Lessons from Brexit
The shambles that is Brexit lurches to its conclusion, an end that could be disastrous for the UK. How could it be otherwise when 48 per cent of voters want to stay in the EU? With only a 4 per cent majority favouring Brexit, it will likely be impossible to strike a deal with the EU that will be good for the UK and that will also be agreed by the UK parliament.
We New Zealanders should take two lessons from this. The first is that the result of referenda regarding major change for our society should be entrenched. This requires the vote for change to be at least 75 per cent of the total vote. The second lesson is that all agreements, contracts and infrastructure should be in place, or at least clearly described, before a referendum takes place.
The forthcoming referenda on cannabis and euthanasia are prime examples of the importance of these two lessons. If they are implemented, then people will be able to vote for their preference, instead of trying to second-guess the outcome. Many Brexit voters second-guessed the outcome, voting for Brexit but actually wanting to stay in the EU. They got the result they didn't want.
Gerry Beckingsale, Torbay.
D Day excellence
I am not sure what planet Mike Hosking is on when being critical that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wasn't at the UK and France for the 75th D-Day commemorations?
Mike, our Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy was very present, representing the significant New Zealand RN and RAF contribution. What more does he want? Dame Patsy does an excellent job on these occasions.
Yes, D-Day was a momentous event of the 20th century, not least the casualties that resulted in the weeks between June 6 and the liberation of Paris on August 25. Historian Antony Beever tallies 70,000 French citizens, often forgotten, 80,000 British and Canadian, 125,000 United States and 225,000 German. Yes, a very significant event hopefully never to be repeated.
Graeme Samson, Whangārei.
I feel obliged to ask our Prime Minister on behalf of the many men who fought for this country and in huge numbers, lost their lives for it, how she could possibly have not had a presence at the recent Normandy celebrations of D-Day.
I'm sorry Prime Minister but to say you can't be everywhere at once just doesn't cut it.
This was a blunder and quite frankly, an embarrassment of huge proportions and more to the point, a slap in the face to those who fought so hard for the freedom we now enjoy.
I feel such shame that you don't seem to share that shame.
Christine Wroblenski, Pakuranga.
Residents of the island of Skyros in a fairly isolated part of the Aegean Sea apparently got sick and tired of the ferry services provided for them by monopolistic and unreliable operators. They were almost totally dependent on sea connections for their tourism and all their imports and exports.
They decided to meet the challenge head on and a residents' group banded together and established their own dedicated shipping company or cooperative and bought their own large roll-on roll-off ship carrying both passengers and freight. The service is there for one purpose; To serve the island and its people.
Each day, just a few minutes prior to the ferry's arrival, the dramatic theme from Star Wars blasts out of large speakers surrounding the bay and then around the corner comes the ship. A great piece of theatre celebrating what appears to be a proud accomplishment for beautiful Skyros and its innovative people.
Bill Mathews, St Marys Bay.
In the last few days I have Read with interest about school children turning up to school without shoes and warm clothing (NZ Herald, June 10). In business I used to deal with many schools and have a excellent relationships with many headmasters and office staff. On one occasion talking to a headmaster over a cup of coffee at a primary school in Gisborne, he told me about a two children coming to school without shoes and warm clothing. After this had happened for a while, he invited the parents into his office for a chat. Because of the concerns about the welfare of these children by his staff, the parents were quite open to him about what benefits were coming into their household.
On the left-hand side of a page, he listed all their income and on the right-hand side he listed his. It turned out the parents had slightly more disposable income than he did. For a few months, he did help the family out, budget-wise, but then handed the case back to I think Child, Youth & Family. The problem is, no one ever questions or enquires about how much money comes into these individual homes. I have traveled to some very poor countries in my younger days and I know what poverty really is.
Tony Tews, Milford.
Another tear-jerking story about children with no shoes. Surely, there needs to be more investigation into what their parents spend their money on, when you can buy a reasonable pair of children's shoes from The Warehouse for $10? I am not denying we have a poverty problem in NZ , but it would be very interesting to see a full scale research project into exactly what the under privileged actually spend their money on down to the last cent. I think the results would surprise us all.
Jock MacVicar, Hauraki.
Sportsman Israel Folau, or Izzyfolau as he calls himself on Instagram, is rattled. Having lost his AU$4 million contract with Rugby Australia, he is upset that it has been leaked out he is claiming AU$10 million in damages in a court case to argue unfair dismissal (NZ Herald, June 9).
Arguing the religious counter-narrative against fundamentalist and conservative headlining has always been challenging. Folau didn't just condemn homosexuals to hell, he listed eight groups. Six of them appear to be constituted from 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. This is St Paul's letter to a specific community where Paul says such people will be denied the Kingdom of God unless they are sanctified and justified in the name of Jesus Christ. This is not the same as condemnation to Hell. Izzy added "atheists" and "liars" to a selection of six from St Paul's group, to make his eight.
However, Paul lists 10 groups. The peoples not included in Izzy's list are the greedy, swindlers and those that verbally abuse.
Izzy's $10 million claim might be called both greedy and extortionist with St Paul's Greek word "loidoros" referring to those whose comments abuse, reproach, injure, degrade and insult. As Shakespeare says: "It is a good divine that follows his own instructions".
Russell Hoban, Ponsonby.
Your correspondent Morgan L Owens has correctly pointed out that, under the Bills of Exchange Act 1908 and the Cheques Act 1960, it is not necessary to write a cheque out of a bank provided cheque book for it to be valid (Weekend Herald, June 8). It is not even necessary to write it on paper, provided it contains the required details of date, amount in words and figures, signature etc. I understand it is not even legally required to print the name of the account or quote the account number.
While a number of elderly customers are quite at home with computers and apps, a number are not. Although there has been a significant move towards electronic banking over recent years, despite the risk of being hacked, in 2018 there were still 18 million cheques written out, or just under 50,000 a day. If superannuitants who are Kiwibank customers all turned up at their bank with valid home made cheques on pension day and the bank refused payment, could there be a class action for damages for wrongful dishonour?
Kiwibank has acted precipitately, and commentators have stated it could face a backlash. I rather hope they do. If other banks are thinking about following its lead, they should think very carefully.
H E H Perkins, Botany Downs.
Smash 'em bro
Sadly, another season for the Blues rugby team is over (NZ Herald, June 10).
I had thought or maybe that should be hoped, with the advent of a new coach, we might have seen a distinct change of tactics. However, no.
The last few years has seen an incessant use of the "smash 'em Bro" move. I am not opposed to a bit of "pick and go" to encourage the opposition to form traditional defensive positions or "to wind down the clock" but to persist with this tactic until someone drops, knocks on, forward passes or has the ball ripped from them seems to be a bit pointless.
I admire the size, strength, athleticism and determination of these players but can't help but feel the art of passing the ball to put another player into a gap or for that matter the ability to spot and run oneself through a gap or around an opposition player has rapidly disappeared. Fortunately, the top teams in Super Rugby are still able to find these gaps and use less of the "smash 'em Bro" move.
And, if I was coach or manager, one member of my staff would be an ex-Army barber.
Brian Lough, Greenhithe.
Short & Sweet
Letters: Blues, speed limits, Air Chathams and Simon Wilson
Letters: State housing, baby boomers, Mike Hosking and Speed limits
Letters: Road design, mayoral race polling, Brexit and Lizzie Marvelly
One might be inclined to take the current concern about road safety more seriously when companies stop advertising cars that can do 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds, expecting drivers to ease off there, and stop showing SUVs/utes hooning around back roads and plowing through pristine waterways.
Peter Smith, Devonport.
The term Crusaders can apply to the anti-Muslim wars of the 11th-13th centuries. The alternative dictionary definition is that of any vigorous movement for the advancement of a cause. For years the Crusaders rugby team have been doing just that. They should keep their proud name.
Hylton Le Grice, Remuera.
It's doubtful Christchurch will lose its redneck reputation any time soon if people such as Crusaders Supporters Club president Dick Taylor continue to make comments on national radio like "the Crusaders rugby team did nothing wrong. Why should they be punished by having to change their name?"
Isaac Donaldson, Takapuna.
I fully sympathise with the schools whose voting papers took so long to be delivered. On the morning of Monday, May 6, I posted a letter at Royal Heights in Massey. It had the correct address and postcode but took 18 days to reach the recipient's address.
Pauline Ereckson, West Harbour.
On Air NZ
Thankfully there are other airlines available if passengers find (particularly facial) tattoos somewhat confronting.
Bill Smith, Kawerau.
The weird results in the polls
are obviously messed up by trolls
Still, Brunton and Colmar
And Newshub-dash-Reid, are
Providing a truckload of lols
Peter Lange, Mt Eden.
Yes Gary Stewart, maybe Razor Robertson could also get the All Blacks out to a 20-nil margin, then lose 40-27 like in Suva.
Craig Biddulph, Waikato.