Air horror: Iran must pay price
About 176 people are killed, and Iran says sorry and that the offenders will be prosecuted.
Maybe some poor unfortunate military personnel will be tried and punished for the horrific crime.
Surely the Iranian Government is responsible — it employs the military, and should be held accountable?
A possible penalty would be for all airlines to withdraw services to Iran for 12 months. I would not imagine anybody in their right mind would want to fly into or over Iran anyway.
At least hit Iranians in the pocket, and show them they are to be accountable. Problem is we all know that will not happen, and they will get away with causing the deaths of 176 innocent people.
Bob Wichman, Botany.
Stub out fossil fuels
It's been a slow awakening in NZ to the addictive power of nicotine that soon will cost $40 a pack.
I remember my days as a schoolboy in Australia not able to sit upstairs in the double-decker buses due to stinky, blue, acrid, cigarette smoke.
This memory encouraged a lot of letters from me over 40 years that may have helped push up cigarette prices. And, ironically, the IRD is still the main, grim-reaping profiteer from sales of this toxic poison.
Fossil fuel is the toxic, addictive liquid that powers much of the NZ economy and weaning almost every one of us off it will be a far bigger challenge.
Letters: Class distinction has never had any place here in New Zealand
Letters: Haircut, royals, Matthew Hooton, boomers and Iran
Only the faintest few Kiwis emit no greenhouse gases from oil in each of their day's toil and frivolous moments. Individually our effects may be minuscule, but as temporary custodians of this planet, five million of us can be conscious instruments of change with a unified voice.
Kia ora, Jacinda and Winston. Keep doing what you are doing to nicotine to put it out of reach and then you must do the same pricing war with fossil fuel.
Make fossil fuel a luxury drug only for the most addicted.
Rob Buchanan, Kerikeri.
Stormy British voyage
After years of bitter division over Brexit and the prospect of Scottish and Northern Irish secession, the last thing Britain needs is for the royal family to fall apart. Because as anachronistic, awkward and remote as it sometimes seems, it still provides its many supporters with a tenuous but comforting link to the grandeur and influence of days gone by, along with a wafer-thin veneer of fair play and decency, as well as an anchor stone for its peculiar honours system.
The UK is about to embark on a potentially stormy voyage rife with risk and uncertainty, rather like an old ocean liner, which might founder somewhere between Europe and America. The spectacle of another punch-up in the first-class staterooms or on the bridge at this point will reassure nobody.
John Julian, Waiuku.
Having been in hospital quite a few times in my life and being aware that may recur, learning that a meat-free diet was possibly pending there, brought a frisson of fear.
Imagine after a crisis you wake up in ICU. There are tubes coming out of you in all sorts of inconvenient places. The surgeon comes in and he says, "That was a big procedure. You will be in here for one week and then you will be in a general ward for three weeks. You will have to come back in six months and we will operate again to take the bag away."
He leaves you to your thoughts.
Eventually you conclude, "yes, I want to live. I can do this".
A nice hospital lady comes in with the meal menu. She says. "We have been told to trial a new vegan diet. It is called the Julie-Anne Regimen and will last for one month. Tonight we start with lentil soup, the main is tofu and mung beans with a green pea and choko puree. There is no dessert, but we finish with a dandelion herbal tea.
She leaves and you go back to your earlier thoughts. The question is obvious: Would you change your mind?
Philip Neil, Manukau.
Full marks to Simon Wilson for his brilliant analysis of contemporary New Zealand ("This Broken Country", Weekend Herald 11/1). This should be prescribed reading for all Kiwis, the public and politicians alike, if we as a nation are to move ahead. Though his leanings tend to the left, your writer is remarkably fair to both left and right. Whilst he is critical (but not entirely so) of neo-liberalism, he also does not hesitate to point the finger at, say, Jacinda ("a liberal with naturally conservative instincts" who is "risk averse").
Wilson has also provided a valuable corrective to the commonly held view of the failure of the current Government to live up to its ludicrously high promise for housing reform. Whilst, rightly, condemning it, he nevertheless puts the whole problem in perspective.
A laudable blueprint for the way ahead has been set. Now it's up to the politicians to put their stamp on it. There's too much to lose.
John Hall, Hauraki.
Sort out monetary change
To me, globalisation and financialisation are at the forefront of manmade climate change. For two generations, globalisation and financialisation have been the two engines of global growth and soaring assets.
Globalisation can mean many things, but its beating heart is the arbitraging of the labour of the powerless, and commodity, environmental and tax costs by the powerful to increase their profits and wealth. In other words, globalisation is the result of those at the top of the wealth-power pyramid shifting capital around the world to exploit lower costs of labour, commodities, environmental regulation and taxes.
A key element is the transfer of risk from the owners of capital to the workers and public resources while transferring wealth to them.
Financialisation is the mass commoditisation of debt collateralised by previously unsecuritised assets, a pyramiding of risk and speculation that is only possible in a massive expansion of low-cost credit and leverage for those at the top of the wealth-power pyramid: Financiers, banks and corporations.
Jacinda Ardern wants to "grow and share NZ's prosperity more fairly to stop poverty" and tax us for financial-induced climate change. Her mandate of "putting kindness before progress" is nonsense. She works for the powerful and allows our Overseas Investment Office to sell NZ's people out.
We need to address monetary change before climate change. As Donald Trump has said, "there is no room for globalisation in the new economy". We must stop our politicians selling us out!
Steve Laurence, New Plymouth.
Brilliant Wilson writing
I feel immense gratitude to Simon Wilson for the brilliant articles he writes in the Herald, and in particular Saturday's "This Broken Country". This is a MUST read for anyone who wants to understand the fundamental social, infrastructural and environmental problems burdening our people and our land. He describes the near impossibility of fixing them quickly, after decades of neglect and embedded as they are in a business paradigm of free market economic growth, the magical solution.
To realise its aspirations for transformative change the Government must find enough finance, political courage and voter support.
Do we Kiwis have the collective desire for a better-functioning society that will alleviate the deep distress so many are suffering — including the planet? We have to be guided by our hearts, by a sense of common humanity (the Christchurch lesson), and push together for what is right and best for New Zealand and planet earth.
B. Darragh, Auckland Central.
God help Harry
The media's reaction to the resignation of Harry and Meghan is a sad reflection on today's press. In times past, it was respected as the main source of information for the public and its comments were restricted to possible future outcomes or adverse consequences.
Today, Harry states that the press caused the death of his mother and fears it could do the same for his wife and, not surprisingly, that he wants to protect her. And the press response? Tough, Harry, it sells newspapers and makes money. To misquote Henry V, "Cry God help Harry, England and St George".
Gerald Payman, Mt Albert.
Wage facts ignored
Your news story, "Minimum wage rise tipped to cut jobs" (Weekend Herald, January 11) ignores the fact that minimum wage policy is undertaken to redress unfavourable distributions of income. A new study by the respected Economic Policy Institute (US) shows that in about 20 recent state/local wage minimal increase events, in economic settings equivalent to ours, low wages have increased faster than high wages, thus reducing income skews. And without adverse effects on employment.
This latter finding is consistent with several recent peer-reviewed studies that show a weakened link between wage increases and employment declines.
Employment in Western economies is now more heavily influenced by technical input-output coefficients, which vary with technical change, and government management of aggregate demand.
Robert Myers, Auckland.
Sarah Sheehan's lament on the inequities in the pricing of women's hairdressing as opposed to that of men "Unkindest cut of all" (Herald, January 11), is a classic example of gender price gouging.
The question is, why is it like this? Examples of sexism in pricing are everywhere but it would seem extreme in the hair-styling industry.
Perhaps an insight might be gained from asking the salons themselves, who to the casual observer are over-whelmingly staffed, managed and presumably owned by women.
Phil O'Reilly, Auckland Central.