Fighting Among Farmers
Leaked e-mails! Claim and counter-claim! Genuine vitriol! General confusion from the rank and file! No it’s not Julia Gillard v Kevin Rudd. Welcome to the world of TAF (Trading Among Farmers).
# Big Political Story of the Week: Is it still “Dear John”?
Is the country falling out of love with John Key?
If you’re to believe the polls more than half of us don’t want the sale of state-owned assets and three-quarters of us don’t want farms sold to foreigners. Throw in more cuts to government spending (including the sacrosanct health sector) and you have a PM who will need all of his political charm to placate the masses.
# Big Sporting Story of the Week: It’s Fab to be Fat(ish):
Ok, fat might be stretching it a bit, but big seems to be big in cricket right now. Richard Levi, who looks like a Springbok prop than a Protea, is leading the charge for stocky sportsmen. Jesse Ryder is no shrinking violet and Aussie David Warner is a pocket battleship.
Another sportsman facing weighty issues is Piri Weepu. Not only the PC nonsense around the bottle feeding of his baby but also the controversy surrounding the feeding of pies to himself over the summer. But I say all power to Piri. He’s a role model to all men battling man boobs and a beer belly. If Piri can lose them, so can we!
# Bouquet: Farming Show listeners.
After being accused of having a “nasal bogan delivery” earlier in the week, it was nice to get some great feedback on my editorial piece last Wednesday around the February 22 anniversary of the Canterbury earthquake. So due to popular demand (OK so it was only a couple of texts) here it is:
One year ago today, my producer Dom Boy George and I sat in the Farming Show studio in Dunedin and the earth moved. Not a nasty jolt to knock you off your feet, more a hauntingly menacing rolling motion, like being on a dodgy crossing of Foveaux Strait, with the same end result – a sick feeling to the core. In another time and place, we would have thought “Wow – that was an earthquake” but because of September 4 and Boxing Day 2010, we knew in our hearts something terrible had happened up the road in Christchurch.
And so it came to pass. One hundred and eighty five brave souls paid the ultimate price and the lives of nearly half a million Cantabrians were changed forever. The other four million of us watched in horror as the biggest natural disaster since the Hawkes Bay earthquake of 1931 rocked our nation to its very core.
In the ensuing days, from the safety of our living rooms, we could barely comprehend the scale of the devastation. I can only imagine what it must have been like at ground zero. As days turned into weeks and then months, the Canterbury earthquake, though never far from our news headlines, faded from the absolute forefront of our minds and we hoped and prayed there would be an end to it all.
But Mother Nature can be a cruel mistress, a real bitch in Christchurch’s case, and just when you thought it was safe to get on with life and the rebuild, along comes June 13. At the time, we were lucky enough to be on a guided tour, some 25 metres above ground level, of the magnificent yet-to-be opened Forsyth Barr Stadium. The ripple-effect of the rumble, while mild in Dunedin, was sickening. What should have been a wonderful experience was soured on the spot with the realization of another ‘big one’ up the road.
Then on December 23, as I celebrated finishing work for the year and drove to the supermarket to stock up with festive cheer, I heard on the radio Christchurch had been hit again. And I thought you poor buggers. But for the grace of God, that could have happened to any of us. Canterbury we share your grief, one year on, and marvel at your spirit.
Jamie Mackay is the host of the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Farming Show which airs on Radio Sport and Newstalk ZB. email@example.com