Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What is the future for the 29 Pike River men and their families?

So there’s a recovery plan.

There wasn’t one until 6pm last night.

There’s never been one and that’s because it’s going to be hideously expensive.

The receivers don’t have any money and we all know that the government doesn’t either.

So what’s going to happen in the future?

On Monday they’ll start working their way down to the rockfall.

This, apparently, is going to take 3 months. If all goes well.

So now it’s the end of August.

Then there’s going to be a feasibility study on how to dig a 180 metre tunnel into the heart of the mine.

This is also going to take, say, 3 months.

So now it’s the end of November before the real arguments start about who’s going to pay for the push into the depths.

It’s now after the election. The next Government will probably have bigger fish to fry.

And by then the bodies will have been underground for 12 months and maybe the parent's resolve to retrieve will have weakened.

Now I’m not saying that this is what has been planned.  I’m just sayin’.


Do you ever get the feeling you’ve been put on hold?

Friday, May 20, 2011

My Last Blog Ever

The World is ending.

According to Harold Camping it’s pretty much all over on Saturday

At 6pm all God’s followers will ascend into heaven, leaving all non-believers behind to dwell in turmoil before the end of the world. There's going to be earthquakes and volcanoes and even the dead will rise and wander around as long as their legs haven't rotted off completely.

According to 89-year-old Harold Camping, a retired civil engineer and California-based Christian radio broadcaster, Jesus Christ will return to Earth because it's exactly 7000 years since Noah's flood.

It's called "The Rapture".

And so obviously it’s time for MY LAST BLOG EVER. Because I'll either have ascended or else wandering around in an apocalypse with no internet.

So, It’s been a good life.  Some regrets.

I regret that my Dad died 16 years ago.

That’s him on the left.  That’s me in the middle.  That’s me in the spotlight . Sharing my parents.  It’s 1965.

My biggest regret about my Dad dying 16 years ago is that my eldest son was born 15 years ago. 

He would have been the world’s best Grandpa.

And you know what, that’s it. 

Really. That’s my only regret.

I’m regretting the world ending, of course, but putting all my little regrets up against that one, Dad is the only who makes the cut.

So how ‘bout blessings.

I have been blessed with a beautiful homeland. 

Faced with the end of the world it’s the unspeakable sadness that the glistening snow and grandeur of the top of Mt Ruapehu will be soon gone.

Gone will be the thundering surf of Whananaki,  as a flash of the orange bill of an oystercatcher catches the corner of your eye and you see it’s flying with it’s mate.  And a million silica stars twinkle in the sand.

The so very green green of the Waikato.  The burnt brown of Hawkes Bay and the Port Hills. I will regret never seeing those blessings again.

I have been blessed with a bunch of boys who have been good mates since childhood.  And while we don’t see each other nearly enough, when we do the separation melts away.  11 boys, give or take.  No divorces. 1 death.  40 years.  Pretty blessed.

I have been blessed with Catherine and Pat.  Mums. Nuff said.

But on reflection.  With only hours of life left.  I need to tell the doomed world this.

My one true blessing is Helen, Jack and Ben.  

Isn’t that funny.  Billions of people. Millions of miles of life and landscape.  The whole Universe that has ever been.  Nothing matters but those 3 people. 3 tiny lumps of carbon and water. Oh and Saffi, the labradoodle

And one of them’s only 12 years old.  Yet he beats anything you could throw at me.

Frankly he even beats God.  Who is obviously a dickhead for choosing to end the world on Saturday.

OK, so probably it's Harold Camping who is the dickhead.

Or maybe he too is a blessing.

Because today I counted my regrets and my blessings and my blessings won. If the world doesn’t end this weekend I’m going to do this every week

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This Photo Is Everything That's Wrong With Our Prime Minister

This photo is everything that’s wrong with our Prime Minister.

Last week John Key paid a visit to “Mike West in the Morning” of Manawatu’s More FM.

I knew he was going to be on because Mike Facebooked it, saying that he had a surprise in store for the Prime Minister.

Of course, if he said that in other countries we’d be asking which Caribbean island he was being water boarded in right now.  But this is New Zealand and no alarm bells rang.

Instead the leader of this country walked into a regional radio station where he was presented with a comb over wig to wear.

I don’t know if this was some savage commentary on Donald Trump’s failed presidential dalliance. But somehow I don’t think so.

I assume that is was “wacky Radio 101”, where a stunt is concocted to make an interview more memorable.  Though, much and all as I love your work Mike, a visit to the $2 dollar shop for a wig is not exactly comedy gold.  I mean, a visual joke…on the radio?

Anyhow, the point is, THE PRIME MINISTER PUT IT ON!!!

And then allowed a photograph to be taken wearing his goofy grin, which then spread around the globe on the web!

And this is because this Prime Minister has a pathological need to be liked.

And because he needs to be liked, his government did not repeal the Labour spend up from the previous term that aided the middle class more than the poor.

And because he needs to be liked, his government continued with his promised tax cuts that aided the rich instead of the poor.

And because he needs to be liked, the reforms to be announced on Thursday will not come into force until after the election so he can claim that we like them and therefore we like him.

And now here we are with more debt than ever before and an economic policy that doesn't know if it's Arthur or Martha.

I’ve just been reading about the 2010 budget that raised the GST and cut the tax.  Everyone said it would only work with growth.  Well what happened?  2 Earthquakes, some floods, some big bills to bolster failed finance and insurance companies and unfortunately not enough growth.

While many have said what this country needed was a true centrist, John Key’s management of the economy has been as goofy as that grin he’s wearing in the photo.

But at least he’s likeable.