Grant Tilly 1937 – 2012

11/04/2012

Grant Tilly, actor and one of the founders of Circa Theatre has died.

His career is outlined at NZ On Screen.

There’s an interview with him on Screentalk  here and excerpts from Middle Age Spread in which he starred are here.


Farming Show’s 18th birthday

11/04/2012

The Farming Show began broadcasting 18 years ago today.

It has come a long way from very modest beginnings on Hokanui Gold. It’s now broadcast nationwide on Newstalk ZB’s provincial stations and Radio Sport (except in Wellington and Auckland). It’s also streamed live and you can listen to anything you’ve missed from links on the website.

I interviewed the man behind the mic, Jamie Mackay, for ATS magazine last year. You can read the story of him and the show in from farm to Farming Show  on pages 14 & 15 of the magazine.


6/10

11/04/2012

6/10 in NZ History Online’s quiz.


Riots caused by rotten culture

11/04/2012

A government commission into the cause of last year’s riots in Britain has come to several conclusions, most of which don’t impress Theodore Dalrymple who says:

. . . It is true, however, that a combination of consumerism and utter economic dependence on the state is, like the lot of the policeman, not a happy one. The dependence is (admittedly at some remove) a corollary of the theory of entitlement, and a belief in one’s own entitlement is a belief as destructive of the human personality as it is possible to envisage. It precludes gratitude for what one has, encourages resentment over what one does not have, and discourages personal effort except to obtain things at other people’s expense. At the same time consumerism, by offering the mirage of personal fulfilment through the possession of trifles, lends an urgency to possession that it might not otherwise have, thus adding to or catalysing to the resentments of entitlement. I might add that in a world in which income is in essence pocket money (everything else having been taken care of, albeit at a level less than that desired) consumer choice becomes the only choice that is ever exercised, and thus the model for the whole of human life.

The rioters, then, were (and still are, of course) victims, not of injustice or poverty, but of bad ideas and a rotten culture that, alas, have become truly their own. And the first idea they ought to be disabused of is that there is someone who is either able or willing to come to their rescue.  


Who pays if land can only be leased to foreigners

11/04/2012

David Mahon, managing director of Mahon China Investment Management suggests long-term leases could be better than selling land to foreigners:

Perhaps there could be a trust that acquires agricultural land from anybody. So farmers can sell, in a real sense, get value for their land, and then foreign buyers coming in acquire land through that trust. And that trust could base sales on the fact that all land purchased in New Zealand was leasehold.

But who pays for the land when it’s sold to the trust?

Tim Watkin suggests the government could:

Obviously private farmers can keep doing their thing, but if and when they want to sell, the government could bid and, should it win, build up a land bank to be leased to offshore investors. We all own the land, but we still attract foreign capital.

What if the government doesn’t win and even if it does, is buying more farm land the best use of public money ,especially when public debt is so high?


Is cost of children public responsibility?

11/04/2012

My mother was a tutor sister.*

She loved her job and was very good at it but when she married she gave it up while my father worked full-time as a carpenter and built their house in his spare time.

Looking back years later, she said it was ridiculous that she didn’t carry on working but that was something very few married women contemplated in the 1950s.

When we married nearly three decades later almost all women continued to work after marriage, though most gave up when they had children, at least until the youngest was at pre-school.

That has gradually changed and now it is not uncommon for women to return to work much sooner after having children.

Some do it by choice, some to keep up professional qualifications, some because they need/want the money.

There are both costs and benefits to taking time off to have children and continuing working.

The benefits of uninterrupted time for bonding and breast-feeding aren’t disputed.

Juggling the care of a baby and the tiredness that goes with it with paid work is demanding.

Women brought up to believe they can do anything can find full-time parenting very challenging.

The loss of a full or part-time income can strain family budgets.

But is it the public’s responsibility to compensate for that?

Proponents of paid parental leave think so and are delighted that Labour’s Members’ Bill to extend PPL to six months has been drawn from the ballot.

There’s been a range of views on whether or not it is affordable given high government debt and the need to return to surplus as soon as possible without threatening essential services.

I’ve yet to read or hear anyone questioning the need for PPL at all and whether the cost of children should be a public responsibility.

PPL is a benefit, paid for from taxes. Like ACC it gives more to those who earn more – at least up to $458.82 per week or the equivalent of $23,858 –   but unlike ACC the beneficiaries have not been levied for it.

Unlike any other non-contributory benefit, except superannuation, it isn’t means tested. A woman, or her partner, earning thousands of dollars a week has the same entitlement to PPL as someone on the minimum wage.

Is that right or fair?

I’m not convinced it is on principle and absolutely sure it isn’t in the current economic environment.

I might accept a case if it was means tested. But paying the equivalent of pocket money to high earners when the country is seriously indebted and the only increased spending in this year’s Budget will be for health and education – paid for by savings elsewhere – is a luxury not a necessity.

Lindsay Mitchell argues the economic case against the extension here.

Cactus Kate writes on parental pay madness.

Lucia Maria thinks PPL just grows the state.

* Tutor sister doesn’t exist anymore – that was a senior nurse who taught the junior ones in training hospitals.


April 11 in history

11/04/2012

491 Flavius Anastasius became Byzantine Emperor, with the name of Anastasius I.

1079 Bishop Stanislaus of Krakow was executed by order of Bolesław II of Poland.

1241 Batu Khan defeated Béla IV of Hungary at the Battle of Muhi.

1512 War of the League of Cambrai: French forces led by Gaston de Foix won the Battle of Ravenna.

1689 William III and Mary II were crowned as joint sovereigns of Britain.

1713  War of the Spanish Succession (Queen Anne’s War): Treaty of Utrecht was signed.

1775 The last execution for witchcraft in Germany took place.

1814 The Treaty of Fontainebleau ended the War of the Sixth Coalition against Napoleon Bonaparte, and forces him to abdicate unconditionally for the first time.

1828  Foundation of Bahia Blanca.

1856 Battle of Rivas: Juan Santamaria burned down the hostel where William Walker’s filibusters were holed up.

1865 President Abraham Lincoln made his last public speech.

1868 The Shogunate was abolished in Japan.

1873 Edward Lawson, Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross, was born  (d. 1955).

1876  The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was organised.

1888 The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam was inaugurated.

1899 Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the United States.

1907 Ivor Spencer-Thomas, English farmer and entrepreneur, was born (d. 2001).

1908 Jane Bolin, first African-American woman judge, was born (d. 2007).

1908 Masaru Ibuka, Japanese industrialist (Sony), was born (d. 1997).

1919 Soldiers’ votes over turned initial results of a referendum which had shown a majority of 13,000 favouring prohibition.

Soldiers' votes derail prohibition campaign

1919 The International Labour Organisation was founded.

1921 The Emirate of Transjordan was created.

1945 World War II: American forces liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp.

1951  Korean War: President Harry Truman relieved General Douglas MacArthur of overall command in Korea.

1951 The Stone of Scone, the stone upon which Scottish monarchs were traditionally crowned, was found on the site of the altar of Arbroath Abbey. It had been taken by Scottish nationalist students from its place in Westminster Abbey.

1952 The Battle of Nanri Island took place.

1953 Guy Verhofstadt, former Prime Minister of Belgium, was born.

1955 The Air India Kashmir Princess was bombed and crashed in a failed assassination attempt on Zhou Enlai by the Kuomintang.

1957 Britain agreed to Singaporean self-rule.

1960 Jeremy Clarkson, British journalist, was born.

1961  The trial of Adolf Eichmann began in Jerusalem.

1963 Billy Bowden, New Zealand umpire, was born.

Billy Bowden.jpg

1965 The Palm Sunday tornado outbreak of 1965: Fifty-one tornadoes hit in six Midwestern states, killing 256 people.

1968 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing.

1970 Apollo 13 was launched.

1976 The Apple I was created.

1979 Ugandan dictator Idi Amin was deposed.

1981 A massive riot in Brixton, South London, resulted in almost 300 police injuries and 65 serious civilian injuries.

1986 The FBI Miami shootout between eight Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and two heavily-armed and well-trained gunmen.

1987 The London Agreement was secretly signed between Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Shimon Peres and King Hussein of Jordan.

1990 Customs officers in Middlesbrough,  said they had seized what they believed to be the barrel of a massive gun on a ship bound for Iraq.

1993 450 prisoners rioted at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio, and continued to do so for ten days, citing grievances related to prison conditions, as well as the forced vaccination of Nation of Islam prisoners (for tuberculosis) against their religious beliefs.

2001 The crew of a United States EP-3E aircraft that landed in Hainan, China after a collision with an J-8 fighter was released.

2002 The Ghriba synagogue bombing by Al Qaeda killed 21 in Tunisia.

2002 – An attempted coup d’état in Venezuela against President Hugo Chávez took place.

2006 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that Iran had successfully enriched uranium.

2007  2007 Algiers bombings: Two bombings in the Algerian capital of Algiers, killed 33 people and wounded a further 222 others.

2011 – Minsk Metro bombing.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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