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Larry's Memo: March 16

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| Friday, March 16, 2012

Larry's Memo: March 16

The Week That Was

The Ports dispute dominated. It got nasty. The threats being dished out by some union members were quite unbelievable. Threats of physical violence. I'm actually quite surprised the cops haven't been called in.

The social media has exposed all the union propaganda. It has exposed the intimidation, the threats. 

The fact is - you look at these actions and you look at some of these workers and they are actually unemployable. No prudent employer would go near them. I'm sure the stevedoring companies that will eventually get the contracts have taken note.

The Port has stalled the redundancy action and this will head to court but every legal opinion I have seen doesn't give the union a chance.

 

Dunedin City Council

The council bailed out the Otago Rugby Union. What a stuff up this has been. Mayor Cull was pretty direct. He said the ORU has acted dishonestly and incompetently. 

All this leads me to thinking that there might be some more to come out of this.

Anyway the council had little in the way of options. They either demanded payment of the $480k and put the rugby union into receivership which would mean they would get nothing, or they leveraged their position to screw a deal going forward to make the stadium pay its way.

It was pragmatic decision.

 

Dotcom

Documents released during the week show that Kim Dotcom was granted residency here after he delivered an ultimatum to Immigration.

So he got in here because of his money and there is nothing wrong with that. But Immigration was prepared to overlook his criminal convictions.

There was a pattern there and I still don't think he should have been let in. I think subsequent issues have just enforced that view.

I know that he has a lot of supporters here. He's built up a bit of a fan base.

I say – let’s just wait to see what plays out.

 

Super Thursday

David Shearer is clearly adrift from the left of his party. He sees the need to return to the centre. He's talking about welfare changes and floating the possibility of performance pay for teachers - now that’s radical for a Labour Party.

Notice though not a peep from the PPTA or NZEI today - both affiliates of Labour.

The PM introduced the Super Ministry and a bunch of targets.

I'd rather more focus on dealing with the fiscal crisis what is surely lurking.

 

Chris Cairns

This is an interesting case because it is Cairns who took the libel action but it is he who has come under the blowtorch.

A bunch of former players have accused Cairns of match fixing. An anti-corruption officer believed Cairns was involved. Former England captain Tony Grieg believed that Cairns was in on something. This was all in the testimony that was presented.

Then we had his former coach come on TV in India this week to say that Cairns was involved in match fixing.

So it would appear on the face of it that Cairns’ chances of winning this case are not flash.

However, there has been no concrete evidence presented. Nothing definitive at all. No ‘gotcha’ evidence.

For that reason, Cairns might win this.

Of course what he has done is sow the seed of doubt in the public’s eye and he will never win that case.

 

Interest Free Student Loans

The Government indicated it will rein in the student loan scheme but it will continue to be interest free.

 

Quote of the Week

The Prime Minister on interest free student loans: "it’s not great economics, but it’s great politics.”

Says it all really.

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