Language and bullying by Susan Grimsdell

Pattern of bullying Today it was revealed that along with two mates, one of our National MPs, Sam Uffindell, at the age of 16, violently assaulted a 13-year-old boy at night in a dorm at a prestigious boarding school.  He now describes that event as “stupid” and “dumb”.   I wonder what words the parents of the victim would choose to describe the event.  If my son had told me he had been beaten by three older boys allegedly using wooden bedlegs, I would not say “Well, they were being dumb and stupid”. … Read More

No laughing matter by Trevor Plumbly

Hubble bubble By general admission mainstream news is a bit of a witches’ brew of late. Despite wearing my ‘Pennies from Heaven’ (PFH) raincoat, I’m finding it hard to avoid dampening spirits. Sight loss (mercifully) killed off the newspapers as a source while the radio seems pre-set to dollop out hourly doses of depression. Sure, there’s heaps of the bad stuff out there that all of us need to be made aware of, but despite the relative insulation of life down here in NZ, the willingness of half-baked hacks to trumpet the… Read More

National Theatre review by Trevor Plumbly

The Christmas Special It’s the variety show and the gang’s all here: songsters, illusionists and comedians. We’ve got a political theme this year and it’s pretty high octane stuff for a small country. Donald and Boris may well have hoofed it in the world arena, but as the bard said ‘All the world’s a stage’, and remote as we are, we can still turn on a show. We don’t do clash of the Titans anymore, we use a casting system called MMP, a lot more suited to sub plots and insider trading…. Read More