Victim of Super Insects by Angela Caldin

I’ve been the victim of a complex marketing ploy and I may take some time to recover. Back in early September, as I was paying for my shopping in Countdown, the cashier asked me if I was collecting Super Insect cards. Not wanting to miss out on anything, I said yes, and she handed me three packs. Thinking that they might be educational, I gave them to one of my granddaughters. She was fairly enthusiastic and persuaded her mother to buy the $6 album designed to house all the cards. Complexity It… Read More

Let’s have a real Labour government by Susan Grimsdell

Faults of the free market Although most so-called conspiracies are fake, some are actually true.  One of these concerns a group of wealthy and influential people (as it was 1947, I’m probably safe to say “men”) who met after the war and formed the Mont Pelerin Society.  They conspired to promote the idea that the free market should dominate all aspects of society with individual  liberty being the main and only guiding principle.  They wanted to transform every aspect of life into an unrestrained marketplace where everything had a price, private enterprise… Read More

Desolation row by Trevor Plumbly

‘They’re selling postcards of the hanging’ We’re in the election war zone again, and the buggers have armed themselves to the teeth with righteousness in the hope of convincing us they actually care what we think! Deep down, lots of us oldies feel it’s a wasted effort, but years of ‘don’t vote, don’t moan’ have brainwashed us to the extent that we now feel obliged to do it. It’s not that the essence of the process is wrong; it’s like religion really, it’d work fine if people didn’t tinker with it all… Read More

Look on my works ye mighty and despair by Angela Caldin

A corpulent man with an orange face stood on the Truman balcony at the White House wheezing after a slow ascent of the steps. He pulled his shoulders back and puffed out his chest, telling the world not to let the virus dominate their lives. Little comfort for the families and friends of the two million who have died. He peeled off his mask in a gesture that might have been rehearsed several times in front of a mirror, before going inside to let droplets of infection fall freely on members of… Read More

Poverty, inequality and tax by Susan Grimsdell

I’m always puzzled that politicians, the ones who either run the country already or want to run it, fail to see that introducing policies that make things a bit more equal will make things better for everyone. Who benefits from tax cuts? For example, the National Party is campaigning on a promise of tax cuts, but their plan will benefit people who are already doing quite well, and benefit the poor hardly at all.  Those on $90,000 a year will get an extra $58/week, those on $15,000 will get $1.35. Our Labour… Read More