Friday, October 31, 2008

Helen Clark's Don Brash Moment


We all remember Don Brash being confronted over the Exclusive Brethren affair in 2005.  What damaged Dr Brash was the guilty expression on his face and the messiness of the affair as there was no 'smoking gun' for evidence of a lie and his story was plausible. 


Well I certainly think there are parallels with Helen Clark being confronted over who paid for Mike William's dirt digging trip to Australia.  Regardless of what she said, Helen looked guilty. 





Three news tonight revealed that a top Aussie Labor lawyer assisted Mike Williams with gaining access to tens of thousands of legal documents with the purpose to find something to smear John Key.  This raises a couple of questions:

1.  Did the upper echelons of the Aussie Labor party know about this? 

2.  Who paid for the lawyers time?

If our media were on to it, they would've already asked these questions and more.

Traditionally Australia and New Zealand keep out of each others elections.  The National Party need to send a 'please explain' request to the Aussie government.  After all, Kevin Rudd and John Key are going to have to work together after the election.

While on the topic of Australia, I'd would like to draw an unusual parallel between Helen Clark and John Howard.  Both tripped and fall during their respective election campaigns.  The stumbles were very uncharacteristic for both sure-footed politicians.  John Howard went on to lose the Australian Federal election in 2007.  Is Helen Clark destined to follow in his foot-steps?  NX-Files certainly thinks so.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

$210 million vs. $700 million

Keeping stock blogs about the disparity between the figures quoted for the cost of the Student Allowance Scheme.  Cullen estimate's the scheme will cost $210 million, while Treasury estimated the cost to be as much as $700 million.
The best way to settle this is to compare the cost Labour estimated for the Interest Free Student Loan scheme back before the 2005 election with the actual cost now.....


NEWS: Labour is writing cheques it can't cash - Bill English MP

"A Universal Student Allowance is an admirable goal and National will be making some changes to the allowance in its own, yet to be announced, tertiary education policy.

"It will be more generous than the current scheme, but won't be universal.

Awesome.  National has the potential to capture this argument and make it their own.  They can take the moral high ground by providing generous assistance on a means tested bases - therefore supposedly targeting the students that need it.  

So, if the media are consistent and respond in the same way they do to National - the headline could read:  'Nats help poor students; Labour hands over cash to rich kids'.

As mentioned in the previous post, I prefer a less than generous Universal Student Allowance.  However, given the media predilection to emotive headlines based on left leaning philosophies - the Nats have the potential to owe Labour in this debate by playing them at their own simplistic game.

Disclosure: - I actually talked to John Key about the issue of Student allowances when I meet him at the markets - and he seemed to be up with the play on this issue (which maybe an indication he has a game plan for this very scenario - is that why he sounded happy during his radio interview?)


This time it's universal allowances (by 2012).

I'm currently a pseudo-student, so having gone through the system I know it pretty well.  The problems are:

  • Unfairness; some students get all some get nothing
  • Loop holes; by filling out forms x, y and z while dancing the can-can and blowing bubble gum you can get some cash

Through out my time as a student I've received the full allowance amount of 160 bucks a week... then the next year I get nothing thanks to the magic of ever changing form criteria. 

So based on my experience I support a universal allowance of around 60-80 bucks  a week.  You can't live off that amount, so you'll either have to get a weekend job or borrow off your loan.   An allowance set at this amount achieves the two conflicting objectives of helping out students, while discouraging bludgers.  It also offers consistency.

Will Labour's 2008 election bribe be as effective as Labour's 2005 interest free student loan deal?

Doubt it.  The loan write-off effected a much greater number of people and once passed into law the effect was instantaneous.

The allowance bribe only effects students studying, so as a consequence pisses off students who've graduated.  And some will have to wait till 2012 to get the allowance.  The bribe isn't as clear-cut as the one in 2005.

Next question; National apparently knew about this bribe - should they have 'snookered' Labour (as Cullen puts it)?

Good question.  NX-Files reckons yes.  John Key could've announced say an $80 a week universal allowance with a slightly modified tax plan. 


Clark proposes mini-budget in December News - Yahoo!Xtra News

Prime minister Helen Clark says a Labour government would present a mini-budget in December to deal with the effects of the international financial crisis.

"It's obviously affected the kind of policies we are going into the election with," she said today on TV One's Breakfast programme.

"We're not looking to cut overall government spending but we have to look very carefully where we direct it."

                            Prime minister Helen Clark says a Labour government would present a mini-budget in December to deal with the effects of the international financial crisis.


NX-Files needs help understanding the quotes above.  December is only a couple of months off.  So they're going to come up with and campaign on a bunch of policies.... then once in power enact a completely different agenda to combat the international financial crisis.  Why not just campaign on what you intend to do in your mini-budget? 



Court told how Korean student was throttled News - Yahoo!Xtra News

The three are alleged to have picked up Kim on the road from Greymouth to Westport on the day he was killed.

They later pulled over and pretended the car was stuck.

Mr Lange said Mr Kim was pushing the car when he was attacked from behind and throttled by Mr Flewellen and his body was later buried.

                                  A Korean student was choked to death by one of three men who had picked him up hitch-hiking, a depositions hearing was told today.

How senseless!  The murder appears to be racially motivated.  Not only did they go out of their way to pick up the hitcher, they even created a ploy that their vehicle was stuck ..... all for what, so they could murder him because he's Asian.

What gets me is they actually thought of a ploy, which indicates thinking.  The ability to envisage didn't scenarios and outcomes.   Yet they committed murder based on race.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Popular and Competent



Word for word from 'Close Up'.

"What I'm putting forward this election is myself as a creditable leader of international standing who has lead New Zealand through good years and difficult years and done a good job.  I believe I can be trusted with our countries future and from what I've seen today this is a recipe for low savings and a dumb economy."

Oh Please.... get over yourself.  As far as your 'international standing' is concerned, Kevin Rudd didn't even bother to consult you before he went public with his idea of an EU style union between countries of South East Asian.  We've seen the Aussie dossier on you and they don't think much.

And just because the people of some small Pacific Island nation carried you in a wooden carriage on their shoulders doesn't mean you can let it go to your head. 

NX-Files gets the impression that Helen thinks she's too good for this country.

Only a few more weeks now before she can get that job at the UN she's always wanted and be truly appreciated as a multi-talented leader.  Speed the day!

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You've got to laugh - both Helen and Winnie are streets ahead of anyone else.  That wouldn't be so bad if they were on opposite sides of the political spectrum.  But they're not - they're essentially on the same ticket; like Obama/Biden, McCain/Palin..... or as is the case Clark/Peters.


The Standard would debunk this poll by stating that anyone reading a newspaper online is obviously not normal.  Though they mightn't be far wrong - case in point being Mike Hoskings who admitted being an online newspaper reader. 

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NX-Files is basically a play on my username (NX) and the TV series The X-Files (which coincidentally is one of my favourite shows).

As before, I'll be simul-blogging on Windows Live Spaces & Blogger, but this time with the same blog name.


I decided that the blog names 'Brashtalk' and 'NinthFloor' were a little too obsecure and I wanted to include my username in the URL.

It's very painful choosing a blog name. This will be the last time I'm going to change my blog URL, ever ;) . NX-Files is a fairly generic and inoffensive blog-name, so it's perfect.

Even though I've settled on a blog name, I haven't settled on a platform. There are things I like about in both Windows Live Spaces and Blogger. However, in terms of user friendly-ness and customisation - Blogger is streets ahead. WL Spaces can't seem to handle even basic HTML. However I do like the uniqueness factor that comes with WL Spaces because everyone seems to have a blogger account.

Check 'em out. I'd appreciate any feed back on the design and layout of the two platforms.

Family first rates the leaders

Never missing an opportunity to test my opinion, I've followed in DPF
footsteps and taken the Family's First 'social legislation' test.

Prostitution Bill- NX Abstain - 0
Civil Unions - NX support - 0
Relationships Bill - NX support - 0
Parental Notification for under 16 abortions - NX support - 1 (as with
DPF I support notification, not approval)
Euthanasia - NX support - 0 Care of Children - NX oppose - 1 (not sure what this bill is about, but
I'll go with DPF)
Marriage Amendment (define as man/woman only) - NX support - 1
Anti-Smacking - NX support - 0
Easter Trading - NX oppose - 1
Easter Sunday Trading - NX oppose - 1
Drinking Age to 20 - NX oppose - 0
Street Prostitution (Manukau) - NX Abstain (yes, how very Obama of me) 0
Electoral Finance - NX oppose - 1

So I get 5 out of 13 = 38.5%. This puts me into the same league as Jim
Anderton (probably my least favoured MP). Which just goes to show - that
like minds don't always think a like.

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