Daily Archives: Friday 18 January 2008

Royals break wind in public

The royal family can’t be bothered sending anyone to Sir Edmund Hillary’s funeral. Never mind that he was a Knight of the Garter, never mind that he was one of the greatest New Zealanders of the 20th century, never mind that New Zealanders care deeply about him, and have chosen to mark his death with a state funeral. They’re just not going to be there.

To be fair, no one could expect the Queen to travel to this funeral. She’s in her eighties, and her travelling days are over, especially at short notice. But there are plenty of royals who are perfectly capable of flying to New Zealand, if they cared to do so.

But they don’t. Courtesy of The Holden Republic, here are the other terribly important things the royals have to do on the day of Edmund Hillary’s funeral.

The Queen will visit the King’s Lynn Preservation Trust Limited to mark its Fiftieth Anniversary. Her Majesty will also open the new CT Scanners/Radiology Suite at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn.

The Duke of York United Kingdom Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, will attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The Earl of Wessex will attend the Annual Banquet of the Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers at Mansion House, London EC4.

The Princess Royal Patron, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, will hold a Dinner at Palace of Holyroodhouse.

The Princess Royal will Launch the Lothians and Edinburgh Abstinence Programme at Malta House, 1 Malta Terrace, Edinburgh.

The Princess Royal Patron, Silver of the Stars, will open an Exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh.

The Duke of Gloucester Colonel-in-Chief, The Royal Army Medical Corps will receive Colonel David Morris upon relinquishing his appointment of Representative Colonel Commandant and Colonel Peter Roberts on assuming the appointment at Kensington Palace.”

I have blogged before about the rudeness of the royals. But this snub is much, much, worse. I am an avowed republican, and I would be delighted to shake off the last vestiges of bowing our heads to people just because they happened to have been born into the ruling family. But the Queen is New Zealand’s head of state, and she or a member of her family should be at this funeral, as a mark of respect to Ed Hillary, to New Zealand, and to the genuine sadness of New Zealanders everywhere. The only charitable construction I can put on this is that they are trying to send us a signal that they are irrelevant, and that New Zealand should become a republic. But who are they to tell us what our constitutional arrangements should be?

Time to toss these irrelevant, rude, snobs.

Friday Feminist – Carol Gilligan

The criticism that Freud makes of women’s sense of justice, seeing it as compromised in its refusal of blind impartiality, reappears not only in the work of Piaget but also in that of Kohlberg. While in Piaget’s account [] of the moral judgment of the child, girls are an aside, a curiosity to whom he devotes four brief entries in an index that omits “boys” altogether because “the child” is assumed to be male, in the research from which Kohlberg derives his theory, females simply do not exist. Kohlberg’s [] six stages that describe the development of moral judgment from childhood to adulthood are based empirically on a study of eighty-four boys whose development Kohlberg has followed for a period of over twenty years. Although Kohlberg claims universality for his stage sequence, those groups not included in his original sample rarely reach his higher stages []. Prominent among those who thus appear to be deficient in moral development when measured by Kohlberg’s scale are women, whose judgments seem to exemplify the third stage of his six-stage sequence. At this stage morality is conceived in interpersonal terms and goodness is equated with helping and pleasing others. This conception of goodness is considered by Kohlberg and Kramer [] to be functional in the lives of mature women insofar as their lives take place in the home. Kohlberg and Kramer imply that only if women enter the traditional arena of male activity will they recognize the inadequacy of this moral perspective and progress like men toward higher stages where relationships are subordinated to rules (stage four) and rules to universal principles of justice (stages five and six).

Yet herein lies a paradox, for the very traits that traditionally have defined the “goodness” of women, their care for and sensitivity to the needs of others, are those that mark them as deficient in moral development.

Carol Gilligan, In a Different Voice, 1982

Stay out of my kids’ lunchboxes

So nice to know that the lunch box police are out in force on this side of the Tasman too. It seems that parents aren’t putting enough healthy food in their kids’ school lunchboxes – bad parents! At least the New Zealand researchers noticed that even when parents do put healthy food in school lunches, the kids just throw it out. The Australian response? Parents need to be educated about what food to give their kids.

Good grief! I know plenty about healthy food. I know that my kids need to eat plenty of fruit and vegies, and it’s great to get some protein, carbs and even a bit of fat into them too. I could pack a fabulous lunch for them everyday, but they won’t eat it. One of my daughters is the picky eater to beat them all, and the other two aren’t much better. My big battle is to get them to eat at all, let alone eat all the right things. The last thing I need is “helpful” advice about how to feed them.

cupcakesIn the spirit of saying “Sucks! Yaboo!” to wowsers, here is the sort of thing I like to put in my girls’ lunchboxes, just to get them to eat anything at all. These are Lemon Surprise Cupcakes, courtesy of Stef. Rich cupcake mix, with icing and 100s and 1000s on the top. Yum, yum, yum. The girls and I made them a few days ago – it’s always fun to do a spot of baking in the school holidays. It means that the results can be a little dodgy, as things always are when the children “help”, but the whole process is so worthwhile, for all of us. I made mine about half the size that Stef recommended, so I ended up with about twice as many. surprise.jpgI tend to make smaller muffins and cupcakes for the children, so that they have a pleasant morsel rather than a gargantuan meal disguised as a muffin.

The “surprise” bit? Jam in the middle. Even yummier, and even more likely to earn the ire of the lunchbox officers.

Stef recommends using cherry jam for the surprise, but I used raspberry jam, mixed with a little lemon juice, because I had some left over from making jammy dodgers the previous day.


New Zealanders, and maybe Australians too, will recognise these as Shrewsburys, but “jammy dodger” is much more fun.

To be honest, I don’t usually put such high-sugar items in the girls’ school lunches. Lemon surprise cupcakes and jammy dodgers are occasional treats. But I do put in home baking – muffins and biscuits and slices – along with sammies and fruit. And the last thing I need is some sanctimonious researcher chiding me for it.