Sunday, March 30, 2014

The River Always Flows---I had almost forgotten about that book!

I have notice over the last few weeks that some of you are reading some excerpts from a  book I started to write called, 'The River Always Flows.' It was an experiment; a fantasy type book that I felt wasn't going anywhere, so I just stopped. I never sought any feedback,  but perhaps in light of the number of those checking it out, I should. It's over to you---do you want me to resurrect it? Do you want to see more? I am still in the process of re-releasing the much improved version of ROSKILL, and believe me, unless that gets some traction re downloads from Amazon Kindle or hard -copy, I doubt that I will be embarking on any new ventures anytime soon. When one has to pay for digital, stuff, book design, editing and a publicist, then---you get the picture. I will make sure you all know  when the online re-launch occurs.

'Peace in our time.' Putin---the modern day--you know who!

I am reluctant to make what is becoming increasingly obvious about the aims of Putin. We need only to hark back to the 1930’s and reflect on another time in history, prior to WW2, when another ‘dictator had expansionist plans, to make a modern day comparison. One could almost have some sympathy for Russia’s claims re the Crimea, although his methodology in achieving his claims, leave many questions uncomfortably unanswered.
Is Putin going to stop at the Crimea or is he going to continue his westward roll through parts of, if not all of Ukraine, the Baltic States and even Finland? He may even have his eyes on Poland and other former Republics. The only ones he feels unsafe in are the ‘Stans’ on his southern border. Even he knows that he would be chasing the tiger by the wrong end in those cases!
It is time to draw the line in the sand and put in place far reaching sanctions that deliver the message that says-STOP! Putin has hooked into a latent nationalistic fervour that many dictators find convenient, when things are about to pear-shape on the home front. The Russian economy is very narrowly based on oil and not much else. The corruption has meant that few now control the vast resources of the old Soviet State, all friends and allies of Putin.
Russian people are not stupid. They know that they have a new Stalin on their hands and for many---this is indeed good; it reminds them of a past when housing, jobs, health and education were a given. The new Russia may not be able to deliver in that way, but the spectre of a ‘strong leader’ gives them false hope.
This time in history, the USA is not following an isolationist policy. IT is Europe and to a lesser extent other powers, that are sitting watching and hoping that they are not going to be badly affected by the events unfolding at Putin’s behest. If the UN had ‘teeth’ and was not made ineffective by the ‘power of veto,’ perhaps hope would rule.
In the meantime, it is a dangerous time for us all.

Many more New Zealanders think that the gap between rich and poor is growing.

WE can play with ‘figures’ around how we perceive the economy to be delivering our standard of living as a nation and come up with justifications that mesh with our particular political leanings but he report in the Herald today has one glaring thrust: many more New Zealanders than in past years now think that the gap between the rich and poor is growing. It seems that we are caught like ‘possums in the headlights,’ though when it comes to the support we give our political parties. There was a time when such figures would have spurred a growth of votes for the ‘left of centre’ in NZ politics, but this is clearly not happening at the present time. One has to ask and the Labour Party specifically; why is the voting public not turning to them for answers?
David Cunliffe needs to galvanize that uncertainty and put forward believable policies that give answers to this vexing issue.  If he does not, then other parties will come up with less acceptable (to the middle New Zealand voters) and the gap will continue to grow. There are those out there who claim that the entrenched power-brokers in NZ and elsewhere have had things their own way for so long that any attempt to bring about a more level playing field is doomed to failure, such is the stranglehold on power that the latter have.
WE need a modern day Micky Savage; one who can connect with the people and be strong enough to challenge that control of resources that the ‘big boys’ have enjoyed for so long. It would help if the trend to ‘de-power’ the union movement was also challenged. Individual workers have been sold a lie that they ‘cannot control their own destiny with collective bargaining and that they are far better off with a system of individual contracts; one which just places workers in a position where they are competing against one another. Can they not see where this is leading them?
Today’s article I the NZ Herald just informs what many of us have known for many years: the gap has been widening for years and will continue to do so, when we have governing  parties singing to the tune of big business, most of which is controlled from overseas. Perhaps more people are seeing this for themselves, if we could believe that the rising numbers supporting NZ First are true, but I think that that may come down to other factors which the leader of that party is very good at hooking in to!