Posts by Grant McDougall

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  • Hard News: Prospects,

    In 20 years' time, those achievements will be regarded as prodigious and defining of an era. The fact that Helen Clark signed a painting for charity, or that her car once went really fast with a police escort on an open road; or the absurd mythology constructed around the departure of an under-performing police commissioner; none of these will be thought of as anything important.

    Good call. A year or so ago I was talking to Brian Roper, a political scientist at Otago (and one of about three die-hard Marxists in NZ) and he said much the same thing. "They will be remembered very favourably" , he said.
    Apart from their major achievements, one thing I am very pleased has happened is that there was no major, radical reforms that really threw the country around, as Rogernomics, privatisation, Ruthenasia, etc, did. It's all been very steady and moderate. Should National win, I hope they go slow and steady as well - the country does not need nor want fast, radical changes.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 718 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: God's squads,

    So is The Standard alleging National MPs try to run protesters down with their cars.

    Fact: In 1990 Bill Birch ran over student protester Felix Geiringer at Otago University. I know, as I was at the same protest. I wouldn't be surprised if Kyle Matthews had been in the vicinity, either.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 718 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: God's squads,

    No, Laidlaw was Labour, beating Denis Welsh (ex-Listener) of the Alliance in the by-election.

    Ken Grey won the nomination for a safe Labour seat, so it’s reasonable to count him too.

    Doh! You are entirely correct.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 718 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: God's squads,

    And Labour had Chris Laidlaw and the late Ken Grey (sadly never got to make it to parliament)

    And NZ First had Tu Wylie.

    Ex rugby players reasonably evenly distributed I’d have thought.

    Laidlaw was briefly an Alliance MP after winning a by-election, then lost at the following general election.

    I named three All Blacks that became National MPs, you've only named one for three other parties. Plus, Tu Wylie only ever played for the Maori All Blacks, not the "proper" All Blacks.
    At 3:1, per party, hardly "reasonably evenly distributed", I reckon.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 718 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: God's squads,

    I'm amazed that anyone's amazed about Michael Jones and Inga Tuigamala turning out for National yesterday in South Auckland.

    I completely agree. It's no surprise at all that two former All Blacks endorse National. Now and again a former All Black pops up as a National MP (Ben Couch, Graeme "look at my cool perm" Thorne, Tony Steele, etc) and all they do is make up the numbers on the back-benches for one or two terms, then get the boot. If Jones or Tuigamala ever become National Party MPs, exactly the same will happen to them.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 718 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Granny for Sale,

    Winston will be missed for his antics, and he's definitely achieved far more for seniors than anyone else would ever even have tried

    I'm loath to admit this, but he's not only done that, but has been, in all fairness, a very, good, solid, competent Minister of Foreign Affairs. But of course he's shot himself in the foot with the whole Owen Glen fiasco.

    Anyway watch the Clark v Key debate on TV3 tonight ? Clark was on autopilot with snatches of sparkiness, Key fairly staid.

    I thought the best comment came from Linda Clark while they were wrapping up: the swing to Nataional will be bigger than predicted and what the Maori Party does won't be relevant.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 718 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Real Gone,

    The Dunedin store is now closed. I walked past it this afternoon and there were signs in the windows saying it was closed, etc, etc.
    The entrance inside was blocked off and a few staff were taking down shop fittings, posters, etc, etc.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 718 posts Report Reply

  • Random Play: Modern Life is Rubbish,

    Anything with 101 Things/Places/Songs . . . (or worse 1001 . . .) in the title. Enough with the lists...If you want to get to the 1001 Places to See Before You Die which is on your coffee table you are hardly going to sit around reading about them.

    I "hear" what you're saying Graeme, most books and lists of best this, best that, best the other are pretty silly. Having said that...I'm quite partial to the music ones, as they appeal to the music geek in me. A good book or feature along the lines of "The 100 Best Albums Ever" can be entertaining and informative, if it's well-written and helps expose you to new music. MOJO had one such cover feature back in '95 and it opened up all manner of new music for me.

    However, it's the regularity of such list-based features that I find annoying. An issue of Q doesn't go by without the cover screaming "The 100 Greatest Ever...". Ho-blooody-hum. It's just lazy writing and part of the reason I stopped buying music magazines sometime ago.

    I actually own a copy of 1001 Albums You Must Listen To Before You Die. It's actually a good, entertaining, informative book, but I've no desire to trawl my way through every album they list, I've got bigger fish to fry.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 718 posts Report Reply

  • Busytown: Age cannot wither me,

    Jolisa, I hit 40 last Sunday, so I have considerable sympathy for your predicament. Like you, I also found myself pondering the big "what the hell am I doing with my life ?" stuff.

    Regarding my age, rather than saying I'm older than I am, I'm often lucky enough to have people think I'm still somewhat younger. However, the notable emergence of grey hairs around the sidies has made this somewhat less of an occurence. :(

    However, I took considerable solace from a story that was all over the media last week. According to that bastion of cutting edge journalism, Cosmopolitian, the hottest men in the world are all over 40.

    Unfortunately, this has yet to result in a queue of nubile, stunningly attractive, young women at my front door, seeking to have their wicked way with me. But I'm sure it'll happen any day soon... ;)

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 718 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Life Goes On,

    Excuse my ignorance, but what actually is a "robocall" ? I assume it's an automatically-generated phone call that indiscriminately rings loads of people and recites dodgy messages to whoever answers ?

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 718 posts Report Reply

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