Saturday, November 22, 2008


What follows is, for me, the best story of the 2008 election campaign. Unfortunately I wasn't there to witness the occasion but quite a few people that I know well were there so I can vouch for this tale's authenticity.

In the last moments of the campaign, as matters were reaching their frenetic conclusion, a group of reporters were camped outside National Party Leader John Key's Parnell residence in the hope of catching a quick stand-up interview with him. A semi-functioning member of society driving by felt the need to wind down his window and hurl some abuse at the esteemed members of the aforesaid fourth estate.

Unfortunately for this news critic he made his colourful outburst in full view of a member of the Diplomatic Protection Squad who dutifully took down the registration details of the man's car and made some discreet enquiries.

It turned out the critic was on company time and driving his company car when he was expounding his opinions on the media. It also turned out his boss was less than impressed with his behaviour and not at all happy about finding out about via the agency tasked with protecting the Prime Minister and the man aspiring to her job.

So a little later that same morning our hero had did walk of shame, returned to the scene of his verbiage, and made a humble apology to the assembled reporters.

As a reporter I like the way it all panned out. In this job abuse is frequent, praise is rare, and apologies nigh well unheard of.

So big ups to the DPS, and the lesson to be learned: don't f**k with them.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Right Banker

It's a funny old thing this credit crunch. Especially the way it appears to have tightened the sphincter muscles of certain banking types.

A little over a year ago, when the property boom was in full swing, I approached my bank to see how much they would lend me should I consider splashing out and buy myself a home. As it turned out they were happy to lend me something in the vicinity of a quarter of a million dollars.

However the market was manic and obviously heading for a fall so I said thanks but no thanks and waited for the real estate bubble to burst.

Which it duly did.

Anyway now the market's in free-fall and property prices in our fair capital are finally approaching something vaguely resembling reasonable my partner and I thought we'd approach the bank again and see how much we could borrow on our combined incomes.

That is; roughly twice the income that I had when I approached the bank solo last year.

Well the man at the bank did what bankers do best. Took details, crunched numbers, hummed and harred etc etc. In fact he even managed to find the banking details my partner had when she banked with this bank back in 1983.

WARNING - even after a quarter of a century these bastards will still have something on you lurking somewhere within their networks. My mind boggles at the fact they went to the trouble to:
a) move it from a paper record to an electronic one (computer records weren't the norm in 1983)
b) hold onto the records of the banking behaviour of a seven year child.

Right I'll get back to the point of this rambling.

So our grey little banking man finally did all his sums and informed us of the sum the bank would be prepared to lend us in exchange for our life, liberty, happiness, and eternal souls.

It turns out it was only 30K more than what they were prepared to lend me as an individual 14 months ago.

So it seems it's not just been the finance companies that have been guilty of loose lending. I can't imagine them getting this tight, this quickly, unless some pretty bad calls were made in the not too distant past.

Actually it reminds of an old joke that's now been completely destroyed by the European Union and single currency.

Q: Why do the Irish call their currency the Punt?
A: Because it rhymes with banker.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Get a Grip

I note a few of the Kiwi political blogs, particularly those with right of centre leanings, have decided to up sticks and call it quits now the election is done and dusted.

Fair enough.

But for those who are claiming that their efforts in some way influenced the outcome of the election ... Please. Give me a break!

You (like me) are really that not special and your efforts, while no doubt impressive to yourselves, don't really add up to much in the grand scale of things.

In fact I suspect I influenced the election more than you lot did when I farted in a polling booth on election day.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Back Soon

Once this whole figuring out the Government thing is sorted.

(probably next week)