Friday, December 02, 2005

I listened to this so you don't have to

If you spend the day driving in a car that only has an AM radio then you end up listening to an awful lot of National Radio. I thought I'd pass on some of the highlights. Don't worry I won't share anything said on Jim Mora's programme - his discussion on Christmas shopping was quite possibly one of the most inanest things I've ever heard.

So here's a list of the interesting things on National Radio and the thoughts I had about them:

1. I wasn't on the road till 11 so I missed most of the discussion of the discussion of the report on the Waiouru cadet school. But one of the e-mails Linda Clark read out made me cry. It was from a woman who had married someone who had trained to be a bully at the cadet school, and her life had been every bit as bad as you'd expect. You can probably hear her e-mail at the end of this piece. Once you train people to be bullies they don't go away to live happy productive lives.

On a related note, the defence of the man who is probably going to become the 1,000 person to be executed in the US since they re-introduced the death penalty was that he was suffering PTSD from his time as a Vietnam War Veteran.

2. Today Rural Women New Zealand presented a 18,000 signature petition calling for an increase in funding to rural Homecare workers. One of their main demands was that these women (and almost all of them are women), are paid for their travel time, and petrol. At the moment they're not - as someone who has spent most of the day driving through New Zealand, this fact is insanely ridiculous. This is part of an important wider campaign to value women's work (unfortunately the CTU can't even write a solidarity message without praising the Labour government). I had a wander through the Rural Women website, and it's a pretty interesting organisation. Very feminist, in a quiet, practical way, and I didn't even know it existed (although I expect it developed out of the work of Dana Glandenning and others to organise among rural women in the late 1970s and 1980s).

3. Kindergarten teachers are going on strike. While not belonging from the Socialist Workers school of thought (I've rarely had a conversation with a SW without being told that we're currently in an upturn of struggle) I do think the number, and variety of workers saying that they'd had enough is pretty damn fantastic.

4. If you need to be convinced about the true awfulness of capitalism then listen to the National Radios Business News report on World Aids Day. They don't quite say "think of all the money you can make selling things to sick people" - but it's not far off.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:39 am

    I think Rural Women NZ is the merged Country Women's Institute and the Women's Division of the Federated Farmers, both of which go back to the early 20th century. There's a very "colonial helpmeet" version of feminism in the historical organisation, that may well have developed a bit over time.