Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Arthur Bennett on the 'blue boat'


OPINION: The National Party advertisement shows a sleek, expensive, racing hull manned by a team of handsome heroes, in smart, expensive, blue uniforms.

The opposition are seen as dumpy persons clad in motley red or green, muddling about in an unseaworthy little tub.

Good, clean, pre-election fun- poking perhaps, but sadly it betrays a condescending attitude much more divisive and scornful of New Zealand society than the presumed bickering in the opposition’s boat.

There is no excuse for such class arrogance. Success, we are persuaded, lies with the golden youth of our nation, the sort of affluent young athletes who row as a hobby.

Proud as we are of our Olympic champions, they are not the average Kiwi.

A better nautical image for Aotea-Roa might be a double- hulled Polynesian canoe, a waka hourua, each hull separate but bound together, ensuring stability and a shared destination through negotiation and collaboration.

Crew could wear red and green in puerile political symbolism, but I would much prefer to show distinctive Maori, Samoan, Indian, European and Asian faces to truly represent our multicultural society. Rite, ko te rite! Rite, ko te rite! Tiaia, a tiaia. Toki hika toki! Altogether, altogether now.



Todd Barklay's a Slater/Lusk man

"There was widespread speculation that, prior to this election, many National Party MPs in safe seats had been told that it was time to step down. There are rumours of large cash payouts being made to sweeten the deal for some of them. Whatever the reasons and however it was managed, there has been a major clearing out of MPs – something that Slater has been crowing about and has taken delight in contrasting National’s rejuvenation’ with the retrenchment of Labour’s old guard in safe electorate seats.

Andrea Vance quoted Lusk’s prediction that the holders of several safe seats will retire including “John Key, Murray McCully, Gerry Brownlee and Bill English” and says that Lusk “confirms he is acting for potential successors.” Lusk claimed in an email to Slater that he has “at least half a dozen people in their twenties who will be in caucus one day”.

Predicting that politicians will retire is hardly proof of great political insight, but it’s interesting that one of the senior MPs who Lusk named, resigned his seat to go onto the Party List. Bill English was succeeded in Clutha-Southland by Todd Barclay who, by the age of 23, had got a degree, worked as a lobbyist for a tobacco company and as an intern for Hekia Parata and Gerry Brownlee, and gained sufficient political knowledge and nous to justify his selection for a National citadel formerly occupied by one of the Party’s most senior and respected people."

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Key - unsuitable for party or country leader

John Key is clearly party to the dirty politics National has indulged in since they became Government.

If, as he claims, he knew nothing of the smears and muck-raking, he would be admitting to being incompetent, failing to manage his own party, let alone the country.

But he’s not cleared of wrong-doing and he won’t be. His squirming when being questioned and his refusal to answer the charges show he’s not ‘relaxed’ at all, about the nasty behaviours that have been revealed.

If I was a long-time supporter of the National Party, I’d be appalled by what the present representatives-in-blue have done to our country.

Monday, August 25, 2014

"Superb work Cam!" - Keeping Stock outed

Tony Stuart, aka "Keeping Stock" has been caught out through mention in Nicky Hager's book, "Dirty Politics" and some of his awful sentiments exposed in this article from the Wanganui Chronicle. The comment featured here was only one of many made by Keeping Stock, provoking repeated responses from me, urging him to think more deeply about his behaviour and his shilling for the likes of the disgraced Slater and other National Party hacks, MPs and leaders. This resulted in my being banned from his blog. Repeatedly. I don't give up easily. I cared for him and believed he was endangering his reputation. And so it transpired. Beneath the article I've posted a comment from the Wanganui Chronicle that I think sums up accurately the situation for Tony Stuart.

Wanganui man outed in Hager's book

The Wanganui businessman behind a political blog has been revealed in Nicky Hager's controversial Dirty Politics book.

The book, which has caused a storm since its release last week, focuses on the exploits of foul-mouthed right-wing blogger Cameron Slater.

And it names Wanganui National Party member Tony Stuart as the man behind the Keeping Stock political blog.

When contacted by the Chronicle yesterday, Mr Stuart confirmed it was true. Keeping Stock is a right-wing blog and Mr Stuart is also frequently on Twitter under the same name.

He was named in the New Zealand Herald's list of tweeters to follow throughout the election.

However since then, Mr Stuart has deactivated his @Inventory2 Twitter account.

Keeping Stock's tagline is "an eclectic mix of some of the finer things in life - politics, sport, music, humour and God", and Mr Stuart has been writing the blog for seven years, as a hobby.

He said he was considering its future in the wake of the Dirty Politics furore. Until Hager's book, the name behind the blog had been anonymous, which Mr Stuart said was for personal reasons.

There was no suggestion of any wrongdoing on Keeping Stock's behalf and Mr Stuart said he didn't engage with politicians to get information for his blog.

Keeping Stock's brief mention in Dirty Politics comes on page 50 after Cameron Slater posted the name and contact details of public servant Simon Pleasants on his Whale Oil blog. Mr Stuart wrote two comments under that post which read "Superb work Cam!" and "I wonder if Mr Pleasants will get a less-than-pleasant invitation to have a wee chat with his boss sometime this morning ... "

The Whale Oil blog accused Mr Pleasants of working on behalf of the Labour Party while a public servant.

Mr Stuart said he would look at the future of the blog in the coming weeks.

"When someone like David Farrar (Kiwiblog) is looking to make some pretty significant changes, that can't be overlooked," he told the Chronicle.

Mr Farrar announced a raft of changes to his blog, following the release of Dirty Politics, including applying to join the Online Media Standards Authority.

Mr Stuart said he would move away from "gotcha politics" to "focus on the achievements of the current National-led Government".

"I think this has probably provided a really good opportunity for all political parties to look at how they disseminate information," he said.

He blogged: "After the election, who knows? We've already hinted that we were considering a sabbatical, given Keeping Stock has just celebrated its seventh birthday."

Speaking about an event he had been to, Mr Stuart wrote: "Both the local MP Chester Borrows and his challenger Hamish McDouall were there, but there were no dirty politics whatsoever; both are decent, gracious men, who want to serve their community. There's a message there, upon which we shall ponder over the next few days."


So our own local blogger thinks an Slater did a great job in 'outing' a public servant who has never been proven of any wrong doing, resulting in him then been subject of hate mail and death threats! Stuart may present himself as a 'nice guy', but to support actions that call for the death of a servant of the state is quite a bizarre position to take! Stuart and his Party condemns violent crime, yet have frozen Police budgets for the third year running and passively endorse the activities of Slater and fellow haters!
The only reason Stuart fronted is because he too was 'outed'!

Must-watch - on whales and wailing

Nat resigns

I wish to inform the National Party that after being a member since 2003 I will be resigning my membership to the Party effective immediately

While it has been an adventure and I have met many new people along the way over the last 11 years I feel that the Party no longer presents my Social Liberal values nor is represents a Party that champions theCommon Good.

The Hager saga has also shown National to be lacking in the skills required to navigate through a stormy patch that do come up from time to time.

The Prime Minister, and the Hon Judith Collins acting in obfuscation, stretching the truth and belittling the intelligence of the populace through their handling of the situation has also been a catalyst for me leaving the Party.

Until such time National is more in line with my own values of Social Liberalism and the Common Good, as well as Collins no longer being an MP I will remain a political freelancer, my vote always that of a Swing voter.

Despite the mess National has gotten itself in I wish no ill upon members and MP’s who do the hard yards out in the electorates. Sadly a few bad apples ruin it for everyone else.

Thus I wish the Party all the best into the future and in acknowledgement that we might meet up again some day. I do point out I have no desire in joining any other Party either.

All the best to the campaign
And thank you for the last 11 years.

With Kind Regards

Ben Ross

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014


Word of the day


(John Key describing women blocking his way in a Christchurch mall)

Thursday, August 21, 2014