Bill Ralston: From inbox to dog box

Bill Ralston: From inbox to dog boxOkay, I know sometimes I don't open all my emails, such as ones headed "PM Unveils New Electorate Office for Steve Maharey", "Arbitration Amendment Bill Passed By Parliament" and "Free Viagra". But, then, I'm not running the country.
[NZ Politics]

Bill Ralston gets into Winston in his latest column. It is very refreshing to have Bill's wit in print again.

[quote]It's been fun watching Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, like the Roadrunner, try to dodge the cunning trap laid by Wylie Coyote Murray McCully. The National MP wanted to know whether Peters' office was told that Air New Zealand was providing flights to sunny Kuwait for Iraq-bound Aussie troops. Peters said no but then it came out that two of his officials had been told, except they weren't listening at the time.

The fact that two top Foreign Affairs advisers in his office apparently couldn't be buggered reading an email report from the Combined Threat Assessment Group (CTAG) telling them New Zealand had just become a bigger target for al Qaeda is a bit of a worry. CTAG consists of the cops, the military and the country's various spy agencies and its job is to monitor terrorist threats. A kind of important job, really, yet these characters in Winston's office probably yawned "Ho hum", clicked on "Received" and went back onto Trade Me instead.

What other vital warnings have they overlooked? I can imagine the pair now frantically going through their inbox. "Hmmm, what else have we got? Oh, this one from the SIS last month. Bin Laden's holidaying in Queenstown. I'll ring Millbrook and see if he's still there. Hang on, here's another dated September 10, 2001, from the Waihopi spy base, saying "Warn the Americans something about airplane hijacks and the Twin Towers. Might delete that one."[/quote]

heh Winston will have spat his Hubbards across the table at that one, but it does show how deep in the doo-doo he really is. Cullen also cops a good flogging ohis theft writ large from taxpayers pockets.

[quote]Dr Cullen doesn't seem to mind that Treasury got it wrong again and has no intention of handing the cash back right now. Instead he's hinting he might spend the extra loot next year. Helpfully for Labour, next year is election year.

This is a little like me keeping my family on a strict budget for five years and then telling them I had just noticed a spare $1 billion in the cheque account. "Now, darling, I don't think we should spend it, I'll pop it in the Christmas Club account for next year because Treasury are saying that times might get a little tough."

I would be hospitalised but when it comes to Treasury and Cullen's mistake, the over-taxed New Zealand public apparently just sigh, "Whatever you say, dear," and roll over.

How can Treasury get its predictions so wrong year after year and we quietly pay the price? What do they use as a forecasting tool? Tea leaves? The entrails of goats and oxen? The Met Office? Actually, if they're using the Met Office for economic forecasts I can understand why they are so consistently wrong.

Now I also discover the Government's energy watchdog is thinking about banning my widescreen TV and my old beer fridge because they use too much power.

I'd email them suggesting I'd like to put a carbon footprint up their backside but the chances are no one would read it.[/quote]