Within living memory there were many men and woman who kept secret the ‘shameful’ fact of growing up in an orphanage or similar homes for children who could not, for various reasons, be cared for by parents or extended family. Whatever the reason for their exclusion from society, the inevitable implication was that they were unwanted, by family and community.
Posts by Chris Horan
While it was a shocking incident for those involved, for us, television viewers from afar, the Orlando massacre was not in the least surprising. Not surprising either that American politicians should exploit the tragedy even before victim’s families were informed of their loss.
I’ve always struggled to understand economics, which means I have a bit of cheek embarking on a view of the economics of the western world. Still, in my possibly naive view there are simple rules. Take Alzheimers for instance. By taking daily exercise, eating healthy food and maintaining mental and social stimulation, there is a good chance of avoiding Alzheimers. Similar rules apply for avoiding type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and probably many other diseases that swoop in when the rules are ignored.
Balham, London, 1961. I was twenty and my fiancé eighteen when we decided to get married. London was my fiancé’s home town. Being young and in love we discounted obstacles, the first being my girlfriend’s mother, who was not impressed by the idea. Not only was I from a northern tribe with a Liverpool accent, I was a labourer. We never did become pals but we learned to tolerate each other.
This week CYF social workers will be muttering, ‘another bloody review.’ But they’ll take it in their stride because new directions have become so characteristic of the department that old timers don’t even count them anymore. (I sometimes wonder if public service departments with a high political content would be better off if run by a version of Pharmac).
My brother, an Australian citizen, was once a strong trade unionist and Labour supporter.
When he retired he maintained his interest in politics and trade unions. In earlier days on the building sites he worked on, he rubbed shoulders with some of the young men who would later lead his union and other unions and eventually become public figures.
I met a group of fellow cycling tourists at Lake Ohau Lodge, a stopover between Twizel and Omarama on the Alps to Ocean bike trail. One of them wore an exasperated frown when she said, “Why do New Zealanders not tell the truth about the standard of the trail? What are they afraid of?” I was taken aback, as much by the irony as the question.
What a can of worms Labour has upended with its policy on tertiary education. It promises to turn the clock back to the conditions most of our current politicians enjoyed when they were students; a free university education.
But how will the thousands of student with huge debts feel about this proposed policy? Bitter, is my guess, and with just cause. On the other hand the parents of young, achieving teenagers will be relieved, possibly to the point of considering changing their vote at the next election.
Impossible to get it all right, of course, but films based on historical incidents and political movements can’t help being superficial. I have not seen Suffragettes but from reports I have heard and read this film is no exception. At least it focuses on a fictional working class women instead of perpetuating the idea that the Pankhursts carrying the entire burden.