Flying again by Susan Grimsdell

Leadership When Covid first hit in NZ, our Prime Minister took a leadership role right away.  “Stay home,” she said, and explained why.  We believed the science and we believed her and it seems it’s a good thing we did because our death rate was miniscule.  The key to us all complying was her strong leadership.   She didn’t say “We’d appreciate it if you stayed home as much as possible.”  She said loud and clear, “Stay Home!” World wars bring out that kind of leadership – people all over Europe put up… Read More

After the gold rush by Trevor Plumbly

‘Helpless, helpless’ (Neil Young) Neil was scarcely boy-next-door material; he looked like someone had abandoned him in a doorway: overlong hair and a face that charity would describe as ‘lived in’. But the guy could write! He was the high priest of the folk/druggie followers (see ‘The needle and the damage done’). Vocally he wasn’t much, but then neither were the others; the message was more important than the melody. They were heady times with newly discovered drugs, rights, sexual freedom and social wrongs to identify with, from racial discrimination to nuclear… Read More

NZ farmers’ protest by Susan Grimsdell

Taking to the streets Hundreds of farmers recently took to the streets in their expensive tractors.  The vehicles are big bullying things, and that makes me think the drivers are too.  Sitting way up high, big wheels, the whole rig shouting – “I’m big and powerful and rich so get out of my way.” As far as I could make out, that was the essence of their protest – “This government is telling me what to do.  I won’t have it.  It’s my land, and I’ll say what happens to it.”  Farmers… Read More

Shots from the bunker by Trevor Plumbly

All together now! One of the blokes on the radio the other day was banging on about community spirit and it struck a bit of a nerve. So I’ve taken to sitting on the porch and it’s surprising how many passers-by are happy to chat. One was a young guy from up the road who’s really into this together stuff. He urged us to stand at the gate at 7-00pm to applaud our front line workers. This evoked tales of the London blitz in WW2: the camaraderie, British Bulldogs and all that… Read More

Vegan saving the world by Susan Grimsdell

We’re hearing every day that we need to stop eating meat as one important step towards preventing catastrophic climate change. But even as the people who promote vegan diets speak up, rainforest is being cleared at a rate equivalent to the area of a million soccer fields every year or nearly 2,000 hectares every single day, day after day, and it’s not stopping any time soon. Beefeaters rule The trees are being cut down to clear the land so that crops can be planted to feed cattle, so that we can kill… Read More