Philip’s blog

Philip Patston is a well-known social and creative entrepreneur, a former award-winning comedian and a specialist in leadership, diversity, creativity and social change.
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Election reflection

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I’ve had a theory for some time now that the early decades of each century are primarily conservative and the later decades are liberal. I’m no historian and I’ve got no research to back it up because I couldn’t be bothered researching. Nothing to do but sit out the next few decades of conservatism. Sadly it would seem I’ve seen the last of the liberal world — I’ll be long gone by the time the 60s and 70s roll around again.

I had restricted access to voting booth then was treated like a second-class citizen…

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I have just been to Grey Lynn Community Centre to cast a special vote. As I use a wheelchair I checked elections.org.nz to ensure access — the site listed it as fully wheelchair accessible. When I arrived the door being used had a step. I entered through the centre’s main door and went to the inside door of the Oval Room. My PA went to open the door and it was blocked by a table. He was told to use the inaccessible entrance. He then had to argue with staff to convince them to move the table to allow me access. Neither of us received any apology.

The relativity of crime

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If you watched Benefits Street last night, you may have been offended by the blatant depiction of crimes like shoplifting and drug selling. You may have felt disgusted or pity for the residents’ dependence on welfare and substances, or simply for the squalor they lived in.

Or you may have just worried about the future of the kids growing up in James Turner Street.

Digitally native or colonised?

Cartoon baby with iPhone

The phrase “digital native” has evolved pretty effortlessly into the common lexicon in the last five years. But is it accurate or a misnomer? What we need to keep reviewing, I think, is how early we allow children to adopt technology. The idea of digitally colonising our kids may make us think again about how old they are before we let their minds be gobbled up by our smartphone interfaces.

Will David Cunliffe’s male shame change domestic violence?

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There’s been a lot of talk, both for and against, David Cunliffe’s recent public confession that he is sorry to be a man. While I admire his intent, I think his choice of words let him down and weakened his message, for several reasons.

Good on David for trying to take on the Goliathian issue of male violence against women. Unfortunately, by misrepresenting the issue’s complexity, he may have had less of an impact than he could have.

Changing direction

Two safes copulating

As of tomorrow, 7 July, I’ll be employed for the first time in twelve years. In early May I applied for the 0.6FTE role of Communications Officer at the NZ AIDS Foundation, was offered, to my surprise, an interview in early June and, to my greater surprise, the job in mid-June.

Should kids have to keep themselves safe?

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We must finally admit we can no longer trust ourselves and each other to fulfil one of the most important roles of adults — child protection. The countless and growing statistics and news reports attest to it: we’ve got so bad at looking after kids, the least we can do is help them look after themselves.

Child criminals are victims — twice over

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The arrest of 12 and 13 year old boys for aggravated robbery and murder respectively in West Auckland a couple of weeks ago highlights a growing malaise in society. The incident itself is a tragedy for the victim and his family, but what is alarming to me is that the two offending boys are victims too — of whatever circumstances led them to offend and now, potentially, of the justice system as well.

The water hoarder — a capitalist fable

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Once upon a time there was a man. The man liked water — you may even say he loved it. The man grew up in a family of water lovers. The family didn’t have a lot of water, but they had enough to not be thirsty. He finished school and went to university. At university, he learnt how to acquire water.

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