This week’s notes are a mix of picking up thoughts, research and ideas in this strange time we are all in. I have Zoomed more in the past week than in the past months. I’ve even been involved in two really good Gin and Tonic sessions by Zoom. Fortunately they concluded before they became too messy.
Adjusting to a new normal means that we have to challenge a few things which we have always taken for granted and to slay a few sacred cows. This week’s notes include a message from the Secretary of the United Nations calling for the cessation of all wars and with an attached signature block to support his call. We have a very good Human Rights Commissioner, who currently has Covid 19, and I have printed his message which makes a lot of sense.
We have to look at where our economy is headed with a sense of optimism. Not that the sky is going to fall in. Jim Lunday has been thinking about models which have been successful over many decades and which are communally owned. Today he introduces us to the Mondragon Coop empire which is based in Spain. I would like to think the Tuesday Club, which has as its basic purpose consideration of public policy, will keep looking at different ways of going about things in our environment and economy. How we kick-start our businesses, and the jobs which go with them, is something in which we must all have a vital interest.
Then Cam Preston has the visiting lecturer’s slot on his analysis of how the banks operate, and how they have behaved over the past couple of decades. In places its not pretty reading. Once again, I am delighted that we have somebody as competent as Adrian Orr as Governor of the Reserve Bank. Here’s a link to the article he wrote which was published this morning https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/120732494/adrian-orr-economic-shockwaves-will-eventually-give-way-to-vibrant-refreshed-new-zealand-economy?cid=app-iPhone
I have been sent many more articles on the banks and I will use these next week. We will investigate the banks behaviour with tax, and their transfer of dividends from this country which props up their share price in Oz.
Then I am delighted to see that the government is looking at re-creating the late, great, Ministry of Works and there is an article about this.
The next article is a project I was involved in last time our economy really went pear shaped in the 1980’s, Company Rebuilders. This project worked alongside companies in trouble and rebuilt them and saved jobs and owner’s capital. Our economic development agency will have to have this sort of project up and running pretty soon.
I read a wonderful article about what our Art Galleries and Museums will be like when the lights come on again in the world. I have printed part of the original which was in the Washington Post.
The last few articles are from Tuesday Club members about their actions and reactions to life in our changed universe.
On Monday morning Pam and I have been in self-isolation for 3 weeks. It has been a rewarding and interesting time. The bank balance has remained steady. Countless coffees have not been drunk. The vehicle fleet has remained stationary. Dinners have been in, rather than frequently out. Unnecessary clothing has not been purchased. Tasks which have waited for over 10 years have been completed. A whole new system of filing has been created for the garage. I can even find things. It’s amazing. The exterior of the house is oiled, and an impressive new colony of bottled fruit and vegetables stand like proud soldiers in the hall cupboard waiting in eager anticipation of large family meals again in the middle of winter.
Last Monday was the first day that I was out of my self-isolation. I decided to go out. I put on the new shoes I purchased in Italy at the end of last year. I then found my raincoat, manufactured in Christchurch. On my lid I put the best French beret I own. I was then ready to face the world in my going-to-town mocker. So, off I went. To the supermarket in Stanmore Road.
It was wonderful to visit my old friends at the supermarket. Even if they were in behind a plastic screen. It seems a millennium since I was last there. The crowds are gone. The same staff are there. It was wonderful to see them. Later in this newsletter is a wonderful letter written to the owner of a supermarket thanking him and his staff for their service. We must be grateful for those who are keeping our essential services going.
It has been interesting to have our lives constrained to us being within our four fences. I am extremely grateful that we have a section and somewhere to roam. The chooks seem to have handled Covid 19 quite well so far. They still don’t seem to understand cooperative living.
In our walks this week we have been impressed with the number of people walking. Way, way more than normal. We all give each other plenty of room as we pass. People mostly wave.
That reminds me of the story of General Montgomery and General Freyberg in the Second World War. Montgomery said to Freyberg that he noticed that his troops didn’t seem to salute naturally. Freyberg replied “but if you wave, Sir, you will find that they will all wave back”.
This week I have spent hours every day reading stories from around the world. Each country is struggling to cope. Each country has doomsday individuals doing their Eeyore saying the sky is going to fall in. I’ve never been so excited about the potential for change in our world.