Monday, July 09, 2007

Nice weather for the alcoholics

It's raining cats and dogs outside. It's raining monkeys and elephants, muppets and tigers, antelopes and zebras. Those who can find funds or reasons are buggering off overseas for a break. Those without the cash are hibernating and sedating themselves any way they can. The speedsters are stocking up on BZPs, the lushes with booze and DUI convictions.

Parliament's having a break and they've let the young ones loose in parliament. While BZPs are high on their mind, there's not much support for lowering the voting age. Advice to the Greens: Forget the sweet sixteen suffrage and concentrate your energies on Met Turei's Medpot Bill and the upcoming select committee on the BZP ban. You'll gain a crapload more votes by doing so.

John Key continues to bewilder. Wanting to revisit the Standing Orders a mere week after the party votes them in begs that immortal question. Is he real or isn't he? Whether it is the election campaign later or someone bloods him sooner, time will tell, eh. At the moment, he's still a hologram.

Oh how I wish Rodney Hide were a hologram; some mis-programmed facsimile on show while the real one is gathering evidence to play Devil's Advocate once again. Alas, the Rodney of yore is no more. We are stuck with Lovable Hugable Rodney forever, or at least 2008. I can sympathise with how the former perkbuster rose to grace. The consensus on the Beltway grapevine after Rod Donald's death was Rodney was more likely to cark it than organic Donald. So much for the balance of probabilities, eh.

Yet it is a shame to see such skills go to pasture and five laps of the pool. Chris Trotter tried to snap him out of it, pointing to the vast reasonable-sized field on the far right John Key has opened up for Act. Colin Espiner has made a similar point. It seems, however, that Rodney has confused reason for purpose. Little wonder Act has evaporated off the polls.

At least Rodney did plug the Regulatory Responsibility Bill on Agenda, which is an important piece of legislation. Unlike most of the bad law that Labour V keep passing, this is a classical piece of law. Drawn up by a genius called Dr Bryce Wilkinson, the RRB is a piece of constitutional beauty. Its importance is up there with Geoff Palmer's Bill of Rights and Ruth's Fiscal Responsibility Bill. NZ would be better off for it.

Farewell, Lisa Owen. Je t'aime.

It is still not too late for Helen Clark to pull a big fluffy bunny out for the election and win 2008. It is increasingly likely that the bunny will be accompanied with a ministerial re-shuffle. Here's hoping Hodgson loses Health to someone more competent. Shane Jones is ambitious enough, and Health would certainly keep him busy. I recant my support for TM4FM and put money on Phil Goff as Finance Minister by year's end. If Labour don't have personal tax cuts in next year's budget, they deserve to lose.

There's still no sign of the legislation on party funding, which is supposedly coming into effect at the end of the year. Judging from the absence of policy, as well as increased public funding going down like a cup of cold sick, there is no clear marker on what's/not going to be in it. The Coalition for Open Government and the Vic Uni symposium were the only opportunities for the parties to get a thermometer on the issue. I fear they got the wrong temperature. While the numbers game may be being played behind the scenes, the longer the support parties leave to put it on the table, the more damage they'll receive in 2008. I'll maybe blog more on the subject later this week, depending on how hard it rains.