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

More guns more shootings by Susan Grimsdell

Recently, after yet another mass shooting in the USA, I heard a commentator say that people are “struggling to understand” how these things can happen again and again. Well, hello, it’s not that hard. Guns are made to kill Defining a mass shooting as someone killing at least 4 victims at the same time and location, excluding the perpetrator, there have been 2,128 such events since 2013, about one a day.  The rate at which public shootings occur has tripled since 2011.  One third of the world’s mass shootings between 1966 and… Read More

Plastic with that Ma’am? by Susan Grimsdell

We’re all horrified by pictures of birds and other sea creatures with plastic filling their stomachs, and seeing videos of them innocently feeding plastic to their infants.  It’s too ghastly to think about? Plastic in humans Well, what about newborn human babies with plastic particles in their bodily organs – hearts, brains, lungs, liver, kidneys? Recent research has found tiny plastic nanoparticles in human placentas which pass through to the foetus and contaminate all those vital organs.  The original research was done at the prestigious Rutgers University in the USA, on pregnant… Read More

Saving the mature trees by Susan Grimsdell

The government has a plan to plant one billion trees by 2028.  This is a stupendous endeavour, and it will cost a lot of money.  The trees they plant will be skinny little twigs with a few leaves on them.  The plan is part of the climate change deal whereby if we plant trees we get the right to spew even more emissions into our poor ruined atmosphere. Tree massacre Native trees are slow growing so it will take many years until the newly planted ones are big enough to have even… Read More

The rich get richer by Susan Grimsdell

Warning:  I’m in a particularly radical mood today.  This is because of a news item saying that rents in Wellington New Zealand’s capital have risen to above $600 a week on average (or mean, to use a more appropriate word).  This is so far above the affordability level of students, many of whom are working 20 hours a week as well as trying to pass a few exams, that they’re thinking of transferring to universities outside Wellington so that they can actually afford a place to live. The rent increase is way… Read More