There must be a special school for budding politicians, out of sight in the Wairarapa hills, where Party affiliation is no bar to entrance. All that is required is determination, dedication, and the ability to stand in front of a mirror for hours every day practicing the specialised language and robotic delivery of political Esperanto.
Wit – the first casualty of political discourse
Contributor Chris Horan put his finger on the dreary state of political oratory in this country now that cameras and mikes are everywhere. The last memorable orator was David Lange – trouble is, his comedy masked the dismantling of a Kiwi society many of us loved.
If I had my way on this autumn day, I’d be standing with my back to the sea, near Seddon in Marlborough, amidst grape vines with their lime green and gold lines. And I’d be looking out over gentle tanned hills, up to a great hunk of a mountain streaked with snow.
Instead, I’ve got to make do with the cover of a book.
Climate change, the future of work and bog standard racism should be enough to be getting on with. But no, a political party for religious fundamentalists is about to torment us by adding its peculiar ecclesiastical code of conduct to the various tribes in parliament.
Never mind the Pin Oak leaves swirling in a sudden backyard leafstorm – those russet layers of red and gold are the stuff of deferred gratification: raking them in the backyard, in the pale autumn sunlight. And forget pulling out the spent summer crops, trimming trees and the other gardening chores.
Most can be ticked off as done and dusted but the one I’ve put off longer than usual because it’s been such a gloriously golden farewell to summer, is cutting back our grapevine.
Four years ago my life was tipped upside down after making a rash phone call to my friend, Barry Copeland. We had just attended a small protest on Queens Wharf where we learned of Ports of Auckland’s 90 m expansion plans to Bledisloe Wharf. When I saw the extent of the port’s proposals, it touched a nerve. That evening I called my architect friend and said: “Barry we’ve got to do something about this”.
There’s not much to look at from a barber’s chair. On my last visit a notice at the bottom of the mirror caught my attention: “Like us on Facebook and follow your barber on Instagram.” since the barber was standing behind me with shears in his hand I was afraid to ask if it was a joke. Perhaps it’s just in Wanaka where this kind of strange behaviour can be found? Not that I’m paranoid, but I’ve noticed that most of the books in Wanaka library are written by women – well, maybe I am paranoid, but I can read. So why is every book a world-wide best seller?
Back in the 1950s and sixties homosexuals were ridiculed and persecuted. Now, people who dare to criticise homosexual lifestyles are ridiculed and persecuted.
It’s time we got over our zealous mission to protect the sensibilities of homosexuals. The battles for homosexual acceptance were waged decades ago and by the end of last century the war was won. However, not everyone was won over and nor will they ever be.
(Anzac Day has passed but in what seems like a season of remembrance, John Anderson recalls this little known attack – for Kiwis at least – on the seaport town of Hartlepool and the Royal Navy).
December dawns differ from June dawns on the North Sea. In the depths of the dark, dreary December days, the same North Sea grey is flecked with wind whipped white waves. Moreover there is a mucky mist to the day’s dawn. On land the dawns are dull and dank, unbearable perhaps if not for the Christmas illuminations near the end of the month.