Posted by BE on August 14th, 2012
I read that Paul Henry is to be the New Zealand face for Snickers. My initial response was that this was not surprising since Paul has been snickering at his fellow man and woman for years. He’s mean. And that is apparently the very quality that the makers of Snickers want in their ads.
I say ‘apparently’ because, thanks to MySky, I don’t have to watch commercials and have never seen a Snickers ad. But I gather they feature some of the behavioural ill-effects that hunger for chocolate can have on human beings. Meanness, it seems, is one.
So Paul is going to play himself in the commercial. And he’s delighted:
“I’m excited to be involved in something which essentially just allows me to be myself. I’m glad to be able to show that meanness can be fun and celebratory, and despite the old adage that it’s difficult to do, meanness really does come easy.”
We never thought otherwise, Paul.
Other Snickers front-people have included Betty White, Joe Pesci, Aretha Franklin, Liza Minnelli and Joan Collins, and Paul regards his inclusion in this Hollywood A-list as “something of an honour”. I assume he means for him. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by BE on August 14th, 2012
On December 7 of last year, around the time the Labour Caucus was considering which of the two Davids, Shearer or Cunliffe, would make the best leader for the party, I wrote a post entitled ‘Shearer or Cunliffe? Why I’ve changed my mind.’ The post basically said that I’d initially thought Shearer was the man for the job, but I no longer thought so.
Well, that’s almost nine months ago, a reasonable gestation period one might have thought for the most diffident political butterfly to emerge from the chrysalis of anonymity. But it hasn’t happened. David Shearer has been branded ‘invisible’ by the commentators, while his opposite number, John Key, continues to bask in the warm sun of electoral approval.
I understand that the Labour Caucus is meeting today and that there may be mutterings about a recent speech in which Mr Shearer made an unfortunate reference to beneficiary ‘bludgers’ – not a term that normally sits comfortably on the lips of Labour leaders.
Meanwhile, Duncan Garner tells us that David Cunliffe is reviled by his caucus colleagues, who would not elect him leader if he were the last bee in the beehive. That, and convenient changes to the way the Labour Party can dump a non-performing leader, would seem to ensure that Mr Shearer will lead his disciples into the next election.
So is it time for me to change my mind again? I don’t think so. You don’t change your mind when you’re sure you were right in the first place. And I’m pretty sure I was right in the first place. Have another read. See what you think. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by BE on August 6th, 2012
The criminal justice system in this country, as in many other countries, is founded on the principle that the combined experience, wisdom, reasoning power and common sense of 12 of an accused person’s peers may be relied on to reach a sound verdict on that person’s guilt or innocence. Though, for a variety of reasons, juries do occasionally get things wrong, history seems to suggest that no better method has yet been found of determining the truth in criminal trials.
Given the faith that we put in them to reach that sound verdict, it seems axiomatic that juries must have access to all the relevant facts in a trial. A decision to suppress or conceal certain facts from the jury is therefore extremely serious and must surely meet the test that those facts can have no bearing on or relevance to the accused’s guilt or innocence.
In the Scott Guy murder trial, Justice Simon France allowed the jury to hear evidence of certain actions by the accused to which he had already pleaded guilty. The revelation of these actions placed Ewen Macdonald in an extremely poor light and might well have suggested that he harboured feelings about his brother-in-law Scott Guy and the Guy family that might be considered a motive for murder. Macdonald had burnt down an old house on the Guys’ property and had vandalised and sprayed highly offensive graffiti on Scott and Kylee’s new home. Read the rest of this entry »