On the campaign trail in Dunedin North with Victor Billot

Alliance Party blog

Archive for September 2008

Close encounters of the Winston Kind

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Imagine my surprise today as I strolled into Otago University for a lunchtime interview with Critic magazine. A crowd was gathered around and I pushed through the spectators towards a strangely familiar voice.

There he was in pinstriped resplendence, the Minister for Racing, Deputy Dubious Donation Demon and allround remnant of a past glorious age of New Zealand politics where dinosaurs trod the earth . . .

Winston Peters.

Peters, like Lange, Muldoon, and Napoleon, is a short man. Let’s leave aside the psychological implications of this, and instead admire his bouffant, remarkable hairstyle which seems to have gone grey very quickly.

The assembled students stared blankly at him as he rambled on, obviously in a relaxed mood, sporting a cheeky grin and trailed by a throng of media supplicants hoping for some history making moment.

Question time caused some problems as the intellectual elite of tomorrow looked on like a herd of sleepy ruminants and the silence became a little embarrassing. Peters is a man used to fending off rabid journalists and fraud office operatives, and was not prepared for the resounding lack of interest from the young scholars.

So, feeling sorry for him, I asked a question. The Student President looked depressed as I strode forward and introduced myself. I gave Winston a bit of a ginger up and it was heartwarming to see the Old Warrior light up as I gave him someone to focus on in a good old fashioned slanging match. He patronized me and I told him he was on the way out, then I asked my question, and he performed a magic Houdini trick of telling everyone all the good things New Zealand First had done.

None of this was anything to do with my question, and indicates perhaps his continuing fascination for the Fourth Estate, who have devoted an entire election campaign to his pantomime act while refusing to engage in any serious debate on trifling issues like $10 billion student debt, free trade with China and the global recession.

Afterwards I went off into the Student Cafe to do my Critic interview, where I watched a streaker run past Winston and the crowd – a suitably surreal moment that I would entitle the Naked and the Politically Dead in homage to Norman Mailer – if it wasn’t for the fact that Winston will invent some transparently obvious ruse in the week before the election.

For example, blaming leaky house syndrome on Martian immigrant lizards from Asia – and comfortably romping home with the last minute “dense” voters, who will fasten on his words as the answer to all of life’s problems. That’s our Winston.

Written by Victor

September 19, 2008 at 5:09 am


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I always appreciate honesty, and Rickey Ward is a honest man. Rather than all the rhetorical bull s. of John Key, Mr Ward has summed up the current debacle of the world economic crash with a simple analysis.

Mr Ward, who is joint domestic equities manager at Tyndall Investment Management, said sharemarkets were being driven by fear and New Zealand was no exception.

The old saying in the markets is that they’re driven by greed and fear,” Ward said. “We’ve seen the greed three years ago when the market just kept rallying, now you’re seeing fear.” 

Now for the million dollar question: why do we entrust our future, and the future of the planet, to people like this, and to a system like this?

Answers on the back of a postcard to PO Box 339, Dunedin. The winning entry receives an autographed copy of the Alliance manifesto.

Written by Victor

September 17, 2008 at 11:27 pm

Making movies

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I returned last night from Auckland and working on the Alliance opening address for TV. The filming and editing was done by a small team at TVNZ who did an efficient job. I came up with the concept and from the early edits I saw I am pleased with how it came out. I was also pleased to use some music and creative contributions from friends in the ad. Democracy in action – it appeals to the indie punk rock DIY attitude. No corporate sponsors or ad agencies running this one!

I understand the finished product will be on TV around 8 October. 

Here’s a pic of me helping out on the set by waving around a large piece of polystyrene.

Written by Victor

September 17, 2008 at 11:18 pm

In Auckland

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Andrew McKenzie, Victor Billot, Sarita Divis and Kay Murray in Auckland

Alliance Co-leader Andrew McKenzie, Alliance Dunedin North candidate Victor Billot, Alliance Auckland Central candidate Sarita Divis and Alliance co-leader Kay Murray in Auckland after filming the Alliance Party 2008 opening address today

Written by Victor

September 16, 2008 at 7:42 am

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Fonterra must be held responsible

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The Alliance is quoted on TV3 News against the role of New Zealand corporate giant Fonterra in the Chinese milk powder scandal.

Written by Victor

September 14, 2008 at 9:51 pm

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And they’re off . . .

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The phoney war is over and the 2008 election campaign is on.

Once again, I’m running for Dunedin North for the Alliance Party. In 2005 I kept a blog (archived here) and it was a lot of fun, so I’m doing it again at this new blog.

Whether you agree or disagree with me, I hope you find something of interest here.

Written by Victor

September 14, 2008 at 7:31 pm

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