There’s no business…by Trevor Plumbly

Showbiz! Pre-Internet, politics was generally left to trade unions and the privileged. Personally, I’ve always voted labour in the hope that someday the goodies of life might be shared around evenly, but age and cynicism reduced that to theatrical fantasy. All the world may well be a stage, but reality doesn’t sell tickets like razzle-dazzle. Down here in NZ, we mightn’t do the flashy Broadway stuff, but we can tap dance with the best of them when it comes to ‘who-done it?’ or, for those currently in power, ‘who should have done… Read More

Fair pay by Susan Grimsdell

The concept of fairness It always surprises me when there’s a huge angry uproar at the notion of introducing policies designed to make things more equal.  Recently the Labour government announced it will introduce fair pay legislation for the first time since the Employment Contracts Act overturned employees’ rights in the 1990s. The word is “fair”.  Have you noticed that one of the first phrases children use once they’re old enough to speak, is “It’s not fair!”  We seem to be born with a notion of fairness, yet as adults, this seems… Read More

More guns more shootings by Susan Grimsdell

Recently, after yet another mass shooting in the USA, I heard a commentator say that people are “struggling to understand” how these things can happen again and again. Well, hello, it’s not that hard. Guns are made to kill Defining a mass shooting as someone killing at least 4 victims at the same time and location, excluding the perpetrator, there have been 2,128 such events since 2013, about one a day.  The rate at which public shootings occur has tripled since 2011.  One third of the world’s mass shootings between 1966 and… Read More

Plastic with that Ma’am? by Susan Grimsdell

We’re all horrified by pictures of birds and other sea creatures with plastic filling their stomachs, and seeing videos of them innocently feeding plastic to their infants.  It’s too ghastly to think about? Plastic in humans Well, what about newborn human babies with plastic particles in their bodily organs – hearts, brains, lungs, liver, kidneys? Recent research has found tiny plastic nanoparticles in human placentas which pass through to the foetus and contaminate all those vital organs.  The original research was done at the prestigious Rutgers University in the USA, on pregnant… Read More

Barnum, Bailey and BS by Trevor Plumbly

Roll up! Roll up! Barnum and Bailey were two of history’s greatest con men, charging people to see ‘Tom Thumb’, ‘The Bearded Woman’, The Cardiff Giant and all manner of human misfits and, people being what they are, many happily lined up to gawk. Human nature hasn’t changed much since B&B’s day; the shock factor and, of course, scandal still attract most of us. So, despite the mildly pathetic participants, we all sat glued to the telly to watch ‘the interview’. There’s still a bit of the nosey neighbour in all of… Read More