Lyndon Hood - Accordion criminal, Lower Hutt

Sunday, August 28, 2005

I started a post about National's proto-budget. I may finish it yet, but I only have so much weekend left, so in the meantime here are the highlights:

> Will not destroy world in immediate future. Debt is a worry but not a disaster (and the Nats point out that they haven't committed the PreFU money the way Labour has and that they plan to keep putting that rainy-day money in the super fund). Likely inflation is a problem but it's not like Cullen can complain.

> I have seen National's budget press pack, incidentally, and Keith Ng really does deserve a brickbat. He could at least have checked his tenuous Nats-plan-debt-blowout interpretation against their projected debt graph instead of giving people who think their overall plan might not be the best option a bad name.

> So the choice is not between a bad budget and a good budget. It's between less tax (or rather, a smaller decrease) and less spending on services (or rather, a smaller increase). And a bunch of other policies and two wrinkly leaders.

> Does Key have some kind of magic wand that allows him to find and eliminate 'wasteful spending'? Or does that just mean cutting a whole lot of programmes you don't like?

> Nobody seems to know how they're going to support any of their other promises that involve new spending. Such as transport, abolishing parole, work for the dole, bulk funding schools and so on. But given that they seem to be making a highly confused attempt to distance themselves from any policies they might have had, say, a year ago, who knows what might happen?

> National's habit of self-contradicting policy announcements has reached the point where it stops looking like negligence and starts looking like a really odd deliberate campaign style or, the option I favour, really serious infighting.

> There are other policies than finance. Oh, and some other political parties too, apparently.

> I still think Labour will get the most votes.

And now, what I really want to talk about ...

I just bought an old accordion for sixty-five bucks at the Lower Hutt antique fair.

Not one of those poncy Piano-Accordion things. One with buttons. What they used to call a melodeon (not the melodica, reed organ or barrel organ kind), made by the good people at Hohner. Just the job for cajun styles, apparently. Jambalaya, here I come.

I had no idea how to play it, but it turns out it's basically a like a souped-up harmonica, and I'm good for those.

Actually, it could be said that it is to a harmonica what a bagpipe is to a clarinet.

Now, I've only managed to free up two out of the four stops from the rust, and a few of the reeds aren't working properly, but at least it can now - theoretically - play a tune.

Still - sixty-five bucks.

I happen to think it has quite a nice tone.

And if you don't all vote left of centre, then I'll play it in public.

New Hood: Financial Briefs...

National Tax Cut Visible From Space
Size Not Everything: Cullen
Matron Wants to Know Which Party John Key is Leader of
Brash Wows Voters With Hotel-Room Anecdotes

Read it all at Scoop