Brexiteers Should Be Treated with Respect

I have been a devoted reader of the Guardian for more than fifty years, and an occasional contributor to its pages over the same period.  It has been my preferred guide to understanding the complexities of the modern world and has helped to shape my view of how solutions to some of those complexities can […]

Trying to Cut the All Blacks Down to Size

Rugby, as we all know, is a tough game – and the contention it generates is not limited to the field itself.  The physical contest on the field is so intense that it is not surprising that collisions occur and injuries are suffered – and those episodes can in turn produce, all too easily, allegations […]

What the World Can Expect from President Trump

John Key had a good and easy relationship with President Obama.  They may have come from different positions on the political spectrum, but they shared similar values and seemed to like each other. Our Prime Minister’s relationship with President Trump may not, though, be so easy.  There are so many aspects of the new President […]

The Implications of Trump

Americans are a funny lot.  For them, it seems, celebrity trumps all.  They have elected as President someone whose personal qualities and attitudes would disqualify him, in most democracies, from membership of a school board. But that is too simple a message.  The Trump victory conveys a wider and deeper message – because Donald Trump […]

Don’t Saddle the All Blacks with the Burden of Invincibility

My first awareness of the All Blacks was as a nine year-old, when Fred Allen’s 1949 team played the Springboks in South Africa, and a combination of home-town referees and a goal-kicking prop called Okey Geffin consigned the All Blacks to a four-nil whitewash. I am no stranger, then, to All Black defeats.  Every time […]

An Open Letter

An Open Letter to American Voters   When Barack Obama was elected to the US Presidency in 2008, millions of Americans celebrated, and there were millions of others – mainly in the countries comprising what used to be called in Cold War times the ‘free world’ – who cheered as well. Americans – or most […]

“Real” Men

Being the son of a famous person, and as a consequence finding oneself in the limelight, cannot be easy – especially if that famous person is the Prime Minister, who will inevitably attract approval and dissent in roughly equal measure and whose family and other relationships will always attract close scrutiny. What are we to […]

Kindness and Helen Kelly

In what proved to be her last television interview before her untimely death, Helen Kelly explained that her antipathy to Donald Trump was because he was “so unkind”, and she went on to say “I want people just to be kind.” This was more than simply the dying wish of a good woman.  In identifying […]

Should we Worry About the Trump Phenomenon?

Donald Trump has evidently never bothered with a portrait in the attic.  We can learn all we need to know about him by simply looking at him – the story of a lifetime’s self-indulgence and misdeeds can be read in his face.  His body language, his facial expressions, his gestures all speak to a persona […]

What More Can Labour Do?

The recent poll showing that Labour is losing rather than gaining ground will have been very disappointing to the Labour leadership – particularly because their improved performance across the board might have been expected to produce a lift in popular support. The Labour party seems, after all, to have put behind it most of the […]