Tuesday, January 04, 2011

BONY reading

My picks for Best of New Year's reading:

# Part eulogy, part allegory, Crampton points to a piece by Robin Maconie on Christchurch, NZ university politics and the passing of Denis Dutton.

# John Drinnan rounds up the media year with a scathing look at John Key's corporate welfare. Apart from the Hobbit swindle, there was the Fay dynasty picking up NZ on Air funding:
Taxpayers gave Annabel Fay's record company a $50,000 subsidy while her dad, Sir Michael, put up thousands of dollars to helicopter in commercial radio DJs and a public servant funding executive to their Great Mercury Island hideaway for a promotional gig.

Something is surely wrong when the Government attacks financially strapped public radio as wasteful, but gives subsidies for pop pap to people who can afford to pay their own way.
 # Pablo at KiwiPolitico expands on Idiot Savant's discovery that many of the Urewera 18 will no longer be eligible for a jury trial. Justice delayed is bad enough, but changing the rules in between arrest and trial on this matter is contemptable.

# The DPB and beneficiaries might get Lindsay Mitchell annoyed, but behold her wrath of freedoms curtailed.

# Karl du Fresne takes a break from propping up the monarchy to write about the passing of Wellingtonian Duncan Barry McFarlane:
In any event, a big service was arranged in Newson’s honour and the Wellington underworld, having declared a temporary cessation of hostilities, turned out en masse. I covered the ceremony for the Evening Post , and what was very apparent that day was that a life of crime hadn’t been kind to most of those present. They looked prematurely old, were shabbily dressed and drove old dungers. But that couldn’t be said of McFarlane, who by all accounts lived very well. At the time, his address was a luxury yacht in the Chaffers Marina. No one seemed to know how he made his money but it’s fair to assume it wasn’t from designing Hallmark greeting cards. 
 # The Proceeds of Crimes Act, which allows the state to confiscate property willy-nilly, has taken a knock back in the courts. Fair go too. No need to punish the missus for the crimes of the husband when it comes to matrimonial property.