Home' Greymouth Star : July 6th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, July 6, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1535 - Sir Thomas More is executed in
England for treason.
1885 - Louis Pasteur performs the first
inoculation of a human being: a young boy
bitten by a rabid dog.
1928 - The first all-talking feature
film, The Lights of New York,
premieres in New York.
1943 - Dar win is bombed by the
1944 - Some 169 people die in
fire in the main tent of the Ringling
Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus
in Hartford, Connecticut.
1957 - Althea Gibson becomes the first black
tennis player to win a Wimbledon singles title.
1962 - US novelist and Nobel Prize winner
William Faulkner dies.
1964 - The Beatles movie A Hard Day ’s
Night premieres in L ondon.
1971 - Louis Armstrong, US jazz musician,
1988 - The world’s worst offshore accident
occurs when the Piper Alpha oil platform
explodes in the British sector of the North Sea,
killing 167 people.
1998 - Death of singing cowboy star Roy
Rogers in California, aged 86.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Nancy Reagan, former US First Lady (1921-
2016); Bill Haley, rock’n’roll pioneer
(1925-1981); Ruth Cracknell,
Australian actress (1925-2002);
Dalai Lama, exiled Tibetan leader
(1935-); George W Bush, former US
President (1946-); Sylvester Stallone,
US actor- producer (1946-); 50 Cent,
US rapper (1975-) .
“Growing old is no more than a bad habit
which a busy man has no time to form.”
— Andre Maurois, French author (1885-1967).
“ Your hands have made and fashioned me;
give me understanding that I may learn Your
commandments.” — (Psalms 119:73).
Inside the big official
envelope was the note
under the impressive
letterhead of the
New Zealand Army. “ Dear Madam” it began
and went on to tell the reader a New Zealand
soldier had been slightly wounded in Vietnam
but was now back with his unit V Company,
near Nui Dat.
All this was a little over whelming for eight-
year-old standard two pupil of the Grey Main
School Tina Neate, daughter of Mr and Mrs
F A Neate. But private W U Temepara, better-
known locally as ‘Short Bob’, had named her as
next-of-kin and she was the first to be advised
of his wounding.
Temepara played rugby here for the former
Maori junior side Wai-Ohorere, and later for
Cobden. He worked in the Rewanui State
colliery for several years.
Daughter of pioneer settlers of Maori Gully,
Mrs Sarah Ellen Williams died yesterday at
the age of 90. Mrs Williams was born at Maori
Gully and lived on the West Coast all her life,
the past 50 years at Nelson Creek. A member
of the Tibbles family, she was the daughter of
Mr and Mrs Joseph Tibbles.
Active in many community affairs, Mrs
Williams was well known for her work in
the Anglican Church. She is sur vived by her
husband Henry, two sons Harry and Cecil, and
three daughters, Nancy, Ivy and Nell. There
are several granchildren, great and great-great-
The Greymouth branch of the NZ Labour
Party is 50 years old. Secretary Mr C H
Powick said no definite festivities have been set
out but he expected a social function would be
organised and party leaders from Wellington
would be invited to attend the jubilee.
uFood for thought
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Just how strong is our faith in
democracy? Fifty years ago, to even pose
the question would have been condemned
as an act of political heresy. In 1967, the
only debate about democracy was whether
or not its representative institutions should
make way for more participatory forms
of democratic engagement. Fifty years
ago a majority of the population could
still remember a world in which tens of
millions looked for ward confidently to the
triumph of anti-democratic ideologies.
In the 1930s and 1940s the sur vival of
democracy was very much a touch-and-go
Today, the number of New Zealanders
able to recall the world in which Adolf
Hitler and Joseph Stalin were alive and
kicking humanity in the face is fast
dwindling towards zero. For most of us
alive today they are just names to place
alongside those of Napoleon, Caesar
and Alexander the Great. Certainly, the
grainy black and white newsreels of 80
years ago lend the great dictators a more
vital presence that David’s oil paintings
of Napoleon or the classical sculptors’
renderings of Caesar and Alexander. But
the visceral fear Hitler and Stalin inspired
in their contemporaries has evaporated.
History has a short half-life.
It was the American writer Francis
Fukuyama who, following the fall of
the Berlin Wall and the implosion of
the Soviet Union, argued that humanity
had arrived at “the end of history”.
Liberal capitalism, with its free political
institutions and markets, had seen off
both of its mighty totalitarian challengers
— fascism and communism. Barring
the occasional irrational eruption from
the angry margins of modernity, there
were no more serious political questions
remaining to be resolved. This was as good
as it was ever likely to get.
In such an atmosphere idealists and
visionaries found it difficult to breathe.
The grand schemes of the 19th and 20th
centuries, the blueprints (or should that
be redprints) for a new Heaven and a
new Earth, were increasingly dismissed as
ridiculous and/or dangerous in the 21st
With the grim examples of the
fascist and communist experiments in
enforced collectivism before them, a new
generation of political thinkers argued
that the State should be kept as small
as possible. In this new age it was the
sovereign individual who must be exalted.
People’s lives must be their own to
determine. Whether they sink or swim in
the turbulent waters of liberal capitalism
must depend entirely on the choices
they make. State inter vention is not just
ineffectual; it makes things worse. The
only help that works is self-help.
Liberal capitalism’s preoccupation
with the individual was amplified by
the extraordinary advances in electronic
technology that marched alongside
it. The digitalisation of existence not
only normalised narcissism, it made
its triumph over intellect and empathy
inevitable. Even when the global financial
crisis of 2008-09 caused the core
institutions of liberal capitalism to stagger,
the deeply embedded individualism of its
critics rendered their protests ineffectual.
The Occupy movement may have
constructed the meme of the 1% versus
the 99%, but it proved incapable of
persuading all those hard-pressed
individuals to act together politically
in their own interest. Decisions made
on the basis of majority rule were seen
as an intolerable violation of individual
autonomy. What gives other people the
right to overrule Me, Myself, I?
If they but knew it, they were putting
their finger on the great paradox
which lies at democracy ’s heart: That
individual liberty can be preser ved only
by acquiescing to decisions arrived
at collectively; by recognising our
neighbour’s right to overrule our personal
priorities we simultaneously reaffirm our
right to persuade sufficient of them to
adopt our personal priorities as their own.
It is an extraordinarily generous social
and political concession — and utterly
incompatible with the narcissism of
our age. The proper functioning of
democracy is predicated on an electorate
whose core priorities are shared rather
than contested. The moment one fraction
of the electorate believes its interests and
ideals to be fundamentally threatened
by the designs of another fraction —
as happened in the years prior to the
outbreak of the American Civil War,
and which appears to be happening
again in the United States today — the
generosity and tolerance upon which
democratic institutions depend swiftly
Faith in democracy only sur vives while
we retain faith in the goodwill of our
neighbours. When that is lost, tyranny
rapidly replaces liberty.
Chris Trotter is a left-wing
How strong is our faith in democracy?
fter tasting global success
with the Spice Girls, you
might think Mel B was
financially set for life.
But the former Scary
Spice told a court in Los
Angeles last week that she has blown the
entire £38 million ($NZ67.6 million) she
made during her career. One company is
down to its last $1700. She is, it appears,
At a hearing — part of her divorce from
Stephen Belafonte — her lawyer, Jacalyn
Davis, agreed her money problems were
“sustained through improvident lifestyle
choices”, adding: “ They never had money
at the end of the year to pay their taxes.
“All their community income was being
spent and then some. In this marriage, that
would be Miss Brown’s income from the
Belafonte is now asking for spousal
support and money for his legal fees — a
total of $160,000 — as he has no income.
Mel B is said to earn about $338,000 a
month by being a judge on America’s Got
Talent. But the question is, how on earth
did Scary Spice go bust?
The answer, at least in part, must lie in
the ‘spend, spend, spend’ lifestyle enjoyed
over the past decade by the 42-year-old
and Belafonte, her second husband.
Their luxury purchases included an
armoured car costing $356,000. They have
travelled on holiday on private jets, renting
villas with a butler.
Her jewellery collection includes huge
diamond rings, she owns enough designer
handbags to stock a boutique — and let
us not forget her lavish birthday gifts for
Belafonte, which included a private island
and a surprise party she threw for him
featuring fire-eaters and elephants.
Here’s how Scary broke the bank.
For most millionaires, a black Bentley
Continental GTC costing around
$293,000 and a Ferrari California worth
only a little less would suffice. Not Mel B.
She has both of these — then in 2013
she ordered a seven-seater Cadillac
Escalade ESV, customised with armour
plating and capable of delivering an
electric shock to anyone who grabs the
The attack-proof motor, capable of
withstanding bullets, bombs and chemical
attacks, set her back $356,000.
It was delivered to her home by the
president of the Texas Armouring
Corporation, which did the work.
She was so delighted, she then ordered
an armoured Range Rover and Mercedes
Benz S-Class as well, both costing a
Mel, raised on a Leeds council estate,
loves enormous diamonds and great big
blinging statement jewellery.
She regularly sports 3.5-carat diamond
earrings which cost around $89,000.
Her pear-shaped diamond ring, with
a surround of pavÃ© diamonds and a
platinum setting, is worth about $757,000,
and her huge yellow diamond ring is
worth about $356,000.
She also has a diamond engagement
ring worth about $89,000, which husband
Stephen ‘upgraded’ for her in 2014. ‘He’s
sweet like that,’ she said at the time.
She often wears two Cartier yellow gold
‘ love’ bangles with diamonds, costing
$14,400 each, and favours a $35,600 Rolex
Everose gold Daytona watch.
Mel has least four Birkins (deep blue,
tan, pale tan and grey), each worth
around $35,600, more branded Louis
Vuitton than she can carry and dozens
of other designer bags on which she will
comfortably have spent $890,700.
Among the stars of her collection are
an Yves Saint Laurent Muse Bag and
Downtown tote, Louis Vuitton Artsy
Hobo, Eole Rolling Duffel Bag and
Chanel Cocoon bag.
The list goes on and on.
Scary has three daughters — Phoenix,
18, by her first husband, D utch dancer
Jimmy Gulzar; Angel, 10, by comedian
Eddie Murphy; and Madison, five, by
Stephen Belafonte. The family is known
for taking lavish holidays.
Last year they went by private plane
from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to watch
Jennifer Lopez in concert — meaning
they spent $21,000 in one evening.
In an inter view, Mel B cited a three-
week break in a villa in Hawaii, complete
with full staff and a butler, as their best
break yet. She said: “Because I’m always
travelling with my kids, I always need
something for their entertainment. There
also has to be snorkelling and lovely
For a time the couple owned a holiday
home in Miami, Florida, costing around
$5,340,000, but this seems to have been
You know you are spending cash like
water if you enter Johnny Depp/Nicolas
Cage territory and decide to buy your own
During a radio inter view in 2014, Mel
B said she had bought a private island
off Virginia as a birthday present for
Belafonte, so the family could ‘chill out ’
there. It was said to have cost $1,781,000.
There are reports that the couple have
rarely visited and she is happy for
Belafonte to keep it.
Belafonte is keen that Mel sells the
marital home in Los Angeles to fund their
It is on the market for $10,700,000, has
panoramic views of the city and boasts
a pool, hot tub, bar, cinema, gym and
recording studio. If they achieve that price
it would represent a hefty profit, as they
paid $6,200,000 for it.
However, the couple managed to lose a
cool million dollars on their previous LA
They bought it in 2007 and spent
$1,400,000 on renovations which included
installing a grey marble bathroom, cur ving
glass staircase, outdoor kitchen, saline
pool, three waterfalls and a recording
Phoenix Chi has just graduated from
Beverly Hills High School, a free school
whose alumnae include Carrie Fisher,
Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie.
The younger children are understood to
be at a private school in the city, where
fees stand at $43,000 a year.
It takes quite a few people to run Scary’s
life. Mel B has an agent, a publicist, a
PA and a nanny. To look after the house
there is at least one
gardeners and pool
It is estimated that
the total staff cost
is at least $445,000
In Mel B’s court
of paying their
$142,500 a year
— and of having
an affair with her
and getting her
A prize if you spot
her in the same
outfit twice. Mel
B is mad about
clothes and once
changed seven times
in the course of a
single Mobo awards
Recently she has
worked with stylists
and Jason Bolden,
who call in clothes
for her to wear on
television — she
has sported designs
by Balenciaga and
She has even kept nearly all her old
Spice Girls outfits.
The first significant nibble into Mel’s
Spice Girls earnings came when her two-
year marriage to dancer Jimmy Gulzar
collapsed in 2000. The divorce cost a
reported $2.85m in alimony.
Gulzar has since moved to Los Angeles
so he can maintain contact with their
daughter, Phoenix, who turned 18 earlier
Belafonte came into the marriage with
a child from a previous relationship. He
and estate agent Nicole Contreras have
a daughter, 12-year-old Giselle. In court
papers, Mel B claims he paid $440,000
of her money, without her knowledge or
consent, to support the child. However,
Miss Contreras later said she had
received no child support from Belafonte.
And now? Well, that payment to
Gulzar is starting to look like a bargain.
Belafonte — whom she wed in a quickie
ceremony in Las Vegas in 2007 — has
asked for $5800 a month for groceries,
$2708 a month for clothes, $15,000 to
cover his rent and $1000 to cover his
mobile phone bill. Mel B has declined.
Instead, she claims Belafonte owes
her $1.4m in money taken without her
permission during the marriage. Her
team wrote in court papers: ‘ We do not
believe your client is entitled to much, if
any, of the community, but will owe Mel
for the amounts he has taken from her
without her knowledge or consent.’
She may well have other business
interests in America or elsewhere in the
world, but as far as her United Kingdom
companies are concerned, Mel B is not
sitting on a fortune.
One firm, Moneyspider Productions,
which was set up to receive income from
her failed solo recording career, has
only $1700 in its accounts, according to
documents filed at Companies House in
February this year.
Mel is also a director of Spice Girls
Limited and Octopus Direct Limited.
She owns 20 per cent of Spice Girls
Limited, which as of August 31, 2016,
held $196,000 — with the remainder
divided equally between the other former
She also owns 16% of Octopus Direct,
which held $19,000 on August 31, 2016.
Other shareholders are the former Spice
Girls and Simon Fuller.
Belafonte is a small-time film producer
whose two most recent movies have
In 2008 he produced Mutant
Chronicles, a sci-fi thriller with a $34m
budget which grossed only $2.8m
The following year he co-produced the
Nicolas Cage vehicle Bad Lieutenant:
Port Of Call New Orleans, which had a
$28m budget but grossed only $2.1m in
He was an executive producer on the
reality tv show in which he and Mel
appeared in 2010, but does not seem to
have worked in film since then.
Movies aside, he is reportedly an
investor in a Sydney nightclub — and
he and Mel B also formed a partnership
with the owners of the Serafina restaurant
chain to open a branch on Sunset Strip in
Los Angeles last year.
And the other spice girls?
Emma Bunton has not quite conquered
the world post-Spice. A solo career did
not take off and she has appeared on
Dancing On Ice and Loose Women.
She is a DJ with Heart FM and lives in
Hertfordshire with singer-turned-chef
Jade Jones and their two sons. She is
reportedly worth $39m.
Mel C is said to be worth $48m. She
added to her Spice Girls fortune via a
successful solo career, selling 12 million
albums worldwide. She has a daughter
with property developer Thomas Starr
but never married. She lives in a London
house worth $4.45m.
Geri Halliwell is worth $56m. She has
written two autobiographies, judged
Popstars and The X Factor and made
several attempts at a solo career. Her
most recent release failed to get into
the Top 100. She also writes children’s
books. She married F1 boss Christian
Horner in 2015 and gave birth to their
son Montague George Hector Horner in
January this year. She also has a daughter,
Bluebell, 11, from a previous relationship.
Victoria Beckham, who is worth $430m,
was the weakest singer and dancer in the
group but has outpaced everyone else.
She has flogged sunglasses, perfume,
under wear and a book, and attempted a
solo singing career since the end of the
Spice Girls. Her fashion label launched
in 2008. Married to former footballer
David Beckham, she has four children
and lives in Holland Park, London. The
family also has homes in Los Angeles
and the Cotswolds.
— New Zealand Herald
How Mel B blew $68m
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