The Rise of Toad: or a verse marking the anointment of a new leader of the National Party, 22 May 2020

All hail! Glad tidings O countrymen and womyn! The battle for the soul of our green and pleasant land is joined again: the banners blue unfurled and proud, stamped by the novel emblem of a Toad! Now just wait a minute, interrupts Simon the Unfortunate, before Lord Toad steps up nimble and lops his head. …

UK election 2019 : lumps, bumps and pimples

As the dust settles on another wall collapsing in the crumbling house of parliamentary democracy, this time in the (currently) United Kingdom, there are many interpretations of what happened, how it happened, and why it happened. These range from AI Facebook bots to the new nationalism. The realignment of political forces around strange new fault …

The 2035 New Zealand Poet Laureate writes on the occasion of the election of the Tenth Term of the National Government

Let’s make sure this remains a morbid fantasy not a fact. Vote on 23 September. – VB Fellow citizens, we celebrate today The Surplus. From all levels of the Survival Dome, we gather in solemn appreciation in a National Minibreak of Gratitude. Could all digital devices and personal teleportation equipment be turned to apocalypse mode. …

Covfefe – a poem

  Meta Mnemonics help him recollect his nuclear codes jammed in somewhere behind his twitching frontal lobes. His fish eye lens compulsively filming the inside of the zoo as he dials the Kremlin hotline to ask what should I do? A pumped up alpha politico steaming with roid rage, his fingers tap compulsively before his mind’s engaged. A …

Retirement crisis looming

There is a retirement crisis in New Zealand. Experts have made a compelling case for an imminent “zombie apocalypse” of retired Kiwis, stalking the streets and cannibalising the disposable incomes of innocent passers by. If humanity survives the collapse of the global financial system, climate change, peak oil, peak population, Australian DIY home improvement shows, …

Advice to mum and dad investors

I was impressed and excited to read a local finance broker’s advice to potential “mum and dad” investors in privatized public assets in the Otago Daily Times (Friday 6 July 2012). Mr Chris Timms of Craigs Investment Partners says any complaints about ordinary Kiwis not being able to get in on the sale of the …

Cocktails and corporate warriors

The following article appeared in the Otago Daily Times on 9 November 2010 in response to reports of private “war games” for businessmen with the SAS in exchange for donations. Of all the embarrassments that have defined New Zealand recently, the SAS “weekend warrior” episode is the one that jars the most. It had a …

Beyond the sea: New Zealand’s ports at risk?

The following article on New Zealand ports and maritime issues was originally published in Foreign Control Watchdog issue 123 (May 2010), the magazine of CAFCA, and is also available online at their site. Somewhere beyond the sea somewhere waiting for me my lover stands on golden sands and watches the ships that go sailin’ . …

Broke, Anxious or Seriously flush

The following article appeared in the Otago Daily Times, on Wednesday 3 February 2010, in response to an article by Dr Mathew Zacharias entitled Patients’ rights trampled in drive for equality and ongoing talk about user pays models at the Dunedin Public Hospital. I was interested to read the hard-headed realism of Dr Mathew Zacharias …