Michael Cox

'Call me David' too nice, too UN to stay the distance

MICHAEL COX - Waikato

"Please, call me David," I heard the leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition ask a reporter.

A consultant and a tomcat as seen by an Israeli diplomat

"You remind me of a tomcat I owned in Jerusalem, Michael," said Shmuel Ovnat, Israel's Ambassador to New Zealand.

Herding MPs challenge when whip comes down

Late one evening in Parliament, during the Budget debate that my next speaker wasn't in his seat ready to take the call.

Tougher benefit criteria exposes those not in need

If I was asked whether I was in paid employment or self-employed for more than 20 hours, I would reply, quite truthfully, "No".

The power and the glory, the manse and the car

Every couple of kilometres or so there stands a huge edifice proclaiming the community's commitment to their god.

Morse signals and flags still got the message through

"Never use that bloody thing again," the angry captain shouted at me, his new fourth mate.

Cracking the code for cripple in cockney rhyming slang

We'd eventually found an Auckland car park, right next to a "disabled only" slot.

Key passes end-of-year examination

Waikato

End-of-term reports were a total anathema to me and I feared their arrival in the mail.

Spare a thought, and some food, for those who struggle

MICHAEL COX - Waikato

One can be smug about how well we look after our poor and the aged.

Invention of the decade has lifted my TV-watching mood

"Frigging ads" said the 5-year-old, snuggled next to me on the sofa.

Unions make hay behind the flurrying skirts of the fracas

David Shearer

Aneurin "Nye" would have loved this year's Labour Party Conference.

Watching the supermarket wildlife

It's claimed by Phineas T Barnum, the circus promoter, that "every crowd has a silver lining".

Romney, Key share solid economic credentials

THE CANDIDATE: Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally in Reno, Nevada.

To be at the top of any administration you need to have a strong understanding of your own country's financial structure and where it fits into the rest of the world.

A mercantile lesson for life: pay attention to the basics

One of the rules of the sea was learnt by all of us: cleanliness is next to godliness.

Shearer misses mark again

david shearer

Labour Party leader David Shearer needed a win with his recent and much-publicised education policy speech.

Just remember the odds

I was sucker punched; I couldn't resist the temptation and left carrying two yellow pieces of paper, walking on clouds; I might just win $20 million - whoopee! I'll give her a very large tip if I do.

Death grip of US gun lobby

RISING COST: The body count continues to climb in the US where indiscriminate killings have become an international disgrace.

The gun lobby is too powerful, claiming that to change the gun laws to make the United States a safer place would be unconstitutional.

Young provide hope for future

At a time when our youngsters receive so much bad press it has been uplifting to participate and view some extraordinary performances from our young people.

Silence gives Islamic fanatics credence

Maybe it is right for us to have our soldiers in Afghanistan, putting themselves ‘in harms way' to stop the progress of Islamic fanatics.

Homosexuality debate needs compassion

Since my first whiff of lavender water at the age of 11 I've known that I am heterosexual.

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