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Yesterdaze: Slushy funds and Shanenfreude

Slushygate and the Tamaki tantrum, Judith plays nice and 'How much trouble is Shane Jones in?' James Elliott is back with his news of the week. 

Slushy or Slushie? That was one of the key questions of the week as we learned that the Department of Corrections had forked out just over a million dollars for 193 slushy machines at $5675.00 each, to help cool down prison guards during the hot summer. It was a headline that wrote itself – “Slush fund for buying slushy machines”.  It makes you wonder whether there are hedge funds that invest in actual hedges. 

I had a few supplementary questions about this issue, starting with – what is a slushy machine? I ask this because, and by all means call me old-fashioned, when I get hot I tend to opt for a cold drink. Next, when they get overheated, as surely they must do, do plushies enjoy slushies? And, what is going to happen to 193 slushy machines now that the weather has turned colder? Perhaps with 193 really long extension cords we could start rebuilding the Fox Glacier. Which is a ludicrous idea unless you apply for funding from the Provincial Growth Fund in which case the prospects are much better. If a private airline can be considered for $20m PGF funding that it didn’t actually apply for then it might be time to Google search “really, really long extension cords”.

And before completing a PGF funding application it will pay to do some due diligence on the goings-on in the world of the Regional Economic Minister, Shane Jones. I confess that I do enjoy my regular media consumption of Shane Jones’ various mishaps and missteps.  It’s an experience I like to call Shanenfreude.          

So naturally I was quick to click when I saw a NZ Herald headline that I hoped wasn’t just a rhetorical question: “How much strife is Shane Jones in?” To my horror my progress was blocked by a paywall pop-up that invited me to subscribe to the Herald’s premium content for a discounted $2.50 per week. I did the maths dividing $2.50 by seven days and then dividing again for say a dozen articles per day.

I confess that I do enjoy my regular media consumption of Shane Jones’ various mishaps and missteps.  It’s an experience I like to call Shanenfreude.  

The result was that I could find out how much strife Shane Jones is in for about a third of one cent. I concluded that was over-priced information and moved on. As things stand I’m not prepared to pay to peek behind the Herald paywall. But I am prepared to pay the Herald more than $2.50 per week to put Mike Hosking’s columns there. I’m thinking of starting a campaign to get this done. Keep an eye out for my Givealittle page – “Mike Hosking, out of sight and out of his mind”.

It turned out to be a big media week for the Department of Corrections when we learned that Destiny Church’s Brian Tamaki was getting angry over not being able to secure funding to run his 'Man Up' self-improvement program in prisons. And not just angry, by midweek he was accused of inciting violence in prisons and then tossed all the toys out of his cot claiming that he was the victim of “political gang rape”. Not so much Destiny Church as Destiny’s child.

Back in December last year Tamaki spoke of “all my efforts to try and get into prison”. That quote would appear somewhat confessional without its proper context so I’m not going to give it any - which is pretty much the same literalist approach that Tamaki takes with following the rules of the Old Testament.  

However, I do wonder whether he and Hannah (aka wife of Brian) have audited their heavily Instagrammed wardrobes for compliance with Leviticus 19:19 - “Don’t wear clothes made of both linen and wool”. And for the sake of completeness I can confirm that Leviticus didn’t have anything to say about sunglasses.           

Simon Bridges is languishing on 5 percent in the preferred Prime Minister polls. To put that into context, 5 percent of Americans believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

In any event, if Tamaki has transgressed in any way he can always absolve himself because he’s a bishop. But then again that’s a self-appointed title, so Tamaki is a bishop in the same way that I’m the Grand Wizard of Glendowie.

With slushygate and the Tamaki tantrum dominating the headlines it was hard for opposition leader Simon Bridges to carve out any space of his own. He’s languishing on 5 percent in the preferred Prime Minister polls. To put that into context, 5 percent of Americans believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

When pressed on the groundhog question about his leadership, Bridges went as far as saying that he trusted Judith Collins, prompting a frog in Parable-land to call out “Hey Simon would you mind transporting this scorpion across the river? You’ll be fine. It’s promised not to sting”.       

For her part, Judith Collins pledged her support to Bridges “while he’s the leader” which is like pledging to stay in a deck chair while the Titanic is still afloat.     

In fact Collins is playing so nicely she was barely recognisable when she was interviewed by Guyon Espiner in his last week at Morning Report. Guyon is starting a new job next week. Judith Collins is hoping to do the same.

Have a peaceful weekend.

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