Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Swine Flu Returns To Plague Us

Labour Makes More Policy Announcements

 You might not have noticed, but the Labour Party has been trying to let us know that they will get the real economy going with Government encouragement when they get back into power - this time with incentives to boost forestry processing and production. These policies are well overdue, as the wharves around the country are stacked high with raw logs destined for China and taking our badly needed processing jobs with them.

In Northland, we are waiting to get a commitment for the rail link to North Port at Marsden Point that will take hundreds of logging trucks off the roads which are slowing traffic down and breaking up the tar seal.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Grasputin Takes Over Crimea

As many Kremlin watchers feared, Putin has moved the Russian armed forces into Ukraine to protect Russian interests. So far the invasion has been limited to Crimea, but he has made it very clear that further incursions will take place if necessary.

I assume that this violation of Ukraine sovereignty is to protect not only Russian bases in Crimea but also to send the new Ukrainian Government a direct message not to mess with civil rights of the millions of ethnic Russians living in Ukraine.

From the outside, this looks disturbingly like the break up of Yugoslavia. I hope the politicians avoid that scenario, because civil wars are such vicious affairs and a pathetic waste of valuable lives. In this case, both sides have many more close cultural and historical ties that binds them more than their differences. Perhaps it is time for them to listen to John Lennon's tuneful incantation, "Give Peace A Chance"- and put the guns away.

Phoney Poll?

Yes indeed, guess what, the Whangarei District Council has opted to use a telephone poll to tell them if there is enough local support to continue spending money on converting the old Northland Regional Council Basin building into a Hundertwasser styled gallery! Just under half the Council wanted to ditch the project and this appears to me to be a compromise to keep the peace between the opposing camps.

The wording of the survey will be need to be clear and not just a front to get a predetermined result. It also needs to be large enough to be credible and also connect with people without a land line. I am hoping that I will not feel compelled to rail against a rigged poll.