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A blighted future – The price of an apple

4 August 2013 11 comments

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Metropolis- Maria-children of the poor

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Sometimes, the most innocuous events bring you up hard against the realities of our modern life…

On the way home today (30 July) I stopped briefly at a supermarket to purchase a few items that we’d run out of at home.

Having found the half dozen items I needed, I waited patiently in the queue at the checkout. My mind was elsewhere – mostly pondering events at the anti-animal testing rally I had covered earlier in the day.

The woman in front of me paid for her goods and walked off.

As I moved to the eftpos terminal to pay for my items, I noticed an apple had been left in the trolley, and alerted the checkout operator that the customer had forgotten to take it  with her. The operator took the apple and placed it beside her monitor-screen and said,

“No, she left it. She couldn’t pay for it.”

I hadn’t realised. I’d been so wrapped up in my own thoughts that I had not noticed the incident (otherwise I would have happily paid for it myself). The checkout operator said that in the past she had often paid for shortfalls where people were obviously on low or fixed incomes, but she could no longer afford to do it.

On the low wage that many checkout operators earn, it is tragic that the poorest paid are trying to help those who are even worse of financially.

I took a cellphone pic of the apple, sitting by the operators monitor,

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apple at supermarket

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When peoples incomes are so stretched that they have to forego something as basic as one single apple, then we have arrived at a sorry state of affairs.

Is this to be  our “Bright New Future”? Or have we arrived at it, already?

And is this what people expected of our smile and wave Prime Minister?

Meanwhile, the NBR released it’s 2013 Rich List…

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rich list 2013

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This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 31 July 2013.

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The GCSB Act – some history…

4 August 2013 14 comments

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spying

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New Zealand, 2003

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From an excerpt from Hansards in Parliament, on 27 March 2003, when the original GCSB Bill was being debated;

“This is a good bill. I do not accept the criticism of those who speak against it, that somehow it means that information about people will be gathered improperly…”

Source: Hansards – Government Communications Security Bureau Bill — Third Reading

Who said that?

Why, no other than this gentleman;

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Peter Dunne

Peter Dunne

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Ten years later after Dunne made that statement, it was revealed  that his faith in the GCSB was badly misplaced,

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Illegal spying - 85 Kiwis watched - Fairfax Media - Andrea Vance - Kitteridge Report - 85 people spied on

Source: Fairfax Media – Illegal Spying: 85 Kiwis Watched

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So in March 2003, Mr Dunne was adamant:  he did not accept criticism “that information about people will be gathered improperly”.

I think those 85 (actually 88) people – including Kim Dotcom – might have differing views on that point.

I wonder if Mr Dunne is also adamant about the current Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill and it’s “sister-legislation, the  Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Amendment Bill?

Will “information about people will be gathered improperly”?

What say you, Mr Dunne?

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Categories: The Body Politic Tags: ,