Wairoa – Hometown Blues

Before the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, ‘The Independent’ newspaper ran a story telling their British readers that there was a violent underbelly to New Zealand society, citing gang troubles in the northern Hawkes Bay town of Wairoa as evidence. The examples they used were graphic, including gang shootings and a culture of… Continue reading Wairoa – Hometown Blues

Making a Difference

Making a Difference As a society, we spend an inordinate amount of time, resources and money looking at how to improve the quality of education in our schools. The questions we ask ourselves are always the same. How do we improve the quality of teaching and learning? (and its corollary, our examination results?) How do… Continue reading Making a Difference

It’s Ugly Out There.

It’s Ugly Out There. Why is everyone so damned angry? What is it these last few years that has made people so aggressive and impatient and ready to have a go at anyone with whom they disagree. Why the coiled spring? Why the poison pen and acid tongue? What happened to the old dictum that… Continue reading It’s Ugly Out There.

Clive James: Dying by Inches

Clive James: Dying by Inches Over recent months, I have been spending time in the company of Clive James, the writer, critic and poet. After a lifetime of heavy smoking and intemperate drinking, James was diagnosed with emphysema and kidney failure in 2010 as well as chronic leukemia and by June 2012 admitted on Radio… Continue reading Clive James: Dying by Inches


IQ – EQ = Bullingdon Club “It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value.” Professor Stephen Hawking “He’s very smart. He has an IQ.” Leo Rosten “He’s like a lighthouse in the middle of a bog – brilliant but useless.” John Kelly attrib The comments by Boris Johnson in 2013 about the… Continue reading IQ-EQ

Catch the Wind

When Donovan sang of trying to ‘Catch the Wind’ in his 1960s song, its title was intended as a metaphor for the futility of attempting what was seen as impossible. Even though it hasn’t proved so, the capture of wind has proved less problematic than the ‘farming’ of it and all the associate costs that… Continue reading Catch the Wind