Thursday, March 23, 2006

PM rocked by jammy dodger dodginess

Scandal hit Prime Minister Helen Clark has been rocked by the news of unchecked theft within her departmental offices. Police last night confirmed that they are investigating the theft of a number of plain and chocolate biscuits from ministerial catering facilities at the Beehive. A cleaning operative is believed to have helped herself to the biscuits while tidying the departmental kitchen.

Act leader Rodney Hide said he had spoken to staff within the department who had told him that not only had plain biscuits been stolen, but also Tim Tams and jammy dodgers. Mr Hide said that he had been told that biscuits were left in unlocked cupboards and that staff regularly helped themselves to not only biscuits, but also to unauthorised cups of coffee and tea. Helen Clark's spokeswoman said that they were aware of some misuse of catering supplies, and that guidelines had been re-issued on staff refreshments. The spokeswoman said the theft was investigated but an outcome had yet to be decided.

Mr Hide said an answer from Helen Clark to a parliamentary question only gave part of the story, not mentioning that luxury biscuits such as Tim Tams had been involved in the theft and misleading the house that only plain biscuits had been misappropriated. He called on the Prime Minister to accept responsibility for this shameful neglect of public property and resign.

A government spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: "I don't know about biscuits, but I'd like to see a stock-check on the doughnut supplies at the Business Roundtable after Rodney's paid them a visit."

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Exceptions to every rule

Normally I am of the view that torture should never, ever, be considered and that criminals should be rehabilitated rather than punished. However there are some people whose mere existence stresses my liberal principles to breaking point. Martha Stewart for example.

If the American's have to satisfy their 18th century bloodlust on someone, what was wrong with her, rather than random Kabul taxi drivers? And I'm sure a video "Martha Stewart executed by Scaphism" would be a hit on MTV.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Resigning ministers

David Parker has been forced to resign his cabinet posts after making an allegedly false declaration on a company form.

I was surprised to find that ministers were allowed to be directors anyway. British ministers can't - the UK Ministerial Code is quite firm that "Ministers must resign any directorships they hold when they take up office". Our cabinet manual just requires them to be declared - I think this is something the government should look at - they're reasonably well paid for a full time job and shouldn't really need side interests.

The Herald (along with the usual not-exactly-unblemished wingnuts -thank you Russell Brown for the reference) suggests he might be prosecuted. I guess this rests on whether there was any material problem with the business. Parker should probbaly get the books audited pronto - if this shows that everything is above board, then I'd think that the chances of a prosecution and conviction are slight, and he might have some hopes of getting back into politics. If however there was actual sticky-fingeredness, then he's in trouble - and rightly so!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Protection-free poms

Interesting story in the Guardian. Apparently almost no CDs released in the UK have copy protection. The UK record company branches don't believe it works.

An unspoken reason might also be that a pirated CD with the copy protection removed (or a memory stick full of MP3s) is *more* useful than a pukka copy-protected disk. Which might tip the balance for your average record buying kid between buying a CD or copying the choons from a mate.

Anyway, for New Zealanders, it might be useful to note that list the Arctic Monkeys at GBP8.99 (=NZD23.65) against RealGroovy at NZD34.95. And it'd be less likely to try and *monkey* with your computer. (Groan!)