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In my spare time I work as a graphic design artist, specialising in book covers. Recently I have been commissioned by MP Chris Carter to do the front page for his new ‘kiss and tell’ book. These are my ideas so far…any that really stand out or themes that I should run with. Over at Keeping Stock their main question was around Helen Clark’s role in this publication. But the question I am most concerned about is what will be the title of this book? As you can see I have put forward a couple of ideas but if you have any more please share.


Helen Clark dead in Plane Crash!

helen clarkIn breaking news former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has been killed in a plane crash in Denver, America. Clark had been there as part of her new job at the United Nations. At this stage news is very sketchy and gaining information has been difficult. However, Global Associated News has a reporter on the ground and  their website is the most reliable. CLICK HERE for the link and latest news.

While the above situation is not true, my sources still believe Helen is still alive and well, it does make you think about how information is passed on through the media and internet. This information comes from a website called FakeAWish where you select a celebrity to die in a variety of different ways. Try it out!!

cant wait for this stuff to arrive

cant wait for this stuff to arrive

Some people may be outraged at a site like this and others will take it a little more in their stride. Whatever you point of view it does make you think about the information we receive on the web. Does information have to be true to be passed on to the public? Should the media have some sort of regulator to ensure the information they pass on is correct? Only the other day I purchased some ‘dehydrated water’ via this website on the net. I thought it would be fantastic to take camping this summer. All I would have to do is add water and presto, pure water at my finger tips. Unfortunately the product hasn’t arrived and I am out of pocket $30 USD. While most people would argue ‘NO’ to a censor of some kind, the rubbish that we get delivered into our homes and onto our computer screens is sometimes criminal.

Only Tonight I logged onto the Stuff webpage and was confronted by this heading  ‘Parents still Smack Despite its Ineffectiveness’. No doubt the writer was doing that to get a number of hits, especially after the recent referendum. Technically the heading of the article is correct but after you read the actual study these headings would also have been true.

1/5 of Families believe time out is ineffective for disciplining children.

92% of families believe ignoring your child is an effective discipline technique.

99% of New Zealand families believe ‘hugs and smiles’ are effective discipline techniques.

I clicked on to the article and was delivered perhaps on of the most one sided articles I have seen for sometime. Obviously the author hadn’t taken the time to look that only 100 families were included in the study. They obviously didn’t look at the statistics as many of them didn’t make any sense.

Let’s have a look at some of the statements made;

Nearly half of families still smack their children, despite very few believing it is effective as a form of discipline, a Families Commission study suggests. This was a study that just looked at 100 New Zealand families. One would say it is a rash statement to use the term ‘half of families’.

Upbringing, written material, family, media and friends were all influential on parenting. No kidding. What other influences are there left.

Time out was the most common form of discipline, used by 82 per cent of respondents, but only 43 per cent believed it was effective. So the heading in the newspaper could have read ‘57% of New Zealand parents using ineffective discipline with their children’

Smacking and shouting were used by 41 per cent, although only 9 per cent believed smacking was effective, while 5 per cent believed shouting worked. Oh but we forgot to mention here that only 43% of people answered this question. So the title could have read 66% of families believe smacking is effective’.

The study, conducted last month, followed an August referendum in which 87 per cent of respondents said no to the question: “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?” WRONG – The data was collected between December 2006 and July 2008.

Barnardo’s chief executive Murray Edridge said parents were being “authoritative without being authoritarian”. What does this mean Mr Edridge?? Can I be authoritative without being authoritarian? I assume that means that if you are authoritarian you are a bad person.

I realise that on the net information is one sided. Heck most of the posts I make on this site have no research and the truth is often bent in half like a horse shoe. However, you would think that our media would be a little more careful and a little more diligent in their work. Instead they just seem to parrot off and copy and paste news without anyone actually reading the content. Imagine if you or I were as accurate in our jobs as the media are in theirs. Most of use would be fired within a week. If you were a pilot you would be dead within a day and if you had Helen Clark onboard then perhaps that first paragraph would come true.

Helen Clark beats John Key

speedingSo the Prime Minister was caught travelling a little to fast around Samoa. We have all been prone to the heavy foot at sometime or another with some of us getting caught and others flying low under the radar. Only the other day I heard about a man who was caught twice by police for speeding while trying to get his pregnant wife to hospital. Even the great Helen Clark was caught speeding once on her way to an All Black Bledisloe test match.

Zen Tiger, over at NZ Conservative, has put together a wee post analysing the similarities and differences between John Key’s Samoa Speeding frenzy and Helen Clark’s race to an All Black game. While I am usually a fan of Zen Tiger’s posts I will have to disagree with his ( is he a he or a she??? Who knows)  argument as a number of crucial points were missing. In his/her post he/she gives an ‘Outrage Index’ according to how outrageous each of the PM’s were. Overall the result was Helen Clark winning in what can only be described as some dubious judging. It is not often on this site I endorse Helen Clark but I believe the comments on NZ Conservative don’t give our former PM credit for what she did. Lets look at some of the key aspects missed by Zen Tiger.

Multi Tasking

Helen was doing her hair while going at 170km. This is not an easy skill to master and shows the special talent the lady has. How else can you explain that ‘wind swept hair style’ she often used to appear with. This must count as a bonus point for being able to drive at that speed and do some personal grooming at the same time.

Carbon Footprint

In today’s world the Carbon Footprint is one of the indicators of success and reducing your own footprint will stop the World imploding in the next 3 years, if you believe the Green Party. Once again John Key comes up short as his car went through the beautiful Samoan landscape. His excessive speed resulted in him polluting some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. While Helen was going much faster, therefore producing a great carbon footprint, she only went past Huntly so did no environmental damage at all.

Media exposure.

Most people have forgotten about John Key’s speeding already but with Helen going sooo fast we can’t forget. She gets another bonus point for this in my books. This shows that when Helen gets in the news she stays in the news.

Pimp my Ride

It is a little known fact that Helen was actually on time for the rugby. So much so that she had time to stop off at Taito Philip Field’s house on the way. Apparently he had mate who could ‘Pimp her Ride’ for free. This process took a little longer than expected and resulted in the PM being a just a little late. But boy did her ride look good when she got there.

Helen connected with the voters

A key aspect to being Prime Minister is connecting with the voting public. Once again Helen shows she is light years ahead of John Key. Helen’s speeding was due to the fact she was taking part in the inaugural undie 500. She was therefore just having a laugh with a few university mates, while wasting some of their student loan in the process. While her excuse was to get the airport to watch the rugby, Helen was more concerned at winning this prestigious race. Incidentally the race is slightly different now actually running from Christchurch to Dunedin and cars must have been purchased for under $500. Disturbing as this may be,  the inaugural race, which included Helen Clark, required all participants to wear nothing but underwear from the duration.


Finally life nowadays is all about results. We live in a world where the result is more important than the process. Once again Helen wins because the All Blacks won. John Key on the other hand did nothing to stop the devastation caused by the tsunami.

Clearly we can now see who the real winner was in this debate. While John Key looked to have the inside running at first glance, clearly the only winner was Helen Clark. In my books any person who drives at 170km per hours, has time to do their hair while still in their undies, leaves a minimal carbon footprint, still engages with the media and her voters and has time to meet Taito Phillip Field and ‘Pimp her Ride’ is a winner in my books.

Cheap Petrol is within Helen's Reach!!!

Earlier today at the Caltex service station in Mount Maunganui, at approximately 3:37pm, I hit my maiden petrol century. Yes, a whopping $102.37 to fill our moderately sized Toyota Caldina.
Now I wasn’t that perturbed about this. I had half expected it with petrol now sitting rather comfortably over the $2 a litre mark. But the shock is still real and to be honest it is a little painful. You can do a lot of things with a crisp hundy and if I had to make a list, filling up my car would not be on the top. My question is when will this crazy price increase stop?? How long before I have to give up my left testicle just for my yearly oil change?

Being a humble teacher I don’t quite understand the way the world’s economy works and this is something that bothers me. Not because I want to know but because I have all the answers and nobody is asking me for my opinion.

Basically to solve the current petrol price crisis is rather a simple process. I suggest New Zealand attempts a two phase attack. The first phase would involve the government buying in four zillions of barrels of petrol. They could buy it at the current price ($2) and over the next 20 years sell it back to New Zealander’s at the price they bought it for.
While this is in place we avoid any market fluctuation and would all receive our petrol at $2 a litre. Expensive I know, but at least the price wouldn’t go anywhere near the suspected $3 a litre. By doing this the government would therefore buy a little time for the next phase of my plan.

The second part of my plan is to then negotiate a Free Trade deal with some rich Middle Eastern Oil Country. Helen Clark has successfully arranged a Free Trade deal with China earlier this year. This was hailed as a complete success by the government and a chance to turn around our economy. What a load of lies and a complete waste of time! I have enough of China’s poorly made electrical equipment and cheap cotton t-shirts in my house to run my own free trade agreement.
Do we need any more of their cheap imitation rubbish? If I want to buy cheap items that only last half a season I go to the Warehouse or buy something off Trade Me.

Once again the government has failed us when we really needed them. What we needed is petrol at about $1.20 a litre. What we got is cheap toasters made by 8 year old orphans working at $1.28 an hour.
Basically the situation is simple. Rather than lose one of my testicles in three years time paying for an oil change, Helen should have put her own on the chopping block around the negotiating table with some rich Arab man!!!

Fortunatel,y I have experience in Middle East culture as I have been to Egypt on a seven day package trip, filled with Australian and New Zealand backpackers. There is still a chance for Helen to weave her magic. When I was there in 2006 petrol was a rather cheap 30 NZ cents a litre. Yes, that is correct. You could fill your tank for about $23. If you didn’t get shot by a trigger happy guard carrying an AK47.
From my experience in this culture women don’t have much of say. Kate Shepherd’s message hasn’t quite managed to make it across the golden sands to Egypt. Instead, women had the role of keeping the home in order and not bothering males as they did their business. To most women Prime Ministers around the globe this would pose a problem, not to our intrepid leader.
Helen could easily infiltrate Arab male society by .. well just acting normal and probably ditching Michael Cullen as her side kick. Within minutes her deep baritone voice, chisel features and toupee would make her one of the boys and the goal of cheap petrol would just be a handshake away.

Sadly, both you and I know this is just hypothetical. Helen won’t go to the Middle East and we won’t get our petrol any cheaper. Why??? Because we have an election in about 5 months time and that means the government has to convince us what is important. Labour will say that Education is the main issue. National will argue it is superannuation while the Greens will try and tell us the most important issue facing New Zealanders is the state of whales living off the Japanese coastline. Sadly while they try and convince us our main concern will be why we are paying $2.80 a litre just for a little petrol.