Monday, July 30, 2007

Corporal punishment in schools

How wonderful that a survey called for the re-introduction of corporal punishment into school to control the rat bag kids who abuse the teachers. Really the wimpish teachers have nobody to blame but themselves as they stand against the re-introduction.

Certainly it was good for me to be subject to corporal punishment in my youth until as a member of society I acquired the other constraints to fit into society.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

When a dollar was five bob

Less than a century ago the dollar was worth five bob, that translates to 50 cents in today's money. So that would mean that the New Zealand dollar exchanged at two US dollars for one of ours.

I wonder at and why the change. Suspect that the Unions have been too good at getting wage rises in the decades since the dollar was worth five bob. Whatever I don't really begrudge them their success and I'm a firm believe in strong sensible unionism.

But as firms move overseas it makes me wonder why owners and unions don't get together and find a solution.

Surely it is better to retain industry in the country rather than send it off-shore?

One solution would be to try wages in exporting induxtries to the exchange rate. In times of a low exchange rate wages would rise and the reverse in the current situation. One effect of this would be less spent on the 'cheap imports' by those in the export trade becuase their wages would have dropped. Those involved would probably divide their wages into savings for the rainy day as well as keeping up with the Jones' which would help the country.

Naturally intelligent unionists rather than the firebrands are required for this to work ... just as likewise on management's side .... no room for rednecks of either kind. With proper accountancy to make it all fair and above board.

I really cannot see it happening after a lifetime of viewing the extremism of both sides in labour relations .. but it would be a help to the Reserve Bank and probably would keep interest rates down .... so workers wouldn't have to find extra money to pay increasing interest payments on their home loans.

The Cruel Joke

[It never got sent to the Editor of the Dunedin STAR]

Unlike David Ross [Star December 7, 2006] I am not sick of superannuients telling how poor they are at the bottom of the pile because for somebody to live on the super is tough if they have not prepared for it. Because of the 'cradle to the grave' of socialism, as developed by the National Party onto the basics that the first Labour Government brought in, the poor were lulled into thinking it meant just that. No longer the hardships that Pat Adamson [Star December 14, 2006] mentions. I would have fallen into the trap but for a flatmate who told me to join the Government Super scheme where I ended up paying 7.5% and subsidised by my employer to an equal amount ... really the current 4% scheme of the Labour Government is a cruel joke. Even the 15% hasn't put me in the lap of luxury, the way the actuaries work the scheme is another cruel joke on contributors, but I know I am a hell of a lot better off than those on just super..

Everybody was told 'we will look after you', politicians' promises equally insincere from left and right. Only by luck had I acquired the neccessary to buy a run down house, after living on the breadline for some twelve years, not that I appreciated that at the time, it was just life as I lived it, and the income to build a replacement family home with a small loan from the OSB. Plus the gumption to build on my one year of carpentry at primary school to do the work myself. I owe much to the rigid building code of the period, loathed by many builders, but it gave me the guidelines to build by.

Attitude helps, I had bought a small fridge in Auckland where I had been living in a caravan in a motorcamp to reduce the exhorbitant rent I had being paying previously and brought that south when transfered to Dunedin, but there was no car, washing machine, drier etc as my wife helped me to build our family home, they came later as, not paying rent, we found the money for them on the never-never thanks to the likes of Arthur Barnet.

I am more angry about the whinging folk complaining about their leaky homes which panic'd the politicians into introducing regulation which will make it much harder for somebody today to do what I did. After all the leaks came from bad professional design and trade workmanship, and slack inspection ... not amateur builders. That gets me angry for lost opportunity for somebody like me rather than the struggling pensioners, they are living the cruel joke played on them by the politicians.

Pat Adamson's 'hidden agenda' of Sir Roger Douglas was only hidden because Sir Robert Muldoon sprung a snap election in a moment of drunken stupour, and could have been the saving of the country if Roger had been allowed his head. The country would have prospered and the government would have the money to properly look after those on the bottom rung. The 'cradle' of ACT's policy.

long gone from ACT :-)

Saturday, July 14, 2007


The first two letters are some of my given names and it doesn't take much detective work to find out who I am ... would spoil the show if I told you how.
Middle two letters indicate where I was born and spent my early days ending up spending two years defending my Country at the time of the Korean War, but fortuneately I served at the base camp of Barton Stacey sending poor mugs out to defend Britains interests around the world. Libya, Egypt,Malaysia, Hong Kong, and of course Korea. Plus a few other places which I forget.

Surviving two years as a army clerk but luxuriating in the rank of Sapper, slightly superior to just a private, I went to Photographic School for fifteen months before boarding the SS Captain Cook as an assisted immigrant. Officially my job was to be a postie for two years in return for my passage.

So it is obvious that the last two letters refer to my country of residence the past fifty-four years.

JCUKNZ is well known on certain photographic e-groups as a gentle stirrer with unconventional views with regard to cameras. He doesn't bow down and worship the DSLR which is really just a make-over of the brilliant Pentax design of ... was it the sixties? Rather he is an enthusiastic user of top line pro-sumers which are the fixed lens cameras of the digital age. But he doesn't catch many fish/whales with that comment any more. Pity really, he likes a discussion.

Politically he is a not a member of any party though did belong to ACT when it was formed and earlier served as union delegate and acting Chairman of his branch. He once read "The Responsible Society" by that alleged commie whose name slips my mind at the moment.

Today he believes that the responsible society hasn't a snowballs chance in hell of working unless the populace are in turn responsible to their society. With individual greed this is a hard ask.

He was a contributor to Sir Humpreys until it changed its location and he cannot get back there ... no great loss because much was above his head and the crudity didn't appeal .... so if anybody by chance picks up on this blog and contributes please try to use reasonable language ... creative but not crude please :-)

Finally a link to a fun article in the New York Times of today.