Earning a Crust by Trevor Plumbly

Dollars and Sense? As the old Jewish saying goes, ‘There’s no profit in looking in another man’s pocket.’ By and large, I’ve done my best in life to avoid doing that, but a newspaper article the other day forced a bit of a rethink. A CEO of one of our leading banks is now being paid over $4 million a year; stick a few perks in the mix and you’d probably end up nearer the $5 million mark. Big salaries are an accepted part of American corporate life; what I’m asking is,… Read More

Blaming the Victim by Angela Caldin

Some societies and cultures view a rape victim as to blame for what has happened to her. She is seen as damaged and may suffer isolation, be disowned by friends and family, be severely punished or even be killed. When this happens, we are shocked and call such behaviour barbaric. But the same phenomenon of the shifting of blame has now been revealed to have happened here on a big scale. One of the many horrifying things to come out of the report on the grooming of young girls by predominantly Asian… Read More

A Sporting Chance by Trevor Plumbly

A Nation Obsessed by Sport International image is pretty important to most countries, especially small ones, and New Zealand is certainly no different in its anxiety to scrub up for foreign approval. Superficially, we shine up pretty well: ‘Godzone’ and all that, a clean, green land occupied by smiling, tattooed Maoris, All Black rugby players and all manner of sportspeople gung-ho to show the world what a tiny country can achieve on the world stage. Medals and titles won are usually accompanied by an ‘against all odds’ reference to our somewhat sparse… Read More

Christmas at the City Mission by Angela Caldin

Auckland City Mission on National News             Who would have believed it possible? Who would have thought the Auckland City Mission would make the top item on the national news on Friday? It’s a sad fact that the reason it achieved this dubious honour was the long lines of hundreds of people queuing up outside to get food parcels and presents for their children from the Mission. People queued from early morning to late afternoon to be assessed in order to get basic food items and donated presents suitable for each child’s age… Read More

Fare Well on Welfare by Trevor Plumbly

Welfare State Systems – The Original Concept We don’t send young kids up chimneys anymore; the poorhouses are all gone along with the lunatic asylums and, to a large extent, hunger and extreme poverty have been eliminated. For all that progress, we owe an awful lot to the architects of the welfare state system, first put into practice in the UK and Germany, then copied in many other countries. Like Christianity and Communism, state welfare in its pure form made perfect sense, in both political and humanitarian terms. Improve the lot of… Read More