Little Bo Peep sounds the last roast. – Blog No. 43.

  Having, in January, flown the New Zealand flags on Auckland Bridge at half-mast in mourning for the departure of the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, it is probably time to lower them yet again. There has been another passing on Saudi Arabian soil. Hundreds of lambs, mothered by Kiwi ewes accredited to Saudi […]

The Spratly Islands – Blog No. 42.

War in South China Sea. There have recently been some alarmingly bellicose remarks made about Chinese actions in the South China Sea. At the ASEAN meeting in Singapore in May 2015, one of the issues discussed was the current Chinese military developments on the Spratly Islands.  US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter stated roundly that American […]

Peter Pomerantsev’s hatchet job: “Nothing is true and everything is possible.” Blog No 41.

  The secret of success as a journalist is to produce stuff that people want to hear. Having recently heard Peter being interview by Kim Hill on NZ National, I rushed to my Kindle and downloaded his book. Evidently, it is a raging best seller in the western world. Peter is an English citizen born […]

NZ Defence White Paper 2015 – Blog No. 40.

  Background: In the New Zealand International Review of May/June 2015, Gerry Brownlee, the Minister of Defence, briefly discussed the impending Defence White Paper alongside an advertisement inviting New Zealanders to ’have their say.’ Subsequently, the Government has organised ‘road shows’ in major centres in order to gauge the ideas and opinions of interested citizens […]

Medley No. 1 – Blog No. 39.

  It is only in the past seventy years that there has ever been the opportunity for one species to obliterate itself (and all the others) in one go. It might have been anticipated that with the first dawning of that awesome power at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the existing global political mechanisms would have been […]

Israel and New Zealand’s seat on the Security Council – Blog No. 38.

The war against ISIS being waged by the Iraqi government (with New Zealand tagging along) is not going at all well. The strength of ISIS’s hold over the Sunni north of Iraq should not be underestimated. This hyperlink details how ISIS’s territorial hold is modelled closely on that of Saddam Hussein’s manual for effective dictatorship, […]

Social inequality and child poverty – Blog No. 37.

  In dealing with the matters of poverty and social inequality contained in this post, I am stepping outside the areas in which I can claim any special expertise. Though I lack deep understanding of the problems, they are nevertheless problems that worry me – just as they do, or should do, others. I am […]

Green Action on Climate Change – Blog No. 36.

  Other than the belief, prevalent in certain Washington think tanks, that the USA could wage a nuclear war against Russia and emerge victorious, the greatest threat to humanity and to the multiple other species with which we share the planet, is the dramatic climate change, which is rapidly gathering pace. Shortly, Pope Francis’s encyclical […]

Gallipoli – Blog No. 35.

  New Zealand is currently experiencing a wave of patriotic nostalgia and solidarity as it recalls the centenary of the national tragedy of the Gallipoli campaign. In 1915, the population of New Zealand was around a million (the current size of Auckland.) The young colony had sent troops to fight for the Motherland in […]

The Social Progress index 2015: NZ v. Yemen – Blog No. 34.

  For many years, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been the measure most frequently chosen for assessment of one country’s performance in relation to another. If you divide the GDP by the population you end up with per capita GDP as an indication of how well individual citizens are faring. If you study […]