and perhaps create some much-needed good publicity for Labour.

It is an issue that would get media traction, albeit at a level lower than Nicky Shagger’s book.

What came back?  In short, it was:

“Hi, X.  Here’s our policy statement on education.  Thanks for writing, vote for us etc.”

Mind you, the spokesman concerned is Alfred E Neumann, so what can one expect?



That’s Going To Be Fun

Posted: August 25, 2014 by cracker666 in Uncategorized

nutsDespite being introduced to me, a Southland District Councillor let slip that there is another workshop to be held between the Kremlin, the SDC and Venture Southland over their future work plan.

Not sure when it is happening, but by the way this Councillor was carrying on, it seems it may be “nuts in a vice” time for a certain organisation….


And Here’s Another Thing

Posted: August 25, 2014 by cracker666 in Uncategorized

There has been quite a bit in the news about who briefed whom and when.

Having worked in an (albeit lower on the food chain) Ministerial office or two, I’m surprised that some long-serving members of the Press Gallery still don’t understand how Ministerial offices work.

Ministerial offices have private secretaries (an archaic name, I know) from each of the Departments they are responsible for.

Eddie Hitler and Graham - an uncanny resemblance but not similar personalities.

Eddie Hitler and Graham – an uncanny resemblance but not similar personalities.

So, as in my case, the Immigration Minister would have a bod from the Ministry of Immigration.  We had a bloke (let’s call him Graham, because that was his name), who would deal with all the Ministerial stuff around Immigration.  He would get briefed by his Ministry colleagues, ensure the Minister signed the files he was required to, write letters on the Minister’s behalf, and occasionally fill in gaps in the Minister’s knowledge on obscure parts of the immigration law.

He was also a repository for any potential red flags in the Immigration portfolio.  By dint of the Immigration portfolio being potentially chocka with red flags, had he briefed the Minister on every single one, the Minister would have had little time to sign the hundreds of letters he had to sign every week.

So Graham’s role was to take all the briefings on potential red flags, store them in his orderly filing system, and then (he was freaky in this way) before one blew up in the media or the House, he would presciently bring all the salient briefing notes, facts and law to the Minister’s attention.

That’s how it works.  You don’t buy a dog and then bark yourself.

The number of times I soiled myself over some Immigration media sob-story, only to have Graham wander in to the Minister’s office and say “It’s OK, I’ve been briefed on this and it’s X, Y, and Z rather than A, B and C,” are innumerable.

If the Prime Minister was to be briefed on every single aspect of their portfolios and the running of the country, they wouldn’t have time to smile and wave, let alone kiss babies.  That’s why Helen Clark had H2 and a number of others – they weren’t just there to run interference, they were there to ensure that if Clark needed to be briefed, they knew exactly what was going on.

For long-standing members of the Press Gallery to suggest otherwise shows why my idea to have a time limit of working in the Gallery has merit.  They get out of touch and play their own little brand of personality (and in some cases, poisonality) politics and abrogate their role as reporters.


A Conspiracy Theory

Posted: August 24, 2014 by cracker666 in Uncategorized

I’ve noticed over the last few weeks that if you reply to a tweet from one of the mainstream media saying something about the Criminal Nana Party, within minutes someone (usually anonymous and with a photo that is picked up from somewhere else) will come over the top and carefully chide you.

Not chide in the Labour or Greens “fuck you” style, but enough to make you think they’re a member of the public who thinks you being rude (which, to be fair, I always am).

I made the connection tonight after replying to a tweet posted by RadioLive reporter Felix Marwick that was chided.  I checked out the tweeter and realised they hadn’t been around for long.

So I checked out some of the others.  They have been around since around early June – ironically around the same time the Criminal and Nana parties joined forces.

Then I saw something else yesterday that grabbed my attention.

At the time Nicky Hager’s book was released, I knew that media law expert Steven Price had vetted it because he said so on his blog the day before.

Yet in the photo of the launch used by Fairfax, there’s Price hanging out with University of Otago politics department staffer Bryce Edwards.

Edwards is a regular rent-a-comment in the media.  He must have had warning of the launch to get from Dunners to Wellington, and the organisers would have known he would opine on it through at least two major daily newspapers and the internet.  There are others in the photo who would do the same – all aimed at particular audiences in the crucial youth and swing vote sectors.

Here’s the clever thing:  it’s not illegal, it’s hardly sleazy, but it is clever.  Someone, maybe the Criminal Nana Party, is financing the biggest PR con job on the media and chattering classes since Helen Clark convinced them there was “nothing to see here, move along” during her nine years of changing laws to suit the Left.  And the media is buying into it at the expense of real discourse on the election.

I doubt it will affect the election result, judging by the internal polling I’m seeing from political parties on both sides of the House, but I’d love to know who’s run such a concerted, concentrated and co-ordinated campaign.  Whoever they are, they’re good.


Don’t Worry About Paying Those Parking Tickets

Posted: August 24, 2014 by cracker666 in Uncategorized

The Kremlin has, for several years, had various car sales yards and the Motor Trade Association asking them what they are going to do about the private sales on Tay St and elsewhere.

They blurted away thousands on prosecuting a bloke selling cars in Pomona St.  If you overstay your meter by more than five minutes, they employ a band of unfriendly people to ticket you with great vigour.

But you can park your car on Tay St and North Road for sale and they do nothing.  

Here’s the bylaw:

weSeems pretty clear cut.  One licensed car salesman has been on this for some time with no success.  But what did one Kremlinista say to him about it over a year ago?


Um, the bylaw makes no reference to Transit.  It’s Invercargill City’s responsibility.  Given the maximum fine for this is $20,000, perhaps it’s time our shiny happy parking meter wardens started writing $20,000 tickets?

Or is this one of those pesky things that are core Council business and just get ignored in favour of ukelele concerts?

Yeah But What About Me?

Posted: August 24, 2014 by cracker666 in Uncategorized

I’m sick and tired of the constant “interviewing my typewriter” rot over Nicky Hager’s book.

Anyone who thinks this is new obviously hasn’t closely observed politics.  This isn’t new.  It’s been around for at least 40 years in New Zealand.

Anyway, this sideshow – which makes the Gallery churnalists’ jobs easier because they are being spoonfed – distracts from the real issue of what policies parties are coming up with.

Labour is merely copying National’s existing policies and adding a few hundred mill to each, the Greens want to give kids breakfast and thus remove any responsibility from do-nothing parents, and so on ad nauseam.

I heard the Labour Party wants to remove secondary tax.  Setting aside the fact that is already being done, I wondered as to what policy I’d like to see.

As a small business owner, I hate GST.  I hate having to scrabble around every two months to make sure I’ve got all my petrol receipts.

But I know that scrapping GST, while it might temporarily stimulate consumption, doesn’t really have much of a positive effect on the economy long-term.

So what else is there for small business?

Nothing.  All the party’s policies are tinkering.  “Reduce compliance costs…” yeah, we hear that all the time but it never actually happens.  Labour wants to give more Government procurement contracts to small business, ignoring the obvious elephant in the room of economies of scale.

Nope.  It’s much easier to focus the voting public on something that has always happened in politics.

“…he who seeks to deceive will always find someone who will allow himself to be deceived.”  That pretty much sums up every political party’s policy platform this election.  

The Hager fiasco does illustrate what short memories we have.  It also illustrates that voters will get the Government they deserve.

In the meantime, small and medium-sized businesses get nothing other than the pain of having to watch rabble rousers in suits fight over the best soundbite and decide how much more they are going to take from our wallets.