Monday, 20 August 2012

In the Lowlands

I went to see the annual Hopkins Lecture, hosted by Canterbury University and IPENZ (the Institute of Professional Engineers NZ), last Wednesday evening.
The subject was building resilience to disasters into societies, with an emphasis on how to do this as part of development an specifically development funded through aid.  I found it fascinating, partially because of my general interests and my day to day employment.  It's  bit of a dull subject, and I intend to not write about it, at least not here.
The speaker was the head of the UN Development Program and an ex-PM of New Zealand, Helen Clark.  It's the first time I've heard her speak.
Here's a link to the video, for those who are interested in the subject.  I've not watched the video (because I was there) but be warned, it's at least an hour long so unless it is edited down...

On the way home the news was about Paula Bennett and the seriously overdue findings from the investigation into whether she breached privacy by publishing personal details of an individual who criticised government policy.
This was hot on the heels of the violent reaction from John Banks to the proposed changes to MMP.  John Banks who solicited donations to an electoral campaign and then declared them as anonymous.
And John Key, going to watch his son play baseball instead of attending the funerals of two soldiers, killed in a fire-fight.

It occurred to me that there are three significant differences between this government and the last one.  The underlying intelligence, wit and sense of a moral compass are all absent.  In their place we have a venal bunch with a "can we get away with it" attitude.

Crowded House - Temple of the Low Men, 1988

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