Saturday, 31 December 2011

Robert Green "A Thorn in their Side"

“A Thorn in their Side”,

Is a new book by Robert Green, published by Rata Books in November 2011 and it is a compelling read.

It is ironic that it was published at the same time as the movie about Margaret Thatcher hit our screens, for without doubt Thatcher played a leading role in the murder of Hilda Murrell in the English county of Shropshire in 1984. Hilda was the aunt of author Robert Green.

His insider knowledge as a Royal Navy Commander about Thatcher’s role in ordering the sinking of the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano outside of the combat zone during of the Falklands War in 1982 and his aunt’s protest activities against nuclear power and the nuclear industries role in creating nuclear power plants is most revealing and confirms that the Tory Government was at its most repressive during the Prime Ministership of Margaret Thatcher.

The growth of private agents to carry out the dirty work for MI5 and MI6 is clearly shown and proves that Thatcher who became known as the Iron Lady because of her support for both the Falklands War and the Nuclear industry and far right economic policies which led to the direct collapse of the present financial system.

Robert Green even after moving to Christchurch NZ was still harassed by UK secret service agents as he battled to seek the truth of what happened to his beloved aunt.

After reading this very readable record of the mis-use of the powers of both the English police and security services and the contracting out to private and corporate owned security companies, who seem to be above the law, a trend that sadly continues today.

It was equally ironic but not surprising that the period of Thatcherism that saw the growth of Rightwing takeover of government security activities with its loss of democratic process. The same behaviour was adopted by Roger Douglas which was equally ironic because of NZ’s anti nuclear policy.

Robert Green has produced a clear and concise record of the events before and after the bizarre and violent death of his beloved aunt Hilda.

Read in conjunction with Nicky Hager’s latest book – Other People’s Wars, it shows the steady decline of democracy in nations that preach freedom for others while introducing the opposite for their own citizens.

Robert Green has lifted this episode from conspiracy theory to political reality, I strongly recommend that you get a copy.

A Thorn in their Side, publish by Rata Books, October 2011 for further information go to www.hildamurrell.org       

Friday, 30 December 2011

Another view on US Seals...


Seals...Hypocrisy. 

In support of my earlier blog of a letter sent the Manawatu Standard Ian Ritchie wrote:

Dear Sir

I write in support of the assessment by Peter Wheeler (Standard, 29 December) that the US military Seals represent the opposite of the world’s greatest group – they are murderers and assassins.
But then that hypocrisy typifies the US position on so many escapades.
Take Operation Enduring Freedom – the war on Afghanistan – enduring freedom for who – US corporate interests of course. Certainly not the Afghanis. If Bin Laden was the objective, Saudi Arabia would have been the target. If the “terrible” plight of Afghani women was the target, we will of course expect Israel to be invaded to rescue Israeli women from the astounding attitude of their fundamentalist clerics. So why is Afghanistan being bombed into the stone age it had barely left because several other countries had tried to take it over? For the benefit of the US economy of course. Freedom from the Taliban – not likely.

Not satisfied with one war to keep the US economy afloat they had to move on to Iraq to bomb it into the stone age – again for spurious justifications – but really for the benefit of US corporations who now own the resources of that country.

If the US Seals were what they are cracked up to be,  Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein would have been summarily dealt to the way Bin Laden was, but not after 10 years of bombing with millions of “collateral damage” .

As the WWII saying went, when the Germans flew over, we ducked, when the British flew over, they ducked, when the Americans flew over everyone ducked. Seems little changes.

If your own experience doesn’t confirm this, read Nicky Hager’s latest book – Other People’s Wars, and see how you feel after that. A really good and important new year read.

Yours etc
Ian Ritchie

Monday, 26 December 2011

Assassins Get Team of the Year award.



Are these people the real assassins?

Reference Manawatu Standards item Seals Top Team…Tuesday 27th December 2011:

Seals are mammals that Greenpeace seek to protect from fishing nets…American seals are soldiers who carry out murder or assassination orders from the US government. They are so ineffective that only after ten years of invasion and destruction by other US military units, and after the loss of three thousand US troops, wait there is more, the deaths of an estimated two hundred thousand innocent by-standers a group of US military seals, illegally entered an independent country and murdered Osama Bin Laden and members of his family, there was no fire fight, no tactical battle, just land in a helicopter and blast your way in and murder the occupants, some heroes…
And for that the Times Newspaper [UK] awarded them the “Team of the Year”…
It could only happen in the US. And little backwoods paper the Manawatu Standard published this PR Crap.
Firstly any soldier worth his or her salt would deny any association with such a military force as the US Seals…not for what they are, but for what they do, on their President’s command. Put simply they are sick, both in body and mind. They are known to have assassinated many individuals whom the US Government considered enemies.
Our media and many in our government support this criminal behaviour and try to blanket it in a glow of heroism. There is nothing heroic about it. It is both cowardly and criminal. Bin Laden needed to be brought to justice, not murdered by state trained assassins and that’s the truth. To suggest others wise is not Christian or human no matter how you look at it, unless of course you believe you are God and rule the world. 
PS, check out the photo and see the medals the Air-Force guy has, how many of those where recieved for murdering innocent civillians.. 

Thursday, 22 December 2011

When Fascism Departs the scene...


Thatcher's State Funeral. 

This hits the nail on the head...I read it on that wonderful blog 'No Right Turn' I think the principle should apply here in NZ to the Roger Douglas types and maybe even Don Brash and John Key...maybe we should push for a bill to be introduced here...I'm sure Winston Peters would be in favour...



Margaret Thatcher is one of Britain's greatest criminals, whose disbelief in society caused her to destroy it. As a former Prime Minister, she is in line for a state funeral when she dies (which will provide a focus for protest over her toxic legacy). Which is rather ironic, given her beliefs about the role of the state? And so someone has started an e-petition (a formal UK government consultation exercise which can trigger Parliamentary debates) demanding that her funeral be privatised:

In keeping with the great lady's legacy, Margaret Thatcher's state funeral should be funded and managed by the private sector to offer the best value and choice for end users and other stakeholders. The undersigned believe that the legacy of the former PM deserves nothing less and that offering this unique opportunity is an ideal way to cut government expense and further prove the merits of liberalised economics Baroness Thatcher spearheaded.

And they're right. Thatcher was an anti-statist. Surely she should live - and be buried - by those ideals, rather than leeching a final fling at the expense of hard-working taxpayers. Anything less would be hypocritical.
Meanwhile, on the Guardian, Sunny Hundal has some ideas on what Thatcher's privatised funeral could look like:

Consider the endless possibilities, for die-hard Thatcherites, of privatising the event. I think we can agree it should be ticketed so it can turn a profit. Perhaps an IT company (let's call them Crapita for example), could sell tickets via the internet. You may have to wait a couple of months to get the system off the ground but at least it'll work … eventually. If it's anything like the privatisation of the railways, none of the funeral services would run on time and you'd end up with 500 people in a church meant for 200.
But there could be optional extras otherwise denied by the state. You could pay to have an opportunity to wail, as North Koreans seem to have perfected. Wailing while stabbing a picture of Arthur Scargill should obviously cost much more. Opportunities to sell Thatcher memorabilia (a picture of her with Pinochet, sir?) would be endless. It could even boost our sagging economy.
The television rights to the event should be auctioned off, perhaps for a private library dedicated to Thatcher (with John Maynard Keynes banned from the economics section of course).

Unmentioned: selling the right to spit on the corpse or piss on her grave (because its going to happen, so they might as well get money for it). Hell, they could even provide the service, so that those unable to attend in person could have someone do it for them.
Morality? Taste? The market does not know of such things. And if you're happy with the mass unemployment, poverty and degradation which were the inevitable result of Thatcher's policies, you can hardly get prissy about a little matter of degrading a corpse. But if you want to be hypocritical about that too, you can always pay for it not to happen. That's what the free market would want.

http://www.norightturn.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Thank you all...


Xmas spirit in action.

Christmas is a time to thank you the reader, along with all those who have kept me on track and brought me down to earth when need be…Ian Ritchie and Larry Haist who weekly offer advice, the team at Access Manawatu and of course Sally White and her team who make sure I can hear what’s being said. To all those who sent me their opinions and views even if they differed from mine they were all hugely important. It was a big year with the Rugby World Cup and the elections and some major events, the Christchurch Earthquake and its recovery continues to capture the headlines, as does the loss of life at Pike River.

The biggest cringe was by Media Works as it repaid its debt to the Government by giving the PM his own radio show, equaled only by the Maori Party cuddling up to the Nats.

There is one person who stood out for me and it was Dale Anderson who is introducing a programme named ‘Project Taukana’ that could change the way we live, it is being done without fanfare and PR hype.

The biggest social change to hit us is and will continue to grow is the ‘Occupy Movement’ it could well be the biggest political game changer for many decades.

Wheeler’s Corner weekly email will be in hibernation until mid January 2012…my radio programme will continue as usual each Thursday at 11.45am and I will be posting on my blog from time to time at http://wheelerscornernz.blogspot.com/

Friday, 16 December 2011

Lock-Out by CMP ANZCO continues


The Sign says it all

Since October 19th 2011 over a hundred workers have been locked out of their place of employment, a meat production plant near Marton owned by ANZCO Foods. They have stood in the rain, wind and sun in an attempt to inform the public of their plight. Three months is a long time with no wages coming in, just imagine if it was you, could you last three months?
The company request is simple, work under our conditions or don’t work at all…and their new conditions mean at least a 20% wage reduction plus the loss of other conditions…Oh the company will negotiate, so long as the workers accept their new conditions. Is that negotiations? Or is that bullying?
There are some in our community who would suggest that the workers should just accept their lot and do what they are told, they also suggest that they should be grateful for having a job at all. Every working person in New Zealand should instead of blaming the victims as is often their fashion, look with care as the bases for the companies desire to cut wages.
While its workers are locked-out the company spends thousands on attempting to justify its 18th century approach to employment relations with newspaper ads and public relations hog-wash. At the same time they eat up large at a fancy restaurant and continue to make ample profit for their share holders. They are in some respects legalised shoplifters for they are stealing the labour of their workers.
We are told daily of the success of our farming industry, the government heaps praise on praise on its farming friends but one is naturally lead to believe that their wealth is built on the backs of those who do the real work.

Standing Tall for justice for all workers

The workers of ANZCO Foods are standing up for all workers by saying enough is enough they are being assisted by some of the more progressive trade unions and by others in our local communities who understand that lowering wages lowers the money being spent in our communities.
We should be ashamed of ANZCO Foods and the behaviour of their owners, who now plan to bring in cheap labour from the Islands, its almost as if the days of the Chinese coolies is back with us…this is a sad day for New Zealand, we once cared about people, we once cared about jobs and a decent wage, a livable wage for all our people. Now we pay the bills for mismanaged outfits like South Canterbury Finance [105 billion] AMI [120 Billion] Media Works and of course ANZCO Food whom the workers are bailing out in real terms. If this is the market run economy in action, the quicker the Occupy Movement takes an effect the better for all of us.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Justice and Media is stupid at times


Justice is sometimes stupid.

It’s not hard to understand why journalists wages are just above the minimum wage…In a page two item in the Manawatu Standard [Friday 16th December] reporter Jimmy Ellingham wrote a small item on a twenty year old beneficiary who was before the court for shoplifting…two boxes of chocolates…value five dollars in total…from Pak ‘n Save.
The reporter should be ashamed of himself, for he named the person involved for a five dollar crime, for which the Judge Gregory Ross did not order any repayment. I wonder who got to keep the chocolates.
The reporter it would seem picked up on a quote from the judge “It’s called Pak ‘n Save, not pinch and Save”, if the reporter was worth his minimum wage he should have written an item on the so-called wittiness of the judges stupid statement.
My estimate of the cost of bringing the so-called criminal to justice would be around five thousand dollars, [Police, Court, Lawyers, Newspapers, Pac ‘N Save, etc]
If we keep this style of justice and follow the Sensible Sentencing Trusts plans I suppose the shoplifter would have been jailed for life. No wonder the country is broke. No wonder the newspaper staff is paid so little or why our police are over worked.

As an after thought, would this taken place if the person involved was the son or daughter of the Editor of theManawatu Standard, or the Judge, or the District Police Commander, or a Political figure... somehow I doubt it. For justice is not blind. Imagine if a All Black was in this postion with out doubt their name would have been suppressed...

VICTORY, PM CAVES IN...

The power of the people has been demonstrated, John Key has caved in because over six thousand people put the pressure on...it proves that he is popularity driven and lacks any real backbone. Here is the good news...thanks to all involved..
Dear Peter,
Incredible news. Moments ago John Key’s government got directly in touch with the Auckland Sexual Abuse Crisis Centre, committing to “continued funding for the next 6 months” and pledging to work with them to ensure “a sustainable service for the future”.

It’s an extraordinary victory -- for you and everyone else who has been part of the explosion of support for Kirsty McCully’s Change.org petition to save the centre.
Just a few short days ago things weren’t looking good. Funding was running desperately low, staff were about to be laid off and almost no one in the public or media was paying attention to the plight of the centre. No one in government was admitting they had responsibility -- in fact no one would even return the centre’s desperate calls.
Kirsty McCully used to work at the centre as a researcher into the prevention of sexual violence in Auckland. She worked alongside what she described as “tireless and committed crisis line counselling staff” and saw how they “are there for people when no one else is, and when no one else understands”.
Kirsty could not accept the closure of this critical service -- so she started a Change.org petition to John Key, and worked overtime to contact friends, family, staff and anyone she could think of to get involved. Support for her campaign exploded across the country, as thousands joined her in an urgent call to save the centre.

More than seven thousand people signed Kirsty’s petition on Change.org, hundreds posted messages directly to John Key on his Facebook wall, and media attention took off. In fact, PM Key was even questioned about his plans for the centre at a press conference today.

It’s an extraordinary example of people power, and a testament to the power of anyone, anywhere to start, join and win campaigns about issues they care about.

Thank you -- for being a part of saving this critical service, for the sexual abuse survivors who will now have somewhere to turn at their darkest moments, and for the staff who can now continue focusing on their important front line work.

Nick, Suzanne, Bobbi, Tony, Nathan and the Change.org team.

P.S. Kirsty has won an incredible victory today -- but if there’s something else that you’re passionate about changing in your community, you can start your own Change.org petition at any time. Click here to get started.
P.P.S. If you want to sign up to hear ongoing updates about Auckland Sexual Abuse Help Centre, or become an ongoing supporter, you can sign up to their email list here.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Eavesdropper in the Square

Eavesdropper…

I see they are occupying the Square...

The Square in Palmerston North was windy as usual, the wind gusts beat a zigzag path from the south to the north and on its way it spread the brown and yellow leaves across the walkways and paths.
The park bench was protected somewhat by the clock tower with its strange cross incased in plastic that had replaced the plain cross of day’s gone bye.
Sitting on that bench were a couple of young people, male and female, they looked like university students, I sat on the grass behind them and the wind carried their conversation in my direction and I listened in after turning up the volume on my newly renovated Sally Whites. What they were discussing was topical and interesting so with your consent I’ll share some of it with you…after all that’s what eavesdroppers do.

“Do you think it would catch on”,
“I can’t see why not”,
“It’ll take a bit of planning”,
“That’s true but what else have we got to do, there are no vacation jobs these days”,
“I’m sure the students union will pitch in”
“OK, let’s do it, now what will be our major cause or will we have more than one”,
“Well there is the lockout by that stupid meat company in Marton, that’s a reason on its own”’
“Yeah, that’s true and then there is the take over by the government of the students association, plus the latest increase in student fees”,
“Then there is the introduction of the American charter school system, which is really stupid since the American school system is rated one of the worst in the world whereas ours is rated third, beat that for stupidity”,
“Then there is the business of the tax payer gifting South Canterbury Finance 1.5 billion dollars so they could rob us blind and they now reckon the directors were all crooks,
It doesn’t say much for our Minister of Finance, he must be really dumb”,
“And while we are at it, let’s demand a change to the financial system that keeps ripping us off”…

I sipped my take away coffee from the Espresso Café and wondered just what these two intelligent young people had in mind. Whatever it was I hoped it might shake up things in this city of ours. Our council appears to have been in hibernation for the last year or so, what with de-motorising the Christmas parade, and Cr. Broad… moaning about Feilding taking the mickey out of us, not exactly exciting stuff. Does our council actually exist?

“Right then lets do it, so where do we start”
“I’ll get in touch with the Students Association”
“And I’ll get in touch with the Meat Workers Union, oh and I know the various teacher groups will be interested”,
“I’ll borrow dad’s tent and barbeque and gas bottle and we’ve both got sleeping bags, so I suppose you could say we’ll have a camping holiday in the Square”.

It looks as if “Occupy the Square” could be on the cards…are you interested? If you are why not join the planning team, and assist…

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Dictators of the West [and NZ]

People or Money which rules. 
This from Robert Fisk: The itallics are my comments...


Robert Fisk: Bankers are the dictators of the West

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-bankers-are-the-dictators-of-the-west-6275084.html

Writing from the very region that produces more clichés per square foot than any other "story" – the Middle East – I should perhaps pause before I say I have never read so much garbage, so much utter drivel, as I have about the world financial crisis.

But I will not hold my fire. It seems to me that the reporting of the collapse of capitalism has reached a new low which even the Middle East cannot surpass for sheer unadulterated obedience to the very institutions and Harvard "experts" who have helped to bring about the whole criminal disaster.

Let's kick off with the "Arab Spring" – in itself a grotesque verbal distortion of the great Arab/Muslim awakening which is shaking the Middle East – and the trashy parallels with the social protests in Western capitals. We've been deluged with reports of how the poor or the disadvantaged in the West have "taken a leaf" out of the "Arab spring" book, how demonstrators in America, Canada, Britain, Spain and Greece have been "inspired" by the huge demonstrations that brought down the regimes in Egypt, Tunisia and – up to a point – Libya. But this is nonsense.

The real comparison, needless to say, has been dodged by Western reporters, so keen to extol the anti-dictator rebellions of the Arabs, so anxious to ignore protests against "democratic" Western governments, so desperate to disparage these demonstrations, to suggest that they are merely picking up on the latest fad in the Arab world. The truth is somewhat different. What drove the Arabs in their tens of thousands and then their millions on to the streets of Middle East capitals was a demand for dignity and a refusal to accept that the local family-ruled dictators actually owned their countries. The Mubaraks and the Ben Alis and the Gaddafis and the kings and emirs of the Gulf (and Jordan) and the Assads all believed that they had property rights to their entire nations. Egypt belonged to Mubarak Inc, Tunisia to Ben Ali Inc (and the Traboulsi family), Libya to Gaddafi Inc. And so on. The Arab martyrs against dictatorship died to prove that their countries belonged to their own people.
We are just realising that we have lost ours..

And that is the true parallel in the West. The protest movements are indeed against Big Business – a perfectly justified cause – and against "governments". What they have really divined, however, albeit a bit late in the day, is that they have for decades bought into a fraudulent democracy: they dutifully vote for political parties – which then hand their democratic mandate and people's power to the banks and the derivative traders and the rating agencies, all three backed up by the slovenly and dishonest coterie of "experts" from America's top universities and "think tanks", who maintain the fiction that this is a crisis of globalisation rather than a massive financial con trick foisted on the voters.

The banks and the rating agencies have become the dictators of the West. Like the Mubaraks and Ben Alis, the banks believed – and still believe – they are owners of their countries. The elections which give them power have – through the gutlessness and collusion of governments – become as false as the polls to which the Arabs were forced to troop decade after decade to anoint their own national property owners. Goldman Sachs and the Royal Bank of Scotland became the Mubaraks and Ben Alis of the US and the UK, each gobbling up the people's wealth in bogus rewards and bonuses for their vicious bosses on a scale infinitely more rapacious than their greedy Arab dictator-brothers could imagine.

I didn't need Charles Ferguson's Inside Job on BBC2 this week – though it helped – to teach me that the ratings agencies and the US banks are interchangeable, that their personnel move seamlessly between agency, bank and US government. The ratings lads (almost always lads, of course) who AAA-rated sub-prime loans and derivatives in America are now – via their poisonous influence on the markets – clawing down the people of Europe by threatening to lower or withdraw the very same ratings from European nations which they lavished upon criminals before the financial crash in the US. I believe that understatement tends to win arguments. But, forgive me, who are these creatures whose ratings agencies now put more fear into the French than Rommel did in 1940?

Trust me says John Key...yeah, yeah..

Remember our own PM was one of these very lads who sold us out over a ten year term...
Why don't my journalist mates in Wall Street tell me? How come the BBC and CNN and – oh, dear, even al-Jazeera – treat these criminal communities as unquestionable institutions of power? Why no investigations – Inside Job started along the path – into these scandalous double-dealers? It reminds me so much of the equally craven way that so many American reporters cover the Middle East, eerily avoiding any direct criticism of Israel, abetted by an army of pro-Likud lobbyists to explain to viewers why American "peacemaking" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be trusted, why the good guys are "moderates", the bad guys "terrorists".

The Arabs have at least begun to shrug off this nonsense. But when the Wall Street protesters do the same, they become "anarchists", the social "terrorists" of American streets who dare to demand that the Bernankes and Geithners should face the same kind of trial as Hosni Mubarak. We in the West – our governments – have created our dictators. But, unlike the Arabs, we can't touch them.

The Irish Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, solemnly informed his people this week that they were not responsible for the crisis in which they found themselves. They already knew that, of course. What he did not tell them was who was to blame. Isn't it time he and his fellow EU prime ministers did tell us? And our reporters, too?

Why doesn't the PM tell us who was responsible for the rip-off by South Canterbury Finance costing us 1.5 billion dollars last year...

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

What is success, a human story

Two different couples

Couple 1:
They travel by BMW to the Auckland Air Port…and are escorted to the VIP lounge by air port security and the police protection squad. Their luggage is checked in for them. They spend sixty dollars for coffee and snacks before putting their feet up waiting for their flight to be called.

Couple 2:
They carry their back-packs from the Auckland domestic bus depot to the Inter-city bus terminal, at the check-in they confirm their tickets and are told the bus is running an hour late. They sit in the open public waiting area amid the hustle and bustle of the human life around them. They’d like a coffee but at five dollars fifty a cup they decide against it.

Couple 1:
They are escorted on to their aircraft and to the first class cabin, where they are each given a bag of goodies and an iced drink of real orange juice and a menu for the meal due in an hour or two. Their carry on luggage is stowed for them while they select their favourite movie or music and checking their stereo head-sets…

Couple 2:
At last they board their bus and take their seats, the bus slowly fills, and they are surrounded by others as the bus pulls into the busy Auckland traffic, she removes a paperback from her hand bag and he wriggles his backside as he settles into his hard seat. He smiles and says, “Well we are underway, Wellington here we come”, she smiles.

Couple 1:
Arrives at their destination refreshed and wide awake and are met in the terminal by their driver and a new security team, their luggage has been picked up for them and loaded in the boot of a black BMW, before they depart the terminal they duck into the duty free and pick up a few last minute gifts. 

Couple 2:
Arrives in Wellington where they are met by her Mom and Dad, they hug each other and once their back-packs are retrieved from the bus cargo bay and the rear they head off to her parents car a 1996 Nissan Bluebird, but not before visiting the toilets, it has been a long time between visits, Taihape was the last stop. They are both tired and weary and glad the journey has ended.

Couple 1:
Are relaxing with a brandy after they had been served a three course meal on the balcony they were contented on this the first day of their month long holiday. It had been a hectic last three months of the Rugby World Cup and the general election.

Couple 2:
They too were relaxing, her mom and dad had prepared a meal of salad and sliced ham and they all sat around the table bringing each other up to date about life since they had last meet.

Who were these two couples, what did they have in common, did they have anything in common? Let’s take a closer look…

Couple 1:
He was brought up in a State House in Christchurch,

Couple 2:
He too was brought up in a State House only it was in Wellington,

Couple 1:
He entered the world of finance, moving money back and forth between some big players taking his percentage cuts and bonuses and amassed a fairly large chunk of cash. His hobby was politics, his dream, being Prime Minister.

Couple 2:
He completed an apprenticeship and became a fitter and turner, he was paid youth rates for the first three years and didn’t make heaps of cash, but he survived somehow and completed his learning period proud of his achievements. He wanted to design mobile wheel chairs for the disabled.

Couple 1:
He succeeded and became Prime Minister,

Couple 2:
He too succeeded and designed a revolutionary wheel chair,

Couple 1:
Was rewarded with a salary of 400 thousand to go with his millions,

Couple 2:
His employer [F & P] moved production to China and he was laid off, his reward a month’s salary and presently is looking for work.

So there you go the story of two couples, which of these two couples have achieved more…which one was more successful. Your answer will naturally depend on how you rate success…if you say 1. Ask why…if you say 2. Ask why, by doing so your values will be defined.

I know I’ve not mentioned the two women involved that is because I know nothing about them…

Sunday, 4 December 2011

A pair of yellow jeans...

Date scones and a card will do. 
The Plaza in Palmerston North is always buzzing with interesting conversation at this time of the year. The one I’ve recorded for you is between a Mother and daughter. It touched my heart for it represented the real spirit of Christmas and yes I do have a heart. I’m not too good at picking the ages of older children but she looked around twelve to fourteen years of age. They were sitting on one of those hard wooden benches in the main walkway near the Ice Cream Parlor…the ones where you take a well-earned break from shopping till you drop.
“Mom”
“Yes dear”
“It’s just not fair”
“What’s not fair?
“Why can’t I buy those neat yellow jeans?
“Because they are too expensive, I’ve already told you that twice”.
“But Mom…”
“I’m sorry but I told you before we left home that sixteen dollars was your limit and those jeans are fifty seven dollars and besides that you've a perfectly good pair of jeans at home”.
“But Mom my friend Julie has a pair of yellow jeans, why cant I?
“While it may seem unfair at your age it’s a fact of life Julie’s parents have a lot more money than we do”.
“I don’t care…if I don’t get those jeans…I’ll just die!
“I hope not, I’d miss you terribly, but there is a way you could get those jeans”.
“How, I’ve only got sixteen dollars and they cost fifty seven?
“If you saved your sixteen dollars pocket money each week in about a month you’d have enough to buy them”
“I never thought of that, but that would mean I couldn’t buy you a Christmas present could I”.
“Oh darling, if you save for your jeans, I’m most happy to just get a hand made card and maybe you can make some of your delicious date scones”.
“Truly…scones and a card would be OK?
“Absolutely, so do we have a deal? You save your pocket money and I get a card and date scones”.
“Alright I’ll do my very best to save, do I still get a Christmas present?
“Yes, in fact I’ve already got something in mind”…
I thought to myself, if only the worlds’ financial kingpins displayed this mother’s wisdom and satisfaction with the simple pleasures of life…scones instead of Champagne…saving instead of greed… people instead of possessions. Have a happy Christmas and take a break during your Christmas shopping and look after yourself.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Protecting Democracy in Kiwi Land...is it possible?

Now that the election is all over and the National party has been re-elected with around 33% of those who could have voted, [Labour got 18% and the Greens 7%] I realise just how risky our democracy actually is. We have no constitution, no Upper-house, our Governor General is hand picked and appointed by the Prime Minister and our military forces are commanded by the PM and he sends them off to fight others wars, they even break international law and the same PM makes their chief our Governor General. Strange you may think, but alas it is the norm.

In New Zealand the ruling party can do anything it wants, there are no restrictions on its powers. For argument sake, it could cancel elections altogether, just as it passed a law a while ago removing the right-to-silence for those when charged with a crime.

The only checks and balance on its supremacy is parliament itself, and if they had a majority in parliament there was / is absolutely nothing to stop them from doing what Sid Holland did back in the 1950’s
by banning all help to those on strike [1951 water-front strike / lock-out] and arresting those who did…as they did…I remember that well, I was eleven at the time and my father was a soldier and broke the law by donating food to strikers who lived in our street in Upper Hutt.
The High Court and our justice system are governed by the rules laid down by parliament so their rules can be altered should the ruling party so decide. All one needs is to have a majority in the house. This means that in fact the majority party in parliament could ban all the other parties by simple majority. They could do it via the SIS and no one could do nothing about it

I’ve reached the understandable conclusion that we should thank our lucky stars that we at least have MMP as our electoral process for it is the only protection we have. But we should not be complacent with parties like a Act [National in drag really] and side swapper United Future [Peter Dunne]. We are on the very precipice of a possible dictatorship and with the Maori Party being in free-fall we are but a step away from the 1950’s under Holland.

Some would suggest that the Queen is our head of state…nothing is further from the truth and for that matter the law. Can you imagine the Queen rushing to NZ accompanied by her various princes and princesses to rescue us from the grip of a rampant out of control ruling party…of course the royal family has no power…she can’t even sack the governor general net alone the government….

With the country settling into a period of where the gap between the have and have-not’s is growing out of control, it would seem that a government that wishes to continue down the track of taxing the poor and reducing taxes for the wealthy may seek powers to maintain this state of affairs. This from a survey conducted by the Downtown Community Ministry two days after the 2011 election…

  
“Among those surveyed there were strong messages delivered for politicians with the Maori Party singled out for criticism. “They shouldn’t be going with National” said some respondents as “National only want them so they can get the numbers to govern”.

DCM people, the majority of whom are on annual gross incomes of under $12,000 per annum, were also critical of the big disparity in New Zealanders’ incomes.

“Politicians need to sort out the 99% and stop looking out for the 1%. They need to get out from behind their desks and start really helping people, especially to find work” were common themes touched on by survey respondents.

Hospital waiting lists and the unfairness of facing the personal cost of paying for crutches was a hot issue for one respondent. Another saw international issues as a high priority with the suggestion that New Zealand promote an international ceasefire on Anzac Day. 
After a little thought do you want any political party to have a majority in our parliament...

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

One Winner...One Bludger on the tax-paper...


Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway, he tried to win and did.

This guy was gifted 400 thousand dollars by the tax payer for not winning...its a Ponzi deal...in the best tradition of Merrill Lynch
Palmerston North made a great choice and returned Iain Lees-Galloway [pictured] instead of the John Key look-a-like candidate Leonie Hapeta and Iain increased his margin of victory by almost three hundred percent…so much for the Manawatu Standards editors prediction, he must be feeling awful after all his tales of doom and gloom.
We must never forget that key can only form a government because he had a cup of tea in Epsom with poodle boy John Banks and bribed every ready Peter Dunne
and the oldies gave NZ First a huge boost with eight MP’s including Winston Peters, the other party to lift its support were of course the Greens, so we now have a good balance.
Thank God we’ve got MMP under the old system the Nats would have got 70% of the seats with 47.05% of the vote.
 The media states correctly that this was Labours worst result and that’s true but what they don’t tell you is that National did much, much worse in 2002 when Bill English only got 22.5% of the vote. Still
we now have a second term celebrity film star style leader who I liken to a Sarah Palin of the south pacific, a wealthy film star look-a-like ex-money mover dressed as a politician who gives the word flim-flam new meaning.
 Our question to the PM must be, “Where are the jobs John”…show us the jobs. We know you don’t like MMP…but hell John at least it’s democratic unless you order people like Paul Goldsmith to throw an election by promising him a free ride…
you’ve given him around 400 thousand tax payers dollars…to buy his backing…its almost like a Ponzi deal…or Merrill Lynch all over again. 
The smilling assassin strikes again...

Saturday, 26 November 2011

An Interesting three years ahead...

The election is over [thank God says some] and I’m inclined to agree in some respects. The citizens have made up their minds, well at least most of them have. Baby kissing by John Key can be put away for another three years, patting dogs and other hairy beings can be forgotten as a thing of the past. Hidden things can once again be discussed like prior to becoming PM key was a director for Deutsche Pacific formerly Bankers Trust based in the Cook Islands for tax purposes…this mob aided and abetted those wishing to avoid paying NZ and other taxes paid by you and I… Recently the Treasury appointed Deutsche Bank as the Crown's Financial Advisor for preparatory work it is doing to extend the mixed ownership model [selling off State Assets] to four State Owned Enterprises. Treasury's General Manager John Crawford said:
"We are pleased to be working with Deutsche Bank and Craig’s Investment Partners who were selected after a rigorous assessment process from a strong line up of credible candidates."
 A strong line of credible candidates, yeah right…some would call it “INSIDE TRADING”.
Elections are full of misconceptions and even darn-right lies and thousands of half-truths. Like asking for the party vote, except in Epsom or Ohariu, and the Maori seats as John Key did…but hell it’s only an election…its not about policy, its about spin and double standards where Steve Joyce rules the air waves, its about the National Party bloggers employed by the Herald, its about branding, kissing babies. Still it is over now. No doubt the shock return to the house of Winston Peters with eight of his mates and the growth of the Greens will certainly change the balance and make life difficult for John Key and his crew…
it looks as if the voter turnout was only around 70%, the lowest in eighty years…but MMP remains
. The National Cabinet [pictured] will have its work cutout…its going to be an interesting three years.
What’s left of the Maori Party will have to decide where it will head, its party vote in the Maori seats and across the board fell, its supporters gave their party vote to the Mana Party or Labour so they are between, both co-leaders are departing after this term.

“Granddad
“Yes son
“Why couldn’t I vote yesterday?
“You’ve got to be eighteen.
“So I’ve got six years to go.
“That’s true.
“Six years that’s a long time”
“Absolutely, I agree and the younger you are the longer it seems”
“Son could you pass me my battery box off the side board”
“Thanks but I don’t want to miss a word of our chat, you see the word I miss might be the most important…he popped a tiny battery into each of his Sally Whites…right now what was that last question?
“I was saying that Mom said she always votes but it’s just a waste of time”
“Well son as you know your mom and I don’t always agree and I sure don’t agree that voting is a waste of time”
“Mom says that that they don’t keep their promises and she said something that I don’t really understand”
“What’s that son?
“Mom said that they were selling off what we already own and that’s stupid, why is that Granddad?
“Your mom is right about that son…just imagining that you owned your bike and you wanted to go to the school camp. So you sold your bike, went on the school camp and when you came back you rented your bike back”…are you following me son.
“Yeah I can follow that…
“Well in the end it would cost you heaps”
“What would you do Granddad?
“I’d borrow from the money to go on the school camp, and pay that back, it would be a lot less that renting a bike”.
So mom is right about selling my bike just for a week at a school camp would be stupid”
Spot on son…

Sarah Palin

The election is over and we now have a celebrity leader, a Sarah Palin of the south pacific, a wealthy film star dressed as a politician who gives the word flim-flam new meaning  

Friday, 25 November 2011

Lets Blame the Victim...says NZ Herald

Carmen Thomas a victim not according to Herald spin.
 The Herald sunk to a new low on Saturday suggesting that Carmen Thomas who was dismembered by her ex-partner Brad Callaghan who had been in an abusive relationship with him.
The sick Herald invents a slant that blames the victim and attempts to blame her for Brad Callaghan sick and murderous behaviour. A guy who was not only having a baby with another woman that he wouldn't admit to, but was quite happy to chop her up and put her in concrete buckets and spend a couple of weeks hiding her body. And the paper called him intelligent, intelligent in a murdering psychopathic criminal way. Come on nanny Herald did you reach this stupid conclusion because Carman was a prostitute, so what can’t you understand…prostitution is a legal business these days, an ex Act Party MP owns a brothel for Gods sake.
There is nothing like victimizing the victim. Why not do a item on the so-called intelligent workings of a guy who can cut his murdered victim into bits, set those bits in concrete, bury them, attempt to mislead the police and when caught confess and say what a good boy I am.
His lawyer claimed that if provocation was still on the books that would have been Brad Callaghan’s defence. What was the provocation for cutting up his victim…what next…Will his lawyer tell us next that he was simply using his engineering skills.
I wore a white ribbon on Friday as I’m sure thousands of people did to show we are opposed to violence I can only presume the Herald has never heard of ‘white ribbon day…
The herald item was crap of the highest order

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Choice is yours...Poverty or greed...children or BMW's


Wheeler’s Corner Ó

Connecting Citizens Who Care



49 24th November 2011

This Week: Election 2011 Edition two. 1. Poverty: 2. The Key saga myths.

After watching TV3’s Inside NZ Doco on child poverty I can only hope that this Wheeler’s Corner touches a nerve, because we should be ashamed of ourselves and our greed that has led to this state of affairs…

This from the Dominion Post:
“Charities say they have watched with concern as the gap between rich and poor grew over the past few years with no solution in sight.

Wellington City Missioner Susan Blaikie said she had previously worked in the corporate world, where beneficiaries were seen as bludgers.
"But I don't know anyone that actually wants to be on a benefit. The bigger the gap is between the richest and the poorest, the more likely there will be social problems and crime." The Reverend Blaikie had spent the last decade working with the church and said the issue was worse today than ever before. She was concerned that no major party had produced a serious policy this close to the election.

The Salvation Army's social services spokesman, Major Campbell Roberts, said he had seen the gap grow over his 40 years there and in recent times more people were worse off.
"Even over the last two years there has been a significant increase in people coming for welfare services. At the same time you've got salaries at a level which have increased significantly. "This is most probably a reasonably recent thing over the past 15 to 20 years."
People who had a long history of working and contributing to society were losing their jobs and more families were struggling for the basics.

At the Catholic charity St Vincent de Paul, national council chief executive Anne-Marie McCarten said more government agencies were referring people to charities.
"It's been bad in the last two or three years and is getting progressively worse. We are feeding more children in schools and feeding people who don't make it to the next pay day.
"It's a bit to do with everything and if there was an easy solution, I guess everyone would know it."

"As a young man, I now know what it was like to live in Germany just before and during the war. John Key is running this country like a dictator, with the rich people as his chosen race." – David Nelson

"It seems crazy that the wealthy have had their tax rate cut and now the Government wants to sell NZ-owned assets, which will probably be bought by them. I don't believe for an instant that the wealthy would leave NZ because of a higher and fairer tax rate; after all, you'd be paying more tax in Australia than you do here." – NG

"I don't think NZ is any different from any other capitalist country. And no, NZ is not lauded overseas as an egalitarian society – where do you get that impression from? What is different here is that there is little focus on this [wealthiest] 1 per cent whereas overseas there is much more open exposure. I imagine that most of the 1 per cent here are farmers, and you're not allowed to criticise farmers are you?" – Trevor Woolnough

"Hard work is a red herring. Let's say hypothetically that everyone in NZ worked just as hard and were equally as motivated and as educated as everyone else. Even after all that, someone still has to clean the toilets, empty the septic tanks." – Jim Kirk

"If you are mega-rich you are a wealth deprivator; you are impacting on people's ordinary lives and aspirations more than any everyday criminal probably could. Graham Hart spending $85 million on a yacht made from money milked from the NZ economy ... clearly over the boundaries and a man whose soul has become corrupted by his wealth. What's he giving back?" – John Gower

"I do work hard – sometimes 11 hours a day, I have a degree which cost me huge amounts in student loans and didn't help me get a job, and I have aspirations. To me the problem is not that there are rich and poor; this will always happen as its human nature. The problem is that more and more people in the same boat as me are finding it hard to live due to the rising cost of food, petrol and rates." – Catherine  

We need to look at the History of John Key in relation to his financial abilities so here are some facts and figures regarding him and his last major employer Merrill Lynch and their general performance…and he was a senior player. The following is not simply ‘picking’ on the PM. What’s shown below is fact not fiction. The real question it automatically leads to is, how can one whose behaviour helped the financial melt down, by taking huge profits and bonuses, design a workable and transparent process to stop the rip-off that is going on right now here in NZ and Palmerston North. My view is, he can’t…it’s like putting a fox amongst the chickens or an alcoholic in charge of the pub. So lets calmly review the back ground without any public relations spin or smiling photographs and media hog-wash.

·         Key's first job was in 1982, as an auditor at McCulloch Menzies, and he then moved to be a project manager at Christchurch-based clothing manufacturer Lane Walker Rudkin for two years. [LWR which went belly-up dumping many PN Staff]

·         Key began working as a foreign exchange dealer at Elders Finance in Wellington, and rose to the position of head foreign exchange trader two years later, then moved to Auckland-based Bankers Trust in 1988. [Elders Finance was taken over]

·         In 1995, he joined Merrill Lynch as head of Asian foreign exchange in Singapore. That same year he was promoted to Merrill's global head of foreign exchange, based in London, where he may have earned around US$2.25 million a year including bonuses, which is about NZ$5 million at 2001 exchange rates. Some co-workers called him "the smiling assassin" for maintaining his usual cheerfulness while sacking dozens (some say hundreds) of staff after heavy losses from the 1998 Russian financial crisis. He was a member of the Foreign Exchange Committee of the New York Federal Reserve Bank from 1999 to 2001.

·         In 2001, he headed back to New Zealand to fulfill a long held ambition to stand for Parliament for the National Party. [replacing Brash after the Hollow-men scandal]

It was fortunate that he did because Merrill Lynch went into free-fall:

·         In 2002, Merrill Lynch settled for a fine of $100 million for publishing misleading research. As part of the agreement with the New York attorney general and other state securities regulators, Merrill Lynch agreed to increase research disclosure and work to decouple research from investment banking. A well known analyst at Merrill Lynch named Henry Blodget wrote in company e-mails in which Blodget gave assessments about stocks which conflicted with what was publicly published by Merrill. In 2003, he was charged with civil securities fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He settled without admitting or denying the allegations and was subsequently barred from the securities industry for life. He paid a $2 million fine and $2 million disgorgement. The CEO at that time, David Komansky, said, "I want...to publicly apologize to our clients, our shareholders, and our employees," for the company falling short of its professional standards in research.

·         In 2004 convictions of Merrill executives marked the only instance in the Enron investigation where the government criminally charged any officials from the banks and securities firms that allegedly helped the energy giant execute its accounting fraud. The case revolved around a 1999 transaction involving Merrill, Enron and the sale of some electricity-producing barges off the coast of Nigeria. The charges surrounded the 1999 sale of an interest in Nigerian energy barges by an Enron entity to Merrill Lynch was a sham that allowed Enron to illegally book about $12 million in pretax profit, when in fact there was no real sale and no real profit. Four former Merrill top executives and two former midlevel Enron officials faced conspiracy and fraud charges. Merrill cut its own deal, firing bankers and agreeing to the outside oversight of its structured-finance transactions. It also settled civil fraud charges brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, without admitting or denying fault.

·         In 2002 Merrill Lynch settled for 10 million civil penalties as a result of improper activities that took place out of the firm's Fort Lee New Jersey office. Three financial advisors, and a fourth who was involved to a lesser degree, placed 12,457 trades for a client Millennium Partners in at least 521 mutual funds and 63 mutual fund sub-accounts of at least 40 variable annuities. Millennium made profits in over half of the funds and fund sub-accounts. In those funds where Millennium made profits, its gains totaled about $60 million. Merrill Lynch failed to reasonably supervise these financial advisers, whose market timing siphoned short-term profits out of mutual funds and harmed long-term investors,  

More recent Controversies with Key as PM were:
Mafrost has left a post on: "John Key smiling assassin or hero? You decide...":  Key's lack of credibility is renowned! In the last six years he has lied/changed his mind about e.g. the following:
·         On Kyoto and climate change: 10 May 2005 Hansard - the record of government - "The impact of the Kyoto Protocol, even if one believes in global warming - and I am somewhat suspicious of it - is that we will see billions and billions of dollars poured into fixing something that we are not even sure is a problem.” He concluded that “The public are sick and tired of paying additional taxes for all sorts of crazy ideas.” So he now supports the ETS... During the same debate Nick Smith stated: “New Zealand's emissions amount to less than 0. 5 percent internationally, and per head of population our emissions are about half that of Australia's and the United States' emissions. So why are we going to impose costs, and impose controls, and impose red tape on New Zealanders..." John and Nick the forked tongue of National?

·         On asset sales: In October 2008: "I am not interested in selling assets – I'm all about building assets". Perhaps it was just his own assets he was talking about? Speaking of which - on his personal assets in so-called blind trusts: In May 2010 on TV1 Key said: “he had never heard of Whitechapel, the company that owns his shares as a holding vehicle for his ‘blind’ trust, Aldgate”. There are online official records of him giving those shares to Whitechapel. He's not even a competent liar!

·         On GST increases: 10 Feb 2010 “National is not going to be lifting GST. National wants to cut taxes, not raise taxes … what I am saying is if we do a half-decent job as a government at growing our economy I am confident that won't be happening”. Obviously National didn't do even a half-decent job! I really can't understand why when an overwhelming majority don't want assets to be sold, a majority of people still think his 'ability' on economic matters is worth supporting? Given his track record of lying/changing his mind, do they really trust that he won't find an excuse for an eventual complete sell-off of the country's key infrastructure assets? I sure as heck don't! above Posted by mafrost to wheeler's Corner NZ at 20 November 2011 13:49

·         During the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, Key was a proponent of Hosni Mubarak's government, citing his support of Israel and refusing to call for his resignation. When asked if Mubarak should step down, he said "no".

·         In 2011, Key was caught up in a controversy over the purchase of government limousines which he denied knowledge of initially but later reports surfaced his office was aware. He was accused of being dishonest and eventually apologised, calling the deal sloppy.

·         In October 2011, Key made a statement where he claimed Standard and Poor's had said at a meeting in the prior month that "if there was a change of Government, that downgrade would be much more likely", this claim was contradicted by S&P after Key's credibility had been called into question.

·         In November 2011, Key rushed to the police to shut down just what said about Don Brash during a PR stunt to help the Act Party and he walked out of a press conference to avoid answering questions on the subject.

Now after reading about the massive gap between the have and the have-nots you have to decide if you think John Key is the right person to stop the massive blow-out in corporate greed and correct the problems that presently exist.

I wish you well in your choice…and don’t forget to vote on Saturday…and don’t forget to vote for the children… because they can’t vote for themselves…cheers 

Peter J Wheeler