Do We Have to Put Up with Mike Hosking?

Why do so many people dislike Mike Hosking?  On the face of it, he has everything needed to host a successful daily television show.  He is nice-looking (if you like that sort of thing), articulate and intelligent (or passably intelligent – let’s not get carried away here).   He is so familiar – appearing as […]

The End of a Promising Career

My twenty years in parliamentary politics taught me that, contrary to the opinions of many, most politicians pursue a political career for other than exclusively self-serving reasons.  Most genuinely want to serve their fellow citizens or believe that they can make a real contribution to improving the way our society works.   I concede, though, […]

What Does Inequality Look Like?

What does inequality look like?  In a society where the gap between rich and poor has widened significantly, what evidence of that gap would one expect to see? A dramatic and painful answer to that question was provided to us this week with the shocking image of the burning London tower block.  If we ever […]

Is There Any Limit to Australia’s Anti-Kiwi Hostility

My wife and I have often enjoyed holidays in Australia.  A year or two ago, we returned to Noosa, and visited a café where we remembered having had good coffee a year earlier. As he handed us our coffees, I asked the barista whether he was the Kiwi we recalled having met there briefly on […]

Will the Voters Think?

Winston Churchill is reputed to have once said that “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others”.  If he did indeed say that, he was presumably trying to capture a somewhat paradoxical truth – that democracy, at its best, has great underlying virtues that are unmatched by other forms of government, […]

Putting a Proper Value on Work

The success enjoyed by the trade unions recently in establishing that, across the economy as a whole, we can put a minimum value on particular categories of work has been of immediate benefit to thousands of low-paid workers, and particularly to carers, many of whose wages have been held down because of their gender. But […]

It’s Not Just the Rivers

When I was a child, we lived in Palmerston North.  Our favourite picnic spot was a few miles away, at Raumai, on the banks of the Manawatu river.  It was in the river there that I learnt to swim. Like many of my generation, and many others as well no doubt, I was shocked to […]

The Fallout from Brash’s Downfall

Don Brash’s attempt in the Herald a week or two ago to deny the accuracy of my account – also published in the Herald – of how the banks are not merely intermediaries but create out of nothing most of the money in circulation can be explained in two ways, but neither does much good […]

A Surprise from Jim Bolger

Jim Bolger will have surprised a few people this week.  In an interview with Guyon Espiner of National Radio, the former National Prime Minister expressed the view that “neo-liberal” economic policies have failed, and that an important aspect of that failure has been that most of such new wealth as has been created has gone […]

When the Chief Banker Gets it Wrong

It is no surprise that a former Governor of the Reserve Bank should seek to defend the banking system from its critics.  It is less expected, however, that Don Brash should do so while displaying an apparently complete – and certainly shocking – ignorance of the subject.   In attempting to deny the accuracy of […]