Divided we fall by Trevor Plumbly

He ain’t heavy Outside of terrorism, race is about the scariest topic down here. Everybody, it seems, has an axe to grind from the disgruntled to the fearful; few of whom add much to national unity. Colonialism has got a lot to answer for: South Africa, Canada, Australia and New Zealand carry a huge burden of guilt when it comes to native rights, as they should, but surely today’s children are entitled to question why they should be saddled with paying the cost of ancient wrongdoing? Here in New Zealand, it’s a… Read More

He was a good boy by Trevor Plumbly

Maternal mitigation When the stuff hits the legal fan, very few mothers, it seems, have rotten kids. Regardless of what some of their offspring stoop to, mum frequently steps up to the plate to defend or offer excuses. It’s a time honoured thing and where minor misdemeanours are concerned, perfectly acceptable, but when it gets applied to serial offenders, I wonder if it’s time to regard crocodile tears as just that. At charitable best, they may well be the expression of years of hopelessness or the final acknowledgement of a long ignored… Read More

In pursuit of truth by Angela Caldin

Beauty is truth, truth beauty – that is all Ye know on earth and all ye need to know. That’s what John Keats wrote in 1819 and he attributed those famous words to an inanimate object – a Grecian urn. They are great words with a real ring about them, poetic, moving, inspirational, but do they get us any nearer to an understanding of what truth actually is? It’s fairly clear that they don’t, nor do they help us to get our heads round the various tamperings with facts and evidence that… Read More

Sorry Mr Orwell by Trevor Plumbly

I prefer to avoid movies; they’re a bit like self-punishment, whereas verbal pictures are more real to us ‘blindies’ than a grey screen. But every now and then there’s an ‘I wish I’d gone to that picture’ moment. From radio reviews and comments from those that did see it, ‘I Daniel Blake’ would have been well worth the effort and frustration of ‘viewing’. I won’t re-visit the plot, but will hopefully underline its message. The growing trend of increasing the electronic and bureaucratic barriers between the general public and those elected and… Read More

Judgement Daze by Trevor Plumbly

On the ropes I’ve always held the view that NZ has an almost benign attitude towards blokey-type violence, but now it’s official! Statistics show we’re right up there with the major players when it comes to domestic punch-ups. That’s pretty amazing really, maybe we should add home bullying to the list of ‘we’re just a small country’ plaudits that we roll out for sporting success. Along with Women’s Refuge, Shine and Rape Crisis there must be dozens of underfunded semi-official agencies operating purely as a safety net for those desperate or brave… Read More