In honour of Harry Secombe’s birthday, The Goon Show:
It’s Peter Sellers’ birthday.
Here he performs A Hard Day’s Night:
Last month’s referendum cost around $9 million dollars.
Running one at the same time as a general election would cost less than one held in isolation but whatever the cost, logic suggets two would be twice as expensive as one.
Given that, do we need two referenda on whether or not we want to retain MMP?
I don’t see any point in asking us if we want a change unless we know what the alternatives are, and if we know the alternatives why not let us vote for or against them in a single referendum?
This is a contender for sentence of the day. But it’s two sentences because while it’s the second which is worthy of note, it needs the first for context.
Smoking is not good for one’s personal health, that’s for sure, but journalistic credulity isn’t much chop, either. Martin Johnston really seems to have fallen victim — cough, cough! — to breathing in too much second-hand smug.
From David Cohen at the NBR.
Treasury is suggesting that the recession is over.
If it is we’ve wasted it.
The government has used the recession to start cutting back its expenditure and examine potential changes to its income.
But it’s only a start.
New Zealand was in recession before the rest of the world in spite of record payments for dairy products which play a very significant role in our economy.
I don’t think the fundamental problems which led to that early start to the recession have been fully addressed yet.
Unless they are our economic growth will never reach its full potential.
Until that happens we won’t be able to afford the first world lifestyle – including health, education and other social services – to which we aspire.
Southern European attitudes to drinking have always been held up as sensible ones we should emulate.
“The French/Spanish/Italian people drink more than we do but you don’t see them binge drinking,” we say.
But now you do.
In Spain and Italy locals told us that young people have learnt from other cultures. They no longer sip sensibly on wine over long, leisurely meals. They’re throwing back spirits and RTDs and drinking to get drunk.
As their drinking has deteriorated so has their behaviour. Drunken violence, property damage and voiding of stomach contents from one or more orifices in public places have all increased.
Just like here.
We can change the age at which people can purchase alcohol, we can change the number of outlets selling alcohol and the hours they are permitted to do it. But unless and until we change the attitude to drinking we won’t solve the problems of alcohol abuse.
Whether it’s police drinking in their own bars or students partying in the streets, it’s not the age nor the hours that is the real problem, it’s the attitude and changing that takes time.
It’s no longer legal to smoke in enclosed public places in many countries and it’s no longer regarded as a mature or glamorous thing to do.
The attitude to smoking has changed but more than 30 years after the anti-smoking message began, people are still taking it up. It’s going to take even longer to change the attitude to alcohol and the behaviour which goes with drinking to excess.