Balancing the books by Susan Grimsdell

Recently I’ve been thinking about Economics, a subject that I’ve never really understood.  What got me thinking about it was an announcement from the NZ government in August that we now have a very healthy surplus of $3.7 billion.  That sounds great.  Let’s go shopping! Surplus and debt However, I had a feeling that at the same time we have a huge national debt, so I looked on the web to find out.  Sure enough, I discovered that in 2008 New Zealand’s national debt was 16% of GDP.  Now in 2017 it’s… Read More

The campaign of terror by Trevor Plumbly

It’s Election Day in New Zealand on 23 September 2017 and the Labour Party is experiencing something of a renaissance under Jacinda Ardern’s leadership. Rise up and talk! Having somewhat recovered my physical well-being, I have decided, since its election time, to apply my thoughts to social matters, but I’m finding it difficult. It is a wondrous time personally: I have regained human form after lying in a cryogenic-like state for the last political term – suddenly, my opinion matters! I am valued and no longer regarded as the cantankerous old git… Read More

Human spillage by Trevor Plumbly

Growing pains Over recent years I’ve noticed an increase in the number of ‘street people’ in my area of Auckland. Most (including me) either avoid them where possible or buy our way out with a couple of coins. In one form or another they’ve always been with us, but the recent increase in numbers should raise greater concern. In the past, they were dismissed as ‘deadbeats’, ‘addicts’ and ‘alkies’; thus the authors of their own misfortune, best left to the Salvation Army or, if things got out of hand, the Police. The… Read More

Muslims in New Zealand by Susan Grimsdell

Muslims have been getting a bad rap lately, fanned by the illustrious President of the USA. Concerned citizens with generous hearts speak up against this negativity and are distressed to hear criticism of the refugee influx into Western countries of people from Syria and other Muslim countries.  Their argument centres on the fact that these people are not terrorists, not dangerous, just ordinary people wanting a better life for their families. Inequality on show I too don’t consider Muslim people to be terrorists in the sense that they do not wish to… Read More

They shall inherit by Trevor Plumbly

The silly season The English get into trouble when they take things seriously, but happily, a sense of the ridiculous helps them cope. Elections are a serious business to the Brits so they lighten things up with odd characters like Lord Buckethead who received 239 votes at the last election when he stood against Theresa May in Maidenhead; he hailed that as a triumph, so like they say, ‘it’s not the winning……’ God only knows what motivates the man; maybe he just wants to illustrate what a pantomime the whole system has… Read More