Friday, April 29, 2011
Adolf and the Cook are busy establishing lawns and a vegie garden while figuring out what to keep and what to 'garage sale' as we go from a bloody big house to a small but comfortable place on a quarter acre.
42 km from the city centre and three minutes from the nearest farm supplies business.
The train trip to the city centre takes 55 minutes and costs each way, wait for it, $1.20 so you're nuts to take a car.
Yesterday Adolf wandered about a couple of garden centres looking for fertiliser. Ammonium sulphate along with some high NPK with trace elements. The prices were just too high at $25 for 5 kg of ammonium sulphate and $35 or so for 10kg of some fancy 'organic' crap that looked and smelt like blood and bone with a bit of urea chucked in.
So, it was off to the farm supplies joint for a $40kg bag of Nitrophoska Blue $80 and a 20kg bag of ammonium sulphate $40.
That will last about a year. It's no wonder they grow good wine grapes in the Barossa. The soil here is pretty bony and after five weeks digging and scraping I found my first worm yesterday. In honour of the day's events it was named Hillary Calvert. Anyway, Hillary was shovelled up with a bit of soil and placed in the half full compost bin where she can multiply hermaphroditically (a polite way of screwing yourself) to her heart's content for a few weeks.
Do you know, they actually sell packets of live worms in garden shops!!! I kid you not.
- Will we see for the first time ever, a party leader taken to court by the Securities Commission?
- Will a certain Mr Huljich appear miraculously on the ACT party list?
- After carefully considering the new ACT leader's skills and strengths will PM Key, after the election, offer him the Ministry of Women's Affairs?
- Will Dr Brash find he's come along a little late to the party when he sees National's campaign manifesto for November 2011?
- If he wants to be Finance Minister, won't he need at least 45% of the party vote?
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
That's the equivalent of about 900 return trips to the moon.
Or 2.5 trips per day.
At least it is all related to running our economy in an efficient manner, great value for money and vital to our economic well being.
MMP is the bastard political system inflicted on Germany by the allies post WW2 designed to make it virtually impossible for no one Party to govern alone. Right now NZ is stuck with it and forget the stellar polling enjoyed by National. National needs political allies if it is to govern in the medium to long term.
Labour has the Greens and NZ First as natural allies. The Maori Party is undergoing its own inner turmoil and cannot be counted on as a natural ally of the Centre Right. It is unlikely the Dunne Party will survive the election and even if it were to make it over the line it would remain a one seat wonder with its vote available for purchase by the highest bidder.
So all that National is left with is ACT. I am not privy to our internal polling but the advice I have from several sources is that right now ACT is mired in the 1-2% margin of error stuff. Their Leader is not polling well in Epsom, particularly among female voters, and without Epsom ACT is out of Parliament.
It has to be remembered too that in both 2006 (under Brash) and in 2009 (under Key) National sent a deliberate nudge nudge wink wink to its supporters to support ACT with their electorate vote.
A large part of politics is about perception and right now the perception is that ACT is damaged goods.
Enter Don Brash. From where I sit I have to say my assessment is that if he were to go with his own Right Wing Party (as he has threatened to do) he would bury ACT. The problem for ACT, in deeding him the leadership, is that while Brash sits squarely with the Douglas/Richardson economic faction, he is a social conservative. It is a moot point how that would play out on their declared liberal/libertarian tradition.
For all his good points Brash remains politically naive. A case in point is his championing of John Banks for Epsom. JB is a political Peter Pan and yesterdays man who managed to wrest defeat from the jaws of victory. Is he to be the bright new face of ACT going forward and is Brash saying he would prefer Banks over Boscowan as an ACT nominee for cabinet? (because you can be as sure a god made little apples, Banks wouldn't be going to parliament to sit on the back benches.
So there are risks for ACT and while Brash would certainly bleed off right wing voters from National he would also change brand ACT and move it way from its liberal tradition.
But to end where I started. National needs allies and right now I doubt whether ACT as it currently stands, and certainly in the face of a Brash lead alternative party, will be in parliament post November. So on balance, and unlike my good friend Adolf, the Veteran supports the bid by the Brashites to take-over ACT risks et al.
In the event Dr Bumblefoot's assault is repulsed on Saturday, I could not have imagined stronger encouragement for ACT to have Rodney move over graciously and allow John Bascowan to lead the party.
John Key has given him his lifeline.
Prime Minister John Key says that Rodney Hide would keep his ministerial portfolios if Don Brash rolled Mr Hide as leader of the Act Party.
Adolf reads that as 'would keep his ministerial portfolios if anybody rolled Mr Hide as leader of the Act Party."
The door has been opened for an orderly succession after the coup is repulsed.
As far as Don's Party goes - well it will attract the extremists from the right and, who knows, it may well serve at least one useful purpose. It will bleed off a whole lot of votes which otherwise might have gone the way of Winston Peters and could well turn out be the major factoir in keeping the most despicable politician ever, out of office.
So, what happens to Brash and Banks if ACT goes into the election with John Bascowan as leader, standing in Tamaki; Rodney Hide No 2 on the list and withdrawing from the electoral race; with National mounting a vigorous campaign in Epsom with its own strong candidate?
Does anybody seriously think the astute voters of Epsom will back a party of right wing ideologues and reject their own party of steady as she goes, carefully measured and sure progress?
I don't think so.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Benefactor 1 - John Banks.
Banks has the money to fund the polls and the PR campaign and is politically ambitious. He always has been. I doubt Banks wants to return to parliament, but he could be a good party president for a party led by Brash. As party president he would be instrumental in choosing candidates, raising funds and setting the policy. The funds come easy to Banks. Even though he is a Bumblefoot, Brash will attract candidates, as will Banks. Adolf is certain that Banks will "find" hard line ultra Christian conservative Colin Craig as a top-shelf candidate. You see, for Banks it removes Craig nicely from Auckland, allowing Banks to run for the mayoralty in 2013 uncontested.
But it's the policy that current Actoids should be wary of. Banks is a hard-line social conservative so Act's liberal vision is demolished. Makes it hard for the likes of Heather Roy to campaign for a ultra social conservative party methinks.
Benefactor 2 - Heather Roy
Next-to-useless even with her army uniform on behind a full frontal creeping artillery barrage, Roy's disgraceful performance as a disloyal deputy to Hide was unlikely to be rewarded in the slightest come list selection time. She might have made top 15 on a good day. But top 15 now might squeeze her in to parliament if Brash's bravado is to be believed. Of course she might bat her eyelashes at the men and put her lipstick on in the vain hope of persuading even the most hard line board member to vote for her. So she might rate top 10 if she's lucky.
Adolf's spies are informed that the PR man for Brash is also the PR man for Stephen Franks. Readers will remember when Roy was put in her place by the Act party last year that Franks was by her side, spinning like a top. Franks also loathes Hide from way back apparently. Adolf is informed also that Roy has loyal acolytes in the Act on Campus crowd and these members have been sending virtually identical emails to Act board members yesterday urging them to accept Brash as leader. Adolf asks who scripted these emails? Yes, dear readers, Heather Roy's dirty mits are all over this. She was gone under a Hide led Act, but can see a glimmer of hope under a Brash-led Act.
It appears Rodney Hide did suggest a few scenarios to Brash. But it seems Dr Bumblefoot is not only a bumbling buffoon, he might be able to read an abacus, but he cannot comprehend English. A suggestion is not an offer. Hide was in no position to offer anything as the Act board makes the decisions on candidates, not the leader. Then the Bumbling Buffoon, Dr Bumblefoot, writes Hide a letter in a threatening tone as if he intends to leak it if Hide doesn't cave in.
That is blackmail.
But the best is left for the end.
If you want to become a leader of a party then you have to join it. Then you subject yourself to the list selection process and enter parliament. Then you go about becoming leader. Act is no different here from Adolf's National. But it seems Dr Bumblefoot believes these rules do not apply to him; he would rather conduct a hostile takeover without joining; and without going through the candidate process.
Someone should remind Dopey Don of the slogan he so enthusiastically preaches to the country - what's it called? Oh yes, One Law For All.
Well folks, there's one law for ACT party members but not for Dr Donald Brash, it seems.
He's above the rules.
ACT may well have a problem, but Dr Bumblefoot is not the solution.
He's just an additional problem, worse than the current problem.
If ever there was needed a reason for the ACT Party to reject this latest nonsense out of hand, here it is:-
Dr Brash has commissioned a nationwide poll to gauge the level of support for him as leader of Act versus Act under incumbent leader Rodney Hide.
He expects the results next week, after the Act board meeting.
How could anyone have any confidence in a self professed 'leader' who is too dim witted to commission a poll in time for the results to be of any use? Surely he might have organized his damned poll to give a result BEFORE the ACT board meeting?
And have all the people in ACT forgotten Dr Brash's appalling handling of the the Exclusive Brethren debacle? Have they forgotten it was a debacle created by his bungled handling of the media?
When Dr Brash was National Party leader, Adolf defended him like hell in public and cringed every day as Brash stuffed up his media image and his political delivery. He was a walking disaster.
Perhaps, dear friends in ACT you have forgotten what it is you are wishing for?
Here's a timely reminder.
Dr Dork walking the plank.
And here are a few more reminders of political reality.
- Do you idiots REALLY want to see the left go ape shit with joy as they reprise all the lies put forth by that ratbag Hagar?
- Do you REALLY want a party leader who is too dumb to keep his private e-mails private?
- Do you remember that appalling picture of an inept Brash trying to squeeze into a too small racing car for a photo op? Any one with any brains would have seen the trap and avoided it. But not Dopey Don.
- Do you really want the baggage of John Banks? Another yesterday's man who couldn't win the unloseable Auckland mayoral election?
- Why are you so keen to bring back all these well performed losers?
I have thought for sometime that he has had his day. He could have avoided all this nonsense and damage by arranging to quietly relinquish the leadership and have John Bascowan installed in good time for the upcoming election.
It is my guess many senior figures in the National Party will be watching the manner in which Dr Brash is carrying out his 'negotiations' with ACT and will be saying to themselves 'Thank you but no thanks. This is not the sort of fellow who can be part of today's team. He'd be almost be as bad as Winston."
Monday, April 25, 2011
Punk rock changed our lives. But before that we were hippies - the Sandy Denny version of this is the definitive one, but this one has photos more suited to ANZAC Day.
As ever on this day, those of us who haven't had the govt of the time round us up and ship us off to play kill-or-be-killed are thinking about those who did have that worst-case-scenario happen to them.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
1. I reckoned at New Year that ACT would have to seriously reinvent themselves for this election. Having a leadership "debate" in the Sunday papers isn't exactly what I had anticipated. ACT's fundamental problem is that they present a very disjointed face to mainstream voters. Sure 1-2% understand what they are saying but the rest do not understand the nuances of being a classical liberal- whatever the heck that really means to the man on the street. To this end Rodney Hide is guilty of failing to sell a clear ACT vision. One suspects that he really has just been well played by John Key.
Is Don Brash the answer? No, just as Roger Douglas wasn't the answer last time. Like end of career All Blacks, they may know the game inside out but their legs can't keep up. Selectors are generally ruthless. The smart ones become coaches or commentators.
My preference would be John Boscawen. His greatest strengths are hard work, intelligence and being unencumbered by inflated ego. There is a place for an intelligent party offering sound policies far removed from the socialist economic claptrap that voters have had rammed down their throats for the last few decades.
Can ACT deliver a platform that treats voters as intelligent individuals who are well capable of running their affairs with minimal government intervention? I would like to think that our society still possesses the ability and commonsense to find this solution. Our future actually depends on it. Or one day we may find that we are incapable of paying the interest bill that our current politicians are racking up.
A country where the government deems things too big to fail is also a country that encourages poor choices and poorer management on an even larger scale. We will eventually pay for this foolishness one way or another.
2. Phil Goff has done a brilliant job in bringing Labour to its knees. Their true true colours have finally been revealed. Below is the final version of their logo for the election. To give Phil his credit it takes a very peculiar skill to make going downhill look like hard work.
Friday, April 22, 2011
They've had one of their state MPs arrested for, among other things, possession of child pornography.
Interestingly, all names are suppressed under a state law enacted some thirty five years ago wherein all names of all characters in any 'sex' related offending are suppressed until either a guilty plea or verdict has been entered.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I don't think so.
Can you imagine some gangling skinny big eared corn seed red headed hick lawyer from Idaho with a teleprompter under each arm getting the same adulation from the Antique Media as did this gangling skinny big eared black hack lawyer plucked from the back streets of Chicago?
I don't think so.
As each day goes by, more and more evidence of the vacuum which exists between his ears becomes available.
Today he gave the most extraordinarily ignorant answer to a TV reporter who asked him 'Mr President, why are you so unpopular in Texas?'
Obama looked like a possum in the headlights for a few seconds and then mumbled something like "Well, Texas has always been a Republican state, you know, for historical reasons."
Never mind that LBJ was a Texan Democrat and never mind that Texas was solidly Democrat during the Civil War and for long thereafter, in fact right through to 1972.
America needed a president and they voted for a symbol.
Unfortunately they got a cymbal. Shiny exterior, lots of noise, nothing inside, no substance.
The media had to manufacture George W Bush's gaffes. Today all they have to do is wait at the end of the presidential assembly line and pick them up off the floor. Ready made.
All that is left is a 'gaggle' of amateurish incompetents, none of whom appears to have a clue about real politics. It is a strange mix of Monty Pythonesque Clouseau-like characters snooping around looking for dirt on John Key, dullard ex shop stewards, exuberantly useless fourth form pranksters and fully depreciated political matrons whose busts and bums have fallen along with their party's poll ratings.
In all this there are two sources of great sport:-
- What will their next dumbarse stupid trick be? God knows.
Laurel and Hardy look like scholarly sages compared with this lot.
So, what on earth will they do next? I'm at a loss to imagine anything that would top their recent performance. It's almost got to the stage that if one of their MPs was caught having his or her way with a Hansard steno behind the Speaker's chair, nobody would blink.
- What will the next batch of opinion polls do for what's left of Labour?
Of course it will not happen because there is no Head Master or Head Prefect anymore.
They are both in New York.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Some observations from afar and not so afar. A political truism. When the Opposition starts framing the political debate then the Government is in deep stuk. So it is here with the Carbon Tax debate. The Opposition is making all the running and the Government is going south in the polls having just achieved their worst result in sixteen years. Gillard must be beside herself seeing a major Labour aligned Union threatening to pull the plug if just one Union job in the mining industry is lost ... and this from a Prime Minister who campaigned on the promise of 'No Carbon Tax by any Government that I lead'.
And to compound Gillard's problems Kevin Rudd has now opened up a 10% lead over her in the preferred PM stakes.
And I must say it brings joy to the heart to see the Greens, having nailed Gillard to the wall over the Carbon Tax, wrecked by dissension over the NSW Greens decision to support the Greens controlled Marikville City Council in its decision to institute a Council boycott of all Israeli goods as a show of solidarity for the Palestinian cause.
With the Federal Greens Leader Bob Brown labelling the decision as unwise it was fascinating to watch the NSW Greens Senator elect tie herself in knots attempting to argue the decision should not be seen as anti Israel but rather pro Palestine.
Local Government does not have a mandate to make foreign policy decisions. That is the preserve of central Government.
The fleeting news over here was the comment that if the Aust Labor Party had problems then that was nothing compared to the state of the Labour Party in NZ. The 30% lead by National over Labour comes at no surprise so I won't comment on that. But the results achieved by the minor parties do deserve comment.
ACT. I note with some satisfaction that their result, if repeated, and provided they win Epsom, will see them with a minimum of two seats post the election. That is good news. National needs responsible allies and ACT, less the Douglas faction, is just such a Party.
Winston First. Isn't it great that with the slump by Labour their voters have resisted the temptation to go with Winston. Goes to prove that some erstwhile Labour votes are exhibiting a modicum of sense. Psycho Milt will be disappointed.
The Maori Party. The Maori Party has problems. The Hone fuelled grievance and handout mode that exists in Maoridom may well see the Maori Party become bit players going forward and Labour come through the middle in the Maori seats. Sad because Labour has treated their members as pet poodles and voting fodder. Maori had their big chance under MMP and they may have blown it.
Two parties that won't be there post the election are United Future and the Progressives. Parliament will be the better for that. Wasted spaces.
The Greens ... nuff said
Incredibly, Mbama's juvenile answer to this disaster is to campaign for more borrowing, more spending and more taxing.
Isn't it amazing how this all sounds so familiar as tax and spend Goff heads for the political brick wall?
Adolf looks forward to November 2011 and November 2012 with eager anticipation.
If S & P drop the US back to AA+ or worse, then the GOP could put up any one of its half dozen dead dog's dongers and it would win.
I came across this job today and despite the lack of formal qualifications most of them are behaving like space cadets anyway.
Any thoughts on other potential roles for the soon be unemployed?
Sunday, April 17, 2011
That's what he scored in School Certificate maths when he sat the exam in 1962. His father, an extremely good mathematician and ex RNZAF navigator, was less than impressed. Adolf dropped maths and went on to gain UE in a far more useless subject at which he excelled, French.
While working full time as a farm hand, Adolf enrolled in the Correspondence School class for School Cert maths. Exam time fell in the midst of hay making and there was no time for study during the month prior. So, a rush trip thirty miles into Rotorua, a three hour examination completed in 45 minutes and this time a 78% pass. (You see, at school I had missed one of the fundamnetals of algebra and just never caught up. But at my own speed, everything was fine)
Phil Goff won't get a second chance from Correspondence School.
Today his party recorded 27% in the TV3/Reid poll - or so reports David Farrar at Kiwiblog. TV3 do not yet have the poll and it's detail or commentary up on their website.
Yep, that's the one Helen Clark reckoned was always right. So much for all the smug ill informed talk from the professional commentariat about Labour and Goff escaping Darren Hughes' advances unscathed.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
NZ First leader Winston Peters held an audience of more than 300 of over-50s enthralled with jokes and passionate swipes at the Government as he hit the comeback trail in Horowhenua.
It seems there is an Opposition after all, it's just outside Parliament. Peters had this to say:
The Government's true colours were shown last week when Finance Minister Bill English boasted about the low wages in this country being an attraction for overseas investors, he said.
"The only people this Government looks after are those on the top of the pile – they are creaming it ... [while] taxpayer dollars get siphoned off in billions to save failing businesses.
"This Government gives huge tax cuts to the rich and increases taxes on food and the necessaries of life for families..."
That's a very accurate description of the govt - exactly the kind of thing the Opposition should be putting out there. Perhaps Goff could get around to something similar if his colleagues didn't kick off a voter-repelling media circus every time he gets up to speak. But they do, so expect NZ First to be back in Parliament this year.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
They are all rich pricks by Cullens standards, so let them pay for the damn channel.
Hell, they've got Nat Radio, Concert Radio, The NZSO and now they want another TV channel funded by way of 'other people's money.'
I wrote to my current electorate MP setting out my concerns and, as is typical of the arrogance of the current government, I did not receive even the courtesy of a reply.
Maybe he did not deserve a reply.
A very astute electorate MP, methinks. Much more important business to deal with these days.
Mr English cited the 30% difference in wages as one of the incentives. In the eyes of the Loons from the Left this was tantamount to treason. I don't intend to to give these loons any more oxygen but perhaps they might learn a few facts of commercial life.
First, when Adolf's then employer set up a joint venture with a Victorian manufacturer in 1987 to open up a market in Australia, it very quickly became evident that it was more economic to manufacture in New Zealand and export to Australia than it was to manufacture in Melbourne. The reasons were exactly the same reasons as apply today and to which Mr English referred.
Lower wages in New Zealand and dramatically higher 'on costs' in Australia.
Nothing really has changed. Oh and by the way, care to remember which party was in power in NZ during the mid eighties?
Today, an Australian manufacturer paying $100.00 wages in Australia has on costs of +5% superannuation and 5% payroll tax, in addition to the ACC and Kiwisaver costs applying in NZ. With the exchange rate hovering around 75% it's not hard to see the attraction.
The real wage bill in Australia is actually $110.00 Aust currency.
He can employ the same labour in NZ for $100.00 NZ currency so his real cost is only A$75.00 and he has the big bonus of automatically gaining access to the Chinese market. (Rat Fucker Rudd never quite got around to organising a Chinese FTA. They don't like being called names by a smarmy sawn off lying little runt.)
But that's before we adjust the rate again by the 30% wage differential So in fact he pays only A$52.00 to buy the same quality labour which in Melbourne or Sydney would cost him $110.
The loons from Labour don't seem to really that these are new jobs for New Zealanders. The Australian employers can afford to pay a premium and select only the very best of the work force. That means some more of Mat McCarten's dead shit supporters might actually find themselves filling entry level jobs as they get kicked off the dole.
In plain English that even Labour's Loons might understand, it all means MORE JOBS and HIGHER WAGES
Thus it was with very great interest that Adolf noted this gem from today's Transtasman report.
You see, Aussie businessmen are ten times brighter than NZ Labour Party drones who only now are waking up to market reality and are desperate to paint something really good for NZ as really bad.
".......there is some evidence Aust companies are moving to take
advantage of the FTA by starting up subsidiaries in NZ to exploit the freer market access which Aust does not yet enjoy."
The latter should be taken out by the Navy and tossed overboard somewhere off East Cape, along with their idiot friends the Greens.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Give that man a DB. Give him a whole bloody carton of DB!
Damien O'Connor, that is. Well done.
His “self-serving unionists and a gaggle of gays” will be remembered for all time and ranks right up there on Adolf's list, along with John Tamihere's 'plotting scheming frontbums.'
Come to think of it, he does look a bit like Crocodile Dundee.
Meanwhile David Farrar has gone off in a huff.
Update: Adolf had a sneak preview of the confidential, closed doors, 'in committee' Labour caucus meeting. And here's Damien O'Connor's apology - word for word:-
Fuck youse all!
Suddenly there it was. Just the right headline for a grumpy older agribusiness exponent.
So I read on and on and on and sent off an application. Here it is.
I reacted enthusiastically to the sight of your advertisement's headline on 'Seek.'
"Manager - Agribusiness Banking"
What an excellent headline.
However, as I read on and on and ooooooon I grew tired such was the length, eloquence and prescriptiveness of the job description. Hell, if you people were Presbyterians, Jesus Christ himself wouldn't have made the cut for an interview.
To assist you in future I have redrafted your advert, for which service on this occasion I will not require a fee.
"Manager - Agribusiness Banking"
A reputable banking institution requires an experienced rural account manager who can effectively and profitably bring to a close non performing delinquent farm loan files.
To apply, press button "A" and attach your CV.
There you are! It's easy if you just try.
Oh by the way. If you seriously want to interest me in a two year contract it might be an idea to give some indication of the remuneration attached to said contract.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
At last the the Liberal Party in Australia has woken up.
Spokesman Julie Bishop has this to say.
Ms Bishop says China is moving into areas where Australia and New Zealand are leaving gaps.
"We must focus on our region - and our region includes Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands - and I believe that we are losing influence there," she said.
"We have to think very hard as to whether that's in our national interests and the interests of our region."
Straight out of No Minister and Gotcha.
The Deputy Opposition Leader has also called for a new approach to Fiji.
She says while the Government should not condone the country's military regime, it was clear the current approach had failed.
"It's some years since we imposed sanctions and we have to ask - are they being counterproductive," she said.
"Are we actually achieving a return to democratic rule. I don't believe we are."
You'd think if three years ago, a couple of right wing bloggers could have seen this coming, somebody, anybody in the halls of Australasian foreign affairs might have had the brains to say something to their masters.
Time to wake up, McCully.
In a disgraceful hatchet job on the Guv.
Here's the headline
Governor-General's $3.5m bill prompts inquiry call
...but buried deep down in the text where few ever read we find
The total cost from the budget of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet shows the Governor-General and maintenance of Government Houses in Auckland and Wellington cost about $3.5 million.
So most of the cost is actually for R & M on, not one, but an unspecified number of gummint houses.
Are these idiots at the junk journo Herald really trying to suggest the Guv himself decides when to nail down a bit of loose roofing iron?
Shit oh dear, if you wrapped your fish and chips in this putrid paper you'd die of ptomaine poisoning.
Here's a beauty from Donald Trump.
I have great respect for Ms. Collins in that she has survived so long with so little talent.
Has anyone noticed the tide turning on the issue of Obama's citizenship?
Just like the tide finally turned on the fabricated nonsense which is 'global warming?'
I doubt he'll see the next election.
While I was there I snapped a photo of the shoppers waiting to have decision-making regarding what they can do with their computing equipment taken out of their hands by Apple Inc:
Friday, April 8, 2011
The ratings agencies.
Hard on the heels of their failure to notice even the most egregious deficiencies in the management of the nation's finance companies, with glowing ratings published almost up to the day of receivership, we have the remarkable example of AMI.
This from the company website. Note well the date the rating was issued.
Insurance ratingsAMI Insurance Limited has an A.M. Best Company Inc. rating of A- (Excellent) effective 23 March, 2011.
For those who don't know, this rating of A- Excellent is the highest possible rating which can be given to a moderate sized company. So you can see, the good people from A.M.Best came in and did their due diligence, failed to notice the absence of adequate reinsurance, failed to notice the unhealthy concentration of risk and failed to notice the inadequacy of premium income. They just issued a 'top of the wozza' certification to a dog of a company and pocketed their fat fee. Of course the purpose of the rating is to convince an unknowing public that all is well.
Now fast forward to a company with which Adolf has considerable close experience.
Fidelity Life ------ A.M. Best rating A- Excellent
AMI is a fire and general company while Fidelity is a life and investment company. The difference between the two is chalk and cheese. Fidelity has a board of directors with both broad business and specialist life insurance experience. The company is replete with reinsurance cover on all risks and in my experience operates actuarially an extremely conservative strategy. (I'm sure they regularly 'war game' an unprecedented disaster where say 150,000 people, including all Fidelity's HO staff, are killed on one day in the Auckland CBD and Fidelity's own HQ is flattened. Who will keep the business running and where s all the money to come from?)
I'd say CEO Milton Jennings must be wondering where he can go to get a more reliable ratings agency. He might well ask the good people from A.M.Best why he should pay them good money for a junk rating certificate which tells his clients that Fidelity Life is no better managed than AMI.
Then there are some questions for the Insurance Council which, a couple of days ago, piously declared that AMI was operating within ALL the prudential limits set by the Council.
Well what a bloody waste of space is the Insurance Council.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
When the word came out last week of AMI's difficulties, my immediate thought was "Why should anyone be surprised?"
You see, AMI had a reputation for being one of the 'cheapest' house contents and car insurers in the market. Now one finds out how they managed that. They tried to cheat the system.
Essentially, they took on too much risk themselves by taking a minimal reinsurance position, using the reinsurance cost savings to subsidise lower premiums . Further, they made the cardinal error of 'being too big in one market' namely, Christchurch.
Their management ought to be shot.
They took a huge actuarial gamble and they lost the bet big time.
I believe the gummint has acted correctly in giving policy holders some limited reassurance vis a vis current claims but if the company is unable to recapitalise itself in the short to medium term, it should be allowed to fold and its book to be sold to a more prudent insurer. (It remains to be seen how long it take Labour's fiscal genius Cunliffe to shout from the rooftops that the gummint should have let the policy holders carry the can. Cunliffe has demonstrated he knows nothing about buying and selling finance companies and as far as I'm aware, he knows less about insurance.)
I sincerely hope the directors have issued an instruction that for the time being, no new policies will be sold. There seems to be no public comment on this.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Redbaiter and the infamous Cdr Laub will need to find another target for their vitriol.
In the meantime can I thank the many of you who have responded reminding me that New Zealand consists, in the main, of decent and balanced people and that Redbaiter and Laub represent the idiot fringe.
I commend to you all the documentary 'Victor 3 - Baptism by Fire'. It screens on MTV at 8.30 pm on ANZAC Day. I am too involved in the production to give a truly dispassionate view of its worth. The Director describes it as 'compulsive and compelling viewing. Look and see. Young New Zealanders at their very best.
Just two weeks to the day and the game appears to be on.
The Maori Party will review the non-aggression pact it made with its former member and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, after continued criticism by him of the party.
Party president Pem Bird said the party had received complaints by some members claiming Mr Harawira had broken the agreement, which states: "It is agreed that we will focus on the issues rather than the personalities, and will not speak disparagingly of each other."
Yesterday on National Radio Mr Harawira said that one of the frequent criticisms he hears about Maori Party MPs is that their constituents"never see their MPs any more".
Harawira, his ratbag hapu and followers are a disgraceful blot on Maoridom and the New Zealand political landscape and the sooner they are despatched to the swamps of Awanui where they belong, the better.
The search will be on for a top quality candidate. I'd be looking for capable people with names like Cherrington, Henare, Pomare, Whiu or Davis. Non starters would include names like Mutu, Harawira, Piripi and Peters.
Adolf is a little out of touch with who's who in Northland these days but people need to remember the electorate takes in a great swathe of metropolitan Auckland as well as the nether regions of the north.
Anybody got any suggestions?
Monday, April 4, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
The Veteran and Mrs Veteran are off to Perth shortly he has have been invited to lay a wreath on behalf of the substantial Perth resident Kiwi veteran community who parade as a national contingent in the Perth ANZAC Day march.
I was gobsmacked to learn that the West Australian RSL President, one Bill Gaynor (who apparently is not a 'returned' serviceman) has, for years, refused to accord the NZ Contingent the status it deserves.
This year they are 131st out of 156 in the ANZAC Day order of march, just behind the Boy Scouts or suchlike.
It is a studied insult to New Zealand by an 'Australian' who does not understand the meaning of ANZAC. In other States and in New Zealand we always take pains to honour our OZ colleagues on this day of shared heritage.
But as I said, they're a weird mob. Perhaps it's something to do with the water in WA. I'll stick to beer.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
For the life of me I haven't the faintest clue why:-
- Obama decided to go for Libya, when more people are being slaughtered in Syria by Assad.
- Obama failed to consult his Congress and gain approval for what essentially is an invasion of a sovereign foreign state.
- He is crowing about an 'international effort' when only fourteen nations are involved - compared with forty or so in 2003 - an effort derided by him at the time.
- Before the game in Libya has even reached half time, he's pulled the US strike aircraft out.
- There appear to be no clear objectives apart from ensuring Gaddafi remains in power.
Has there ever been a worse dumbarse POTUS?
Friday, April 1, 2011
Paul Henry and Phil Rudd all in the same day. It is a sign I tell ya.
Rudd is allowed to continue his career and the kiwi broadcasting equivalent of Chuck Norris is back on the air in July replacing the ginga plant whisperer with a hint of TV work as well. The only thing that could make this more awesome is if Henry replaces Campbell and has AC/DC playing on his first night on TV3 at 7 pm.
All is good tonight.
Firstly, let me say that while the ipad2 is the single most awesome bit of kit EVER.. It is not blogger friendly.(hence the clunky links) Going to have to go back to a laptop as the urge to be a hater increases as the election gets closer.
Anyway. The asshat that wrote the story needs to understand what a victim is. Clearly people squashed in earthquakes qualify but gang affiliated crim scum Maori fuck wits.... Not so much.
You be the judge. Click through and marvel at the 12 year old anonymous stuff writers efforts.
Note to Steve Jobs;
Hey mate, I know you are barely hanging on but can we please have a USB port and mouse option for ipad3?