About robglennie000

Kia Ora This blog is my vent for releasing my frustrations with the state of New Zealand, the New Zealand Government and things going on in New Zealand society, as well as around the world. I post daily at 0900 New Zealand time. Please feel free to leave comments. Please also feel free to follow my blog. Best Regards, Rob

Why no one should be pleased about Trump having COVID19


United States President Donald Trump was yesterday diagnosed with COVID19, along with his wife First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump. Several key White House staff including an aide of Mr Trump, Hope Hicks have also tested positive for it.

There are people around the world and in the United States who will be happy that Mr Trump has been diagnosed with COVID19. They are happy for a number of reasons, not least they hope that it will teach Mr Trump to have some compassion for those who have had COVID, to develop some humility in the face of an unforgiving illness that has rocked America in ways its physical enemies could only dream about. They are happy because they hope that it will derail his Presidential re-election campaign and give Democrat nominee Joe Biden a better chance.

There are people who are happy here in New Zealand as well as in the United States, who wish worse on Mr Trump. Some say it is karma and that Mr Trump deserves everything that COVID19 might try to do to him. Some even go so far as to say outright that he should die.

I disagree. Vehemently.

Mr Trump having COVID19 will do no one anywhere in the world any favours. It will not bring back the 208,000 people who have died in the United States or cure the many hundreds of thousands of active cases that it has kicked up. It will not undo the eternal grief of nurses and doctors who have had to make devastating decisions about who can be saved and who should be let go; the morgues and crematorium who have to handle the remains of the deceased. Nor, despite Mr Trumps actions being largely responsible for the unholy mess that the United States now finds itself in, will wishing death on the President do anything to immediately stop the socio-economic schism now trying to form in what we referred to as the land of the free.

There are stridently anti-Trump voters here in New Zealand who will be breathing a sigh of relief. Their nemesis, their nightmare has some how been floored by COVID19.

I am not sure why they will be happy. We have a much more immediate issue here: the 2020 General Election. We have our own problems to be focussing on. With housing, social welfare, poverty, the environment, rebuilding the economy, keeping non-N.Z. political influences at bay and of course the rabble that is Advance New Zealand/N.Z. Public Party.

But also, how many of Mr Trumps many many detractors have looked at the credentials of Mr Michael Richard Pence, Vice President and the man who will succeed Mr Trump if he is incapacitated and no longer able to fulfil his role? How many people have looked who is next in line after Mr Pence, should he be incapacitated? Nancy Patricia Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives. And in the oft chance that she is incapacitated? Benjamin Solomon Carson Snr., currently Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Mr Pence is an ardent Christian evangelist. His son is in the United States Marine Corps. He is anti-abortion, anti-LGBT, pro-gun and denies climate change. In many respects his views on Iran are harsher than those of Mr Trump.

As bad as Mr Trump is, there are worse people who could succeed him. Are you sure you want that?

Biden vs Trump: Round 1


Yesterday afternoon New Zealand time American Presidential candidates Democrat Joe Biden and Republican President Donald Trump had the first of three scheduled debates.

To sum up, it was a disaster. Neither Mr Biden or Mr Trump came out of it very well.

Mr Trump’s performance swung wildly between bullying, childish/immature responses and the downright terrifying. Several notable quotes came out of the debate from the Trump side which mainstream Americans would have found horrifying to contemplate. The award for the silliest goes to a claim made before the debate had even started, that Mr Trump had already won it. Then there were the alarming ones. They included a comment about white supremacy, which Mr Trump refused to condemn where he told the Proud Boys white supremacist group: “Proud Boys – stand back and stand by”, before saying that something needed to be done about ANTIFA and the left. And finally there were comments about whether he would ensure a peaceful transition of power in the event of him losing:

“It’s gonna be rigged. It’s gonna be a disaster. It’s gonna be a fraud, the likes of which you have never seen. This is not going to end well. But also we are going to win.”

It was not just Mr Trump’s conduct that should bother America. Mr Biden had lapses of concentration, which showed when he was asked a question about climate change.

But the worst thing Mr Biden did was to say that he does not support the New Green Deal for America. In other words he is – as Mr Trump once called him – “Status Quo Joe”. He is a person who is clearly showing a great reluctance to announce policies that will transform America for the better, and that clearly came out when he shot down the Democrat’s signature policy of a Green New Deal to get Americans into work; boost infrastructure and start the environmental sea change that is needed to make America more sustainable.

In a chaotic debate that had so many negatives from both the Republican and the Democrat candidates, it is much much easier to focus on the non-existent positives. The only positive I could find in this debate is that there are two more debates to go in which the audiences and the voting public will be wanting massive improvements from both sides. It bothers me that the best America would let itself come up with is two old pale stale males with no really radical plans that would bring about genuine benefits for America, no reassurance to America’s friends or reasons for America’s rivals to respect the United States. Mr Biden will be into his 80’s by the time he leaves office irrespective of whether he gets one term or two terms. Mr Trump will be 78 when he leaves office, if he gets another term.

Serious Fraud Office lays charges regarding New Zealand First Foundation


Yesterday it was announced by the Serious Fraud Office that they had charged two individuals in relation to ongoing concerns around New Zealand First Foundation.

It is possible that this will be the long awaited evidence that behind all of the smoke emanating from the N.Z.F.F. there really is a fire. For months claims have been circling of improper financial management by the party and/or the N.Z.F.F. I take you through the media version of events as they are alleged to have unfolded.

On 03 October 2019 former N.Z.F. Party President Lester Gray left his role. It came amid concerns about financial impropriety in the party.

In February 2020, two Radio New Zealand journalists, Guyon Espiner and Kate Newton, discovered that Talleys Fisheries had made a host of donations to politicians from New Zealand First, National and Labour. The donations themselves were not the problem, rather it was how they were handled – or not handled.

In March 2020 former N.Z.F. Member of Parliament Ross Meurant explored his time in the party and the influence of the deep sea fishing industry in an article for Sunday Star Times.

In July 2020 rumours of an impending Serious Fraud Office announcement were made. They followed revelations that Talleys organized two New Zealand First fundraisers and that New Zealand First M.P.’s Shane Jones, Clayton Mitchell and leader Winston Peters were there.

Perhaps though, the most telling concern was that it has emerged that Mr Peters is alleged to have tried to stop the announcement of charges against individuals. This lead reporter Luke Malpass to write about how the announcement of the charges, particularly in this light might be the torpedo that finally finishes off N.Z. First. Too many fishy allegations and donations to be ignored.

With a bit less than three weeks to go and voting starting in less than a week, New Zealand First is running out of time to plug the leaks. It would take a mighty effort to win back the critical 4-5% of the voting public that has not been with the party for sometime now. That does not mean it is impossible, but given N.Z. First exited Parliament in 2008 with similarly poor poll ratings, I struggle to see how it will come back from this.

The rise of A.C.T.


For the last nine year since A.C.T. was thrashed in the Election of 2011, it has been a one man band. It has undergone several leadership changes in that time, before David Blair Seymour became leader in 2014.

This is not the first time A.C.T. has been looking this strong in the polls. A.C.T. formed in 1994 and first contested the elections in 1996, gaining 8 M.P.’s. From 1999 to 2005 it had 9 Members of Parliament. That slumped to two M.P.’s in that year, but surged on the election of National to office in 2008 to five M.P.s. The following Parliamentary term however was rocked by scandals including the admission that former M.P. David Garrett used the details of a dead baby to get a passport, which revolted the voting public. The previous nine years until 2020 have seen A.C.T. very much as a one man band in Epsom.

Whilst the other parties in Parliament have fallen, or are steady, A.C.T. have been climbing, to what would be – if an election were held today – its best ever result. On current polling A.C.T. would have Mr Seymour plus 9 more Members of Parliament. The other nine would be (in listing order):

  • Brooke van Velden (Wellington Central)
  • Nicole McKee (Rongotai)
  • Chris Baillie (Nelson)
  • Simon Court (Te Atatu)
  • James Dowall (Waikato)
  • Karen Chhour (Upper Harbour)
  • Mark Cameron (Northland)
  • Toni Severin (Christchurch East)
  • Damien Smith (Botany)

So who are these people and what would they bring to Parliament in terms of knowledge, skills and backgrounds?

Brooke van Velden is the Deputy Leader of A.C.T. She comes from a mixed background of working in factory environments and as a corporate consultant. She worked in Parliament behind the scenes to enable the passage of the End of Life Choices Bill.

Nicole McKee is a national shooting champion who believes that the Government response to the Christchurch mosque attack was a knee jerk reaction. She runs a business providing firearms safety training. is qualified in law and has experience handling firearms component imports.

Chris Baillie is a full time secondary school teacher. He is a former police officer with 14 years patrol experience. Mr Baillie also owns a hospitality business that employs 14 people.

Simon Court is a civil and environmental engineer with 23 years experience, including managing planning and tendering projects as well as staff teams in Auckland, Wellington and Fiji. Mr Court believes that the R.M.A. needs to be replaced.

James McDowall is the owner of several businesses that include an immigration law firm. He also works for a mental health non-governmental organization. Mr McDowall has also led the development of A.C.T.’s firearms legislative response in the wake of the Government amending firearms laws.

Karen Chhour is a self employed mother of four who lives in Auckland. She believes that “anyone with the right tools can make something of themselves”.

Mark Cameron is a farmer in Northland who has farmed the region for 30 years. He will be driving A.C.T. rural policies.

Toni Severin is a business owner that she runs along with her husband. Prior to that she has 14 years experience as a lab technician working for the Canterbury District Health Board. Mrs Severin is also a licenced gun owner.

Damien Smith has extensive experience in business, banking, and company directorship. Damien has a Masters in Business Administration and is a qualified educationalist.

What do you think of the above candidates?

 

The non-deal that New Zealand’s handicapped/special needs community are getting


I call it a non-deal because practically every Member of Parliament has systematically ignored this very important, yet much marginalized section of the New Zealand community. I call it a non-deal because only one or two parties across the entire political spectrum have policies to help these people. I call it a non-deal because few people in influential places in the private sector seem keen to help either.

If a person in a wheel chair is crossing the road, they often find themselves navigating around rubbish bins, toys and other obstacles. They often find that the lip of the curb is too high for them to get their wheels over. If there is sharp debris on the footpath, it can puncture the tyres and render them immobile. Many places do not have wheel chair access, such as commercial premises. If they do have access, a relatively small thing such as a slight lip or step in the door way can be sufficient to bar entry.

It is almost as if society want to remove handicapped people instead of trying to adjust to the fact that they have particular needs that are essential for them to contribute.

It is not just those that are physically handicapped that are getting a raw deal from New Zealand, a country that prides itself on a fair go for all. Autistic people present a range of symptoms that might inhibit their development. Milder forms of it such as Aspergers Syndrome often involve repetitive behaviours, narrow interests and difficulties communicating feelings. Very often they struggle to read social environments. Because of this, many employers are reluctant to give them a chance to work and as a result about how of people world wide with Aspergers do not have jobs.

Only the National Party, Green Party and Labour Party have released or plan to release policy regarding disability.