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

Give and take by Trevor Plumbly

Visitors Most countries in the so-called ‘free world’ are attempting to absorb as many refugees as their social framework can cope with, but the urgency and the increase in numbers poses problems for all concerned. Most established residents are fairly comfortable with their lot and generally complacent about freedom of expression, education and religious choice. Refugees or migrants, on the other hand, understandably find it difficult to adjust to highly liberal societies and to what we regard as basic rights. Small wonder, then, that a ‘them and us’ scenario could develop unless… Read More

Ecclesiastes and all that by Trevor Plumbly

Sense and stupidity The mice have departed only to be replaced by more virulent pests: the politicians are back from yet another recess and, as ever, they’re anxious to invade and parade their virtues. I know I go on a bit about them, but their ability to speak at length and say so little never ceases to amaze me. ‘Sure there are problems in some areas, but they were caused by the previous administration’, is a familiar cry. It could be argued that we voted them in to fix those problems, but… Read More