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July 7, 2008 | by  | in News |
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Week in Politics

ACC = Australian Cash Cow
This week National revealed one of their post-election plans to open up workplace accident insurance to private competition. Merrill Lynch, a company Key used to work for, released a report that suggests around about $200 million would go to Australian insurance companies if this happened. Key says they have no plans to privatise ACC, to which Helen Clark said that his promise is “not worth the paper it is written on.”

Kiwi Three
Last Tuesday saw the Government take ownership of the rail system. At a press conference at Wellington station Clark and Cullen unveiled the new transport provider KiwiRail. Jim Bolger, the Prime Minister at the time of the privatisation of the rail system, is to head the KiwiRail board. In question time on Tuesday the final cost was declared to be just shy of a billion dollars, and the fact that Dr Cullen forgot to protect the pensions of Toll workers was criticised heavily by National.

The Rasta is out, but the Doctor is in
Last week saw Nandor Tanczos retire from Parliament. The MP stood aside after almost nine years for Dr. Russel Norman, the Green co-leader. In his valedictory speech Tanczos pointed to the confrontational nature of question time and being shackled to time as the worst parts about being an MP. He then smashed his watch with a hammer. Norman was sworn in on Tuesday and made his first foray in the debating chamber taking on Transport Minister Annette King with guns blazing about the funding for roads versus the funding for public transport. Later on he made his maiden speech to Parliament in which he challenged Parliament to restore the goodwill that Michael Savage showed.

HAGER II: The return of the Hagernator
Nicky Hager has done it again and opened up speculation about the way National align their moral compass in the morning. Hager alleges that National are still using the polling company Crosby Texter which has a history of aiding right-wing conservative parties to victory by unscrupulous means and aided Don Brash in the lead up to the 2005 election. National, although not openly acknowledging the allegations have indicated that they are still using the company but that it is not their policy to release who they have private contracts with.

World politics
Íngrid Betancourt was released after 6 years in captivity in the Columbian jungle. Farc, a rebel Marxist group that may have close links the Workers Party, held the former Green presidential candidate till she and some American military contractors were freed by the Columbian National Army.

John McCain wants more tanks and bombs and shit to blow up Arabs with. This comes in light of US has allegedly started to increase covert operations in Iran, and President Bush passing legislation that will ensure funding for troops in Iraq till the end of 2009. Meanwhile Nelson Mandala is no longer classed as a terrorist threat to the United States.

A poll conducted by Chinese website www.sina.com indicted that Chinese people do not want French President Nicolas Sarkozy to attend the Olympics opening ceremony anyway.

President Hu Jintao said that “China will always abide by and safeguard the goals and principles of the UN Charter” the same UN charter that says: “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women.” Huh… who’d have thought?

Robert Mugabe wins election in Zimbabwe, world leaders talk about sanctions and intervention. Meanwhile the massacre in Darfur continues unabated. Even though the African Union is ‘peacekeeping’ there.

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The editor of this fine rag for 2009.

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