Dad’s Army by Trevor Plumbly

Onward Christian Soldiers! Temptation’s got more sophisticated since I was a kid. Back then, the fight against it was pretty simple: Sunday school, prayer and moral parables, along with three or four uplifting hymns supposedly insulated you against anything the Devil could chuck at you for the next few days. It wasn’t a perfect system; divine guidance kept the ‘chosen ones’ on the righteous path, but the rest of us had to wrestle Satan on our own, thus we tended to stray and needed correction, a clip round the ears was the… Read More

Fairy tales by Trevor Plumbly

Once upon a time On arrival in NZ in 1971, my first impression was that of a country a bit like England in low gear, or if you ventured far enough afield, in reverse. ‘She’ll be right’ was more a statement of disinterest than reassurance while emotion was generally reserved to sporting matters. In short, we were a pretty placid, albeit boring, mob. These days we’re more in touch with the world and we can panic along with the best of them. What we used to call ‘eccentrics’ are now bona fide… Read More

Fishers of men by Trevor Plumbly

Ploughshares and swords I’ve always been reluctant to ‘do’ politics: there’s so little humour in it and social unrest seems to bring out the worst of the breed. If the old political adage ‘never let a good crisis go to waste’ stands, leaders have never had it so good. With Afghanistan out of the way, the USA can get back to comparing penis sizes with the Chinese, leaving others with climate change and the pandemic to argue about. China doesn’t seem to worry us much down here; we have a ‘trade relationship’:… Read More

The eyes have it! By Trevor Plumbly

Dirty politics This month will see me reach my 80th birthday. It is, for me, a time to reflect on my place in the scheme of things. What’s concerning me is that the ‘we know best’ lobby won’t give up, and I reckon they’ve been shoving campaign leaflets in my letter box.        As a result, someone in the family must have found something like the ‘How to be a happy blindy’ app and suggested that my path to contentment lay in getting out and about more. I wasn’t present when the vote… Read More

Getting the message by Trevor Plumbly

We all strike moments when we doubt our intellect and I had one the other day. I was listening to the radio and this bloke, a Prof of some sort, was explaining the inner meaning of Bob Dylan’s lyrics. Dylan was pretty deep but this bloke was even deeper! Dissecting the great man’s thoughts like an emotional coroner, he left me verbally stranded after about five minutes, but what I did catch left me gobsmacked by his grasp of the unspoken. He shamed me into thinking that, by taking the piss all… Read More