I’d worked out today’s blog in my mind – one of my recent poems - before I went to bed last night but the news of the large earthquake south of Samoa and subsequent fatal tsunami has eclipsed what I meant to write about. It’s a reminder of the instability of the planet’s surface upon which we petty humans strut and preen.
I had not realised that Apia was on the north side. This meant it was sheltered from the worst effects of the tsunami which devastated the southern coast of West Samoa. American Samoa took an even bigger hit. It seems casualties are much higher than first suspected. The poor people.
Juxtapositions. They’ve discovered a diamond the size of a chicken egg at the Cullinan mine near Pretoria in South Africa. The earth still has the capacity to surprise us.
Amongst the other news of the day is an article in the Press revealing that just before the Budget’s release the Government pulled a proposal to axe 772 teachers. The plan for which a communication strategy had been prepared involved a reversal of lower pupil/teacher ratios in new entrant classes. Anne Tolley, not the sharpest tool in the shed nor the brightest mind in Cabinet, claims she did not realise that the change would actually lead to the dismissal of existing staff. The subsequent uproar would have meant her push for national literacy and mathematical standards would have become more difficult.
At least in this instance she changed her mind. Over adult evening classes she has stubbornly clung to her early decision to cut them substantially. It’s a good example of a new minister seeking to cut expenditure wielding an axe indiscriminately without an awareness of consequences.
I said to Susanna my caregiver this morning “And I can’t even put on my own socks.’ She said, ‘think of yourself as a king, someone is doing it for you.’ Wise woman.
WORDS with Douglas McLennan
14 hours ago