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September 1, 2008 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Two weeks in Politics

Tasers are back in
The Government has decided to arm the police around the country with taser stun guns. This was against strong opposition from the Greens – who don’t want to get zapped at radical anti-America or Tuhoe Eight protests. The police justified the move by stating that the lethal models employed in America will not be introduced here, and it’s better than shooting someone. Go figure, I suppose. Just make sure to yell loudly “don’t tase me bro” when the boys in blue pull the yellow out on you.

The Democratic Convention nearly goes off with a bang
The Democratic Convention kicked off last Monday with rousing speeches from Michelle and Barrack Obama, Joe Biden (who is now Obama’s running mate) and ailing senator Ted Kennedy. CNN kept cutting to Michelle Obama’s mum in the live feed during her speech. She was blubbing all over the place. Bill Clinton inadvertently backstabbed his wife by saying Barrack was the man for the job. And the US police foiled a plot by racist redneck methheads who were trying to take out Barrack with sniper rifles. Dramatic.

Winston Peters is in the shit
New Zealand’s slickest political scoundrel is once again getting mud on his face. He’s dodging bullets from the Privileges Committee whilst trying to claw back any remaining credibility he has with the 65+ vote. Did he know, did he not? Does no really mean no? Or does it just mean he didn’t no what he might have known? What a kafuffle. Helen Clark is playing tactics. Keeping Winnie wrapped up in the Privileges Committee will keep him out of her hair till the election. Not to mention the Serious Fraud Office, which has just announced it will be conducting a formal investigation of the skeletons in NZFirst’s closet. One thing is for certain, this electoral vote is a referendum on Winston, and the NZFirst/Labour partnership.

Olympics glories equal bad news for the Tories
New Zealand won nine medals – a brilliant effort. It bodes well for the government. The nation’s mood lifts when we do well at running and jumping and throwing heavy things. Helen Clark will be pleased. Now all she needs is the All Blacks to win the Bledisloe, and the Tri Nations, and she can expect a decent shot at a fourth term.

Georgia v South Ossetia
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili got his knickers in a twist over the naughty separatist region of South Oessetia in northern Georgia. He decided to invade it – to put a bit of stick about and bring it back into line – as he had promised in his election manifesto. This angered the Russians, who jumped to the South Ossetian’s defence and puppy stomped the Georgians all the way back to Tbilisi. As of today the Georgians are still waiting on the US military assistance they had so naively assumed would come rolling in. It hasn’t yet, it’s a little bit preoccupied elsewhere right now. (See page 22 for more on this conflict).

Polls narrowing
TV3’s latest TNS poll has shown the gap between National and Labour narrowing. The Nats are sitting pretty on 48% while Labour moved up 2 to 37%. NZFirst took a hit, moving from 4 to 3% and The Greens also dropped from 7 to 6%. This is good news for the left, Labour gained 38.1% of the electoral vote in 2005. However, assuming Rodney Hide wins Epsom, the poll did show that they Nats could govern with 63 seats. Meanwhile, in Darfur the Sudanese government is shooting people before they starve to death.

Toll roads anger Auckland drivers
It has not been a good month for the National Party’s front bench. It seems some haven’t quite realised they still need to win the election before they become the next government. This week’s fuck up was Maurice Williamson’s claim that toll roads in Auckland would add up to $50 per week to motorist’s bills. And supposedly this was a good thing. Well, there’d be less people on the roads – they’d all be at home. Perhaps it was the National Party’s climate change policy in drag. In a brilliant example of damage control, Bill English took control and asked that all questions should be deferred to him, as Williamson’s estimates had been a little too ‘exuberant’. Perhaps he “did not chose his words well” either eh Bill?

The New Facebook: Not for Everyone
The popular social networking site has recently updated its layout. However, the new layout has not proven popular with all Facebook users. John Key, leader of National Party, updated his Facebook status on 26 August to read “John Key liked the other Facebook better.” This is inherently hilarious.

Two weeks on the Blogs

The blogs stayed fairly steady over the mid-trimester break. Jackson, now obviously in the perpetual throes of chronic procrastination, blogged about political spin, conferences on MMP, his insider tips on the election date – and he wrote an amazing musical ode to Owen Glenn.

Conrad covered the last VUWSA executive meeting before the break, commented on the plight of the Unicomm students, and their hilarious protest at Vic’s open day. Finally he posted an interactive map he’d found of American troop numbers around the world since 1950. Which sparked an intellectual thread about the meaning of sovereignty. Deep.

Tristan got all serious with some analysis of National’s welfare policy, commented on the ingenuity of modern age spammers, and finally reported on the VUWSA executive meeting held in the first week of the break.

Oh, and the scenester shit fight that has erupted over Christopher Gilberts “A Low Hum” article is still continuing unabated.

Comments of the Week

– It’s a three-way scenester tie!
Bradley Artist
August 13th, 2008 at 2:14 pm
Love the article. Your obsession with the semenal leads me to
believe you are a man of unrequited passion. If I suck on your
pasty cock can you say you like my band? I will play some Muse
in the background if it will make the experience more comfortable
for you.
<====3radley bumblebees have hooves August 14th, 2008 at 11:24 pm you people sound like you could form your own revolutionary movement. meet at mighty mighty on saturday, 4pm. wear puffy reeboks, dark sunglasses and 80s haircuts. that way, we will be able to identify each other. bring all your friends from all those cool bands you’ve been talking about. i think this guy, that one that wrote the article, is the antichrist. how dare he criticise the indie music scene. we all know it’s perfect. GOSH. p.s. punch and pie and we’ll play Justice all night. Captain INTENSE August 14th, 2008 at 8:05 pm HAVE YOU EVER FELT SOMETHING SO INTENSE THAT IT JUST BLOWS YOUR FUCKING FACE OFF HOW INTENSE IS THIS ARTICLE HOW INTENSE ARE YOU


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Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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