Three score and 8/10ths by Trevor Plumbly

78 this month; shit that’s old! Maybe it’s time to quit the intellectual musings and accept that the old ‘get-up-and-go’ has finally gone. I could do the escape route, and scoff a couple of ‘goodbye pills’. I would, of course, croak, but at least senility wouldn’t be an ongoing worry. There is a bill in progress to make that legal, but to pass into law it requires a conscience vote, which in turn requires being counted and some MPs have a problem with that. Others dribble on, to the extent that makes… Read More

Three score and ??? by Trevor Plumbly

I’m staring down the barrel of 78; old age has arrived and I’ve been collecting wisdom to compensate. There’s lots of theories around; for example, someone said (I don’t know who), “The thing about old age is that you can see the good in people more easily.” My research suggests that that’s a load of bollocks! That sort of sanctimonious crap belongs in Christmas cracker mottoes, or to old fogies wanting to clock up a few brownie points before the bloke with the scythe visits. It’s a bloody mysterious caper this age… Read More

New Zealand’s loss of innocence by Trevor Plumbly

A time to learn New Zealand is a special place, comfortably populated and insulated from tragedies that ethnic and religious radicalism can inflict, until, of course, the recent massacre in Christchurch. By the time you read this, the initial shock will be fading and, as is the case in today’s world, there will be fresh horrors thrust at us from elsewhere. Laying aside the theoretical excursions of countless analysts, specialists and even the odd apologist, we owe the victims and our society a lot more than months of political pussyfooting. Hard decisions… Read More

How safe is New Zealand? By Angela Caldin

‘On behalf of New Zealand, I would like to apologise to Grace’s family; your daughter should have been safe here and she wasn’t and I’m sorry for that.’ These are the words of Jacinda Ardern, prime minister of New Zealand, speaking about the recent murder of Grace Millane. She continued, ‘We pride ourselves on being a place where people are welcome, where they are safe and this hasn’t happened. I feel a sense that New Zealanders are carrying this quite personally.’ Homicide rates I was intrigued by her claim that Grace should… Read More

Matters of life and death by Susan Grimsdell

Choice is the word of the week it seems.  Voting in Ireland about whether or not to permit women to choose to have an abortion in their own home town or to be forced to go overseas for it, and voting here in New Zealand about whether to let everyone choose when they want to die. It seems a no-brainer to me.  I wouldn’t for one moment assume I have the right to make those decisions on behalf of anyone else, when that person is perfectly capable of making their own decisions. … Read More