Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Oh; that's all right then; not!

Joel Loffley, accused of the brutal murder of two-year-old JJ Lawrence reckons that he's not a child-beater; the Herald reports:

Loffley told police he had never hit his kids and was not responsible for the death of his stepson.
"I never assaulted my kids. I've got a few from assaulting my kids' mums but never my kids, ever, ever my kids. Ever.''
He said he was doing a "Man Alive course'' with anti-violence education provider Shine and was trying to complete his probation for a charge of male assaults female.
"I was just trying to keep out of trouble, just do my all, my probation things correctly and try not to breach so I go back to prison.''

The High Court jury will be most interested to hear that Loffley sees a difference between beating his wife and beating his (or other men's) children. 

Well, we have some news for him; domestic violence is never OK; not ever. NEVER.

This could be fun...

Something VERY interesting just arrived in our inbox a matter of moments ago; check this out:

31 October 2012

Internet shock jock goes mainstream
“Wellington, you’re on notice – be afraid.”

New Zealand’s number 1 news and opinion blogger Cameron Slater has today been appointed Editor of the Truth.
Truth is New Zealand’s last remaining Kiwi-owned national newspaper which this year turns 125 years old.
Slater has been brought on board to fundamentally change the way newspapers deliver to their audiences. Newspapers worldwide are in decline, due, Slater says, to a tired old business model that no longer works.

“We’re not going to spend $4 million on a paint job and then deliver the same tired old paid-for shit.
“Most of the media in this country is weak, and it’s paid for. The integrity in news went ages ago.”

Slater is adamant that the backbone of New Zealand – the people who work – are not getting a fair shake from government or the system. He aims to change that.

“Each and every one of us has got an investment in NZ Inc, and the majority of the people in charge of the place are taking the piss out of our investment.
“We’re going to keep the buggers honest. There’s no better disinfectant than sunlight.
“To use a tired phrase – if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear, so Wellington, you’re on notice – if you’re having a lend, we’re coming for you!”

Changes will be rolled out over a period of months and will include both print and a 24 hour news website to support the paper. Slater aims to alter the approach to news presentation significantly.
“We took the pulse of the nation, and it had nearly bloody died.
“No bastard wants to read old news – they can get that online. We’ll be more of a views-paper that promises to deliver REAL news, REAL opinion.
“The people are numb from the eyes down with the diet of PR’d crap they get now. I will not do it to them anymore – it’s not right.
“I assure you – the little paper that could still can!

There will be further announcements regarding contributors and editorial direction.
Slater’s first issue will hit newsstands on Thursday 8 November 2012.

We can't even remember when we last read a copy of the Truth, much less when we last bought a copy. But we'll most certainly be buying a copy next week.

Cameron Slater might not be everyone's cup of tea, but for pretty much all of this year he has been New Zealand's most-read blogger according to Ken Perrott's monthly blog rankings at Open Parachute, relegating Kiwiblog to second place.

Slater may be able to shock-blog, but will he be able to translate this into a revival for the Truth? Time will tell, but there's one thing we've learned about The Whale in our online dealings with him (we've never met in person or talked on the phone); underestimate him at your peril. 

Cam Slater is nothing if not bloody-minded, a quality he'll need in spades. He has some very good sources, and he's broken a number of significant stories on his blog in the last couple of years, going places where angels fear to tread.And the political Left isn't going to like this one little bit!

We wish Cameron Slater well. 

UPDATE: For those who think that this is some sort of Halloween shock-joke, it isn't; Stuff reports:

Controversial Auckland blogger Cameron Slater is hoping to return tabloid newspaper Truth to its former glory, after being appointed editor today.
Slater, who runs the Whale Oil blog, will start in the role this afternoon.
He replaces outgoing editor Joseph Lose, whose departure was "amicable", according to a staff member at the publication.

We hate it when that happens...

In preparation for our weekend in warmer climes we had to renew our passport the other week. So we were less than pleased to read this today:

About to fill out an application for a new passport? It might be worth waiting a few hours at least.
Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain is expected to announce late this afternoon that it will now be possible to renew adult passports online and a drop in fees.
That will mark the culmination of a delayed $42 million project to overhaul the Passport Office's technology, carried out with the help of contractor Hewlett-Packard.
It currently costs $150 to renew an adult passport, rising to $300 for a fast turnarond and $600 for a next-day service. 

We love doing things online. We would have loved to have been able to do our passport renewal online too, and saved a few bucks. Sheesh; we might even have shouted She Who Must Be Obeyed a cocktail at sunset with the money we saved!

Ah well; mustn't grumble... 


Twitter went a bit crazy for an hour or so last night, but it had nothing to do with Superstorm Sandy. This storm was generated by former Labour list MP Stuart Nash when he tweeted this:

Now apart from the fact that Joel Loffley is still on trial for the murder of wee JJ Lawrence and therefore entitled to be presumed innocent for the moment, Nash has expressed the sense of outrage that many are feeling as details of JJ's death emerge. If ever there was a case where the death penalty could be considered, it is a case like this.

It's fair to say though that Nash's view did not meet with universal accord; Idiot/Savant from No Right Turn commented several times:

A lawyer noted:

And Danyl from the Dim Post suggested that Nash might be in the wrong party:

Now regardless on people's thoughts on the rights and wrongs of the death penalty, Stuart Nash raised an interesting point. Some crimes simply horrify, and those crimes often produce strong and emotive responses. We somehow reckon that Stuart Nash's visceral response would resonate with Waitakere Man, which probably means that his future in the New Zealand Labour Party of 2012 is somewhat limited.

A quote has been attributed to French enlightenment writer Fran├žois-Marie Arouet (21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), who was better known by the pen name Voltaire; it goes:

"I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"

Stuart Nash had a Voltaire Moment last night. Those who were so quick to shout him down ought perhaps have reflected on those words too.

A stunt, or the reality of the market?

Jetstar took Air New Zealand on head-on yesterday; the Dom-Post reports:

That 10 cent coin in the back of your jeans could soon see you flying across the country and back.
Jetstar has launched a sale campaign across its domestic network this week with seats on sale for one cent each.
The airline is offering 600 1c airfares every weekday between 6pm and 7pm, with a total of 3000 seats on offer.
Jetstar group chief commercial officer David Koczkar said they launched the fares across their domestic network to "help connect families and friends".
"The 1c sale began last night and has been very popular with travelers from all over New Zealand and we're sure they'll sell out fast every day until the sale ends," he said.
"Jetstar is committed to being the low fares leader in New Zealand."
A Jetstar spokesman said the tickets sold out quickly last night.
There was a booking and service fee of $5 per passenger. Fares were web-only, one way, non-refundable and may not be available on all flights or days. 

It's certainly a bold initiative by Jetstar, which is more commonly known for its PR disasters, cancelled flights and dissatisfied customers.

But there's a catch; has Jetstar now set its value in the marketplace? And is one cent all that Jetstar customers will now be prepared to pay?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tweet of the Day - 30 October 2012

Sometimes RadioLive talkback host Miles Davis asks the question that has probably occurred to more than a few people:

D'you reckon he's onto something?

How about an apology Willie and JT?

We just received the following e-mail which is re-published in full:

I am Murray Hill, a personal friend of Bernard Shapiro and he asked me to issue the following statement on his behalf.

On Q&A in May this year Te Ururoa Flavell spoke to Paul Holmes about the Urewera Four and made the case that they were treated severely because they were Maori. From the transcript of the program he singles out one Bernard Shapiro.
"And the last one, Paul, is that about two years ago a gentleman by the name of Bernard Shapiro, he had unlawful possession of two military style semi-automatic rifles, thunderflash explosives, power gel explosives, eight sticks, two military flares, a smoke grenade, a grenade launcher, an anti-personnel mine; he pleaded not guilty. He’s found guilty on seven of the eight charges. And what does he get? He gets asked to pay $5000 to the St Johns Ambulance. You’ve gotta measure it up on those sorts of terms.”

There are a few problems with Flavell’s account. Shapiro was found guilty by technicality and was discharged without conviction. Unlike the Urewera Four who were found guilty and convicted. Flavell also made the comparison or possession of items with actually using explosives and firearms. Flavell also claimed a Shapiro had a grenade launcher which he did not. Flavell is untouchable for what are at the very least factually inaccurate statements by virtue of parliament privilege.

The following day on their radio show Willie Jackson and John Tamihere (commonly known as Willie and JT) picked up Flavell’s comments and expanded on them claiming machine guns and made numerous personal attacks on Shapiro while asserting that he had been treated lightly because he was white. When Mr Shapiro called the station himself in an effort to correct their inaccuracies both men abused and ridiculed Mr Shapiro calling him a liar while comparing him to Hannibal Lector.
Their actions were unprofessional and well outside any reasonable standards journalistic ethics. They abused their power as media personalities to further a political agenda of supporting four people convicted of arms offences by claiming race was a factor in their sentencing. Their behaviour led to a numbers of people calling the station to complain and a Broadcasting Standards Authority complaint. The station itself defended their actions and rejected a request for an apology. However, yesterday the Broadcasting Standards Authority complaint was upheld and Mr Shapiro was vindicated. Coincidentally the appeals of the Urewera Four were rejected on the same day.

In addition to the above I would add that Mr Shapiro is pleased by the finding and has no other comment to make. Any questions should be directed to his lawyer Jonathan Eaton.

I will also make the observations that these three men – I must include Mr Flavell – have attempted to support people who did clearly commit serious offences with Tama Iti having a history of discharging firearms in public with a man who has no criminal record but was chosen as an example by them because of the colour of his skin.

Had any of them made the slightest effort to find out about the man they were attacking they would have gotten an entirely different picture from the one they constructed. Bernie Shapiro has served in the New Zealand Army, I pinned his NZDSM on him myself shortly before my wedding earlier this year. During the Christchurch earthquake Bernie set up a hot food and drink station at his home for his neighbours and then worked  with Sam Johnson and the Student Army, specifically to bring aid to Aranui – a predominantly Polynesian/Maori area that was being neglected. Bernie did this using his own Willy's jeep to get into the area where other vehicles would not go until he was incapacitated by exhaustion and made ill for weeks from silt inhalation. Bernie was the first contact from outside for many people and was interviewed by ABC Australia as a result. Bernie has yet to be appropriately acknowledged for these efforts in my opinion.

I, like many of Bernie’s loyal friends, was appalled at his being used as a political toy by Flavell and the subsequent abuse by Willie and JT. One is immune to any kind of fallout by virtue of his exulted position, the other two have been found to have breached the standards of their profession. At an absolute minimum I would expect to see three apologies. Assuming any of these men had any degree of class.

We agree wholeheartedly with Murray with regard to apologies. We would suggest however that Te Ururoa Flavell did NOT have the protection of parliamentary privilege when he made his erroneous statement on Q&A.

We have nothing but respect for the men and women who serve in defence of our country. We come from a military family, as we have blogged in the past. Unprovoked and inaccurate attacks such as this are most regrettable.

All three men profess to be men of mana. A measure of that mana would be for each one to offer an unconditional apology to Bernard Shapiro for having made false accusations against him. Somehow though, we don't expect that to happen any time soon.

UPDATE: A Facebook friend has helpfully provided some background information on Mr Shapiro's Court appearance. To compare his case with that of Tame Iti is absurd.

Photo of the Day - 30 October 2012

It's easy to criticise the fluff-and-bubbles stuff that so many of our TV reporters serve up to us. But live reporters do brave some pretty nasty situations at times, like the CNN reporter below:

That reporter deserves a DB!

Bad form FFA

The Football Federation of Australia (FFA) is standing by referee Jarred Gillett; the Dom-Post reports: 

Ben Sigmund will miss Monday's visit to Melbourne Victory after Football Federation Australia surprisingly rejected a Phoenix appeal to overturn his red card from Saturday's controversial A-League game in Adelaide.
The Phoenix defender was sent off in the 77th minute after making light contact with Adelaide striker Jeronimo Neumann, who carried on his run before taking a dramatic tumble in the box.
But despite evidence to the contrary, the league's match review panel of Simon Micallef, Alan Davidson and Alan Contini last night determined there was "no obvious error" in referee Jarred Gillett's decision.
That also clears Neumann of any punishment for diving, with the panel ruling "there was no basis under the regulations to conduct a post-match review for possible simulation".
The Phoenix lost 3-1 and, rubbing salt into the wound, Phoenix captain Andrew Durante may also cop a fine for his explosive post-match interview.
The FFA will send the Phoenix a "please explain" note this week after the usually composed defender labelled Neumann a "cheat" and the referees "shocking". 

Whilst the FFA's response is not surprising, it is disappointing nonetheless. Gillett and his assistant referees had a very poor game on Saturday night, a fact acknowledged even by the Australian television commentators. Anyone who watched the match could see that. 

And the incident that resulted in Sigmund being red-carded was disgraceful. He barely made contact with Neumann, who a full two strides later went down as though he had been shot. As dives go, it wasn't even concealed; it was clumsy, and poorly executed. But unfortunately for the Phoenix, Gillett was taken in.

The refereeing standards in the A-League are not great. Whilst we can understand to a degree the FFA standing by its man, the fact that they have said that there was "no obvious error" by Gillett, the match review committee's head-in-the-sand approach will do nothing to improve refereeing standards, and further blunders of this nature are inevitable.

Meanwhile, if Andrew Durante gets fined for his post-match candour, he'll get help:

Furious Phoenix fans will dip into their own pockets should Durante be fined for bringing the game into disrepute.
Supporters group Yellow Fever have set up a donations page on the website, where fans can make a contribution towards a possible fine.
"He's just told it like it is," said Fever stalwart David Cross.
"He shouldn't get any fine. Jeronimo should be suspended for diving, Sigmund's card should be withdrawn, and the FFA should take this opportunity to come down hard on diving and accept that the referee had a bad night.
"But if Dura does get a fine we'll help him out."
We'll certainly chuck something into the pot to support Andrew Durante. At least he had the integrity not to pretend to ignore the two large and smelly elephants in the room; dodgy referees and cheating players. And Jeronimo Neumann is likely to get a rousing welcome next time he visits the Ring of Fire; can anyone come up with a short, pointed chant?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Here comes Sandy

Hurricane Sandy is about to unleash its fury on the eastern seaboard of the United States, and reports suggest that Sandy's impact is going to be significant.

There's no shortage of online news and predictions about Sandy, but we found this piece from The Atlantic's senior editor Alexis Madrigal; check this out:

She's huge. She's strong and might get stronger. She's strange. She's directing the might of her storm surge right at New York City.
Hurricane Sandy has already caused her first damage in New York: the subway system will be shut as of 7pm tonight. Meteorologists are scared, so city planners are scared.
For many, the hullabaloo raises memories of Irene, which despite causing $15.6 billion worth of damages in the United States, did not live up to its pre-arrival hype.
By almost all measures, this storm looks like it could be worse: higher winds, a path through a more populated area, worse storm surge, and a greater chance it'll linger. The atmospherics, you might say, all point to this being the worst storm in recent history. 
I've been watching weather nerds freak out about a few different graphs over the last several days, which they've sent around like sports fans would tweet a particularly vicious hit in the NFL. You don't want to look, but you also can't help it.
Dr. Ryan Maue, a meteorologist at WeatherBELL, put out this animated GIF of the storm's approach yesterday. "This is unprecedented --absolutely stunning upper-level configuration pinwheeling #Sandy on-shore like ping-pong ball," he tweeted. It shows how cold air to the north and west of the storm spin Sandy into the mid-atlantic coastline. (Nota bene: his models also show very high winds at skyscraper altitudes.)
This morning, the Wall Street Journal's Eric Holthaus (@WSJweather), tweeted the following map. "Oh my.... I have never seen so much purple on this graphic. By far. Never," he said. "Folks, please take this storm seriously." The storm is strong *and* huge. And when it encounters the cold air from the north and west, it will develop renewed strength thanks to that interaction, a process known as "baroclinic enhancement."

Alexis' comment about the public interest in Sandy is interesting. We got a bit of it last night when we flicked over to CNN when we got home from dinner after hearing about the tsunami warnings. One or two of the journalists covering the story almost seems a little deflated when the threatened one-to-two metre waves did not eventuate.

We're likely to be bombarded with Sandy stories in the next couple of days. We've just seen on Twitter that British Airways has just cancelled all flights in and out of New York, and that all Federal buildings in DC will be closed on Monday (US time). Officials are taking Sandy seriously, and it would seem that they have good cause.

Hurricane Sandy; coming to a news channel near you very soon!

Busy times ahead

We have a very busy next month or so ahead. Not only are we starting to build up towards the busy pre-Christmas retail period, but we also have some governance issues to resolve, and a whole bunch of other stuff that has been pushed to one side whilst we focus on the day-to-day stuff that people who run small and medium-sized businesses do.

There is light on the horizon though; a brief escape to warmer climes at the end of the week. We have a power of work to do before we can even mentally prepare for beaches and cocktails at sunset however!

So we apologise in advance if blogging isn't as frequent as usual for the next few weeks. We'll try our hardest, but blogging during business hours is likely to be a little less frequent We will however try to focus on quality if we can't do quantity! 

In the meantime though, we spotted this on Facebook, and couldn't resist, given that food is very often a refuge for stress in our whare:

Have a great day, whether you're stressed or not!

Monday Caption Contest - 29 October 2012

Yesterday's big earthquake near the north-western tip of Canada produced a tsunami warning in Hawaii. The predicted 1-2 metre waves didn't materialise, but that didn't stop these rubber-neckers wanting a ring-side seat!

You know the rules; keep 'em short, pithy, to the point and amusing, and don't get personal. Other than that. you're only limited by your imagination.

Give it your best shot!

Quote of the Day - 29 October 2012

We haven't blogged about the Jimmy Savile case yet, largely because everything has been happening so fast, it's hard to keep up with the new allegations. But we saw this in The Australian at the weekend, and it summed things up rather well:

PICTURE this. An ABC radio star of the 1960s moves smoothly into television and gains the popularity and longevity of Molly Meldrum, Bert Newton and Daryl Somers put together.
Our hero remains famous for 50 years, doing so much charity work for hospitals and vulnerable children that he is knighted by both the Pope and the Queen.
Then imagine the national embarrassment if, after this man dies, it turns out that he had in fact been a serial sexual abuser all along, using his celebrity status and all that charity work to get access to hundreds of vulnerable people, mostly girls as young as 12.
That is what is happening in Britain now as it becomes evident that Sir Jimmy Savile was the most prolific child sex offender yet uncovered in Britain, and that he did it all while hiding in plain sight as a national celebrity.
In fact, Savile did not just groom his young victims, he "groomed" an entire nation to give him the young sexual fodder he wanted.

"He groomed an entire nation"; that certainly sums up the double life the Jimmy Saville appears to have led most accurately.

And even today, there's more fall-out as the BBC reports:

Former pop star Gary Glitter has been arrested on suspicion of sex offences by police investigating Jimmy Savile abuse claims.
Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, has previously been jailed in Vietnam for child sex offences.
He has been taken from his home into custody at a London police station.
Police are investigating allegations that the late TV presenter Savile sexually abused some 300 young people over a 40-year period.
Met Police confirmed that officers from Operation Yewtree had "arrested a man in his 60s in connection with the investigation".

You get the feeling that Glitter's arrest is just the tip of the iceberg, whilst the BBC itself is under scrutiny for shutting down allegations against Savile. There's much, much more to come on this story of a spectacular posthumous fall from grace.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Quote of the Day - 28 October 2012

From The Standard, long-time blogger Irish Bill provides today's Quote of the Day:

Unfortunately I don’t think the latest Roy Morgan is a rogue poll. But I also don’t think that it’s the result of David Shearer’s GCSB fiasco as the electorate doesn’t tend to make up its mind on single issues.
Rather, I think that the electorate has simply run out of patience with Labour. As has been pointed out time and time again, politics is about narratives – about finding a positive story about your own brand and a negative one about you opponent and punctuating these stories with example again and again and again. And yet Labour’s “top teams”, both under Goff and under Shearer, have repeated failed to grasp that very simple fact.
So in four years we’ve not seen any consistency either in how they have opposed the government or how they have promoted themselves. Instead we’ve seen four years of disparate silver bullet PR fiascos ranging from dying Phil Goff’s hair and sticking him on a motor bike, to ill-timed blairite triangulation attempts such as David Shearer’s bene on a roof speech, to desperate and self-defeating attacks such as the gcsb debacle and the backstabbing of their own colleagues and staff members.
And to make matters worse this absolute lack of strategy has been punctuated with own goals like Trevor Mallard’s ticket scalping, David Shearer setting the Auditor General on one of his own Senior MPs, Trevor Mallard’s offensive facebook postings, Shane Jone’s transparent lobbying for his donor, Trevor Mallard’s ill-judged bike race with the internet’s village idiot, various MPs’ twitter outbursts, Trevor Mallard’s obsession with David Farrar, various frontbenchers’ failure to attain profile, Trevor Mallard’s… well you get the idea. In short they’ve inadvertently allowed a narrative to form that they’re not a competent government in waiting at all.

Now before Edward the Confessor or some other Labour-leaning commenter wades in, what you read above are not my words. They are the words of a disillusioned left-winger who despairs for the Labour Party of old, whatever the Labour Party of old was.

If left-wing activists are this disillusioned by the Labour Party, how can the floating voter have any confidence that Labour is a viable alternative to lead New Zealand after the 2014 election. We have commented tongue-in-cheek in the past about the Greens becoming the main opposition party, but maybe that's not such a fanciful notion any more.

David Shearer was supposed to sweep in like the proverbial new broom and usher in a new era for Labour. Instead it's been same-old-same-old; the same faces, the same failures and the same outcomes. 

Is Labour history?

A strange choice of words...

The Herald reports:

Maori party members are crying out for a "Maori Dotcom" to bankroll them into the next election.
The party is on a fundraising and membership drive to save itself from extinction.
Party membership has slumped to about 600 financial members from its peak of about 23,000 in 2005.
At its annual conference yesterday, keynote speaker and communications consultant Matthew Jansen warned the party would be wiped out in 2014 - or at the 2017 election if it was lucky.
It won four electorate seats in 2005 and five in 2008. After the defection of Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira to set up Mana, it won just three seats at the election in 2011.
Jansen said it was fatal for minor parties to concentrate on the electorate vote. "A focus on the party vote can help you win in electorates, but not vice versa. The first vote you have to win is the party vote." He endorsed the talk by the party leadership of extending the support base to Pakeha and even suggested the party consider a name change.
Co-leader Pita Sharples later ruled that out.
Jansen, son of former Hamilton mayor Sir Ross Jansen, addressed the party's national council in August with a similar message.
A shift to a party-vote campaign is likely to cost more and, with $166,000 in the bank, the party is set to begin a recruitment and fundraising drive.
Party president Pem Bird made several references to the party not having a "Maori Dotcom", a wealthy backer, but he said "third party" backing could make the party more flush. He said it would not be possible to run a serious party-vote campaign without some serious money.

Looking for a wealthy backer is all very well. But somehow, we reckon that Pem Bird has chosen his analogy very poorly. After all, what political party in its right mind would want to have anything to do with Kim Dotcom right at the moment.

Still; it could have been worse we suppose. Pem Bird could have said that the party needed to find a Maori Bill Liu!!

Christian Music Sunday - 28 October 2012

Around about the time we took our leap of faith, Irish worship leader Robin Mark released an album with songs that are now sung in churches throughout the world. Revival in Belfast was hugely popular, and the mix of Celtic melodies and instruments and powerful lyrics provided a great basis for worship. A follow-up album followed.

This song is one of our favourites; simple, but with words of reverence and significance. It's a great way to start the day:

We hope that your moment in time today is as good as ours is going to be!

A serve for Labour

Rob Hosking from the NBR is normally pretty mild-mannered in his writings. But he has given the Labour Party's finance team a right good serve this weekend; he writes:

If the Labour Party wants its economic policies to be taken seriously it needs to stop making up stuff.
The trouble is, its front bench MPs are starting to believe their own bullshi*t.
This week Labour finance spokesman David Parker tried to table in Parliament a document which does not exist.
Coming as it did within 10 days of his leader, David Shearer, making a big fuss over a tape of Prime Minister John Key which turned out to have similarly ectoplasmic characteristics, this seems to be a trend in Labour political tactics.
The effort came amid a testy exchange over economic policy.
The usually mild-mannered Mr Parker sought leave to table a series of documents which he says support New Zealand adopting what he called “Labour’s pro-growth capital gains tax”.
These included reports “from the OECD, the IMF, Treasury, and the Reserve Bank”, he claimed.

MP's try to table all sorts of things. The exercise of tabling documents usually has either two purposes; to embarrass one's political opponents or to vindicate your own position. David Parker was trying to do the latter, but he was on shaky ground as Hosking continues to explain:

Mr Parker is not the first Labour MP to claim the Reserve Bank supports a capital gains tax: Mr Shearer and former finance spokesman David Cunliffe regularly make similar claims.
It’s not true. What is more they know it is not true, which is why they are usually careful to trot out this claim in front of audiences who do not know any better.
Mr Parker realised his mistake and backtracked. When asked by Speaker Lockwood Smith to name the reports, he said he could not put a date on the Reserve Bank document “so I will not pursue it”.
Labour’s proposed capital gains tax would be imposed on the country’s businesses and, while it excludes owner-occupied housing, it includes any part of the family home which is used as a home office or similar premises used for business.
It would also not be paid until a property is sold. And it would also catch the family home if it is not sold before the owners die. A family home which is inherited by offspring and then sold by them would be hit by the tax.
The only time the Reserve Bank has specifically addressed such a tax it has rejected it. This was in a submission to the Productivity Commission late last year on housing affordability.
In a particularly pointed comment aimed squarely at Labour’s tendency to just make up stuff, the Reserve Bank said it has "never taken a stance on the general merits or otherwise of capital gains taxes".
But the mix advocated by Labour – which the Reserve Bank carefully did not specifically mention by name – would create more rather than fewer distortions and would not do the job Labour politicians claim it will.

David Parker narrowly avoided misleading the House with this stunt. Perhaps if caught, he would have chosen to invoke the Shearer Burden of Proof saying that he believed that the document existed, and that it was the job of those who didn't to prove otherwise. That seems to be Labour's prevailing logic at the moment.

Does Labour still believe that the voting public doesn't see through such subterfuge? You'd have to wonder, given that the last two political polls to be published (3News/Reid Research and Roy Morgan) show Labour going backwards and National rebounding.

Just as Labour has been unable to substantiate its allegations about John Key and senior GCSB personnel, it cannot prove that the Reserve Bank supports a capital gains tax. The Shearer Burden of Proof has proved to be a fizzer, and whichever of Labour's strategic genii conceived it should be put out to pasture.

No punches pulled

The Wellington Phoenix team suffered its first loss of the A-League season in Adelaide last night, and it's fair to say that the referee and his linesmen won't be on the club's Christmas card list. The side was on the wrong end of a string of refereeing decisions in the second half.

And skipper Andrew Durante hasn't endeared himself to A-League officials with a "candid" post-match interview in which no punches were pulled; reports:

Adelaide United's double-scorer Jeronimo Neumann has been branded a cheat by Wellington Phoenix captain Andrew Durante for diving in a bitter A-League fixture at Hindmarsh Stadium on Saturday.
The Phoenix were left fuming after defender Ben Sigmund was given a straight red card for bringing Jeronimo down as the last defender during the Reds' 3-1 win, but replays suggested the Argentine’s reaction was significantly delayed.

Durante was incensed at the time, as he was when Cassio scored Adelaide’s second goal after receiving a pass from a seemingly-offside Jeronimo, and the Wellington skipper didn’t hold back during the post-game interview with Fox Sports.
"We got a few tough decisions against us," Durante said.
"I think the first one was offside from what I saw, the second one he's dived. He’s a cheat.
"In my book, if he’s dived, he’s a cheat. I think the referees were shocking tonight.
"To end the game with a referee’s decision like that ... I mean, that linesman on that far side did nothing to help this game. I thought it was extremely poor.

Durante is dead right in what he said, but of course referees these days are immune from criticism. Durante though has support from his Gaffer, Ricki Herbert; TVNZ reports:

After watching video footage of the Sigmund incident, Herbert confirmed the club would ask for a review of the red card.
"I think we have to, looking at that," Herbert said.
Asked in the media conference if he thought Neumann had dived Herbert suggested those asking the question had seen the same footage and that they should make up their own minds.

Players who dive are a blight on the game. So are referees and linesmen who don't do their jobs properly. Andrew Durante might find the A-League picking his pocket, but he only said what everyone else saw; the video does not lie. 

Adelaide was the better side last night, but the 'Nix got the raw prawn from inept match officials.