Respect by Susan Grimsdell

Vigils all over New Zealand.  People wearing headscarves “as a mark of respect”.  Respect for what?  For the successful oppression by Muslim men of Muslim women? Doesn’t anyone else find it odd that not one single non-Muslim western woman, whether British, NZ, Australian, Canadian, American, European, chooses to go around covering her hair every moment of the day?  Yet many Muslim women do, often depending on age and country of heritage. Let us not ever forget that when a whole cohort of people opt for the same thing, something other than choice… 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

Shamima Begum, a dangerous threat or a victim? By Angela Caldin

It’s difficult these days to avoid commentary on the plight of Shamima Begum who is living in a tent in the al Hawl refugee camp in Syria with her new born baby. She wants to come home, but the problem is that ‘home’ is what she joined Isis to destroy. The standard of living, the healthcare, the housing and the developed infrastructure are what she now wants for herself and her child, not the hard life on offer with Isis which she has fled. A tough decision The Home Secretary has taken… Read More

Child poverty by Susan Grimsdell

I find myself puzzled by something or other every single day.  Today I’ve been giving attention to our NZ government’s declaration that it’s going to reduce child poverty, preferably get rid of it altogether. Children in poverty Now, I’ve never seen a child living in poverty in a well-off household.  Has anyone?  If a child’s living in poverty, surely the parents are too?  I mean, I know people can be horrible to their kids, but this seems to be truly beyond the pale – the parents OK, the child hungry and in… Read More

Pillars of the Community by Susan Grimsdell

We’ve been hearing about fraud in the insurance industry lately.  Do you remember way back in the distant past when the trusted insurance guy would come to your house and tell you which insurances were best for you? Did it ever enter anyone’s head to suspect for one minute that the one he chose for you was the one that gave him the highest commission? Well, the insurance headlines are saying – look again.  The folks dealing in insurance aren’t quite the decent people they seem to be. Don’t bank on it… Read More