Pathetic wage rise granted to the working poor of NZ

Since the government announced this year’s rise in the minimum wage, a few weeks ago, an idea has been brewing. This morning (1 April 2017) I put pen to paper, well fingers to keyboard, and sent this as a letter to the editor’s column in Christchurch’s newspaper…

The Power-house Economy (that previous Prime Minister John Key kept congratulating himself on) has certainly benefited property price speculators, but with oh so many in society missing out. I was hoping that under Bill English, New Zealand’s hardest workers, crushed at the bottom of the pile, might finally get a fair go. Alas it seems not.

The minimum wage has just been increased from $15.25 an hour, to $15.75. Totalling $20 a week gross, that’s just $13.22 a week nett after tax and student loan repayments are deducted.

A commonly held misconception among the well paid, is that only school leavers, the lazy and stupid, are paid at the legal minimum. In actuality, a substantial swathe of hard working Kiwis are kept in servitude at, or just a few cents above, the minimum wage. This includes educated and highly skilled workers in the electronics and manufacturing industries here in Christchurch NZ. Earning export dollars in hard currency, we are the people actually earning the overseas funds so essential for NZ’s development.

Employers may grant wage rises even less than annually, and said rises are often so small as to be equalled or overtaken, by the measly 50 cents an hour rises that the government has granted every year, for the last umpteen years.

Workers on the bottom of the pile need meaningful and worthwhile wage rises. Since 1991 when the government (virtually) castrated the trade unions, and dealt almost all the cards into the hands of the employers, the poorest workers are utterly dependent on the government to legislate the basic level of remuneration and conditions.

It’s great to have ‘aspirational targets’, like the independently assessed “minimum living wage” (was $19.80 per hour, going up this year to $20.20), but unless it, or something close, is actually getting paid to workers, it’s just more airy-fairy pie-in-the-sky bull-dust.

…and don’t even get me started on the recent hijacking of the term “affordable housing” to mean “affordable by doctors and lawyers, and those with an 80% deposit/equity”. At this year’s new wage rate of $15.75/hr, (and using the accepted formula of sensible mortgage financing being 3.5 times annual gross of $32,760), even if a worker saved the $11,500 being the 10% deposit required under “Welcome” home loan, good luck on finding that house-and-land package, even in Christchurch’s cheapest suburbs, for $115,000 ! (You would need double that, and then some, as the cheapest places to be found, anywhere in the greater Christchurch metro area, would be in the suburb “Aranui”, where prices for the cheapest place start at about $260,000).

I, assert to being the author of the above article, written for consideration of inclusion in “The Christchurch Press”. It has not been submitted elsewhere.

…After I emailed it to The Press on Saturday April 1st, I watched and waited. NOW I am publishing it on my Blog Friday April 7. It has not that I have seen, been published in the newspaper upto today (I mostly get to see the newspaper Mondays to Fridays only).

.
…”We can talk about this ’till next Sunday, or we can just go do it, real quick !”
The Walking Dead, ep 2:02 @21 mins

House auctions corrupted, highest bids refused on “no reserve” houses

Re-posted from my original blog. With additional stuff about a 2010 case added at the end.

Here’s something I wrote on my original blog November 16 2005. I wonder how it eventually turned out ? I never heard, so perhaps they hushed it all up !

SCUMBAGS SATTERLY’s REAL ESTATE agency Corrupts WA TELETHON house auction fund-raiser
This weekend, saw the WA state’s annual Telethon fundraiser for the children’s hospital in Perth, as televised on Ch 7 in Perth and GWN in WA state country areas.

Now I don’t watch this program generally, but did see the last half-hour or so, as I was watching for the program following to start.

A regular event is the Telethon House auction fund-raiser. Held live on air, and with statewide tv coverage, including substantial televised promotions before the auction, and the auction itself. A house is built each year, the land, materials and labour all being donated by various suppliers and companies. Therefore the house cost is “free” and all money raised at auction goes into the Telethon coffers

As such, the house is (or *could* be, and arguably *should* be) auctioned on a “No-Reserve” basis.

Now although I didn’t see the auction component of the Telethon itself, there seems to have been something seriously screwy about this most recent auction.

As the Telethon was concluding, they babbled and waffled and generally spewed shite from their mouths and pitifully announced that they could not tell the audience what price the house had ultimately been sold for, and how much it had benefited the Telethon appeal, because apparently the auctioneer had refused to allow the sale to be confirmed to the highest bidder……

Der, say what ! They went onto say that the auctioneer was negotiating with the 5 highest bidders.

Der again, say what again !

All I can say is that, my understanding of an auction-without-reserve, is that the highest bidder gets to buy it, at the price he bid. I feel sorry for the guy that made the winning bid and was then apparently denied the property, unless he was prepared to enter a further, extra-auction bidding war, with another 4 or 5 of the auctioneer’s Yobbo mates, whom he rapidly rounded up to drive the price up more !

Note that the highest price bid was somewhere in the region of $700,000 anyway, certainly putting the Telethon fundraiser home far and away out of the reach of normal people.

You know there’s something pretty scumbag about the whole principal, of auctioning of a luxury type house, which is a very “exclusive” event. A far more “inclusive” way would be to RAFFLE the house off in a lottery with tickets at say $10 each, that way many many more folks could have a chance of being involved in this major aspect of Telethon fundraising.

I have always been highly suspicious of the auction system as used for house and land sales, and this is only made worse by laws which allow owners to make *dummy* (pretend) bids on their own properties (even though they have zero intention of buying them off themself, etc)

This latest debacle re the Telethon fundraiser house……ggrrr …..all I can say is I hope the highest bidder gets the house at his original winning bid and if necessary he sues the real estate agent conducting the auction, to make him honour his original winning bid, at the winning bid price (not some higher price that the auctioneer plucked out of thin air, then somehow forced on him, later, after the event)

*IF* the house IS auctioned, but with a “reserve” then how can they possibly justify a reserve on a “free” house. They can’t claim there was a “poor turnout” or etc, as it’s always televised and always huge. Surely the highest price bid, is the property’s true, and maximum value…..on the day, and the place should goto that bidder, whatever that price might be…….even if it’s a bit less than what the Chardonnay sipping, Camargue driving auctioneer reckons he’d like it to sell for !

Ha, those bastards pulled the same scam again, in 2015, they refused to accept the highest bid at auction. Given that the house and land were donated, how can they justify setting such a huge “reserve” that even spirited bidding amongst several folks, and the bastards STILL failed to sell the house to the highest bidder on the day. It really is starting to look, as if EVERY SINGLE HOUSE AUCTION is an utter fit-up job !

A url below has been tested and working, as of 7 April 2017.

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/telethon-home-auction-dalyellup-homebuyers-have-a-second-chance-to-buy/news-story/15d9327e40d5b9ac8b5a69c28f4ba0a1

Airlines complicit in Flight 93 tragedy of Sept 11 2001.

This is a re-posting from my original blog, from 2005

I had actually gone looking for this article I wrote back in 2005. I’d really like to know WHY the friggin’ pilots opened their cockpit door after receiving the message from flight control. (original blog post follows)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005
AIRLINES COMPLICIT in the tragedies of Sept 11 2001 ?
Sunday evening on Australia-wide on Channel 7 network in city areas and Prime-GWN in country areas, was the new docu-drama……
THE FLIGHT THAT FOUGHT BACK
(United Airlines Flight 93, Sept 11 2001)

Now firstly I must start off by declaring I have nothing but admiration for those passengers on board who tried so valiantly to take back control of this airliner. Even though their efforts ultimately failed, costing the lives of all on board, they prevented their aeroplane from being used as a deadly missile. Remember that in the hijack attacks of Sept 11, the number of people killed on the aeroplanes was “comparitively” small. The biggest loss of life was caused by the impacts, fires and collapse of the buildings concerned. The loss of the 45 or so aboard Flight 93 that day is tragic, yes, but their actions likely saved the lives of hundreds, possibly thousands, of others. We can only guess at what exists such as “Heaven”, “God” and “the HereAfter”, (as these things are a matter of individual faith for us all) but I surely hope that God has a special place in Heaven for the passengers on board (and a special place in Hell, for the Hijackers).

The program, made just earlier this year, was surprisingly engrossing. A sorta docu-drama it included actual sound recordings from the mobile phonecalls made from the plane, plus reconstructions of what is thought to have happened, using actors, obviously. It was a bit like watching an episode of the hit tv series “24” as it had some narration by Keifer Sutherland aka “jack baeur” (golly how he had time to do this as well, I’ll never know, I mean there’s only 24 hours in a day, eh ! )

There was comment and recollection from relatives of the passengers, and some technical info provided by qualified pilots etc.

However after having seen this program, there are some BIG questions that need to be answered……..and currently no-one on Earth seems even to be asking the right questions, so here I’ll stick my neck out and do it.

Now flight 93’s take-off was delayed by some 40 minutes due to heavy aircraft traffic ahead of it, so this aircraft could not be hijacked nearly simultaneously with the other 3 planes that were hijacked that day.

It is now known for an absolute fact that before Flight 93 was hijacked, Airline control had sent a text message to the pilots computerised communication system, and the text message HAD been received and read by the pilots on board.

From my memory, The message read something like this …

“Beware of Cockpit intrusion, 2 hijacked aircraft have just been crashed into NYC World Trade Center buildings”

Only AFTER the pilot had received this text message, and responded back to the airline’s command, was the cockpit door voluntarily opened from the inside and the hijackers given control of the plane.

WHY, OH WHY, OH WHY, OH WHY ?

Now we know that the hijackers promptly knifed someone to death, perhaps they stood outside the cockpit door and threatened to knife someone if the captain didn’t open up.

But for Frell sake, after having been warned that IF HIJACKERS ENTER YOUR COCKPIT, THEY WILL TAKE CONTROL AND CRASH THE PLANE INTO A BUILDING KILLING ***ALL*** ON BOARD, why oh why oh why would you voluntarily allow them in.?

We know from when the passengers did finally storm the cockpit, that it took the efforts of several big burly men, pushing the food-cart as a battering-ram, many many attempts to bash the door in.

The lives of all on board could have been safe if, when confronted by hijackers demanding entry to the cockpit, The Captain had simply announced to ALL onboard over the public speaker system

“would the attempted hijackers currently hammering on the cockpit door with their bare fists please lay down their knives and return to their seats to await arrest by cops when we land, and would several big burly guys come forward from Coach section, including the Federal agent on board, the Judo champion, and the ex-police officer please stand gaurd over them, and if necessary, encourage them to co-operate…..the use of Deadly Force is authorised by me, if they give you a speck of trouble or do not comply immediately, we will be landing in a few minutes at the nearest airport where a full contingent of armed police will meet the plane..”

and further “the pilot and co-pilot wish to express their regret for the person already knifed to death lying in the aisle, but we’ll be FRELLED up the RING-GEAR with a Broomstick Sideways, if we’re going to open this cockpit door for any reason on Earth at any time before we land, and give these Hijackers our aeroplane, KNOWING FULL WELL that they’re going to fly it at full speed into a building killing everyone on board and many more besides”

The program did say that the cockpit voice recording WAS NOT being made public because it was the subject of ongoing legal action. (Although it had been played in private to families of the passengers, who gave the reconstruction their recollections of it). You gotta wonder if someone is going to hold the airline to account for the actions of the pilot and co-pilot on board that day. Note that the program did say, that the believed that both the pilot and copilot had been killed almost immediately that the hijackers had entered the cockpit

Sept 11 was a terrible tragedy on so many levels, but Flight 93, even moreso, because it seems that this aircraft was voluntarily and willingly given over to the hijackers without a fight, even AFTER the aircrew had been told what the Hijackers would do with it !

Once again, to those passengers on board who refused to stay seated as told to by the Hijackers, and who refused to comply with Hijacker’s demands, like a bunch of woosy six year old girls, as official airline policy dictates……I salute you. You *almost* UN-Hijacked your plane successfully, and for that attempt, you are to be commended most highly.

Actually as an aside, you know all this extra airline security nowadays is pretty un-necessary, and there’s no good reason why passengers shouldn’t be allowed to carry small knives manicure scissors and nail-files etc onto planes like the used to be able to, prior to Sept 11. As I see it, every aeroplane now comes already equipped with a full complement (of 50 or 100 or 300 whatever) of “volunteer, will-fight-to-the-death Citizenry-Air-Marshalls”. Anyone trying to hijack a plane nowadays is going to have to get through near every single one passenger first.

THIS UPDATE ADDED Monday 5 Dec 2005. It’s recently been announced the possibility¬† that soon US airport security screeners commence to re-allow the carrying onto planes of nail-files, small scissors etc. Yep, yet again, the Government and powers-that-be etc have admitted that I, good ol’ Catherine, was 100 % correct in the first place ! It’s good to know that the new US’s, unlimitedly cashed up mega-beauracracy “The Department Of Homeland Security” (sic) have seen the error of their ways and is now supporting my ‘Blog (in this particular area at least, if nothing else !)

Note that it’s recently come to light that it was actually a direct result of the formation of The Dept Of Homeland Security, that caused the previously excellent FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Authority) to be downgraded and basically “gutted”. …..and it was directly because FEMA had been so thoroughly gutted, that it’s response to the hurricane Katrina in New Orleans was so poor. Independent commentators have warned that, Changes announced recently, intended to improve FEMA, will actually make the situation very much worse !