Being a good bloke by Susan Grimsdell

There’s a programme on BBC called the Kindness Test designed to show the level of kindness in the general population.  The questions are along the lines of “Would you go to someone’s aid if you could see they needed help?” or “Do you hold doors open for other people?” “Do you give to charity?” “Do you volunteer?” and so on.  Now I grant that kindness is a difficult thing to measure, but I contacted the researchers to suggest that superficial small acts of kindness are not really an indication of the underlying… Read More

Power and corruption by Angela Caldin

‘Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ Famous words from 19th Century historian and politician Lord Acton to Bishop Creighton. He also said, ‘I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way against holders of power, increasing as power increases.’ I was thinking about these wise words in the wake of the revelations this week in the Pandora Papers which show how the love… 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

Skin cancer in NZ by Susan Grimsdell

We all know that skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in New Zealand, and that we have the highest incidence of melanoma – the worst, most deadly kind of cancer – in the whole world. We slip slap slop on ourselves and our children, we use the top level of SPF, renewing it every two or three hours, as per instructions.  We do our best to protect ourselves and our families. Sunscreen fraudster However, what we didn’t know was that there is a man in the USA, Gabriel Letizia Jr, who… 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