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Nats testing the waters on eugenics

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 am, June 7th, 2011 - 217 comments
Categories: class war, john key, national, welfare - Tags: ,

A couple of days ago I quoted Gordon Campbell on the Nats’ attack on welfare:

If John Key is the face of moderation, there’s not much room left on the margins for the extremism of Don Brash. “Moderation” evidently means asset sales, tax breaks for the rich, cuts to government spending, a view that public services are “unsustainable” and unaffordable” plus – as Key indicated at yesterday’s post -Cabinet press conference – forced contraception for women on benefits as an idea worthy of further consideration. If you can get all that from the smiling face of “moderation” who needs the Act Party?

At the time I wondered if Campbell wasn’t maybe laying it on a bit thick. That “forced contraception for women on benefits as an idea worthy of further consideration” seemed just too crazy, even for the Nats. Turns out, however, that Campbell was right:

Bennett: No compulsory contraception for now

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is “a big fan” of long acting contraception for solo mums but says her Government is “not quite” at the stage of making it compulsory.

“Not quite”? “Not quite”? How did we leap all of a sudden from out of nowhere to not fucking quite ready to roll out a eugenics programme in New Zealand? Yes, enforced compulsory contraception for undesirables, especially enforced “long acting” contraception, is a form of eugenics, with all the social and historical baggage that the term implies.

John Key “thinks” (despite all the evidence to the contrary) that parents on the DPB are “breeding for a business”. This latest misguided move is clearly testing the waters for a plan to single out such undesirables and forcibly control their fertility. Unless there is a public outcry they will go right ahead with their eugenics programme.

Are they going to get away with it?

217 comments on “Nats testing the waters on eugenics”

  1. higherstandard 1

    r0b you forgot to read the word “reversible”.

    The single largest issue with contraception is that people forget to or don’t think they need to use it.

    Longer acting forms of contraception such as depots or implantable contraceptives very effectively minimise this problem.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      What difference does that make to a policy of compulsory contraception, Dr?

      • queenstfarmer 1.1.1

        Don’t know what “policy of compulsory contraception” you’re referring to, but the fact that a volunatry programme would be reversible (i.e. temporary) does make a signifcant difference. It means (for example) that incentives could be put in place not to have further kids while unaffordable.

        • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1

          Don’t know what “policy of compulsory contraception” you’re referring to

          The one that the Min of SW says we are ‘not quite’ at and refused to rule out when given an obvious chance to do so.

          Perhaps you could explain your final sentence, because to me, a policy of compulsory contraception wouldn’t eb about incentivising behaviour at all.

          • queenstfarmer 1.1.1.1.1

            There is somethig Orwellian about debating a “policy” that does’t exist, as if it did… But re incentives, for example a solo mum who already has 4 kids could get an additional benefit / allowance provided she doesn’t have more kids. Of course, this could lead to unintended consequences if set up the wrong way, etc, but it would still lead to other options on the table, which is a good thing.

            • lprent 1.1.1.1.1.1

              The problem is that the NAct’s standing policy is to not have any debate about their policies. They tend to signal them, and if they don’t get an immediate backlash they will fire them through parliament using urgency, avoiding the select committee process, and using fake ‘consultation’. Everyone (apart from you apparently) knows that if they float an idea, then you have to immediately treat it as being policy.

              If you don’t then you’ll find yourself in a position of being NAct raped by legislation. The only real solution for the public with this type of handling of the house is to lop the damn thing off as soon as they expose it.

              (and no I cannot think of a better way to describe that process)

            • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1.1.2

              More Orwellian than suggesting that Orwell didn’t use or understand hypotheticals? What would Orwell think about a political move of attacking the vulnerable in a vote gathering exercise using the language of ‘incentives’? Who’s to know?

              I reckon he’d be bit sweary about it myself. He did like the saxon.

              Also, and too, 1984 was fiction. It didn’t exist. I’ll let you sort out the irony of your use of the word ‘Orwellian’.

              But anyway, you seem to be talking about some other policy unrelated to contraception, or anything else that exists. How does your version work? It looks kinfd of like ts’s, but on steroids. If I read you right, you are suggeting that we cut the level of the dpb for people who have children when you don’t approve? Or do we just keep raising the payment for every month they remain not pregnant? Or what?

              • queenstfarmer

                Gosh things do get extrapolated far and fast around here. I (happily) don’t have an alternative hypotheical policy to compare & contrast with National’s alleged current, hypothetical policy.

                Looking at the actual policy, it’s good to have that option on the table. Just sayin’.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  It’s neither “alleged” nor “hypothetical”.

                  Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is “a big fan” of long acting contraception for solo mums but says her Government is “not quite” at the stage of making it compulsory.

                  The only way to interpret those words are that it is NAct policy that they will be bringing in at some point in the future.

                  • higherstandard

                    I think you left out some words……

                    The only way to interpret those words (if you are a lazy partisan hack) are that it is NAct policy that they will be bringing in at some point in the future.

                  • queenstfarmer

                    Oh right, you couldn’t possibly take “not quite” to mean… “not quite”. It obviously means the opposite! Which, as you say, is: “it is NAct policy“. :-D

                    What a bizzare, but amusing, cognitive process you have.

                    • felix

                      This is the same bullshit the right-whingers trot out every time.

                      They say it’s premature to discuss anything until it’s passed into law, and then when it is they turn around and say we’re fighting yesterday’s battles and we need to get over it.

                      Whatever queenstfarmer, it was no more compelling an argument when Pete George, Tim Ellis, tsmithfield, tknorriss or any of the other resident stooges tried it on.

                      By the way, “not quite” is just another way of saying “nearly”.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Read the whole bolded part you moron. They obviously have the policy but are not yet ready to implement it.

                  • jcuknz

                    I would say that Paula Bennett was being somewhat sarcastic at the crazy question.

                    Though I think it would be a good idea for reversible contraception to be a required condition of remaining on the benefit longer than the normal average time it takes people to find a new job.

                    • felix

                      She’s a minister of the fucking crown, jcuknz. A large part of her job is communicating effectively with me, the voter.

                      As such I’ll take her at her word, as if she were a grown-up, without any extra interpretation from you thanks.

                    • jcuknz

                      Felix .. She cannot be expected to communicate with every dam fool and biased voter. This whole thread is a rabble rousing nonsense. No wonder so few people identify with the Labour Party .. mores a pity.

            • Vicky32 1.1.1.1.1.3

              Of course, this could lead to unintended consequences if set up the wrong way, etc,

              No shit Sherlock! What do you mean by “if set up the wrong way?” Are you even aware of how vanishingly rare it is for women on the ‘benefit’ (define what benefit you’re talking about for starters) to have ‘other children’?

  2. terryg 2

    hs, perhaps you mean the twelve-weekly intramuscular progesterone injection Depo Provera when you use the word “depots”.

    You know, the hormonal contraceptive with these side effects:

    1. Depo Provera has been linked to reduced bone density, which is increased in post menopausal women.
    2. It is not suitable for women with breast cancer. THIS IS A BIG ONE – for women who (may not know they) have hormone-sensitive breast cancer, this WILL make it worse.
    3. It is not suitable for women who may wish to get pregnant in the near future. Depo Provera does not affect your fertility, but it may continue to prevent pregnancy for approximately 6 months after your last injection (and for up to 2 years in some cases).
    4. Some women experience irregular or prolonged bleeding when they first use Depo Provera.
    5. Mood changes
    6. Weight gain or weight loss
    7. Decreased sex drive, or libido
    8. Vaginal dryness
    9. Headaches

    or perhaps you are referring to despots, which IMHO is more likely, as only despots suggest eugenics (reversible or otherwise).

    • higherstandard 2.1

      Depot provera is mostly used in specific cases Terry.

      Now days a someone who wishes a long acting contraceptive has many other choices such as IUDs which secrete small levels of hormones such as levonorgestrel or small implants that do the same job.

      Many women are now choosing to use this options in preference to normal contraceptive pills.

      • terryg 2.1.1

        Hi HS, mostly I am a pedant, especially wrt spelling (note: this means I will make at least n^m spelling mistakes in this post).

        Thanks for the info re. the usage of Depo Provera and other contraceptives. I didnt know IUDs did that. Isnt technology marvellous :)

        (although I’m quite glad I picked electronics for a career, its a lot easier than squishy things)

        As a slight aside, it bugs the hell out of me that ye olde Vasectomy is so seldom used by men (although NZ has one of the highest rates in the world, at 18% for men and 25% for married men). Its cheap, easy and quick (and even without anaesthetic on one side isnt that painful). But oh no, we the holders of male privilege insist women do it the hard way (although not I).

        same reason, I guess, that 18-month pregnant men are never harangued, but slightly chubby women cop untold flack. and sluts vs. studs….. *sigh*

        • higherstandard 2.1.1.1

          Depo Provera is the trade name – it is more correctly depot medroxyprogesterone acetate, quite an old but still useful medicine in certain cases.

          Agree with you completely about under usage of vasectomy in NZ – males are squeamish lazy bunch.

          • terryg 2.1.1.1.1

            HS, thanks – I sit corrected :)

            Damnit, I’d nearly gone a whole day without learning something……

            Again, Im glad Im an electron pusher. by golly my job would be hard if physicists had three or four different names for everything, and used them arbitrarily with geographic constraints……

            boy oh boy, the whole “irresponsible breeder” thing is an interesting can of worms. worst part is the RWNJs actually have some valid points. buggered if I know how to fix it, best I can think of is pouring bags of money into early childhood care/education, and even more into prison education. next blue moon, I might catch a flying pig to wellington and implement some sensible policies…..

            • KJT 2.1.1.1.1.1

              We already know how to fix the problem of young women breeding for money. Give them better career options.

              “The proven effective way of reducing birth rates is to raise the standard of living and education of women and allow them to control their own fertility”.

              Even so, if you look at the age ranges on the DPB. Most are women who were in a relationship when they had kids, who were later deserted by their partner. Those who regard DPB as an income can only be a very small percentage.

              Why are we not blaming the men who do not support their kids.
              I know several women who get no support from wealthy husbands with trusts.

        • William Joyce 2.1.1.2

          I think there are some deadbeats who can’t keep their wicks dry, are serial breeders and just scarper (leaving the state to pick up the tab) that I would like to subject to involuntary vasectomies! >;)
          But these guys don’t feature in the welfare stats.
          The problem with vasectomies is that women engaged in casual sex should not trust that some bloke they meet has “had the op”.

      • Vicky32 2.1.2

        Now days a someone who wishes a long acting contraceptive has many other choices such as IUDs which secrete small levels of hormones such as levonorgestrel or small implants that do the same job.

        You’re evidently quite unaware of the significant problems with IUDs, starting with an unacceptable failure rate, and ending with uterine damage they can cause. Only a person who is fully understanding and cool with all that, should use an IUD… and that’s higjly unlikely to be someone who has it imposed on her!

        • higherstandard 2.1.2.1

          Actually I’m probably far more aware of the pros and cons of various contraceptives than you are V32.

          And yes informed consent regarding which is the best option for the individual concerned is always important – no one is having anything imposed on them despite the OTT post.

          • McFlock 2.1.2.1.1

            “not quite” yet, anyway…

          • Vicky32 2.1.2.1.2

            Actually I’m probably far more aware of the pros and cons of various contraceptives than you are V32.
             
            What makes you think that? Unless you’re a doctor or a nurse, I seriously doubt it…
            And yes informed consent regarding which is the best option for the individual concerned is always important – no one is having anything imposed on them despite the OTT post.
             
            You’re probably deliberately, missing the point, which is that it might well be imposed on women in the future. My son’s a nurse, yes, the son I brought up on the DPB, and he’s often said that ‘informed consent’ is much harder to obtain than RWNJs tend to assume.
             

            • terryg 2.1.2.1.2.1

              Vicky32, I wouldnt be at all surprised if HS is a doctor or has biomedical quals. I dont, my knowledge is simply that of an educated bloke who had a great (as in awesome) Aunty die of a pill-related blood clot in her early 40s, has a reasonable understanding at a hack’n’slash level of whats involved in female sterilisation, and got a vasectomy when I was 28, having had only one child.

              that turned out to be harder than I thought. couldnt get it done in NZ (mid-late 90s) as I was “too young” to “understand” long-term consequences. got the same crap first try in the US, but a nice turkish doctor gave me one in ’98. unlike the others, he posed the question “what if you meet someone who wants a child later on” rather than giving a refusal outright. my reply: I dont want more children, so that relationship is probably not going to happen. and if it creeps up on me unawares, hey – 6-7 hours of microsurgery can probably fix it, and if not – so be it, I’ll take the consequences, and learn a lesson. that did the trick. Tashakur ederim doc.

              Its a damn shame that contraceptives are so invasive/harmful. still, to be fair, its not like we know what we’re doing – but that day is getting closer. One more aspect of male privilege. all women have my sympathy for the shit they have to put up with wrt contraception et al (or is that shits)

              William Joyce – my solution to that whole “women who have casual sex” thing is simple. Force all women to undergo years of intensive (computer) science & maths training at school, from kindergarten on up. to date that appears to be the only thing that is effective at preventing the kind of sex involving other people :)

  3. Lanthanide 3

    If only we could get some sort of contraception put into the water supply, with an ‘antidote’ that was freely available (as in free, no questions asked), so that all pregnancies were planned pregnancies.

    • Blighty 3.1

      isn’t that in Brave New World?

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        I think they are vat-produced and everyone is permanently infertile. It’s delivered through the water, but there’s no antidote.

  4. prism 4

    John Key talking like an aristocrat, or maybe a meritocrat with aristocratic leanings:

    “Paid work is the route to independence and well-being for most people and is the best way to reduce child poverty,” he said.

    That is wrong for most, as the number of working poor relying on foodbanks for help can confirm. Also the idea that children are like machines that can be parked till required has been fed into government policy for yonks and led us to the parlous state in NZ of the “emerging underclass” as he puts it. He has to notice the doggie doo under his soles now that he has to mingle with The People. So now he notices the underclass which has been around for decades.

    They have grown because of serial families that didn’t received suitable support, education in child psychology and household and self management. It can be learned, in business courses effective time management is taught, so there is no reason that DPBs couldn’t pick up useful tips. If DPB’s had opportunity to think out an achievable plan for their future, they would work towards it and part of that would be the assertiveness to say no to furtive forays into sex and casual live-in partners when they actually are wanting to find a loving and reliable partner.

  5. JS 5

    The next step would be to label disabled people ‘useless eaters’. It has been done before. Would justify removing benefits from them. .

  6. vto 6

    I would prefer to see this applied to the political class rather than the mother class.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    There is a wider question that is trying to be addressed, which is:

    Is it fair that taxpayers should have to fund additional children of DPB recipients when, by definition, they can’t afford to fund the children they already have, let alone keep having more?

    • One of the masses 7.1

      Well stated tsmithfield.
      We (the people who pay the taxes & elect our Government to apply those taxes for the general good) have no problem supporting those who find themselves in difficult circumstances – but repeat/serial offenders?
      No eugenics here.

    • r0b 7.2

      That isn’t a wider question TS, it’s a narrower one.

      The wider question is, should the state be in the business of controlling fertility? If you answer yes to that question, you open a very large can of worms indeed.

      • tsmithfield 7.2.1

        I don’t like the idea of compulsory contraception.

        However, I think the state should pay DPB on the basis of the number of children that recipients have at the time they start getting the benefit, and nothing for children after that date. People need to manage their own fertility, especially when they can’t afford to have more children.

        I guess it could still be argued that the state is controlling fertility, by removing the motivators to keep procreating. However, it is probably more acceptable than compulsory contraception.

        • Pascal's bookie 7.2.1.1

          And what of the unintended consequences of your policy? Thought them out?

          Should, for example, we make the lives of chidren born due to contraceptive failure worse, to encourage the use of contraception amoung other people?

        • r0b 7.2.1.2

          Nothing shows up the difference between left and right so much as their attitudes to welfare.

          • vto 7.2.1.2.1

            Well not quite r0b. We have recently learned that the farming sector is one of the biggest recipients of welfare in the country. And on this welfare the arguments all swap sides, left for right and right for left.

            Similarly, corporate welfare is on the rise with the likes of AMI and South Canterbury Finance.

            Then there is rugby welfare – required to get a tournament played here.

            And yachting welfare.

            how long can this list be?

            • r0b 7.2.1.2.1.1

              Yeah good points vto!

            • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.2.1.2

              Our farmers deserve corporate welfare!

              Think of all those Brazilian and Philippino labourers that they employ, helping our economy!

        • Bunji 7.2.1.3

          Metiria has some great quotes in response to you ts:

          “What Paula is doing with that policy is putting children at risk. She is taking away from children who are poor the right to be properly parented.”
          “It’s the kids in these families that are going to suffer.”

          • tsmithfield 7.2.1.3.1

            So, what happens to a lot of these kids now?

            Is there not already a lot of suffering for children in many of these situations? Paying parents for their children doesn’t mean that the money is spent on the children, so there is no guarantee under the current system that children are better off because the parents get paid more. In fact it could be worse if the money is spent on alcohol etc.

            At least if money is diverted from paying people to procreate, then the money saved can be put into other initiatives to improve the lives of children in poverty, such as often the case for those in DPB families.

            • Bunji 7.2.1.3.1.1

              Why do you presume the parents are all alcoholics? I would say that’s a very small minority, and of those who are, a lot will have been driven to drink by the stress of trying to exist and provide for their precious kids on such a meagre income.

              Most people on the DPB are great parents. It’s not hard to find them. It would be hard to find people on the DPB who feel they are “paid to procreate” though.

              Just because people are poor doesn’t make them sub-human (or even poor parents).

            • Puddleglum 7.2.1.3.1.2

              ts, would the prospects for a (subsequent) child be better or worse – on average – if the supplementary payments for subsequent children were removed?

              • tsmithfield

                Bungi “Why do you presume the parents are all alcoholics?”

                Where did I make that assumption? You are putting words in my mouth.

                Do you disagree that children might be worse off if parents spend the money on alcohol?

                Puddlegum “ts, would the prospects for a (subsequent) child be better or worse – on average – if the supplementary payments for subsequent children were removed?”

                That depends on how efficiently the money that goes directly to parents is being spent on children, and whether the money would benefit the children more if it was put into improving other services such as education etc.

                • Bunji

                  You’re saying that more money to parents (and we’re actually talking about less here, not more) not necessarily being useful, and flagging up alcohol as why that might be the case. Unless a sizeable portion of those on the DPB are spending significant amounts on alcohol your comment is a blatant diversion, insinuating what is not really there. You’re insinuating/trolling that they’d rather spend money on drink than their kids, and I think that would be a very very small minority.

                  More money to parents will help those kids get a better start. And what is proposed is not more, but less.

                  I don’t wish to bar parents from spending any money on alcohol. Some studies show children are better behaved if mothers drink lightly during pregnancy, for instance. Also people will not be good parents if they have zero relaxing time / entertainment, and alcohol may form some small part of that (or not, their choice – the right is all about choices, right? Or just about choices for rich people?). They shouldn’t be drinking heavily, nobody should. But I don’t think employing alcohol supervisors to come around and inspect beneficiaries’ cupboards would be useful.

                  But that’s far too much on your blatant diversion.

                  Do you think that one year old children would be better off spending their days with a loving parent or in day care with a teacher dividing their time between 5 one year olds?

                  Do you think it makes economic sense to send a mother of 2 out to work on minimum wage at the local dairy whilst subsidising her children to be looked after by daycare?

                • Bunji

                  also: rich people – do you think their money is best spent directly on their children, or could we tax them more and the money would benefit children more if it was put into improving other services such as education etc?

                  • tsmithfield

                    At least with rich people it is their own money, not someone elses.

                    • McFlock

                      For a given value of “their” money, considering that many rich people got that way by doing things which are now (or should be) illegal. Chinese Walls that didn’t quite work, speculating your country into a financial abyss, that sort of thing.

                      Just saying that if you can talk about the behaviour of some beneficiaries, I can to the same about some rich folk.

                    • Bunji

                      Should we control the contraception and drinking habits of teachers, police, doctors, nurses, criminal lawyers and politicians because the state pays them for their work?
                      DPB receivers are being paid for their work as parents, the most important job in society – what’s so different?

                      Are you going to answer my other 2 questions above? Do you think 1 year-olds are better with a loving parent, or in day care with a carer looking after 4 others? Will it actually save the state money anyway, even if only looking at dollars and not ethics?

                    • terryg

                      Absolutely TS, especially if they are rich because they are landlords, or stockholders. after all, the rent-paying class deserve it, its their fault for not being born into privilege (and yes a small percentage of the hard-done-by do succeed (often admirably) but thats DESPITE their origins, not because of them).

                      IMO, its not just booze thats a worry. lets chuck in tobacco (dear poor people -fuck you, under no circumstances do you deserve any respite from your life. suffer, damn you all). And better yet, lets throw in religion – thats poisoning the minds of children, which is about as bad as it gets. And boy oh boy do the exclusive bothering fall into this category.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      At least with rich people it is their own money, not someone elses.

                      Its not their fraking money, they are merely temporary custodians of it.

                      Sometimes very very temporary, especially if the State decides that there are better uses for it in society than V8 Mercs and luxury yachts.

                • That depends on how efficiently the money that goes directly to parents is being spent on children, and whether the money would benefit the children more if it was put into improving other services such as education etc.”

                  Or,

                  “That depends on whether the ‘saved money’ is spent by the government on further public services which would aid the children more than would a direct payment to their parents.” Who is doing those ‘opportunity cost’ calculations?

                  More pointedly, whatever happened to the right’s view that individuals (including parents) know how best to spend money in relation to their own needs? Or, is the implication that beneficiaries are so morally inept that they represent an exception to this otherwise iron-cast principle of the right?

          • jcuknz 7.2.1.3.2

            Nonsense she would be I hope taking away the opportunity of the unborn child, no un concepted child, to be concepted, born and raised in poverty at the taxpayers expense to satisfy the mothering desires of a person being supported by the State when there is a population explosion endangering not only New Zealand but the whole world.

            • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.3.2.1

              born and raised in poverty at the taxpayers expense to satisfy the mothering desires of a person being supported by the State when there is a population explosion endangering not only New Zealand but the whole world.

              1) Young people realise that assholes like you consider them an “expense” so they are happy to rip this country off, get an education and an upbringing, and then leave for places which will consider them and treat them as an “asset”.

              2) Your idea that while poor people should not, rich people should be free to continue practicing their “mothering desires” (yeah you’re a confirmed asshole) and hence not just endanger NZ but also the whole world, because of what clever rationale? Oh you didn’t give one. So you’re a stupid asshole on top of everything else.

              • jcuknz

                They are an expense, a justified one in my view, when there are no jobs for them … yet another argument to support my case … why raise more cannon fodder when we have already a surplus with little sight of an improvement in the situation for all the guff all parties talk on about. So it is plain stupid for people to have more kids and only a completely daft government permits these extra children become an expense on the taxpayer.
                Birth control is highly preferable to controlling population by wars or famine.
                If I was in the habit of using the “A” word I expect I would use it to describe yourself CV. A pretty stupid and unthinking “A” at that with tight blinkers obviously completely covering your eyes so you cannot see further than your nose. … enjoy life while this fools paradise lasts..

                • Colonial Viper

                  Meh. A country where old elitist fuckwits like you want to control the underclass’ most personal choices about parenting and family planning is not much of a “paradise” now is it.

        • Bunji 7.2.1.4

          And “the motivators to keep procreating”? Seriously? <$60/week (nowhere near enough to cover your increased costs) is going to motivate you to keep procreating?

          In the unintended consequences column I'd add people spacing out their kids and ending up spending more time on welfare as they have 2 separate children rather than 2 kids close together so they can get back into the workforce. More efficient to have them close together, no?

          And as for forcing people back when their second (or third…) child is one and they're highly likely to be leaving 2 pre-school children parentless during the day… Parenting is the most important job in society – why are we desperate to force people out of it, and force them to hand their kids over to day-care factory farms.

        • bbfloyd 7.2.1.5

          t,s; i would recommend george orwells 1984 to give yourself a better perspective on why your opinion is based on ignorance of the processes being played out here..

          you’ve heard, and understood the term “thin end of the wedge” i’m sure.

          • tsmithfield 7.2.1.5.1

            I am not saying we shouldn’t help solo parents in need.

            I am just saying we shouldn’t have to pay for their spawn if they decide to continue breeding when they can’t afford to.

            • Bunji 7.2.1.5.1.1

              Because you want the next generation to be even more disadvantaged and have fewer choices than the current one?
              Because you hate social mobility and people being able to make their own way in life, have a chance at success?
              Because you like poverty and want to see it increase?
              Because “their spawn” aren’t real children, but some sort of sub-human creature?

              • tsmithfield

                Bunji “Because you want the next generation to be even more disadvantaged and have fewer choices than the current one?
                Because you hate social mobility and people being able to make their own way in life, have a chance at success?”

                So what evidence can you produce to show that the current system has improved the lot of the poor? It seems to me that the DPB is correlated with a huge increase of those on the DPB. Thus the DPB seems to have generated more poor not less.

                Bunji “Because you like poverty and want to see it increase?
                Because “their spawn” aren’t real children, but some sort of sub-human creature?”

                More totally unsupported assertions and extrapolations on my comments. Just deal with what I have said, not what you want to read into it.

                • McFlock

                  “So what evidence can you produce to show that the current system has improved the lot of the poor?”

                  I suggest you start with Dickens, move into a bit of John A. Lee, examine the infant and child mortality rates over the last sixty years, and then . . . well, far be it for me to descend into the patois of the street. ;)

                  • tsmithfield

                    So, perhaps you could point to a few statistics that have reduced as a result of the DPB. Perhaps admissions to starship hospital, suicide rates, teenage pregnancies, child mortality rates etc etc might show a negative correlation with the uptake of the DPB? If not, then what hard statistical evidence can you point to that demonstrates that children are better off as a result of the DPB.

                    • McFlock

                      “hard statistical evidence”? Really?

                      Basically we’d be restricted pretty much to StatsNZ table builder data, simply because coded admissions records don’t go back to the early 1970s when the DPB came in (well, probably not without a hefty bill). Suicide and teen pregnacies have significant reporting bias over decades, child mortality is decreasing over that period but affected by other factors, etc. And if I did find a golden dataset with perfect correlation, you’d just come up with “correlation =/= causation”, even if the correlation was pretty spooky, thus wasting quite a good chunk of my professional time. Although this table shows a slight drop in <1yr mortality 1973vs1974 (a drop of 138/100k, when the 10yrs either side average was 25.2/100k drop), it is irrelevant because you have a fetish for what another wag on the interwebz somewhere called “baby’s first Cartesian Doubt”.

                      I’m just intrigued what sort of causal connection you can make that giving money to poor parents in no way improves the outcomes of the children.

                    • terryg

                      Heh. nice McFlock, nice.

                      was it in the Grauniad I recently read an article about “chavs/pikeys” (akin to NZ’s westies) and their prolific breeding, or was it New Scientist? they looked at their life expectancy. turns out if your a gran by 42, and dead by 55, having lots of kids early is a smart strategy. even more interesting, cranking up the life expectancy of the adults results in a very rapid decrease in spawning of the kids.

                      I have no idea of the numbers wrt NZ and the bottom of our socioeconomic heap, but anecdotaly (wife is a nurse at middlemore) lots of “irresponsible breeders” (shit but thats a horrid term) that drink too much, smoke too much and eat too much shit food, die young – early to mid 50’s. fuck all seem to reach retirement age.

                      which is a roundabout way of saying: Lets work on improving every aspect of life for those at the bottom – the rewards will come much sooner than the RW think (hardly surprising, they think it makes things worse).

                      saw a funny comedian once (Boston IIRC): passed a beggar the other day, had a sign saying “need money for food”. I thought yeah right, he just wants to spend it on drugs and booze. Then I thought “shit, I’m gonna spend it on drugs and booze aren’t I?” so I gave him $20 and said “enoy”. (or words to that effect).

                    • jcuknz

                      The headlines of ‘The Sun’ when I was in the Uk last year told of this benificiary couple who were just having their thirteenth child on the benefit. What a role model!
                      Definitely socialism abused to hell. and not what the first Labour Government hoped with happen with their grand ideas for a ‘Responsible Society’ [ Dr Sutch] ignoring the fact that you have to train the people to be responsible to their responsible society for it to work.. so much emphasis on rights rather than responsibilities. That is how socialism has gone wrong and the originator of this thread doesn’t have the brains to appreciate that. Just a senseless rabble rouser.

                    • McFlock

                      JCUKNZ:”The headlines of ‘The Sun’ when I was in the Uk last year told of this benificiary couple who were just having their thirteenth child on the benefit.”
                       
                      You constantly impress me by being able to pack so much bullshit into one paragraph. Using the Sun as a source? A bene-bashing article, no less? Then applying it to the NZ welfare system? Even if rupert were telling the truth, the population of England is somewhere in the region of 60million. Of course there will be statistical outliers, the question is where you place the margin of error in any system. And the Sun does not cover “homeless mental patient froze to death, something must be done” stories, even though it happens.
                       
                      Pull your head out of your arse.

                    • McFlock

                      terryg – economic improvement might also solve our overpopulation issues. Saw one guy on telly who was noting that many developed nations have gone into <2 children per woman rates, while the developing nations rates are beginning to reduce as middle classes expand (I read recently that india is down to 2.6 children per woman, from 3.x 10 years ago or suchlike). There are other issues though as well – e.g. an issue in india is abortion gender-selection.
                       
                       
                      Not enough for R. Atack though, no doubt. We probably need a good nuclear war :)

                    • terryg

                      Hi McFlock,

                      yeah. I’m kicking myself that I cant recall where I read an awesome article about this – but the link at 25.1.1.1.1.1 is along these lines, and makes interesting reading.

                      Im a technologist, and an optimistic pessimist. IMO it IS possible to right the wrongs of the world, and to give everyone the same access to resources – but our economic/political system is actively preventing it – probably until its too late. I’m going to listen to some Roger Waters now…..

                • Bunji

                  Well if you are going to refer to their children as “spawn” (def: the eggs of aquatic animals) how can I interpret your comments to mean that they are anything other than sub-human?

                  Yes before the DPB 0 people were on the DPB, so there is an infinite increase in people using it. And Starship Hospital hadn’t been built, so there’s an infinite increase there too. Your case is evidently proven.

                  Also, one hundred years ago no-one died in open-heart surgery, so we should probably stop that too. A few thousand years ago no-one died in hospitals at all, so we should probably stop them.

                  Child mortality has come down massively (and life-expectancy gone up) since the DPB, yes. Illegal back-street abortions are pretty much a thing of the past, with the resulting regular deaths of mothers also eliminated. Social mobility initially went up significantly, as children got the chance to not be wedded to the outcomes of their parents. The neo-liberal revolution has seen to that now though.

                  Indeed all those great statistics that go along with income equality all went back massively with the Mother of all Budgets that put all beneficiaries so much under the cosh and denied their children their fair chance, the “choices” that the right so want to be given to individuals, but not actually to poor individuals…

                  • tsmithfield

                    “Child mortality has come down massively”

                    And medicine has advanced quite a bit over the last century. Don’t know if you can attribute too much to the DPB there.

                    “Illegal back-street abortions are pretty much a thing of the past, with the resulting regular deaths of mothers also eliminated.”

                    Pretty much abortion on demand here now. Don’t see how the DPB impacts on these figures.

                    There are plenty of things correlating in the direction you don’t like though. How about crime stats, drug use etc. Plenty of things negatively correlating that you’d prefer to be positively correlating as well. For instance, our wealth ranking in the OECD for example.

                    Pretty hard to make a case for the DPB on the basis of stats.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “I’m just intrigued what sort of causal connection you can make that giving money to poor parents in no way improves the outcomes of the children.”

                      It depends what the money is spent on. If it is spent on good quality food, increasing educational opportunities etc then it is obviously well spent. If it is spent on McDonalds and video games then I think the children would have been better off without it, don’t you? I doubt we actually do know how on average the money is spent, so neither of us can make any quantitative claim about the benefit or otherwise of the DPB.

                    • McFlock

                      Firstly, I note that you didn’t make an attempt to address the fact that infant mortality rate plummetted by 5 times the average fall in the year the dpb was introduced. I mean, I said it was irrelevant because you’d try to weasel your way out of it, not just ignore it.

                      Secondly, child mortality has nothing to do with “averages” – a kid either dies or stays alive. If only 20% of parents spent the money in a way you would patronisingly regard as “well spent”, then that would lower the infant and child morbidity and mortality rates through diet and housing. The drop in infant mortality might be 50/100k rather than 250/100k, but that’s still 50 children who survive. So let’s argue that the DPB is generally wasted and we should ditch it – how many kids would you risk killing to do it?

                    • tsmithfield

                      “Firstly, I note that you didn’t make an attempt to address the fact that infant mortality rate plummetted by 5 times the average fall in the year the dpb was introduced.”

                      Obviously nothing to do with the introduction of the DPB as these types of effects tend to be lagged as the benefits of social interventions need time to take effect.

                      “So let’s argue that the DPB is generally wasted and we should ditch it – how many kids would you risk killing to do it?”

                      You seem to be arguing against an argument I have not been making. Read back over my previous posts. My case has been that the DPB should be paid out on the basis of the existing number of children, not those who are conceived after going onto the DPB. I have not been arguing to do away with the DPB all together. I recognise the need for emergency support. But not turning it into a career option at the expense of tax-payers.

                      Perhaps you would like to consider your response in the context of the argument I have been making.

                    • McFlock

                      “lagged” needs to be temporally plausible. A step reduction in <1 mortality plausible as dpb payments started in may1 1974. A two year delay would be implausible (say a step reduction in 1976) because mortality in <1year would be expected to be observed in the year of introduction (unless it was like december that year, but it wasn’t so you can’t argue that line plausibly).

                      ” My case has been that the DPB should be paid out on the basis of the existing number of children, not those who are conceived after going onto the DPB. ”

                      Oh, so only those children who are born when their parents are already on the DPB will not be provided for? Same diff – you’re punishing the kids for the “sins” of the parents by refusing the parents enough money to raise the child in a humane manner. Then you’ll bitch about poor life outcomes for those kids. When the “problem” isn’t the DPB, it’s the unemployment rate. 

                      edit: “sins” and “problem” are in “” simply to point out that I don’t necessarily agree with the philosophical context of the words in this context, although they delineate the issue nicely.
                       

                    • jcuknz

                      It is good and a progress in humanity that the rate of deaths at birth has fallen but a better situation for the world would be that they were not conceived in the first place.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Dunno about the world, but this blog would definitely have been a better place if you had not been conceived in the first place.

                      Luckily you didnt have some old elitist asshole telling your parents what they could and couldn’t do then eh?

            • Vicky32 7.2.1.5.1.2

              spawn

              You just gave yourself away there, mate! You’re a sick man…

        • KJT 7.2.1.6

          So. You think children should be punished for the choices their parents make.

          It could be argued that the wealthy should not be allowed to have children. Their kids grow up to consume many times more of the worlds scarce resources than the children of the poor do.

      • higherstandard 7.2.2

        The state is in the business of controlling fertility now.

        • r0b 7.2.2.1

          I know, in more ways than one. But this proposal represents a huge escalation.

          • higherstandard 7.2.2.1.1

            Rubbish.

            • r0b 7.2.2.1.1.1

              So you’d be comfortable forcibly implanting a long acting contraceptive into a normal healthy woman against her informed and express will, would you HS? You’d do the job?

              • higherstandard

                Don’t let election year make you any more absurd than your bombastic and over the top post has already shown you to be r0b

                • r0b

                  So not answering the question then HS.

                  • higherstandard

                    r0b no one will be forcibly implanting anyone with a long acting contraceptive without their informed and express consent and for you to suggest that is what is likely to happen or is being considered is absurd.

                    • r0b

                      So what does Bennett mean when she says “compulsory” then HS?

                    • higherstandard

                      Have you actually read the link prior to ranting ?

                      “She said she was “a big fan” of long-acting reversible contraception for such young mothers but National would not make it compulsory.

                      “I don’t think we’re quite at compulsory sort of stages.”

                      Contraception was already available for free, and “I just think we can make it more accessible,” Ms Bennett said, “particularly for those young women that want to have better choices with their lives”.

                    • r0b []

                      “Not quite” at the stage of making it compulsory means close to making it compulsory HS. Bennett is testing the waters. If there is no outcry, what is to stop her going ahead and making it compulsory? Speaking of “did you actually read”, that’s you know, what the whole post is about.

                      Whether you like it or not what is being proposed is a huge escalation in the state’s control of fertility. And the fact that you can’t bring yourself to say that you would do the deed shows that at some level at least you still have some humanity in you. You know it’s wrong.

                    • higherstandard

                      No r0b, all I know is that you’re being an hysterical hack.

                    • terryg

                      HS: firstly, IMO r0b et al are right. Although Paula Bennettficiary is pretty dumb, I think the “not quite” remark should not be so glibly dismissed. recall the RW agenda, and no asset sales etc. the RW are, after all, mostly religious – and other than a time lag seem to want to follow in Americas insane footsteps….

                      secondly, there is overt compulsion, but there is also covert compulsion. a good example is “bum fights” where derelicts beat the shit out of each other for a few measly dollars offered by evildoers. in theory its their own free choice. in practice when they are at rock bottom with nowhere to turn, the offer of, say, $20 to humiliate/injure themselves represents a very powerful stick.

                      And lets not forget that those at the bottom typically dont have the benefits of health, education, etc. which goes a long way toward explaining their seeming penchant for poor strategic planning.

              • jcuknz

                More rabble rousing crap … she has the choice get money to keep her and her existing child and not be able to temporilly have more children [ fun without the problems with the right male I hope] or not getting the benefit any more. Could be called blackmail but so is everything in life in one way or another. You do what society wants you to do or you suffer.

                • Colonial Viper

                  You do what society wants you to do or you suffer.

                  Your vision of “paradise” is getting better all the time, isn’t it.

                  • terryg

                    jcuknz fails to consider the possibility of “society” wanting something antithetical to jcuknz. say for example imposing the death penalty on anyone who reads, or quotes, The Sun. jcuknz, go read Lprents post on tyranny of the majority at 7.5.1.1.1, then (try to) think carefully about it.

                    heres a more realstic one: technically christians are a minority in NZ. how about the majority arbitrarily deciding, and parliament concurring, to make christianity illegal. demolish all the churches, imprison anybod caught worshipping – even in the privacy of their own home. especially if they burn chalices of a smoky substance, or possess harmful substances like wine and communion wafers. In that case, send heavily armed thugs in to kick the doors down and tip the contents of the pantry and fridge into a pile on the sofa, while pointing loaded machine guns at their 12 year-old daughter.

                    Now do you think that You do what society wants you to do or you suffer. is such a good maxim (heh)?

                    Note to Vicky32: I do not advocate this, at all. free speech for everyone. I just want:
                    1. churches to pay tax, rates etc
                    2. freedom from religion in officialdom (e.g. nobody really gives a shit what rastafarians, say, think about abortion. why should the opinion of the catholic church be given any more weight than that?)

                    • KJT

                      Yeah. Giving citizens democratic power over their own destiny will result in the “tyranny of the majority”.

                      Our tyrannical majority appear largely happy with fairness and support for minorities. A majority of New Zealanders are against homophobic laws, support equal rights regardless of gender, race and culture, support reparation, where practical, for Waitangi abuses and believe in a fair society.

                      “In that case, send heavily armed thugs in to kick the doors down and tip the contents of the pantry and fridge into a pile on the sofa, while pointing loaded machine guns at their 12 year-old daughter.”

                      Didn’t our rotating dictatorship just do that in the Urawera lately.

                      We have a tyranny of a minority. The present Government caucus.

                      Governments do not have a good record on promoting human rights.
                      Search and surveillance bill anyone?

                    • terryg

                      KJT, nicely put, and well spotted.
                      the search and surveillance bill – fucking hell! I especially dislike the ability to get surveillance et al warrants without producing any of the requirements, by arguing that the surveillance will provide said requirements. so they can surveill anyone by arguing they can find evidence of some sort of crime which would then allow a surveillance warrant. its beyond nzi – its fucking american.

      • ZeeBop 7.2.3

        Some groups pay high marginal taxes. while others pay little tax at all.
        So why exactly would we demand that Morgon stop having more children,
        or is it an asset test now?
        Its obvious that it doesn’t matter how you get your income, you will
        always have the right to have children. What’s being imposed is
        a way to demand mothers don’t have children but threatening them
        with benefit cuts. Which I would consider quite odd since government
        doesn’t plan on cutting the benefit of the fathers.

        Its just goes to show how utter out of touch National are to have even
        considered letting such a proposal into the report. Maybe its just someone
        who hate Bannett and find it funny to have her explain such an awesome
        policy.

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.3.1

          Stressed out mothers without the means to make ends meet for their children, or the time to be present to look after and care for them, make the best parents.

          Those kinds of distressed, distracted and under resourced parents who feel like they owe the Government everything, including their bodies and their fertility, will give the next generation their best shot at a healthy and productive life.

          • terryg 7.2.3.1.1

            Only if we ensure they abandon the children to minimum-wage caregivers as soon as possible, and do minimum-wage (but oh so character forming) work to achieve little more than paying the caregivers. Plus we better ensure a fiscally punitive system of punishing people essentially arbitrarily is in place too, just to teach them valuable moral lessons (no rego or license? big fine, impound the car. that’ll help a lot).

            we probably ought to dangle unobtainable carrots (lotto, pokies) to entice them to throw away their money too, then yell at them from a church pulpit, demand even more money and telling them they will burn in hell for eternity if they dont. and if they start to get uppity, we’ll blame teh gays.

            surely that will work?

            • Vicky32 7.2.3.1.1.1

              terryg, your constant rants about religion are getting on my tits frankly. You’re attacking the wrong target, you’re incorrect (I’ve not noticed that Key or Bennett are particularly religious – (in fact when invited on radio LifeFM to get votes from the American-minded listeners in 2008, in contrast to “atheist” Helen Clark, he messed up rather badly – HC said she was agnostic, Key waffled trying to claim Christianity, in the face of a Listener article by Clifton a few weeks previously that stressed his Judaism – and ended up sounding too obvipously fake to fool even those who wanted to be!) My point is, there’s a place to evangelise your atheism, and I really don’t think this is it… (Maybe it is, but I don’t think it should be.) :(

              • terryg

                Vicky, so be it. And if we are discussing the poor and dispossessed, it IS the right place to pick on religion (yet again). I presume you are aware that Pacific peoples make up a sizeable portion of the lower strata of NZ society right? Can I also presume you are aware that many (probably most, but no hard data to hand) Pacific peoples are highly religious? Its pretty hard to miss that if you live in Auckland, Pacifica churches abound.

                you might not be aware of the fiscal hold that pacifica churches hold over their peoples, but its a strong one. Tithing is encouraged to the point of demanded – it is not uncommon for “priests” to read out the names of those who havent tithed/donated. And funerals/weddings are replete with a plague of clergy, each of whom must be paid, and handsomely.

                Pacifica churches steal huge amounts of money from the very people who have the least.If thats not relevant to this “kill the poor” thread then bugger all else is.

                As foe Key et al – NACT suck right up to the exclusive bothering (Hollow men ring any bells), and Density is now getting on on the act.

                I dont give a rats arse what religion any of our politicians are, I care about what they DO. likewise I dont care what they say – its their actions that are relevant not their spin.

                and its not like this eugenics thread is free from “oh noes, unmarried women having sex” memes now is it. Wherever bene-bashing arises, religion rears its ugly head. and dont the 4 main religions in NZ hold billions in tax-free assets? that’d help the poor, wouldnt it.

                In summary: there are no gods, religion is a mental virus. but cheer up, it can be cured easily – just learn how to think rationally :)

                • Vicky32

                  And if we are discussing the poor and dispossessed, it IS the right place to pick on religion (yet again). I presume you are aware that Pacific peoples make up a sizeable portion of the lower strata of NZ society right? Can I also presume you are aware that many (probably most, but no hard data to hand) Pacific peoples are highly religious? Its pretty hard to miss that if you live in Auckland, Pacifica churches abound.
                   
                  And your point is? You were sniping against religion generally, not making any point about poor Pasifika people who, whether you like it or not, have the choice about what to do with their money – my neighbours on all sides are Pacific people and all are employed, all therefore have more money than I do! In fact whenever I hear about the poverty of Maori and Island people, I wince – maybe it’s the circles I mix in, but I have never met a Maori or an Islander who wasn’t materially much better off than me – even when I was working…
                   
                   
                  I dont give a rats arse what religion any of our politicians are, I care about what they DO. likewise I dont care what they say – its their actions that are relevant not their spin.
                   
                  Agreed! Then why your anti-religious rant? Your claim that the RWNJs are all ‘religious’? Did you not get that I was pointing out that the ones under discussion are not?
                  and dont the 4 main religions in NZ hold billions in tax-free assets? that’d help the poor, wouldnt it.
                   
                  First, define ‘four main religions’… Second, the Christian churches I know (and I can guarantee that I know them better than you do) do help the poor. I’ve yet to hear of any Dawkinsite soup kitchens or food banks! :D
                   
                  In summary: there are no gods, religion is a mental virus. but cheer up, it can be cured easily – just learn how to think rationally
                   
                  How arrogant you are! I could reply in kind, but I am better than you.
                   

                  • terryg

                    Vicky, try reading a bit harder. I didnt bother making those points initially because I (mistakenly) thought it was widely known and understood. but you whined, so I elaborated – for you (and anyone else lacking in comprehension).

                    My point was made quite clearly and specifically. read harder – this time though, start at the beginning and go all the way through to the end. dont try to memorise it – try to understand it. I realise this is not the religious approach to reading, but it is the rational approach, and will (eventually) lead to comprehension.

                    but do you address my central thesis? no, you just try a bit of “proof by anecdote”. Im not going to google NZ poverty statistics for you, its trivial to do and when (if) you do, you will see that I have correctly stated the situation re. pacifica peoples position at the bottom of the heap in NZ.

                    and guess what – the plural of anecdote is NOT data. and the data is readily available – you just need to look harder.

                    I’ll re-state my thesis, using different terminology – that IME helps with comprehending difficult concepts:

                    Pacifica churches play a non-trivial role in further empoverishing their (often very poor) members, by demanding tithes and exorbitant payments for funerals, weddings etc, and using public humiliation to enforce compliance.

                    disclaimer to stop further whining: not all pacifica peoples are poor, but very many are; not all churches are theiving mongrels, but again – very many are.

                    FFS didn’t you read the article Tapu Misa wrote about these practices in the wake of the Samoa Tsunami?

                    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10608076

                    please do read it – Tapu Misa is far, far more eloquent and informed than a dumb palagi like me. And she is religious.

                    Yes churches do indeed run things like food banks, shelters etc. two very dear friends of mine are the sort of christian that Jesus no doubt had in mind (I’ve converted one to agnosticism, by a simple process of rational discussion. bwahahaha. He’s way smarter than me too, and has the PhD to prove it), and they are the kindest, most generous people I know.

                    And no, I haven’t heard of any Richard Dawkins foodbank either.

                    However (you started this) I have also not heard of a global organisation run by Richard Dawkins which has for centuries actively aided, abetted and practiced paedophilia – unlike the catholic church. the current pope, ben ratzinger, was a Nazi in his youth, and was personally responsible for shipping a number of known paedophiles from diocese to diocese, specifically to avoid punishment, and with the full knowledge that more children would be raped – which they were.

                    and lets not forget that the Salvation Army are rabidly homophobic – like density church, but not quite so overt.

                    how about YOU do some research Vicky, and come back with some links that detail the property holdings of the catholic, anglican and, say, jehovahs witness churches. you might be surprised. especially when you look at charitable trusts. these organisations have literally Billions in untaxed assets. that’d buy a house for every poor person in NZ…..

                    • Vicky32

                      How about you stop being such an abusive git? I think you’re probably lonely and have some serious issues – the kind of old men who rant and rave against religion online usually are. I am not going to play your reindeer games, aside from anything else, it’s off topic…
                      Your sneer against Catholics and the current Pope is particularly sickening. I could argue against everything you’ve said, especially the Nazi sneer, but you’d do the usual internet-athiest trick of re-phrasing the same accusation, or nit-picking one word in particular. The worst thing is, that there’s no moderation here (or inasmuch as it exists, it’s rather one-sided. After all, your insults are mild – I’ve been called ‘mental’, and when I objected was informed I needed to lighten up!) In fact my objections were what finally got a rebuke – to me, not the offender… :(
                      End of my rant, and of this discussion. For goodness’ sake, go to American Atheists and talk to your friends.. You need it!

                    • terryg

                      Vicky, its not a smear – my statements re. pope paedophile enabler the umpteenth are demonstrably true, although highly disrespectful. That is because i have no respect for the pope, or the catholic church; rather I find their actions despicable.

                      I cannot understand how any women want to remain Catholics after July 2010, when the vatican FINALLY got around codifying paedophilia and rape as one of the most serious crimes against church law – extending the period in which charges can be laid, and enabling them to fast track defrocking. Rightly so, and better late than never.

                      And in the same document, they codified the “attempted ordination of a woman” to the priesthood as the same level of offending against church law. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried:

                      http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/07/16/us-pope-abuse-idUSTRE66E2C620100716

                      thats right – catholic church law considers ordaining woman to be as unlawful as paedophilia and rape. Except they dont – female priests get excommunicated in as little as 6 weeks. Paedophiles? that takes decades, if at all.

                      http://www.crosswalk.com/news/religion-today/vatican-excommunicates-seven-women-priests-1148128.html

                      this is the organisation you so ineptly defend?

                      Isnt the catholic church lucky god forgot to add an eleventh commandment like “thou shalt not rape”. silly god. still, i guess she was busy neglecting to explain where the sun went every night.

                      In 1937 Ratzinger’s father retired and the family moved to Traunstein, a staunchly Catholic town in Bavaria close to the Führer’s mountain retreat in Berchtesgaden. He joined the Hitler Youth aged 14, shortly after membership was made compulsory in 1941.

                      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article382076.ece

                      that makes him, technically, a Nazi. not a particularly bad one, but a Nazi nevertheless. He saved his truly evil behaviour for later in life. compare and contrast with Pope John Paul II.

                      And Vicky, I havent resorted to Ad Hominems (called you names), but you have. Sure I have derided your comments, but thats because they are patently risible. Like for example using “sneer” to describe a comment; a sneer is a facial expression. The word you want is “smear”. There is a reason we have lots of different words – they mean different things, even if they might sound vaguely similar. Try reading a dictionary and a thesaurus, instead of an ancient, badly written work of fiction.

                      I dont mind at all, but do try to aim your insults at the actions/text, not the person. And see if you cant do a bit better than calling someone “an abusive git” – thats not going to win arguments against anyone over the age of 6 now, is it. Try waxing eloquent, rather than waning profane.

                      even better, try responding to any of the points I have raised. you know, the ones supported with links to relevant sources. If you can demonstrate that anything I have said is incorrect, I will:
                      – investigate its veracity (e.g. Ken Rings website wont pass, but a Reuters article probably will)
                      – read it as many times as it takes to understand it, allowing me to
                      – ascertain how and why I was wrong
                      – reject my erroneous view(s),
                      – absorb the new, correct information,
                      – acknowledge my error, and finally
                      – thank you for teaching me

                      instead of changing the topic.

          • ZeeBop 7.2.3.1.2

            The new average. Stress can bring out good as well as bad role models. Just as endless days of church praying can breed a disregard for humanity. But without the diversity we are poor. The evolution of culture, or innovation, requires a rich tapestry. If everyone comes from a hot house education then fewer are stupid, and so the average is much higher, and so in relative terms the most intelligent aren’t so out in the stratosphere. Also there will be more hecklers who see immediately the flawed argument, or not, and are harder to dissuade. So how surprising in the era of blindness to the risk of having it all, perfection as a goal, that you would consider use of government policy to force more stressed parents upon children a good thing. The quantitative intervention by government is in itself a removal of depth of character of NZ. That there are tall, fat, short, thin, etc, how would we get the Don Brashes, Rodney Hide, Roger Douglases of the world if we didn’t have a large underclass who didn’t know he talks bollocks. Beware what you wish for.

            • Vicky32 7.2.3.1.2.1

              Just as endless days of church praying can breed a disregard for humanity

              Funny! (not).. My experience has been the exact opposite. But the Standard seems to get into these bouts of religion bashing, which is pretty sickening… :(

              • ZeeBop

                I find your response self-serving and rigid, if you do pray a lot you might consider giving it up because it ain’t working. Its all too common in my experience to find religious people who assume the immoral, unethical, would want their help, and can’t possible live moral and ethical lives without God in their lives.

                • Vicky32

                  It took me a while to parse your rather tortuous sentence structure, but I think you’re saying that in your experience, religious people want to change the people they help… Fair enough if you apply that to the Salvation Army drug and alcohol rehab. As for the rest, nope, still contrary to my experience!

                  • terryg

                    hint: your experience is not necessarily the same as that of the other four-and-a-half million people who live in NZ. case in point: you are neither male nor chinese, nor do you lack both electricity and internet access (this list is very, very long). Anecdotes are not data, regardless of their veracity wrt you.

                  • KJT

                    Religious people have already proven a capability to believe without evidence.

                    It tends to make them more prone to those who would exploit their beliefs for self interested reasons.

                    I’ve met many religious people who are sincere in their beliefs and do a lot of good.

                    And many more who will inflict their dogma on others no matter how much harm it does and against all evidence of failure. Don Brash and B Tamaki for example.

                    Also many who take the line. “Every one who does not follow my particular brand of sky fairy is wrong, evil, should be wiped of the face of the earth, God will get you”.

                    • ZeeBop

                      Religion does not guarantee gullibility, just as excessive pray does not guarantees higher morality – its down to the believer, their history, their experience, in fact all faith is
                      a personal thing, there is no God after all.

                      Religious and non-religious people are human, they tend to reiterate dogma, and have
                      beliefs they hold irrationally. The problem with faith is most secular irrationality does not
                      have a centralized authority backing it up, aka Destiny. Most religious and non-religious
                      people are generous, work hard helping their communities. But where charity I believe
                      fails is to address the question when is too much charity merely hides the bad governance
                      in society. Soup kitchens queues during the great depression emphasized the problem when
                      government have failed. Strangely I heard the notion from the a charity worker, that too
                      much charity was a bad thing, I’m just saying too much pray leads people disconnected and out of touch, and so their humanity often gets missed.

                      Too often to be an atheist meant to be without morals and ethics, now technically
                      speaking, to be an atheist of a particular God or Gods does mean you *may* be
                      without those ethics and morals, but when those ethics and morals have been
                      in existence long before the founding of the modern mono-theism it becomes more
                      a intellectual fraud (or evolve quite naturally in networks of individuals).

                      Anyway modern religion is a crock.

    • So your critique of solo parents is if they can’t find a job with a living wage, one child rule applies via depo provera etc. There are wider questions than your narrow minded question.
      Why can’t solo parents afford the child (ren) they already have? Because the family has broken down due to economic pressure and the poverty level dole or DPB is designed to force (incentivize!) them to work for a slave wage? Because the solo parent is already busy working at home raising children? Because there is no affordable childcare to allow well paid full time work assuming such exists? Bottom line is that wage labour in our capitalist society is the road to serfdom, not the road to freedom as the Hayekian Key argues. That’s the pseudo philosophy justifying a race to the bottom where workfare drives down wages to create a low wage serf economy for a bunch of parasitical new gentry who got rich speculating in land or money and have never created any value in their whole lives.

      • KJT 7.3.1

        What is the point in paying for childcare so that parents are driven into low wage work (Like childcare) . Cheaper to support the parents to bring up their kids well.

    • Gina 7.4

      Most DPB recipients are divorcee’s. Their problem is that the law does not allow them to leave children unattended. A good law but unless you have a lot of family support then ver very difficult.Choosing between a school trip for your child and contaception might be a tricky choice and many men put a lot of pressure on women not to use condoms.Yes there are men who don’t act like creeeps but not enough to meet demand. So why don’t these women just send them packing? Becuase they are in dire poverty. From wreaked marriages men remarry at double thee rate of women. probably because they have free childcare and can go out when they please without having to pay a sitter and they can afford to go out. Then there’s the fact that finding someone who wants to take on someone elses kids is not an easy sell. So you can see how women end up in this situation of taking their chances and trying to grab any half descent bloke who happens along and ending up been pregnant again. Once more they are blamed for a situation they are often trapped into by poverty of being an unpaid worker with a government mandated 24 hour duty to be on the job.

      • rosy 7.4.1

        Yes there are men who don’t act like creeps but not enough to meet demand.

        Excellent line, and that addresses the real issue. ‘Families’ are not all good.

        I was giving Paula the benefit of doubt when I read her article – that she understood the bigger problem was not ‘breeding for business’. I thought she couched her opposition to compulsory contraception in words that would not upset the Nact brigade, rather than suggesting it might be an option in the future. However, my interpretation might be way off base.Strange how negative talk about families always comes down to women whereas positive talk is all about ‘parents’. It’s never teenage parents, it’s teenage mothers, teenage pregnancies. It’s women who have ‘walked out’ of relationships doing a dis-service to children, not the behaviours of parents. It’s talk of women who take up with men who are dangerous to their children, not men who choose take-up with women who are vulnerable and can be manipulated. It’s talk of women who don’t control their fertility, not men who sleep with whomever they please and ignore the risk of STDs and pregnancies e.g we never hear of 8 kids with different mothers.

        There is a lot more the state can do to reduce reliance on DPB and access to long-acting contraception is an essential part of this, as are other things that reduce women’s choices e.g. access to men who aren’t creeps. Adequate food, education, parenting skills, jobs are all part of this. Forced poverty and forced contraception are not. Making people feel powerless only exacerbates at tendency to use what power remains on the vulnerable – women and children being the obvious victims. And that is a problem that requires the inclusion of men in the solution – but it appears that is not how men see themselves.

        The groups that do not have massess of kids are more often the educated, wealthy. Compulsion isn’t required. Keeping people poor and powerless means they’ll just have poorer and more powerless children IMO.

    • Peter Rabbit 7.5

      Completely agree, Tsmith if your prepared to put your hand out to take the governments money you have to be prepared to accept the governments conditions. Work and Income already do this in hundreds of ways ranging from people to attending training courses, budgeting courses or applying for particular jobs. This is no different and well overdue.

      • lprent 7.5.1

        You are a bit of an idiot rabbit…

        It isn’t the governments money – it is my money as a taxpayer. Take the collorary of that, if the government does things that I disapprove of can I remove my taxes from their control?

        Exactly where does this leave everyone?

        Because I’m not prepared to allow my money to be used for such a reprehensible purpose. I’d prefer to overthrow such a government first.

        • Peter Rabbit 7.5.1.1

          lprent yes it is tax payers money however it is administrated and controlled by the government hence my use of the wording “Governments Money”. I could have quite happily used the term “taxpayers” with no difference, though in reality once its paid/removed/extracted from us is it really still our money? I think largely its a philosophical question which isn’t very significant.

          I understand that you may find this policy reprehensible however its no different to than finding any other government policy reprehensible. If you don’t like it protest against it, vote against it and if enough people share that view then it won’t be implemented, however if the majority of voters support it then it will be. That is the great joy of democracy.

          Suggesting the overthrow of a government though just because you don’t like a policy (if implemented with the support of the bulk of the populations support) then I would hope that the full weight of the law was enforced. If though it was implemented without a mandate I would be very happy to stand beside you.

          Personally though I think the bulk of New Zealanders would be very supportive of such a policy being implemented.

          • lprent 7.5.1.1.1

            That is simply the tyranny of the majority. That is a particularly stupid concept that is faithfully held by simple people like yourself (who don’t study the history). It is also evident that you don’t understand how a democracy or indeed any state structure operates.

            In practice using a majority to directly disenfranchise a minority without effective consultation or compromise is the fastest known way to start people accepting a civil conflict is inevitable – which is what usually leads to it happening. No state that wants to survive uses tactics like the tyranny of the majority unless they are willing to move towards full-blown state repression. Almost every decision made in a democratic state is made with the implicit acquiescent support of the minority. They may not support it, but they are unwilling to fracture society to prevent it happening.

            However in this particular case, I don’t think that this restraint would happen. It is pure scapegoating of a small and relatively defenseless group by arseholes who (like yourself) can’t even explain the issue. I sure as hell won’t accept such a policy and I’d be prepared to keep escalating peaceful conflict until it was removed. It is something that can and would be used to directly target any MP who votes for it and any who implement it.

            It is perfectly possible to do that within the law. It is also possible to use it to overthrow the government. Governments are quite aware of this – which is why you do not find tyrannies of the majority used when there are sizable minorities adamantly opposed. They wind up with too much effort being required in repression and fractured societies that don’t function efficiently.

            In this case I cannot see any other political party apart from Act and one part of National that would be willing to head in this direction. In fact I’m not even sure that you could get all that many MP’s in National to put hand up for it if they are not whipped to do so. I also don’t think that you could even get a majority of voters to do so.

            • terryg 7.5.1.1.1.1

              Lynn, beautifully put. copied and pasted for future plagiarism. thanks.

              • lprent

                Plagiarism is always fine. Idiot seemed to ignore what the meaning of overthrow was. Typical authoritarian git who doesn’t seem to understand what civil disobedience is and what it is used for.

                You only start shooting if someone tries to close off that avenue, by which time they have invariably corrupted the electoral process.

          • Vicky32 7.5.1.1.2

            Personally though I think the bulk of New Zealanders would be very supportive of such a policy being implemented.

            Personally I am thankful to believe you’re wrong! The bulk (sic) of New Zealanders are not morons or fascists.

            • terryg 7.5.1.1.2.1

              Vicky, Vicky, Vicky…..obviously, by “new zealander” he of course means “right-thinking proper new zealander” IOW a Micael Lhaws/talkback fan, not one of them gay maori librul pinko immigrant beneficiary scum (or as I like to call them “the sane”). Goddammit all they want is a return to the good old days of the 1950s when men were men, darkies shut up if they knew what was good for them, wives were legally rapeable and the local constable would give Johnny a bloody good thrashing rather than all this “legal” malarkey. /snark

      • Gina 7.5.2

        If government mandates that you cannot leave children under 14 years old unattended you often have no choice but to put your hand out. If government and society wants children to be left unattended as usually happens in nature so the mother can hunt and have a break then fine. However if you expect 24 hour childcare you must pay so that the mother can provide this. Lets see 24 X 7= 168 hours. At $15 per hour thats a price of $2520 per week. Id say the paying the DPB to meet the government requirements for 24 hour care is the cheap option. Women will have to become user paid just to survive. The natural kingdom has been sold off and most women who could help like they did in the past are also working. Get up to speed on the changes guys. Or perhaps you want your mothers and sisters to be poor and enslaved. What does that say about you.

        • dave brown 7.5.2.1

          Absolutely correct Gina! Women as ‘user paid’ is too true. The DPB is domestic slavery. You cannot keep your family on it and not have long term problems blowing up. The NACTs are blaming the poor only to cover the real agenda, workfare, and massive corporate welfare. Everybody chasing jobs drives down wages which as Bill English admits is NZs comparative advantage, (that and no capital gains, and cheap raw materials.) Instead of getting sucked into kicking the underclass game workers should be kicking corporates out of the trough.

    • Deadly_NZ 7.6

      So what then ‘voluntary contraception’?. If you want your benefit then you had better volunteer for contraception. No?? Next.

    • Vicky32 7.7

      Is it fair that taxpayers should have to fund additional children of DPB recipients when, by definition, they can’t afford to fund the children they already have, let alone keep having more?

      As they say on ATS, “photos or it didn’t happen”. That is, what proof do you have that DPB recipients keep on having children? I was on a DPB for 18 years, and I encountered 1 woman of all the hundreds I knew, who had a further child – she had been on the DPB, went off it, got pregnant to a man  who left her, and went back on the DPB. Now, despite that her first child had and still has of course, serious disabilities, she’s working and has been for many, many years – now in a senior position…

  8. hellonearthis 8

    I think it’s sexist that they are only considering offering contraceptives to woman, as men also can make babies. There are many guys on the dole that have no desire to be a father but like to screw and not worry about the consequences. Why are woman picked out when guys who father many kids to many partners also not be offered these contraceptive programs.

    Really I don’t the government should be stating who should and shouldn’t be making babies, but if they offer an option then it should be a non sexiest ‘option’.

    • R 8.1

      ‘offering’ is just their euphemism for ‘requiring’ long term contraception – in exchange for a ‘benefit’.

      Using their logic, I’d respond with ‘offering’ (read ‘requiring’) sterilisation for any convicted sex offender – in exchange for a stay in a prison cell. Everyone happy with that? No?

      The miserable fact is that they’d rather punish marginalised children by depriving their caregivers (custodial/parental/etc.). They do NOT want to address the social problems which lead to child poverty in our society. They want to criminalise those who fail their standards, and will continue to build profitable privately owned prisons to deal with the fallout of their ‘social policy’.

      To those who elected them, thanks.

  9. Galeandra 9

    @ one of the masses- repeat/serial offenders???? Give me a break, we’re talking about women and children here. ‘We the people’ is an egregious attempt to make yourself one of the normal, whereas in fact you’re an extremist selfish prick. Read the data before engaging that little reptilian node you pretend to think with. Reflect for a moment on the kind of economy that makes it a worthwhile option to deliberately prolong your existence in a socially isolated and economically marginalised group.
    Waste of time responding- you’re only a little rightie doing a flitterby anyway.

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    Come on Standardistas, we always wail on the NACTs for not having a plan, now they clearly have one what’s your problem? :P

  11. Worst case of Journalism ever.

    I mean I expect this from Fox news.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      What were your specific criticisms of the piece, if any?

    • lprent 11.2

      Worst case of Journalism ever.

      We aren’t journalists, our authors write opinion pieces. Of course this much the same as Fox news because they seldom go for news stories either. It is virtually impossible to look at anything they do and not call it an opinion piece with no major attempt at balance. In that respect our authors operate just like Fox news editors.

      I mean I expect this from Fox news.

      Ah no. I don’t think that there is any question of if Paula Bennett said these things and that they have been quoted here in context. Fox News (and Whale) don’t bother with facts or accurate quoting before they launch into an opinion. Their characteristic is to quote something out of context, concatenate against something said at a different point, and come up with an implication of something that was never actually said or done.

      I think that your comparison is more hopeful than realistic.

  12. Bunji 12

    I put this in open-mike yesterday, but it deserves to be read as widely as possible as it’s the actual facts on welfare from someone who deals with beneficiaries (Methodist Mission):
    Welfare Proposals Fighting Imaginary Enemy
    (ODT)
    It’s a nice counter to National’s implications and slander about ‘bludgers’, and ‘breeding for a living’ etc.

  13. prism 13

    There are questions that underly the discussion about DPBs.
    1 Is it natural to have children or should it be a privilege for the comfortably off?
    2 Do we owe each other concern and respect as fellow human beings because we were born and have been children ourselves?
    3 Isn’t having a child a possible and normal event and essential to a society and culture renewing and continuing?
    4 Women alone can bear children at a cost to their bodies and minds whether they actually do have a child or just have the monthly opportunity and bleeding that follows, so why aren’t they intrinsically valued?
    then for those with children –
    5 Should women constrain themselves from having more than two children if they are lone parents or have erratic changing partners? In other words a manageable-sized family.
    6 Should educated, literate women who have had some children, be encouraged to continue to build on their families when they can understand the concerns about overpopulation. The exponential growth of a total population that isn’t controlled are unarguable.

    There is a real, observable group of women who continue having babies, provide inadequate parenting, need full financial support, and who don’t provide a role model for their children to follow any other route, and particularly do not support and forward their children’s education and personal attributes so that they end up in trouble, and stuck in a dissolute lifestyle.

    This group needs special attention, but in the process the bigots and the self-interested blacken all DPBs. The average lone parent needs some support, understanding and respect also special assistance when asked for, and with that help will achieve happy, integrated, working members of the community. They should be given training when the children are very young, in child psychology as part of a certificate to which they add units later on. Subsidies for part time work should go with them when applying for jobs. The government then gets everything it wants. Work ready adult, a good role model, a happy parent able to carry out the roles of the family and the workplace and not be exhausted.

  14. Policy Parrot 14

    “There is a real, observable group of women who continue having babies, provide inadequate parenting, need full financial support, and who don’t provide a role model for their children to follow any other route, and particularly do not support and forward their children’s education and personal attributes so that they end up in trouble, and stuck in a dissolute lifestyle.

    This is absolutely the case. These are the people who find it easier, and lack incentive/skills/motivation to aspire to be anything else. Unfortunately, these are the type of families that frequently appear among all of our worst social statistics. Instead of eugenics, perhaps the state should consider placing all subsequent children with foster families to ensure that they receive a better quality of life, in other words deliverance from a likely future hell on earth.

    • ron 14.1

      What intrigues me is why we always seem to focus on the tiny number of “welfare bludgers”. Why is it that we should even consider such draconian measurers for this group of people but not for other groups that rip oiff the “public purse”. Millions is lost every year to rich tax dodgers.

      I have never seen it suggested that we forcably take control of their bank accounts. I’ve never seen it suggested that we force rich tax dodgers to report in every week with how they’re going to pay for their crime. I’ve never seen it suggested that there is an identifiable group who have made a career of dodging their responsibilities and that we should come up with draconian ways to ensure they stop ripping us off.

      In fact before the last election key as good as said “There are a lot of loop holes that tax dodgers are getting through so we should make it easy for them and just change the rules to make it legal”.

      • mickysavage 14.1.1

        What intrigues me is why we always seem to focus on the tiny number of “welfare bludgers”. Why is it that we should even consider such draconian measurers for this group of people but not for other groups that rip oiff the “public purse”. Millions is lost every year to rich tax dodgers.
         
        Good question.
         
        It is because the right works best where there is an “enemy” that needs to be attacked and on who current problems can be blamed on no matter what the reality is.  More hunks of red meat for the ill informed beligerent.
         
        Shame on them.  The DPB is a lifeline for many most of whom are totally deserving.  And they are our sisters, cousins, friends, neighbours.  A helping hand is something that a civilised society does.  A kick in the head aka eugenics is something that a barbaric society would consider to be right.
         
         

        • terryg 14.1.1.1

          Ron – marvellous, thanks! MS – indeed.

          Its mostly bait and switch coupled with bread and circuses. things are tough for everyone that isnt in the top 10/5/1% which is almost everyone. but bait many of the folk who are hurting with a juicy, shreddable target, and voila – distractions like reality disappear, and out come the claws/fangs/venom, and the “fun” begins. Sheeple are much, much easier to steer this way. And if they show signs of coming round – SBW with his shirt off, or the rugby world cash extraction will do nicely. that and a nice juicy murder – if not a real one then a good simulacrum.

          who was it said “obsessively watching shows about pathological behaviour is, in and of itself, pathological behaviour” ? look at telly – war porn, medical porn, crime porn, emotional conflict porn – real or imaginary, both in spades. about the only thing you dont get is actual porn…….

          • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1.1

            Thats a funny american thing isn’t it? Have a movie where peoples’ limbs get exploded, no one bats an eyelid. Have some starlet suffer an inadvertent “wardrobe malfunction” exposing her breasts on TV (wow no one has seen THEM before) and its a frakin national disaster. Weird.

            • terryg 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Hi CV, hell yes:

              George Gerbner worries a lot about media violence. And he’s been doing this longer than just about anybody else. In 1967, Gerbner and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania created a television violence index and began counting acts of violence. Today, three decades later, the numbers are startling. Gerbner calculates the typical American 18-year-old has seen 32,000 murders and 40,000 attempted murders at home on television.

              but hey, tv cant influence anything right? corporations spent about $400 billion on media advertising last year (magnaglobal.com). thats more than triple NZs total overseas debt in Dec 2010 ($127B), and 24 times the governments overseas debt in Dec 2010 ($16.7B)

              clearly they are a bit thick then.

              less violence, more naked people having sexy fun times. A penis, a penis – Gerrys kingdom for a penis on TV…..

      • dave brown 14.1.2

        Yeah youve heard it from me ad nauseum – expropriate to expropriators! I don’t stop at tax evasion I only start there. Behind the tax evasion is a bigger scam its called expropriation of labour.

  15. prism 15

    Policy Parrot – This eugenics talk. What is being suggested is an implanted contraceptive. This wouldn’t sterilise a woman. If it was done for women who already have children, who have caused them multiple pain and trauma, it would be doing the future children a service not to be born and the present children might be able to enjoy a parent who can concentrate on getting her life together so she can offer a good life to her children and herself. Putting them into foster care is worthy only when it is absolutely necessary. Building up the parent and the bonding to the child, then the parental bonding to the society that supports her is far preferable. Using contraceptives doesn’t harm that mission, and an implanted contraceptive can’t be forgotten and doesn’t cost every few months.

    Calling it eugenics is as fundamentalist as trying to prevent abortions and not wanting women to use contraceptives. It wasn’t long ago that some Catholic women from Eire went to Northern Island and bought contraceptives and at the border crossing, tossed them over the barriers to waiting women on the southern Catholic-controlled side.

    I don’t agree that this contraception is evil. To the agitators choosing to take this line I say cut out all this thundering preaching and hyperbole about it.

    • lprent 15.1

      The point is there being any suggestion of compulsion. Provide these services for effectively free – I have no problem with. Provide extra funding if and only if you submit to them is quite simply outrageous and I’d oppose it by making the perpetrators lives as horrible as possible. Requiring compulsory contraception is simply unacceptable. It is the difference between choice and coercion.

      It is a thin edge of the wedge problem because inevitably the end result after it goes a few more rounds around the talkback circuit it winds up as being getting your tubes cut involuntarily or starving your children or having them taken from you. There are many examples of this type of political escalation both in our history (think on the causes of the Land Wars) and that of other countries (my favorite is the history of Penitentiaries). It always starts with someone being oh so reasonable like yourself and always seems to end up with forced deportations to death camps or someone strapped on a table being tortured.

      I’d prefer to lop the issue off now before I have to shoot someone later.

      • terryg 15.1.1

        oh yes. when did Australia stop stealing aboriginal children outright -1974 or so IIRC. it really isnt far from “we’ll give you $5000 cash if you have a vasectomy/tubal ligation” to “we’re doing this for your own good” – and its pretty much inevitable.

        What a marvellous thread – easily some of the best writing I’ve seen, juxtaposed with the worst.

        thank you all. even the nazi pricks (thats why free speech is so important)

    • Policy Parrot 15.2

      Prism – To be perfectly honest I’m not really in favour of either solution, but you have correctly identified an issue – a flaw in the system if you will, and I am putting forward what I consider the most appropriate way in which to deal with the situation.

      Yes, I agree – the eugenics tag is hyperbole – but I confess I was using the term not to reinforce my point but because it was being batted around in here. I’m not opposed to abortion per se, but it is not a desirable thing, and certainly not opposed to contraception, otherwise I would personally be a hypocrite! Forced medical contraception/under contract is just a step too far for me when you consider the side effects.

      As you said, even forced adoption is not really acceptable and even mirrors Australia’s “Lost Generation” in terms of its scope – I would hope there has been some valuable lessons learnt, but there are fundamental problems with poverty in some long term DPB parent households and children should not subjected to a situation which places them at significant risk of both underachievement and mental/bodily harm.

  16. ChrisH 16

    I just can’t believe that any reasonable person can have a bar of this. I tell you what, it will be all over the world press if it is ever implemented and NZ will look like Rhodesia. ‘Cos of course it’s only brown people who will be sterilised, reversibly if they ever manage to find a job. C’mon folks, where’s your sense of smell? This is the classic slippery slope, where the totally crazy and degrading slowly becomes normal. Check out references to the experiments performed by Stanley Milgram and Philip Zimbardo. The real abusers in this case are the Govt and the bennie bashers, the run-amok guards in our Kiwi jailhouse. All the signs and symptoms are there and it’s just going to keep getting more extreme, unless resisted.

  17. Wow talk about the ultimate in Nanny State. Where are those protectors of freedom when you need them? So having energy standards for lightbulbs is beyond the pale but eugenics is ok?

    • Oleolebiscuitbarrell 17.1

      Wow talk about the ultimate in Nanny State.

      No it’s not. A benefit is not a right. The state may impose conditions around entitlement and has done so from the beginning under governments of all kinds. For instance, the unemployment benefit can be withheld from a citizen who refuses to attend job interviews.

      The potential beneficiary is entitled to choose not to comply with the state’s conditions.

      • terryg 17.1.1

        Hi Tarquin Fin tim lin bin whin bim lim bus stop F’tang F’tang Ole Ole biscuit barrell,

        aside from the fact that pedantic rule-based algorithms (I wont dignify it with the term “thinking”) like that can be (and are) used to enable the most horrendous behaviour (how about: no child sex-abuse pics of your baby, no DPB for a bit of reductio ad absurdum), I just wanted to type your first name :)

      • ChrisH 17.1.2

        Er, no, Tarquin, it’s a form of social insurance. You know, from paying taxes when you are in work. So why should the recipient who is drawing down be treated like a criminal? Very few people are on the dole or other benefits their whole life. And if they are, they have serious disabilities which are quite possibly due to the state’s failure to provide a safe environment for children and adults in our failing cities; arguably, a breach of human rights. PS wasn’t Tarquin the name of a Roman tyrant?

        • lprent 17.1.2.1

          I think that you’re thinking of one of the kings or princes of Rome before it became a republic. Probably Lucius Tarquinius Superbus – a tyrant according to according to later chroniclers. Or maybe his third son Sextus Tarquinius> who had some pretty vile habits according to those later chroniclers.

          Of course the chroniclers were amongst the victors of the revolt in the ‘republic’.

    • Bored 17.2

      MS, get the picture please. Nanny State is a moral hazard!

      “Freedom” a la TS and the other RWNJs means “If you cost us money (taken from you the masses of course BUT ours now) we feel free to sterilise you”.

  18. Irascible 18

    Paula Bennett & John Key’s statements on this issue put any of the specious “Nanny State” examples they used in 2008 (light bulbs & showerheads) into the simply silly basket. These statements indicate a serious desire by this government to enter into the lives of people in an intrusive manner based on a belief that is both callous and bigoted. In anyone else’s world this would be an indication of the emergence of a police state.

  19. Hilary 19

    It is scary how willing a lot of commentators here are to be complicit in moves towards eugenic public policy. How easy it is for them to stop seeing women and children as real human beings and start seeing them as ‘other’ or less than human.

    How many here have actually been mothers trying to raise their children as best they can with little money, and with no support from the fathers (who may have been violent and abusive)? Try walking in their shoes before you criticise.

  20. Tom Gould 20

    I did notice that George Balani turned up on Radio Live as a fill-in host running a line about ‘solo mums with eight kids from eight different fathers’ and how beneficiaries should apply for permission to have a child, and interestingly citing the ‘one child’ policy in China as an example of how we could make it work for us. Interesting that the right-wing glee club is so well drilled in thieir lines, thanks to the Beehive and Crosby Textor no less?

  21. Anne 21

    Interesting that the right-wing glee club is so well drilled in their lines, thanks to the Beehive and Crosby Textor no less

    Yes and it becomes obvious when you switch from The Standard’s rw glee-club over to Red Alert’s rw glee-club and hey presto… they’re all singing from the same song sheet. Probably gets emailed to them on a daily basis.

  22. chris73 22

    Thanks for getting my hopes up, when I read the header I thought “finally” but no…ah well maybe one day

    • The Voice of Reason 22.1

      Yeah, I bet your parents are gutted too.

      • chris73 22.1.1

        Are you suggesting my parents want me dead or just wish I’d never been born in the first place?

        Thats pretty evil and vile really…

        Why do you leftie-liberal toe-rags always get personal when someone disagrees with the group-thought?

        Q Would you say that to my face?
        A No you wouldn’t

        • The Voice of Reason 22.1.1.1

          Ha ha, I’ve just got you for the second time with the same line, you tool. The last time you tried to get comedic on eugenics you got all teary eyed because I was nasty to you in exactly the same way. It’s funny to laugh at eugenics when it doesn’t apply to you or yours, eh chris?
           
          And yes, I would say it to your face. I’ve been facing down bullies all my life, you wouldn’t be any exception.

          • chris73 22.1.1.1.1

            Fine then next time you’re in Christchurch (or if you live in Christchurch) ask the moderators for my email address and we’ll arrange a time to discuss this further

            • The Voice of Reason 22.1.1.1.1.1

              Take it like a man, ya big sook.

              • chris73

                I’m sure you have much experience in that regard

                • The Voice of Reason

                  The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

                • Nah Chris

                  It is just you occupy the same world as the rest of us and us lefties want to look after everyone.  You want to look after yourself and you do not give a siht about the rest.

                  Your decision is personally selfish and intellectually  bizarre.  You should wake up tomorrow, walk down your local street, say hello to everyone and think about what is good for your community.

        • felix 22.1.1.2

          Are you suggesting my parents want me dead or just wish I’d never been born in the first place?

          Thats pretty evil and vile really…

          And yet here you are, rubbing yourself off thinking about others being forced into that situation.

          • chris73 22.1.1.2.1

            No that situation is different because

            I was planned
            My parents weren’t on any form of welfare
            They could afford to raise me

            I don’t believe that having children when you can’t afford to raise them is fair on the children and expecting the state to pay for the raising of your kids is unfair on tax payers

            • Bored 22.1.1.2.1.1

              Count yourself lucky you got parents who had the cash and wanted you, even as you turned out. You need to appreciate that who you get and how is the luck of the draw. I find it repugnant when those who have deny those who havent the fortune of birth, and lord it over them. You are a good advert for targetted eugenics (post event).

            • The Voice of Reason 22.1.1.2.1.2

              I was planned
              Well, that’s what the olds told you, I suppose. You wouldn’t be the only kid told that rather than ‘yer dad came home from the pub rat arsed and randy’.
               
              My parents weren’t on any form of welfare
              Pretty unlikely in NZ in the last fifty years. Child benefit? The Married Couples tax rebate? Cheap Housing Corp loan to get the first house? Plunket? Free dental clinics? All state benefits or subsidies. And that’s just the seventies.
               
              They could afford to raise me
              Only with the help of the nanny state, Chris.


            • Descendant Of Smith 22.1.1.2.1.3

              I was planned
              My parents weren’t on any form of welfare
              They could afford to raise me

              So planned you were, well off you were but then when you were three:

              1. Your father left your mother got a younger model, office secretary, nubile young neighbour
              2. Your father was made redundant and your mortgage interest rate went up to 22.5%. The financial pressure became too great and your father’s parent’s relationship broke up
              3. You were born with a serious disability and dad pissed off
              4. Your parent’s next child wasn’t planned cause the condom broke and dad got all pissed off cause he didn’t want another kid
              5. Dad was in a car accident / had a stroke / needed caring for and your economic independence vanished
              6. Your parents next child was planned but mum died during childbirth leaving dad to raise two children by himself

              These are the things that happen in the real world and but for the grace of god go any of us.

              • RedLogix

                You were born with a serious disability and dad pissed off.

                Being a father is hard enough, but hanging in there with the sustained madness that is dealing with serious disability… and the miserable levels of social support you get is something no-one who hasn’t been through it is in a position to pass judgement on.

                Well I have and I’m going to say this.

                My younger daughter would have likely died within weeks of birth if she had been born anytime before the mid-1900’s. Instead the state required we avail ourselves of the technology of the day, and she lived. It would have probably been better had she not… but it is too late to go back and change that. And in the final analysis I would not do so if I could.

                There are no easy answers.

                But I can tell you this. Society required/enabled her to live… yet took the least possible interest in her upbringing.

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  I have 3 children with three different disabilities. The first has a spontaneous genetic mutation which we found out about when my wife was pregnant with our third – the GP’s had been treating his difficulties as behavioral and psychological til then (they were totally and completely wrong), the second is bright and healthy but has to cope with ADHD – mainly in relation to an inability to follow multiple commands and impulsiveness, and our daughter as it turned out inherited an, unknown to the wife’s family at that time, a genetic disorder that results in COPD type disorders.

                  We’ve spent many weeks months in hospitals and intensive care with the first and third – and in many other sorts of meetings with the second.

                  What stood out in our stays in hospital, Ronald McDonald House and Starship was that we were usually the only couple. There are many many women bringing up their children, with some form of disability with no father in sight – many of these mothers are on DPB and quite a lot of these mothers will continue to care for these children as they become adults as well.

                  • RedLogix

                    Ahh… so we’ve been through many of the same adventures.

                    • r0b

                      My thoughts are with you both.  With every parent that copes with this.  We had our time of troubles, but got lucky in the long run.

                    • terryg

                      DOS, RedLogix, I weep for you and the many, many others like you – who through no fault of their own have lives of such incredible hardship. yet somehow dignity, courage and humanity often shine like beacons from such misfortune.

                      Whereas…..

                      Chris73, you were lucky. your parents may well have done all those things – but you personally got the benefit of them through pure chance. of all the possible combinations of your mum and dads DNA (a bloody large number – many, many orders of magnitude larger than the number of combinations in lotto), you just happened to show up, and just happened to not be fucked up in any of the ways DOS, RedLogix et al have mentioned (which are but a tiny subset of the actual number).

                      and yet you claim credit for that. why stop there. clearly its your magnificent personality and impeccable breeding which has prevented you from being struck by a drunk driver/polio virus/meteorite (it happens)/aneurysm/cancer etc. I stand (OK sit) in awe of your phenomenal intellect. I am not worthy oh great one.

            • felix 22.1.1.2.1.4

              Learn to read Chris you fool. The “situation” I referred to was the hypothetical one of you having never been born.

              I should have known better than to phrase my comment in a way that wasn’t entirely centred on you and your perspective.

  23. William Joyce 23

    In the above discussion we have only brushed past the problem that most contraceptives have a recognized percentage of failure.
    Would we want women, for whom the contraceptive failed, to be penalised because of a “wardrobe malfunction”?
    The penalty would then be foisted upon the child in more children being raised on less.

    • terryg 23.1

      you might be onto something there. after all, babies are a renewable resource, edible, biodegradeable, a rich source of nutrients, stem cells and succulent livers (chianti and fava beans eh wot). Soylent green is poor peoples babies….. (I dont think I should be put in charge of NZ)

  24. Sookie 24

    While I agree wholeheartedly that compulsory contraception is distinctly icky, I’m afraid I could be considered right wing by saying that people who can’t afford kids shouldn’t be having them. Contraception in this day and age should be a no brainer, and if affordability is an issue, then by all means make it free for beneficiaries. Too many people in this world, and too many of them born into miserable circumstances. It sucks that men don’t assume enough responsibility over their own knobs, but women should be in charge of their own fertility. Commence bashing :)

    • R 24.1

      it’s an easy problem for those who share your attitude, Sookie. Compulsory ‘temporary’ contraception for all until they ‘can afford it’. Black and white.

  25. Cin77 25

    i’m of the opinion that everyone should keep their child production down. One, maybe two. We live in a world that is grossly overpopulated. What was that up the page about contraceptive in the water? Aldous Huxley FTW

    National is going to have to put a lot more thought into this, contraceptives are like most things; ya can’t please all the people all the time.

    • RedLogix 25.1

      i’m of the opinion that everyone should keep their child production down

      Without saying anything at all about the choices inidvidual parents might choose to make, I think you will most people here would agree with you in principle. Overpopulation is not a desirable thing.

      In the real world there is one proven and totally reliable way to keep ‘child production’ down…. and that is to ensure women have the legal, economic and social status to control their own fertility. In whatever way they find appropriate.

      All nations where this is achieved generally enjoy stable or even falling populations.

      • Descendant Of Smith 25.1.1

        While I find the whole thing offensive in the way it’s couched better access to contraception for women, including tubal ligation I do support and have previously posted on that aspect.

        The linking of this to benefit entitlements, having additional children and so on is just so appalling that I find it difficult to believe I’m in a forward thinking progressive country.

        We’re going backwards at a fast rate of knots – not dissimilar I guess to the US where the rise of right wing and christian fundamentalism is rolling back previous gains in affirmative work done for women and African Americans.

        Any link to benefit entitlements would be so full of fish-hooks it wouldn’t be funny – Catholics of course who don’t believe in contraception would presumably be forbidden from having sex while on benefit or would they litigate for special privileges as a refusal to use contraception could be discerned as an exercise in religious freedom, how could you apply the policy – what happens if you go off benefit the week you have the baby and apply again a week later – nope wasn’t on benefit when I had the baby – or would it be measured at conception, what if there is an advantage to having different fathers for each child – the child support gained would outweigh the additional expense (we should remember the taxpayer does not pay all the cost of DPB) – there’s actually a serious question if their is no additional payment made does the father have to pay child support?

        In reality this sort of policy would be so unworkable.

        You want to do something about the cost of DPB – go after the men.

        Increase their child support responsibility for fathering these children, force the men to have paternity tests, make their trusts provide for their offspring, financially compensate the women as victims for the abusive relationships these men have put them through, sterilise any male who has had children out of marriage – maybe stone them to death even.

        I always said Daddy state would be worse than mummy state – what a fucked up bunch of assholes. I’m angry enough to be rambling. Grrrr.

        • RedLogix 25.1.1.1

          Actually DoS I don’t think ‘going after the men’ would help much either. Most of them have sod all to offer either. Lacking stable employment and opportunities, they aren’t ‘middle-class’ parent material in the way most of us have in mind.

          In fact I’m willing to go out on a somewhat radical limb here… personally I don’t think it matters all that much who the biological father is. (After all something in the order of 10-12% of children do not have the father the mother claims for it… and the world hasn’t come to an end). But that is a diversion.

          What really counts is the ability of women to have the legal, social and economic status to control their fertility. Education and the freedom to make choices. Whenever this happens they choose to have just enough children to maintain populations at sustainable replacement levels.

          Women on the DPB are already at the bottom of the social heap, the most financially and emotionally stressed, lacking choices and a sense of control over their lives. State sponsored coercion and harrasment is the exact opposite of what is needed to change their reproductive outcomes.

          • Descendant Of Smith 25.1.1.1.1

            “What really counts is the ability of women to have the legal, social and economic status to control their fertility. Education and the freedom to make choices. Whenever this happens they choose to have just enough children to maintain populations at sustainable replacement levels.

            Women on the DPB are already at the bottom of the social heap, the most financially and emotionally stressed, lacking choices and a sense of control over their lives. State sponsored coercion and harrasment is the exact opposite of what is needed to change their reproductive outcomes.”

            Sorry I agree with all this. It just is absurd that the focus is solely on the women. We should be helping and supporting them to raise their children – not beating them up.

  26. Blue 26

    How many women actually have more children while on the DPB? Do we have any stats on that?

    How about we do a comparison, of how many women in NZ are ‘breeding for a business’ according to John Key, and how much money they cost the state in a year, versus how many people are rorting the tax system and how much money they cost the state per year.

    I’m willing to bet the first number will be incredibly small, and the second incredibly large. But by all means continue the populist benny-bashing if it makes you feel good.

    Unfortunately, putting the thumbscrews on such a small, impoverished minority is not going to solve any of NZ’s very large economic problems, so enjoy that heady rush of superiority while it lasts.

    When it fades you might consider that you have just been sucked in again by John Key.

    • felix 26.1

      Well said Blue.

      The tsmithfields and Chris73s and big bruvs of this world just want us to waste our time and money funding their pornography.

  27. tsmithfield 27

    We should stop eugenicists from breeding. :smile:

    • McFlock 27.1

      Nah, we should just make every kid get a thorough education including tertiary (including NZQA levels), taking into account accessibility issues resulting from disability or economic disparity. Of course, that’s shite without healthcare and social security.
       
      A well educated and fair society would limit stupidity in public policy.

      • terryg 27.1.1

        this. 1000x this.

        alas the RW only seem to care about children until they are born. after that – fuck ‘em, useless eaters.

    • hellonearthis 27.2

      Maybe it should be eugenicists for all who voted for National, look at the damage they have caused to our society.

  28. R 28

    There is an easy answer for those pro this move:

    Compulsory ‘reversible contraceptive’ implants for all on commencing puberty (FREE fertility tests available from your local health officer!)

    Want to reproduce? Apply to the govt. of the day for fertile status eligibility (include job and relationship prospects, business case, full project plan, character references etc.). Do not attempt conception without written authorisation in triplicate, filed and registered with the Dept of Procreation.

    • Descendant Of Smith 28.1

      These days you should be able to have to provide a full genetic profile as well – make sure you won’t be a future burden on the society. Priority given to blond haired, blue eyed…….

      • chris73 28.1.1

        Um I have blond hair and blue eyes (don’t worry though I’m not a nazi)

  29. According the the wing ding counter on my home page we are passed 7 billion people now, so yes we can cram 20 people into a Mini, but not everyone can sit in the front.
    This mangy dog planet (100 % pure) could maybe support 300 million or so. look around, that means 13.7 people out of every 14 have to go.
    Any volunteers? or should we just start with the embryos?
    Abortion stops future suffering, sterilization stops abortions.
    Parents loving their children …. yeah right …. we are just ignorant bacteria

    • terryg 29.1

      meh. your out by about a factor of 20 or so. the technology exists right now to cease burning hydrocarbons and provide equal access to resources for all 7 billion of us. but the economic/political (military is a branch of politics) system actively prevents it.

      we are IMO past the knee on the exponential curve of understanding the world/universe around us. carefully focussed application of resources could achieve truly wonderous gains for all humanity.

      Alas instead we get Snookie, 73 types of toothpaste and reality tv. Aaaaaargh.

  30. I’m finding it difficult to believe that we still have far Right bastards who believe in compulsory contraception. I had hoped that such foul thinking had gone out with the defeat of Hitler and Co. But no here we are in the 21 first century and they are still with us. Anyway why just Solo mums ?How many actually do have second or third child while on the benifit. ? why not make birth control compulsary for some of those rich so called career
    “mothers”who have their little darlings then condem them to 12 hours child care ,leave their work after a few cocktails then pick their little dears up and take them home ready for bed. I wonder whose child is better the above or some solo mum who struggles on the DPB but
    stays at home and gives her litle scruff real love and care . I know who I think does Amongst all this solo mum bashing most seem to have forgotten that there is a father somewhere. Perhaps these rednecks should
    demand compulsory vacectomies for disapeared fathers ? Having said that I must conclude by saying once again what a traitorous .
    slime bag P.Bennett is.. A once solo mum who has now joined the solo mum bashers and who slags Labour who gave her a chance to bring her child up/

  31. prism 31

    Blue – Unfortunately, putting the thumbscrews on such a small, impoverished minority is not going to solve any of NZ’s very large economic problems, so enjoy that heady rush of superiority while it lasts.

    Actually Paula Bennett’s budget is rather big and reducing the welfare budget would make a big impact on NZ. Unfortunately with the NACTs they wish to do that by providing less to people who are already struggling.

    There are positive things that could be done, like support and education for teenage mothers, like free services, free legal advice, cheap health checks in mobile vans taken to the poorer areas, and education for people who had missed out on that. Opportunities and life planning with respect for the choices made and help that could be accessed to attain that plan. It wouldn’t involve just pushing DPBs out to any old work, full-time (which is I think now 30 hours). Some community activity, volunteer work would be accepted, could be working in community gardens.

    Also a combination of benefit and tax breaks particularly on secondary tax (which is surely an anachronism) so that a bene could work her or his way out of poverty. At present as soon as something is earned, the accommodation allowance goes down $1 for every gross (untaxed) $1 and when over $100 (that might also be gross) I think, the benefit goes down too. If you are unemployed and get casual work you have to report your earnings every week I think. It’s a bit like a prisoner being on probation having to report. The gummint is so afraid that somebody might get some money together. It would be more sensible to amalgamate it and have quarterly or even monthly checks. To get grants you have to be almost destitute, an annual amount should be available to be drawn on when requested for agreed purposes. And long-term contraception for parents is not the end of human rights. Being able to control fertility is a human right. It can be life enhancing to find that you aren’t pregnant after another foolish, casual and regretted one night stand or a male Jekell and Hyde live-in trial.

    • ZeeBop 31.1

      So looking for an opportunity? Young? Can’t get a job, can’t get the dole? Like a bootcamp experience? All you need is to get noticed by Police!
      Sorry but we spend too much on criminals, and too little on protecting basic human rights to warm homes, free health care, food, and opportunity to work’.
      It will be interesting to find a follow up of the 5,000 just displaced from the dole, oh, wait, WINZ
      don’t want to find out you say? Too many just moved to OZ, or were phantom accounts? Or were they all boxers with tennis elbow?

      I’m still waiting for government to provide the rich, who avoid paying tax, free contraception.

      The problem with welfare is employers know the hassle an employee with too few hours
      has to go through at WINZ, and so can quickly rid themselves of minorities they don’t like.
      This leads to more crime, more social malaise, less trust, mental illness, and higher costs.
      Prisons aren’t the only area that cost us too muc, are whole emphasis on the poor is
      just a distraction from wealth strip mining by foreigners.

      • terryg 31.1.1

        hear hear, the both of you.

        bah fucking humbug. and now it looks like we’re soon to receive US-style union bashing – any minute now (OK after the necxt election, when its too late) collective bargaining will be outlawed.

        and this from a guy who has never belonged to a union (oops, AUSA, MUSA – OK, never to a proper union, one for actual workers), and never will. but I do understand the three most important words in business – Because We Can – and am not blind to their ramifications.

        like the casualisation of the work force, McJobs, the death of certainty. I truly do not understand how a family working on minimum wage can survive in Auckland. Take a bow the lot of you, you bloody well deserve it. But PLEASE dont vote NACT – they are not your friends, they are your deadliest enemy, and they will outright lie to your face – say and do whatever it takes to get/retain power

  32. hellonearthis 32

    And people complained with the last government considered if people could have incandescent light bulbs.
    This governments considering who can have babies.

  33. Vicky32 33

    @terryg who said

    In 1937 Ratzinger’s father retired and the family moved to Traunstein, a staunchly Catholic town in Bavaria close to the Führer’s mountain retreat in Berchtesgaden. He joined the Hitler Youth aged 14, shortly after membership was made compulsory in 1941.
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article382076.ece
    that makes him, technically, a Nazi. not a particularly bad one, but a Nazi nevertheless. He saved his truly evil behaviour for later in life. compare and contrast with Pope John Paul II.
    And Vicky, I havent resorted to Ad Hominems (called you names), but you have. Sure I have derided your comments, but thats because they are patently risible. Like for example using “sneer” to describe a comment; a sneer is a facial expression. The word you want is “smear”. There is a reason we have lots of different words – they mean different things, even if they might sound vaguely similar. Try reading a dictionary and a thesaurus, instead of an ancient, badly written work of fiction.

    The key words are, I think “after it became compulsory”! :D
     
    As for your ad hominems, leave it out… I guarantee absolutely, that I know more about English language usage than you have ever known (I am an English teacher). However, I am bored to tears with your ranting, and won’t be a punching bag for you. End of discussion – there are better places and time.

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