National's (and the right in general) response to the budget has been confused and muted and they were very slow in developing any sort of coherent criticism.
That's because if your political position is grounded in the Protestant work ethic (something I have about as much time for as I do Christianity in general), its awfully difficult to criticise saving. It's also difficult to criticise when that policy may be central to a large number of kiwis home-ownership aspirations - not something any party would sensibly want to get on the wrong side of.
As for adding Working For Families to the graph, it depends on how many kids you have, and I'm not up on where all the thresholds are. But the fact that people are better off with Kiwi Saver alone is a powerful point for the government.
But we shouldn't place much weight on the oft-voiced claim that if no one has sued Wishart, then everything he says must be true. Entering litigation is not a pleasant thing, and it may simply be the case that Wishart is not worth suing.
Or that he's wanting to play the same game the Republicans did against Bill Clinton in the 90's: start a lawsuit over something, anything, then use the resulting discovery rights to dig for dirt to dish up to the media.
I think MP's are right not to engage him, or even pretend to notice him.
Congratualtions - it's a well-deserved win.
As for Bain and Blair, I've already expressed my loathing of the latter (don't let the door hit your arse on the way out, you murdering war criminal), and I don't have much of an opinion on the former. Probably I should have, but its just not a case I've paid particular attention to over the years.
I think I fall into the second camp, but my question is whether the law sees the difference between a light smack and a violent beating?
There's a distinction between common assault and things like grievous bodily harm (which requires some injury). But within common assault, there's legally no distinction between a light smack (or indeed, pointing your finger at someone in an aggressive manner and giving them the clear expectation that you will poke them in the chest) and punching someone in the nose (or kicking, or biting, provided you don't actually break anything). Instead, the difference is dealt with at sentencing, and by - you guessed it - police discretion.
Ian: or they realised this gave them cover to back down while being able to claim that they had in fact won. It's a paper bag for banning smacking.
3410: There's a definite payoff for Key, I think. Despite the opinions of those columnists, I don't think NZ voters are actually that keen on mindless opposition.
And obviously my respect for Judith Collins has just SOARED.
Oh yes. But I'll wait for the full Hansard before pointing out that enormous stinking pile of filth.
NASA was very keen on ampetamines. The bit they don't show you in Apollo 13 is Mission Control constantly hassling the astronauts in their crippled space capsule to take more drugs...
And to stop the snark for a minute: I was very impressed with last night's debate, particularly the speeches by Shane Jones, Rodney Hide, and Brian Donnelly. And like Tom above I hope that this will lead to a shift to a more MMP style of politics.
There are opinion pieces today criticising John Key for forgetting that the Opposition's job is to oppose. That's FPP thinking. The job of any political party is to advocate its cause. Inmany cases, opposition is the best strategy. But if the government is doing something you actually agree with, I'd rather the politicians said so (and voted for it) than adopt a position of mindless opposition for the sake of it. Though to be fair, this actually happens rather more than you might expect - the politicians just keep rather quiet about it.
On police discretion, its well-established, and would be applied whether Parliament legislated a specific level of acceptable force or not. Though arguably they already have, in the Crimes Act 1961. While that definition is ridiculously low (pointing my finger at someone in a manner as if to poke them is clearly assault; wiping the arse of a geriatric patient probably is), its intentional precisely to avoid the sorts of issues we saw with s59: intolerable assaults slipping through the cracks. We've been happy enough to rely on police discretion over assault for 46 years, and I think its a bit odd that people suddenly think it is a problem now.
Oh, and another cynical thought: Isn't it funny how the NZPF never seems to consider it 'in the public interest' to prosecute politicians -- or political parties -- for any damn thing?
Our police are natural authoritarians. Rather than kicking the arse of those in authority, their natural instinct is instead to obediently sniff it. It's not an attitude that has any place in a democracy; unfortunately the last vestiges of feudalism die hard.
I thought Miriana Hond (please excuse if mispelt) was a little cheeky in her interview, at least until they showed the Destiny Church media guy. What a smary bugger!
That "smarmy bugger" is the leader of Pope Tamaki's political party. Which shows how much independence they would have had in Parliament...
With all due respect, Russell, could we draw some meaningful distinction between the Police Association and the New Zealand Police Force?
Why? The Police Association like to pretend there isn't any - at least when its convenient to them.