It’s Summer Tour Time!

Back Benches returned to our screens with a ‘What were the issues in 2011’ review series of shows, which was a comfy memory jog when I finally caught up on Sunday morning. I’m still in holiday mode, what can I say. 04 Jan and 11 Jan 12 episodes for those who like links supplied.

There has been some very valid commentary in the Listener about the demise of Stratos, and the threat to TV7, made by Toby Manhire. There’s also a profile of Wallace in the issue that appeared 14th January, by the estimable Jane Tolerton, whose collective biographies have been very popular.

In case any of the rest of you are also travelling, you might want to coincide your travels with the itinerary of Back Benches as it takes to the road and hits the provinces, starting with Hamilton this Wednesday. The venue is House on Hood, 27 Hood St, Hamilton, for those who are locals. Be there around 7pm to get a meal, or 8pm to get a seat & a drink before filming begins (assuming ‘home rules’ apply in out of town venues, lol.) I can’t vouch for the place, haven’t been there despite rellies in the Waikato, but I’m sure Wallace and Damian have had it well-vetted by the Production Crew. Apparently Pam Corkery will be in attendance, along with the panel of MP’s Tim Macindoe (Nat) Catherine Delahunty (Greens) Sue Moroney (Lab) , Tracey Martin (NZ First).

Then the Tour continues to Rotorua on the 25th of January, at The Shed, 1166 Amohau Street, Rotorua, which will be broadcast live, and followed on the 26th in Taupo at The Shed, 18 Tuwharetoa Street, Taupo – which will be broadcast the following week as a pre-recorded show.
After a week off, they come down to Wanganui to Stellar, 2 Victoria Avenue, Wanganui, for the final live-to-air session on the 8th February. For more details on these sessions, see Wallace’s blog.
There may be continued presence of NORML/ALCP campaigners, they seem to be a tenacious bunch, and fond of pub politics. Might be a bit early in the year for the campus political groups, however. All the more reason to tune in & see what comes up.

BillBoarding as a Social Support Mechanism. just received this letter from a member in Rotorua:

It’s become increasingly noticeable to me that over the last three elections we have received increasing numbers of invitations to erect billboards on front lawns or fences belonging to elderly women and men who live alone.

Last election we had about 7 or 8.  This election it has increased to 10 or 12.

Having erected the BillBoards I routinely offer my contact phone number to be used to let me know should the BillBoard be vandalised or damaged by high winds.

Each morning, almost without fail, I receive at least one call suggesting a visit to a specific BillBoard may be needed because it looks: damaged, floppy, unstable, wet or simply needs attention.

When I turn up with hammer and clouts at the ready, I am offered tea and/or coffee and/or scones and/or cake and or lunch and always conversation. Rarely does the BillBoard need any but minor attention.

As I rapidly approach that age at which I frequently suggest: “this is my last election,” I am starting to accumulate the names and contact numbers for willing election workers and identify locations on my property where BillBoards can be erected – however unstable the location may be. We have got to ensure continuity in our social support system as we grow older I’m told.

Bill (Board) Brislen