Photo of the Day

Mrs Wilde, c. 1887

Heartbreak Betrayal and the Unimportance of being Mrs Oscar Wilde

Constance Wilde was the long-suffering wife who remained loyal to her husband Oscar even after he was convicted of ?committing acts of gross indecency? (that is, consensual sex) with other men.

The circulation of such stories indicated a widespread desire to establish Constance as something other than a wife crushed by rejection and betrayal. Fortunately, the evidence of more than 300 of Constance?s unpublished letters, is that she was far more interesting than this.

In some ways, Oscar and Constance were a good match. Both had troubled family histories: in his case a surgeon father accused by a former patient of raping her while she was anaesthetized, and in hers a grandfather who exposed himself by running around naked ?in the sight of some nursemaids?, followed by a mother whose parenting techniques included ?threatening with the fire-irons or having one?s head thumped against the wall?.

More importantly, both husband and wife were clever and ambitious, and for the first few years of their marriage, their lives ran along parallel tracks. While he lectured on the need for women to abandon constricting corsets and dangerously flammable crinolines, she put the idea of ?rational? dress into practice by wearing daringly baggy trousers and plenty of wool. His theories about the ?house beautiful? were supported by her designs for their marital home in Chelsea, an ordinary red-brick villa that they transformed into a temple to aestheticism. Even Oscar?s disappearances into a hidden side of London?s nightlife found echoes in his wife?s experiments with the occult.

Read more »

Another Political Party with a penchant for poetry

Ex-leader of the Conservative Party Colin Craig has a penchant for writing poetry and it turns out that so do some within the Labour Party. Their poem brings new meaning to the phrase a Labour of love.


Awwww isn’t that sweet? Perhaps we should have a Whaleoil poetry competition for conservative and libertarian voters?

Here is my attempt…

Read more »

Colin Craig – a ?19-year-old male who was desperately in love with someone but didn’t quite dare say it out loud?

The Herald has got Bill Manhire, a real poet, to analyse Colin Craig’s ‘inappropriate’ poem.

With Colin Craig asking for a fee of $3000 a month for the display of his poem Two of Me on a blog, it begs the question – is it really that good?

New Zealand’s inaugural Poet Laureate, Bill Manhire says the poetry – penned by the former Conservative Party leader, which was allegedly written for his ex-press secretary Rachel MacGregor – is not the worst he’s ever seen.

“It’s certainly better than David Cunliffe’s Harvard poem.”

Yes well that poem by David Cunliffe was pretty bad, and although Colin Craig’s poem is not the worst, but it sounds like it is getting there.

Two of Me has been published on Cameron Slater’s blog Whale Oil since July.

But in an email to the blogger yesterday, Mr Craig requested a retraction, a written apology and $3000 per month for its display on the site, calling it a “clear breach of copyright”.

He has threatened to take Slater to the Disputes Tribunal over the issue next year.

Part of the poem reads: “There is only one of me it’s true, but I wish this were not the case, because I wish that I could have you.” ?? Read more »

If you thought it was bizarre that Mr X was Colin Craig wait until you read this

Colin Craig (both of them) with the interviewer and Mr X

Colin Craig (both of them) with the interviewer and Mr X ? Photo/NZ Herald

When Colin Craig held his press conference and announced that he was suing me for defamation and had also printed a pamphlet and sent it to every household in New Zealand, I saw there was something familiar in the pamphlet.

He had used one of my photos. Initially I thought it was a Getty Image but I checked with them and they confirmed that it wasn’t one of their images, but was one of the five images their photographer took that I own the rights to exclusively. Colin Craig had taken one of my photos, edited it in the background then used it twice in his defamatory pamphlet to attack me. He never asked for permission, nor would it have been given.

So I invoiced him for it. It is my intellectual property and I own all?the?rights to it. He can’t use my property to attack me.

His response was to tell me to nick off and to threaten me to drop my claims or he would charge me for ‘using’ his poem “The Two of Me“. Understandably I thought he was crazy even suggesting that.

I didn’t think he could be any more crazy but yesterday he went full retard and actually did bill me for ‘use’ of his poem…a poem he has previously said that I fabricated. Well that little falsehood is well and truly busted.

I replied to Colin Craig and copied in media who have now picked it up.

Stacey Kirk at Fairfax covers the story best.

Colin Craig appears to have admitted a poem allegedly written for his former press-secretary Rachel MacGregor, is one of his original works.

He is now attempting to invoice WhaleOil blogger Cameron Slater $15,000 for it, after Slater published the leaked poem on his site.

In the latest twist of a drawn-out series of events, Craig is also demanding Slater retract the blog post, and “provide written apology to me for using my work without permission”.

The poem, called Two of Me, spoke of how there could be two of the author; “that would be one for all the others and one of me, for you”. ?? Read more »

Which party leader wrote this? [UPDATED]

via the tipline


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‘Twas the day of the Budget, and this man imagines himself Prime Minister?

Andrew Little is a keen reader but the urge to scribble down his own verse has never struck.

That all changed while in the thick of preparations to respond to tomorrow’s Budget, his first as opposition leader.

Over a couple of hours this morning, and in between other tasks, the Labour leader penned a lengthy poem that poked fun at National and began, “Twas the night before the Budget” – a nod to the famous A Visit from St. Nicholas (also known as The Night Before Christmas) by Clement Clarke Moore.

Mr Little’s poem painted a picture of panic amidst National MPs rising with the realisation the country’s finances weren’t as healthy as had been made out.

He later read it out during Parliament’s general debate – an event he later told the Herald qualified as his first poetry reading.

What next? ?A slide show? ? Interpretive dance? ? What the hell does he think he’s doing? ? Read more »

Reader content: “The world’s a little poorer for an ANZAC died today”

I had my late Dad’s medals out this morning giving then a bit of a clean-up

(I will be parading on Anzac Day on his behalf)


By coincidence, the following poem arrived in an email from a friend.

I have not seen it before, but thought that I would like to share it as it really makes some good points.

I have no idea who wrote it or when.


I just wish that I had it to read at his funeral. ? Read more »


I wish I was a Green MP

Oh I wish I was a green MP
In a green hemp suit
With my bodacious kutu catchers
And packed lunch of leaves and roots

I?d be like little Skippy
I think he?s retiring soon
I?d have verbal diarrhoea
Morning, night and noon

I?d throw around a lot of eyewash
And get the pip if it?s thrown back
I?d accuse the PM of being a diddler
And demand he get the sack

I?d demand to run the finance
?Up you!? is what I?d quote
I?d be tweaking up the budget
To run like a hairy goat Read more »

Face of the day

Politician BEWARE

Kim Dotcom

After seeing the damage wrought on John Banks yesterday by a vengeful Dotcom I felt that he had to be the Face of the Day.

People talk about how vengeful a woman scorned can be but honestly they have nothing on Dotcom. When the man demands you get him a mattress you’d better damn well get him a mattress!

Hat tip :Lewis Carroll and the poem the Jabberwocky 1872

‘Twas Election year, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the journalists,
And the Whaleoil Blogs outgrabe.

“Beware the Kim Dot Com, my son!
The lies that bite, the donations that catch!
Beware the McCready bird, and shun
The Hone Harre Bandersnatch!”

He took his voting paper in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought —
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Kim Dot Com, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And tweeted as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
His pen on paper went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And, has thou slain the Kim Dot Com?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas Election year, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the journalists,
And the Whaleoil Blogs outgrabe.

Wednesday nightCap