Teamwork to defeat poverty by Susan Grimsdell

Every aspect of life and development of 6000 New Zealand children has been studied year on year since they were born.  They’re now 8 years old. The research entitled Growing Up in New Zealand, recently released its Now We Are Eight: Life in Middle Childhood report. The have-nots The results show that 25% of them have experienced poverty throughout their young lives. These children score higher on depression, they are behind in physical well-being and they are falling behind in many other respects as well.  More than one third of all children… Read More

Let’s have a real Labour government by Susan Grimsdell

Faults of the free market Although most so-called conspiracies are fake, some are actually true.  One of these concerns a group of wealthy and influential people (as it was 1947, I’m probably safe to say “men”) who met after the war and formed the Mont Pelerin Society.  They conspired to promote the idea that the free market should dominate all aspects of society with individual  liberty being the main and only guiding principle.  They wanted to transform every aspect of life into an unrestrained marketplace where everything had a price, private enterprise… Read More

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