The tale of the sealion and the shark by Susan Grimsdell

Recently a sealion was bitten by a great white shark and lived to tell the tale. Well, the sealion didn’t tell it, a reporter did.  A feel-good story The tone of the news story was very upbeat – a happy story told entirely from the perspective of the sealion.  If it had been told from the shark’s perspective it would have been quite different.  Perhaps it might have been told like this: “There has been an unprecedented and alarming increase in the risk of extinction of great white sharks.  According to “Nature”… Read More

NZ farmers’ protest by Susan Grimsdell

Taking to the streets Hundreds of farmers recently took to the streets in their expensive tractors.  The vehicles are big bullying things, and that makes me think the drivers are too.  Sitting way up high, big wheels, the whole rig shouting – “I’m big and powerful and rich so get out of my way.” As far as I could make out, that was the essence of their protest – “This government is telling me what to do.  I won’t have it.  It’s my land, and I’ll say what happens to it.”  Farmers… Read More

A sorry state by Trevor Plumbly

Confessionitis It’s getting more and more difficult to find a blog topic these days; there’s too much heavy stuff out there and lots of folk waiting to spread a bit of grief. Take out politics, religion, racism, sexual identity and there’s not much left to debate about with much hope of a result. We’ve become inundated with thin-ice sensitivities; down here in God’s little acre, the days of carrying stoicism to the point of walking rigour have all but disappeared in favour of orchestrated outpourings. As soon as Mea Culpa became an… Read More

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