Hi folks.

Just a note to say  that this issue  has been beset by - of all things - a cuppa. (Teach  us not to mix a laptop with sugared tea! ) It's  now on its last legs  in a sweetened  end ,  so  RIP  ThinkPad.  Back to normal  next month  - we hope!)

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Who would be National’s leader when an election is scheduled for next month? Who would be that leader for the years ahead? National has chosen Judith Collins, and let’s just for a moment dismiss the Trumpian nickname ‘Crusher’ Collins. Nicknames like that tend to backfire when your opponent is PM Jacinda Ardern.

Just this month, adding to Arden’s already formidable reputation, the latest accolade came from Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stigler, who rated New Zealand’s response to the pandemic as the world’s best. And in the same month, the UK Prospect magazine listed her as second in a list of world thinkers. Collins is a battler. National needs that. Ardern doesn’t.

August miscellany

Deep in the heart of Mt Roskill and about 100 metres from the gates of Dominion Road School, where we Standard Two kids used to pick up milk crates for every class, the Labour Party held its campaign launch for local MP Michael Wood. Nothing unusual about that – the elections will be upon us in September.

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Kiwi kids and the Lockdown

How did Kiwi kids handle the lockdown?  Did they breathe a sigh of relief for not having to go to school? Did they take refuge in social media as whole  communities vanished from cities and country roads alike, in the most punishing of categories – Level 4?

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TVNZ’s 60th – sort of…

Ten years ago TVNZ ‘celebrated’ its first 50 years.

A Light Entertainment programme  was hosted by Jason Gunn in front of an Auckland rent-a-crowd  at  the the Casino Theatre, and long term Television staff were incensed at what they saw.

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No easy fix…  

What should an Oranga Tamariki social worker do (when uplifting a Maori child) to help the child’s parents feel better about themselves? I pose this question after reading the Commissioner for Children’s report on the practice of ‘uplifting’ children and failing to make the parents feel better about themselves.

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Counting Our Blessings

Here’s why we should all feel particularly glad to live in New Zealand at this time, and not only because Covid-19 has gone.

First, because we have no natural predators, and secondly the three rapacious leaders of America, China and Russia don’t think we are worth bothering with. And just in case they do happen to look our way, they will be confused by our headlines.

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Sins of the fathers…

Labour wants it, sort of. Aucklanders deserve it.  New Zealand First at this stage at least, has blocked it.  As a result, Auckland’s roads are quite simply,  constipated. It could be the increase in  car commuting  but also rapid population growth.

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Ageism and us…

I’m a baby-boomer  – and proud of it. So why is our generation, the first crop of boomers (born 1946), being  attacked for  simply reaching our age. After all we protested against Nuclear testing at Mururoa – and eventually won.

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Superstitions – Baldness

In spite of extensive advertising claims to the contrary, most men afflicted by baldness find the condition irreversible. An American superstition claims that baldness can be delayed by cutting the existing hair very short then singeing the cut ends. Another superstition claims that when a man starts to go bald, he can slow the process by stuffing cyclamen leaves up his nose.  And sprinkling parsley seeds on the head three times a year is also believed to help.

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Let Them Eat Cake

I don’t share the wishful thinking of those who believe the Corona pandemic will somehow lead us to a more enlightened way of thinking. As if the blight of dirty dairying, unsustainable tourism and no-tax housing investment is going to be less inviting after alert level one has come and gone.

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