Where is Maggie Thatcher when you need her?

Never in my wildest imaginings did I think I would want to conjure up the ghost of Margaret Thatcher…but I’m getting perilously close to doing it.

Specifically, I want a manifestation of her on 23 September 1981. That was the day she sat down to be interviewed by Australian 60 Minutes reporter George Negus.

Negus asked her: “Why do people stop us in the street and tell us that Mrs Thatcher isn’t just inflexible, she’s not just single-minded, on occasions she is plain pig-headed and won’t be told by anyone?”

The British Prime Minister’s immediate response was: “Will you tell me who has stopped you in the street and told you that?” Continue reading “Where is Maggie Thatcher when you need her?”

A little spin goes too far in a pandemic

Pandemics require two things: The efficient administering of effective vaccines, and truth.

I need reassurance that the country is receiving both.

The first is the only way we achieve herd immunity without the need for large funeral pyres. The second is vital to maintain public confidence and faith that the Government will get the job done.

Weeks before New Zealand Herald columnist Matthew Hooton wrote his column last Thursday suggesting the supply of vaccine was running out, I had that niggly journalistic sensation in my scalp that there were things we (the public) were not being told. Continue reading “A little spin goes too far in a pandemic”

Change must be highly contagious

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought much-needed and urgent changes in journalism around the world, with more to come. New Zealand has so far been shielded from the worst effects of the contagion and this year will determine whether our media have been lulled into the same dangerous complacency that stopped the country’s shoppers from using contact-tracing scanners while infection rates skyrocket overseas.

Continue reading “Change must be highly contagious”