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Back to the future: John Key’s Dickensian values

Written By: - Date published: 9:13 am, May 27th, 2013 - 160 comments
Categories: accountability, benefits, child welfare, class war, democracy under attack, greens, hone harawira, jobs, john key, labour, mana-party, poverty, same old national, slippery, spin, welfare - Tags:

John Key has been shamed by Hone Harawira’s “feed the kids” private members Bill, and is attempting to regain the upper hand . He is responding with a sly, use of PPPs and charities to absolve the government of responsibility, while falsely presenting a caring face.

It will do nothing to turn away from his and Paula Bennett’s approach of running a clear and destructive division between the deserving and undeserving poor.  As reported (again uncritically) by Adam Bennett in the right wing NZ Herald this morning, in justifying is lesser approach to feeding the kids, Key claims,

“Some people will say we shouldn’t do it because parents should look after their children and feed them, and if they don’t they’re not carrying out their responsibilities.”

However, “if the child is not fed … we know they don’t learn.

“In the end they are a victim, they may well be a 6- or 7-year-old victim that can’t stand up for themselves so we have some responsibility to do something about that.”

The fastest way to tackle poverty remained through work and education and he told party members that controversial welfare reforms, led by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, “may well prove to be one of the great legacies of this Government”.

Staking out the ground for next year’s election, Mr Key said it would be “quite a different election to what you normally see”.

“Normally elections are fought between the centre-left and the centre-right. That is not what’s going to take place next year. David Shearer has cut his cloth and it is wrapped around Russel Norman.

“But that now becomes an election between the centre-right and the far-left.”

The actual difference is between John Key’s return to destructive and divisive Victorian-era charity that ultimately benefits the wealthy and marginalises the poor.  The difference is between the Key-Bennett war on the poor, and Green and Mana’s social justice platforms of a fair go for all.  Green and Mana, along with Labour progressives, support policies that will create something closer to a level playing field for those currently socially and economically disadvantaged.

The Key-Bennett agenda, is following that of David Cameron’s government in the UK: one often labelled ‘Dickensian”.  In contrast, Dickens’ novels highlighted the nasty result of the kind of charity-focused agenda that Key and Cameron favour.  The Key-Cameron agenda is a rehash of the nastiest Victorian values, albeit given a new, shiny, glossy, and very superficial make-over.

As Hilton Dawson wrote in the Huffington Post in 2011, in his critique of UK PM David Cameron’s austerity approach to cutting public services,

We accuse the prime minister of spearheading a return to Dickensian values, where judgements of morality take precedence over basic human decency. He stands as a modern day Mr Bumble, deciding how much thin gruel to dole out to whoever he deems to be most worthy. The fact that he himself has emptied the cook pot seems to pass him by, “never mind, it’s the pauper’s fault for needing gruel in the first place!”

Dickens came from a poor background and his father was sent to a debtors’ prison.  Dickens appeal for social justice, was not fueled by any find of Marxist agenda, but from a realisation of the destructiveness of Victorian British society, based in institutions that benefited the better-off classes.

John Key and his anti-public sector cronies want to return us to that soul-destroying Dickensian world.  If he really wanted to “tackle poverty” and end the appalling spread of child hunger in NZ, John Key would have got on board with Hone Harawira’s “feed the kids” Bill.  And he wouldn’t be supporting Paula Bennett’s nasty war on the poor.

Harawira’s Bill is part of a wider approach, with the state taking more direct responsibility for tackling a range of problems that are harming those on low incomes, as outlined in Mana in Parliament 14-16 May 2013.  This looks to a new kind of socially just future; one that turns us away from John Key’s return to the nasty past.

 

 

 

160 comments on “Back to the future: John Key’s Dickensian values”

  1. prism 1

    Karol
    Your first para is so right. Well said.

    • Tigger 1.1

      +1 I want to especially highlight this. “He is responding with a sly, use of PPPs and charities to absolve the government of responsibility, while falsely presenting a caring face.” Perfectly summed up.

  2. Winston Smith 2

    I would agree with the govt providing food for kids as long as the amount it costs to feed the kids is taken away from people that get benefits for looking after kids

    For example if its worked out it costs $5 per kid per breakfast then for someone getting a benefit (including WFF) would get $25 per week less for every kid they have

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1

      Yeah! Make sure there’s less food in the cupboards at home, eh!

      No wonder people say Tories are scum.

      • Winston Smith 2.1.1

        Um no it won’t, the parents will get the same amount of money less what they spend on breakfasts.

        Since the parents get money to raise the kids and if they don’t need to provide breakfasts for the kids because the govt is providing the breakfasts then they don’t need the money for breakfasts

        The familys don’t miss out and the kids get breakfast so its all good

        • felix 2.1.1.1

          That assumes that benefits already provide enough to feed kids nutritious food, and we all know this hasn’t been the case since 1991.

        • karol 2.1.1.2

          You assume that the parents have the money to feed their kids, but don’t. I guess you are one of the people that think everyone in NZ gets a “living wage” or a benefit that is sufficient for a family to live on.

          “Thin gruel” indeed. And should a child dare ask for more?

          • Populuxe1 2.1.1.2.1

            “You assume that the parents have the money to feed their kids, but don’t. I guess you are one of the people that think everyone in NZ gets a “living wage” or a benefit that is sufficient for a family to live on.”

            A 1kg box of weetbix is $5.99. A 2 litre bottle of milk is about $3.79
            That’s Countdown, though I expect Pack n Save is cheaper – but for a family with, say, 2 kids, that’s a week of breakfasts
            for $10.00.

            A loaf of toast bread is around $2.49 and a 250g jar of Marmite is $3.99

            Apples and bananas at the moment are $2.99 a kg

            Of course the government shouldn’t whelch on their responsibilities, but I think you also need to admit that if that parents can’t manage prices that low on a benefit then they are fucking up big time somewhere else. I’ve done my time on a benefit and I know it can be done. It’s definitely not fun, but it’s possible.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Fuck off Pop, people struggle to raise a family with two parents on the minimum wage and here you are moralising about how people on the benefit on a small fraction of that income should be fine to provide for their family.

              Mate of mine was 4 weeks late with his power bill as he was struggling to pay doctors fees and just keep the household fed, fucking Genesis disconnected him and then made him pay a $90 reconnection fee as well as all outstanding power bills in one lump sum. He’s had to borrow money to do that so that’s fucked his family for another three months.

              You really have no idea mate, so fuck off with your Weetbix prices and your calculator back to your cosy smoothly budgeted, no unexpected adverse incidents, no money sucking family crises world.

              • Colonial Viper

                And another mate of mine, his teenage daughter turns out to have been accepting Telecom “Shout” collect mobile calls from her not-even “boyfriend” from across the country. So he opens his Telecom bill the other day and it’s a $1600 bill.

                Now that’s fucked that family for a good few months too, and that’s not a family on a benefit, just a single full time near minimum wage. Luckily Telecom have agreed that he can pay that off at $50/week, but that basically means that his family is closing in on the poverty line in terms of disposable income, for pretty much the next 8 months.

                • Populuxe1

                  Send the teenage daughter off to work at McDonalds until she’s paid it off. That’s what my parents would have done.

                  • Populuxe1

                    And personally I would regard a cell phone for a teenager as something of a luxury rather than a need. Also, why the hell isn’t she on prepay?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah when you’re a fucking parent mate, you can moralise with your “this is how you do it” parenting sermons. In fact, knowing you, you probably will, good luck to your kids won;t they be lucky.

                      And Mr Self Righteous Parental Dipshit, she was accepting collect calls on the home landline (hence Telecom’s “Shout” system) from the boy’s cell phone. Don’t you know anything about how technology works?

                      As for your groundbreaking idea of making the teenage girl get a job to pay off the Telecom debt, yeah their trying to get her work, but last I heard youth unemployment was almost 30%, maybe if you were advocating for policies of full employment for everyone who needed a job they wouldn’t need the benefit and you wouldn’t prove to be such a self righteous know it all shit?

                    • Did you know Populuxe that the level of benefit is calculated to give a beneficiary 80% of the calorie intake they need each day? This was to incentivise them to go and get those non existent jobs we keep hearing about.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Gawd, you’re begining to sound like those Tighty Righty types that accuse Labour pollies of not knowing anything about what families need because they’re all barren. Helen Clark didn’t have children either – I presume this disqualified her from making legislation regarding children? DO you have kids, CV? Do ya??????

                      So basically you’re saying the teen age daughter is a selfish, willful little madam oblivious to the family’s dire financial situation? Hmmm – I wonder who fucked up there?

                      And whoever said anything about full youth employment. I don’t care if she’s babysitting for twenty bucks a session – she whould be the one paying her parents back, even if it’s only symbolically.

              • That’s correct cv – pops wouldn’t have a clue how hard it is to survive – SURVIVE – at the moment when on low income. Blame the parents again what a useless wanker you are pops – just another arsehole right-whinger.

                “I’ve done my time on a benefit” lol times have changed noddy and you’d know that if you stopped wanking on and started listening to the truthful stories about what it is like now.

                • Populuxe1

                  I’m on living expenses borrowed from my student loan, which plus my accomodation suppliment comes to areound $220 a week. Go fuck yourself you nasty little piece of shit.
                  Have time changed that much since 2010 when I was last ona benefit you ugly-minded soulless turd.

                  • So you ‘know’ yet still blame the parents – you’re a fuckwit.

                    • Populuxe1

                      I blame SOME parents, yes. Do you deny that some parents are just fucking useless and probably shouldn’t be parents at all? I don’t suggest for a moment that the children should be allowed to suffer, but some so-called “parents” were as shit under Labour as they are now. I also note that by no means are ALL parents on benefits failing to feed their children.

                    • Blaming some parents for their misfortune in either not having very good parenting skills to feed their family, or just being at the bottom of the heap and trying to survive on less than adequate money is still WRONG imo and shows that you just don’t really get it.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Or it just shows you are a fatalist who doesn’t believe in free will or self responsibility. You go to a library, CAB or Presbyterian Support Services and find out what you can do to improve the situation or solve some of the problems. Budgeting is obviously a skill that can be learned.

                    • oh is that what you do lol

                      Try reading this to find out a bit more about why your cult of personal/self responsibility is a distorted lens used to promulgate the distorted societal values so loved by some.

                      Draco posted it up in Open Mike yesterday and it really is a good read

                      http://www.psmag.com/magazines/pacific-standard-cover-story/joe-henrich-weird-ultimatum-game-shaking-up-psychology-economics-53135/

                    • Populuxe1

                      You are really going to have to stop trying to give the impression that I am against welfare or the rights of children. What I am against is excusing shitty parenting.

                    • I know that which is why I put the link up for you to read numbnuts

                    • Populuxe1

                      Aside from the fact that the parents of whom I speak are unlikely to be Machiguenga, I’m not objecting to them recieving welfare, I’m objecting to poverty being used to excuse poor parenting.

                    • Yeah just a big game to you – try reading it instead of being smarmy you might learn something. You’ll probably have to tip some bullshit out of your overflowing cup though to get the new stuff in.

                • Populuxe1

                  I did read it. It relates to one set of cultural norms among certain communities, not some universal system of ethics like you’re painting it to be. Some cultures treat women as chattals, practice genital mutilation, and stone rape victims to death for not having screamed loud enough. This has nothing to do with cultural values in New Zealand either.

                  • You didn’t read it all though did you because if you did and came up with that conclusion of what it’s about then I feel sad for your cognitive abilities – come on no fibbing.

                    btw – it does relate to ‘universal’ ethics – that’s the whole point they are making.

              • Populuxe1

                Oh fuck off – I’ve been there. You phone the power company, explain the situation, and determine a payment plan of installments. And if your mate couldn’t afford the doctor fees, he has the option of A&E and most large urban centres have charity medical centres. You adapt to your circumstances.

                You ridiculous tosser – how many times have you brought up your comfortable parasitical existence off your wife’s money. How dare you moralise to me?
                Maybe if so many people didn’t have such a fucking sense of entitlement about what they consider neccessities, they wouldn’t get into so much trouble. You sacrifice for your children if you have any pride.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I dare moralise to you because of your self righteous tosspot behaviour telling others how to live.

                  Why don’t you go list this weeks Pak n Save specials for good measure and give us a budget recipe for spaghetti bolognaise just to show the poor folk how it’s done.

                  Maybe if so many people didn’t have such a fucking sense of entitlement about what they consider neccessities

                  Yeah talk to the top 5% about that why don’t you. Apparently private schooling, a grammar zone property and 2 overseas holidays a year are “must haves” god forbid we have a decent tax and social welfare system.

                  You sacrifice for your children if you have any pride.

                  Fucking self righteous dick, maybe you should run a series of sermons based on this topic.

                  • farmboy

                    selfish bastards taken overseas holidays with the money they have earned, how dare they

                    • Populuxe1

                      I know! Decadent pricks, eh? Obviously they must be evil right-wing scum.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Maybe some people should spend less time worrying about what other people are doing and should focus more on their own budgets. Fuck you are a tosser. Not everyone struggling to make ends meet is completely fucking useless. I know solo mothers with two kids who whine less than you.
                    Calling me a self-righteous dick? Hahaha Yo Pot, this is Kettle. Whazzup my Nizzle?

                • tracey

                  “so many people didn’t have such a fucking sense of entitlement” “so many”. How many do you mean? More than 10,000? More than 100,000? Do you include the folks who use tax havens, trusts and other “legal” tools to evade their responsibilities? Or do you just mean the mythical welfare “bludger” who exists only in very small numbers?

                  Why do you need the student loan/allowance? Didn’t you save before enrolling? Study only part-time and hold down 1 or 2 jobs to ensure you don’t tarry at the welfare teat?

                  • Populuxe1

                    tracey, if the rich pricks lose everything over night, has has happened in the various stock market crashes, property bubbles etc, then they will have to live within their means and budget like anybody else.

                    The fact that there are rich people out there abusing the system does not ipso facto mean it’s ok, nor does it mean other people should too.

                    • tracey

                      Nice dodge. But you didnt answer my question about what you actually mean by “so many”. But you are not outraged ipso facto at them just the poor folks.

                    • Populuxe1

                      I remember Black Monday, 1987. Don’t you? A lot of people though they were very well off indeed, until they weren’t…

                    • felix

                      “tracey, if the rich pricks lose everything over night, has has happened in the various stock market crashes, property bubbles etc, then they will have to live within their means and budget like anybody else.”

                      ORLY? Funny, I seem to remember a couple of years ago the rich pricks lost everyone’s money and there was no living within their means on the cards for them at all. Instead the governments bailed them out with more of everybody’s money and they used it to pay themselves enormous bonuses.

                • Murray Olsen

                  You could have a great time swapping poverty stories with Paula Bennett, Pap. She was on one too, and the two of you now have so much in common.

            • ghostrider888 2.1.1.2.1.2

              so, if, for whatever reason, parents are f*cking up Pop, why in a land of comparative plenty (for some) should we further deny children, unless some type of neo-darwinistic agenda is at play.
              Charity sees the need, not the cause (which are likely to be structural).

              • Populuxe1

                Well if you love state interventions so much, take the children off the useless parents and raise them in state-run creches

                • ghostrider888

                  ahhh, enter Lebensborn. Interestingly, I do have some sympathy with that proposal; family is loyalty, not blood.(to echo Milly Elder, among others)…but then, the history of state-run institutional care in this god-foresaken country…methodical it is not.

                • tracey

                  Can we take them off the useless parents who aren’t on welfare too? For example Michael Laws is a terrible parent. He ought never have access or influence over those children unsupervised. Have you read his column? his children would have found out he slept with a prostitute for some time, and believes in all kind of awful judgmental things? Or the parent who goes away for a month and leaves the teenagers int he mansion alone with the housekeeper, or the parent who gives so much pocket money their child can buy drugs at will.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2.1.3

              but I think you also need to admit that if that parents can’t manage prices that low on a benefit then they are fucking up big time somewhere else.

              Or I could point out that the benefit is too low.

              • Populuxe1

                Or food prices too high. The benefit could be more, perhaps $150 more or so, but a reality check on human nature:

                Higher benefits require higher taxes to pay for them, which ultimately impacts on those least able to afford them.
                The benefit was never intended to be a viable long term income – it’s supposed to be a safety net. Ergo, the government’s priority should be job creation, not raising benefits.
                There will always have to be a minimum incentive to work

                • tracey

                  BUT the reserve bank has targets which preclude full employment. You see when welfare was introduced there was often 100% employment. Not so these days, and that is state policy. This government seems to believe if you make it harder to get welfare then jobs will miraculously emerge? Or if you pay below minimum wage more jobs will eventuate. Any they may, but there will be a huge financial cost for those earning below the living wage by some margin. manufacturing is dying but banking and finance is alive and well. Which employs more?

                  Imagine if we clamped down on the tax dodgers. the real ones? What if we clamped down on the money paid to lawyers/accountants to asist the tax dodgers. What if we closed the looppholes that let people do any ordinary piece of work, ctake the profit, close down their company and leave the tax payer and ratepayer to pay out when their work fails? This government has opposed most of that.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Again, I am not saying anything against welfare, I am saying that poverty shouldn’t be used as an excuse for shitty parenting

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      It should be if poverty is the cause of that shitty parenting. This is the bit you just don’t seem to get. A lot of the children going hungry are doing so simply because the parents can’t afford better.

                    • tracey

                      Is being on welfare the “excuse” or is not having enough money to provide three square meals a day the excuse for making a judgment about which meals to feed the children? I am aware of parents who themselves go without for over a day (any food at all) to ensure their children get three meals. Are they the types of parents we need to encourage by applauding their good parenting and sacrifice but not addressing the shortfall?

                    • Populuxe1

                      I have no doubt that there are situations such as you describe. I also have no doub that in some cases it is shitty parenting. You can’t fight the bell curve.

                    • tracey

                      actually there are “so many” of the situations I describe. The ones you and winston latch onto make the news, mine don’t. Doesn’t make yours the majority.

                    • Populuxe1

                      I never said it did. That’s entirely the voices in your head projecting.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Higher benefits require higher taxes to pay for them, which ultimately impacts on those least able to afford them.

                  Yeah, there’s a reason why we have progressive taxes and why I’ve advocated for a Universal Income.

                  There will always have to be a minimum incentive to work

                  Why is it that to incentivise rich people you give them more money but to incentivise the poor you take money from them?

                  Paraphrased as I can never find the actual quote. I believe it was by a Galbraith.

                  When we stop punishing the poor for being poor and rewarding the rich for being rich then we’ll see people incentivised to work for the community.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Strangely enough, I have never yet met a rich person who needed to be incentivised to make money – not all of them are very nice people, but they are damned good at turning a profit. I haven’t said anything about “rewarding the rich” – that’s just your confirmation bias projecting onto me. The rich shouldn’t have tax breaks because they don’t need them. If anything they should be paying more of the taxes that fancy accountants can get around.

                    But if you’re used to not having much and someone is giving you free money, there isn’t much incentive to find work even when it is available. We don’t live in a post-scarcity society and we may never will.

            • Tim 2.1.1.2.1.4

              “I’ve done my time on a benefit and I know it can be done. It’s definitely not fun, but it’s possible.”
              When was that Populuxicle?
              I’m fairly sure it would not have been with kuds, unless there had been turkey basters and a second life involved – and OF COURSE – where you were thoroughly and utterly in control.

              Of course I suppose kuds could survive (SURVIVE, as opposed to live and prosper, and be allowed to express their full potential) on bread, milk, bananas and Vegemite – or even Marmite if that tickled their dear wee fannies .

              Of course, as always – I defer to your superior intellect, experience and knowledge on the way things work, your expertise as a parent (or guardian of littlehood 24/7/365), and of course your spiritual, ideological and religious being that will ensure the rest of us mere mortals in the first life are guided by your example.

              • Populuxe1

                Oooh, count the homophobic assumptions! It possiblu occurs to you that a single person living alone recieves significantly less on a benefit than someone with dependants, nor is a second income an option, and yet we still have to pay similar levels of rent, power and phone.

                • tracey

                  Do you pay similar levels? Kids, especially little ones have to be bathed, their nappies regularly cleaned and washed (cos they can’t afford to buy throw away or be accused of wasting money) – the hot water used by a house with children is way more than you use as a single person unless you are being particularly wasteful? I am pretty sure you just rent one bedroom? Children could kip in with the parents but you might agree that’s not very good parenting on many levels. Or do you also seek a return to the dickensian times when entire families lived in one room?

                  • Populuxe1

                    Gosh, how did people cope before disposables to clutter up the landfill with, eh? Do you actually draw a fresh bath for each child? That strikes me as environmetally undesirable. No one ever died from sharing a bath, which seems to have been how it was done in my parents’ and grandparents’ day. And I’m a grown-up, so no – I don’t just rent a single room.

                    • McFlock

                      What about when you were on the dole? Single room then? Mine was.

                      Dude, I’ve not reproduced and still know you’re talking nonsense – kids are about the most expensive thing a couple can acquire. And unlike a house, you can get one by accident or through someone else’s stupidity. And then there’s clothes that get grown out of in months, school fees (do they even bother pretending they’re “voluntary” these days?) and a myriad of other fucking costs. Not to mention you’re feeding an extra mouth.

                      This is the basic problem that people get into when they start arguing about appropriate dole levels for people other than themselves – back of the envelope calculations based on half-remembered prices and “handy tips” from Aunt Daisy. All resulting in bullshit.

                      But we do know that kids are going hungry. We know that their parents are going hungry. We know that things are getting worse for a lot of people, even if the Prime Minister can still afford a moet.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Actually no, I had a place and did everything in my power to keep it. I never said kids weren’t expensive, but however trite it might be to say, previous generations have had to endure far worse and still managed it.

                    • McFlock

                      “previous generations have had to endure far worse and still managed it.”.. with a corresponding level of infant, child and youth mortality.

                      Completed it for you.
                      And great, you were on the dole when you owned your own home? Thousands aren’t so lucky.

                    • ghostrider888

                      Pop, you seem to be personalizing a lot of these issues.

                  • ghostrider888

                    tracey, entire families are living in one room, hundreds at least, and possibly thousands of families.

            • Huginn 2.1.1.2.1.5

              so that’s 1000 grams of weetbix, divided by 4 (2 adults and 2 kids), divided by 7 days
              that’s a smidgeon over 35 grams of weetbix each.

              Just to give you an idea what that is, each weetbix biscuit weighs 30 grams, and has 118 calories.

              You’re dreaming if you think that one weetbix biscuit is going to sustain an 8 year old for breakfast

              and by the way, Countdown is offering Weetbix at $5.99 at a discount to the usual price of was $7.59, but I expect you knew that already, didn’t you

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.3

          Stop trying to dress your revolting callous hate-speech in logic: you’re too shite at it to be effective.

          If the household budget didn’t provide breakfast, then making it smaller means the kids will go without dinner too.

          But you don’t give a toss about saving money, you just like hurting punishing people. Have the guts to say so.

          • farmboy 2.1.1.3.1

            thumbs up to fonterra what a fantastic company

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.3.1.1

              Yes, collectives are capable of great things, that’s the essence of socialism.

              • farmboy

                yea i will be sure to share my next milk cheque with you

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  As I share mine with you.

                • Tim

                  You haven’t sold your share returns to some other groveller though have you? I’d need to know I have first dibs on your earn.

                • Murray Olsen

                  No need. We’ll be charging sharemilkers for the environmental impact of their herd anyway, so start saving.

        • Suitably Clueless 2.1.1.4

          I thought breakfasts were cheap and easy, some bloody tory, I think it was Danny DeVito or David Farrar, can never work out the difference between the two, was saying the other day it was a few cents of milk and weetbix a day, I suspect if we had tories in charge it would cost $5 per meal and someone could make a profit aye? Wouldn’t that be grand.

          • Tigger 2.1.1.4.1

            So Winston, how would you work that out?

            I’d rather we fed all kids who want to be fed. Free food programmes for breakfast and lunch in all schools that want them. Kids choose whether they want to eat or not. But then I’m ‘far Left’…

            • Winston Smith 2.1.1.4.1.1

              Sure and I’m agreeing with that, feed all the kids but adjust the welfare payments accordingly

              • marsman

                But keep paying Bill English $30,000 a year to live in his own house?

                You righties need to gain some perspective.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Welfare for corporates and for the top 5% are acceptable. They deserve it, as our betters in society.

                • Peter Revell

                  And Lockwoods $7500 per week rent in London

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Your disgusting sadistic punishments will result in even less food in the house, ergo kids not fed, you poster child for civil war.

                • Winston Smith

                  Punishment? Having people pay for breakfasts is sadistic?

                  If thats the case maybe you should look at where the real problem is…and thats the parents (well parents is probably not the right term for someone that doesn’t feed their kids)

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    Human is probably not the right term for someone who proposes to remove resources from families that already can’t make ends meet.

                    Right wing trash would be a better description.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    No, the real problem is that people don’t have enough income due to the rich making off with most of the wealth.

                    • That is true Draco – they suck everything they can out for themselves and then sit around moaning like winston smith above. Time to take back the wealth off these scum who would deny the basics to families, time to take back all of their second homes and generous bonuses for fucking the planet and society. I’d start today but I’ve got to scratch around for firewood before we all freeze to death.

                  • Roy

                    No, the real problem is the inadequacy of lower-end wages and the unemployment benefit.

                  • tracey

                    or lets their kids do drugs, or uses their influence to get their kids off charges (responsibility for consequences), why restrict your piety to the parents on welfare winston? Plenty of rich parents aren’t worth shite.

                    • Murray Olsen

                      Poor kids commit offences, Tracey. Their parents should be punished and shamed.

                      Rich kids make understandable mistakes. This is usually because their parents are working too hard creating wealth and really need more tax breaks.

                      For the disgustingly vile here: the issue is not parenting. It’s kids with empty stomachs and the attitudes like yours that are used to let it happen. If I’m ever painting my roof and I slip, I hope I fall on one of you.

          • Winston Smith 2.1.1.4.2

            I merely used $5 as an example, it could be more or it could be less in which case adjust the numbers accordingly

            So if a breakfast costs $1 per kid then take $5 a week of per kid…

    • NZ Femme 2.2

      And with that, you’ll simply ensure that the child now has no lunch, and likely an even less nutritious evening meal. Ughh.

      • Winston Smith 2.2.1

        How? I’m saying take the cost of breakfast off the payments not lunch or dinner

        You lefties need to gain some perspective

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.2.1.1

          You need to gain some mathematics.

          • Roy 2.2.1.1.1

            Try to gain some empathy while you are at it. You could try keeping a family for a month on the unemployment benefit or the minimum wage, for starters.

        • framu 2.2.1.2

          OK winnie – its been pointed out already but here goes again

          question 1 – are all kids that are going to school hungry, in that situation because their parents could afford to feed them, but chose not to?

          question 2 – are all kids that are going to school hungry, the children of beneficiaries?

        • NZ Femme 2.2.1.3

          No Winston, what’s needed is for a portion of the “right” to gain some compassion. And some economic foresight. Hungry kids who are falling behind academically, in health stats, and in hope, will cost this country a fortune in the future.

        • tracey 2.2.1.4

          if they cant afford breakfast and you reduce the benefit but give the child breakfast, wouldn’t it be logical to suggest now there isn’t money for lunch or dinner? Or are you basing your views ont he fallacy that all beneficiaries are just being plain mean tot heir kids and preferring themselves by making the kids miss a meal? If you are, then climb off your ivory tower and go spend time with agencies working with low income folks every day. Dont rely on the news or some dumb politician’s sound bite. Go talk to the sallies and say you want to spend a day with them understanding if the plight is real. Give up a day winston, for your own sake. You often write about the real world but seem unwilling to become educated about it.

          • Winston Smith 2.2.1.4.1

            Like you lefties think you have a mortgage on “caring” I call bullshit on that, what you are is lazy, instead of helping people you think throwing money at them is the answer, it isn’t

            • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.4.1.1

              The only people getting money thrown at them is farmers and bankers

              • Winston Smith

                I don’t agree with that either

                • Colonial Viper

                  Who the fuck would know that? No one. And it’s probably because you spend all your time railing against poor people who have no power, voice or advantages in our society, while leaving the wealthy in honoured peace.

            • tracey 2.2.1.4.1.2

              Um, so you won’t take the opportunity to view the other world rather than the world as it is for you?

              No one said people on the right of the political spectrum (whatever the heck left and right mean) don’t care. The suggestion here is YOU don’t care. Nice slogan though “you think throwing money at them is the answer, it isn’t”. It’s great to say it, it means you don’t have to spend ANY money and better still, don’t have to come up with a non monetary solution. You do understand that making it harder for someone to get welfare doesn’t ensure 100% employment, don’t you?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Translation: I will agree with the government feeding the kids as long as it makes them worse off.

    • infused 2.4

      The easiest way is food stamps imo. If you give people foodstamps and pay their rent, how can they blow the money on pokies and booze? They can’t.

      • Colonial Viper 2.4.1

        Yeah bringing USA ideas to NZ, after all they do it so well over there with their 48M people on foodstamps in the “richest” country in the world

      • tracey 2.4.2

        by selling their food stamps to teh equivalent of a loan shark who gives then 60c on the dollar

        • infused 2.4.2.1

          Make it illegal. Done.

          • McFlock 2.4.2.1.1

            just like how we ended the drug problem.

            • infused 2.4.2.1.1.1

              Nothing can ever be stopped, but you can always make it as hard as possible so the risk does not equal the reward.

              • tracey

                Are you for real? HOW will you enforce your new law that you can’t trade your food stamps? How many new police will you recruit? How will you explain to your law and order friends who are claiming that law and order is a problem in NZ that half the police force are monitoring the trading of food stamps? Infused, I do hope you spend most of your time on this site with your tongue in your cheek.

                • McFlock

                  That, and “risk/reward” calculations tend to be skewed by the immediacy of need.

                  • tracey

                    It also assumes that criminals stop and weigh up risk reward before committing crimes. there is little or no evidence of that. hence the death penalty does not deter all murders. Thus a life imprisonment does not deter a rapist.

                    Your thinking on this one is too simplistic infused. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems. except Michael laws.

                  • framu

                    also does squat for getting people off a benefit, food stamps et-all will only further entrench benefit dependency – something those who propose them always seem to forget

                • Colonial Viper

                  As I said earlier today, Righties have no problem with added bureaucracy and state powers, just so long they are targetted at the poor.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    And they can put their mates into those positions where they’ll be paid mega dollars because they’re so totally worth it.

                  • infused

                    yeah, because that’s what I’m suggesting… also, working for families? Or have you forgotten that.

                    • McFlock

                      “yeah, because that’s what I’m suggesting”

                      You want to give food stamps to the rich, now? No? Then yes, it is.

                • infused

                  Your thinking about this the wrong way.

                  One simple way, when scanning foodstamps, you have to scan your community services card, or something similar. That wipes out everything you just said.

                  Don’t over complicate it.

                  • tracey

                    um, couldn’t I just lend my community card tot he shyster?

                    • infused

                      Introduce photos on the cards… Ask for license identification randomly…

                    • tracey

                      You realise how much you are increasing the cost of your scheme? Are you aware that each year about $16m is lost through welfare fraud, and alot is committed by staff not recipients? is this idea of yours the best use of money in this area?

                      I understand tax “avoidance” costs far more than this. What about those bludgers infused? Outraged enough at them and their lack of responsibility and accountability?

                      What you call a tangent is actually an examination of consequences. Too many folks have an “idea” they heard and the 30 second sound bite accompanied usually by a well tarnished myth and think that’s it, it’s that simple. They are usually wrong.

                      Could you give me the cost benefit analysis of your idea for food stamps? How many are you thinking would get food stamps? How much will the scheme cost to implement (including technology at stores receiving them) and to enforce your little disincentives to abuse, what is your criteria for who gets them and who doesn’t and how you no longer qualify once on.

                      I await with interest

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The funniest thing in the USA…Citibank won the contract to administer foodstamps for the US government. So you have a money sucking parasitic banking institution making big profits off managing rationing cards for the poor.

                      Brilliant system, only in the USA.

                    • McFlock

                      Introduce photos on the cards… Ask for license identification randomly…

                      Lol. So now your simple foodstamp system involves photo id on a compulsory poor card, with corresponding photo id also supplied (what about people who have no driver’s license for health or cost reasons?). With a corresponding audit mechanism for all three systems (stamps themselves, ensuring CSC has right person on photo, and the accompanying photo id).

                      All administered by the Tory Nanny State (or their lowest bidder, Talent2).

                      Fuck sake – if you put half the effort into devising ways of cracking down on the $1.7Bil in actual tax evasion, then your cunning plans might have a hope of breaking even.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “Poor Card”

                      That’s very good…

        • Populuxe1 2.4.2.2

          Hang on, are you admitting that there are people who would do that sort of thing?

      • Roy 2.4.3

        I knew somebody would trot out the ‘pokies and booze’ accusation eventually. You forgot the other standard slurs, Confused: ‘Sky TV’, ‘drugs’ and ‘ciggies’.

    • Murray Olsen 2.5

      What about the parents that you and your lot pay the minimum wage or less to? Would you be allowed to take the money out of their pay packets? Suggest it at your next branch meeting. NAct would be much happier if they could look at the issue as giving you creeps even more corporate welfare.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    John Key and his anti-public sector cronies want to return us to that soul-destroying Dickensian world.

    That’s just the first step – the next one will be to full feudalism and probably even absolute rule.

  4. ghostrider888 4

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way, in short the period was so far like the present period, that some of it’s noisiest authorities insisted on it being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

    and so the wheel turns; where have we read that before.

  5. tracey 5

    “The fastest way to tackle poverty remained through work and education and he told party members that controversial welfare reforms, led by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, “may well prove to be one of the great legacies of this Government”.”

    I’m sorry is there a correlation between denying people welfare and more jobs being available? I confess to not being aware of the data on that score?

  6. tracey 6

    How many state owned assets has Germany sold int he last 30-40 years, does anyone know?

  7. Tom 7

    What is new ? The only surprise is that he has managed to sustain it so long, especially after MRP.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artful_Dodger

    It is a bit sad to see the ‘National Party’ sunk so low. What happened to the old concepts of noblesse oblige ?

    Rothschild’s handling of Thatcher in Finchley has a lot to answer for.

    Key does not look entirely comfortable. He would probably rather be watching it all from
    his Parnell mansion. The original Parnell would probably turn in his grave ..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Stewart_Parnell

    • tracey 7.1

      has Parnell been proposed for re-zoning int he unitary plan or have the really rich managed to stymie it? The rich want a congestion free auckland but, like prisons, not next tot hem.

  8. tracey 8

    I know of a litigation funder ( a very new concept in NZ, previously not permitted at law), who was himself involved in a company which didn’t do so well and left many people in dire straits. The company dealt in property. Many of the properties it dealt in (sold and re-sold creaming “brokerage” right left and centre) are leaky homes. BUT the company went under so they never had to pay a cent. That fell to the ratepayers. Anyhoo, this chap who was influential in that company is now a litigation funder. He comes along to leaky home owners whom the system is rogering and says “can’t afford to run your legal case? I will pay for the legal fees and when you win I take 35% – after the legal fees I paid for are refunded.”

    So, because the legal system is so fucked and so geared toward those with money and companies, this guy will actually make big money off the back of owner’s misery (including the bullying tactics and delay of Council).

    BUT he’s an entrepreneur… the subjects of this thread are just bludging lazy folks who dont know how to behave properly. he will get knighted at some stage.

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  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
    Scoop politics
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
    Scoop politics
  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
    Scoop politics
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
    Scoop politics
  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
    Scoop politics
  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
    Scoop politics
  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
    Scoop politics
  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
    Scoop politics
  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
    Scoop politics
  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
    Scoop politics
  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
    Scoop politics
  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
    Scoop politics
  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
    Scoop politics
  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
    Scoop politics
  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
    Scoop politics
  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
    Scoop politics
  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
    Scoop politics
  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
    Scoop politics
  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
    Scoop politics
  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
    Scoop politics
  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
    Scoop politics
  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
    Scoop politics
  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
    Scoop politics
  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
    Scoop politics
  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
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