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Kiwis say no to welfare-bashing

Written By: - Date published: 8:17 am, August 16th, 2013 - 22 comments
Categories: Politics, welfare - Tags:

Stuff’s polls aren’t usually known for their left-wing bias. Indeed there’s a tendency for them to pitch the other way. Which is why I clicked on the results button for their latest (self-selected) poll with some trepidation. after all the question was “Should doctors be encouraged to question unemployed patients on their career goals?”

The results were a pleasant surprise:
benifit poll

Once again New Zealanders have shown that they aren’t the conservative bennie bashers that beltway types think they are. And that’s despite the right being given a free run with their anti-beneficiary narrative for the last 25 years.

As I’ve said again and again, despite the views of so many privileged beltway types “middle New Zealand” isn’t a synonym for “bigot”.

There’s a strong and enduring vein of progressive egalitarianism that runs through this country. It’s something the left should take hope from.

22 comments on “Kiwis say no to welfare-bashing”

  1. ak 1

    Staggering for a Stuff-the-box poll, hopefully indicative of a wave which would explain the massive ramping-up of their bullying liar-in-chief for Campbell the other night.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Please forward to Labour.

  3. One Anonymous Knucklehead 3

    Policy that threatens everyone (job security being of a bygone era) is hardly a vote winner.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 3.1

      This policy greatly undermines and threatens the doctor-patient relationship too.

      Who is paying for the service provided by doctors?
      How does it affect patients when doctors use consultation time to prioritise work goals?

      Is it ok to have ever increasing intrusion into the medical system when Work and Income is a welfare agency who hasn’t listened to doctors advice around what would be useful in the past to support people into work – so why would they listen now? FACT: Work and Income’s Regional Advisors routinely overrule medical advice. For example a client applies for Supported Living with support from their GP. The RHA/RDA without ever seeing the client decides they can work more than the GP says. Similar issues around Disability Allowance and Child Disability Allowance abound. This pattern of ignoring medical advice has been part of the MSD culture for some time and isn’t going away.

      Don’t get me wrong work is good. Of course Work and Income studiously ignore studies that show volunteer work is just as good in terms of health outcomes as paid work because it doesn’t suit their ideology.

      I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to work because staying at home with no money is not the dope smoking, couch residing all expenses paid holiday it is made out to be by the right wing media.

  4. bad12 4

    Yes there is always a ‘red-neck’ narrative running through the electorate about the beneficiaries ‘having it to good’ and sooner or later National Governments cannot seem to help themselves by putting the boot in to those least fortunate in our society,

    Eventually the same electorate is snapped out of their comfort zones when they are faced with the realities of Governments ongoing attacks on those with the least means to change their situation and an electoral back-lash occurs,

    Beneficiaries at the bottom of the income tree are the first to feel the negative effects of Government decisions both in employment and finance and have in most cases faced such negative effects of both Government inaction/mismanagement and deliberate actions taken against them with stoicism which i would dare suggest would not be forthcoming from those in better positions should they be under constant attack from successive Governments…

    • Greywarbler 4.1

      bad12
      Yes low income people suffer knockbacks with resilience. I think I hate that word.

    • weka 4.2

      “Yes there is always a ‘red-neck’ narrative running through the electorate about the beneficiaries ‘having it to good’ and sooner or later National Governments cannot seem to help themselves by putting the boot in to those least fortunate in our society,”

      And yet I remember when unemployed people were afforded sympathy and not called bludgers. The bludger meme has been built in the past 20 years (intentionally IMO). Am curious if it existed in the Great Depression.

      • bad12 4.2.1

        LOLZ, can you imagine a Government of today doing as Norm Kirk’s Labour Government did back in the 70’s,

        An extra benefit payment to all beneficiaries at Christmas, rednecks en masse would die of apoplectic shock if that were done today…

        • Jackal 4.2.1.1

          rednecks en masse would die of apoplectic shock if that were done today…

          Which is an excellent reason to reinstate the payment.

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.2

          An extra benefit payment to all beneficiaries at Christmas, rednecks en masse would die of apoplectic shock if that were done today…

          Actually, it should be a universal payment. One off $250. In the month before Christmas.

    • Mike S 4.3

      “Beneficiaries at the bottom of the income tree are the first to feel the negative effects of Government decisions both in employment and finance”

      Yep. They, along with low income earners are the first to take the hit in a recession. They’re also the last to get any positive benefits of a booming economy.

      The system is deliberately designed by the few for the few.

  5. Tamati 5

    I think it’s also Kiwis standing up for overworked GPs. Do we really want our GP’s to be careers advisors, or do you think we should let them focus on keeping us healthy?

  6. Sable 6

    I actually voted on this one when I was transferred to Stuff from a link from another site. Normally I avoid this site like the plague as its nothing right wing nonsense. Guess the public aren’t as ignorant and compliant as the mainstream media and Keys would like to believe.

    Aside from a few neo-lib misfits, most people do possess an innate sense of fair play and decency and can see this is just wrong. Now if those said same people made the intellectual leap to see that this is what National are all about then we could say goodbye to the social nightmare Keys and co are engineering in this country.

  7. Winston Smith 7

    “Should doctors be encouraged to question unemployed patients on their career goals?” isn’t quite the same thing as “Kiwis say no to welfare-bashing”

    • weka 7.1

      Pushing doctors to question their beneficiary patients about career/work goals, IS bene bashing. The people who answered the poll said no to that.

      • Winston Smith 7.1.1

        Oh ok thanks for clearing that up for me, I look forward to seeing a massive surge in support for Labour in the polls

        • quartz 7.1.1.1

          Why? They’ve not been particularly vocal about supporting beneficiaries or anyone else at the bottom of the neoliberal pile.

        • Sable 7.1.1.2

          Labour is not a convincing foil Winston. You wont see a surge in favour of Labour but there is a discernible surge towards the minor parties such as the Greens and NZ First. People want politicians that actually represent their interests and respect their rights.

          Peters for all his shortcomings as outlined by different journalists and members of this site has done a lot of good for the elderly in particular and has made it plain he is not a friend of Keys spy law. So have the Greens. No one gives a shit about Labour any more and it seems National is loosing ground too.

          This trend will almost certainly continue as the smaller parties cash in on the corruption and inertia displayed by the older parties and their complacent, arrogant leaders.

  8. Rosie 8

    I have to admit I got it really wrong on Open Mike on Wednesday, in reference to this article of the same day which the poll you discuss is linked to:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/9037689/Doctors-told-to-prescribe-work-ethic

    I said that by lunchtime the comments section would be a seething pit of beneficiary bashing. Turns out that it wasn’t. Yes, there was the usual moronic right wing comments but there was a healthy dose (no pun intended) of people that were opposed to this move under the new welfare reforms and quite sympathetic to the reality for unwell people, to the lack of jobs anyway and to over worked Dr’s.

    However, this is unusual for Stuffed comments and poll results. Perhaps people are waking up. Perhaps there are more compassionate and observant people commenting now. I don’t know.I would hesitate to think that one fairfax poll would indicate NZer’s have given up their “Kick ‘em when they’re down” routine they seem to have adopted. I’d like to be proven wrong of course, as I was on Wednesday!

    And with apologies for repeating myself, remember you can vote multiple times on Stuffed polls. From my comment on OM on Wednesday:

    “Their polls? I often participate in them, but once again, mainly for junk food value. Quite some time ago they ran a poll on is “David Shearer the right leader for the Labour Party?” Noting that the poll was around 90% on the side of “YES” and I asked myself, ” that’s not right, whats up here, can you vote more than once?” and sure enough you can. Just click click click away”.

    To be sure I checked again with this poll, and yes, I got two votes in the “NO” option.

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