In the world of politics it cannot be denied, he is a breath of fresh air. What he says in public may be nonsense, but I wish some of our politicians would say what they really think occasionally, instead of being afraid of the media response.
A baker refused, very politely apparently, to provide a wedding cake to a gay couple because he was against same sex marriage.
I am moved to comment on this after listening to aghast responses on the topic from panellists on Radio New Zealand: ‘Stupid.’ and ‘Homophobic.’ And ‘It’s the same as refusing to serve a coloured person in a cafe.’ Is it?
Is it a house? Only just by the look of it. Are those really gates? Are they ever! Contributor Chris Horan snapped the Spanish hacienda of sorts when he stayed there, discovering that it would be unthinkable in the country to put a house on the market without such daunting security. He found it a an accepted characteristic of many Spanish homes and apartments in Calypso.
‘What a way to live!’ he wrote.
Bully wanted: Preferably a person who has a superior grasp of the basic skills and also the personality to communicate in a way that ensures success. The ability to instil fear of failure, to intimidate, to ridicule poor effort, to generate toughness and to inspire by constantly demanding high standards.
Oh for inspiration, for vision, for boldness and for a political party that has not only counted the pennies but has done the preparation and is ready to fly once it has the power. The steady-as-she-goes budget was hardly inspiring, it could have been devised by Bill English.
Although a surprising number of media sports writers appear to be wilfully ignorant, the rest of us know that some results are predictable. In the rugby world cup there are only eight teams who have a chance of winning. It’s not hard to work out why, they are much better than the rest. That Japan beat South Africa in the last world cup was the exception that proves the rule. But it also reinforces our belief that miracles can happen.
Crass materialism leapt brazenly out of the closet in New Zealand the 80s. Money-making was elevated to high social status beyond public service. An American import, the dominance of the mighty dollar had already taken root in other countries. Business finally reached the pinnacle of prestige. Business books proliferated: business management, business leadership, how to succeed in business and, of course, business-speak.
Laurel Hubbard, the transgender weightlifter who will represent New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games, appears to be determined to compete yet thoughtful about the concerns expressed by her detractors. She asks them to ‘look at the bigger picture,’ yet seems unsure if the current laws on transgender participation will remain or evolve, perhaps more in line with the perceptions of athletes who look upon her participation as cheating.