Language and bullying by Susan Grimsdell

Pattern of bullying Today it was revealed that along with two mates, one of our National MPs, Sam Uffindell, at the age of 16, violently assaulted a 13-year-old boy at night in a dorm at a prestigious boarding school.  He now describes that event as “stupid” and “dumb”.   I wonder what words the parents of the victim would choose to describe the event.  If my son had told me he had been beaten by three older boys allegedly using wooden bedlegs, I would not say “Well, they were being dumb and stupid”. … Read More

Making the Roe v Wade decision clear by Susan Grimsdell

The poverty factor It should be a constitutional requirement that all decisions coming out of the Supreme court should be phrased in specific and honest terms.  For example, the recent Supreme Court decision on abortion does not apply to all women and the wording should make that clear.  It will only affect women who are poor.  Well-off women will simply take a trip to a place where they can get an abortion.  The ruling should read “abortion will be considered unconstitutional for women who are poor”.   I wonder how that would go… Read More

Ram raiders by Susan Grimsdell

Auckland is enduring ram raids, where stolen cars are driven into the front of shops by kids, some as young as 7.  This causes terrible damage to the shops, as well as terror to the shopkeepers. Let’s blame the parents There was a column in the media recently saying, “Where are the parents, what’s wrong with the parents?”  Research into the circumstances of the offenders shows that they are usually school dropouts at the age of 11 or 12, with a family background of violence, drug abuse and gang life.   Role models… Read More

The state of the nation by Angela Caldin

Although I’ve been living here in Auckland for the last two years or so, I still read The Guardian online nearly every day. To say that recent events in the UK are baffling is an understatement. Matters seem to me to have taken a surreal turn with corruption embedded in organisations which are meant to have the public good at heart and to uphold the principles of law and order. It seems that those in high office can lie repeatedly and nothing happens. It seems that those around them have no interest… Read More

Lording it by Trevor Plumbly

Golden days According to the romantic poets, knights of old were an honourable bunch. Life was simpler then: apart from the odd local skirmish, there wasn’t much to distract them from high minded ideals. Achieving aristocratic status was relatively simple: once you fought for the prevailing cause, the king tapped you on the shoulder, said ‘arise Sir Knight’, gave you a chunk of land and you and yours were set forever. It was the medieval equivalent of a window of opportunity if you could scrap a bit and had a few bob…. Read More