I regret to inform my regular detractors I have not been axed and nor was I about to be, at least as far as I am aware. I know they would have enjoyed that. However, the fact is I am simply tired and I need time to recharge the batteries. …
And while I have loved, and continue to love, writing this column, I have been missing rather too much of life lately.
Writing takes time. And unless you are lucky and good enough to be able to pay all the bills doing it, the demands of a regular deadline push and pull against the claims of career, health and family. It is often the last of these that suffers most.
My boys are growing up way too fast. I need a few weekends bouncing on the tramp with them instead of sitting at a desk wondering just what to make of the associate transport minister refusing to release a letter sent to the transport minister. I need some time where, when I am begged to come along to the pool on a Sunday afternoon, I can unhesitatingly say yes.
A great call putting family time first. I tend to write my blogs in advance now so that I actually have time during the day and weekends for kicking around a soccer ball with Benjamin.
It is no secret that the ranks of the mainstream media are dominated by liberals in their various Left-wing, centrist and, occasionally, Right-wing forms. Which is not to say that journalists as a whole strive for anything less than fair and objective coverage – which is something I have come to appreciate through dealing with various editors and reporters over the years.
But it has always frustrated me is that, where space is allowed for the non-liberal view, it usually seems that the angriest, least reasonable voices dominate.
Lately, for example, broadcasters have been giving an awful lot of time to spokespeople for the so-called New Conservative Party. This fringe organisation received just 6253 votes at the last election. It has no real prospect of breaking into Parliament.
By contrast, the Opportunities Party won more than 10 times as many votes. How often are its people interviewed on TV?
Liam was a very rare moderate voice.
Somewhere between 30 to 40 per cent of New Zealanders are conservative in their disposition. They are not, as a rule, bigots, know-nothings or uncompromising libertarians. When their more measured views are not properly and credibly articulated in the business of news, liberals let themselves off the hook.
Maybe Stuff will hire someone of similiar ilk to replace Liam?