Gray Power by Trevor Plumbly

Aren’t colours funny? We’ve been indoctrinated with the concept that the principle ones are somehow linked to personality traits and moods; black, white, red, green, blue and yellow all used as descriptive indicators, but not gray. Gray is a sort of non-colour, along with being an escapist word ideally suited to those who’ve entered a process and emerged with nothing. ‘It’s a gray area’ is a phrase that might have been tailor-made for politicians, but lately it seems to have been hijacked by all manner of people to camouflage that they haven’t… Read More

The Scales of Justice Aren’t Working by Trevor Plumbly

What Constitutes Justice? In an interesting recent case here in NZ, a man found guilty of seriously injuring an elderly lady was sentenced to a period of home detention. This was subsequently increased on appeal to a two year prison term. Up sprang the Penal Reform proponents in one corner to face The Sensible Sentencing Trust in the other. Both sides have good articulate advocates who present their cases well without mawkish sentiment or a ‘throw away the key’ spiel, and that’s where the problems start for me, at least. I like… Read More

Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp by Angela Caldin

Have you ever wondered, as I have, why the infamous US detention camp is on the island of Cuba in the first place, given that the two nations are enemies? How did the place where the beautiful guantanamera of song originates come to be chosen as the site of the prison for the hundreds of so-called enemy combatants who were picked up by the US in the wake of 9/11? And have you ever wondered why so many of them are still there even though they have been cleared for release? Why… Read More

My Original Sin by Trevor Plumbly

As one enters the autumnal years, I reckon it’s not a bad idea to unburden oneself and own up to past transgressions. My reasoning for this is quite simple: if the ‘Man Upstairs’ decides he wants to see me ASAP, it’s best to announce one’s flaws in advance, so no-one gets surprised in the interview process. The problem is what sort of sins should one cough up to? We’ve all given the odd commandment a bit of a nudge now and then, so I thought the old ‘seven deadly’ jobs would make… Read More