Written By: - Date published: 7:56 am, June 2nd, 2013 - 14 comments
Categories: class war, democracy under attack, grant robertson, greens, human rights, jobs, john key, labour, national/act government, poverty, russel norman, slippery, unemployment - Tags: blockupy, precariat
Fairfax Ipsos pollster, Duncan Stuart, is surprised to have discovered evidence of a highly divided NZ: divided by income inequalities and political allegiance. It’s surprising that the pollster is surprised by this, but perhaps this shows where his political allegiance lies. As many on this site know, many on the left in NZ have been aware of these divisions for a long time. Russel Norman’s speech yesterday was outstanding in the way it directly challenged the anti-democratic cronyism of John Key’s government. This government has increased the division that already existed as the result of decades of the “neoliberal” scam.
As reported by Vernon Small on Stuff today (in an article in need of a proof read):
Almost of Kiwis are affected by unemployment, but National supporters are far less likely than other voters to have someone out of work in their inner circle of friends and family.
The data, collected as part of the latest Fairfax-Ipsos poll, has emerged as a key fault line in society and between the Government and the opposition.
It is reported that the poll shows 21% of respondents knew unemployed people. 57% of Pacific and Maori people knew several people who are unemployed, and 67% of people in these groups knew one or two people out of work.
As well as showing up a country divided by gaps in wealth and income, the poll exposed a related political division in the country. Small reports,
The figures showed New Zealanders occupied quite different strata aligned with political views.
However, National voters were also the most confident that the current Government would make a better fist of reducing unemployment than the opposition.
Asked if the main opposition parties would do a better job of reducing unemployment, 34 per cent of those surveyed said yes and 31 per cent said no.
Maori and Pacific people had the strongest expectation the opposition could improve things – 55 per cent and 59 per cent respectively.
Not surprisingly, those backing Labour (66 per cent), Green (62 per cent) and NZ First (46 per cent) felt a change of Government would help, against just 7.7 per cent of National voters.
Council of Trade Unions economist Bill Rosenberg said the poll showed the impact of unemployment was far greater than the official statistics suggest.
Among the “precariat” there is a high amount of underemployment, as well as alternating periods of employment and unemployment. This is masked in the way Key and Bill English talk up the official employment statistics ,and their cronyist “job creating” deals.
But Stuart said one surprise finding in the data was that those with unemployed in their social circle – who might have been expected to back the SkyCity deal because it would create jobs – were less in favour of the deal than others.
“This suggests [Labour leader David] Shearer or [Prime Minister John] Key won’t be able to dress up any old policy mutton and justify it on the ‘it’s all about job creation’ plank.”
Labour deputy leader Grant Robertson said the survey showed National voters could too easily live in a bubble and were buying the Government’s rhetoric.
The country needed a more hands-on approach, “pulling all the levers big and small” including monetary policy, a capital gains tax and skills training. And he said that jobs would be a priority election battleground for Labour.
A centrepiece of its policy is likely to be an idea borrowed from Denmark to keep people who lose their jobs in the workforce through a type of “employment guarantee” scheme.
The article then goes on to provide examples of individuals and a community (living examples of the “precariat”), showing how unemployment, and underemployment are life-sapping and far from being a ‘life-style’ choice for idle bludgers.
With Russel’s speech yesterday, and the blockupy demonstrations against the bankster-benefiting, poverty-inducing, inegalitarian austerity measures in Europe, perhaps a change is finally coming. Let’s hope it’s not just another false spring and that more people are starting to notice of, and stand up to, the divided world brought about by the callous and individualism of the “neoliberal” revolution.