Life under lockdown by Angela Caldin

We have a small deck at the back of our house in NZ with a fruiting lemon tree, some delicate palms and a high Lilly Pilly hedge that the sun pops over just about coffee time. I was sitting out there yesterday thinking about the words ‘We’re all in this together,’ which we hear so often. It struck me that perhaps those words were not entirely true since I was in a very fortunate position and some people were in this much deeper than others. Suffering increases There are stories of hardship… Read More

Vegan saving the world by Susan Grimsdell

We’re hearing every day that we need to stop eating meat as one important step towards preventing catastrophic climate change. But even as the people who promote vegan diets speak up, rainforest is being cleared at a rate equivalent to the area of a million soccer fields every year or nearly 2,000 hectares every single day, day after day, and it’s not stopping any time soon. Beefeaters rule The trees are being cut down to clear the land so that crops can be planted to feed cattle, so that we can kill… Read More

The state of the nation by Angela Caldin

Yesterday, I had two interesting conversations which I’ve been pondering on overnight. The food bank phenomenon I was on the tube when I met a colleague from my days in the magistrates’ courts. He’s a defence solicitor and therefore sees on a daily basis and at first hand the poverty and deprivation experienced by many of those who commit petty offences. He commented wearily that food banks are just about the only growth industry in this country nowadays. It’s true that food banks are springing up even in areas which are traditionally… Read More

The harms of Morpheus by Trevor Plumbly

Perchance to dream Humidity tends to screw up the old thought processes a bit and, instead of the age-regulated two bottles of Emerson’s Pilsner, I sneak a third in to avoid overnight dehydration. This, however, invites all sorts of nocturnal nasties, most of them political. In the latest I was being interviewed by Sarah Huckabee Sanders for a job as presidential spokesman. Mercifully, unless you’ve conked it, sleep’s an erratic state, but the nasties seem to know opportunity and pounce the minute I drop off. Thus, last night, I ended up in… Read More

Systemic stupor by Trevor Plumbly

Manna from heaven A recent news report from Canberra announced that some lucky Aussies could now get their groceries delivered by drone. To add a bit of credence to the piece, they included an interview with a grateful mother, who seemed to regard this technological turd as a lifeline. I’d like to say my heart went out to the poor creature, but it didn’t; I find that she’s rather pathetic compared to the women who work at life, instead of sitting around and expecting it to arrive. Millions of women cope with… Read More