Goodbye cruel world! By Trevor Plumbly

Lead kindly light! It’s worrying when governments decide to hold a referendum. It usually means the issue could turn stale and they’re looking to shift it away from the cabinet table before it starts to smell. Most of the iffy stuff gets handled by way of a conscience vote; this theoretically allows them to express their beliefs independently of party lines without pressure from on high (yeah right!). Sometimes though the cross-party chummy stuff wears a bit thin and their safest escape from confusion is a referendum; the old chestnut, ‘the people… Read More

A long and winding road by Trevor Plumbly

The Pilgrim’s Progress Yep! I’ve read it. Years ago it was considered healthy reading for pre-pubescent minds. Back then, the hero Christian was the James Bond of religious literature, without the totties of course. Like Fleming, Bunyan’s left his mark: even today the waffle-mob still refer to life as a ‘journey’, which is fine if you’re sitting on your arse in a sort of spiritual Rolls Royce, inspired by Christian’s trip to the Celestial City; most of us though, aren’t cut out for the A to B road. The old stuff’s still… Read More

Clothes maketh the man (and the woman) by Susan Grimsdell

The other day I read such a good demonstration of how our society is saturated with sexism. It’s this:  if you had to choose, which would make you uncomfortable – seeing your 8-year-old son dressing up in a tutu while twirling a pink fairy wand, or your daughter wearing dungarees and playing with a wooden sword? I think almost everyone would say the former.  There could be a few of us who would be perfectly happy and equally accepting of either, but realistically, I think not many would fall into that group… Read More

Acts of kindness by Susan Grimsdell

A couple of weeks ago two police officers from Hastings showed all of us how to help make society a better place in every way. Shoplifting to feed family They were called to a supermarket where a mother, with three small children in tow, had been caught stealing $50 worth of meat.  She at once admitted taking it, and began to cry.  She said she’d never done anything like that before, and she only did it because she just didn’t know any other way to get food for the family. The officers… Read More

Those against – a few thoughts on protest by Trevor Plumbly

I’m musing. (I love that word! It makes me sound creative). I’m musing about protest. Lots of folk don’t like protest, it makes them uncomfortable, they prefer the illusion of ‘seeing the big picture’, but others put their dignity and safety on the line in open displays of defiance. During my school years, protest of any sort was a punishable offence, but in my teens I did dabble with the anti-brigade, by joining the ‘Ban the Bomb’ movement and getting arrested for my trouble. Other than that, it was fairly comfortable: the… Read More