Friday, March 27, 2009
Former NZ PM Helen Clark appointed to UN post...
Helen Clark wanted to be the first prime minister to win four three year terms in the NZ parliament and government. She fell at the last hurdle after three terms.
She is arguably one of the best and most successful Kiwi PM's of all time. The NZ voters wanted change and her party was swept from power last November,2008.
Is it the end of Helen Clark? No way Jose!
She has just been appointed to the third highest diplomatic post in the world - administrator of the UN's Development Programme. The programme employs 8,000 people in 166 countries, has a budget of $5 billion , and is the UN's global development network, providing training, advice and support for developing countries.
The little farmgirl from the North Island has come a long, long way in the last few decades. She is also the first woman to hold this important post.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Fraternal judgement in the court...
Matthew Cartright and William Rochester were judges of the New Zealand District Court. They were also very good friends, and had been since law school thirty years ago. Both practised law in the New Zealand capital, Wellington City, for a couple of decades and both were promoted to the bench within a few years of each other.
Both judges enjoyed a tipple or two together on Fridays down at the 'club' which was frequented by other judges as well, and a number of senior solicitors and barristers around town.
Mathew Cartright owned and self drove a Mercedes Benz, while William Rochester preferred the latest American Ford. Both judges had a very bad habit of driving home after their tipple or two together at the 'club', and had done so without mishap for a number of years.
Like many things in their lives, they had both married their wives within a year or two as well, but they would find that they could not get away without mishap for ever. Both judges were pulled up by police patrols on different Friday evenings and arrested for driving under the influence - 'drunk driving'.
A few weeks later the two judges discovered they were both on the list before the District Court, and arranged to hear each other's case. A clever enough decision, under the circumstances - or was it?
When Mr William Rochester appeared before Judge Cartright for driving under the influence, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Judge Cartright fined Mr William Rochester $1,000 and suspended his licence for three months. A severe enough sentence for a first offender. He gave him the usual speech from the bench and sent him on his way.
When Mr Mathew Cartright appeared before Judge Rochester the next day in the same Wellington District Court, again nothing appeared out of the ordinary, until the sentence was revealed. Judge Rochester said to the accused in front of him, "It appears to me that too many people lack any personal responsibilty when drinking, and fail to make any alternative arrangements and just get into their vehicles and drive away under the influence with total disregard for any other driver on the road." he said authoritively. " A person of your standing should set an example to society, and I intend to sentence you accordingly. You will be fined $5,000 and have your licence suspended for one year. Step down!" he demanded further.
Judge Cartright, just plain ordinary Mattew Cartright that day, was totally stunned, and rang for a taxi in the court foyer.
The following Friday he met his "friend" William Rochester in the bar of the club and demanded that he explain the severe sentence he had handed out to him.
William Rochester stared straight at his friend, Matthew Cartright, and said calmly, "Matt I had to make an example of you the other day...I mean after all, there was another judge before the court just the day before, and in my opinion he received a rather light sentence under the circumstances. Having a drink, Matt?" he enquired searchingly.
(Huttriver fiction - based on historical fact)
Monday, March 9, 2009
Some Huttriver Fiction - All rights reserved
"Getting rid of memory block"...
Now if you asked me how to get started, I wonder what I would say. Indeed, but I have memory block. How do I get rid of it? How do I get started?
Should I do a bit of research? Look up some reference books - or perhaps go to Google and ask how to get started. Lets get all the technical things right first though. Turn the computer on, switch on the internet, off to Word and get the Wordprocessor going. New file and a new page. I'm ready to write, to write, to write...
But I've still got memory block. What on earth am I going to write about? How do I get started? I'll get up and make a cup of coffee. I'll feel better then. Ok. Mmmmm! That actually tasted pretty good. Right, back to the computer we go. Lets get comfortable and think...
Thirty minutes later and still not a word on paper. This is going nowhere fast. I need a break from this environment. Perhaps I should go for a walk and think on my feet. I'll turn the internet off, but leave the computer on. I'll go down to the shopping centre and see if something interests me - gets me going!
Well its another thirty minutes later and I've still got writers block. I can see a friend of mine over the street. " Gidday Joe,'' I yelled across the street. He didn't appear to hear me; must be deaf in his advancing age. I decided to go over, it was pretty busy, cars and vans whizzing back and forth.
I was half way over the street and a taxi came heading for me. " You crazy idiot, " I yelled at him." Did you get your licence in a lottery," I yelled again, sprinting for the sidewalk. Joe had actually walked on up the street, and was obviously beyond earshot. But I was angry, in fact I was infuriated, I was raging inside like a volcano, and I could only think about that damned taxi driver. And I no longer suffered writer's block - I could write a novel about taxi drivers. Yeah, and I'll start when I get home!