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Outraged of Tunbridge Wells has emigrated to New Zealand

August 21, 2014

When Adam was a young man and living in England, that green and pleasant land of fond memory, warm beer, cucumber sandwiches and cricket on the village green, there was a category of letter writer to the editor of newspapers such as the Tellegraph referred to in a kind of shorthand as ‘Outraged of Tunbridge Wells’, which instantly summoned a mental picture of a choleric elderly gentleman or lady from a somnolent country town who professed to be outraged, dismayed and disgusted with some recent event. The recent publication of Nicky Hager’s ‘book’ has led Adam to the conclusion that many of these stereotypes have not only emigrated to NZ, but many seem to have gained less than useful employment as hacks and so called journalists. How else to explain the shock, horror occasioned by the publication of the Slater Papers. Adam’s reasoning includes concluding that these people have clearly led very sheltered lives as they have obviously never ever come up against the realities of life, nor visited the public bar of just about any hostelry the world over. No wonder NZ media is such a mess, when so many of it’s leading ‘reporters’ seem to be such precious hothouse flowers that wilt outside the beltway.

Overheard in a Lower Hutt cafe, this morning

August 21, 2014

Taking a brief break from a shopping expedition, Adam was partaking of a very welcome long black and reading the Hutt News in a cafe on Queens Drive in the Lower Hutt CBD this morning. At the next table were a group of office workers, who it appeared worked at a nearby state agency.

Adam could not help but overhear their conversation. It was about ‘that book’ and that ‘fat German fella”. To summarise the ladies were not impressed by the ‘fat German fells, what’s is name’ and seemed less than impressed with that book and the ‘author’ making money from stolen material. They were more interested in real issues and policies.

As Adam had suspected from the start, Real People see through the flim and the flam. Is seems strange that the media do not. The Hager factor seems more likely to annoy Real Kiwis. Annoyed voters are more likely not to vote or in this case vote National, as they find the opponents so unappealing.

Adam is shocked, shocked…..

August 21, 2014

to discover that there is so much despicable behaviour in NZ politics. Indeed he is outraged to find this out from the media, he was so disturbed by it all that he took refuge in a bottle of Pinot Noir, from Otagao, and a lesisurely viewing of one of his favourite movies Casablanca. This scene reminded him so much of what is happening at the present time:

A small mistake but telling in what it reveals

July 18, 2014

Labour, like most parties, is making use of social media this election. David Cunliffe, the current Labour Party leader, has a fairly strong Facebook presence and when he posts there is a coterie of fans who lap up his comments.

It was perhaps a little unfortunate that the proof reading gremlin struck this post:-

David Cunliffe - The technological revolution will open up opportunities for our kids that we can't even imagine today. Every kid should have those opportunities. Under a Labour Government I lead, ever kid will.

David Cunliffe – The technological revolution will open up opportunities for our kids that we can’t even imagine today. Every kid should have those opportunities. Under a Labour Government I lead, ever kid will.


It was unfortunate in the extreme that a post concerned with education highlighted either an inability to spell, or a lack of vocabulary, or a lack of comprehension or a lack of proof reading by anybody who understood the use of language. Was the error noticed? Did someone just assume the audience would never notice? Perhaps the author assumed nobody would read the graphic closely!

Then of course the folksy use of the descriptor kids for children, when the graphic used the word child.  Finally the blanket promise that every child will have unimaginable opportunities. That is a promise which is just not capable of fulfillment. A moment of reflection will convey that to the reader. The statement fails on so many levels, it is just not credible.

Oh and by the way simply giving children a computer or tablet or whatever, will not of itself solve issues of opportunity, attitude or ability.

This leads me to ponder the question as to whether Cunliffe and his team assume that the electorate are fools to be bought off with the modern equivalent of brad and circuses?

The fresh face for Hutt South

July 18, 2014

National recently selected Chris Bishop as their Hutt South candidate. Chris, a Senior Adviser in Steven Joyce’s office, is up against the old Labour warhorse that is Trevor Mallard.

This week he has been out early in the mornings leafleting at various Hutt Valley railway stations, the photo shows him at Woburn early this morning.

CB_Woburn_18JulyBy all accounts Chris is getting a strongly positive reaction.

If you want to see Mr Mallard pass into the pages of history, just like the warhorse has, then support Chris in Hutt South.

900+ kilometres and counting

June 30, 2014

Adam made another milestone in his fitness and lifestyle programme at the weekend; he passed the 900 km mark in terms of distance walked since 1 January 2014.

In the past he had walked regularly, but in the last few years had lost the habit. At the turn of the year he decided to try and get back into the walking rut so to speak. The initial target was to walk 600 kms in the year, this was achieved by 7 May. Since then, in just under 2 months, a further 300 kms have been walked. So Adam’s present target is to have walked 1800 kms by year end.

This exercise has had excellent cardio-vascular impact and overall morale boosting sense of achievement.

Ship of Fools

June 30, 2014

Listening to Chris Finlayson at the weekend describing the many headed hydra of the left and to Steven Joyce pondering what is the question if the hydra is the answer caused Adam to remember this morning the old allegory of the Ship of Fools. The picture is from the Bosch painting


The Ship of Fools is an allegory drawn from Plato

The allegory depicts a vessel populated by human inhabitants who are deranged, frivolous, or oblivious passengers aboard a ship without a pilot, and seemingly ignorant of their own direction. This concept makes up the framework of the 15th century book Ship of Fools (1494) by Sebastian Brant, which served as the inspiration for Bosch’s famous painting, Ship of Fools: a ship—an entire fleet at first—sets off from Basel to the paradise of fools. In literary and artistic compositions of the 15th and 16th centuries, the cultural motif of the ship of fools also served to parody the ‘ark of salvation’ as the Catholic Church was styled.

In our current world we can visualise the hydra as being, with their hangers on, the passengers on the Ship of Fools. The allegory being especially apt in that the ship is pilotless and nobody on boards knows the direction they are moving in. Then of course we can liken the Labour Party to the Catholic Church, which in past times, was parodied as the ark of salvation, whilst tyrannising the populace with the Inquisition and the relentless pursuit of the Cathars, rather like the present Labour Party pursuit of those members who preofess free trade and/or pro business sentiment.

Or perhaps we can think of the Ship of Fools as a modern day version of the concept written about by Foucault and Barchilion, viz:-

Michel Foucault, who wrote Madness and Civilization, saw in the ship of fools a symbol of the consciousness of sin and evil alive in the medieval mindset and imaginative landscapes of the Renaissance. Though this critical angle conflates myth, allegory and history, scholars such as Jose Barchilion have found Foucault’s words on the subject very insightful. In his introduction to Madness and Civilization, Barchilon writes of the Ship of Fools as if it were an example of actual societal practice:

“Renaissance men developed a delightful, yet horrible way of dealing with their mad denizens: they were put on a ship and entrusted to mariners because folly, water, and sea, as everyone then ‘knew’, had an affinity for each other. Thus, ‘Ship of Fools’ crisscrossed the sea and canals of Europe with their comic and pathetic cargo of souls. Some of them found pleasure and even a cure in the changing surroundings, in the isolation of being cast off, while others withdrew further, became worse, or died alone and away from their families. The cities and villages which had thus rid themselves of their crazed and crazy, could now take pleasure in watching the exciting sideshow when a ship full of foreign lunatics would dock at their harbors.”

In many ways Barchilion’s imagery is very appealing when you consider the likely passengers on our modern day NZ Ship of Fools.


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