Dear universe, please send me a nice warm boy who is accustomed to more tropical temperatures and therefore instinctively desires to be wrapped around me in a kind of symbiotic shared body heat kind of arrangement. Kthxbye.
Oheylook, annual pay rounds. Surprise!payrise. Not as much as last year, when I had a salary band adjustment, but still some. *phew* Almost enough to keep up with inflation. Why do I suddenly feel privileged? Oh yeah, it's because most folks aren't even getting an inflation adjustment this year. Bloody hell.
This morning I wrote a letter to my MP, urging him to pressure the government to come clean about what's in the TPPA. Because I'm shocked at how many people don't know about it. I'm even more shocked at the people who will make any excuse they can think of to not address it. This morning I heard:
"Well, you know off-brand medicines don't work as well as name-brand ones."
"I've been looking into alternative medicines more lately so it doesn't affect me."
"Oh, I don't really use medication anyway."
I also heard questions about what 'free trade' will do for us. I'm curious too. Will it mean we can buy more stuff off Amazon? Will it mean that things like computers will be cheaper? Exactly what will we get more of at a better price through having a free trade agreement with the US? It's a gap in my knowledge, this thing about what will be good for New Zealand in this. I know what I'd like from the US, but I only represent a small section of NZ society and I'm well aware that that bit up there about my payrise disqualifies me from having any claim to my opinion being shared by the majority of kiwis who earn less than I do*.
Anyway, what I'd like is to be able to buy products such as a sheet set I bought for my brother for Christmas, which is not available in NZ and I couldn't get through Amazon because 'we don't deliver that to your country'. I ended up having to phone a US company and negotiate with them directly, and yes, it cost Mum and me a pretty penny. It'd be nice to not have to do that. I would also like to be able to buy media in a timely fashion, as I've mentioned before. I am not interested in US dairy products because they aren't .. well, they just aren't. Orange cheese? White butter? I don't understand. We already get US fruit in the shops when ours are out of season. I don't see how a free trade agreement would change any of this. Most people who don't ship here from the US do that because of the shipping costs - we are a long way away and anything above surface mail is expensive. And from what I've gleaned the intellectual property stuff in the TPPA will make it harder for us to buy our media legitimately and when we want it, not easier.
So, how does this benefit us? Does anyone actually know?
*You'll note this doesn't prevent our Prime Minister from claiming he represents 'the average kiwi'. John Key gets around $361,000 a year for being PM apparently (quickly looked up on Answers.com therefore not necessarily accurate). I could not find details on the average salary, but Stats tells me that the median weekly income from all sources in NZ was $529 last year. Not rocket science to work out that Mr Key does not have the same personal concerns as 'the average kiwi'.
Um, anyway, I failed at Global Fabrics yesterday. They had very few plain cottons and they were charging $12-$18 a metre for them and that's just too much for plain cotton. I'll try Arthur Toye today.
Also, the last Wellington showing of the Kiwiburn doco will be at the Film Archive, this Saturday at 4:30pm. $8 and $6 to see it, you should come and support this work that Bunny and Paul have been doing for so many years. And make nice comments on how good a shearer they've made me look! ;-)