Posted by BE on April 26th, 2009
In his column in today’s Sunday Herald Matt McCarten accuses Labour Leader Phil Goff and the Labour Party hierarchy of ‘a stunning display of political cowardice’ for having ‘kneecapped’ list MP Phil Twyford in his bid to be selected as Labour candidate in the Mt Albert by-election.
McCarten’s argument is that Labour bosses were so fearful of a return to Parliament by Judith Tizard that they persuaded Twyford to fall on his sword, possibly with the promise of the Auckland Central nomination in 2011. With the departure of Helen Clark, I no longer have the inside gen on the Labour Party, but McCarten’s thesis at least sounds plausible. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by JC on April 25th, 2009
On Anzac Day my parents used to take me to dawn parade. It was dark, it was cold and it was eerie. I watched my father, medals on his chest, standing rigidly to attention, and saw him as a stranger. Too young to understand the symbolism, I still shivered at the sound of the Last Post.
In my teenage years they left me in bed, my wails and protests not worth the effort, not worth marring a morning that was always special for my father. I think it was the only day of the year apart from Christmas that he ever took a drink. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by BE on April 23rd, 2009
Watch almost any television news bulletin and you’ll hear someone praying for something to happen, or not happen. The background to their prayers is normally a real or potential tragedy of some sort.
Individuals pray for themselves or those close to them to be cured of life-threatening illnesses. The relatives of people who have gone missing pray for them to be found and returned home safely. Families pray that the names of loved ones will not appear on the lists of those killed in plane crashes. Churchgoers pray for the victims of natural disasters. World leaders pray for peace. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by BE on April 21st, 2009
[Warning! Violence and Obscene Language!]
Judy and I were taking our regular constitutional around Herne Bay last Saturday when our ears were assaulted by what had to be a fleet of SAS attack helicopters landing on the normally tranquil Marine Parade. There could be no other explanation for the impenetrable wall of sound that threatened to knock us off our feet.
‘Maybe we should go back,’ I said.
‘No,’ said Judy, ever the brave one, ‘This could be serious. There could be casualties.’ Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by JC on April 15th, 2009
I spend most of Q+A with my eyes closed. It’s not that the people are exceptionally ugly, or pull hideous faces, or have annoying tics. It’s just that the moving lines on the background drive me nuts. I can’t concentrate on what anyone is saying; my eyes are riveted on those hypnotic orange stripes. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by BE on April 14th, 2009
Here’s the thing I find difficult to understand – that any civilised person should be so upset by the idea of it being against the law to hit children that they would go to the trouble of organising a petition to parliament seeking a referendum on the issue, with the express aim of having that law overturned. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by BE on April 8th, 2009
If I were a retailer, I’d be pretty hacked off that in the middle of a recession, with punters keeping their hands firmly in their pockets, I was about to lose two days earnings. And all because a couple of thousand years ago a Jewish preacher and revolutionary was executed in Judea and, according to his supporters, rose from the dead two days later.
Yes, it’s the annual Good Friday, Easter Sunday shutdown for shopkeepers who don’t want to be turned into criminals for making a living. Under the Shop Trading Act 2008, both days are designated ‘restricted trading days’. Unless a shop is specifically exempted, it’s an offence to open on these days, and law-breakers are liable to a $1,000 fine. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by BE on April 7th, 2009
Is Paul Henry really an obnoxious prat or is this just an act to keep him in the papers? If it’s the latter, then he’s succeeding admirably. There is no better way to raise your profile than to polarise your audience. In general, the most successful broadcasters – Judy Bailey being the glorious exception – have been simultaneously loved and loathed.
It’s the same for newspaper columnists. People with considered views, who can see both sides of an issue, need not apply. A columnist’s success is judged by the number of irate letters his or her editor receives. Essential characteristics – one-eyed, dogmatic, over-the-top, contemptuous of other views. Best current New Zealand examples – Michael Laws and Garth George. Read the rest of this entry »