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How austerity is destroying Britain… coming soon near you

Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, April 1st, 2013 - 79 comments
Categories: activism, benefits, child welfare, class war, Conservation, democracy under attack, equality, health, infrastructure, jobs, labour, paula bennett, poverty, Privatisation, same old national, uk politics, unemployment, welfare - Tags: ,

A raft of Tory policies have been dismantling what is left of the British welfare state (after Thatcherism set them on this destructive and inhumane path). This includes the so-called “Bedroom Tax” which will cut the amount of benefit people can get if they have a spare bedroom in their home.  In today’s NZ Herald Toby Helm and Tracy McVeigh report that this has been called “bad policy and bad economics”:

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said the tax – which will cut the amount of benefit people can get if they have a spare bedroom in their home – would harm the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

It comes into force this week alongside a range of other tax and benefit changes.

On Saturday  (UK time) there was a protest against this tax. On Saturday, opponents to the tax

… launched nationwide protests against the tax which will hit 660,000 households with each losing an estimated average of £14 a week.

Crowds gathered in Trafalgar Square yesterday to protest against the measure and simultaneous protests were being held in towns and cities across the UK.

Protester Sue Carter, 58, said: “I’m a working single parent with a tiny boxroom and now I’m faced with the choice between food, heat or paying the bedroom tax. People have looked after their homes, improved them, why should they be turfed out?”

Among the other changes happening this week is the stealthy privatisation of the National Health Service, largely ignored by the UK MSM.   The website, Liberal Conspiracy has extracts from an interview, originally published in the British Medical Journal, about how the privatisation of the NHS begins this week.

LUCY REYNOLDS: We’re not going to have a big bang privatisation for the NHS. We’re going to have a very quiet one.

What has happened is that all of the rules that control health financing have been gradually changed since the New Labour times. Overall, we now have the NHS reorganised in such a way that it can be relaunched as a mixed market, so not just the public health sector service, but also a healthcare industry. The rules are structured in such a way that there will be a gradual transition between those two groups. The public sector will shrink away, and the private sector will grow.

But because there will never be an announcement in parliament that the NHS is privatised, and because the private providers will be allowed to use the NHS logo for anything that they are getting NHS funding for, it is very likely that the general public will not be aware that the private sector has in fact come in and taken over whatever bits of the NHS it finds profitable until probably service provision gets fairly bad.

This kind of stealth is similar to the NAct government’s sly dismantling of NZ’s conservation protections, as I argued in that post.  Both the NZ and UK governments seem to be approaching their anti-democratic and unpopular agendas by quietly setting up a range of seemingly small and unconnected provisions, which will eventually amount to a comprehensive and major change with huge social and economic impocts.

And very often the changes to social security and other public provisions that NAct are bringing in, are modeled on ones already in play in the UK, as, for instance was argued by opposition MPs debating the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill.  During the 1st reading, Jacinda Ardern said:

The use of outsourcing of assessment of work capacity and the ACC-style model of vocational independence assessment process bears striking resemblance to that used in the UK. The Department for Work and Pensions in the UK made use of contractors like Atos to perform work capability assessments, at a cost to the State of ₤300 million. Since that time an estimated 500,000 people have been wrongly assessed. People with terminal cancer have been found fit for work, and people with mental health issues have been ignored. Not only should we not lose sight of the lessons from abroad but also we must apply our own values around the role of social security in our country.

During the 2nd reading, Phil Twyford said:

We remain concerned that the Minister has signalled a UK-style medical assessment regime for people who are on a sickness benefit or an invalids benefit. …

We have seen a huge increase in the use of sanctions under this Government in the social development area. There is no assessment in place, there is no evidence that the increase in sanctions has had any kind of success, and we should see an assessment regime that actually looks to measure the harm or benefit that families have received as a result of the sanctions regime.

A recent survey in the UK shows how poverty is increasing under the “austerity” regime.

The Poverty and Social Exclusion report, the biggest survey of deprivation across the UK, found that a third of adults now suffer from some form of financial insecurity, with more than a quarter admitting they can neither save £20 a month nor put money away for a pension.

Just under one in ten households say they are unable to heat the living areas of their homes, up from just 3 per cent in the 1990s. People now say they consider around 33 per cent of Britons to be suffering from a lifestyle of “multiple deprivation”.

In his on-going series of posts on poverty, Anthony Robins has been monitoring the way poverty is damaging so many lives in NZ.  This week he focused on the impact of poverty on Kiwi children.

First Britain and the US, then NZ: so goes democracy, social security and a fair and functional economy and society.

79 comments on “How austerity is destroying Britain… coming soon near you”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    A recent survey in the UK shows how poverty is increasing under the “austerity” regime.

    That’s what it’s supposed to do. It will drive down wages and force people apart as they fight for their own survival. The right are trying to get it so that the people cannot combine against the rich.

    • aerobubble 1.1

      People with boarders are hardly likely to buy the latest gadgets,etc, and take longer to replace items, harming the consumer culture, yet there is an upside, govt pushing people together in housing will produce stress and so anger against the state (and making new networks of people).

  2. Sanctuary 2

    The point of neo-liberalism as a political project is to restore the power of the economic elites and re-establish the conditions for capital accumulation by those elites.After the fall of the USSR across the Anglosphere the capitalist ruling elites first lost their fear then (with the opening of China, that totalitarian corporate capitalist nirvana) lost their use for the bulk of their domestic populations. It follows that the philosophical utopian aspects of neo-liberalism, such as they were, are being quickly disposed of in favour of totalitarian measures from an increasingly fearful elite to keep their domestic mobs closely controlled.

    The Tory attack on the poor is simply another illustration of this siege mentailty in the British ruling elites. Another example was the savage punitive response of the judicial establishment to the spontaneous and angry mobs that roamed the streets during the London riots.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/18/full-picture-of-riot-sentences

    Establishment cruelty and savagery of the order of this post is born in profound fear and hatred, and it shows how much the British ruling elites regard themselves as under siege from a dehumanised untermenschen in their midst. It is fear and hatred of the poor that feeds the current Tory mentality and drives their policy.

    The city financial elite that the entire British state has now been bent to serve doesn’t pay enough tax to fund much or provide any sort of real jobs engine except for itself. The oil that has paid for everything from Trident to welfare is almost gone. Britain is now a hugely over-populated and resource depleted island. The ruling class is desperate to atomise, demoralise, demonise and control the masses. So they’ve created a huge, dictatorial and corrupt police force and combined it with a massive surveillance network (there are 11,000 cameras on the tube network alone).

    Eventually, their will be another explosion like the last London riots as politically unorganised mobs vent their frustrations. And then another crackdown, and another explosion and another crackdown… Until one day either a dystopian surevellance police state will exist in the UK, or some sort of new, quasi-communist doctrine will emerge that will overthrow the state.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      V for Vendetta

      My question is – what is the way to breakthrough this, to not only avoid the worst social and political economic outcomes, but to get to a point where real progressive change is made for the vast majority of people.

      I can’t see a plausible road ahead at this point.

      • muzza 2.1.1

        I can’t see a plausible road ahead at this point.

        There are various roads which can be taken, but there are not enough people who have any idea whats going on. They might be feeling the effects, or they might not, still too many are in the dark.

        Plausible roads ahead are blocked off ,until such time as NZ’ers become very visible, and vocal!

        Kiwis going down, no sign of a fight, hardly a punch thrown as yet!

        • tc 2.1.1.1

          +1 Muzza, we’ve never been well informed or thoughtful when it comes to how we vote, if we vote at all. Key winning in 08 speaks volumes for the atitude and gullibility of even the bluest of followers and yet they still think him and his henchmen have our best interests at heart.

          The frogs don’t even know the waters becoming warm with a fire and momentum under it that will take a huge groundswell to affect.

          Their greatest tool is having the MSM onside, I bet they never thought they’d be able to bully the lower levels and dismantle democracy in the way they have and plunder as easily also with SCF and ECAN being the most obvious examples.

          Depressing to think Key probably wouldve be cut to pieces over Tranzrail, blind trusts and his other lies by a half decent 4th estate and they would be ripping them apart over GCSB, TPP, solid energy, Tiwai and the power generator flog off revelling in all this great material supplied by Collins, brownlee, Bennett, etc.

          All of that and a toothless opposition led by the hollowmens first choice….ditherer DS.

          • red rattler 2.1.1.1.1

            No point bemoaning the MSM, they are the corporate media.
            Raising consciousness is the duty of the left, on blogs, rallies, marches, occupations etc.
            The big problem in NZ is to convince people that there is no way out with capitalism.
            The opportunities to become self-employed and then rich, the kiwi dream, is foreclosed except for a few in high tech who spin out of the unis or silicon garages but for how long?
            The system is going down and taking the planet with it. The only question is how long will it take?
            My pick is that the present divisions manufactured in the working class, and between Maori, Asians and the rest, is the biggest barrier to overcome, but that will happen when The NACTs devotion to profits at all costs drives us all up against CC.
            I don’t think that a slide into barbarism and extinction is inevitable.
            Once the majority loses its fear as we have seen happen many times in history, there is nothing standing between it the few parasites clinging onto power but a few mercenaries.

            • Ugly Truth 2.1.1.1.1.1

              The big problem in NZ is to convince people that there is no way out with capitalism.

              There’s a difference between capitalism and corporatism. Capitalism has a level playing field, but with corporatism you get taxpayer funded bailouts and emphasis on the master-slave model for employees.

        • xtasy 2.1.1.2

          muzza:

          “There are various roads which can be taken, but there are not enough people who have any idea whats going on. They might be feeling the effects, or they might not, still too many are in the dark.”

          People do not get information about what goes on. I recently spoke with my GP, who should bloody well have known a bit about the welfare reforms that are being pushed through under this National led dicta-government.

          In all honesty, he had NO idea, about 57,000 sickness beneficiaries going to be turned into “job-seekers” at the stroke of a pen (when the law will be assented). He had no idea about the reforms at all, not in detail, he had no information about the future harsh and to be outsourced assessments in UK style (ATOS Origin Healthcare).

          His comments shocked me, but ask anybody out in public, who is not that seriously interested in politics and in social issues, they also will not be able to tell you what is being passed through the Parliament as ‘Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill’.

          The reason is: The media have NOT at all reported on it, not since the bill was introduced last September. There is NO reporting, NO informing about what is involved, NO discussion, NO debate, NO mention in current affairs programs, NO articles in the print media.

          Last week right wing talk-back host Michael Laws only metioned briefly the welfare reforms, and all he mentioned was “drug testing”, “social obligations”, and nothing else. So this mischievous piece of human being did not even enlighten his listeners what else there was involved, after an email about this (sent to him) informed him of this.

          The key persons in the media are not interested, and those that make decisions, they do not even want to report on it, as they all are soft on Key and government, are mindful of the prejudice they themselves nurtured against beneficiaries over so many years.

          And without media informing we have uninformed public and voters. Hence nothing will change as long as this goes on.

          • Mary 2.1.1.2.1

            Yes, and for the same reasons very few people have really bothered to familiarise themselves with the same sort of reforms that Labour pushed through. The difference here, though, is that the general public, importantly including your average run of the mill Labour voter, never got see what Labour, their “party of the Left”, was really capable of. Large numbers of traditional Labour supporters still think Labour is the party for the poor. How wrong they are.

      • Jenny 2.1.2

        I can’t see a plausible road ahead at this point.

        Colonial Viper

        I can

        CV you ask; “what is the way to breakthrough this”.

        CV, The only hard part is deciding where to start. There is so much good stuff in Karol’s post.

        An opposition party only need to pick up on any one part of it to make gains.

        For instance, this bit;

        …..the biggest survey of deprivation across the UK, found that a third of adults now suffer from some form of financial insecurity, with more than a quarter admitting they can neither save £20 a month nor put money away for a pension.

        I would say, that it not that different here. (probably, for even more than a quarter)

        The Labour Party for instance could make a public announcement that they are planning to dump their controversial neo-liberal plan to raise the age of retirement.

        Will they do it?

        Not likely, as people like Rob and yourself all fall into line behind this policy coming down from the top.

        What about the environment. Here is another good piece of policy direction in which the opposition parties could differentiate themselves from the government and pick up votes. Karol points out, rightly; That the piecemeal nature of the government attacks on DoC are similiar in strategy to how the British Tories are breaking down social provision everywhere. That this attack is all part of a whole. National is actually waging an undeclared war on the environment on behalf of those who wish to despoil it.

        Labour could make a stand here as well. Publicly denouncing National’s war on the environment. And declaring that they will reverse the cuts in DoC that have resulted in the current (and previous), round of lay offs.

        At the same time also announce that a Labour led administration will reverse the repressive anti protest laws that are nothing but another part of National’s assault on civil liberties on behalf of the polluters which is all part of the National Government’s undeclared war on the environment.

        Just these two simple things would create a huge uproar in the media and the blogosphere. That would clearly differentiate the opposition from the government in the public’s eyes.

    • Plan B 2.2

      A fantastic post, well argued. I even bothered to look up ‘untermenschen’

      Untermensch (German for under man, sub-man, sub-human; plural: Untermenschen) is a term that became infamous when the Nazi

      Would question this point. about overpopulated, as I think the place looks overpopulated because the masses are kept in vast city ghettos rather than there being a real problem of space.

      • xtasy 2.2.1

        Plan B:

        If you want more info and enlightenment on mental “Untermenschen”, just tune into Radio Live between 09 am and midday, when a Michael Laws “entertains” a fair number of such specimen. He is the “Untermensch” Leader and manipulator, par excellence. Never ever would you dream of the lowest levels of human thought, emotion and views to be found, that are there, until you start listening in to his show!

        • gnomic 2.2.1.1

          In fresh news to hand I’m afraid ‘Lawsie’ has left the building to follow a new career path. And the replacement is … tada! Sean ‘I’m Significant Me’ Plunkett, formerly of National Radio. Where he was rather annoying at times with his relentless attack dog approach to the art of interviewing. So far I have learned that Sean is by his own description “a charming drunk.” Fascinating. As opposed to a belligerent drunk you see. Ah well, something else not to listen to. Except perhaps once in while to briefly sample the thoughts of the mighty mainstream.Some predict Sean will take listeners from National Radio with its Nine to Noon offering. Only time will tell on that one.

          As for Lawsie, at least that’s over. It was occasionally interesting as a study in abnormal pyschology. Where do all these legends in their own lunchtime come from? Maybe the reason why so many of the radio commentariat are asshats is that only an asshat would want to do it. You can always tune to 1ZB if you need an egotistical ignoramus for your listening pleasure.

  3. johnm 4

    The Artist Taxi driver:
    SNOW; Tory/Coalition Britain like a bewitched Narnia always Winter but never Christmas 🙁 🙁 🙁

    Plenty money for the private predatory banks taken from the Public’s commonwealth. 🙁

    “They can afford to waste billions of tax payers money yet they can’t afford to feed the poor or the sick, the disabled and the elderly!, this government is not for the people, they are for themselves the Nazi Swines!!!!!”

  4. RedBaronCV 5

    The tipping point like Margaret Thatcher’s poll tax?

  5. johnm 6

    “Big London Protests Against Austerity”

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=9018

    “”Are such mobilizations enough to stop the cuts?”Good question.
    In my view, no.
    Until enough people recognize the necessity for a simple, clear, focused solution to this crisis, then the resistance will continue to drift between a hundred different “solutions” which will ultimately prove to be no solution, (as the conditions for a radical swing of the masses to the right gathers steam).
    Yet the solution to this social crisis, (and practically all others for the last 100+ years) has always been the same: arrest the top 1% and confiscate their wealth; take back the monetary system from the banksters, and cancel the public debt for the fraud that it is.
    Simple concept that near-everybody understands; but very hard to implement because of the well-armed and financed Elite that would oppose it tooth and nail, and because the vast majority is not prepared to face the full implications of reality, (including most “progressives” it seems).
    “We” are not yet prepared to give up our lives, (non-violently) to the cause of truth.
    Alas, those not prepared to face reality are destined to have reality imposed”

  6. Phil 7


    Max and Stacy, telling it like it is…again

    • kiwi_prometheus 7.1

      Max is my hero.

    • xtasy 7.2

      So fuck the beneficiaries, having to cut and tighten the belts, to go and look for non existing work and jobs, and otherwise commit suicide, while property owners in debt get offered government bail-outs of a questionable nature.

      Welcome corrupt right wing, Anglo Saxon, bull-shit finance and economic policies.

      And Kiwis vote for the same bullshit kind of government here, damned, what a disgusting ignorance!

      • kiwi_prometheus 7.2.1

        What choice have they got?

        Its either Slimy Keys or the equally ideologically bankrupt Marxist/Socialist/Lesbian Liberationists.

        So of course they are flocking to Keys.

        Sigh.

        • Ugly Truth 7.2.1.1

          They have the choice between civil government and the law of the land aka common law.

          • Mary 7.2.1.1.1

            “They have the choice between civil government and the law of the land aka common law.”

            What are you trying to say? What does “civil government” mean? “Law of the land”, whatever you mean, isn’t just common law. It includes all “law of the land”, including statute law. So what do you mean when you say people have a “choice” between what ever “civil government” means, and law (i.e. statute and common law)? Enlighten us.

        • xtasy 7.2.1.2

          KP – a bit of a ridiculous cop out argument you deliver. What about voting Mana or Greens, what about starting a NEW, real progressive, NEW LEFT PARTY???

  7. Dv 8

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Salisbury-School-Closure-in-disguise/tabid/367/articleID/291882/Default.aspx

    Here is a disgraceful example

    The Govt lost a legal battle to close Salsburry

    BUT

    The committe to recommend pupils now only has MOE members

    AND

    There have been no recommendations for enrolment this year.

    Closure by starvation.

    Disgraceful.

    • Yes, it’s stealth bombing in the political sphere – under the radar stuff.

      As I mentioned in another post, Colin James has claimed that Ministers are already privately boasting about this tactic.

      It is a form of ‘radical incrementalism’ dressed up as pragmatism. All the supposedly ‘pragmatic’ decisions just happen to head in the same ideological direction, cumulatively producing the desired result. In addition, the size of the ‘increments’ has been ramped up over time to accelerate the process while still not ‘scaring the voters’.

      Clever, but a very deceptive approach to politics when you don’t make clear the destination you have in mind and that you hope becomes locked in by your incremental, structural and technical changes.

      As well as being morally repugnant it undermines the very idea of democracy as an open and transparent debate over fundamental ideas and values.

      The current government has attempted to make this tactic an art form.

      • aerobubble 8.1.1

        One way to create consent is to reverse the timing of events. For example, Austerity policies in the UK preceding rather than following the UK riots would have had a whole different outcome.

        Now imagine the newsspeak media doing that to real events, say the attack by N.Korea on a boat, is brought forward to after N.Korea’s declaration of war. It could be used as documented proof of an attack, to garner massive public support for a war on N.Korea.

        This is why we can’t trust the media, Murdoch papers played with the truth about Saddam’s WMDs to invade Iraq.

        The west is no longer free in the full sense of the term while media-government-industry work together for their interests at the expense of the people. Poverty should not be happening in the world, starvation, diseases long since cured running rampant, etc. We gave our economy to bankers and they sowed up compliance of the media-govt-industry with lavish cash hordes.

    • johnm 8.2

      Hi DV
      This government is hell bent on ruining the public commonwealth in all respects and substituting a privatised predatory bank funded profit oriented system where they’ll just sit back and watch without any responsibility to the people of New Zealand, until finally NZ becomes N$Z, a money grubber’s paradise. :-(. Salisbury is an example. They really have 100% loyalty to the business shark side of things people don’t matter.

  8. millsy 9

    I have always thought that Thatcher had her limits and knew where to stop.

    Cameron doesnt.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Thatcher had very powerful political enemies eg the mining unions. Cameron doesn’t have that constraint.

    • xtasy 9.2

      The loss of an empire and privilege make for a nasty mix of resentment, and here we have it, the upper class and privileged in the UK, once again, dishing out against the weak and poor, to show they can “survive”. For damned shit sake, start another LONDON BURNING!

      • The Al1en 9.2.1

        “For damned shit sake, start another LONDON BURNING!”

        Or give the leaderless someone to follow and their votes will burn much brighter and longer than any lawlessness ever will.

        And loss of empire as a motive for bene bashing, do they teach that in the colonies? Is that why the nats and Shearer do it?
        As always it’s about money, who owns it, who wants to keep it and who wants more of it.
        Just greed and an easy target to scapegoat all the way to the bank.

  9. big bruv 10

    “so goes democracy, social security and a fair and functional economy and society.”

    Lol….

    A fair and functional society would be one where every member of that society took personal responsibility for their actions. A fair society would be one that took the attitude that to be on a benefit is something to be ashamed of, something that made the beneficiary strive to get off and find there own form of legitimate income.

    The trouble with the left is that you people keep telling the bludgers that it is their right to be on a benefit, that they have “entitlements” when the only entitlement that society should expect from parasites is for them to work, pay tax and contribute to society.

    • One Tāne Huna 10.1

      The trouble with wingnut trash is illustrated perfectly by the likes of Capill, Garrett and Banks.

      Look at this creep, calling fellow citizens “parasites”. What a low-life.

    • kiwi_prometheus 10.2

      “the only entitlement that society should expect from parasites is for them to work, pay tax and contribute to society.”

      LOL

      big bruv it is the ultra rich and the global corporations who don’t pay their tax contributing to public deficits.

      Is engaging in criminal activity like laundering Mexican drug cartel proceeds considered ‘work’ by you? If not, none of the ultra rich banksters like JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon are working.

      Is collapsing entire economies with financial manipulation, shoving 100 000 000s of people into financial hardship or poverty “contributing to society”?

      big bruv, the ultra rich seem to think it is their right to trash democracies and economies.

      And all you right whingers can come up with is benefit bashing.

    • xtasy 10.3

      big bruv or “big bluff”?

      “A fair society would be one that took the attitude that to be on a benefit is something to be ashamed of, something that made the beneficiary strive to get off and find there own form of legitimate income.”

      You should be bloody ashamed for bludging off the public of NZ by ripping them off as a selfish workaholic on a too low tax rate, who wants to make sick and disabled suffer and be pushed to self harm and suicide.

      Here you go on again about your paranoia, phobia and madness, “parasites”, “parasites” and more “parasites”. The biggest parasites there are is people with a mindset you propose.

      Have you not phoned the help line to see a counsellor yet, as I strongly advised you to do?

    • Plan B 10.4

      big bruv
      where to start? Of course you are right, when will we get the bludgers off welfare. Why did we bail out South Canterbury Finance? Why did we bail out leaky home owners why all this fuss about the red zone. Why vcan’t these people stand on their own two feet. If they can’t stand up to predatory insurance companies with deep pockets then that is there problem. It has nothing to do with us.

      Why do we allow a complete lack of real competition in sector after sector of our economy. Why is the side show of people on benefits allowed to dominate all discussions about welfare. The welfare they get is a pittance when contrasted with welfare for insiders?

      Do you know that 60 ‘insider firms get 30 million a year from NZTE that the funds are handed out in such a way that makes it almost impossible to find out who got what and why?

      In sector after sector you see , low or zero competition sanctioned by government. in each of these areas you get, low competition, low innovation, low investment, and high profits for those inside the tent.

      NZ is being squeezed to death not by people on benefits that we can see but by corporate interests on benefits that we can’t see. People are on benefits because it suits some people to keep them there. To keep wages down at the margin. To help us live in fear of a feral underclass.

      Take your brilliant statement.

      The trouble with the left is that you people keep telling the bludgers that it is their right to be on a benefit, that they have “entitlements” when the only entitlement that society should expect from parasites is for them to work, pay tax and contribute to society.

      If you only aimed that statement at the real bludgers you would gain a lot more from the insight.

      People on welfare need an economy that needs them. We have to invest in our own people. If we do not then what is the point of democratic capitalism? Our only purpose in life is to tend and nuture the next generation. The fact that in modern society parasitic, sociopaths can prey on the population at large is something we have to recognise and act against in our own best interests.

      Our investmenst as a society should be in our own, through our school system, our sport, our parks, our local environments, our health system. We have to over invest in areas that many people have trouble investing in for whatever reason.

    • millsy 10.5

      There was nothing to stop you from drawing up a private members bill to chop the social safety net when you were in Parliament, David. Why didnt you do so? Would have had a better chance for getting public support than posting on here…

    • Brian 10.6

      It has always amazed me, why it is that when Tories hate benificiaries so much, they always end up creating thiousands more.
      As for your parasites comment it merely demonstrates what a twat you are.

    • Ugly Truth 10.7

      A fair and functional society would be one where every member of that society took personal responsibility for their actions.

      Personal responsibility has strings attached, it implies that an obligation is owed to the state, which isn’t always the case. A just society would be one in which every member was responsible for their own.

      • karol 10.7.1

        In my view, a just society is one where people are socially responsible; ie have some responsibility for the way others in the society are treated.

        • Ugly Truth 10.7.1.1

          I agree that it benefits society when there is some kind of mechanism to assist the less well off. What I’m wary of is this mechanism being overused or hijacked for political ends.

          I’m wary of assumed responsibility, it’s too easy to abuse IMO.

          • karol 10.7.1.1.1

            I’m wary of a focus solely on self-responsibility – too easy to become just about a selfish, “what’s in it for me? – damn the rest of you” approach: one that ignores the fact that humans are social beings in societies that require extensive collaboration with those beyond the home fire.

  10. kiwi_prometheus 11

    The UK IS MORE BANKRUPT THAN CYPRUS.

    EVERY BANK (aka crime syndicates) IN THE WEST INCLUDING THE RESERVES IS INSOLVENT.

    Even Marx couldn’t have dreamed this up in his wildest dialectical materialist wet dream!

    EXTEND AND PRETEND, it is just a matter of time…

  11. johnm 12

    ‘I could live on £53 a week’: Iain Duncan Smith defends welfare cuts claiming new system will let people ‘break free’ of benefits

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2302343/I-live-53-week-Iain-Duncan-Smith-defends-welfare-cuts-claiming-new-let-people-break-free-benefits.html

    ‘Not with the lifestyle you expect you pompous prat and it’s not just one week it’s every week. God I despise these rich idiots they truly have no idea.’

    ‘Yes —–He probably could live for ONE week on £53—just for show—— Let him try to live for TWO YEARS on £53 a week ——That would soon shut him up.’

    ‘Really? What rubbish, he has no idea of what a struggle it is. I would love to see him try. My husband has just got a job earning £18k per year, he comes out with just over £1k a month which is not enough to cover our mortgage, bills, food and our old car. I can’t get a job, have been trying for over 6 months but only one interview, because of my age and medical history. My ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) has been stopped because my husband works over 24 hours per week so I now have to ask him for money for my sanitary towels. It is like going back to Victorian times. I hate the smug arrogance of politicians like IDS and Clegg who think they can live on the breadline or stay at home all day caring for children. They never had to and thus they have no idea.’

    ‘”But when challenged on whether he could live on £7.57 per day, Mr Duncan Smith replied: ‘If I had to, I would.”, But you and your parasitic cronies don’t have to! Not when as well as collecting your high salaries you continue to take, take take, from the taxpayers funding to pay for your second/third mortgages, food, fuel, dog food, holidays, pay for your parents, children’s pretentious lifestyle leaving the poor and vulnerable to go hungry, cold and without any life!! Time to remove these parasitic, freeloading sc+m from office!! Stand up and be counted!!!’

    ‘Why do people lump everyone together who are benefits has scroungers, drink and drug users! I lost my job and can’t get another I volunteer 16 hours a week to contribute back into society! I get sick of being called horrible names because a few give the rest a bad name!’

    ‘Another rich boy plonker living in cloud cuckoo land.!!!! Prove it, but then I don’t suppose you have the courage to. Ridiculous little man, paid far too much.’

    ‘Fine, Mr Smith. Give me a job now – I desperately want one! I speak languages, I have degree and certificates as well as years of experience, I work as a volunteer for over 30 hours a week so I am not afraid of work, I am smart, reliable and hard working. Where is the payed job you are telling me someone does not want, Mr Smith? I am here and ready to start this job tomorrow morning at 8 am.’

    ‘Seems a rather strange comment to make from a man who was embroiled in a scandal years ago when the charge against him was that he was fleecing the public purse when paying his wife to carry out so called “secretarial ” duties.’

    • millsy 12.1

      Hmph.

      Cabinet ministers always say “I can live on that” when they cut benefits.

      Earlier this year, the Australian families minister, Jenny someone or rather, she said that she could live on 240-something a week, and our own Katherine O’Reagan, back in the dark and horrible 1990’s, reckoned she could live on a newly slashed DPB.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        As long as they’ve stocked their fridge up with Veuve the week before

        • xtasy 12.1.1.1

          As long as the wealthy or at least employed rellies and mates are around to chip in, to keep the courage up, to lobby for a job through the network. Those that are up the top have those damned networks and also old boys and girls ones, they would never have to suffer longer term benefit dependence.

          Have you heard of any MP for instance, who has ended up on the scrap heap, in a Housing NZ house to be taken off them at some stage, struggling on UB, SB or IB, or also DPB for any longer period?

          No, the only one who may have some real life experience on benefit life and survival is Sue Bradford. She though takes a stand, no others do, not even the left of the Labour brigade or of the Greens!!!

      • aerobubble 12.1.2

        With savings and some assets (a home), and no car, freeze in winter, its entirely possible without any outgoings like friends, family, or hobbies, to live on the benefit. Its not a life unless you are a hermit whose self identity comes from things intellectual, so no politician could survive as they are noted social people who crave attention. And as anyone, anyone but a politician, would recognize, we live in a society where money is necessary for social activity. A human right, to food, housing, health AND social connection. But hey, lets just turn a sector of society into a open concentration camp, deprived of basic human needs.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.2.1

          An open concentration camp? Shit dude, why not make it an actual concentration camp? You know, with poor people in their own isolated suburbs etc. Oh look, that’s happening in AKL right now…

      • Colonial Weka 12.1.3

        “Katherine O’Reagan, back in the dark and horrible 1990′s, reckoned she could live on a newly slashed DPB.”

        It was Jenny Shipley, and she lived on the DPB for two weeks, just to prove that it could be done. Unfortunately she failed to realise that she had proved just that – that one can live on the DPB for two weeks :roll: The media seems particularly dense as well.

    • rosy 12.2

      Who’s the National MP from the 90s who wrote up menus to show it was possible to feed your kids properly on a benefit?

      Said she’d live on it for a month but then reneged because she was ill and it wouldn’t be good for her health.

  12. Russell 13

    Austerity? When did the government stop borrowing billions a year to fund existing spending?

    • karol 13.1

      Austerity for the least well off, more money for NAct’s cronies.

    • trickldrown 13.2

      from 2000 till 2007 Russell and even Cullen managed to save money by taxing the well off!
      Austerity has forced chancellor Osborne to admit that his borrowings have gone up as opposed to going down as he had promised when he started his austerity program!
      Even Osbourne backers big business have lambasted Osbournes failings!
      Reagans chief econmic adviser has taken to G W Bushes shambolic destruction of the US economy during his reign (huffington post )

  13. johnm 14

    Monbiot comments on the U$K Austerity class war on the poor. 🙁

    “With a most inhuman cruelty, they who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them of their blindness.” This government, whose mismanagement of the economy has forced so many into the arms of the state, blames the sick, the unemployed, the underpaid for a crisis caused by the feral elite – and punishes them accordingly. Most of those affected by the bedroom tax, introduced today, are disabled. Thousands will be driven from their homes, and many more pushed towards destitution. Relief for the poor from council tax will be clipped; legal aid for civil cases cut off. Yet at the end of this week those making more than £150,000 a year will have their income tax cut.

    Two days later, benefit payments for the poorest will be cut in real terms. A week after that, thousands of families who live in towns and boroughs where property prices are high will be forced out of their homes by the total benefits cap. What we are witnessing is raw economic warfare by the rich against the poor.”

    Seventy years ago, in the United Kingdom, the transformative idea was freedom from want and fear through the creation of a social security system and a National Health Service. It swept a Labour government to power which was able, despite far tougher economic circumstances than today’s, to create a fair society from a smashed, divided nation. This is the achievement which – through a series of sudden, spectacular and unmandated strikes – Cameron’s government is now demolishing.

    “A basic income removes the stigma of benefits while also breaking open what politicians call the welfare trap: because taking work would not reduce your entitlement to social security, there would be no disincentive to find a job: all the money you earn is extra income. The poor are not forced by desperation into the arms of unscrupulous employers: people will work if conditions are good and pay fair, but will refuse to be treated like mules. It redresses the wild imbalance in bargaining power that the current system exacerbates. It could do more than any other measure to dislodge the emotional legacy of serfdom. It would be financed by progressive taxation: in fact it meshes well with land value tax.”

    http://www.monbiot.com/2013/04/01/the-spark-of-hope/

  14. johnm 15

    ‘Millionaire Tories take benefits from millions: How Dare They’
    ‘A blizzard of cuts is set to rob billions from people on benefits this month.

    Ministers with spare mansions think they can punish poor people for having spare bedrooms.

    The MPs who fleeced their expenses say disabled people are scroungers.

    “I’m actually afraid to sit down and figure out the impact the bedroom tax will have on me,” said Marion Nisbet in Glasgow. “My benefits are being cut while my rent is going up.’

    http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=31016

    The NHS under privatisation attack:
    http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=31029

    A simple fact about the market: The market that John Yankee subscribes to doesn’t give a flying fuck if YOU end up in the workhouse. 🙁 That is the market’s history.

  15. johnm 16

    ‘The Tory offensive on benefits enrages poor’

    ‘The millionaire Tories running the government are on the rampage.

    This week they launched the biggest offensive in generations against the welfare state and the lives of working class people.

    They declare this is not solely about saving money. In fact Tory millionaire and baron George Osborne has the gall to claim that benefits “trap people in poverty” and that the cuts will help them.

    So what’s his answer to the trap of poverty? To cut welfare and make the poor even poorer.’

    http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=31018

    The Artist taxi driver http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-4NYsPJN_8&list=UUGThM-ZZBba1Zl9rU-XeR-A&index=21

  16. johnm 17

    Margaret Thatcher’s Legacy

    “”We understood the Conservative government’s determination to use the state machine against us. In order to dismember the welfare state, they had to break the trade union movement and they needed to break the miners first.” – Mick McGahey, Vice President of the National Union of Mineworkers 1972-87.”

    Confer John Yankee’s attacks on what’s left of our own unionised workforce: The teachers and Port Workers.
    ‘With an economy no longer underpinned by manufacturing, but by finance capital, speculation, hedge funds, credit derivatives and all manner of secretive dodgy dealings that eventually hit the fan, ordinary folk are now being saddled with paying off the debt incurred by covering the losses of those who indulged in such criminality. What price a sound manufacturing infrastructure and decent wages and jobs now? ‘

    ‘During the Thatcher years, as Britain de-industrialised, mass unemployment kicked in. Britain witnessed a spiraling gap between rich and poor. Thatcher’s legacy is a banking crisis coupled with a vulnerable and weak economy, worklessness, unemployment, consequent social breakdown and a pervasive greed culture of me-first acquisitive individualism, the effects of which are so graphically witnessed in our towns and cities today: a descent into drugs, alcohol, crime, community breakdown, fear for personal safety, youth offending and a range of other social problems. According to a study by York University in 2006, British children were among the unhappiest and unhealthiest in Europe. A UNICEF report came to similar conclusions: children growing up in the United Kingdom suffer greater deprivation, worse relationships with their parents and are exposed to more risks from alcohol, drugs and unsafe sex than those in any other wealthy country in the world.’

    Basically a country that doesn’t look after its own people eventually goes to sh*t . That is the route asset stripper John yankee is doing here: he can retire to Hawaii. 🙁

    Thatcher’s destruction was covered up by the oil bonanza of the North Sea. Now that’s going going gone the sh*t is hitting the fan in ole U$K.

    • aerobubble 17.1

      Riots bad. I noted when the UK riots took place that they seem odd, almost as if some group had needed to back burn social unrest. Now people know the consequences of rioting there is less likelihood of them taking place. Which is good. But it does chime into the new government timetable of introducing austerity.

  17. johnm 18

    “British people are committing suicide to escape poverty. Is this what the State wants?”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2117718/British-people-committing-suicide-escape-poverty-Is-State-wants.html

    “Anxious wait: Thousands of sick and disabled people are waiting to hear whether the DWP considers them fit to work – even though some have been given mere months to live”

    “it is very clear that Cameron and Co are guilty of mass genocide to the amount of 11,000 deaths. will he learn when millions take to the streets, there is going to be civil unrest on a scale that has never been seen in the uk before, with every tory and libdem council, mp, atos and dwp the brunt of uk citizens anger. the queen needs to remove these fools now. they are not fit for purpose. she is the only one that can do so. Has everybody forgotten that mad woman thatcher wrecked this country and cameron is going to completely destroy it”

    “Unfortunately I’m one of these unlucky people. I use a crutch at all times and I have nerve damage and a twisted knee cap and I’m still under the hospital, I have been advised another operation is needed. Yet, somehow I’ve been deemed fit for work, yes I’d love to work but I suffer with mobility problems – which quite frankly wasn’t assessed at my ATOS assessment. I’m unable to socialise and the only means of socialisation I have is with close family and the internet, however, this is one of the causes why I’m apparently fit for work – how do I get there? And the DWP have cut my finances by £150 a fortnight. I study online, and now I’m going to struggle to access my study needs as I won’t have the financial support I had previously. This is another reason why I gained zero points, for studying – but it’s in my own home, on a computer and I am unable to attend tutorials. Well, I thought proving that I actually do something proactive would go in my favour, how wrong I was. ”

    “My benefits are due to stop at the end of April. I have received a phone call to confirm this. I have done this before, but this is my list of medical problems. How can I work? There’s no possible way I can. I did for 22 years until I became too ill to. This government is casting aside the sick and disabled, it is cruel and evil. DIABETIC AUTONOMIC NEUROPATHY (GASTRIC, CAUSING UNPREDICTABLE AND SEVERE DIARRHOEA), GASTROPAERESIS (CAUSING UNPREDICTABLE AND SEVERE BOUTS OF VOMITING), DIABETIC RETINOPATHY, PARTIALLY SIGHTED (LOSS OF PERIPHERAL VISION IN BOTH EYES AND SOME CENTRAL VISION IN LEFT EYE), NEWLY DISCOVERED HEART CONDITION (NEEDS TO BE INVESTIGATED WITH ANGIOGRAM SO IT CAN BE RIGHTED), CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE- Egfr – 11 (BEING PLACED ON LIST FOR KIDNEY/PANCREAS TRANSPLANT), VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY, ANAEMIA, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, HIGH CHOLESTEROL, UNDERACTIVE THYROID, CHRONIC TIREDNESS DUE TO COMBINATION OF MULTIPLE MEDICAL CONDITIONS, ASTHMA”

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      It’s only a matter of time before people self-immolate in UK town squares and in front of government buildings

  18. johnm 19

    “Fine, our IDS petition is a ‘stunt’ – a stunt to shame the oblivious aristocrats

    So far 350,000 have challenged Iain Duncan Smith to show he really can live on £53 a week. No wonder he seems rattled”

    “While I really would like to see Duncan Smith trying to live as he obliges others to live, I suppose you could call our petition a stunt, if you mean an act whose purpose is to draw attention to something. It highlights the hypocrisy of a government of millionaires which arraigns the profligacy of the poor. It dramatises the character of a government which, insulated by inherited wealth, accuses people living on a few pounds a day of suffering from a “culture of entitlement”.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2013/apr/03/iain-duncan-smith-petition-ids-stunt

  19. johnm 20

    “There will be much more of that soon. You can only kick people so far till they turn and hit back. …even if the target for revenge are not really the ones to blame.
    I know it’s irrational to attack people just because of their accent, but the class war being created by this government and the Daily Mail means millions of people are being attacked for simply being, unlucky, poor and disabled. They will hit back!
    Welcome to the world the rich and privileged have created, best book your place in a gated community asap.”

    Don’t get mad about the Mail’s use of the Philpotts to tarnish the poor – get even

    Thirty years of widening inequality stoked by post-2010 rhetoric have built a Tory Narnia riven by distrust. It doesn’t have to be like this

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/03/dont-get-mad-about-use-of-philpotts-tarnish-poor

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2303120/Mick-Philpott-vile-product-Welfare-UK-Derby-man-bred-17-babies-milk-benefits-GUILTY-killing-six.html

    • karol 20.1

      It is very disturbing to see how the class war is developing under Cameron’s Tories.

      I don’t think the class war was created by them, but they are certainly intensifying it. From the 50s – late 70s, the working classes made inroads into decreasing the inequalities and animosity between classes. But even when I was living there, up to the mid 90s, speech was still a significant marker of class that people attended to.

      For the less well-off classes, their language was often embraced as a marker of class solidarity, while the upper classes used it to reinforce their sense of entitlement. Those of us born and raised in non-England, English language countries, often fell outside this division – Kiwis, Aussies, Scots, Irish, Welsh, etc. Though for the upper classes, the Aus & NZ accents were often seen as being a bit uncouth like working class accents.

      The Philpott case, and the way it is used to demonise all beneficiaries, is chilling.

      Thanks for the links, johnm.

  20. Mike S 21

    More on UK austerity, possibility of general strike? (not likely but would be awesome)

    Sorry if link already posted, didn’t have time to read through all posts.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/britains-biggest-unions-put-weight-behind-plan-for-general-strike-8559027.html

  21. Walter 22

    The only party to vote for is the National party, because all labour governments sell the hard working tax payers out to dry while providing every thing from housing to food for the non working. no wonder every country thats had a labour government was broke at the end of their term.

    People should get ahead by there own actions not on the tail of the tax payer.

    • lprent 22.1

      Unfortunately, you have just revealed yourself as being a political moron about NZ (and probably everywhere else.).

      The 4th Labour government stopped the ever rising debt level caused by Muldoon and his National government who’d raised so much debt that the country was in danger of defaulting on debts to the IMF.

      The 5th Labour government dropped the debt down to virtually nothing, but has been followed a pack of spendthrift bozo’s who are raising the countries debt by millions of dollars per day.

      But don’t let reality get in the way of your fantasies. I’m also *sure* that sure that the image you’re watching on the screen is really in love with you and really is sighing at the size of…..

      Ummm. Fantasy addicts – whatever will they think of next eh?

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    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    13 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    14 hours ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    14 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    15 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    15 hours ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
    Whistleblowers are a ‘check’ on government, corporate or organisational secrecy and malfeasance. I recently read Tim Shipman’s preview of the Chilcot report into the origins of the Tony Blair-led UK engagement in the US’s invasion of Iraq, which looked at… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    15 hours ago
  • Spend and Tax
    As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    16 hours ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    22 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of the far right, and battle bots
    In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Why Corrections prevented Tony Robertson from getting treatment in prison
    Tony Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison for indecently assaulting a five year old girl in 2005. He was considered a high risk prisoner and the parole board declined to release him on four separate occasions.  He was… ...
    PunditBy Roger Brooking
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Climate denial arguments fail a blind test
    As we saw in the recent legal ruling against Peabody coal, arguments and myths that are based in denial of the reality of human-caused global warming rarely withstand scientific scrutiny. In a new study published in Global Environmental Change, a team led by Stephen Lewandowsky… ...
    1 day ago
  • Palmerston North librarians gather to support UCOL colleagues
    At 5pm today at the UCOL Library, representatives of library staff from the City Library, Massey, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and local schools will meet in a show of support for UCOL Library staff whose jobs are threatened. “We all… ...
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not Quite But Getting There
    It seems that Labour might have finally gotten the memo about getting it’s A into G but perhaps not quite digested the content. Still it’s a start. The last month has seen a steady stream of both Labour and Little… ...
    1 day ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    1 day ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    1 day ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Review: The Block Party
    Did New Zealand’s 'premier urban music' event live up to the hype?   Photo: Nicole Semitara Hunt ‘Old school’ was the name of the game on Friday night at The Block Party, where several thousand converged on ASB… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    1 day ago
  • New research confirms water fluoridation does not cause bone cancers
    The most common type of bone cancer is Osteosarcoma. Image credit:  Osteosarcoma This time for Texas. A new study confirms what other researchers have found elsewhere. It is reported in this recent paper: Archer, N. P., Napier, T. S., & Villanacci, J. F. (2016).… ...
    1 day ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Selfie-takers think they’re the greatest
    Science says otherwise.  “People often perceive themselves as more attractive and likable than others [perceive them to be].” This is the cutting conclusion from a new study that has found you're probably not as great as you think you… ...
    1 day ago
  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
    UCOL needs to halt its proposed cuts to student support services now that it knows those services are improving student outcomes. On Friday, in an email to all staff, UCOL released its provisional 2015 Educational Performance Indicator (EPI) results which… ...
    1 day ago
  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
    The absence of rail as well as walking and cycling options to the North Shore has been considered an oversight by many probably ever since the Harbour Bridge was first approved for construction over 60 years ago. While Skypath will… ...
    2 days ago
  • Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party Rt Hon Winston Peters New Zealand First Leader Member of Parliament for Northland 23 MAY 2016 Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham The Prime Ministers EU trade deal… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on bank scandals and air crashes
    Libor. It stands for the London Interbank Offered rate. Back in 2012, Libor became synonymous with a scandal involving the dodgy manipulation of how interest rates were fixed – during the years before and after the Global Financial Crisis –… ...
    2 days ago
  • March Against Monsanto
    Press Release – TPP Action Waikato March Against Monsanto (MAM)is a global form of action aimed at informing the public, calling into question the long term health risks of genetically modified foods and Roundup ready crops.Today Waikato people rally, at… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago

  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    6 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    7 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    7 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    11 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    13 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    13 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    13 hours ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    14 hours ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    1 day ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    2 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    4 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    4 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    4 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    4 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    5 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    5 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    6 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    6 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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