Historical bias by Susan Grimsdell

The British perspective Sometimes I wonder if kids in every Commonwealth country were taught the same history in school – British history.  I grew up in Canada and yes, we did learn a bit about Canadian history, mainly focusing on how brave the British were, to fight against the Indian “savages”, and how wonderful it was that they won and now look at our fantastic country.  Mostly we had to learn about the kings and queens of England.  It wasn’t until I left school that I learned the real history of Canada… 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

Those against – a few thoughts on protest by Trevor Plumbly

I’m musing. (I love that word! It makes me sound creative). I’m musing about protest. Lots of folk don’t like protest, it makes them uncomfortable, they prefer the illusion of ‘seeing the big picture’, but others put their dignity and safety on the line in open displays of defiance. During my school years, protest of any sort was a punishable offence, but in my teens I did dabble with the anti-brigade, by joining the ‘Ban the Bomb’ movement and getting arrested for my trouble. Other than that, it was fairly comfortable: the… Read More

The best medicine by Trevor Plumbly

It might be an age thing, but I reckon it’s getting a bit harder to laugh things off these days. Politicians used to be OK for a bit of a giggle, but now, despite their comic instability, there’s something scary about them. There’s little point adding to, or rehashing, any of the ridicule that’s been heaped on Trump and Johnson; it might provide us with a bit of spiteful comfort, but that’s about it. Once elected, they become satire-proof. Until quite recently, political leaders led by example; these days, it seems, integrity… Read More

Kindness by Angela Caldin

I had a video call the other day with my family in Auckland. My youngest granddaughter ran towards the camera in a stripy nightie with the words be kind in white lettering on the front. Nice, I thought, better than so many of the annoying slogans on girls’ clothes such as: little miss attitude, cool kid alert, girls rule, princess, j’adore and totally in love with today. Then I thought about the sort of slogans we see on boys’ t-shirts such as: here comes trouble; young, wild and free, roarsome dude and… Read More