Another fine mess by Susan Grimsdell

Does the resignation of the Leader of the NZ Opposition, Todd Muller, send a signal that the public has a  standard of decency, one that he failed to meet?                                                                                                                               … Read More

The decline and fall of Paula Bennett by Susan Grimsdell

One of the wonderful strengths of our political system is the peaceful transfer of power.  We don’t get rid of a leader by killing him or her.  Instead, the defeated candidate steps down, following long-established protocols, and often expresses respect and praise for the new person. Democracy rules There are no guns or armed insurgents ready to assassinate the outgoing politician.  It’s unthinkable to even imagine such a thing. The procedure is based on respect for democracy and is carried out with courtesy.  While watching it happen, we all get confirmation that… Read More

Covid-19 and after by Susan Grimsdell

People sometimes talk about the Covid lockdown as being a bit like the atmosphere during the war.  Then, everyone in every country, in fact in much of the world, faced similar risks and hardships.  “We’re all in this together” and we all had to make sacrifices and put up with inconveniences for the common good. The difference is that during the war, people went out of their way to support one another.  They sat in bomb shelters, sang, shared their thoughts and feelings, probably went to each others’ places to listen to… Read More

The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law by Susan Grimsdell

The NZ Herald reports a South Island mayor urging farmers who have claimed the government wage subsidy  during the shutdown, to repay the money.  Prices have held, there has been no actual loss.  One farmer with a conscience has given back $177,000 he said he had claimed “just in case”. The letter of the law The policy states that money is available if the claimant experienced an actual or “predicted” loss of revenue of one third in any month over the 6-month period January to June compared with last year. This is… Read More

Will a Change of Mind Lead to a Change of Heart? by Susan Grimsdell

Who would ever have guessed that hard-core deeply conservative people would overnight change their view of the world? Covid-19 could well accomplish what decades of argument and reasoning and appeals to fairness have failed to do.  People who have insisted that the market should rule, supply and demand are king, and let those who aren’t up to it fall by the wayside, have experienced an epiphany.  Suddenly, yes indeed government must step in when people are in trouble, yes indeed government must give handouts when things go wrong. Handouts from the State… Read More