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Letters to the Editor


Caveman thinking
Dearest Prof. Worzel. I enjoyed your recent whinge in the Mangawhai Focus (Standing in the way of progress, June 10) on a cold winter’s morning as I sipped my soy cappuccino with chocolate sprinkles. But after my second cup I was stimulated to respond. I shudder when I imagine you wearing a skimpy loincloth and sabre tooth tiger skin shawl because your ancestors “stood in the way of progress”.

I am forever grateful that my great grandfather chose to leave his lighthouse on the bleak coast of Scotland to come to New Zealand. It is now so much faster and easier for me to visit his lighthouse than the eight week ocean ‘cruise’ he suffered with his pregnant wife 140 years ago.

As you say “I try not to look too long upon the world of men” because from a woman’s point of view you guys have not played fair. Thank heaven for progress and perhaps the world would be a better place if women had been in charge sooner.
Meanwhile let’s look at your arguments before you retreat into your hole.

Yes cancer rates have increased dramatically. But is this because we are detecting them sooner? Many of the previous generation developed cancers but cause of death was described as something else. In my family several grandparents suffered cancer but this was not considered the cause of death. My mother was treated for bowel cancer and is still alive at 94. Her mother suffered the same symptoms but cancer was not diagnosed and she died at a much younger age.

Meanwhile what happened to polio, smallpox and bubonic plague? How many of us will die from catching the flu this winter?
I agree that obesity and diabetes are at epic proportions because we eat too much good food. We don’t hear of people suffering from rickets, malnutrition and starvation unless they live in the Sudan. Unfortunately I don’t know the answer for preventing people from overeating.

You can’t stand in the way of progress now that the internet reveals corruption and scandal much faster than the newsletters distributed to the general population who could actually read in Dickens’ day. We are all now exposed to immediate worldwide news by internet, unfiltered by the editors of the New Zealand Herald and our local commercially sponsored papers.

We can’t stand in the way of progress now that our children are learning way more than we ever did. In my day Kiwis all learnt the same maths, English and British history, and the majority left school at the age of 15. Career choices were rather limited, specially for girls. Now the kids are talking about careers we never imagined.

Yes we can’t stand in the way of progress now that there are more of us so we do need to spend more money on security and taking care of our population. Let’s look at Denmark for a population the same size as NZ where they take care of everybody. Danish progress in environmental protection is much more advanced despite the country being populated for thousands of years.

Oh, I must leave you now. My daughter is FaceTiming me from Copenhagen. I love talking face-to-face rather than waiting weeks for a letter if I had stood in the way of progress.

Helen Gillespie
Mangawhai Heads

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