Hi folks.

Just a note to say  that this issue  has been beset by - of all things - a cuppa. (Teach  us not to mix a laptop with sugared tea! ) It's  now on its last legs  in a sweetened  end ,  so  RIP  ThinkPad.  Back to normal  next month  - we hope!)

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Who would be National’s leader when an election is scheduled for next month? Who would be that leader for the years ahead? National has chosen Judith Collins, and let’s just for a moment dismiss the Trumpian nickname ‘Crusher’ Collins. Nicknames like that tend to backfire when your opponent is PM Jacinda Ardern.

Just this month, adding to Arden’s already formidable reputation, the latest accolade came from Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stigler, who rated New Zealand’s response to the pandemic as the world’s best. And in the same month, the UK Prospect magazine listed her as second in a list of world thinkers. Collins is a battler. National needs that. Ardern doesn’t.

Great auditions

For some years Chris travelled the country looking for new talent to make their debut on Television. New Zealand has a history of talent quests at the beach over summer or in local halls up and down the country raising funds for all sorts of projects. Radio and television had early versions called “Have a Shot” often compered by John Maybury.  But he remembers a few auditions which returned huge rewards.  

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Referendum

There are so many good referendum arguments for and against the availability of cannabis and ‘end of life choice’ that picking the bones out of them and voting will take a little longer than ticking a box.

In both cases I tend to the liberalisation argument; one from a considered point of view, the other more emotive than intellectual.

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Journalism in crisis

Sometimes when you begin the belated business of de-cluttering, you find something precious. Much of the other files contained the trite and trivial along with boring ministerial statements and these were binned for they were no longer relevant.

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Miscellany – September

How the spread of Covid 19 is based on two things.

  1. How dense the population is.
  2. How dense the population is.

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Here’s the best summary of that self-styled ‘stable genius’ – President Trump. It comes from Ed Yong, staff writer covering science for that great and enduring magazine The Atlantic.  It’s titled How the Pandemic Defeated America and it’s a searing description of Trump as he   wrote off the Corona virus.

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Kiwiosities: Spanish names

Excerpts from Kiwiosities, a book by Gordon Ell on the traditions and folklore of New Zealand.

Spanish names

In Doubtful Sound, Fiordland, a number of Spanish place names recall the visit of the  explorer Malaspina, more than 200 years ago.

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Who said that first? – Namby Pamby

During the 18th century, Ambrose Phillips was a don of St Johns  College, Cambridge, and in addition gained some recognition as a poet. But his poetic style and political ambitions incurred the wrath of musician and poet Henry Carey (who wrote ‘Sally in our Alley’) and was possibly the first person to sing ‘God Save the King.’

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Conformity tokens

Being considerate and friendly to people who serve us, and to strangers, taking our turn, being honest in our relationships; these are but the beginning of a long list of behaviours that we value in our communities. There’s nothing wrong with conformity, until it becomes inhibiting.

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RIP Local news

We miss our weekly rag. Just when it seemed to be doing the job of our daily papers (there’s only the NZ Herald now) ours, like other print media died.

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