There must be a special school for budding politicians, out of sight in the Wairarapa hills, where Party affiliation is no bar to entrance. All that is required is determination, dedication, and the ability to stand in front of a mirror for hours every day practicing the specialised language and robotic delivery of political Esperanto.
Wit – the first casualty of political discourse
Contributor Chris Horan put his finger on the dreary state of political oratory in this country now that cameras and mikes are everywhere. The last memorable orator was David Lange – trouble is, his comedy masked the dismantling of a Kiwi society many of us loved.
If I had my way on this autumn day, I’d be standing with my back to the sea, near Seddon in Marlborough, amidst grape vines with their lime green and gold lines. And I’d be looking out over gentle tanned hills, up to a great hunk of a mountain streaked with snow.
Instead, I’ve got to make do with the cover of a book.
Climate change, the future of work and bog standard racism should be enough to be getting on with. But no, a political party for religious fundamentalists is about to torment us by adding its peculiar ecclesiastical code of conduct to the various tribes in parliament.
Never mind the Pin Oak leaves swirling in a sudden backyard leafstorm – those russet layers of red and gold are the stuff of deferred gratification: raking them in the backyard, in the pale autumn sunlight. And forget pulling out the spent summer crops, trimming trees and the other gardening chores.
Most can be ticked off as done and dusted but the one I’ve put off longer than usual because it’s been such a gloriously golden farewell to summer, is cutting back our grapevine.
If they have faith in an old superstition, men who are concerned about their sexual vigour should eat a generous amount of rabbit kidneys. Rabbits are known to be very procreative, but why their kidneys were regarded as the seat of their rampant passions has never been explained. (Nor is there any suggestion that another part of the male rabbit might provide a more logical encouragement).
Named for the political phenomenon of the Maori King movement. In the late 1850s, several Maori tribes in the central North Island associated themselves under an elected king and parliament to oppose the British settlers who wanted to buy their land. When British and colonial troops responded to their resistance, tribes loyal to the king fought defensive battles against the British, withdrawing up the valleys of the Waikato and Waipa Rivers.