Letters to the editor
A straight answer
One of the hallmarks of a good editor is that, apart from other things, editorials should be balanced and always in context. Your editorial "No place for game-playing" [Express, September 12] fails to meet those principles on both counts.
Firstly, it is well known that Marlborough Lines has funded some litigation for iwi relating to Horizon Energy because of allied business interests.
Your paper has reported this on April 23, May 9 and May 10, 2012. Tom Harrison, I am sure, is still amongst your declining circulation.
Tom constantly uses language such as “immoral”, “disgusting” and “disgraceful” in a context that is not frank, but offensive, and you know that, also.
The Express article on the use of the word “immoral” on the same day ["Sparks fly over power boss' pay"] is incorrectly recorded and written. Tom used the word first and I replied that it was “immoral” for him to raise the issue the way he did.
Tom uses those words to attract attention and your paper, of course, falls for the bait.
Tom Harrison is not a novice question-asker and he was deliberately targeting the issue of whether on top of this were we paying iwi for their services.
This was clearly obvious at the meeting, that you were not at, and he got a straight and clear answer from me.
There is nothing I said to your reporter after this that you had not already published but you choose to recycle an old story as a headline and then write your editorial.
Do you on reasonable grounds (and not just your view) now believe you meet the standards of a good journalist?
To quote Buckminster Fuller, “We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in 10,000 of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest".
"The youth of today are absolutely right in recognising this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed as some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors.”
While written more than 40 years ago, his words are particularly relevant to us at present.
With jobs being exported, how can we continue to create meaningful replacement work? The few wealth-creating jobs available rely on extractive industries (mining and farming), dooming the country to further environmental degradation and ultimate failure (see Why Nations Fail).
It is time for a paradigm shift towards a more equitable sharing of wealth without the endless creation of meaningless jobs.
The article about roading funding, ["Farmers call for roading review", Express, September 10] provoked discussion at this month's meeting of the Canvastown Settlers Association.
We wondered which rural roads are getting an unfair share of funding, as suggested by councillor David Dew. Certainly not the ones in our area.
Perhaps a better way to consider what is fair or not would be to compare the percentage of rating money spent per kilometre rather than just the money amount.
Canvastown Settlers Association
I agree entirely with Rowan Hodson in his assessment of much scientific evidence being "bought science" [letters, Express, September 13].
He was relating it to the King Salmon hearing but it could apply to almost any hearing today where an applicant such as TrustPower and King Salmon pay an expert witness to give an opinion or viewpoint in line with the company's wishes.
The difference is King Salmon or TrustPower can afford to pay expert witnesses whereas the average person cannot. Is this fair? Does it stack the odds heavily in favour of the wealthy corporates?
In addition I voice my displeasure at the intrusion, as reported ["Mayor quizzed on King Salmon", Express, September 5], by government cabinet ministers David Carter, Stephen Joyce and Kate Wilkinson, and Nelson MP Nick Smith of pressuring the mayor and Marlborough District Council over King Salmon.
Does this government have the slightest appreciation of fair play and democracy?
ROBIN M cMILLAN
Your wine writers seem to be blissfully unaware of the severity of alcohol abuse in Marlborough.
In their weekly column on Thursday ["Wine finds a match with ballerina", Express, September 13] they promote alcohol consumption with their statement: "Among all the media angst regarding the alcohol ‘debate', we've lost sight of the other side of the argument - the civilised pleasure that comes from matching wine with food, the conviviality of sharing wine, craft beer or a good whisky with friends".
The lady on the front page of the same paper states "I could have killed", driving after a few wines; and on Tuesday, September 11: "Bar punished after unconscious man found."
Does this seem civilised pleasure to you?
I recall the coroner's reports of drownings in Picton, Havelock and Rarangi exactly from this "civilised pleasure".
RENE DE RUITER
- The Marlborough Express