Paul Thomas

Columns

Paul writes a weekly column on current affairs for the New Zealand Herald and is the New Zealand Listener’s sports columnist.
The articles below are presented with permission from (and thanks to) those organisations.

What Exactly Is Trump?

As we count down to a presidential election in which the rest of the world will feel it has even more of a stake and less of a say than usual, we wonder: what exactly is Trump?

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Disregarding the Truth Works for Candidates

His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one and, if you repeat it frequently enough, people will sooner or later believe it.

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It’s Our Game

And with a single result we were free. The All Blacks’ Rugby World Cup triumph is laden with significance but perhaps its single greatest merit from the New Zealand rugby public ‘s perspective is that it delivers peace of mind…

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Boksing on

Given that the build-up often verged on the surreal, the All Blacks’ Rugby World Cup quarter-final performance against France was appropriately out of this world.

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Eyes on the ball

In November 2013, when the All Blacks were in London preparing to play England, a Daily Telegraph journalist exploited lax security to sneak into the hotel room where team meetings were held.

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Us vs them and us

Given that New Zealand is the world’s leading exporter of rugby players, it’s perhaps appropriate that the All Blacks were on the receiving end of the most famous performance by a foreign-born player in international rugby history.

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Yesterday’s Heroes

As that unlikely alliance of our parents and the Rolling Stones often pointed out, you can’t always get what you want. In my 2015 wish-list (Sport, January 31), I expressed the hope that no-one would die of heat exhaustion at the Australian Tennis Open (check)…

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Making a pig’s ear of managing PM’s sins

Imagine being British Prime Minister David Cameron’s public relations adviser. Conservative Party headquarters, central London. A foppish young man sits at a desk working on a press release headed “Queen could face firing squad if Corbyn becomes PM.” The phone rings…

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It takes a hardish heart to live in a lucky country

Burning Monk Syndrome (BMS) has always been with us but is becoming more prevalent due to advances in communications technology. The condition takes its name from the periodic spectacle of monks setting themselves on fire to draw the world’s attention to the suffering being inflicted on their country, often but not always Myanmar.

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Trump and being an ass

For the sake of argument let’s assume Donald Trump is, in American parlance, an asshole. So the question is: why is an asshole – and not just any old asshole but someone widely regarded as a gigantic asshole, one of the world’s biggest – holding a commanding poll lead…

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The Ugly Game

For years the English satirical magazine Private Eye has boasted about the Curse of Gnome, the bad karma that tends to befall powerful individuals who take legal action against it.

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Luis Suarez

Many top-line athletes are combinations of beauty and the beast but few more so than Uruguayan soccer player Luis Suarez.

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Eleanor Catton

Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker-prize winning novel The Luminaries shows she knows a thing or two about astrology, but I doubt she foresaw the stoush triggered by her remarks at an Indian literary festival.

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Charlie Hebdo and the But Brigade

Writer Salman Rushdie calls them the “But Brigade”: those who deplored the Charlie Hebdo massacre, but then watered down their condemnation with context, caveats, extrapolations and warnings against “over-reacting.”

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