Don’t bring home the bacon

by Christie on December 26, 2018 at 10:00am


The Independent in the UK shows how Britain is so far ahead of us here in New Zealand. It seems that expressions like ‘bringing home the bacon’ are offensive… yes. You read that right. quote.

You may think phrases like “bringing home the bacon” and “putting all your eggs in one basket” are harmless quirks of the English language, but they could be offending vegans and vegetarians, with one academic claiming they might end up being avoided altogether as a result.

As research shows more people are removing animal products from their diets than ever before, Shareena Hamzah of Swansea University says idioms involving animal products could be rendered obsolete because they are out of touch with the zeitgeist. end quote.

Or offending Muslims, perhaps, Shareena? quote.

Writing for The Conversation, the researcher explains how meat-based metaphors are a popular staple of our everyday vernacular but that an increased awareness in the environmental and ethical issues surrounding meat production “will undoubtedly be reflected in our language and literature” and that this language may no longer be so widely accepted. end quote.

This article is about absolutely nothing. It is saying that people might stop using these expressions because fewer people eat meat. Most of us don’t even think about offending vegetarians, or Muslims, when we use expressions such as ‘bringing home the bacon’, because there is nothing offensive in them. The vegetarians that I know seem to cope quite well with a few expressions here and there. Not all vegetarians are snowflakes. They simply choose not to eat meat, for reasons of their own. quote.

“In today’s reality, meat is repeatedly the subject of much socially and politically charged discussion, including about how the demand for meat is contributing to climate change and environmental degradation,” she continues.

“Given that fiction often reflects on real world events and societal issues, it may very well be that down the line powerful meat metaphors are eschewed. end quote.

Let’s think of some other powerful metaphors still in use, shall we?

‘Money doesn’t grow on trees’ – how offensive to trees

‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’ – why Romans? Why not Somalis?

‘Never look a gift horse in the mouth’ – offensive to horses. Neigh!

‘You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs’ – offensive to non vegans

‘Beggars cannot be choosers’ – offensive to our homeless people

You can see how stupid this is, can’t you?

Also, I keep thinking of the song ‘Ring a Ring of Roses’. This is not quite the same thing, I know, but it is believed to be a reference to the Great Plague of London in the 17th century. And ‘bring home the bacon’ has a historical reference as well. The Phrase Finder has all the details quote.

The origin of the phrase ‘bring home the bacon’ is sometimes suggested to be the story of the Dunmow Flitch. This tradition, which still continues every four years in Great Dunmow, Essex, is based on the story of a local couple who, in 1104, impressed the Prior of Little Dunmow with their marital devotion to the point that he awarded them a flitch [a side] of bacon. The continuing ritual of couples showing their devotion and winning the prize, to considerable acclamation by the local populace, is certainly old and well authenticated. Geoffrey Chaucer mentions it in The Wife of Bath’s Tale and Prologue, circa 1395.

An additional invented explanation that links ‘bringing home the bacon’ with the culinary habits of medieval English peasantry is given in the nonsense email ‘Life in the 1500s‘. That, and all the other supposed derivations above, ignores the fact that ‘bring home the bacon’ is a 20th century phrase that was coined in the USA.

One field of endeavour in which one’s body, that is, bacon, is the key to one’s fortune is boxing, and it is in that sport that the expression first became widely used.

Bring home the baconJoe Gans and ‘Battling’ Oliver Nelson fought for the widely reported world lightweight championship on 3rd September 1906. In coverage of the fight, the New York newspaper The Post-Standard, 4th September 1906, reported that:

Before the fight Gans received a telegram from his mother: “Joe, the eyes of the world are on you. Everybody says you ought to win. Peter Jackson will tell me the news and you bring home the bacon.”

Gans (on the right in the picture) won the fight, and The New York Times printed a story saying that he had replied by telegraph that he “had not only the bacon, but the gravy”, and that he later sent his mother a cheque for $6,000. end quote.

Oh dear. The American origins are one of the few positive references to African Americans in the period before World War 2. Do we really want to dispose of a reference to the history of African Americans?

If it was just yet another piece of European history, it wouldn’t matter in the least of course. We are disposing of those by the day. But who do we support the most? Vegans or African Americans? What a dilemma!

A lot of vegans are white people. The black guys will win out every time.

Which means, as soon as everyone knows the origins of the expression, ‘bringing home the bacon,’ it will be perfectly fine. Even to vegans. They might even start eating it. The plant version, of course.

The one day truce where British & German soldiers exchanged Christmas gifts

by Whaleoil staff on December 27, 2018 at 10:00am

World War I

World War I

During the first World War, a general’s letter revealed details of British and German Soldiers playing soccer and exchanging Christmas gifts during a one-day truce in 1914. Quote.

A letter documenting the day when British and German troops laid down their arms, exchanged gifts and played a game of soccer at Christmas in 1914 has been uncovered in England.

The letter, written from the trenches in France by a high-ranking British general to his wife, has been made public to mark the centenary of the truce.

The story of the Christmas Truce of 1914 is already well-known, and has inspired many artistic endeavors, including an advertisement this year by a British supermarket chain.

But the letter, from General Walter Congreve to his wife, is a rare first-hand account of the event.


Writing from France on Christmas Day 100 years ago, General Congreve described to his wife how when he took Christmas gifts from his mother of toffees, cigarettes, pencils and writing paper down to the trenches he heard about “an outstanding state of affairs”.

“This morning, a German shouted out that they wanted a day’s truce, and would one come out if they did?” he wrote.

“So, very cautiously, one of our men lifted himself above the parapet, and saw a German doing the same – both got out, then more.”

The general described how the German and British soldiers then exchanged cigars, sang together and played soccer.

“Officers, as well as the men, were out and the German colonel himself was talking to one of our captains,” he wrote.

He also wrote of how the truce had exposed the position of a young man considered the German army’s best shot: “They say he’s killed more of our men than any other 12 together, but I know now where he shoots from, so I hope we down him tomorrow.”

A councilor at the Staffordshire County Council Archives where the letter was uncovered, Ben Adams, said it was a very moving piece of history.

“This was in the middle of the most horrendous war imaginable, the most horrendous circumstances imaginable, so for those men to have an opportunity to almost live a normal life, chat and meet with other men in the way that they would hope to do outside of war, but knowing within 48 hours it’s back to the gruesome business of trying to win – it’s quite extraordinary,” Mr Adams said.

General Congreve did not take part in the truce because he was worried he might be too big a target for the Germans to resist.

Mr Adams said it was understandable given the general’s enormous responsibilities.

“At the time General Congreve was probably in charge of something like 35,000 to 40,000 men – he would have been a real target for the enemy,” he said.

“He actually is a very brave man, he was a holder of the Victoria Cross – he won the Victoria Cross in the Boer War.”

General Congreve survived the war and died in 1927.

His son Billy, also a Victoria Cross holder, was killed in action in 1916. […] E

Former rugby boss calls Jacinda a traitor

by Christie on December 24, 2018 at 8:00am

Jacinda Ardern cracking
Photoshopped image credit: Luke

Newshub reports: quote.

A former top rugby boss has called Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters “traitors”, and warned he’s coming to get them.

Ex-New Zealand Rugby CEO David Moffett, a member of the New Conservative Party, made the comments on Thursday after the Government announced it would support the United Nations Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. end quote.

The only thing that makes me feel happy about this whole thing is the reaction to it. For the first time in as long as I can remember, people actually are up in arms about a political issue. Not ‘up in arms’ as they were over the TPP, which involved nothing more than orchestrated attacks on the government by left-wing activists; it is ordinary people who are outraged by this action. It gives me hope that the true colours of this Marxist government are starting to be seen for what they are. quote.

“Yes we’ll see whether you 2 traitors are still smiling when we are done with you next year,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Have a good break coz you’re going to need it. Next year will likely be your Annus Horibilis because we are coming to get you.” end quote.


Strong words, but deserved. Moffatt is an ex-rugby man, and so people will take notice. The sneaky, underhand way in which the government has handled this matter is now plain for all to see. Like the Sroubek affair, Jacinda hoped that it would all just pass under the radar. It didn’t. Once she was asked questions about it, her furtiveness became obvious and embarrassing. We are not going away, Jacinda. This whole issue of our sovereignty, which you promised you would never compromise, is not going to go away. quote.

The controversial pact would create a non-legally binding way of addressing why people migrate, how to protect them, how to integrate them into new countries, means of returning them home and other issues.

Mr Peters, Foreign Affairs Minister, said New Zealand will sign up after he received legal advice saying it won’t affect national sovereignty.

But the decision has angered Mr Moffett, who called Mr Peters and Ms Ardern “leftards”.

“There are 53million people, mostly from Africa and Sth America ready to invade other countries in the name of migration. They want out of their own countries run by criminals and dictators. The same countries that the UN want us to give $billions to…… Say No NZ,” he tweeted. end quote.

The Crown Law office have only commented on the document in front of their noses, but Angela Merkel let the cat out of the bag last week. Once the compact has been approved, all it will take is for a vote to be taken in the UN to make the compact binding. If two-thirds of countries agree to that, then it will be binding. Because so many countries that have signed up to it want their citizens to be able to migrate, the majority will be reached easily. The Crown Law office has not considered that possibility, because it was not asked to consider it. It has advised only on the document as it exists today. quote.

“You can all be guaranteed that I will not stop fighting for all Kiwis, no matter what side of politics you are on.”

His tweets have been met with some criticism, with one person calling them “a tad aggressive”.

“Hang on… aren’t you a migrant who moved to NZ for economic / job purposes?” a commenter said. end quote.

I too am a migrant who moved to New Zealand, but I went through all the proper channels, did everything right, had interviews with Immigration NZ, filled out copious forms and waited for the required periods for my residency to be approved. To think that someone could just turn up from Africa on a boat and have all the same rights without proper process is horrific. But that is what will happen.

I am glad the government is not going to get away with this, and I am particularly glad that Winston Peters is on the rack because of it. Anyone who has campaigned for all of his political life on lowering immigration, then doing a 180-degree turn and signing this document, is indeed a traitor. At least we have all seen the truth about Winston now. His legacy is truly in tatters. At least some good has come out of all of this.

Kiwibuild to miss first year target by 90%

by Christie on December 24, 2018 at 9:00am

Wow. That’s a fail if ever there was one. quote.

Phil Twyford
Photoshopped image Credit: Pixy

The Government’s ambitious $2 billion KiwiBuild 100,000-home scheme will fall 90 per cent short on its first-year target, according to the Opposition’s Judith Collins but the Government says more places will be announced and built to meet the target.

Collins asked Housing Minister Phil Twyford how many KiwiBuild homes would be finished by July 1, 2019. That date is the inaugural or first-year anniversary of the scheme which started on July 1, 2018.

Collins asked: “What housing developments announced under the KiwiBuild programme have houses that are due to be completed before July 1st 2019, listed by number of houses and name of development?”

Twyford replied: “There have been five developments announced under the KiwiBuild programme that I am advised are due to be completed by 1 July 2019. These include 10 homes in Northlake, Wanaka, 20 homes in High Street, Lower Hutt, 19 homes in Mason Square, Otahuhu, 30 homes in McLennan, Papakura and 21 homes in Marfell, New Plymouth.” end quote.


I keep thinking about all those poor people ‘locked out’ of the housing market during the election campaign in 2017. I wonder if they are still all living in cars or under bridges somewhere? quote.

Collins tweeted this morning: “That’s 100, not 1000” but one Twitter follower attacked her.

“How many did your lot build while this issue ballooned during your three terms? You denied and denied and denied until you got kicked out and still seem to think you have a right to comment on this. end quote.

Oh, but she does have the right to comment on this, because Labour campaigned on Kiwibuild. To then find it will fall 90% short by the time the government has been in power for almost 2 years is disgraceful, and the opposition is quite right to pick up on it. quote.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development this month indicated major KiwiBuild milestones had already been reached.

“To date, over 4000 KiwiBuild homes are contracted to be built and nearly 10,000 more KiwiBuild homes are planned to be built in our large-scale developments, including at Unitec, Māngere, Porirua, and Mount Roskill,” he said.

“KiwiBuild staff are working closely with developers to finalise contracts,” he said, citing this month’s Wellington Company’s apartment developments in Mount Cook and Lower Hutt.

“We’re working hard towards the targets we’ve set,” the spokesman said. end quote.

Wasn’t it supposed to be 1000 in the first year and 10,000 every year thereafter? Yet so far, after 18 months, we have 100? That is not a major milestone. It is a disaster. quote.

Last year, Twyford told the Herald: “We’re going to be as ambitious as possible. There is a $2b cash injection for KiwiBuild over 10 years and we will recycle that money over and over,” he said of the state buying the properties, then on-selling to first-home buyers. “It’s not going to happen in the first week. We’ve always said we’ll step it up over three years to hit the 10,000-a-year target.” end quote.

With 100 on target for the first year, I think you are going to have your work cut out to make it anywhere near 1,000 houses a year, let alone 10,000. Yet another government promise fails to meet expectations, and there is much more of this to come.