DSCF5481Something is ROTTEN in the state of Ostend. Beneath the delightful aroma of coffee wafting from Brendan Mooney’s mobile coffee stall there’s an nastier stink. The stink of cronyism and unfair repression of trade.

Why is Mr Mooney trading from the car park outside the Ostend bakery today instead of his usual spot on the causeway? He has, after all, paid the council for a permit for a seven day week. So why is he suddenly being restricted to only weekdays? If it were not for the kind offer from the bakery owners he’d be sitting at home twiddling his thumbs right now.

Why is he being threatened with legal action? All he’s doing is selling a few cups of coffee. But apparently that’s not acceptable in some quarters. It represents competition to those who would prefer not to have any.

Now ok, I know a lot of you don’t want to believe in a free market but personally I do. I run a business myself but if some other keen brewer wanted to start up on the island and add yet another brewery to the mix I wouldn’t complain. Why would I? I certainly wouldn’t try to get them stopped. That would make me a…..well, ‘Bit Of A Bastard’ frankly, and I’d deserve to be criticised for it.

The answers to all these questions I’ve raised are out there and we ought to know what they are. It’s hard enough to make a living what with all the red tape and so forth without being leaned on by other local businesses. The food and drink trade on Waiheke is difficult enough without adding this kind of pressure to operators.

So go forth and ASK. And keep on asking until you get the answers. Why has Brendan Mooney had to relocate and become dependent on the kindness of others to make his living? Who is putting the pressure on him to do this? What makes them so bloody special that they can behave in this foul way? And above all, whose INFLUENCE are they depending on to make it happen?

Oh, and stop by and get a coffee. It’s damn good.

Letter to a Troll

Notes to Mr. J H Wiles, letter writer in the 2 May Gulf News:
As a troll living under a bridge somewhere, it is understandable that you are out of touch with recent history.
1. The 1950’s called and they want their Cold War-era, Pinko-Commie-Red Menace rhetoric back.
2. Since you’ve obviously been cryogenically frozen since at least the late 80’s I have a news flash for you- Russia is not the former Soviet Union, nor are there any other countries which answer to the description you imply. Russia is a thriving consumer-based society under the firm grip of a capitalist oligarchy just like the USA, Europe and New Zealand. Corruption and fraud are the order of the day the world around now.
3. The Gulf News only appears “Far Left” to you because you are dangling from the far right fringe. What you are actually seeing is called “Center Kiwi”. People on the left have just as many issues with various articles in the Gulf News as you do. This suggests that the Gulf News attains that fair balance of pissing off either side equally.
4. You say you would never buy the Gulf News yet you have obviously read enough of it to feel entitled to comment. So you must be one of those people who reads magazines without paying for them. Does that suggest you are rooted in communism?
5. In your letter you say you are sure that the Gulf News won’t print your letter, but then they obviously did. You have confused Gulf News with the Marketplace, which does regularly fail to print letters which insult its constituents. Gulf News is a real newspaper and as such prints letters from across the spectrum in the community, even attack letters like yours. You should feel lucky to have such a newspaper in which to air your foul humour.
Now properly educated, please feel free to crawl back under your bridge.trollunderbridge