Mainstream or alternative media: support for any views

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I’ve really enjoyed following the ICC Women’s World Cup, being played right here in New Zealand. With the Kiwi girls only winning three of their seven matches, they sadly missed out on a spot in the semifinals. But, to their credit, three of the four games they lost went right down to the wire, being decided in the last few balls of the match.

Understandably there have been excessive amounts of nail biting, swearing, cheering, swearing, pacing, and more swearing happening in our household lately. And also a lot of sleeping, as my wife, Sam, suffers from a rare medical condition where any reference to cricket inexplicably induces a state of deep unconsciousness.

Unfortunately I missed the end of the White Ferns’ match with South Africa as I was on duty that evening and had to attend a call near Beaumont. My disappointment on later learning of the Kiwis’ narrow loss briefly turned to hope when I realised that I had stupidly checked the result on mainstream media. Maybe, I thought, if I check out one of the alternative news sites I would find that they’d actually won!

But I sadly got the same answer, despite checking several different sources. I ended up being a bit annoyed that they call themselves “alternative” news sites, even though some of their stories are the same as their non›fiction counterparts. Itwasn’t a complete waste of time however, as I now know that Donald Trump did actually win the last United States election, and that the Covid vaccination is a handy form of contraception!

If it wasn’t for a little holdup, I probably could have made it back from my callout in time to see the end of the cricket. But I came across a road sign near Clydevale saying “STOP! 3 waters”. Being a fairly compliant kind of guy, I duly stopped as commanded, expecting some serious flooding up ahead. But after getting out of my vehicle and walking up the road, I couldn’t even see one water, let alone three of them. It finally dawned on me that the sign was probably the work of another protester with poor punctuation skills, so I returned to the ute and cautiously carried on my way.

Seriously though, I do sympathise with all those unhappy about how the Government has responded to feedback on their Three Waters proposal. Aware that a major overhaul of our drinking and wastewater systems was needed, they came up with a scheme and invited the country’s local and regional councils to opt in if they liked it. Nocomplaints from me, so far.

But then, when almost all of the country’s 67 councils, including our own, said “no thanks”, the honourable thing for the Government to have done would have been to say, “OK, bad idea, we’ll go back to the drawing board and come up with something else”. Instead they took the Putin›like approach of deciding that the voluntary scheme is suddenly compulsory.

Should we be worried? Is this nothing more than a one›off piece of bad political PR? Or is it the first step towards us eventually suffering under an oppressive communist dictatorship? There are no wrong answers; whatever your reality, there will be a news website to back you up!