Budget works for women

23/05/2014

A few decades ago James K. Baxter wrote about National Mum and Labour Dad.

Things went downhill after that and until recently national has found it harder to win women’s support.

The good news is that has been changing and the Budget has helped to woo women:

The Key Govt, which is fighting to keep its support base around the 46% mark, got an unexpected bonus from the budget last week, with what could be a decisive shift in support from women voters. Trans-Tasman understands private polling showed women reacted positively to the measures announced in the budget for free GP visits and free prescriptions for children under 13, improvements to paid parental leave, a lift in the parental tax credit from $150 a week to $220 a week, and the move to make early childhood centres more accessible and affordable. In reporting their feedback from the budget National backbenchers also noted the intense response from women to measures which were seen to be directing some of the fruits of economic success to where support is most needed. Traditionally National’s support base has been weakest among women voters, especially in the 20-to-40 age group, and in this election it may be more vital than previously to ensure it maximises its vote in this segment.

It was a family-friendly Budget.
Maggie Barry MP's photo.

But it wasn’t just family-friendly, it was also business-friendly.

There has also been a positive reaction from the business sector whose priority is for the Govt to deliver on the basics and ensure the economy is moving in the right direction. This is particularly important where business is moving through the phase of investing in new plant and machinery. The interesting new feature in budgetary responses is coming from iwi leaders who seek dialogue with the Govt, as they plan developments in the wake of major Treaty settlements.

That last point is a welcome sign of what happens when iwi move from grievance to growth.


Poem for a Hard Time

15/02/2011

Canadian poet Lorna Crozier’s Poem for a Hard Time is this week’s Tuesday Poem.

Among the poems linked in the side bar are:

She Who Is Like The Moon by James K Baxter

In/Let by Jo Thorpe

Big Stupid Grin by Andrew Bell

Ode to Things by Pablo Neruda

Gypsy Girl by Alicia Ponder

Knowing by Helen Lowe

Old People Love  by Susan Landry

Roses by Sue Wootton

Bus Stop by Harvey Malloy


October 22 in history

22/10/2010

On October 22:

362  A mysterious fire destroyed the temple of Apollo at Daphne outside Antioch.

1383  The 1383-1385 Crisis in Portugal: King Fernando diedwithout a male heir to the Portuguese throne, sparking a period of civil war and disorder.

 

1633 Battle of southern Fujian sea: The Ming dynasty defeated the Dutch East India Company.

1707Scilly naval disaster: four British Royal Navy ships ran aground near the Isles of Scilly because of faulty navigation. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell and thousands of sailors drowned.

1730 Construction of the Ladoga Canal  completed.

 

1734  Daniel Boone, American pioneer and hunter, was born (d. 1820).

1746 The College of New Jersey (later renamed Princeton University) received its charter.

1784  Russia founded a colony on Kodiak Island, Alaska.

1790  Warriors of the Miami tribe under Chief Little Turtle defeated United States troops under General Josiah Harmar in the Northwest Indian War.

 

1797 André-Jacques Garnerin made the first recorded parachute jump 1,000 metres (3,200 feet) above Paris,.

1811 Franz Liszt, Hungarian pianist and composer, was born (d. 1886).

1836  Sam Houston was inaugurated as the first President of the Republic of Texas.

1844  The Great Anticipation: Millerites, followers of William Miller, anticipate the end of the world in conjunction with the Second Advent of Christ.

William Miller.jpg

1875  First telegraphic connection in Argentina.

1877  The Blantyre mining disaster in Scotland killed 207 miners.

1878 The first rugby match under floodlights took place in Salford, between Broughton and Swinton.

1883 The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City opened with a performance of Gounod’s Faust.

1895  In Paris an express train overran a buffer stop and crossed more than 30 metres of concourse before plummeting through a window at Gare Montparnasse.

1907  Panic of 1907: A run on the stock of the Knickerbocker Trust Company set events in motion that led to a depression.

 

1910  Dr. Crippen was convicted of poisoning his wife.

1919  Doris Lessing, British writer, Nobel Prize laureate, was born.

1924  Toastmasters International was founded.

1934   Federal Bureau of Investigation agents shot and killed notorious bank robber Pretty Boy Floyd.

File:PrettyBoyFloyd01.jpg

1941  French resistance member Guy Môquet and 29 other hostages are executed by the Germans in retaliation for the death of a German officer.
1943  World War II: in the Second firestorm raid on Germany, the Royal Air Force conducts an air raid on the town of Kassel, killing 10,000 and rendering 150,000 homeless.
 

1944  World War II: Battle of Aachen: The city of Aachen fell to American forces after three weeks of fighting, making it the first German city to fall to the Allies.

GI machine gun crew in Aachen (Correct orientation).jpg

1946  Deepak Chopra, Indian-American physician and writer, was born.

1953  Laos gained independence from France

1957 Vietnam War: First United States casualties in Vietnam.

1960  Independence of Mali from France.

1962   Cuban Missile Crisis: US President John F. Kennedy, after internal counsel from Dwight D. Eisenhower, announced that American reconnaissance planes have discovered Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba, and that he has ordered a naval “quarantine” of the Communist nation.

1963  A BAC One-Eleven prototype airliner crashed in UK with the loss of all on board.

1964  Jean-Paul Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, but turns down the honor.

1964  A Multi-Party Parliamentary Committee selected the design which became the new official Flag of Canada.

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1966  The Supremes became the first all-female music group to attain a No. 1 selling album (The Supremes A’ Go-Go).

1966  The Soviet Union launches Luna 12.

Luna lander bus

1968  Apollo 7 safely splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean after orbiting the Earth 163 times.

AP7lucky7.png

1970  Tunku Abdul Rahman resigned as Prime Minister of Malaysia.

 

1972 Poet James K. Baxter died.

Death of poet James K. Baxter

1972 Vietnam War: In Saigon, Henry Kissinger and South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu met to discuss a proposed cease-fire.

1975  The Soviet unmanned space mission Venera 9 landed on Venus.

Venera 9 orbiter.jpg

1976  Red Dye No. 4 was banned by the US Food and Drug Administration after it is discovered that it causes tumors in the bladders of dogs.

1981 The TGV railway service between Paris and Lyon was inaugurated.

 

1983  Two correctional officers are killed by inmates at the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois. The incident inspires the Supermax model of prisons.

1991 Dimitrios Arhondonis, was elected 270th Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch as Patriarch Bartholomew I of the Orthodox church.

 

1999  Maurice Papon, an official in the Vichy France government during World War II, is jailed for crimes against humanity.

2005  Tropical Storm Alpha formed in the Atlantic Basin, making the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record with 22 named storms.

 

2006  A Panama Canal expansion proposal was approved by 77.8% of voters in a National referendum.

2007  Raid on Anuradhapura Air Force Base carried out by 21 Tamil Tiger commandos.

2008  India launched its first unmanned lunar mission Chandrayaan-1.

Chandrayaan-1.jpg

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


October 22 in history

22/10/2009

On October 22:

1734 Daniel Boone, American pioneer and hunter, was born.

1797 André-Jacques Garnerin made the first recorded parachute jump 1,000 meters (3,200 feet) above Paris.

Garnerin releases the balloon and descends with the help of a parachute, 1797. Illustration from the late 19th century.

1811 – Franz Liszt, Hungarian pianist and composer was born.

1836 Sam Houston wss inaugurated as the first President of the Republic of Texas.

1877 The Blantyre mining disaster in Scotland killed 207 miners.

1883 The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City opened with a performance of Gounod’s Faust.

1919 – Doris Lessing, British writer, Nobel Prize laureate, was born.


Doris Lessing at lit.cologne 2006

1924 Toastmasters International was founded.

1946 Deepak Chopra, Indian-American physician and writer was born.

1953 Laos gained its independence from France.

 

1960 Mali  gained its indepndence from France.

1964 Jean-Paul Sartre  was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, but turned down the honor.

1966 The Supremes became the first all-female music group to have a No. 1 selling album (The Supremes A’ Go-Go).


The Supremes: Diana Ross (left), Mary Wilson (center), Florence Ballard (right) circa 1965

1972 James K. Baxter died.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


High Country Weather

03/07/2009

This Friday’s poem is James K. Baxter’s High Country Weather.

High Country Weather

Alone we are born
and die alone
yet see the red-gold cirrus
over snow-mountain shine.

Upon the upland road
ride easy stranger:
surrender to the sky
your heart of anger.

James K. Baxter

Prompted by these photos at Rob’s Blockhead.


The Maori Jesus

10/04/2009

Good Friday’s tribute to poetry month is The Maori Jesus by James K. Baxter from Our Favourite Poems introduced by Iain Sharp and published by Craig Potton.

             The Maori Jesus

I saw the Maori Jesus
Walking on Wellington Harbour.
He wore blue dungarees.
His beard and hair were long.
His breath smelt of mussels and paroa.
When he smiled it looked like the dawn.
When he broke wind little fishes trembled.
When he frowned the ground shook.
When he laughed everybody got drunk.

The Maori Jesus came on shore
And picked out his twelve disciples.
One cleaned toilets in the Railway Station;
His hands were scrubbed red to get the shit out of the pores.
One was a call-girl who turned it up for nothing.
One was a housewife who’d forgotten the Pill
And stuck her TV set in the rubbish can.
One was a little office clerk
Who’d tried to set fire to the government buildings.
Yes and there were several others;
One was a sad old queen;
One was an alcoholic priest
Going slowly mad in a respectable parish.

The Maori Jesus said ‘Man
From now on the sun will shine.’

He did no miracles;
He played the guitar sitting on the ground.

The first day he was arrested
For having no lawful means of support.
The second day he was beaten up by the cops
For telling a dee his house was not in order.
The third day he was charged with being a Maori
And given a month in Mt Crawford.
The fourth day he was sent to Porirua
For telling a screw the sun would stop rising.
The fifth day lasted seven years
While he worked in the asylum laundry
Never out of the steam.
The sixth day he told the head doctor,
“I am the light in the void;
I am who I am.’
The seventh day he was lobotomised;
The brain of God was cut in half.

On the eighth day the sun did not rise.
It didn’t rise the day after
God was neither alive nor dead.
The darkness of the void,
Mountainous, mile-deep, civilised darkness
Sat on the earth from then until now.

 

         James K. Baxter –


Farmhand

03/10/2008

This Friday’s poem is James K Baxter’s Farmhand from New Zealand Farm & Station Verse, published by Whitcombe & Tombs.

It was written several decades ago but the difficulty facing young rural men looking for love may even be worse now.

There are more women in the country in what were once regarded as male occupations, including vets, stock agents and fertiliser reps, but not enough to compensate for the loss of rural schools and businesses which used to bring young women to the country.

Expectations have changed too so young women are probably less willing to sacrifice their careers for love and life on a farm than their mothers might have been.

Rural communities have come up with several innovative ways to counter the lack of women, the most well known of which is probably the Middlemarch’s biennial singles ball. 

Farmhand

 

You will see him light a cigarette

At the hall door, careless, leaning his back

Against the wall, or telling some new joke

To a friend, or looking out into the secret night.

 

But always his eyes turn

To the dance floor and the girls drifting like flowers

Before the music that tears

Slowly in his mind an old wound open.

 

His red, sunburnt face and hairy hands

Were not made for dancing or love-making

But rather the earth wave breaking

To the plough, and crops slow-growing as his mind,

 

He has no girl to run her fingers through

His sandy hair, and giggle at his side

When Sunday couples walk. Instead

He has his awkward hopes, his envious dreams to yarn to.

 

But ah in harvest watch him

Forking stooks, effortless and strong –

Or listening like a lover to the song,

Clear, without fault, of a new tractor engine.

 

                – James K. Baxter –


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