A woman's place is ... at the polling booth

The Republic of Ireland will hold a referendum on an article in its constitution which states a woman's place is "in the home". Article 41.2 of the Irish Constitution, which was created in 1937, stipulates that: "The State recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved."

The constitution also discourages mothers from gaining employment lest it affect their domestic obligations at home. "The State shall, therefore, endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home," the article continues. A referendum on the removal of the outdated article will be in November.

Teaching off-curriculum

A reader writes: "My fondest memories of Massey Primary School were of a certain male teacher Mr G. He was a cool guy who did cool things.

He was a hunting, shooting, fishing type — a less weather-beaten Barry Crump with a degree in geography. His most memorable teaching was the stuff that was off-curriculum.


One day he brought his fly rod to school and showed us how accurate he could cast, by assembling us on the playing field and getting the smallest, nippiest boy to run around in circles, while Mr G tried to get him with the tip of his fly line.

Another time, Mr G launched his outboard-powered dinghy in the school pool. The whole class assembled poolside and Mr G, sitting in the boat, started the motor which immediately roared at a great rate of knots towards the other end of the pool.

He slammed the tiller hard to one side and managed to execute a tight right-hand turn with minimal scraping of the bow on the side of the pool. He killed the engine, gave us all a quick lesson on how to clean a carburettor and then gave us turns going (slowly) up the pool and reversing back."

Triffids spawning across Auckland?

"Your Howick reader is too late," declare Connie and John Rice. "The triffids have already escaped to Wattle Downs."

Be ultra careful with Winston comparisons

"I agree with your other reader that comparing Winston Peters to Thanos is bullying at its worst," declares Rhys. "It is totally unfair on Thanos, who, while being an evil megalomaniac, has at least been consistent, and couldn't be accused of being a populist.

"It wouldn't surprise me if after this cruel stunt from Sideswipe, that poor Josh Brolin, who plays Thanos, needs some serious counselling. Before comparing anyone to Winston, please, please think first about the potential harm! PS, another issue is Thanos is consistently purple, whereas Winnie only goes purple when pretending to be angry to dodge a question."

How to write good

Video pick

A Dutch news show was interviewing Polish academic Jerzy Targalski about the controversial forced removal of Poland's top Supreme Court judge when his cat Lisio demanded a moment in the spotlight...

Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at ana.samways@nzherald.co.nz