Will taking the Union Jack off New Zealand's flag "open the gates of hell" and give John Key absolute power? No. No it won't.

So last night I had a bit of fun on TV3's Story, commenting on the conspiracy doing the rounds in cyberspace about the real reason behind the push to change New Zealand's flag.

Can TV3 keep Colin Craig out of its debates? Maybe, or maybe not.

From TV3's website:

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig is threatening legal action against TV3 after he was left out of a minor party leaders debate on the channel’s public affairs programme The Nation.

Two leading politicians are staying put. Risky stuff. And what I'm doing next...

Look at the time, is it 2013 already? I've hardly given thought to anything since Christmas except what needs to be done to keep the kids happy and what jobs need to be done around the house (when we weren't in Onemana or Gisborne). But here are two brief thingamies to kick off the year...

Autumn has become a season of scandals and sideshows – John Key’s casino-convention centre “scandal”, the Banks-Dotcom donation “scandal”, the sideshow of the mythical David Shearer leadership challenge – all soon to be wiped away by the start of the main game: the defining Budget of 2012.

The political scandals and sideshows of Autumn 2012 have much in common. They are structured on screeds of speculation and scraps of substance.

Television New Zealand and NZ On Air have managed to bring the pot of public broadcasting services back to the boil – one with its very commercial salaries, the other with more funding for “commercially attractive” local content.

TVNZ can’t afford to operate non-commercial television channels – but it can afford to pay commercially attractive salaries, with 10% of its staff earning more than $100,000, members of its top management and sales staff sharing bonuses totaling $1.8 million, and 32 employees wandering round with $10,000 credit cards. And in the real commercial world, it probably must.