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

There’s no business…by Trevor Plumbly

Showbiz! Pre-Internet, politics was generally left to trade unions and the privileged. Personally, I’ve always voted labour in the hope that someday the goodies of life might be shared around evenly, but age and cynicism reduced that to theatrical fantasy. All the world may well be a stage, but reality doesn’t sell tickets like razzle-dazzle. Down here in NZ, we mightn’t do the flashy Broadway stuff, but we can tap dance with the best of them when it comes to ‘who-done it?’ or, for those currently in power, ‘who should have done… Read More

Another fine mess by Susan Grimsdell

Does the resignation of the Leader of the NZ Opposition, Todd Muller, send a signal that the public has a  standard of decency, one that he failed to meet?                                                                                                                               … Read More

New Zealand on the map by Angela Caldin

There was a time when quite a lot of people were vague about where exactly New Zealand was. Somewhere down at the bottom of the world was a good guess; fairly near Australia perhaps. Sometimes maps of the world left New Zealand off altogether, as though its two islands just a bit bigger than the UK were too insignificant to bother about. Containing the virus But in the last few months New Zealand’s stock has risen dramatically, because under the leadership of prime minister Jacinda Ardern, Covid-19 has to all intents and… Read More

Staying alert by Angela Caldin

I’m living in New Zealand at the moment, but I’ve been following developments in the UK as well. On TV here, there’s an adaption of Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker prizewinning novel The Luminaries. I read this book when it first came out and couldn’t put it down. The only problem was that when I arrived breathless at the end, I had no idea what was going on among the huge cast of characters. It was good therefore to understand from the first episode on TV that two of the main protagonists, Anna… Read More