It is the season for lists, the best books, movies, shows, events etc of 2010. It is a time for show-offs and pay-backs, for compliments and brickbats. Today I’ll have a list of minor grumps.
I’ve been sitting watching the petals fall off the Leander rose. Several flowers have collapsed in quarter of an hour. Leander’s a climbing rose that was here when we arrived. For a brief spell it’s ablaze with its salmon-coloured bloom. Suddenly, its season’s over and the lawn is littered with the discards – a briefer season than most roses. (A deheading of the hips will see an autumn blooming)
Beside it, the Compassion rose blooms longer and steadier. I’d like to think human compassion has a similar longer life. But two news items give me pause. One’s here at home. The RSA is going to get its poppies made in China and assembled in Australia. The contract which up till now has been with a Christchurch firm has gone off-shore.
That local firm employed handicapped people and war veteran widows. The work gave meaning and hope to its workers. They had a place and a work in which they could take pride. Now in the name of a higher profit the process will be shifted off-shore. We and they will be the poorer.
I have not bought a poppy for the last two Anzac Days for the simple reason I’ve stopped going downtown and out. But if I was capable I would boycott next year’s sale. Those poor Christchurch people. Such news is not in the Christmas spirit.
In the USA I see where the Republican Senators as part of the revised tax package have withdrawn support for compensation for people who helped in the clean-up of the 9/11 attacks. The so-called war on terror continues but the front-line troops who responded to the call of duty have been abandoned. If anybody needs assistance it should be these people.
Kennedy said ask not what you need, ask what America needs. It needs as our RSA does, a sense of compassion for those not as fortunate as ourselves. The unhesitating way the New York fire brigade responded was a good example of the human spirit at its finest.
A news item about poverty in New Zealand yesterday carried the information that many on welfare did not know about benefits to which they were entitled. Have people advising them not done so? Is it to save the tax-payer – the reasons the Republicans are advancing? If people are entitled to a benefit they are entitled to know about it.
There are times I feel sympathy for the politicians. They’ve passed the legislation granting those benefits. They should have the safe assumption that their wishes will be carried out. Apparently, not so.
One of my medications I have to apply for yearly. When I rang up about its renewal I was told the request had been declined. Why? I asked. Apparently the form had not been filled in properly.
The person processing that application did not send the form back to be properly completed. No! It was left to lie upon the table and lapse.
They did not think of the sick person out there in our community who needed that particular prescription for their survival.
And then I think of all the marvellous service I’ve had from the health system this year. It far outweighs my irritation at some paper-pushing erk. And I feel better at having had a public grump.
WORDS with Douglas McLennan
14 hours ago