Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Big Farming Story of the Week: Trading Among Farmers (TAF)
I have, tongue in cheek, referred to this as FAF (Fighting Among Farmers) but what’s that old saying about “Many a word spoken in jest”?
I picked a comfortable margin of support for TAF. I was sure it wouldn’t hit the 90 per cent support range of the previous vote, but it’s sufficient to give Sir Henry and his band of merry directors (you would be too if were getting paid $100k plus) a firm mandate.
The result will not have come without bloodshed. Former Fonterra Shareholders Council chairman Simon Couper did the honourable thing and fell on his sword along the way.
What really stood out for me was the way the powerful Fonterra PR swung into action during the latter stages of campaigning. Sir Henry became Henry Kissinger-like in his final week of shuttle diplomacy.
As farmers opposed to TAF might’ve already figured out, it’s hard going into battle armed with a slingshot when there’s a cannon aimed in your direction.
Big Political Story of the Week: Mixed Ownership Model
That’s the euphemism for the sale of state-owned assets, and you’ve got to admit, it sounds a whole lot less threatening.
In an ideal world, we would keep ownership of these assets and their resulting dividend. But in a world that’s looking financially fragile, can beggars afford to be choosers?
The counter argument is it’s a terrible time to be flogging off the family silverware. Point taken, Dr Russel – with one l – Norman, but is selling a non-controlling 49 per cent of an asset selling your soul to the Devil?
Here’s a state-owned enterprise that we should happily flog off.
While the investment arm of ACC is incredibly successful, the public relations department is a disaster.
Even though she’s a fellow Southlander who grew up down the road from me, I don’t know Bronwyn Pullar from a bar of soap. What I do know is ACC has made a martyr out of her and as a result heads have rolled at ACC HQ.
Now, the latest gaffe could see ACC volunteering to pay millions to those whose privacy has been breached by the Bronwyn Pullar affair.
Having been involved in protracted and open warfare with ACC in 2011 over knee surgery, I’m wondering whether I might be in line for a payday for a privacy breach and hurt feelings? Surely, ACC has better things to do with its hard-earned money?
Bouquet: Steve Hansen
I have to admit, in the past, to not being a paid-up member of Shag’s fan club. But I reckon, like the rest of country, I’m slowly warming to the Big Guy.
That’s due in no small part to his array of wonderful one-liners. “Flush the dunny and move on” was a keeper and his most recent “If you’re going to clean the windows, then you need to do the corners as well” is wise counsel.
Perhaps the best one-liner I’ve heard recently has to be attributed to my old mate Andy Thompson, a part-time cow cocky on the West Coast and a full-time National Party wannabe.
In a cynical, yet humorous, reference to Ken “The Moon Man” Ring’s weather forecasting abilities, Andy declared “Even a stopped watch is right twice a day”.