Home' Greymouth Star : August 27th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, August 27, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1883 - e most powerful volcanic eruption
ever recorded continues to blow apart Mount
Krakatau in the Sunda Straits, Indonesia.
Shock waves travel around the earth and tidal
waves kill an estimated 36,000 people.
1900 - A devastating hurricane hits
Galveston in Texas, killing more than 6000.
1919 - Death of Louis Botha, South African
Boer general, statesman and rst
prime minister, aged 56.
1954 - e rst men cross the
Arctic Circle's Northwest Passage
from the Atlantic to the Paci c.
1967 - Brian Epstein, manager of
the Beatles, dies in his London at
from an overdose of sleeping pills.
1975 - Haile Selassie, deposed emperor of
Ethiopia, dies in exile aged 83.
1979 - British war hero Lord Louis
Mountbatten is killed o the coast of Ireland
in a boat explosion. e Irish Republican Army
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Charles Stewart Rolls, British motor
manufacturer-aviator, (1877-1910); Samuel
Goldwyn, US lm producer (1882-1974);
Man Ray, US artist (1890-1976); C S Forester,
English novelist (1899-1966); Sir Donald
Bradman, Australian cricketer (1908-2001);
Lyndon B Johnson, US president (1908-1973);
Tommy Sands, US singer-actor (1937-);
Daryl Dragon, US musician ( e
Captain and Tennille) (1942-);
Barbara Bach, US actress (1947-);
Paul Reubens, US actor (Pee-Wee
Herman) (1952-); Bernhard Langer,
German golfer (1957-); Sarah
Chalke, Canadian actress (1976-);
Carlos Moya, Spanish tennis player
(1976-); Mark Webber, Australian
Formula One racer (1976-); Aaron Paul,
American actor, Breaking Bad (1979-).
"If you board the wrong train, it is no use
running along the corridor in the other
direction." --- Dietrich Bonhoe er, German
" ere is no fear in love, but perfect love casts
out fear." --- (1 John 4:18).
Farming is their
o -stage toil and at
least two will bring a
breath of their calling
to the Runanga Miners' Hall in early October.
John Hore and Gerry Merito, principal stars of
Joe Brown's Country and Western Comes to
Town, also wear their cowboy rigs in the open
country of the north and south. ey are part
of the star line-up for the rst ever country and
Besides sharing farming and show business
this pair has something else in common.
On John Hore's records Gerry Merito is the
guitarist with the timely runs. Neither of these
artists needs introduction to the West Coast.
John Hore's last visit was only a few months
ago. However, for West Coast audiences Gerry
Merito has never before appeared as a soloist.
His fame grew as the guitarist of the now-
disbanded Howard Morrison Quartet.
Always a success with local audiences is the
country's top guitarist Peter Posa. On this show
he will be right at home, for the country and
westerm music of Nashville, Tennessee is his
Of the 200 bags of mail which were destroyed
in a re which broke out in the mail van of the
Picton-Christchurch goods-passenger train
early on Tuesday morning, it is expected that a
certain amount was headed for the West Coast.
An o cer of the Post O ce here said that
already slightly smoked mail had been received
here. He said that all the damaged mail would
be held in Christchurch then sent over in one
consignment in a couple of days.
uToday s birthdays
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (o ce)
769 7913 (editorial)
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Sports Editor Viv Logie
Chief Reporter Laura Mills
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
Round and round and round it goes,
and where it stops nobody knows. You
might think that ordinary human-beings
would have tired of capitalism's cyclical
catastrophes by now. But our capacity
to absorb these entirely man-made
calamities appears to be no less impressive
than our ability to cope with the genuine
disasters nature sends our way. Indeed,
capitalism's longevity is, almost certainly,
attributable to its success in convincing
us that it, too, is a force of nature ---
something far beyond our feeble strength
to in uence for good or ill.
It was not always so. Eighty years
ago, with the world in the clutches of
another capitalist catastrophe, human
beings somewhere found the collective
strength to denounce this "force of
nature" falsehood. ey decided that what
humankind could ruin just by "letting
things go" (laissez-faire) it could rebuild
by replacing the "invisible hand" of the
all-powerful capitalist market with their
e American President, Franklin
Roosevelt, demonstrated the power of
those all-too-visible hands in the massive
public works of his "New Deal". e
British Prime Minister, Clement Atlee,
likewise demonstrated what focused
political will could achieve when, in the
midst of post-war austerity, the British
people created their National Health
Nor was New Zealand lacking in these
triumphs of the people's will. e rst
Labour government's Social Security Act
of 1938 was New Zealand's answer to
the poverty and desperation of the Great
Depression. Likewise its State housing
programme --- a massive construction
e ort funded by "Reserve Bank Credit"
(a capital source not recognised by
contemporary capitalist economists).
So spectacular were the achievements
of collective endeavour in the years
before, during and after World War Two,
that capitalists everywhere felt obliged
to pay them a grudging lip-service.
is apparent conversion was, however,
illusory. Whenever the parties of "private
enterprise" managed to supplant the
parties of collectivism, the latter's policies
were either subtly, or not so subtly,
perverted. Projects designed to ser ve the
interests of the many, always seemed to
end up by disproportionately bene ting
e visionary blueprints for the
development of post-war Auckland,
drawn up in the mid-1940s by Ministry
of Works planners, anticipated the goals
of Auckland's contemporary urban
planners by 70 years. Tragically, the
election of the rst National Government,
in 1949, put paid to this "Auckland that
never was", leaving Aucklanders with the
sprawling, car-dependent conurbations
that, today, they cannot a ord to x.
An even more comprehensive
development plan, this time embracing
the whole country, was brought together
by William B Sutch in the 1950s. One
of New Zealand's most creative (and
controversial) public servants, Sutch
recognised, very early, the urgent need for
New Zealand to diversify its agricultural
commodity-based economy. He argued
for the sort of value-added products that
distinguished the export-base of small
economies like Switzerland and Denmark.
is would require a much stronger
national emphasis on skills acquisition
and tertiary education. Only with a highly
educated workforce could New Zealand
produce the innovation necessary to
broaden its economy. Sutch also argued
for an economy that was much less
import dependent. New Zealand, he said,
must develop a much stronger industrial
In the second Labour government
(1957-1960) led by Walter Nash, Sutch
found a pair of eager listeners. e
Finance Minister, Arnold Nordmeyer, and
the Industry and Commerce Minister,
Philip Holloway, were both convinced
that Sutch's ideas o ered the only
coherent path to a more prosperous, and
less vulnerable, economic future for New
Zealand. It is one of the great tragedies
of this country's history that the second
Labour Government did not last long
enough for the change it contemplated to
be undertaken and become entrenched.
As Sutch would later write: " e
National Party could not have made this
change because of their dependence for
nancial and political support on the
farmers, importers, merchants and nance
houses." Plus ca change.
It has been seven years since the
global nancial crisis of 2008 provided
yet another warning of New Zealand's
economic vulnerability. Was it heeded?
ere is scant evidence of it. What cannot
be missed, however, is seven years of
enormous investment in dairying. e
export of raw commodities remains this
Today, as another capitalist catastrophe
looms, is it not time to heed the collective
spirit of 1938 and 45 and 57? ose years
when "Yes we can!" was more than a
̌ Chris Trotter is a left-wing
Of capitalist catastrophes and collectivist triumphs
Healy s view
Liam DannHow worried should we
be about the China
market crash and the
turmoil it has unleashed
around the world?
Well, do not panic.
ere is no point because: a) panicking
never helps and b) we have no control
over these events.
In fact, unlike the the global nancial
crisis in 2007, most commentators have
been expecting this. e crash of Chinese
stocks was always a matter of "when" not
Now how bad will the fall out be?
is is not a repeat of the GFC. e
world's banking system is not frozen.
is is not a full meltdown of the global
nancial system. So that is the good.
American stocks, and New Zealand
stocks for that matter, were looking
over valued after a long bull run. ey
were due to correct. Events in China have
provided the trigger. at is making the
correction process more unsettling than
we had hoped. It almost always is.
ere is a good chance the sell o will
be overdone, so anyone in the market for
the long-term gains --- including Kiwi
Savers --- should be looking through this.
Investor sentiment is a powerful thing
and right now fear is back in the markets.
e China situation is more
complicated and potentially a lot more
troubling for the New Zealand economy.
Chinese equity markets are not the
Chinese economy. Unlike western
economies where listed companies
represent a large proportion of
national GDP, China's economy is still
over whelmingly dominated by the huge
State owned enterprises.
In theory the rise and fall of equity
markets should be a side show.
Unfortunately things are not quite that
Because the Chinese markets have
attracted millions of middle class "mum
and dad" investors there is now a serious
risk to consumer con dence in China.
at is bad news because middle class
con dence is a big driver of Chinese
growth and demand for the kind of high
value products western countries are
selling to China.
Like dairy products. Gulp.
Underpinning all this turmoil is
the unavoidable reality that Chinese
economic growth is slowing. It is slowing
faster than hoped --- although there is
no shortage of commentators who have
predicted it would.
e United States economy is also
stubbornly taking longer than hoped to
get back into top gear.
e combination of these factors
has also prompted a big sell o on
commodity markets which were already
at historically low levels.
Of all the nancial chaos out there right
now, this may be the worst part of it for
all for us.
So oil prices are falling again. And iron
ore --- bad news for Australia. And, dairy
futures --- bad news for New Zealand.
e real issue for ordinary New
Zealanders is that these events could
seriously exacerbate some already dark
clouds around the economy.
Could this push us into recession?
Maybe. But let us not forget we are
coming o a strong run and growth is
still running at about 2.5%. e Reserve
Bank still has started cutting rates but
still has plenty of scope to cut further.
Let us not forget that the dollar is falling
further adding to the value of returns our
Finally let us not underestimate the
Chinese Government's ability to pull a
rabbit out of the hat.
When the western system went to
the wall in 2007 the US Government
showed just how much re power it had
to intervene by bailing out banks and
China has trillions in cash reser ves and
regulatory powers western leaders can
only dream of.
It is likely we will see an action plan of
shock and awe coming out of Beijing in
the coming days. Let us hope so and let us
hope it works because the stakes are high.
For Australia and New Zealand, with
our reliance on China, the stakes may be
even higher than they were during the
GFC last decade.
--- New Zealand Herald
How worried should we be?
With secret codes
publisher Norstedts has kept
the plot of the sequel to the
crime trilogy, out this week,
shrouded in secrecy.
e mystery is tting for
the sci- spy intrigue entitled
e Girl in the Spider's Web, the highly-
anticipated dark thriller penned 11 years
after the death of the series' creator Stieg
Only a few people have read the 500-
page tome --- just translators and editors
--- that takes up the story of tattooed
computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and
journalist Mikael Blomkvist.
And Norstedts has given fans only a
small sneak preview.
"One night professor Frans Balder, a
leading authority within AI (arti cial
intelligence) research, calls up
Blomkvist," it wrote on its website.
"Balder says he has world shattering
information on United States
intelligence ser vices. He has also had
contact with a female super hacker, who
bears a certain resemblance to a person
Blomkvist knows well."
e thriller is keenly awaited by
devoted readers. e rst three
Millennium books, published in
2005-07, have sold 80 million copies
worldwide and have been made
into Swedish and Hollywood movie
But before the fourth
instalment even went to press
it was already enveloped in
Among the book's
detractors is Eva Gabrielsson,
who was Larsson's partner
of 32 years until he died
suddenly of a heart attack in
2004 at age 50.
e couple were not
married and Larsson left no
will, so his estate went to his
brother and father. Gabrielsson, 61, lost a
battle with them to manage his work.
To write the trilogy's sequel, Larsson's
brother and father chose David
Lagercrantz --- a Swedish journalist
known for writing football star Zlatan
Ibrahimovic's o cial biography --- a
"totally idiotic choice", Gabrielsson
told AFP in February, saying he knew
nothing of the milieu Larsson described
in the books.
e writing of the novel was shrouded
in secrecy, with the author, editors
and translators working on computers
disconnected from the internet to avoid
Norstedts has rejected the criticism,
saying the novel does not tarnish
In Gabrielsson's eyes, the book is only
seeing the light of day because of greed.
Larsson's heirs have however said they
plan to donate the royalties to the anti-
racist magazine Expo, co-founded by
"It's just a book. e readers will
decide," publisher Altrov Berg says.
Countdown to Millenium sequel
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