Monday, 13 June 2011

The Great 1080 Debate

# Big Farming Story of the Week: The Great 1080 Debate.

It refuses to go away. In an ideal world there would be an easier and more environmentally-friendly way to control possums and the resultant agricultural curse that is tuberculosis. The Greens would have you believe so. Industry experts say no. Last week I floated the age-old idea of sending the unemployed into the bush and putting a bounty on the head of the furry foe, only to be told this would be paying lip service to the problem on the periphery. It would seem until someone comes up with a better idea, 1080 is the lesser of two evils and a necessary one at that.

# Big Political Story of the Week: The politicians at the Fieldays.

It’s almost as though the Nats have sprayed (cat parlance) all over Mystery Creek, thus marking their territory and scaring off the Opposition. John Key will be truly walking amongst the converted and such is his rock star status with the punters at the Fieldays, it wouldn’t surprise me if he whipped up some lunchtime loaves and fishes to feed the masses.

While Fearless Phil Goff will have earned his moniker if he fronts up after his recent attacks on farming, I’m sure the affable Damien O’Connor (is he a Nat in drag?) will put in an appearance for the Labour Party. No doubt the redoubtable Dr Russel Norman will be there to pontificate on pollution on the behalf of the Greens. Perhaps the most interesting presence could be that of the Act Party where there could be two Dons, Brash and Nicolson, for the price of one! Watch this space.

# Big Sporting Story of the Week: The Sonny Bill Williams Circus Sideshow.

No one can deny SBW is a God-given athlete. An Adidas Adonis sent to win us the Rugby World Cup! But the boxing thing is wearing a little thin with me. His latest bout against the overweight Tongan gospel singer and sickness beneficiary Alipate Liava'a was nothing short of comical. Sir Bob Jones was dead right when he said SBW is no pugilist. If he was, he would’ve finished off a man so gravely handicapped by tennis elbow, he couldn’t work. This was a racquet in every sense of the word! And the bad tennis puns don’t stop there. There was the love match going on ringside as Messrs Henry, Hansen and Smith sat smiling sycophantically at their Sonny Boy Wonder. Bring back Fred ‘The Needle’ Allen or Laughing Lozza Mains and the good old days when the All Blacks coach called the shots.

# Brickbat: The Social Welfare System.

Social Welfare Minister ‘Brawler Paula’ Bennett is doing a good job talking tough on benefit fraud and abuse. Sure there are going to be some genuinely unfortunate souls who will bear the brunt of her beneficiary bashing but SBW’s hapless boxing bozo (see above) has just handed the Brawler a gilt-edged arsenal of ammunition to fire at the abusers. And on that subject, the WINZ Wally who signed off on the sickness benefit for Liava’a needs shot as well.

# Bouquet: Stafix - Taking a Stand.

In 17 years of radio I’ve been fortunate enough to have been involved with some great promotions. The past couple of months alone have included giving away a 1956 Ford Pick Up Truck valued at $60,000 for Coopers Animal Health and helping the Platinum Primary Producers Club raise $45,000 for a Colin Meads rugby jersey in aid of the Canterbury Earthquake.

Currently the Farming Show is running a cracker on behalf of Stafix who are “taking a stand” for country rugby. They’re giving rugby clubs the chance to win one of three $5000 prizes to spruce up their stand, clubrooms or changing sheds. All you need to do is e-mail me and tell me why rugby’s so important to your community and why your club deserves the makeover money. We all know the local rugby club is the focal point of many rural communities, especially in the winter months, so here’s your chance to enhance yours.

Footnote: Jamie Mackay is the host of the Farming Show which airs on Radio Sport and Newstalk ZB. In a past life a Southland sheep farmer, these days he comments on farming, politics and sport for a living from the relative safety and comfort of his radio studio in Dunedin.


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