The Greens and National have combined today to add Red Peak to the flag referendum, and in doing so have ensured a troubled process has crossed into slapstick

So, listening or politicking? When it comes to Red Peak's inclusion in the flag referendum, I'm thinking the latter. While the Greens and National are trying to reflect public opinion by adding Red Peak, it seems more like point scoring that got out of control and weak governance by twitter.

The Greens today tried to push Red Peak into the referendum, issuing a press release at lunchtime:

The Green Party will today ask Parliament to allow it to introduce a Bill offering New Zealanders the choice of the popular Red Peak flag as a fifth option in the upcoming flag referendum.

 

Green Party MP Gareth Hughes will seek the leave of Parliament to introduce the New Zealand Flag Referendum Amendment Bill 2015 and put it at the top of the order paper. This requires the support of every MP in Parliament if it is to be successful.

 

“My Bill is about giving New Zealanders a choice following the groundswell of support for the Red Peak flag to be included as an option in the upcoming flag referendum,” said Mr Hughes.


That swell didn't get far off the ground as far as I can see; it was a Twitter campaign that got some reportage and a little over one percent of the population to sign a petition. But the Greens put up the bill today. New Zealand First voted against it. Then National decided to pick up the bill themselves - a move they could have made at any time, without the Greens' nudge - and it's being debated in parliament as I speak.

Hughes has been arguing that this is about choice - usually ACT's default virtue. That it's about listening to people and breaking a political deadlock. That's fine as far as it goes, but it all just feels so underwhelming. It's not breaking some big political impasse to feed the poor or boost exports. It's just adding a fifth choice to a flag referendum most New Zealanders don't seem to even want.

As this week's 3News-Reid Research poll showed, only a quarter of New Zealanders want to change the flag. The groundswell just doesn't seem to be there.

Hughes says the Greens "wanted to make sure it wasn't the farce it was turning into". But this only adds to the farce. Now, the process of a selected panel, months of public consultation and a long and short list has been completely undermined by an online protest campaign. It admits that all those empty town hall meetings counted for nothing, because all that really matters, it seems, is those who speak via social media.

But if an entire flag selection process can be changed on a whim for Red Peak, why not do what Labour says and change the timing of the referendum questions? I bet you could get more than 50,000 people to sign a petition for that one. Or, if the polls and public buzz are anything to go by, why not cancel the whole thing? I reckon you could get 50,000 to sign up to that, too.

If it wasn't a farce before, it is now. John Key's legacy project has become a joke. If, as I wrote last week, Lochinver was the crown jewels of all u-turns, then this is the, er, peak of reactive government. It's leadership by a wet finger in the wind, decisions out-sourced to social media.

Eight weeks out from the referendum, and the panel has been pushed to one side and we're tossing a new design into the mix.

Good on the people who got behind the flag they liked; there's nothing wrong with championing a cause. But the problem is we've seen the long list and lots of people would have liked lots of different ones. What about those who liked the Unity Koru? Or Otis Frizell's Manawa? Or Huihui? Why don't they get to add their personal favourites?

Because they didn't get an online campaign going, you say? Is that really the way we decide good process and make a decision for the generations? We choose our national symbol by petition?

In July, flag minister Bill English told the House that the bill that's today being rejigged under urgency would ensure "that the debate about the New Zealand flag is resolved through a formal, careful, and respectful process where New Zealanders can have their say".

Well, that's gone out the window. There's no principle in this amendment. No due process. No respect for choosing a symbol that is meant to unite and represent us all and bring us together.

Red Peak feels like the Jeremy Corbyn or Donald Trump of flags; really popular amongst true believers, but really not as big a deal as is made out. It seems like these days if you can get a little group to make enough noise, amplified by social media, then you are given credit for capturing the national mood, even when you represent only one or two percent.

I want to change the flag. When the time is right. When there is a sense of history. But I've never felt the public coming behind this process. I didn't like the four 'any colour as long as it's a fern' logos chosen. And I'm cool on Red Peak. But even if I loved it or a Lockwood, I'd find it hard to vote for change now.

This process is no longer "formal, careful, and respectful"; it's a farce.

Comments (29)

by Fentex on September 23, 2015
Fentex

I am so annoyed by this process.

I want the UK Ensign gone but I dislike this process so much I'm in a quandary. I had pretty much decided I would have to vote against change when all we had was the bland four foisted on us.

But Red Peak is a better flag and I could vote for it, but it may not be the best and if I was annoyed by a bad process I don't feel it would be right to go full steam after Red Peak when a good process might have delivered a better choice. Just because something I argued ought be on the ballot is there doesn't encourage me we all have a fair and proper vote before us.

I'd also like an appropriate point in history to mark the moment of change, the most obvious (given NZ won't choose Republicanism by then) would be Elizabeth's passing. But the absence of such a moment when the chance for ditching the UK Ensign is on offer isn't enough to stop me voting for change.

I know my mother is keen to have a chance in her life to get rid of the UK Ensign and I'm caught between two minds. This process may queer the pitch for another chance for decades, can I spite the chance on grounds of poor process when a decent flag is on offer?

by Murray Grimwood on September 23, 2015
Murray Grimwood

Cartoonist Tremain made the best media comment so far, by far:

A montage of keys and red herrings.

That's exactly what this is all about - a diversion. Both Labour and the Greens have failed to question why the need for a diversjon in the first place.

We need someone asking why?

 

by Tim Watkin on September 24, 2015
Tim Watkin

Fentex, I don't think it'll ruin things for decades. But I agree the time just doesn't feel right. I support a change, but not just for any old thing that may be marginally better, or not. 'Better but not the best' is not good enough for me. Do it once, do it right.

by Peggy Klimenko on September 24, 2015
Peggy Klimenko

Tim, I completely agree with you.

I want to keep the current flag, but others have a different view. That being the case, I expected a democratic process: ask us the voters first if we do want a change: that should have been the starting point.

I'm not and have never been a member of the Labour Party, but in this matter I fully support it: ask us first.

I'm astonished and infuriated by what the Greens have done. The process has now descended into an undignified and embarrassing debacle; I don't think the Greens' move can be seen as anything other than political point-scoring, all in support of a flag design favoured by a tiny minority only of the population. And in order to get back at Labour, they've been prepared to block any chance of there being a democratic process. A plague on their houses!

@ Murray Grimwood: " A montage of keys and red herrings.

That's exactly what this is all about - a diversion. Both Labour and the Greens have failed to question why the need for a diversjon in the first place."

Ha! Yes, Tremain's got it in one there: nice picture. And you're dead right: so much valuable time wasted on this: what is it - other than the usual suspects -  that the government's hoping we won't notice or start questioning?

by Andrew Geddis on September 24, 2015
Andrew Geddis

My personal reckons are:

(1)The process has turned out to be a bit of a schemozzle, precisely because it is only once people saw possible alternatives that they felt motivated to engage with it.  But the presentation of alternatives was meant to follow the engagement process. So in the best Kiwi tradition we've gone for compromise pragmatism rather than rigid adherence to form. I actually think this is an entirely fitting and culturally appropriate way to go about deciding whether to change, and to what!

(2) I'm not 100% happy with Red Peak - the design itself looks like, I don't know, the logo a small American engineering firm. But at least it has a story that can be told about it; some meaning to give to the symbols and design rather than "here's a fern ... we like ferns and have put them on lots of things ... oh, and there's a southern cross, too, 'cause it was on the old flag ... plus some colours that we use for various things ... all thrown together on one bit of cloth because focus groups said that they like them individually".

(3) I'd like to change our flag as a matter of principle, but I don't know whether it is a good idea to do so if it results in one of the four cut-and-paste beach towels originally proposed taking its place. My sense of aesthetics is offended by that outcome. But I could support a change to the red peak design, although without all that much enthusiasm.

(4) So I'm still letting my kids decide what to do come referendum time.

by Tim Watkin on September 24, 2015
Tim Watkin

Just 10 days ago John Key said the panel had considered and rejected Red Peak:

"You are really saying now that I should be the arbiter. In that case why did we bother getting a committee set up...I'm not going to make a unilateral decision because then you will get a Facebook group that will start conveniently by some people who will say I made the wrong call."

So why should he be the arbiter now? And who wants to start that Facebook page?

by Andrew Geddis on September 24, 2015
Andrew Geddis

To be fair to Key (I know, I know), there have been two different calls made to him.

One was for the Government to unilaterally change the Order in Council specifying the 4 alternatives (which were the 4 suggested by the panel) by dropping one of them and including red peak. The other was for the legislation to be changed by Parliament to allow for 5 alternatives (the panel's 4 plus red peak).

I understood Key to be saying he wouldn't do the first thing, because that would be overriding the panel by Government fiat. But wasn't he always open to the second option, provided he got the political cover of sufficient cross-party support?

Happy to be proven wrong on this, of course!

by Peggy Klimenko on September 24, 2015
Peggy Klimenko

@ Andrew Geddis: "My sense of aesthetics is offended by that outcome. But I could support a change to the red peak design, although without all that much enthusiasm."

Hmmm, not a particularly sound basis for a vote in favour of change, I'd have thought, whether or not it's your children deciding how to vote.

I remember how the government of the time designed the process by which we changed our electoral system: a bit before the time of some of you, I'm guessing.

We were asked first if we wanted to change; that's what should have happened in this case as well. While our electoral system is of fundamental importance, it could be argued that the change of flag is equally important from a symbolic point of view.

I am so disillusioned by the shenanigans over the flag that I wouldn't vote at all, but for the fact that it seems the government will change the flag if there's a majority vote, regardless of how few people actually vote.

@ Tim Watkin: "So why should he be the arbiter now? And who wants to start that Facebook page?"

Exactly. The whole process is a bugger's muddle, made so much worse by the Greens' completely unprincipled politicking. How dare they take away any chance of a rejig that might actually be democratic, just so they can a) get back at Labour or b) ingratiate themselves with National! Grrr...

by Lee Churchman on September 24, 2015
Lee Churchman

Emblematic of how contemporary politics accomplishes not much. A rational government would have sought help from NZ's designers and vexillologists. But what would they know? etc.

by Anne on September 24, 2015
Anne

It's a vote invalidation in the first ballot for me now. No other choice.

By the way, John Key has had another 'change of heart'. After adamantly ruling it out in what I suspect was a fit of pique two weeks ago, he has now decided he likes Red Peak and he thinks he'll vote for it. I leave you to judge...

 

 

by Andrew Geddis on September 24, 2015
Andrew Geddis

@ Peggy,

I remember how the government of the time designed the process by which we changed our electoral system: a bit before the time of some of you, I'm guessing.

Been there, discussed that.

by Peggy Klimenko on September 25, 2015
Peggy Klimenko

@ Lee Churchman: "A rational government would have sought help from NZ's designers and vexillologists."

A rational government for sure.... but this government would accuse such experts of provider capture, I suspect...

A relative's observation: "we have a prime minister who thinks the country is a rugby team and a flock of nobodies who think social media babble is a groundswell."

@ Anne: "It's a vote invalidation in the first ballot for me now. No other choice."

Yup. We can't not vote, despite that being my preference now.

@ Andrew Geddis: "Been there, discussed that."

Sorry I'd seen that post, but hadn't got around to reading it. Don't take it personally: so much to read, so little time...

I didn't mean to imply that nobody here knew anything about it, just that most of you - unlike me - are likely to have been too young to have voted in the 1992 referendum. And in that referendum, we were asked first whether we wished to change the voting system: a proper democratic process, in other words. That's what I wanted, and the Greens have now put paid to any chance of that.

by Tim Watkin on September 25, 2015
Tim Watkin

Anne, that's the third flag he's backed in this process. As per my previous post of last weekend, it seems he doesn't stand for anything, even when it comes to his own pet project!

I'm going to have to think about how to vote strategically on this one.

by Eliza on September 25, 2015
Eliza

You've lost me. How does adding Red Peak to the first ballot make the process worse? There was never any prospect of a yes/no vote in the first round - it's not like the Greens took it off the table, it wasn't on the table to start with. The process could have been better designed in a million ways, but adding Red Peak isn't taking something bad and making it a shambles, it's taking a shambles and making it marginally better. 

the process of a selected panel, months of public consultation and a long and short list has been completely undermined by an online protest campaign

The selection panel undermined their own process by picking two almost identical designs, a third with the same motif, and a forth that is probably the worst koru design ever. Terrible process. Nothing left to undermine. 

What about those who liked the Unity Koru? Or Otis Frizell's Manawa? Or Huihui? Why don't they get to add their personal favourites?

I like all those ones. If any of them had been on the short list, I probably wouldn't have signed the Red Peak petition. But they weren't. An online petition could have sought to get 4 new candidates, but Red Peak turned out to be a flag that a whole lot of people could get behind. It was a lightening rod for dissatisfaction because it can be interpreted in a variety of ways. 

Well, that's gone out the window. There's no principle in this amendment. No due process. No respect for choosing a symbol that is meant to unite and represent us all and bring us together.

 But there hasn't been a principle in any of it! Nothing about this process has shown respect for choosing a uniting symbol. The only sliver of hope has been the way that people have rallied around Red Peak (and I disagree that it's a false groundswell, 50,000 signatures in two weeks is pretty impressive), and now it's on the ballot. Yay! 
I'm going to have to think about how to vote strategically on this one. 
Before Red Peak was added I was planning to spoil my ballot in the first round, and then vote no change in the second round. I'm stoked that there is now a flag in the first round that I can whole-heartedly rank #1. There are at least 49,999 other people who agree with me. 




by Fentex on September 25, 2015
Fentex

I'm stoked that there is now a flag in the first round that I can whole-heartedly rank #1. There are at least 49,999 other people who agree with me. 

Not 49,999. I signed that petition but I'm not sure I can get wholeheartedly behind Red Peak.

I complained loudly about the process and now a flag I prefer to the bland four chosen for us is on the ballot my qualms about poor process have not evaporated. Can I write as often as I have about how poorly this is being done then get behind a flag that's presence is not the result of improved process?

I don't know. I may vote for Red Peak and change if it wins but right now I can't assert that's my intention - because I  fear a better flag would have been revealed by a better process. I will vote for Red Peak, but if it wins I don't know that I'll vote for change.

It will come down to how I feel at the time - will my disdain for the UK Ensign outweigh my dislike of how my choice come about?

by Anne on September 25, 2015
Anne

Tim Watkin said:

"I'm going to have to think about how to vote strategically on this one."

1. Invalidate or not vote in the first ballot. I will probably invalidate for the puerile pleasure of drawing diagonal slashes across them all with a black felt tip.

2. Vote for the current flag in the second ballot. Then in the not too distant future we can properly consider the feasiblity of a republic replete with constitution and a new flag.

by Peggy Klimenko on September 25, 2015
Peggy Klimenko

@ Eliza: "There was never any prospect of a yes/no vote in the first round - it's not like the Greens took it off the table, it wasn't on the table to start with."

This isn't correct: the Greens' deal with the government entails blocking any further attempts by Labour to get a yes/no question in the first round. Until then, the possibility remained open that the government could have been persuaded to agree to it. No chance of that now.

"... adding Red Peak isn't taking something bad and making it a shambles, it's taking a shambles and making it marginally better."

No it isn't. The finagling of Red Peak into the referendum has completely subverted the process. Tim is right in this. It's now a farce, an embarrassing, undignified debacle. I know that there is support for Red Peak, but firstly, it didn't make the final round,and secondly, the numbers supporting it are a tiny minority only of the population. As Tim has pointed out, there are other also-ran designs which may well have been more popular: what about them? An online petition ought not to be sufficient to privilege one design over others.

"But there hasn't been a principle in any of it! Nothing about this process has shown respect for choosing a uniting symbol."

You're dead right. Moreover, the government and the Greens have shown no respect for the voters they were elected to represent. We're left with a process which has been irretrievably tainted: by rights we the voters - including you - should treat it with the contempt it deserves, and toss the bloody referendum in the rubbish. What the hell were the Greens thinking?

"I'm stoked that there is now a flag in the first round that I can whole-heartedly rank #1. There are at least 49,999 other people who agree with me."

As has been pointed out already, this is a tiny proportion only of the population.Do not mistake social media chatter for a groundswell: it is no such thing.

@ Anne: "1. Invalidate or not vote in the first ballot. I will probably invalidate for the puerile pleasure of drawing diagonal slashes across them all with a black felt tip."

That's all it deserves. Who knows, maybe even members of the flag panel will be so angry that they'll do the same thing.

by Tim Watkin on September 26, 2015
Tim Watkin

Eliza, I thought the panel did a woeful job. They didn't get people to meetings, they made only last minute attempts to get design advice and, as I've said elsewhere, chose a final four that were so similar it was if they were taking a Henry Ford approach ("any colour as long as it's black") to the design. In their case it was 'any flag as long as it has a fern, like the PM wants').

But at least they stuck to the process they were given. They played badly, but they played by the rules.

The Greens and National through out the rules on a whim. You think the ends are OK because you signed a petition. But the means got a lot worse. The campaign hasn't reached the 10% of the voting population threshold usually required by a referendum to even attempt to change the law and we now know some people who signed were fakes; it's a political ploy and takes a bad process into a farcical one. And I'm sorry, there's nothing uniting about 1% of the population "rallying around" something. On that basis the audience watching Masterchef can decide on another flag to add several times over!

You rightly criticise the principle, but the principle doesn't improve just because a flag you like gets on the list. Quite the opposite.

 

by Eliza on September 26, 2015
Eliza

You rightly criticise the principle, but the principle doesn't improve just because a flag you like gets on the list. Quite the opposite.

 ... except Red Peak isn't just a random also-ran. Red Peak and Wa Kainga, which is only slightly different, are the only two flags on the long list that don't feature one or more of a southern cross, a koru, or a silver fern. They are the only two flags that instead seek to create a a completely new image which tells a story that can speak to multiple different perceptions of New Zealand identity. 
They played badly, but they played by the rules.
Two of their picks are almost identical! 

Imagine if the Prime Minister's stated preference was for a koru design and the top four chosen were Manawa black/green, Manawa blue/green, Unity Koru, and Red Peak. There would almost certainly be a petition to add a silver fern option, and it's hard to see how its success would make the process worse. I see the addition of Red Peak in a similar vein. 

by Ross on September 26, 2015
Ross

John Key's legacy project has become a joke.

John Key's vanity project has become a joke.

 

by Ross on September 26, 2015
Ross

They are the only two flags that instead seek to create a a completely new image which tells a story that can speak to multiple different perceptions of New Zealand identity. 

That sounds incredibly pretentious. What multiple different perceptions of our identity are you referring to? 


by Fentex on September 26, 2015
Fentex

Red Peak isn't a better flag because it contains extra meaning missing from others. It does not.

It's a better flag because it does the job of a flag better - it's simple to draw, easy to resolve, more distinctive at different sizes and in different circumstances. And uncompromised by attempts to shoehorn past promoted symbols (which is one of it's political problems) into the design.

And it's derived from colours and shapes found in NZ's past and present that one can locate in plenty of places (our current flag, our landscape, polynesian chevrons etc) but that's an aspect of it's good design not an argument for finding meaning in it that isn't in other flags.

The Lockwood design has just as much direct connection to meaning, but that's not an argument for a flag.

A flag has a job to do. Red Peak would do it's job well, the other four on offer not so well. That's why it's a better choice, and one shouldn't try and make an argument about meaning regardiog it because that argument, on it's own, will lose precisely for the reason it's a better flag. It's design trumps conglomeration of meanings which would hinder rather than help.

I read people arguing "Red peak has nothing that is recognized as NZ" which is getting it all entirely the wrong way round.

Koru's (which would still be used and flown by Air NZ maybe), Kiwis' (which would still be flown by the RNZAF), Silver ferns (which will still be worn by sport teams) have jobs, have meanings and history. What we do with our flag will not change that and we shouldn't confuse them with a need for an entirely new flag.

The flag because it is flown becomes the symbol. It can be the other way round, but it usually isn't and if given time to pick and choose when the symbol that is known is a bad flag it's no reason simply because it's a known symbol for it to be used.

Red peak is a good heraldic design (which is why others have chosen similar before and most flags of the world have similar simple geometric designs).

But the process remains stink. However if I get the chance I might ignore that because there's really no way choosing a new flag wouldn't be messy. If I get the chance to switch to Red peak it's merits might overcome my distaste for poor process.

by Tim Watkin on September 26, 2015
Tim Watkin

Disagree Eliza, it is just a random also-ran. Sure, it's a random also-ran that's different from the other four. (Just similar to a few corporate logos). And sure, it was ridiculous for the panel to choose such similar options. But it's just one more option.

So why Red Peak and not any of the other long list?

I'm sure you could find 50,000 who liked this one or that. And, be honest, it didn't make it on the list because of its design quality (or otherwise), but because of some social media noise and political point-scoring. The Greens did it to show they could work with National and be constructive after losing on the RWC pub law (and maybe show independence from Labour). National did it to shut down a few headlines and score points over Labour.

There's nothing noble about it's addition. And while you may have got more choice and a design you like better, step back and look at the principle. What if 50,000 people had agitated for a koru you didn't like. Or a third Kyle Lockwood? Would you still think it a sound move?

by Tim Watkin on September 26, 2015
Tim Watkin

Nice try Fentex, but I'm not convinced. Sure, you can put meaning into a flag, rather than the other way round. But talking about 'Polynesian chevrons' is a bit of a reach. You can find a chevron any old where and we don't have any real traditional connection with chevrons. Japan's sun and Canada's leaf are distinct.

by Fentex on September 26, 2015
Fentex

But talking about 'Polynesian chevrons' is a bit of a reach. 

Why yes it is, which was exactly my point - if you want to push a meaning for Red Peak you have to search, reach for it because that's not what's good about it. What's good about Red Peak is it's nice tidy well designed distinctiveness which will let it do the job of being a flag well.

Concentrating on a sub-clause of an argument not about it suggests to me you are reaching for reasons to dislike the flag.

I agree Red Peak may not be the best choice we could have, and that a better process that maybe concentrated on producing arguments for flag design in general and candidates in particulars, rather than the idiotic presentation by design illiterates of what feels familiar to them among a dump of many designs, may have revealed a better candidate.

But we didn't get that, and what we got stinks. However putting the process aside I like Red Peak. I'd like it better if we had a choice between compelling options but we don't.

Oh well, that's a common fact of elections - us electors seldom get an exemplar of our ambitions to choose among candidates. As is usual we get to choose the best of other options. I'm very keen to be rid of the UK Ensign and Red Peak (unlike the other candidates) is acceptable to me. Shall I confuse my choice with concern over process, personalities, credit and childish ideological huffs or strip my options to the bare bones - keep a relic of history that offends me or have a decent new flag to make what we will of the future?

by Peggy Klimenko on September 27, 2015
Peggy Klimenko

@ Eliza: " except Red Peak isn't just a random also-ran."

Yes it is. It's supported by a tiny minority of the voting public, let alone the population as a whole. Moreover, it was finagled into the referendum, thereby subverting the process. What on earth was the point of having a process at all, if this sort of thing can happen? You may well like it, but that doesn't in any way justify its insertion into the referendum, when it didn't get there by means of the established process. And its insertion doesn't rehabilitate a bad process. The end doesn't justify the means, remember.

@ Fentex: "Concentrating on a sub-clause of an argument not about it suggests to me you are reaching for reasons to dislike the flag."

It seems to me that you are reaching for reasons to overlook crap process and justify your desire to vote for it. Presumably on account of your statement that "I'm very keen to be rid of the UK Ensign...." But aren't you also falling into the ends justifying means trap?

"Shall I confuse my choice with concern over process, personalities, credit and childish ideological huffs or strip my options to the bare bones - keep a relic of history that offends me or have a decent new flag to make what we will of the future?"

Of course you can vote for it if you want to - as can anybody else. But in doing so, you will be obliged to set aside your objections to bad process, a process further tainted by unprincipled double-dealing on the part of politicians who really should know better. And if you can do this in respect of the flag, what about at an election? If integrity of process is vital for the latter, what is it about the former which means it matters less?

by Tim Watkin on September 28, 2015
Tim Watkin

Fentex, I take your point that you could get to make a change to a flag you don't like and why look a potential gift horse in the mouth... But my concern isn't about sub-clauses etc, it's just that it was bad process all round. I agree with Peggy that it's inclusion was subverting the process; it was, in short, a cheat. The panel have been made fools of.

I'm pretty ho hum about Red Peak, which makes it easier, but even if it was favourite flag of all time I'd have trouble voting for it given how we got there.

by Murray Grimwood on September 28, 2015
Murray Grimwood

You can see why we will collapse as a society.

Major problems - perhaps the least being Climate Change - ahead of us in the very near term; and 27 comments about a deliberate side-track.

The psychology suggesting a willingness to be side-tracked.

Which doesn't bode well.

There were 350 people at the MoE Climate Change meeting in Dunedin, concurrent with the flag meeting. It pulled 25. The groundswell of nonsense since is media assisted. Completely. I suggest a lack of balance. A grotesque lack of balance.

Still, maybe after we've saluted and cheered we can run it half-way up and do the Last Post thingy. Assuming we haven't chopped down all the flag-poles; what was the Easter Island design again?

by Peggy Klimenko on September 29, 2015
Peggy Klimenko

@ Murray Grimwood: "Major problems - perhaps the least being Climate Change - ahead of us in the very near term; and 27 comments about a deliberate side-track.

The psychology suggesting a willingness to be side-tracked."

We humans are generally not good at looking too far ahead and taking action to forestall events, or to prepare for the consequences of disasters. Not that we don't do any of it: there wouldn't be any of the infrastructure improvements we now have to help protect us from, and lessen the effects of, natural disasters. But nevertheless, we - or many of us - do tend to wait to act until catastrophes are rolling over us.

Apropos catastrophes, I heard this interview a while back:

http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201770085/...

Interesting listen, in light of one of those links you posted a while back.

Post new comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.