Re Letter from David Bennett, November 19:
Well, that was very tasteful. Right on the eight-year anniversary of the Pike River Mine disaster, David Bennett questions the worth of the current exercise to retrieve what is left of the 29 miners and investigate the cause.
We had John Key and Bill English (his bosses) doing nothing for seven years and today on TV the now Leader of the Opposition (can't remember his name) making a jock out of himself again, saying the National Government changed health and safety rules. Really?
Dave, stick to doing things you know about. At least be sensitive to the grief of those families involved. Mine safety is finally being taken seriously by people who know what they are doing. With international consultants being involved, I would guess safety gear will be sought from the world's best designers.
Top marks to the Labour Party for being proactive and getting off their butts!
St John's Hill
Like a lot of others, I am sure, I was angered and disgusted by the pictures in the Chronicle (November 20) of the animal remains dumped near the North Mole, and would certainly like to see those responsible prosecuted, although I'm guessing the chances of finding them are pretty minimal.
I am guessing from the pictures that one of our local farmers is down a sheep, as it's unlikely those responsible would have purchased the poor animal concerned.
I, like a lot of other residents of this great town, am concerned at the increased level of illegal dumping, something highlighted by councillor Helen Craig in this paper a day or two ago, and then I read (November 19) the halving of the weight limit of rubbish bags collected with the yellow stickers attached, which effectively doubles the cost of disposal for the thousands of residents, myself included, who use this cheap, efficient method of disposal.
It has become apparent to myself in recent times that the Whanganui council is intent on doing away with this method of waste disposal, preferring instead for every resident to pay $7 a week for a green bin, despite whether they fill it or not?
Like an awful lot of residents here, myself and my partner are on a very limited fixed income, and are already dealing with the steady rise of petrol, power and groceries, not to mention record high rents, as well as the marked increase in costs at the local council-run tip?
While I in no way condone the illegal dumping of rubbish, I do wonder if the council is creating a rod for its own back with such cost increases, which I fear will lead to more illegal dumping as already strained budgets are stretched tighter?
Footnote: Kerbside rubbish collections, the local refuse transfer stations and the tip at Bonny Glen are all operated by private enterprise, not the council.
I always look forward to reading Gary Stewart's brief but pointed letters.
However, in response to his last one (November 21) about the All Blacks: No, Gary, I have not heard the song Bouncy Ball.
How does it go, mate? Perhaps the ABs should sing that instead of the haka.
Food for thought
I'm puzzled by F R Halpin's letter of November 16. There is no consistent thread philosophically, politically or religiously despite the tentative jabs in the general direction of each.
All I can safely suggest is that this correspondent is an extreme religious conservative.
That leads him to bewail the inevitable and various results of the breakdown of Catholic hegemony: The rise of free-thinking approaches to politics and philosophy, the schismatic spread of Protestant sectarianism, and (not least) the development of empirical science coupled with reason and secular problem-solving.
All of this can, I suppose, be labelled "leftish", but a moment's real thought should bring the reader to question what — if anything — of the debunked or maimed "rightish" stuff should be reinstated? The neo-nationalist politics of the Le Pen party in France or the wrecking ball of Trump's shattered version of Republicanism?
And surely we wouldn't want a return to absolutist monarchy? The ersatz forms such as Putin's and Trump's are clear warnings with their hellish militarism and '60s Cold War brinkmanship revisited.
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