Category archive: Politics

M’aidez or Mayday?

Max

From Max Cryer‘s  book ‘Is It True?’

The distress call ‘mayday’ is English for the French term m’aidez.

 Using the word ‘mayday’ dates from 1923, when a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport was asked to think of an easily understood  word which could indicate distress.

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Tax Haven? What – us?

Watching the Government defend the indefensible is often more comedy than drama. Revenue Minister Michael Woodhouse tells Newshub that New Zealand has ‘a sound tax system on par with the rest of the world’; Health Minister  Jonathan Coleman tastes woeful hospital fare at Dunedin hospital after a blizzard  of complaints  about its quality but only  after barring media….  So for all we know, the good doctor might well have dined on caviar.

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False Prophets

Donald_Trump_August_19,_2015_(cropped)

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.

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March miscellany

About to visit Auckland? Read on…

If you’re thinking about visiting Auckland anytime soon, think again. The place has been overrun by the Hi-Viz Brigade, men and women whose weapon of choice is the orange road cone. These little pointy heads narrow lanes everywhere, block them in some cases. They choke traffic just about everywhere you drive in central Auckland.

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Three free years…

students in lecture roomWhat 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.

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Rangi Walker – visionary

Rangi WalkerIn the protest decade of the 60s and 1970s, my reporting beat covered Auckland University where, being the Sixties, full-time students were also part-time protesters.

Their activism embraced everything from feminism and environmental issues to the most riveting of the time – the growing protests against the Vietnam War and Apartheid.

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‘Suffragettes’ and votes for women…

220px-Annie_Kenney_and_Christabel_Pankhurst

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.

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Fixing Waitangi

We can talk all we like about the founding of the nation and the bi-cultural partnership and the rest but all most people want from Waitangi day is a holiday, preferably sans politics. Most of us will never get to Waitangi anyway. I mean, it’s not Mecca is it?

I’m sure the sight of massed wakas and all the other cultural activities are wonderful to behold but the truth is, most people think Waitangi is a pain, at least the TV version, and that’s all we will ever see.

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