David and Goliath? Why not!

Letter to the Editor, Southland Times, Thursday.

Farmers in Southland need good representation in Parliament.

With Bill English no longer farming and no longer living in Southland, rural voters will be looking to cast their votes with someone who farms in the region and understands farming issues here. If the choice is between a Wellingtonian in a suit and a farmer working here in Southland, Tim Gow,
Clutha/Southland Green Party candidate, will do well.

Thank you Simon Upton

Thank you Simon Upton for a trip down memory lane, and a reminder of where my green roots came from. Simon Upton wrote a moving article about his recently deceased father, musing whether self-professed greens had a monopoly on green values, or whether there should be a place for representatives of the older generation on the billboards he admires. “Without even having heard of sustainable development, he lived on the basis that his choices should not foreclose those of his children’s generation. Doing that required prudence, thrift and a measure of self-denial. It seems a world removed from the debt-fuelled consumerism of our times”, he writes of his 87 year old father.

I think you would find, Simon, that many many greens were influenced by such examples of good living by our older family members. This one anyway owes a huge debt to her Auntie, too singular to ever need a qualifying name – she’s “plain Auntie”, my sister famously told a visitor. She and my parents were all products of the depression, and my parents were also frugal by necessity, but it was Auntie who best expressed that passion for frugality and making a game out of making do. I remember laughing at her in my callow youth for washing and reusing the gladwrap from round the supermarket celery. We were equally amused, embarrassed and excited by the steady stream of second hand clothes that she picked up for us kids, and later, our kids, from the op shops in Newtown decades before op-shopping became chic. Continue reading

If it bleeds it leads? – Caption Contest

I could have done some blatant link whoring [posting of nudity to increase audience : Sorry DPF my mistake with blogging jargon]like the national party mouthpiece aka kiwiblog but I don’t go in for that crap. Anyway to the meat of the post </groan> apparently the ODT likes to buck the trend … Or not seeing the dom went with the nudist the other day. Anyway I thought I would share the front page of Saturdays ODT and I will offer a prize for the best caption[1]:

Well, I suppose at least it is not shrek the sheep!
[1] No guarentees the prize will have any monetary, or any intrinsic value at all. In fact it might not even have a physical manifestation.

messy and bad

It “creates a mess and is bad”, says Federated Farmers president Don Nicholson, “but his Federation will try and get some common sense and practical solutions to the mess”.

Is Mr Nicholson talking about manure-splattered roads, or rivers turned green with effluent or even fields churned to mud by the hooves of cattle? No, he’s complaining about the Emissions Trading Scheme, despite the immunity from cost his farmers will enjoy until 2013. What a bloke! What a Federation! What a crock!

sign of the times

Each of us, no doubt, has something that stirs us up and makes us despair at ‘what the world has come to’. For me it’s this – (if I had an image of it, I’d post it, but it’s not hard to see in your minds-eye) – a catapault, moulded in slick, faux-wood plastic, shrink-wrapped and brightly coloured, hailing from an enormous continent famed for the production of such fripparies and for sale in our (and no doubt your) local supermarket. It’s cheap enough,  and saves every young boy (or girl) the ‘trouble’ of finding a ‘Y’ shaped stick and attaching their own strip of rubber. What a marvelous step foward it represents and what a great example of the value of free trade agreements. It makes me cringe! Guess it’s the Luddite in me.

Embrace the inner Luddite

Luddites, eh! Gotta love ’em! Bold activists, standing firm against the destructive invasion of heartless technologies that threatened to cast good honest men into the poor house and destroy communities of industrious workers and their families. Did the Luddites sit around bemoaning their fate, whining for handouts and pity? No, they acted decisively in the interest of their people and their communities, risked life and limb, didn’t fold when faced with brutality and persecution, stood together against exploitation by moneyed industrialists. Folk heroes, the Luddites! They could see the writing on the wall, couldn’t they!  🙂

Out on the street

Was a beautiful day in Dunedin today, and I enjoyed an afternoon spent wandering the north end of Dunedin chatting with people. Was good to see lots of support for the Greens. I was feeling a bit jaded the other day but am now ready for more Green Party Emails … (unfortunately they built up while I was outside). So if you are reading this and feeling down with the state of the world or your inbox – and it is not hard given its current status – I implore you get out and talk to people about it (maybe not your overloaded inbox though there is Free Software Day coming up soon). If suggesting to people that they party vote green is not your thing ask them if they are on the roll. Or you might be more into promoting reduce/reuse and recycle or expounding car alternatives. It is however great fun and worthwhile in fact with the current urgency necessary.

Just what we need: another denier in the White House

From The New Republic:

Astoundingly, Sarah Palin has denied that climate change is man-made–not in 1996, not in 1998, not in 2000, not in 2002, but in an interview posted on August 29, 2008.

In response to this question: “What is your take on global warming and how is it affecting our country?” Palin answered: “A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I’m not one though who would attribute it to being man-made.”

Oh mate. I wouldn’t care so much if it weren’t for the fact that both Labour and National politicians seem to constantly take their cues from these American turkeys.  She’s also quite keen on drilling large holes all over her own state of Alaska in the search for more oil to feed the addiction.  And, look, we’ve got politicians here wanting to do the same thing to the Great South Basin.

What do greens do on a Saturday?

(Probably not sit at a keyboard, but I won’t be here long 🙂

It’s light and inconsequential, but I’m wondering; what are greens up to this weekend?

I’m out of my zone at the moment, and enjoying the brilliant sunshine and bracing mountain air in Queenstown. I’m just off to the market down by the lake to listen to the two Irish musicians playing to the crowds. They’re fantastic! (I heard them last night). It was weird, driving into the resort yesterday evening, seeing the mountainside fully lit up for night skiing and contrasting that with another hillside we’d seen earlier, also lit up, but this time by fire. Burning off scrub is still practiced down here, on a huge scale. I wonder what the tourists think of that!

Hope your day will be as good as I’m expecting mine to be 🙂