March 2013 Archive

While the fannies and the ninnies decry the drinking culture in New Zealand, and other similarly liberal shores, those with maturity repine with the following enlightened attitude:

How to drink like a Gentleman:

The things to do and the things not to. As learned in more than 30 years of reasearch.

A good passage:

“But what is reliable stuff? What is the thing to drink, specifically? I go back to my Rule No. 1. The better thing to drink, whenever there is a choice, is the milder thing. Wine is better than a highball, a highball is better than a cocktail, and a cocktail is better than hard liquor taken straight. To be sure, there are times when the system craves something with a swift and powerful kick. A man just saved from drowning or acquitted of murder is not likely to be content with a glass of beer; he wants a pint of whisky, and he wants it at a gulp. But such inflammatory emergencies are surely not common in normal life.”

And my favourite:

 “The typical situation is far less harrowing. The day is done, and the time has come to feed the body and relax the mind. Pleasant companions have gathered, and the aim of every one is to expand and be happy. Each has suffered since morning from the burden of chores and the assault of bores, and each is eager to let go his running rigging, drop his mainsail, and drift along quietly on the evening swell. Does he need a shot of 50-per-cent alcohol to achieve this benignant process? Does he need cocktails full of gin, rum, rye, applejack, and what not, with liqueurs, fruit juices, and bitters to disguise their naked shame? The answer is usually no, and in a perfect world it would be no all the time—but as things stand, alas, it is sometimes a kind of yes.”

Oh how true:

“There are two tests: the company assembled and the dinner in prospect. If the company is made up wholly or in large part of yahoos to whom the only meaning of drinking is getting tight, and if the dinner ahead (as is likely in such a case) promises to be badly cooked and badly served, with nothing decent on the table to wash it down, then go for a cocktail by all means, and then for another, and then for as many more as you can get hold of. For what you need in such a situation is not something to emancipate you from care gently and beautifully, but something to knock you out at one crack. In other words, what you need is not an apéritif but an anæsthetic. Chloroform would be better, or the kick of a mule; but in their absence you must put up with a cocktail.”

Me: Alas I was once such a yahoo. And for some is indeed an attitude of vigilance one must apply in order not to be charming rather than boorish. My rule of thumb to try to be aware of the point you become “glittery”. When you feel the wine sparkling from your eye and you think you must be with the finest company in the nation. Even when you’re drinking alone. 🙂  

Then there is the peril that one becomes so tight you exude the contents of your stomach over the hosts property. This is not uncommon amongst teenagers. This is sometimes necessary to remind us we need to be watching “how much we drink”, not “how drunk we feel”:

If you stick to a drink an hour you will be fine. If you drink faster than this you may get in trouble. Think of the accidental drinking death stories you hear of. There is nothing less cool than choking on your own vomit while trying to get to a slightly more intoxicated state. This is what happened to Amy Winehouse. This is what happens when you fall for the “Drinking Glamour”. A glamor is a tempting illusion. You drink too much and at lesser degrees of this, you wake up with a bad case of the dry horrors and feeling like a prick.

 Another couple of helpful rules for upcoming generations:
Never become drunker than the drunkest person in the room.

Never drink and go on social media. You regret it in the morning. Every time a coconut.

It is easier to not have a drink than to stop in full swing. 

And to finish with the following from How to Drink Like a Gentleman:

“But to drink hard liquor before wine is as barbarous as going to church in a bathing suit or with boxing gloves on. It simply insults the whole evening. It is gustatory suicide. All this ought to be taught to the young by the moral leaders of the nation; but, as I have said, they neglect their duty.”

 So perhaps we need to take our young sports people and sports ladies by the hand; forget their past indiscretions and teach them how to not drink like tits. Without any prissy commentary from TV3 hacks.

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The Tiwai Aluminium smelter contract between Tiwai and Meridian’s Manapouri Power Station is about to fall over:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10874188

“Meridian chief executive Mark Binns released a statement to the stock exchange this morning saying that despite significant efforts by both parties there remained a “major gap” between them and Meridian believed it was “unlikely” that a new agreement could be reached with Pacific Aluminium.”

Tiwai consumes 1/7th of all power consumption in NZ. If Tiwai stops consuming this power then demand falls and spot prices tank.
(The supply of electricity is spot-priced at half hourly auctions at over 250 nodes around NZ.  Should an energy consumer like Tiwai, connected directly to the National grid stop drawing, it will drag down the price of power and reduce profits to all electricity providers.

Power prices will lower for consumers while providers draw less profits until demand increases.

Go, us.
But if you’re a government about to float a state-owned electricity provider, ie, Mighty River Power and you want a sizeable capital injection, the last thing you need is some fiasco affecting the price of power and profit margins. 

Background:

Tiwai and Meridian struck a deal in 2007 for power supply to Tiwai to last until 2030. Given the market conditions for aluminum when it was negotiated, the deal which took months to arrive at, was reasonably well weighted on the side of Meridian.

Since then, prices for aluminum have tanked and the cost of production has risen. Rio Tinto wrote down the value of it’s aluminum enterprises by 11bn in January bringing the total writedown on it’s aluminum assets to 27bn. 

Tiwai want to renegotiate the deal with Meridian as the profit margin on Aluminium production is nonexistent. Millions of tons of aluminium sit in warehouses around the world due to oversupply. Tiwai in recent months has reduced the production of Aluminium by 5%.The trend is not going to reverse anytime soon:

Falling Aluminium proces send Chalco into the red:

http://www.scmp.com/business/commodities/article/1201337/falling-aluminium-prices-send-chalco-red

Aluminium prices dropped 6 per cent last year.

Aluminum Corporation of China (Chalco) posted its worst results since going public in 2001, chalking up a net loss of 8.23 billion yuan (HK$10.18 billion) for last year.
The loss, compared with a net profit of 238 million yuan in 2011, is one of the biggest annual losses for a mainland state-owned firm for last year.
Last year’s loss was much steeper than the 4.8 billion yuan average loss estimated by 21 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. They forecast it would post a net loss of 2.05 billion yuan this year and another loss of 620 million yuan next year.
Metallurgical Corporation of China warned in late January that it expected to post a net loss of 7.2 billion yuan due to hefty provisions on Huludao Nonferrous Metals, one of the mainland’s largest zinc smelters, and its investment in an iron-ore mining project in Australia majority-owned by Citic Pacific.
Chalco, the country’s largest producer of aluminium, blamed the loss on a 7 per cent fall in the average selling price of the metal, which led to a 6.6 billion yuan reduction in gross profit.
The economic slowdown on the mainland, coupled with Europe’s debt-stricken economy, were to blame for the drop in the metal’s price, Chalco said. The more favourable economic trend on the mainland and in the United States this year would support consumption of the metal, but oversupply still persisted, it added.

In question time in New Zealand parliament today Shearer tried to make the issue one of “transparency with a supplementary question fielded by Tony Ryall:
“Is the government negotiating separately with Rio Tinto and has Meridian been kept fully in the loop on these negotiations”.
Shearer got the usual pushback over his hidden UN bank account. However, he is starting to look confident and if he pulls on this stand of wall in the ball of yarn he may very well have the NZ government over the barrel on Tiwai.

WHAT TO DO:

The government should not be subsidising Tiwai with taxpayers dollars. Meridian has already prepared for alternatives should Tiwai renege. And if Transpower increased transmission capacity to the North Island then any surplus power should be drawn upon quickly.

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New Speaker of the House David Carter is doing an adequate job and looks to be a promising Speaker. The opposition is complaining rather girlishly that Carter is unable to control the house. Russell Norman’s open letter to the Speaker:

http://blog.greens.org.nz/2013/03/21/open-letter-to-the-speaker-re-question-time/

What such complaints really mean is that the proponents of such claims are unable to land a blow. Carter is starving the time wasters of oxygen to uphold the gravitas of the institution of Parliament. 
It’s a completely different style of stewardship than that of Lockwood Smith. Smith was a perennial pixie, who played as much to the theatre of it all, as to the Standing Orders. He was well -known for impartiality.  Carter is a gryphon and he is not going to indulge the opposition or level the playing field.  And there is no Standing Order in anyone’s rule book that says he must. The opposition has to up their game and move away from the petty points of order that have become entrenched. Democracy will be the better for it.

Carter turns Hipkins to stone with his stare.
 Expect the standing orders to be interpreted by the book.
The Speaker even has a useful psychic talent. In Parliament yesterday he claimed to know what Chris Hipkins was going to say in a point of order. And then he booted him out of the chamber for insisting on continuing to speak. 
Everything in his demeanor suggests he has more respect for the institution of Parliament than yahoos like Mallard who had outrageously requested that the Speaker sit while Mallard indulged in mischief making.
 Mallard was told to leave the debating chamber after telling Mr Carter to “sit down ’til I’m finished” during question time.
Hipkins tried to continue on with Mallards point of order which only served to get himself ejected.
 There is no problem with Carter. However everyone is in shock because finally there’s a real man in charge.

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Roger Hall says that we have to raise taxes to prevent drunks from what they do so well; (being drunk), and in order to pay for the cost of their medical misadventures:

Roger Hall: Tax best weapon in booze fight:

“Recent failed attempts from the Government to find fresh sources of tax (car parks, smartphones) show it is still desperate for revenue.
So why not the obvious: increase the tax on alcohol.”
Well, Mr Hall. Where do we start? You just cannot save people from themselves. And yes it is regrettable that we smoke tobacco or cannabanoids, drink and get fat.  But if you engender a prohibition type environment either through taxes or an outright ban then you end up with the drug culture of Mexico or even worse,Wanganui, New Zealand.

With this approach, you actually prime the population with the message that people are too screwed up to help themselves or grow through a period of mindless immaturity just as previous generations did. 
Almost overnight, you end up with a culture of drunks and infantile pseudo grown ups who think that “fessing all”, is the path to salvation.

Queue Zac Guildford; the latest to ‘fess up and take the “First Step”.
 http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/8425255/Guildfords-admission-saves-rugby-career
“All Black Zac Guildford has for the first time publicly admitted he is an alcoholic after being reinstated by the NZRU today.
Guildford has breached the time held AA principle of anonymity in order to not get booted out of the rugby arena:
A brutally honest Guildford told a packed room of media in Wellington he had finally accepted he had a mental illness that includes “addictive tendencies”.
The Crusaders and All Blacks wing answered simply “Yes” when asked if he was an alcoholic.

And:

“He would be attending AA meetings among other things as he continues his recovery and hoped to be playing for the Crusaders ‘‘as soon as possible’’.” 

What a dick. If you’re an alcoholic and in AA then you don’t publicly disclose your or anyone elses affiliation with AA.
One reasoning is that if you relapse you give the message that AA doesn’t work.
But best of luck to Guildford. If he is a real alcoholic then or any kind of ‘aholic then he faces a battle that saw a friend of mine die fitting on a lawn in Wellington following an overdose of pills and booze.
However, part of me is skeptical with regards to the nature of Guildford’s battle. There is a tendency these days to put everything down to “addiction”, when in reality, addiction can be averted by just Hardening The Fuck Up”.

If you are questioning yourself as to the nature of your habit,  read the following, an awesome example of the inner monologue of addiction by that perennial wordsmith: Stephen King:

The Dark Tower V
Wolves of Calla. Stephen King

Chapter III: The Priest’s Tale (New York)

ONE

It was the drink, that was what he came to believe when he finally stopped it and clarity came. Not God, not Satan, not some deep psychosexual battle between his blessed mither and his blessed Da’. Just the drink. And was it surprising that whiskey should have taken him by the ears? He was Irish, he was a priest, one more strike and you’re out.
From seminary in Boston he’d gone to a city parish in Lowell, Massachusetts. His parishioners had loved him (he wouldn’t refer to them as his flock, flocks were what you called seagulls on their way to the town dump), but after seven years in Lowell, Callahan had grown uneasy. When talking to Bishop Dugan in the Diocese office, he had used all the correct buzzwords of the time to express this unease: anomie, urban malaise, an increasing lack of empathy, a sense of disconnection from the life of the spirit. He’d had a nip in the bathroom before his appointment (followed by a couple of Wintergreen Life Savers, no fool he), and had been particularly eloquent that day. Eloquence does not always proceed from belief, but often proceeds from the bottle. And he was no liar. He had believed what he was saying that day in Dugan’s study. Every word. As he believed in Freud, the future of the Mass spoken in English, the nobility of Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, and the idiocy of his widening war in Vietnam: waist-deep in the Wide Muddy, and the big fool said to push on, as the old folk-tune had it. He believed in large part because those ideas (if they wereideas and not just cocktail-party chatter) had been currently trading high on the intellectual Big Board. Social Conscience is up two and a third, Hearth and Home down a quarter but still your basic blue-chip stock. Later it all became simpler. Later he came to understand that he wasn’t drinking too much because he was spiritually unsettled but spiritually unsettled because he was drinking too much. You wanted to protest, to say that couldn’t be it, or not justthat, it was too simple. But it was that, just that. God’s voice is still and small, the voice of a sparrow in a cyclone, so said the prophet Isaiah, and we all say thankya. It’s hard to hear a small voice clearly if you’re shitass drunk most of the time. Callahan left America for Roland’s world before the computer revolution spawned the acronym GIGO—garbage in, garbage out—but in plenty of time to hear someone at an AA meeting observe that if you put an asshole on a plane in San Francisco and flew him to the east coast, the same asshole got off in Boston. Usually with four or five drinks under his belt. But that was later. In 1964 he had believed what he believed, and plenty of people had been anxious to help him find his way. From Lowell he had gone to Spofford, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton. There he stayed for five years, and then he began to feel restless again. Consequently, he began to talk the talk again. The kind the Diocesan Office listened to. The kind that got you moved on down the line. Anomie. Spiritual disconnection (this time from his suburban parishioners). Yes, they liked him (and he liked them), but something still seemed to be wrong. And there was something wrong, mostly in the quiet bar on the corner (where everybody also liked him) and in the liquor cabinet in the rectory living room. Beyond small doses, alcohol is a toxin, and Callahan was poisoning himself on a nightly basis. It was the poison in his system, not the state of the world or that of his own soul, which was bringing him down. Had it always been that obvious? Later (at another AA meeting) he’d heard a guy refer to alcoholism and addiction as the elephant in the living room: how could you miss it? Callahan hadn’t told him, he’d still been in the first ninety days of sobriety at that point and that meant he was supposed to just sit there and be quiet (“Take the cotton out of your ears and stick it in your mouth,” the old-timers advised, and we all say thankya), but he couldhave told him, yes indeed. You could miss the elephant if it was a magicelephant, if it had the power—like The Shadow—to cloud men’s minds. To actually make you believe that your problems were spiritual and mental but absolutely not boozical. Good Christ, just the alcohol-related loss of the REM sleep was enough to screw you up righteously, but somehow you never thought of that while you were active. Booze turned your thought-processes into something akin to that circus routine where all the clowns come piling out of the little car. When you looked back in sobriety, the things you’d said and done made you wince (“I’d sit in a bar solving all the problems of the world, then not be able to find my car in the parking lot,” one fellow at a meeting remembered, and we all say thankya). The things you thought were even worse. How could you spend the morning puking and the afternoon believing you were having a spiritual crisis? Yet he had. And his superiors had, possibly because more than a few of them were having their own problems with the magic elephant. Callahan began thinking that a smaller church, a rural parish, would put him back in touch with God and himself. And so, in the spring of 1969, he found himself in New England again. Northern New England, this time. He had set up shop—bag and baggage, crucifix and chasuble—in the pleasant little town of Jerusalem’s Lot, Maine. There he had finally met real evil. Looked it in the face.
And flinched.

My favourite phrase:
“It’s hard to hear a small voice clearly if you’re shitass drunk most of the time.”

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17 yr old Nick D’Aloisio, is richer to the tune ofUS $30 million in the sale of the news reading app to Yahoo.
summly takes long form stories and shortens then for the smart phone audience.
From The New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/26/business/media/nick-daloisio-17-sells-summly-app-to-yahoo.html?ref=business&_r=0

Teenage millionaires. It truly is the age of the internet.

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It’s all on you Beaumont:
 From the Greymouth Star archives: Shunned O’Connor lashes out
http://www.greystar.co.nz/content/shunned-o%E2%80%99connor-lashes-out

West Coast-Tasman Labour list MP Damien O’Connor sent shockwaves through his own party yesterday by withdrawing from the party list, declaring that it was drawn up by “a gaggle of gays and self-serving unionists”.
That leaves the veteran Westport-born MP with just one chance of returning to Parliament in this year’s election — by beating National’s Chris Auchinvole to win back his old electorate.
He opted off the list before the rankings had been confirmed: “I was not given a position on the list. I pulled out before, having been given an indication that I was not going to be treated fairly,” he said today.
Many of the newcomers to the list were sanctioned by the union affiliates, including the former party president Andrew Little who, as secretary of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union, was given 15th place, just below Labour’s front-bench MPs, and guaranteeing him a seat in Parliament.
Mr O’Connor said the composition of the list gave “straight shooters” like himself little chance of gaining a fair deal.
As I predicted – O’Connor’s ideals are more politically aligned with Camp Cunliffe than Shearer:

http://nowoccupy.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-labour-trifecta.html

Chris Trotter’s most recent post on The Daily Post:

With God on their side: explaining Labour’s factional divisions:

This post places O’Connor in Camp Shearer:
Team Shearer (14)
David Shearer, Phil Goff, Annette King, Trevor Mallard, David Parker, Clayton Cosgrove, Shane Jones, Damien O’Connor, Damien Fenton, Kris Fa’afoi, Ross Robertson, Carol Beaumont, Maryan Street, Ruth Dyson.
The Young and The Restless (9)
Grant Robertson, Jacinda Ardern, Chris Hipkins, Phil Twyford, Clare Curran, Megan Woods, Ian Lees-Galloway, David Clark, Andrew Little.
Cunliffe’s People (11)
David Cunliffe, Lianne Dalziel, Moana Mackey, Nanaia Mahuta, Louisa Wall, Sue Moroney, Parekura Horomia, Rajen Prasad, Rino Tirikatene, Su’a William Sio, Raymond Huo.
 
My recent analysis called O’Connor for Cunliffe. Which makes the numbers above start to dance in front of your eyes if you have more than a passing interest in politics.

If Cunliffe gets 14 MP’s behind him then he’s got a reasonable crack at the crown.

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Out for dinner. 

To be completely honest, being a housewife is often a hard gig.
You can be plagued by fear, doubt, insecurity and the need to control.

And you don’t have the water cooler gossip of a workplace to drown out the white noise of the stream of consciousness.

To remain strong in the face of mental self tyranny, you take it back to basics. Preparation and  enjoyment of the next meal.

A real bonus is going out for dinner.

My husband and I drove into the dining mecca of Locust St, Walnut Creek last night and had Turkish at Bosphorus, Walnut Creek.

We had a cold platter including Dolma, (stuffed grape leaves), patlican salad (grilled eggplant), hummus, ezme(tomato cucumber walnut and onion), garbanzo salad, kizartma, fried bell pepper, eggplant, and zucchini) red lentil kofte and cacik(yogurt mint and cucumber)

Then we ordered the hot platter.  My favourite was the sigara borek, or turkish cigarette shaped pastry stuffed with feta.

We then ordered the Bosphorus combo kebab platter (yup, meat on skewers). This came with bulgar pilaf and salad.

 The wine list included “the Black Shiraz”, from Riverina South Australia and New Harbour Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand.

We finished up with traditional turkish coffee.

Very strong, very thick liquid over coffee grounds.

And ordered dessert which was to die for:

Kunefe: Two layers of kadayıf (shredded filo dough) with cheese layer in
between, baked to perfection and served with homemade syrup

This took a luxurious two hours to devour. We tried to just sit and pontificate in the traditional Turkish male tradition. We discussed accents with the Moroccan waitress who emigrated to the US two years ago; we moved here from New Zealand last year.
We agreed with her that the US is a great place for immigrants and that the kunefe was divine.

Duly sated by time out, we returned to home and hearth:

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From The Standard:

Labour’s three factions:
“It’s interesting how little understanding there is of the state and politics within the Parliamentary Labour Party. A lot of the coverage of Labour’s internal workings has tended to personalise the tension – it’s been focused on Shearer vs Cunliffe without any questions about what lies beneath.
As always, there’s a lot more to it. Most of the drama within Labour since the last election can be put down to the power struggle between the Parliamentary party’s threefactions. I think it’s time to shine a light on what’s going on so members can better judge the behaviour of their parliamentary representatives.
Questions of ideology, loyalty, and personal advancement all play their part in the makeup of Labour’s three factions. Each faction has a core group of hard support as well as a handful of soft supporters who can and have switched allegiances from time to time. This is much looser and informal than the Australian system of factions.
Broadly speaking though, Labour’s three factions are as follows:”

The Right
David Shearer (leader)
Phil Goff
Annette King
David Parker
Clayton Cosgrove
Shane Jones
Damien O’Connor
Kris Fa’afoi
Ross Robertson

This is where I start to disagree:

Chuck Chauvel has gone to the UN and the territory has shifted throwing a rather different light on the different camps:

Though calling it “The Right”: Eddie is above describing the Left Wing Faction. For the sake of accuracy I shall refer to it as the UN Left Wing Faction. That is: The faction of Labour whose ideals align largely with those influencers whose ideals are shaped by radical feminism or a stint with the UN. Very sympathetic to the union movement but not to the point of letting the tail wag the dog: I’ll remove a couple of individuals to other factions, showing my changes in yellow:

The UN Left Wing.
1. David Shearer (leader)
2. Phil Goff
3. Annette King
4. David Parker
5. Clayton Cosgrove
6. Kris Fa’afoi (too new to have made solid alliances but too near Wellington and Goff not to be loosely aligned with The UN Left Wing. )
7. Ross Robertson (wants to be the next Speaker
8. Phil Twyford pragmatic enough not to see himself as the next Phil or David but the most likely deputy for whoever fronts as leader following Shearer .
 9. Andrew Little.
As you can see it is shaky shaky ground for Shearer. he only has the firm support of 9 MP’s. But as Eddie says, there is a firm understanding between camp UN and camp Careerists,  that it is not in the best interests of either camp to throw their toys just yet.

The Careerist Left:
10. Grant Robertson (leader)
11. Chris Hipkins (twisted the knife on silent T)
12. Jacinda Ardern
13. Clare Curran
14. Maryan Street
15. David Clark
16. Trevor Mallard
17. Darien Fenton
18. Megan Woods
19. Ruth Dyson
20. Carol Beaumont
21. Moana Mackey
Here we have twelve votes. Eddie puts Beaumont with Cunliffe. I do not, because of her long union career. This is significant: If she is indeed with Camp Cunners then Shearer has a maximum of three months left in the job.

Eddies Left. The Sleeping Right or Camp Cunners.
22. David Cunliffe (leader)
23. Nanaia Mahuta (firmly Camp Cunliffe)
24.Louisa Wall
25.Sue Moroney: (firmly Camp Cunliffe)
26.Su’a William Sio: (firmly Camp Cunliffe)
27.Lianne Dalziel (firmly Camp Cunliffe)
28. Parekura Horomia
29. Rajen Prasad
30. Rino Tirikatene
31. Raymond Huo
32. Iain Lees-Galloway
 33. Shane Jones
34. Damien O’Connor

13 votes – This camp only needs one more to push another leadership vote to throw Shearer.

I’d be looking seriously at the question of why and where and how things will go now that Chuck is at the UN?
If Chauvel made a calculated move to replace himself as a dedicated Cunners follower, with Beaumont as a dedicated Cunners follower, then possibly Chauvel and Cunliffe have cooked up the scenario where Labour tries to throw the Ohariu vote to Shanks.
Labour left this to Gower and the rest of the fourth estate to do at the last election but they couldn’t shift Peter Dunne. Whoever does gains a lot of inherent mana.
It is well known that if Shanks is ever allowed to pull the vote from Peter she’ll split the vote and possibly throw the seat to Labour. Labour effectively gets two extra seats from this. One from the electorate MP being Labour and another because of the overhang rule. Essentially, Charles was not able to do this at his time at the coalface and because of the nature of the factions he was not ever likely to go up the ranks.

The most important MP’s before or during the next election:
Peter Dunne and Carol Beaumont. Runners up: Moana Mackey and Kris Fa’afoi.

Note: Cunliffe is being very active on Red Alert with regards to United Future:
http://blog.labour.org.nz/2013/03/26/tax-pain-time/

And from a few days ago:

http://blog.labour.org.nz/2013/03/19/united-futures-awful-week/

One has to ask oneself if these are the actions of a loyal lieutenant. 
I have to stop there as I’m a very busy housewife.

I’ll update.

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Have you heard about the shitstorm at local developers conference Pycon? A female developer/media consultant, was sitting in front of some male devs and took umbrage with the topic of conversation. From Techcrunch:
A dongle joke that spiraled way out of Control

Adria Richards was sitting in front of a row of male developers at the Python Conference.  She didn’t like the dongle jokes being made behind her and when a comment was made about “forking someones repo”, she had enough. She turned, took a photo and tweeted it to the conference organisers and the world.
The men and Adria were removed from the conference room. One of the men and Adria were both fired.

The  guy was fired for social misconduct. Richards for naming and shaming.

Here is a link to Adria’ blog: But You’re a Girl

Richards:  “Have you ever had a group of men sitting right behind you making joke that caused you to feel uncomfortable? Well, that just happened this week but instead of shrinking down in my seat, I did something about it an here’s my story…

Those who sympathize with Adria think she’s a hero. The vast majority in the developer community do not.

Oh lawd. The poor girl. She’ll never make it in a male dominated community if she is such a princess about it all..

Guys talk shit. if they shit talk in front of a female they are paying the ultimate compliment. They don’t see you as a shit-talk destroying female. You’re an intellectual equal.
Adria would not have been sacrificing any principles if she had just ignored what was going on. Anyone can see from the photo she snapped that the guys are about as dangerous as stoned ewoks.

I’m actually not sure that they aren’t stoned ewoks.
As for the topic of conversation:

Inappropriate? You can’t change the law of the jungle. Everything reduces down to talk about bodily functions and sex when males are shit talking.

It’s just what you get when you’re driven by two meatballs and some cat5 cable to a brain.
And in large part humor is just, well, male. Ever since Charlie Chaplin, the good comedians have been guys who make dorks of themselves and commentary on the differences between guys and gals are more about that factor rather than some sexist amorphous attack on women.
Give the poor fullas a break.

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