Political Caption Competition


New National Party Smoking Policy


  1. Image calls to mind Sally Trench’s book Fran’s War. https://www.amazon.com/Frans-War-Sally-Trench/dp/0340746254 (Kid with cig and gun only 12 years looks like boy in image but actually meant to be a girl. Story based on Bosnia experiences; are we on same track? Do we worry too much on lesser evils, try for fleeting perfections in a shameless world?)
    AboutChildren are the innocent victims of war. ‘Fran’s War’ is a vivid and unforgettable account of twentieth-century ethnic cleansing and genocide as experienced by twelve-year-old Fran. Sally Trench led thirty convoys into Bosnia between 1992 and 1996 to get food, medicine, and other supplies into the worst affected areas. In the aftermath, left with a legacy of shock and disbelief, she wrote this harrowing novel from first-hand experience. She lived alongside many children, some of them only toddlers, in caves and bombed-out cellars. She listened to them and got to know them. ‘Fran’s War’ is their story. A story tragically repeated in Kosovo, 1999.

    • I’ll just take a point from my own caption above. I think Sally Trench did good. But the fury of this comment below on how she managed to do it shows the way that people (in the USA?) will ‘stymie’ others unreasonably who differ from their own narrow thinking. This sets back positive efforts to achieve betterment. I imagine the commenter being from a group with a rigid training program, and with a financial interest in their ‘charitable’ performance. It seems we have to beware of others who say they are good-intentioned, and look at how this is evidenced.

      One review of book Fran’s War: disgusted
      1.0 out of 5 stars Please don’t buy this book!
      Reviewed in the United States on October 1, 2012
      I’ll try to be concise and blunt: I knew Sally Trench for years in Bosnia and she is a sham, a con artist, a charlatan. At the time she misrepresented herself to both the British public (to the point that she was named “Catholic Woman of the Year” by a British newspaper, being honored for things that simply never happened) and to the Bosnian people. She endangered the lives of both Bosnians and her hapless British companions by going into very dangerous and sensitive areas just to deliver useless junk from her small van, which she would represent as “risking her life to provide vital supplies” once back in Britain. These so-called vital supplies were nothing more than broken computers and other out-dated electronics,torn and soiled clothing and broken and dirty toys. She obtained these items through donation drives in Britain. She would call for donations, throw whatever people gave into the back of her van and, once it was full, head back to Bosnia. No needs assessments were ever carried out, there was no coordination with the Bosnian authorities as to how and where the items were to be distributed or if they were even wanted. She would just cruise/barge into the community of her choice, without permission, and dump her junk, leaving the items as nothing but a headache for the local authorities who now had to add them to warehouses already over-flowing with inappropriate/useless “humanitarian aid”. She then would head back to Britain to pass herself off as heroic and selfless.

      People who take advantage of other people’s misery for self-glorification and profit are a special kind of awful. Please let’s not encourage or validate Sally by buying her horribly written books.

      I had the idea that when she headed back out of Bosnia she took vulnerable, suffering children with her, Perhaps the aid items she took in were only possibly useful, but more, a way to actually get into the country and get immediate access to those needing urgent help out of a brutal warspace. It just wasn’t a charity job, being a presence for good in the area, it was a very focussed heartfelt and determined person facing challenges and making a small difference but a big individual effort.

      I suggest that contradictory response from this informed person is an example of how we can all be twisted against people who want change and what we can expect here as we try to make things better for those in need here! Think bad conditions in prison, and Oranga Tamariki inhuman and backward baby-snatch restored to modern welfare systems.


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