You can bank on it! By Trevor Plumbly

Hard cash I wonder where the guy got his inspiration when he announced that ‘money was the root of all evil’? Maybe he’d been mugged or something. Lack of the stuff certainly clouded my childhood: having a few bob was the birth-right of the upper and middle classes, along with decent housing, education, clothing and food, whilst lack of it sentenced the rest of us poor sods to struggle. Growing up like that makes it hard not to be cynical about money; like religion and democracy it’s OK if it’s properly dealt… Read More

Beatniks, bombs and bollocks by Trevor Plumbly

Peace and love In the 60s, the British public weren’t ready for hippies. We had long hair, moustaches that struggled to impress and a creative scruffiness guaranteed to make mothers cringe. We were the new aliens; others tore themselves to pieces chasing the dictated norm, but we dwelt on a higher plane. We knew full well where the ills of the world lay, but didn’t achieve much in the way of curing them. We marched, of course, clutching signs saying, “Ban The Bomb!”, or the more creative, “Fighting For Peace Is Like… 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

New brooms, same old dust by Trevor Plumbly

Political bigamy Fine words are always spoken prior to elections. That’s certainly no different down here in NZ, nor is what follows. Stentorian rhetoric gets watered down by the appeasement that comes with the MMP system.* The leader needs to ‘consult’ with two other leaders before actually ‘leading’. It’s ironic that a system touting broader representation looks like poisoning itself with its own prescription. Courtship At the ballot box, we were swept up in a flurry of expectation; our new prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, was all we’d been dreaming of: young, idealistic… Read More

Send in the clowns by Trevor Plumbly

I’m beginning to wonder if the popular concept of progress is entirely beneficial to the human race. Sometimes it seems that the more enlightened we become, the more patent stupidity creeps in. The least harmful, but possibly the most ludicrous, is the current fad for verbal gender neutrality. Today I heard a half hour radio discussion involving four adults, debating whether or not certain words are acceptable to those who wish to ram the more idiotic facets of gender identity down our throats. Somewhat naively, I’ve always held the theory that those… Read More