Shaw saga nothing new
It's more than a week since broadcasting's bull terriers sank their fangs into hapless Green Party co-leader James Shaw over his involvement in the $11.7 million funding application for the private Green School in Taranaki.
Despite his fulsome and abject apology, they've dragged their prize through bulletin after bulletin and used it to pad out several weekend current affairs programmes.
Brit Bunkley (Letters, September 4) reminds us that the media uproar comes during a productive year for the political scandal industry but that many other private schools have already received funding.
As National Party leader Judith Collins chimed in to demand Shaw's resignation, a private school funding scandal closer to home sprang to mind.
For those with short memories John Key's Government, with Collins in Cabinet, ignored the advice of Education Ministry officials to refuse a bailout for Whanganui Collegiate. Instead, Cabinet dropped $3.8 million into Collegiate's coffers.
The decile 10 school had sent out an SOS in 2012 as its roll plummeted and apparently not even the cheque books of its wealthy and prominent old boys could save it from collapse. Collegiate had no choice but to become part of the state school system but was able to retain its Anglican "special character" via the integration model that already kept many Catholic schools afloat.
The principals of Whanganui's two state secondary schools were unhappy that an integrated Collegiate would be a further drain on the Key Government's meagre school funding pool and one editorial noted: At a time when schools across the country have to ask parents to help fund vital learning tools, National has found more than $3 million a year to prop up an institution that is not needed.
It all sounds familiar to anyone following the Green School saga, except perhaps for Collins.
Soldiers not props
In F R Halpin's letters he has expressed his opinions numerous times.
From his religious base, he opposes a women's choice in abortion regardless of cause, whether the pregnancy results from rape or incest or intolerable life circumstance.
He opposes the EOLC Act, giving competent terminally ill people choice in the manner and time of their final moments.
While I disagree with his opinions, it is to defend his right - and others - to those opinions - that I volunteered to serve in the US military force during Vietnam. I am proud of that service, a feeling unknown to the current president of the US, who reportedly called captured or killed US soldiers "losers".
As a result of that service I know at first-hand the cost of that war. Friends of mine have their names on a wall in Washington, DC.
That's precisely why Halpin's recent attempt at imposing his opinion on others is so thoroughly offensive (Letters, September 3).
To suggest, as Halpin does, that he can speak for the fallen and the maimed soldiers of this or any country, that he knows their minds, their opinions, and intentions, is totally over the line and is unacceptable.
They are not props to be used for his politics nor for Trump's for that matter.