As we get older, apart from our day-to-day decisions, there are always ‘issues’ to deal with. What used to be important things like reading, writing and ‘rithmetic is now rates, roading and rubbish – along with climate change, cellphone towers and council, bullying, bike riders and banner-waving schoolkids, plastic, pollution, pay rates or, under the present Government it’s taxes, taxes and more taxes.
These are generally issues that 50 years ago would be ‘dealt with’ at a Central Government or local council sitting and attended only by those who were incensed enough or bold enough to challenge those in authority. So what has changed?
The birth of the internet is, I believe, the main catylist to the change. I’m not really sure whether it’s an acronym or an abbreviation but it refers to an interactive network and , as such, has been a revelation to contact between people, families, trade and industry and, consequently, a deluge of new enlightenment and knowledge all over the world.
Of course it also brings with it the ability for everyone who didn’t have an opinion before to now voice their thoughts and opinions not just to the world but under the darkness of a pseudonym, and from there many discussions become heated and recede into character assassination.
Unfortunately that is the downside because there are pro’s and con’s to everything, for example, our fervour to ban plastic. Our Government has just subsidised an Australian firm to the tune of several million dollars to set up business here and turn waste into plastic pellets which can be recycled. Recycled into what, exactly? What will these pellets look like and what will they be used for? Then, recycling means they will be used again but what happens to the end product? It is still plastic.
We want microwaves in our kitchens, and faster, more powerful internet access, but we don’t want cellphone towers. There’s not enough money for health services, the Government wants to curb smoking and halt drug abuse yet they want to decriminalise cannabis (for medical good) which is known to be directly linked to psychosis and this on top of budgeting $1.9 billion for mental health.
The Government is trying to get us all into electric cars – clean air and all that – which will mean a huge drop in their huge tax take on fuel. They are telling us there will be a price rise on petrol and diesel vehicles while electric cars, though 20 per cent or more dearer at present, will be slightly reduced in price. However, in a couple of years they will be charging $75/1000 km road tax to EV owners. We have no redress to such taxes.
A teenager in the 60s, I grew up into what became the free love era, the Woodstock music festival and protests against the Vietnam war, ‘make love not war’ became a well-used slogan. ‘Teenager’ was a new word for a new group of people. Previously there were children who transitioned to adults. These were post-war babies and by their numbers they were making themselves heard by questioning convention. Not always rational, but heard nonetheless.
Today’s teens are actually no different. I was amused at a school climate march recently where a young woman held a placard saying ‘Make love not Co2’, a much more watered-down version of its 60s counterpart. Though I’m not quite sure of the relation between making love and not producing Co2 – not very well thought out I believe – but no doubt an issue for those who feel they can save the world from itself.
The important issue for me going forward is not the Cricket World Cup where two teams tied at the end of game time, then tied again at the end of the Super Over yet one was declared the winner – the issue is, could the same thing occur to rob the All Blacks of a third successive win in the upcoming Rugby World Cup? I’m sure many of you will share my issue too.
Just my thoughts.