Ever wondered what Peter Pan would have been like, had he grown up? Peter Pan’s creator, James Barrie, knew, because that is how he described his friend Bernard Freyberg. Barrie, a successful playwright, met Freyberg while the latter was recovering in a London hospital from war wounds in 1916-17. They formed a firm friendship, thought … More When Peter Pan grew up
Back in 1928, D. H. Lawrence published a book that rocked Britain. It appeared first in France. When he tried to get it released in Britain, it was banned. Lady Chatterley’s Lover finally appeared in expurgated form, both in Britain and the United States. But when Penguin tried to publish it, uncensored, in 1960, they … More The story of Lady Chatterley’s (real) lover
Hot news, my friends. My book Freyberg: A Life’s Journey is being released on 6 October by Oratia Books. It’ll be available in all good New Zealand bookshops, and internationally by direct sale from the publisher’s website. It is the story of one of New Zealand’s greatest heroes; a household name through the middle decades … More Freyberg: a life’s journey
I thought I’d better post something about the world’s oldest profession, the one that a lot of people use today – and it’s a profession older, even, than writing. It’s one that seems to be an essential part of human nature. And these days it’s become an integral part of modern life. I’m talking, of … More All about the world’s oldest profession
How do you want to be remembered? It’s a pertinent question as our current civilisation apparently enters its end times and the focus turns to the way each of us responds to the growing collapse. But it’s also apt, I think, at any time. Historically, the way famous people are remembered flows from a mix … More How do you want to be remembered?
Its Jutland day this 31 May – 1 June; 104 years since the biggest naval battle of the First World War. My great uncle, H. C. Wright, was in it – safely behind 12 inches of armour aboard the super-dreadnought HMS Orion, with a Graham Navyphone clamped against one ear, passing on targeting information to … More It’s 104 years since the Battle of Jutland
It’s Anzac day, the day when Australia and New Zealand come together to remember those who died in our wars. And, for the first time since the practise began in New Zealand in 1916, there are no public gatherings, thanks to the pandemic lockdown. We will, of course, still remember. The idea of commemorating the … More Anzac day 2020 – a different remembrance under lockdown
A good deal of what I’ve been seeing of late on social media – but also in mainstream journalism – revolves around the notion that the Covid-19 pandemic will be the trigger for a shift away from the neo-liberalism that has characterised leading western economic policies since the early 1980s. That might be right. Back … More Has neo-liberalism reached use-by date? Ayn Rand and the failure of philosophy
Social media, of late, has been abuzz with the expectation that one golden lining to the Covid-19 crisis will be a change of world paradigm. A shift away from the neo-liberalism that has fuelled the growth and wealth of corporates at the expense of those who actually produce the wealth, the labourers at the bottom … More Will the pandemic show us the way to the future?
One of the ironies of the past few months, for me at least, has been the way most western governments have – after two generations of hands-off, market-driven neo-liberal indifference at the plight of the people – suddenly ‘switched on’ old-style Keynesian support systems. The fiscal faucets have opened, and money is pouring into the … More After Covid-19 – humanity at the crossroads