Written By: - Date published: 1:09 pm, September 3rd, 2012 - 101 comments
Categories: benefits, david shearer, grant robertson, labour, welfare - Tags: david shearer, grant robertson, Labour Party, sickness benefit
A couple of weeks back I wrote a post offering Shearer, Robertson or Pagani an opportunity to justify their (more or less) blanket attack on beneficiaries. At the time, I didn’t realise Pagani had been banned from ‘the standard’ for (from memory) being an idiot . So, okay – he’s not able to respond via ‘the standard’. But as for Robertson and Shearer, well…still waiting. And the post I wrote certainly wasn’t the only one on the blogosphere to cover the matter. Giovanni Tiso who writes ‘ Bat Bean Beam’ wrote a post too and had a tweeted exchange with Robertson who acknowledged that he had read ‘thestandard’ post. But what Robertson didn’t do was offer any explanation or justification for the message that had come from the Labour Party and that he was partly responsible for. He simply sought to excuse himself…to run for cover behind the fact that he helped his constituents, some of whom would be on a Sickness Benefit. But you know, I’ve no doubt that someone like Benson-Pope also helped some of his constituents who were on a Sickness Benefit – even as he was preparing legislation (Temporary Additional Support) that amounted to the largest reduction in benefit payments since Ruth Richardson.
What makes me curious though, is whether there has been any substantive response (ie, not a running for cover response) from either of these gentlemen anywhere that any one is aware of. I know some people sent my post to their local mp’s asking for a response. Were any forthcoming? I mean, this is the party that claims in press release after press release that they are ‘keen to receive feedback’ on ideas that they will ‘working on in the coming weeks and months’.
Is ‘half’ the blogosphere being up in arms about a mentality that will inform at least some of those ideas not feedback? Or when they say they want feedback, do they merely mean they want people to talk to the proverbial brick wall rather than enter into any dialogue?
So please. If you’re aware of any responses to concerns raised by any number of posts on numerous blogs following Shearer’s speech to that Grey Power meeting, will you post links or whatever in the comments?
[lprent: I will unban John Pagani in the interests of discourse. Hopefully he will avoid making up his own stories about what authors said and confine himself to what they did write.
He has been making comments about it in other semi-private media like facebook. Most of what I have seen concentrates on smearing opponents and avoids the actual issue. So I wouldn't hold out much hope of any rational debate from him. ]