May 4, 2010
Law Commission and National-led Government on Alcohol.

It is generally accepted that there is a cultural problem around the consumption of alcohol in New Zealand. However, a report from the Law Commission has recently come out with many of its recommendations expected to be accepted by the current National-led government. There are a number of significant provisions I take umbrage with and it is here that I intend to detail some of the specific provisions and why I have a problem with them. This will show that the provisions are on-the-whole measures aimed at dealing with the effects of the problem rather than the symptoms, and are furthermore poorly targeted lip-service to give the appearance of dealing with the problem. This will also highlight a key problem with politicians and bureaucrats entrenched in the system.

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February 10, 2010
Phil Goff and petty jibes (just what NZ needs: more political cheap shots)

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10625250

Mr Key had done Mr Goff the favour not only of raising the possibility of a GST increase - political manna for an Opposition in need of target practice - but also of raising the “underclass” again.

It was the “underclass” word which in 2007 led him to the “dead-end street” of McGehan Close in Owairaka where he met Aroha - the young girl he then took to Waitangi with the nation’s media watching over his good deed.

Unfortunately for Mr Key, the Herald on Sunday had just last week gone back to McGehan Close to see Aroha’s mother, Joan Nathan, who had delivered a right royal ear-clipping to John Key.

How Mr Goff relished that yesterday. “What do they say in McGehan Close now?” he asked and then answered himself: “Joan Nathan says she has been let down by the Prime Minister and her daughter Aroha now wants nothing to do with him. She says she and her family are worse off since National won the election. She says she’s pretty “anti-John Key at the moment.”

So what Goff’s extrapolating here is that because one or two poorer people have failed to benefit under the relatively recent National Government’s regime, this has happened with lots of people. This is a logical fallacy. Firstly, extrapolating from so few individuals to imply a conclusion about the mass is poor reasoning. Secondly, with most regime changes come policy changes. These policy changes will have different impacts upon different people. Some will benefit and some will not. Just because some have not does not mean the policy changes were not worthwhile. They may have caused more benfits to the populace than costs. Thirdly, the current economic situation has not even been mentioned. Even if the populace is suffering more under this relatively recent National Government, it may not be wholly attributable to the National Government’s policies. They came to power in worldwide economic crisis. Is it surprising that people are suffering? The National Government should be attempting to minimse harm and strengthen the long-term viability of New Zealand and its economy.

Better points for Goff to go on here would be considering whether the National Government have done that and, even if they have, what could be done better, and how to do it. He may have done that (I will attempt to find a transcript of what Goff said), but thanks anyway, Phil Goff, for attempting to score cheap political points like a juvenile child and helping us keep in mind why so many people are disillusioned and look upon politicians as people who are self-serving and lacking substance behind the rhetoric as to what is best for the country.

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