The New Write - newsletter of the Young Nationals

Published: Tue 15 Oct 2002 11:09 AM
Official Newsletter of the New Zealand Young Nationals
15th October 2002
“It’s been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.” -Abraham Lincoln
National Leader Bill English says New Zealand must do all it can to help Australia in the aftermath of the Bali bombings.
“First my sympathy goes to all those families who have lost loved ones in this pointless violence. In particular my thoughts are with a family from my own Southland electorate whose son is one of those still unaccounted for.
“New Zealand must support all efforts to ensure those responsible are caught. A message must be sent that such evil acts will not be tolerated. What action Australia takes we must back. They are our closest ally, where they go we must follow.
“While Bali was the target this week we can no longer assume that New Zealand or New Zealanders may not be the target next week. We no longer live in a benign part of the world; the global menace that struck New York last year is now present in our own backyard.”
Last year Helen Clark famously stated that “We live in an incredibly benign strategic environment.”
The Terrorism Suppression Act, passed last week by Parliament, was opposed by the Greens. Under the law though it is still legal to belong to groups such as Al Queda.
By Grant Tyrrell, NZ Young Nationals Chair
Nuclear Ships With Helen Clark ruling out New Zealand support for the US in its war on terror the nuclear ship debate resurfaced. The US made it very clear that New Zealand's isolationist approach was costing us, not only in international standing but in the pocket. In arguably the strongest rebuke since Lange gave the US the middle finger the US were unequivocal - Australia would get free trade status long before New Zealand because they were an ally, and they performed.
The legislation was an anachronism at drafting and has only become more irrelevant. It must be urgently amended so that we can rebuild our relationship with our former ally and major trading partner.
Smacking I guess if I was going to agree with any Labour MP it should be of little surprise that it is straight-talking Minister of Youth Affairs John Tamihere. Flying in the face of his PC colleagues busy telling everyone else how to bring up their children John Tamihere let rip with a burst of common-sense, describing the banning smacking lobby as 'do-gooders'.
For mine, I say join the real world. There is a vast difference between discipline that may occasionally involve a physical element and child abuse. The Law already protects children from abuse – another three years of this government and we will have law-abiding parents locked up for yelling at naughty children.
Bali What innocence that was left for those of us at the bottom of the world after September 11 has evaporated in the single worst terror attack since that fateful day. It is difficult to grasp the horror that hundreds of families are currently going through and our thoughts go out to them.
The lessons for New Zealand - many and more detailed than I wish to go in to here. Let me just say I doubt Helen Clark will be using the term: "Benign Strategic Environment" for a long while.
Student Debt - an out of control monster Remember how Labour promised to attack student debt? That's right despite promising to reduce student debt (in 1999 and 2002) debt continues to grow, reaching a massive $4.7 billion at last count. I guess we shouldn't hold our breath for $1000 fees and universal allowances. Nice one Steve - keep apply that Maharey Principle.
If the Government is serious about increasing New Zealand's sustainable growth rate, it must reduce the rates of tax most relevant to those who will invest and produce for the future, says National's Finance spokesman Don Brash. "Spending by central and local governments currently amounts to about 40 per cent of GDP and, with a possible exception of the city state of Luxembourg, no country has achieved a high rate of growth over a prolonged period with such a heavy tax burden. "The Government could cut the company tax rate and the top personal tax rate to 30 per cent and still have a budget surplus.
"By my estimation, reducing both rates to 30 per cent would cost about $1.6 billion in revenue - an amount somewhat less than the operating surplus forecast for the current financial year.
"In other words, tax cuts of this magnitude could be achieved with absolutely no reduction in spending on health, education or social welfare," said Dr Brash.
Tensions are high between Green MP Nandor Tanczos and NZ First MP Craig McNair after the 27-year old McNair laid a complaint with police over Tanczos’s admitted cannabis smoking.
After laying a complaint with the police McNair has refused to debate Tanczos on Nine to Noon, Morning Report, Radio Pacific, and the Holmes Show.
“It’s sad really,” said Tanczos.
“Craig McNair had a swing at me to get headlines, but now wants to run away. He doesn’t have the conviction - or is it the permission - to debate with me.
“Craig can continue to be a ‘behind the scenes’ role model for all those 27 year old men living at home with their parents, but his life experience is a little removed from that of most people.
“Good on him for living a life of abstinence, but he doesn’t do himself any favours by running away,” said Nandor.
“Maybe Winston Peters is embarrassed by the whole thing. If he has a change of heart and decides to let Craig out, I am happy to debate with him then.”
By New Zealand’s finest investigative journalist, Sneaky R. Wilson.
*Labour Deputy Speaker Ann Hartley has made such a hash of her job that the Government want to replace her. However they will upset the wimmins lobby if they do so without a consolation prize, so the rumour is that she is in line for a diplomatic appointment in the near future. Labour will be running out of countries soon!
*Jim Anderton has just lost the 8th party of his political career, with news the Democrats are leaving the Progressive Coalition. Now they are just the “Jim and Matt Party”.
*A prominent member of United Future has a rather large secret we have been told about. If this one turns out to be true, it will make all the others seem like candy floss. Watch this space!
*George Hawkins’s press secretary has a thankless job, trying to work damage control over the rotting homes crisis. However many hacks in the press gallery have been bemused at her various temper tantrums and erratic behaviour, which is hardly helping the hapless Hawkins.
*Which reminds me…after the naughty Nats leaked official crime stats last month, Georgie Boy sent a gang of three spin doctors / goons down to the gallery to try and dissuade journos from publishing the embarrassing info. They even went to the extent of physically intimidating journos who were posting the story.
*Alright, one more story about George Hawkins. Apparently once when he was opposition police spokesman he visited a police station in Auckland, and assuming they would all know who he was, asked to be shown around. The local coppers told him to come back later when he had sobered up.
*This publication has poked plenty of fun at Labour MP David Cunliffe over the years, and was ready to again after hearing that he’s attempting to grow a beard. Unbelievably though, I am forced to admit that the beard actually kind of suits him and looks pretty good. Damn it.
*Guess which National MP has a shoe fetish? He is fascinated with women’s shoes, and pro-offers his fashion opinion to anyone who will listen.
*New Zealand First MP Brent Catchpole boasted in his maiden speech about how going to Toastmasters has improved his public speaking. Well if that’s the case, I’d hate to see what he was like before. He is unquestionably Parliament’s worst speaker – nervous, haltering, boring, and quite painful to listen to.
*Parliament sat in urgency last week, which means the National Party caucus tradition of late night fish and chips. Whangarei MP Phil Heatley, who gets given all the important jobs, was dispatched to collect the order. Unfortunately all did not got to plan though – Mr Heatley got lost on his way back and wandered into Labour MP Tim Barnett’s office by mistake. The Heatster offered him some, before realising he was in the wrong office, indeed the wrong party.
Mr Heatley says he is definitely not “switching sides”, if you get what I mean.
*Last year it was National MPs John Carter and Gerry Brownlee sent to find fish and chips. They managed to find a shop on Courtney Place that was just closing at 3am. Big Gerry ordered 50 fish, 50 hot dogs and 50 scoops of chips for the hungry caucus. The owner then noticed JC, and inquired: “And what will your friend have?”
*How old is Green MP Tandoori Nachos? Recent media reports have referred to him as either 35 or 36, but this correspondent understands his real age is 37.
*Internal ructions continue within the ACT party – new MP Deborah Coddington has performed well so far, the best of the new intake, and is currently on a six-month trial for the leadership. Don’t write off the ambitious Muriel Newman either – word has it she is still making up her mind whether to support Deborah as leader or have a crack herself.
*The party wing of ACT has its fair share of tensions as well. I am receiving fascinating reports of open warfare amongst staff – but I shan’t say any more for fear of legal action!
*New Zealand First is about to hold it’s annual conference – at the “Delightful Lady Lounge” in Epsom, Auckland. I wonder if Craig McNair approves – it sounds a bit racy to me!
*Sneaky goes to the gym: your intrepid correspondent is prepared to make any sacrifice for a good story – even going to the Parliamentary gym. Here is my first report:
I can report that Michael Cullen has his favourite machine - the treadmill nearest the wall. He looks very upset if anyone is on it, usually moving behind them to do some half-hearted weights while pointedly staring at them and the clock. As soon as the person gets off, he jumps straight on - without checking to see if anyone who had been there longer was waiting.
He lays his towel out over the cover of the machine (partly because when the going gets tough he tends to snort) and sets off for a pretty brisk and long workout. Given his clock watching of whoever is daring to use his machine, he certainly ignores the 20 minute time limit for busy times...
Tune in next week to find out which male cabinet Minister wears a singlet top that even Britney Spears would reject as too revealing, and which MP has earned the nickname of “cart-horse” after wandering naked around the changing rooms…
Till next week… my lips are sealed!
Some goodies sent in this week:
Firstly, this is the hilarious site of the “Asian Prince”, a very vain wannabe-pop star who is inviting prospective girlfriends to get in touch with him. Thanks to Nick for this one:
Another ripper – this time from Gordon, an anti-leftie site with the founding slogan “Flailing moral scolds, authoritarian lefties, and their dullard media apologists since 2002”.
And finally, from Tomas: Which features a quick quiz to see how classically liberal you are. I am 83%.
Any views expressed here are not necessarily those of New Zealand Young Nationals, or the New Zealand National Party.
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Editor: Phil Rennie

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