Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Has King Kim put the fear of God into Peters and Norman?

What’s with these meetings between Kim Dotcom and the two leaders of the Greens and NZ First? Are they really that worried that Kim will take votes from their parties at the next election? Does Kim represent that much of a threat to their chances or are they just overreacting to media reports (unsubstantiated) that the ‘fledgling’ party led by a man who cannot even stand for Parliament that there is huge support for ‘him?’
The polls which leave a great deal to chance at this time, well before the real event, are not showing that support. The so-called large numbers of people who say they are going to vote for Kim Dotcom (Remember, he can’t actually stand) are nothing more than ‘possibilities,’ and past history has shown that what people say to pollsters and others who ask about ‘intentions,’ are notoriously askew.
There have been reports that Russell Norman wanted to ask Kim Dotcom to pull out of the election cycle in return for some deal re the latter not  being extradited to the USA. I find that a little bit over the top. Any leader promising such an action is playing with fire.
I say---let it run; let the people decide who will represent them, preferably without backroom deals or other machinations of supposed power. Anything else is just manipulation and dishonest politics. Oops ---how strange that this could be so. That the media is sloshing around with the truth doesn’t add much to the picture either.
If the ‘party of Kim’ did get any real traction, then I would be concerned at the spectre of KDC ‘pulling the strings from outside the tent.’ Not---the NZ way.

Chinese cars---would I buy one?

I have never bought a new car. Such a dream has always been just that---something beyond my means. Instead, at best I have had the occasional two to three year old cars and almost felt as satisfied with that ‘almost new feel.’ Some would say of course, that such actions are more sensible, given that once you walk out of the ‘show room’ with a new car, the worth plummets. I am not so sure if that is true these days.
So, when I observe Chinese cars coming into New Zealand, at prices well below their competitors and when I read about their ‘good value,’ when taking into account all factors, I start to look a bit more closely.
The price in NZ for Chinese cars starts at around NZ$11,000 for a 1300cc car (A Chery) and rises to over NZ$20,000 for a 2000 sedan from the same manufacturer. Then for those wanting a ‘working car’—you get the offerings from The Great Wall company.
One hears many ‘anecdotal’ tales about the reliability, safety and efficiency issues, as well as the re-sale price. What is certain is that the quality and safety issues are rapidly being addressed and I have read reports (that is the problem—who to believe?) that some models are ‘almost there re some of the above issues.
I would like to take the plunge as it were, but I think I will wait for a little longer, until I consistently read from well-respected Kiwi sources (like the AA) that Chinese cars ‘have arrived with most issues ironed out. Hell, why pay more than twice as much for a similar car from other countries.
I must say though, that even in China, if you have the money, you still chose from European and Japanese (and USA) models. If I had the money, I too would buy a BMW or Audi. Hell, I’d even buy an Aussie car, if they still made them! The bottom line---watch out for those new Chinese cars---they are indeed coming.

China is reading my blogs---I wonder who, but welcome anyway.

We read from time to time about freedom of access to the  internet in China. There are also regular headlines in the news media in NZ, about ‘human rights’ issues in China. There is often an addition to news reports about ‘Leaders’ visiting China bringing up the concerns about the above. I am therefore pleasantly surprised to see that readers in China are reading my blogs, because I do not always present life is China as a ‘bunch of roses.’ (I bet that got a few Chinese readers a little perplexed) To put it another way, after some of my blogs about the ‘concerns’ expressed by our politicians and others, I have been of the opinion that my miniscule attempt to critique the position of those who dare to criticise the might Communist Party, would be sort of---- ‘dampened’ or blocked. Maybe it is because I am only talking numbers re readership of 100s not millions, so my China-blogs hardly matter. I suspect that if I was any more strident in my ‘offerings’ re China and the numbers reached, how shall I put it,’ ---Chinese proportions, then it could well be a different story. I read about the pressure put on Chinese dissidents to ‘shut up,’ or face more dire consequences. They seem to disappear or to surface in the USA when they cross the line of acceptable opposition to the regime.
Still, I am happy to admit that life in China under the leadership of the CP is one hell of a lot better than it ever was under previous emporors and despots. The growth of the middle-classes and the super-rich shows that much is possible in the New China. Maybe environmental issues will be more important than perceived rights in the near future.  IN the meantime, go for it, my Chinese readers and greetings from NZ. Want a slice of Kiwiana---go to my website and download my book ROSKILL FOR A SMALL AMOUNT--- USA$4