Monday 28 February 2011


I am  like so  many New Zealanders who wasn't in  Christchurch when the big one hit last week.

 I was sitting  in front of my computer on the 5th Floor of the Wellington Railway station when we felt an odd sensation and then we switched to Twitter and the #eqnz feed. The first tweet we saw was one saying  - "Oh god - I think that was an 8."  In our bones we just knew that there was a huge tragedy about to unfold.

What has happened to the conservative heart of the South Island,  was so hard to comprehend, so hard to understand and so bloody frustrating -  as the sense of helplessness invaded every bone as we wanted to be there lifting the bricks from the broken bodies.

Im  not prone to tears but we have shed many for people we did not know - but were part of our country, our big New Zealand family.

The numbers of dead is staggering. The number of survival stories forever uplifting  and the reaction of the people of Christchurch and the rest of  New Zealand  to their plight of those affected  has been humbling.

The galvanizing of the effort to patch up the broken city has been in the main, well co-ordinated and organised. But it is going to be a long tough road to fix what needs fixing and to get Christchurch pulsing like it used to.

But like never before I am confident that  we can do it because everyone is doing their bit. Be it a scone for for neighbours, a bloke with a hammer and a trailer full of tarpaulins who has travelled from Hamilton to lend a hand  -  or a million bucks from Owen Glenn - everyone is giving and doing what they can.

And it also gives us time to reflect on our own lives. We have a wedding coming up. Mum and dad were looking forward to travelling to Wellington for it  but even more so now because -  as mum says, in the wake of Christchurch her family is more precious to her, so getting together is now so much more important to her and dad.

In this great time of sadness there is time to rejoice in the fact that we are a nation, a big family, brothers and sisters all,  who - when the chips are down, are there for each other.

Monday 21 February 2011


There have been few political stories that have disturbed us more than the Tale from the Whale on the selection of the National Candidates for Rodney.

Anyone who supports centre right policies needs the read all of the information that Cameron has compiled on this issue.

It appears that we have a former South African who has inveigled himself in National Party politics, who has links to the more extreme far right political parties of his homeland.

We support centre right politics - sort of bright blue with a yellow Act border. And as the National Party is the dominant vehicle for our politics of choice then we support them. However our support for the party will end if something is not done to remove Cehill Pienaar from the Party.It is clear he is using the same bully boy tactics that were favoured by the parties he supported in S.A.

We think that the chances of him changing his political spots are about the same odds of Japan wining the Rugby World Cup.

He is the sort of wart on a political party, that espouses sensible politics, that needs to be frozen off.

He is very much the white version of Hone Harawira.

There will be criticism from the silly corners of the National Party for Whales exposure of this this prick. The National Party should be grateful that the Whale has shed light on the background of this awful man before he has too much influence on the party if he hasn't already.

It is probably the best political story Whale has done to date. It's the sort of story that if it was packaged in the mainstream media would have been a dead cert to win a Qantas media award.

There is little of the hyperbole everyone expects from Whale, he has written the story and backed it up with good information sources. The fact he is treating the story this way is probably a reflection of how disturbed he is by it.

So our challenge to the National Party is; get your head out of your arse and get rid on this racist arsehole. He does not reflect the National party policies that underpin a the sort of New Zealand we want.

He is a hater and a wrecker, and maybe worse.

We think that we speak for many people who support National Party politics - sort this mess out decisively for the sake of the party and indeed the country.

Doing nothing is not an option.

Friday 18 February 2011


A big moon over the mountain tonight trying to shrug off the evening mist.
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Crikey we have never been to the wild food festival - but we think its a great way to sample the weird and wonderful this country has to offer. However it means that every year they have to trump the weirdness that was offered up the year before.

Sadly we think they have scraped the barrel this year. There is just something wrong about wanking a stallion just so someone can chuck back a shot glass and declare to the world they are staunch.
Now we know the stallion is not likely to complain but it just seems silly.

Its definitely too weird for us. maybe it is the thought of the snotty texture.
We have had steers balls and cod balls and a fair amount of offal in our time but no matter how we look the whinny wanking - it makes us want to barf.

And who is going to test it for purity? How do the organisers know that the owner hasnt had a quiet toss into the pony porridge so he can skite to all his mates?

"I was drunk" would take on a whole new meaning

Nah - sorry . no eqwine for The Brunette. Never.


We reckoned that tthe Rocks competition to win a trip to the Ukraine and hook up with a good looking sheila and marry her - was fine. It involved consenting adults.

So we just caught up on the fact that the Rock has continued to take the piss out of the PC brigade yet again.

The competition which was "win a wife" is know known as Win A Trip To Beautiful Ukraine For 12 Nights And Meet Eastern European Hot Lady Who Maybe One Day You Marry'competition.

Excellent! So when is the "Win a trip to fantastic Stewart Island for 5 nights and meet a staggeringly handsome bloke who wears white gumboots to bed and likes rooting lots but smells a bit fishy, " competition going to be held,"

Just so I can give my mates - especially Cactus a heads up .

Thursday 17 February 2011


One of our favourite Wellington publicans is due to become a dad. Dermot Murphy is as Irish as you can get and we were well entertained by his Irish lilt today at lunch. Now he is quite excited by the prospect of becoming a father. However he is even more excited by the prospect that his baby is due to be born on St Patricks Day.

Dermot is the owner of D4, the Establishment and Chicago. And it seems that Chicago is one of the waterfront venues which we be a " place to be" come the Rugby World Cup.
Dermot is young, works hard and knows the hospitality trade well. He is the type of young entrepreneur we need more of in NZ.

Interestingly we were talking to another Restaurateur today who is a little sceptical of the increase in trade that the Rugby World Cup is expected to bring.

While the Wellington waterfront bars did a roaring trade on the back of the Rugby Sevens the top end bars did not fair so well. Seems pies and chips are the order of the day for the young rugby crowd. So there is some concern that the RWC spin off may largely be limited to some big bars.

We hope that is not the case and there is a vast difference between the Rugby sevens - youngish crowd and the Rugby Union fans. We remember the Lions tour and there was a huge range of people from those who toured the country in Helicopters to the Welsh village postie we met who saved five years to visit NZ and was pretty much limiting his eating and drinking spend to $50 a day.

So we are hopeful that there will be enough fans who like fine dining to keep the Wellington restaurants rocking during the tournament.

Bring it on.

Wednesday 16 February 2011


We always thought that Silvio Berlusconi would suffer little from being a certified philanderer. But his foray into what appears to be a dalliance with an underage prostitute seemed to be a bridge to far for most Italians. That those who will judge him are all women adds another interesting layer to this sordid tale of a man who excesses know no limits.

For Silvio

She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don't matter if it's gone
While the sun is bright or in the darkkest night
No one knows, she comes and goes

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with ev'ry new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

Don't question why she needs to be so free
She'll tell you it's the only way to be
She just can't be chained to a life where nothing's gained
And nothing's lost, at such a cost

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with ev'ry new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

"There's no time to lose", I hear her say
Cash your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time lose your dreams and you
Will lose your mind, ain't life unkind?

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with ev'ry new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with ev'ry new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

Tuesday 15 February 2011


The Sydney Morning Herald has done an article on the city's eateries that survived for decades by serving up simple favourites to regular customers.

Its often not the new or innovative we look for in choosing a place to dine. Sometimes its the comfort of the familiar that we seek.

There are restaurants around Wellington and even some further afield that we frequent where we cannot go past what they do best.

Its food that welcomes you. You know it well. It evokes good memories and it is done with pride and passion by the chef who understands it is the dish that embodies their cooking style.

The same goes for wine, Lake Chalice Merlot, Spy Valley Sauvignon, Palliser Sav, Seresin Pinot Gris, are among the wines we love to drink over and over again no matter where we eat.

So here are some of our favourite restaurants and the dishes we are happy to have time and again.

Tulsi - the butter chicken - kiwi hot. Its dominates "best curry lists"

Zicos - Franco does the best calamari in town. His duck pie ( on request )is heaven.

Green Parrot - the Mixed Grill - includes liver and all dishes come with the thin white buttered bread with sprinkles (DIY) of black sauce. It echoes memories of big meals eaten after a days hard labour.

Boulcott St Bistro - the Lamb Shanks with mashed spuds and peas - nowhere does it better. Its so simple yet cooked to perfection. It tastes like there is a little old lady in the kitchen who makes nothing else - its so dam homey.

Arbitrageur - The Snapper Pie in Winter. Rich, luxurious, you swim the pureed potato in the sauce , thickening it to the just right consistency. The pastry flakes into confetti at the mere whisper of a breeze from the fork.

The Wellesley - The Steak - its now one of the best in town.  Its a big, proud and tender -  bite me cut. The surroundings take you back to early last centuryas it is arguably the city's grandest dining room.

Osteria Del Toro - the meatballs - soft and melty. They fall apart in your mouth. and this  establishment introduced Wellington to Churros - petite donuts dipped in chocolate sauce.. Almost better than sex they are.

The French Onion Soup at Le Metropolitian in Cuba St. The onions are never ending ribbons of sweetness.

Mussels in Blue cheese cream at the Leuven, Plump shellfish bathed in a creme sauce with a layer of blue cheese that gives them a depth that no other sauce does.

And we will go to Dockside for the first of the Bluff Oyster Season March 2. They serve them simply. Raw on ice. They will charge us a fortune but they know that bringing together oysterphiles and fresh Bluff oysters is a recipe for success. We will wash them down with nothing but NZ bubbles, probably some Cloudy Bay Pelorus.

However, we would prefer that they serve them just like the picture above. On the flat abs of some delicious yummy man. Please... Do it and we will guarantee a table of powerful princesses

Those are some of our favourites - the restaurants, the food and wine we return for time and time again. They are the signature dishes, of wonderful chefs, that ooze passion and refuse to bow to fickle food fashions.


So the EPMU wants the government to stump up with some funds to pay for any legal bills they might incur around Pike River legal action.

Union Boss and Labour Party boss Andrew Little did the begging bowl trick but it didnt wash with the government.

Chris Finlayson put it very well

"The EPMU is a professional membership advocacy organisation. It receives revenue from its members specifically to provide its purpose of advocacy. There is no extra burden on the EPMU created by doing its job for its members."

What we want to know is what does the Union do with all its dues? How much does it have in the kitty? How much does it own? How good a service does it provide for its members?

Little seems to have the ingrained sense of entitlement that will mean he will be a perfect Labour Party MP.

UPDATE (sigh ) the oracle has the answers - our favorite uber political geek KiwiBlog says the EPMU pulls in around $12 mill a year and has$13 mil in assets


The funding debacle surrounding the Maori Statutory Board for the Auckland Super City is a long way off being resolved.

So far Len Brown and local body administration newbie CEO Doug McKay have made a pigs arse out of the first few months in power.

McKays reputation in the Seafood industry when he was the head of the Maori fisheries Juggernaut - Sealords, was patchy. 

And now he is looking especially vulnerable - as he was central to sorting out the funding issues for the board, not so ably assisted by consultant Angus Davidson. The same Angus Davidson, we wonder who used to run the Pork Board?

So it seems the two boys who know a lot about booze, pigs and fish are having a few problems dealing with Maori.

We predict that none of this is going to play out nicely. Maori acted in good faith with the Council administration to decide on a budget that they believed fitted their needs.

That they managed to secure themselves the equivalent of a Rolls Royce, when all they needed was a Toyota Camry, says quite a bit about their financial and negotiation skills.

In fact, one would have to consider that they may have more ability in running Auckland than a bloke who knows a bit about fish and booze assisted by another bloke who has huge expertise in pigs. Add to that a Mayor who is just plain slap happy and you are not going to get a happy ending. In fact it looks a bit like Dumb and Dumber assisted by Mr Bean.

So we don't think that the Maori Board deserves the opprobrium that is being heaped on them from the media and the Super City Council. To date, the Maori fellas have shown themselves to be way smarter than anyone else involved in this issue and they have acted with dignity and good grace.

We wonder if it was instead - say a enterprise advisory board to the council - instead of a bunch of what are percieved to be "uppity brown people" - would the issue would have ever got this far and stirred up such anti Maori sentiment?

We do think however, that the Maori statutory board is a complete crock. Maori are quite capable of getting to the ballot box and organising decent candidates for an election as they have shown with the formation of the Maori Party.

All the Auckland Super City really needed was a small advisory board of 5 that could input on specific cultural issues.

But that's not what happened and its not the fault of Maori that they negotiated a really good deal with a bunch of naive dorks.

So today the Maori Board takes the matter to court. They might just win. After all the did a deal in good faith and the Council welched on that deal.

Crikey sounds a bit like something that happened around 1840....

Monday 14 February 2011


In the beginning was the phone and the phone was with God and the phone was God .

All things came into being through the Phone and apart from the Phone nothing came to be that has come to be.

In the phone was life and it was the Light of men ( and sheilas) but not gay people.

And we saw the Glory of the Phone, full of Grace and Truth.

So behold the phone that takes away all sin but is down on gays.

Behold the phone, for it reminds me that horoscopes are the instruments of the false prophets.

Confessional Texts 99cents ask your father( not The Father ) first.

Praise be to the phone and three giddays to Mary.

App only $1.99 with all money going to the upkeep of the mansion for old priests who molested
little kids and lonely mothers.

Sunday 13 February 2011


So Hone shed some tears today. It was a pretty indulgent interview.

Were they tears of a humble man? We dont think so - more likely to be due to the fact that he thought he was bigger than the party and he has just realised he has squandered his chance to really help make a difference to the lives of some Maori. Hone did hold much promise - his tireless efforts to reduce smoking rates indicated early on that when he campaigned on an issue he campaigned hard.

We have written lots about him over the last 2 and a half years - some of it complementary but sadly its now clear he is yesterdays man.

He has been badly advised - probably by his hate breathing dragon of a mother Titawhai

We hope that the Maori Party ditches him this week and they get on with making the gains for Maori wherever they can. Being in government means they can do that. In opposition they are reduced to pointless finger pointing and name calling - the war cry of the powerless.

Matt McCarten tries to paint the picture that it is all about personalities - it is not. Harawira's politics is about an interpretation of the past that centres on blame. It is politics that is mired in an imperfect history. It does not seek to build relationships that lead to better lives for everyone - no- his is the politics of hatred and envy.

On the other hand Turia and Sharples know that the answers for their people have to be based on the politics of aspiration - that a better future lies in in forming alliances that will give those who are now choked in the dust on the side of lifes road - a hand up and map to get where they want to go.

All Hone does is kick up the dust, blinding his people to the reality of responsibility and blaming those who are running down the road to a better future.

Saturday 12 February 2011


Yip, we think that Ipredict should run a stock on Ruth Dyson quitting politics.. First Goff gives her the arse off the front bench and then it seems she has had a big scoff at the trough with a splash of the taxpayers cash on some spurious overseas travel - before the rules changed.

How bloody cynical is that??? No doubt she will have been up in biz class being plied with plenty of free grog- as we all know she has a penchant for the piss.

And people who have a sense of entitlement always sneak out with all they can fill their pockets with, as they head for the door the last time.

So don't Labour voters deserve to know if she is on her way out? Labour is in dire need of some new blood. The current front bench still has the sickly palour of undead political corpses.

Failure has sucked the life out of them.

Thursday 10 February 2011


There is an extra carriage on the Wairarapa 4.30. and the carriages are air conditioned and everyone has a seat.
Is this a new policy? We will check it out.


Nobody does it better than Rob Hoskings at the NBR. He does a down to earth, laced with humour, easy to read step by step guide to debt mountains and double dip inflation.

Brilliant. It is behind the paywall ( Yip we happily pay for the NBR paywall content).

Sorry about that - market forces and all


Ohh I so need one of these ... A Tiddy bear... When you sport a pair of 18 DD Norks and you are a bit on the short side - seat belts are the bane of your existence..

In fact I want two - one for my handbag as well... and one for the Air New Zealand seatbelt. maybe that one could be called a twaddy bear.

Wednesday 9 February 2011


Today, Ipredict made one thing very very clear. If John Key and National continue to ride the seemingly endless wave of popularity then Hone has chucked his chance to ever make a difference for his people. If he goes from the Maori Party he has scrapped any chance of walking along side National and improving the lot of the people he says he represents.

Hone is destined to spend his days as an outrider on the opposition benches.

Hone Harawira to win Te Tai Tokerau as independent and Labour to win Te Tai Tonga, leaving Maori Party with three seats
John Key to form government with one or more or the Act, UnitedFuture and Maori parties

He will never ever be in Government.

Key has been extremely clear - its not because he needs the Maori Party that he has asked them to be part of the next government - he wants them to be part of the next government.

He knows that while National and the Maori Party differ on how to do things they do agree that bold things need to be done to lift the aspirations and achievements of Maori who are not doing well.

Hone has literally missed the Waka that will lead the way in changing the future for many Maori who are not


Whats the problem? It offers a dating and mating opportunity between 2 consenting adults.

And where better to find a really good looking one that in the land of of the doe eyed beauties the Ukraine.

"In order to 'turn on' Ukraine, it's enough to travel to Kyiv and see with your own eyes how the chestnut trees blossom during the spring. This is when it gets warm and women in Ukrainian cities begin taking off their clothes. You will see such beauty! It is very beautiful!"

So the only complaint we have is that there is not a competition for Win a Hubby.. We have a few gal pals who are still looking for Mr Right but are getting a bit long in the tooth so would settle for Mr Not Too Bad.

And as for Bradford whinging well she has a face like a dropped pie so its easy to see why kiwi blokes might find some appeal in a Ukrainian Missus.

Who would you choose???


The veteran over at No Minister has a l ovely story about a philanthropic Trust that is supporting the education of kids in Greytown in the Wairarapa.

Basically they buy each kid a laptop.

Its a story every iwi in the country would do well to emulate.


Its 6am in the morning - we have been up since 4.52 exactly. We are on the Wairarapa train and all we have had is a cup of coffee. Hunger is lurking like a growly old tiger.

Funny thing is the first tweet that popped up this morning was one for what we think must be the worst god awful extreme junk food recipe we have ever seen.

Its like a big lump of McDonalds on steroids.

Is that not the ugliest thing you ever saw? Well apart from Ruth Dyson..

In fact it could be used as a murder weapon for someone with a dicky ticker.

This mornings blog is especially for Mark - a man who does know good food and wine.

Tuesday 8 February 2011


Well apparently there is a general belief that Terry Serepisos is in Europe . However we understand that he may well be lurking in Dubai or there abouts..


first cut is the deepest and all that but apparently Womens Affairs is for the chop. Good. What have they achieved? 2/10ths of f**k all.

Are the women on the fringes any better off? No. Could the money that Wimmins Affairs spends on spurious development of policy advice and the gluten free muffins as they deliberate important matters of state be better spent? Yes. Yes Yes.

So no tears.

this is where we need the women of this country to be.

Souma Yergon, Sou Nou Yergon
We are shakin' the tree
Souma Yergon, Sou Nou Yergon
We are shakin' the tree

Waiting your time, dreaming of a better life
Waiting your time, you're more than just a wife
You don't have to do what your mother has done
She has done, this is your life, this new life has begun

It's your day, a woman's day
It's your day, a woman's day

Souma Yergon, Sou Nou Yergon
We are shakin' the tree
Souma Yergon, Sou Nou Yergon
We are shakin' the tree

Turning the tide, you are on the incoming wave
Turning the tide, you know you are nobody's slave
Find your sisters or brothers who can hear all the truth in what you say
They can support you when you're on your way

It's your day, a woman's day
It's your day, a woman's day

Souma Yergon, Sou Nou Yergon
We are shakin' the tree
Souma Yergon, Sou Nou Yergon
We are shakin' the tree

Changing your ways, changing those surrounding you
Changing your ways, more than any man can do
Open your heart, show him the anger and pain, so you heal
Maybe he's looking for his womanly side, let him feel

You had to be so strong
And you do nothing wrong, nothing wrong at all
We're gonna break it down
We're gonna shake it down, shake it all around

No no no no no no
No no no no no no
No no no no no no

It's your day, a woman's day
It's your day, a woman's day
It's your day, a woman's day
It's your day, a woman's day

It's your day, a woman's day
It's your day, a woman's day
It's your day, a woman's day
It's your day, a woman's day

It's your day, a woman's day
It's your day, a woman's day
It's your day, a woman's day
It's your day, a woman's day

You had to be so strong
You do nothing wrong, nothing wrong at all
We're gonna break it down
We're gonna shake it down, shake it all around

Monday 7 February 2011


We took this shot while we were out on the Hauraki Gulf with some mates over the weekend. These birds (not sure what they are but they look a bit like a muttonbird), the kahawai and some weeny fish all combined to make the water boil at the back of Rotoroa Island. It was fascinating to watch and we had the added bonus of catching a few kahawai, which were very tasty sashimed . The Gulf is very pretty( and a bit busy!) but its not great for fishing. We caught about 30 snapper and only one was a takeable. Luckily the skipper and his good woman managed to catch a couple more keepers.

However we did enjoy nice Lake Chalice Sauvignon Blanc with the Sashimi.. Its a good wine to pair with seafood. Interestingly, we loved the heady passionfruit and blackcurrant aromas they added some finesse to the tasty heavy flesh of the Kahawai.

A lot of people write off Kahawai but it was fantastic and here are a few recipes as well. My mate put it in a tikka masala curry and its a good curry fish as its holds its shape.

We had a superb weekend with some great mates which was all a bit unexpected but very relaxing however I am always amazed how crap the fishing is in the North Island.

So lesson for those who like seriously good fishing, we suspect that there are many good fishing spots in the Hauraki and it would be fun looking for them but if you really love fishing - head south - like to Stewart Island and Fiordland.

Its a world away but will satisfy the greatest passion for catching the denizens of the deep.


The Maori party showed some testicular fortitude today when it biffed Hone Harawira out of caucus.

While far from perfect ( which political party is ) the Maori Party has done a pretty good job of focusing their priorities on the politics of aspiration not the hate based blame everyone creed of Hone and his ilk.

Hone has continued to harp on that he has 5000 supporters. No -5000 people may have voted for him as a candidate for the Maori party. but there is no way that the 5000 voted solely for Hone so his actual fan base is considerably less.

Today would have been tough for the Maori party. They are, as someone suggested recently, a very broad church of many different Maori points of view. However the gains they have made and the status they now have has made them a true political force.

Their acceptance means that if they continue to tango with National when they win the next election, then they will make more gains. Key has already signalled he wants them in government next time. He sees them as a vital to building a better New Zealand.

So all New Zealanders should feel happy that the Maori party has made Hone walk the plank. His actions were mutinous and he deserved nothing less.

It was clear from listening to Matt McCarten on the JT and Willie show late last week that the lefty party of bradford, mcarten and and Harawira is set to go. Hone's headline grabbing is nothing more than a cynical attempt to get publicity for the launch of the new party..

So the new party? Well its a very ugly political menage a trois.They get their kicks from creating hate, they blame everyone else. We think it wont even last the distance to the election.

Wednesday 2 February 2011


Joris de Bres is a joke. And his limp wristed lilly livered smacking over the hand with a piece of dried flax of Nga Puhi, who want to charge media to cover a national event like Waitangi day, is disgusting.
If nothing else Maori should be about freedom and that includes press freedom. It is time that the media showed some balls ( just take a look at how John Key does it ) and tell Nga Puhi to piss off.

David Rankin has led the way and called his kin "racists" and "crazed dogs"...

They are both. idiot curs that turn good food into shit.

De Bres is yesterdays man. There is no place for him in a New Zealand that allows this sort of racist bullshit.

He should be sacked.


hatip Aaron Hape.


Well we always thought that this year would be interesting . We have faith in John Key and today he delivered. Not because he has the balls to call an election date so far out .. No that requires big balls.

No, sadly in New Zealands political MMP landscape, the really big hairy ball call comes when you tell to Winston Peters to F**k off.

Today JK did just that - he kicked Winstons arse into the political wilderness..

Winston will have opened a bottle of Blue Label Johnny Walker, after he heard Keys statement and be swigging it back thinking of past because now, that's all he has. John Key has consigned him to history.

Goff has no choices left. Vote for Winston and you vote Labour...

It is a stroke of political mastery. Bloody bewdiful. That means we can get back to planting taters and punkins, making jam and pies and biscuits and drinkin wine and ginger beer over in the Wairarapa.

This will be the cruisiest election year in history.

Thank you John Key. You have made our day.


It has been fascinating to watch the affairs in Egypt as the people unite to show that they will not tolerate Presidents Mubarak and his government anymore.

Much has been made of the use of social media and how, despite government attempts to shut down the internet and mobile phones, that the world's geeks mobilised to ensure the true story was being told.

This news site here has a great round up of the part that social media played and indeed is playing in keeping the world and Egyptian people informed.

Whether social media have helped or hindered protesters in Egypt, the events of the past week there have underscored the fact that both pro- and anti-government activists throughout the Middle East are making the most of social networking tools to organize and promote their causes in real time to mass audiences.

Jon Stewart, an American comic, television commentator and activist, offered a sardonic quip that in many ways captures the transcendent power of social media in the Middle East.

"If two speeches and a social media site is all we needed to spread democracy then why did we invade Iraq? Why didn’t we just, I don’t know, ‘poke’ them," Stewart said, using the Facebook term for getting a user’s attention.

We have watched facebook and more importantly twitter play huge roles in big events such as the Queensland floods. The emergence of a twitter #hashtag (subject matter) #mythbusters from the queensland police was used to great effect. A rumour circulated on twitter on the #qldfloods feed that Brisbanes CBD was being evacuated.

The QLD police sent out a quick response to tell everyone that was not the case with the mythbuster tag. Everytime there was any misinformation the police quickly replied with the mythbuster tag and and a new element on twitter was born.

In Egypt, it was the world, who instead of smuggling guns across the border, "smuggled" phone numbers to give the Egyptians a pipeline to the world so the global village could watch on and support the efforts of the people to overthrow the despotic reigime.

In Egypt, the use of Twitter audio feeds was key to spreading the word.

We think that social media is so powerful simply because it allows people to interact. Its not like the passive reception of TV or Radio feeds. You are part of the newsmaking process. It appeals to a need to belong and on the social media networks you are never alone.

As the days go by the world can watch events unfold in Egypt from the comfort of their phones and laptops.

For the people on the ground, the fight for freedom is not over yet. But they know that the world is watching every second of the events unfold and that they are not alone.