John Key is right. Labour's constant nitpicking about trivialities shows only that it doesn't have a clue about what's going on in the country and has no policy ideas to deal with the concerns of the electorate.

The only time that Phil Goff's crowd seem to get any coverage lately is when one of them picks on some petty item of public expenditure.

That generally comes from Pete Hodgson, who is due to retire from Parliament at the next election. Of the other senior members of the Opposition we hear little. Leader Goff is as good as invisible.

And the fact is that the public at large has no quibble about the expenditure that Mr Hodgson complains of, particularly by the Prime Minister. Rather, they are somewhat put off by his constant carping. He can be sure that it is doing his party no good.

Like most Kiwis, I have no problem whatsoever with Mr Key - or any other senior Cabinet member - using air force planes or helicopters to get from one country or engagement to another.

In fact, it would be okay by me if the Government were to provide the air force with the funds to buy one, or perhaps two, executive aircraft, such as a Grumman Gulfstream or Cessna Citation, and base them at Wellington Airport for ministerial (and vice-regal) use.

Nor do I have any problems with the purchase of a fleet of new BMW cars for government use. Why shouldn't Cabinet ministers and their guests ride in some of the most comfortable, reliable and, for their size, economical vehicles it is possible to buy?

As for the $215,000 renovations to the prime ministerial residence, Premier House, that is no more than any householder might need to spend to preserve a historic residence - and there are plenty of those in Remuera, Parnell, Epsom, Mt Eden and elsewhere.

Mr Key has pointed out that the renovations authorised by Labour for Government House in Wellington cost $45 million. I visited Government House last month when I received my MNZM from one of the nicest blokes you could ever hope to meet, Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand.

And I can tell you that the money was well spent: this is a magnificent historic edifice and a credit to the nation.

Another politician being sniped at with extreme prejudice is United States President Barack Obama over the elimination and deep-sixing of Osama bin Laden. He is reported to have said this week that he has lost no sleep over the killing of the man responsible for 9/11 and that anyone with qualms should "have their heads examined". I heartily concur.

And before some of you rush off to send me an email pointing out that an overt Christian like me shouldn't hold such a view, let me tell you that those who do not accept the New Covenant proclaimed by Jesus Christ remain under the strict law of the Old Testament.

And that lays down that "you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe".

Although I concede that in this wicked world we need military men, I feel sadness for those who, through selection and rigorous training amounting to brainwashing, can be turned into implacable killing machines.

There is, incidentally, no question in my mind that certain organs of the Pakistan state were complicit in hiding bin Laden for more than seven years.

The Americans must know that dissimulation and duplicity are ingrained in the fabric of that society.

Talking of the fabric of a society, how about the foul and evil curse of child abuse, too often fatal, that seems to have become ingrained in the fabric of ours?

A Ministry of Social Development report this week shows that Child, Youth and Family received 124,921 child abuse complaints last year, compared with 50,488 notifications in 2005.

This week police have launched an investigation into the death of a 7-month-old baby girl after finding adult medication in her stomach. The Morrinsville tot died in March in what was initially believed to be a case of sudden infant death syndrome.

A 10-week-old boy languishes in Hawkes Bay Hospital suffering from "significant" non-accidental injuries.

The attack on the lad happened in the same month that a 6-month-old Ngaruawahia baby girl died from traumatic brain injury suffered in what police described as a "very violent" incident.

Social Welfare Minister Paula Bennett has called for a green paper that she hopes will lead to a national discussion on how children are nurtured and protected.

We can only pray that every New Zealander who cares will devote his or her time, thinking and talents to this unspeakable vileness in our society and find the means to root it out once and for all.