Thursday, 18 December 2008
by Auckland union activist Two valedictories: 1. Paul Holmes gave his last ever morning breakfast show this morning before retiring. Special guest of honour was his mother. After hamming it up at the mike and asking in her best little old lady voice, "is this the thing I have to speak into", she claimed that Paul didn't inherit his ability with the spoken word from her, before she went on to disprove it. She spoke of the hard times her son had experienced when he first moved to Auckland to host the morning show for 1ZB. For the first few months of his new job 1ZB radio morning ratings were their worst ever. To loud applause from the live audience, she said, that if the 90 day bill had been in existence then, her son Paul's career would have probably been ended there. 2. On the same day, Helen Clark was asked on TV1 what was her greatest achievement of her 9 years as head of the Labour government. She seemed quite stumped. After some classic waffle, that there was just too many things to put into a book, she finally came up with the return of the unknown warrior to his tomb in Wellington. What? No ground breaking advances in human welfare, or justice, or social, or labour rights policy? No world leading initiatives to protect the environment? No raising the standard of living, for the majority, at the expense of the privileged minority? Nope, nothing like that comes to mind. Instead, one single overblown act of jingoistic pageantry. This belated effort to glamorise a historic imperial conflict was a popular move with militarists, army officers, jingo nationalists, war on terror supporters, military historians and Herald editorialist's. Unfortunately for Helen Clark these people's votes don't amount to a hill of beans and they probably all vote National or Act anyway.