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The Standard

Where were you Granny?

Written By: - Date published: 10:21 am, February 1st, 2013 - 23 comments
Categories: class war, economy, national, newspapers - Tags: ,

Some good advice from an anonymous scribe in The Herald this morning:

Editorial: Work in jail scheme will do more harm than good

…Then there is the notion of putting prisoners to work while they are behind bars. Not only will they no longer be idle but there is the theory that a regular working routine will help them reintegrate into society when they are released. …

If only it were that simple. Ms Tolley has conceded the plan will require “significant infrastructure upgrades”.

Presumably she is referring to the workplace equipment that will need to be installed in prisons. The costs do not, however, end there. There is the expense involved in work training and tuition for the inmates. This is beyond the capability of prison staff, so will have to be summoned from outside. There is also the extra supervision that will have to be provided for people who will be forced to work but have no incentive to do this to the best of their ability.

The problems do not stop there, as indicated by the experience in Britain. It has proceeded far further down this path, albeit while, unlike here, paying inmates for their labour, even if at a rate well below the country’s minimum wage. … That [wage cost] cutting means, inevitably, that in some cases prisoners are taking the jobs of people in the community.

Additionally, there is the risk that an increasing emphasis on getting inmates into work will lessen that on education, employment training and drug and alcohol addiction treatment programmes. …

… the example of Britain shows the perils of large-scale work schemes. There are also ethical issues attached to making inmates work without pay. These may not unduly concern those who hate the idea of prisoners lazing about in their cells. They should, however, be concerned by the practicalities of an idea that has the potential to do far more harm than good.

A well researched and thoughtful piece that raises some useful warning flags against a typically facile and populist Nat policy. Bravo! Even more useful, however, is the frank acknowledgement with which this particular piece begins:

Some policies aimed at quenching what politicians perceive to be a public appetite for fairness are recycled regularly even when they have been shown to be deeply flawed.


So – here’s my question. Where were you for the last 5 years Granny? Where were you when the Nats were recycling the nonsense that tax cuts for the rich would save our economy? Where were you when the Nats were recycling posturing about getting tough on crime? Where were you when they were recycling failed boot-camps? Where were you when they recycled failed national standards? Where were you when they recycled the failed politics of economic austerity? Where were you when they recycled already failed charter schools? Where were you when they regularly attacked beneficiaries, teachers, unions, democratically elected councils, and anyone else that they thought would give them a red-neck rise?

Just about everything this National government does is recycling populist policies that have been shown to be deeply flawed. So I ask again – for the last 5 years – where were you Granny?

23 comments on “Where were you Granny?”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    According to Corrections Minister Anne Tolley, the work will give prisoners “a structured day, help with behaviour and [mean] you’re not institutionalising them too much before they go back out into the community”.

    Contradictory much?

    That cutting means, inevitably, that in some cases prisoners are taking the jobs of people in the community.

    And that will have someone bringing up the Lump of Labour Fallacy fallacy.

    • CV - Real Labour 1.1

      Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker already has prisoners replacing unionised workers. This is where its going. (cancel the annoying pop up thing)


      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        Its necessary, the evil unwashed need to be tied to their work stations less they up and overthrow the wealth owners, being chained to the work place is nothing new. First they target the weakest, the most powerless, and once they’ve iron out the processes they move up the social ladder.

        The left, rightly, has made the argument that governments have a obligation to provide access to meaningful living wage work to all citizens. The conservative right is silent having been over run by the extreme revolutionary conservatism that believes any government must be onerous and draconian otherwise they won’t be able to do away with regulation that harms their rent seeking owners. Slavery takes differing forms at differing strata of society, those who support the revolutionary conservative (oxymoron) actively believe they are free and acting to keep us all free.
        Ignorant fools. Key is a slave.

        • Andre

          Me thinks this is a plot…… Mr brownlee is going to only incarcerate Trades people.. Canterbury solved.

        • Dr Terry

          All one has to do is take note of who the Minister is – none other than that “marvel” Tolley! The poor prisoners will have no future, certainly not a scrap of what we derisively must call “rehabilitation”. Punishment is the order of the day (and this scheme could rightly be described as “slave labour” where the prisoners have no options and incredibly no remuneration!

    • David H 1.2

      And did you read some of the comments FFS, bring out the whips and chains mob.

  2. Andre 2

    We spend around $250 a day on offenders . Maybe we could spend some of that in good work for them before they offend. Just an idea

  3. tracey 3

    And so it begins… the play for the dopey and misguided law and order vote… but it works which is why they are doing it… and it costs us SO much financially and socially to follow this kind of flawed thinking.

  4. quartz 4

    I’m not sure attacking a media outlet for writing an editorial you agree with is a particularly productive a strategy, Anthony.

    • Galeandra 4.1

      FIFY:I’m not sure attacking a media outlet for failure to write editorials that critically evaluate cynical government policies is a particularly productive enough strategy to convince concern trolls like me, Anthony.

    • r0b 4.2

      I would call it an exasperated venting of frustration, rather than an “attack”, quartz, but to each their own.

      The Herald could be serving the traditional role of media – holding government to account – in the way that this editorial does. But most of the time they abdicate that role for infotainment and a supine posture as the Nats’ chief apologist. It’s worth being frustrated about…

  5. shorts 5

    Whilst the editorial might agree with many peoples thoughts here it doesn’t go far enough… wish the writer had read No Right Turn’s take on this scheme


    There are huge concerns this policy/scheme raises and the editorial neatly skips the most important imo

  6. Tiresias 6

    “So – here’s my question. Where were you for the last 5 years Granny?” Anthony R0bins.

    That is the question. What is the answer?

    I never see the Herald, even hanging in the loo, wrapped around fish-and-chips or on-line, so I have no idea what its normal stance is. Does it even pretend to be a Serious Newspaper, or is it just a middle-brow Tid-bits like the Daily Mail in the UK? Is there any reason to look for a Left-Wing commentary from it? Or a Right-Wing one?

    And why should it apparently break whatever mould it’s adopted now? Does it sense a shift in its target audience away from uncritical acceptance of National dogma or is it actually saying that trying to a) help prisoners pass the time of their incarceration with something to do and b) equip them with a trade and disciplines to keep them in line after release, is soft and mollycoddling? Or is this just a subject sufficiently simple that even its particular readership might be capable of forming an opinion in their guts about it?

  7. aerobubble 7

    High Dollar makes us feel richer, a false economy. China is awash in US printed money and is buying up anything anyone is selling, unlike many countries that have shut their legs, NZ has kept selling itself like a cheap whore. The imbalance in the dollar is a National crisis.

    A former military man, now Mayor, says that there are too many officers and the different arms of the military need to be merged. This typifies the problem of debate in NZ, why we have policies, how does changing the policy without revisiting the reasons for a large officer contingent?
    We need to hold on to expertize, and have the capacity to expand the militry when the needs arise, so its essential to keep a larger number of officers and shrink the bulk of the military, hold on to traditions hard won from war time. But no, find some stupid right winger who has some experience of the issue but has never shown any capacity to see more than one view point.

    We have too many of that type, who just won’t consider that maybe, for example that Bain is innocent, less they come across and moderate liberal minded.

    • aerobubble 7.1

      So some manager flies off the cuff and sacks
      someone, for good reason, but cost their
      shareholders as the correct procedure was not
      followed, but the manager keeps their job.
      No questions of a nudge and a wink between
      firer and firee, just a lot of hot air about
      how wrong the payout was, as if managers had
      no responsibilities. MSM supports their mates.

      Now the military spending, and cost savings are gutting
      the military, and still the same managers who gave us
      Novopay, who hired the now disgraced Binnie, who
      still can’t get a grip on the economy as it exports
      its people, its wealth centers, hell we are now exporting
      our dairy herds on a massive ship!!! Why won’t
      National voters realize, that China is awash in US
      printed money.

  8. tc 8

    the upper class telling the middle class it’s the lower classes fault.

    Granny serves it’s masters not joe public, that’s why the nat’s have hobbled TVNZ, freeview, RNZ and boosted Sky’s monopoly even further.

  9. Tom Gould 9

    Where was Granny? Why she was out by the still brewing up a new batch of John Key’s snake oil and splashing it all over the front page. How else to you explain National’s consistent high polling despite consistently screwing up? The public only know what their government is up to through the MSM. And the pack has largely decided Key is their man and his snake oil cures all that’s ailing ya. Simple, really.

    • Tim 9.1

      I think you’ve just put your finger on what the political “battle” in NZ is all about. An MSM that the “sleepy Hobbits” (as a Bomber Bradly would describe them as) still rely on, and one that’s been hijacked by a media ruling elite who’re comforable and lazy (never really that bright or intelligent to begin with either). Watch them bleat like sheep on the way to the slaughterhouse though, or squealing pigs though when more of them begin losing their yobs.

      IT would be good to be able to get NZers to consider their position were they to have to ‘cash-up” tomorrow – perhaps having just lost their jobs a la Oamaru – or something similar.

      In many ways, I sometimes find it hard to feel sympathy – especially when I see Morgan polling (absolutely as unreliable and meaningless, and unscientific as it actually is).

      There’s a media ‘feed’ tho- one that pumps populism, stardom, be happy, don’t worry, a mUddle class in denial and fawning over what they think is the ‘self-made man’ – Slippery [one day I’ll be loik him].
      He’s a self-made man whose foundations rely on a firm foundation of solid bullshit – a backgorund that a lazy MSM has never really gone into (Remember for example all that crap about how ‘hard’ things were for him and his mum – not really that dissimilar to most others at the time – in fact a lot better off even THEN, than most)

      Re this MSM though – I mean ffs – look at the promotional shite ONE is currently pumping – trying to convince us what good blokes Greg Boyed and Ali are. BOTH probably are – in fact the former is – its just that he has a mortgage to pay, pathetic Andy Pandy egotistical bosses, kids, a family, commitments, and all the rest of it.

      NZers are not unintelligent, but it seems that an escapist attitude is better than recognising reality, and who wants to be in a position of being associated with a negative attitude. (Oima glass harfull koinda goiee aye!).

      It would be an interesting poll if NZers were asked ” what IF you lost your job(s) tomorrow – WHAT WOULD YOU DO, where would you be?”.
      Most….well pretty obviously really – up Shit Creek without a paddle. While they have a job though, easier to occupy regular haunts, pretend you’re OK (and better off than dole bludgers and people “that just don’t WANT to work”), and all those other images of what romantic notions of Kiwidom are.

      I witnessed the spiel of an Oamaru Mayor on various media outlets today. Reluctant as hell to admit to the bleeding obvious – if only because his ‘heartland’ was extremely too close for comfort to a NAct utopia.

      Oh well….we’ll see what we see but NZers actually only have themselves to blame for the current predicament.
      A philistine of a used-car salesman with an ego the size of a bus, masquerading as a Proim Minster, over-ambitiously desperate to be seen with those he thinks are the world’s movers and shakers that Kiwis think is actually “charistmatic” ffs!
      One day he’ll realise just how much of a joke those movers and shakers think he is.

      We’ll see next election JUST how smart Kiwis actually are, but we wonder why so many are crossing the ditch.

  10. Rogue Trooper 10

    “This is a Pole”

    -Vince (Martyrn)

  11. North 11

    What pray tell will the “work” be ?

    Polishing pebbles with a rag perhaps ?

    Corrections Department security measures have seen me sent back to the main gate of a medium security New Zealand prison because inadvertently I’d not removed a plastic cashlow card from my shirt pocket.

    Of course “work” has nothing to do with it. It’s all about inciting hatred for the advantage of our Effigy of Wall Street PM, the henchmen in his cabinet and the backwoodsmen who sit behind them.

  12. Don't worry be happy 13

    “Where were you Granny?’…where the B^%$&* hell were Labour?

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