Such are the ripples of lifelong hurt, it is unwise to start a conversation about suicide with people you don’t know very well. Nevertheless, the subject is bursting to be talked about.
It was post election, and a cold coming we had of it, for the First Past The Post people trumpeted 'Moral Majority'. They hung around Parliament waiting for any sign of Winnie - or any polly. When Winston stepped mute into their lights, they chanted about deadlines, though they meant instability if he turned Left. And for them it was hard not knowing whether this was birth or death.
It’s over… sort of. Yet something seems missing, something so boring it wouldn’t make it to the debates about the pressing issues of homeless, inequality and the other depressing social indicators.
It’s not so much a policy as a theory which has guided this and other Government’s policy since the Reagan-Thatcher years. A time so brainless it ran on the empty slogan of ‘there is no alternative’.
Man starts to shave. Sees his reading glasses on the basin shelf. Wonders why. Wife tells him breakfast is getting cold. Hurries to the table. Spoons down porridge. She gives him a peck on the cheek (when did they stop kissing the way they used to? ) and rushes off to work the way he once did.
I woke up to a gloomy, wet weekend morning in Auckland. It had been a busier than usual week when extra attention and output was required. Just as I was mulling that I needed to chill this day before attending to the many ‘must do’s’, I stumbled on this piece.
From Max Cryer’s CURIOUS English words and phrases – the truth behind the expressions we use:
(Out for a) duck
Cricket usually has a visual scoreboard and if a player leaves the field having made no runs, a great big zero stands next to his or her name on the scoreboard. A practice arose many years ago of referring to this zero – because of its shape- as a duck’s egg, and this was shortened to just a duck. So if he or she was out for a duck, it means there was no score.
The tail feathers of this remarkable bird, black with a white tip and worn by high-born Maori, were only one of several reasons for its extinction. The feathers were stored in wakahuia, carved wooden boxes which are among the finest traditional Maori carvings. The female huia had a long curved beak for probing deeply in rotten logs for insects, the male had a differently, shaped short beak. Thus a pair of birds could feed over the same ground, taking food from different places.
I could write a whole catalogue of clichés to describe the beauty of Omapere and the impact it has had on my life. But, let’s just start with a couple – it’s a beautiful jewel on the Hokianga Harbour, which has totally taken my heart.
“Oma-where, Oma-what. Where the hell is this Omapere?” I remember saying.
I can’t remember when I wrote the following paragraph about using containers in prisons to mop up overcrowding:
“My response to the use of containers to imprison convicted criminals was to ask myself the following questions: Are the containers secure? Will they mop up overcrowding? By prison standards of accommodation, are these containers humane? The answer is yes in all cases.”
“If I am in the privileged position of being Prime Minister, my expectation is that politics will be based around ideas and policy” – Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report.
What’s this? Ideas defrosted from the ice of ideology? Policy untrammelled by The Market, that blinker on political imaginings.
So here’s an idea: