Happy birthday Sandie Shaw – 63 today.
Johnny Cash would have been 78 today.
Happy birthday Fats Domino – 82 today.
A reading often used at wedding includes the line: the little things are the big things.
That is at least as applicable to politics as marriage.
A pair of underpants played a major role in Tuku Morgan’s undoing and a couple of bottles of wine led Phil Heatley to resign.
Yet Phillip Field hung on for months in the face of charges which eventually led to his conviction for corruption and Winston Peters clung on to the baubles of power with major questions over his behaviour and trustworthiness.
One reason that there’s been swifter action over something relatively trivial is that this is a different person and this is a different administration with different standards.
But why do little things become big things?
Perhaps because everyone can relate to little things, our own lives are full of them.
That’s one of the reasons the media focuses on what might seem to be very minor matters while giving at best cursory attention to major ones.
But little things are silly things. While never condoning major wrong doing we might understand how someone thought a big gain was worth the risk, but why bother for something trivial?
I’m pleased the Auditor General has been asked to examine all the spending.
I hope that regardless of what he finds she is able to make recommendations which ensure that misuse of credit cards, by ministers, their staff or anyone else in the public service is picked up immediately if it happens and repayment demanded.
It’s no use having rules if the people charged with applying them don’t do so without fear or favour.
Ministers should know the rules and keep them. But the system should provide a backstop should they get something wrong.
The ODT’s headline tells a classic supply and demand story: Sheep shortage underpins demand.
You don’t have to be an economist to know that when demand exceeds supply the price rises and people who frequent stock sales say stock agents and farmers are paying silly prices for sheep.
There are several reasons for this.
Sheep numbers plummeted over the last few years because of dairy conversions and drought.
There is an over capacityof killing space in the meat industry.
Last season’s milk price fall led dairy farmers to cut costs so some farms which were growing supplements or providing grazing for dairying are looking for sheep to eat their excess feed.
All of that’s led to an increase in demand which has led to an increase in price for store stock which isn’t necessarily related to the value of the meat or wool on international markets.
On February 26:
364 Valentinian I was proclaimed Roman Emperor.
1361 Wenceslaus, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia, was born.
1564 Christopher Marlowe, English dramatist, was born.
1794 Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen burnt down.
1802 Victor Hugo, French writer, was born.
1815 Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from Elba.
1829 – Levi Strauss, German-born clothing designer, was born.
1844 Two Wellington lawyers, William Brewer and H. Ross, undertook a duel as the result of a quarrel that had arisen from a case in the Wellington County Court. When the two men faced off in Sydney Street, Brewer fired into the air but ‘received Mr. Ross’ ball in the groin’. He died a few days later.
1848 The second French Republic was proclaimed.
1852 John Harvey Kellogg, American surgeon, advocate of dietary reform, was born.
1861 Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya, Russian revolutionary, Lenin’s wife, was born.
1866 Herbert Henry Dow, American chemical industrialist, was born.
1870 In New York City, a demonstration of the first pneumatic subway opened to the public.
1885 The Berlin Act, which resulted from the Berlin Conference regulating European colonization and trade in Africa, was signed.
1909 Fanny Cradock, English food writer and broadcaster, was born.
1914 Robert Alda, American actor, was born.
1916 Jackie Gleason, American actor, writer, composer, and comedian, was born.
1919 An act of the U.S. Congress established most of the Grand Canyon as the Grand Canyon National Park.
1928 Fats Domino, American musician, was born.
1928 Ariel Sharon, Israeli Prime Minister, was born.
1929 The Grand Teton National Park was created.
1932 Johnny Cash, American singer, was born.
1935 The Luftwaffe was re-formed.
1947 Sandie Shaw, English singer, was born.
1949 Elizabeth George, American novelist, was born.
1950 Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, was born.
1952 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that his nation had an atomic bomb.
1954 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Turkey, was born.
1954 Ernst August, Prince of Hanover, heir to the deposed Kingdom of Hanover and a husband of Princess Caroline of Monaco., was born.
1958 Susan J. Helms, Astronaut, was born.
1972 The Buffalo Creek Flood caused by a burst dam killed 125 in West Virginia.
1987 Iran-Contra affair: The Tower Commission rebuked President Ronald Reagan for not controlling his national security staff.
1990 The Sandinistas were defeated in Nicaraguan elections.
1991 Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein announced the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait.
1993 World Trade Center bombing: A truck bomb parked below the North Tower of the World Trade Center exploded, killing 6 and injuring more than a thousand.
1995 The United Kingdom’s oldest investment banking institute, Barings Bank, collapsed after a securities broker, Nick Leeson, lost $1.4 billion by speculating on the Singapore International Monetary Exchange using futures contracts.
2000 Mount Hekla in Iceland erupts.
2001 The Taliban destroyed two giant statues of Buddha in Bamyan, Afghanistan.
2003 War in Darfur started.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.