Richard Moore: Living in the love of common people

By Richard Moore

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Prime Minister John Key feels completely at ease putting himself in other people's shoes.
Prime Minister John Key feels completely at ease putting himself in other people's shoes.

One of the wonders of modern technology is the phenomenon of My Sky - you know, the fabulous little black box that basically makes you control time electronically.

You can easily record all sorts of things at all hours of the day/week but, best of all, you can stop or rewind live TV and then play it back as normal.

Fair go, it is the sort of stuff that has dopeheads spacing out with the philosophical enormity of it all.

But me, I like being able to rewind and rehear things I have only partially caught.

The other day I thought I heard the Prime Minister say something and then, to be sure, I rewound it and sat down all ears a 'listnin'.

I had got it right. John Key was talking about wages, how they were rising in New Zealand and then he added being a low-wage economy isn't something we should be worrying about.

Of course not, John, heaven forbid working people could actually meet their bills for life's necessities and then afford a few treats for themselves and their families.

Our PM always makes me smile.

And, on this occasion he made me burst out laughing.

You see, it's his ability to put himself in other people's shoes that grabs me most about him.

Here he is, a multi-squillionaire who has so much money (hard earned, to be sure) that he doesn't even take his PM's salary and yet is still able to connect with those earning around $15 a hour, which is $600 a week, or $31,200 a year.

And that is good, because if I had $50 million in the piggy bank, earning (at 5 per cent interest) about $2.5 million a year (before tax), or $48,076 a week, or just under $7000 a day, or $1201.92 an hour - I wouldn't have any clue about those on $15 an hour.

After all, my interest earnings each minute would be about $20 (or 33 cents a second) - about 25 per cent more than minimum hourly wage.

OWNING and running websites regularly brings me into contact with people who want something for nothing.

With my tourism site, I am often approached by people who rent out various types of accommodation wanting to be mentioned within its pages.

"Ok," says I, "the rate for that is ..."

The response is often, "What? You want us to pay?"

To which I reply, "Do you charge people who use your business?"

Last week I had an approach from an independent provincial newspaper wanting to use a photo from TikiTouring.

It was all very friendly and they even offered me a credit on the image.

Very generous, I thought facetiously, here was a daily newspaper with 19,000 readers wanting to use someone else's photo and not pay for it. Despite making money themselves out of their information.

I decided to have a bit of fun and sent an email back to the editor saying a credit was fine, but there would be a nominal $50 charge for the image.

Seems it was too much for the print mob and they quickly declined.

It is so hard being proved right ... yet again.

IT SEEMS there's another push on to revitalise Tauranga's central business district.

Actually, this should really be known as deja vu for the 25th time - as this debate has been going on so long and with so many different (yet the same) ideas - it has gone from serious issue to joke.

I have long been a supporter of boosting the CBD, however, if all that is going to happen is that there are going to be "brainstorming" sessions where the same old ideas are tossed around then maybe we all need to realise it is a lost cause.

For example, the latest "ideas" included free-parking and cruise ship shuttle buses.

The record needs to be changed, guys.

SOMETIMES you just can't win an argument.

Take the 36-year-old chap from Township, Michigan.

He was trying to convince his girlfriend that his handguns were safe.

And he did it the most persuasive way possible.

He showed her how, when they weren't loaded, they were completely, utterly and 100 per cent safe, by pointing them one at a time at his head.

Only it seems he didn't quite unload the third one completely, utterly and 100 per cent safely and proceeded to shoot himself in the head.

Completely and fatally.

Richard Moore is an award-winning Western Bay journalist and photographer.

Richard@richardmoore.com

- Bay of Plenty Times

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