Friday, January 4, 2013

When a woman feels unsafe in a police station___

India has a huge problem; one that has always been there, but has come to the fore after the sad death of the student on a bus. That many people around the world have pointed the finger at the conditions in India that have made this possible must not take away from the fact that it is India that must make the changes. That we see a woman on TV stating that she would never go to an Indian police station to report a rape of other sexual harassment issues at night without a male accompanying her, speaks for itself. That of course is not something India has on its own. Even in little New Zealand there have been issues, but the difference is that we all hear about it and are able to force change in the ‘culture’ of our police force. We have a way to go however.

For India the problem is endemic, and despite progress in reforming the vast police force in India, there needs to be a breakthrough in the way this diverse nation sees the position of women. No amount of liberal thinking will change this unless the issue of women in society is viewed and reviewed at all levels of society. Religion and long-held views on social position (casts) will be difficult to change.

There is a wide gap between what the law guarantees and the actual day-to-day life of Indian citizens. Putting into practice the ‘articles’ of Indian laws and constitutional rights has two very different faces. Any nation will have these ‘discrepancies’ but in a larger one comprising over one billion people, with a fragmented political system, albeit supposedly ‘democratic’ in nature, will be unwieldy in the enforcement of so-called rights.

There is a new energy in India; one that is demanding transformation to these long held beliefs and systems. The pathway to change is going to be fraught with danger and many people will become victims of this rapid process. There will be a ‘kickback’ from those unwilling to accede to these changes; often violent. But the tide will turn and a ‘new India’ will emerge; this time, one of their own making, but the rest of the world will be watching. Other nations will take heed of India’s progress and force change in their own countries. I suspect there are many despotic regimes and political forces that will be looking over their shoulders too.

Australia burns---yet again!

The sight of flames travelling at breakneck speeds towards homes and towns is one we witness very year. One wonders how Aussies put up with this annual event. The trend is increasing as yet more homes are built in the 'bush.' Every year lives are lost and countless hundreds have to rebuild their homes. The fact is that fires are a natural phenomenon in Australia; indeed many plants need them in order to reproduce. The Aboriginals (I guess there is a more PC term!) lived with nature and were able to adapt as the flames 'renewed' their natural habitat. So what to do? Try evolving with nature and building where it is safer. I'm sure Aussies will find the balance. Let's face it----you lot over the ditch can show us a thing or two about resiliency!


French actors have hiisy-fits and gain Russian Passports!

What the hell are these two icons of the French and indeed world film industry trying to achieve by fleeing to Russia? What do they hope to gain other than a few weeks of publicity? Do they really think that life, if they choose to live in Russia will be a freedom filled delight? Just watch what happens if they find ‘causes’ to fight in Russia. They won’t have to look far, but then again we have seen such acts in Soviet times, whereby Western ‘runners’ found a place and then virtually disappeared from sight. Maybe the old regime used them from time-to-time but for the most part, they just became ‘has-beens.’

Ms Bardot’s hissy-fits about two elephants is maybe a bit over the top. Methinks that she will not follow through. She has made her point, but then again, she is an ‘aging’ beauty and maybe that is cause for her to hide from the prying eyes of a cruel press. As for the elephants, I wish them well in their fight against tuberculosis.

The other dude---well he wants to escape the higher tax rates of the new French Government. Perhaps he has made a deal with the ‘New Russia.’ I suspect that high rollers there all do! You know what--- nothing has really changed, no matter what the colour of the Government---in every country. ‘Oh so cynical,’ you say. The gap between rich and poor is forever widening and the quest for power and influence and retaining one’s ‘privilege’ is an age old fact. Would I be any different if I sold ten million books?  LOL----who knows?

Perdy the Jack Russell stars in her own book!

Well, she didn't write it---- but I did and I changed her name to Spot. Hell, even a dog deserves some privacy but she just can't stay out of the lime-light. When her Dad, Garry, a 'talk back host' becomes the target of a publicity scheme gone worng, the ladies in the Onehunga Walkers Club team up and fight back. NO one---yes no one will harm a hair of Spot's lean and mean frame. Will she survive her ordeal? Find out. Buy a copy of 'Talk To Me.' I will of course sign and date it. NZ$23 and free postage in NZ. $8P&P if posted to Australia. Elswhere?-- Negotiable. Get in touch direct at   or go through my website using Paypal.

Low- life tourist operators take advantage of Chinese tourists.

When I first heard about a tourist party attending a free Xmas day lunch that was intended for the poor and lonely in Auckland, I was a bit miffed. I decided that I should not react too strongly until I had heard the full story. Yes, at first glance, it appeared that the tourists were being selfish and looking for a free ride. I am therefore pleased that one of the tourists who attended this luncheon, has given an explanation; a very plausible one.

A local unlicensed Mandarin speaking operator had approached a group of Chinese tourists offering a ’hard to believe’ deal, whereby they would only pay NZ$88 for an amazing array of events, including a ‘garden visit, Kiwi BBQ, thermal park and a farm park visit, amongst others. Hell, for that amount, who wouldn’t take up the deal? Of course, none of these events involved an entry fee and the only expense for the operator was in transporting the tourists; easy and very cheeky money.

What got up most Kiwis’ craws was the fact that the Xmas lunch really is for those less fortunate. I am glad that no one gave the tourists a hard time on the day, because that would have been unseemly. However, the subsequent publicity would have caused embarrassment for the Chinese tourists if they had read about it. Now that one of the tourists has come forward to give their side of the story, the blame should be soundly and forcefully put at the feet of the operator. That firm should receive a hefty bill from the Auckland City Mission, but somehow I suspect they will put it down to experience.

What perhaps needs to be done is to ‘take out’ these unscrupulous operators, who give NZ a bad name and cause unnecessary embarrassment to groups of unwary tourists. The operator also owes New Zealand an apology and most certainly one to the tourists. Maybe the least he/she could do is take them out to a real dinner if they ever come back. New Zealanders do not like rip-off agents!