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The Standard

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Written By: - Date published: 5:40 pm, February 13th, 2013 - 50 comments
Categories: International, poverty - Tags: ,

As ever, too much National to complain about, too little time.  So just 3 quickly –

Wrong:
As excellently covered by Karol, but too quickly dropped by our papers, the Salvation Army’s excellent annual State of the Nation report gives the Government a D on Child Poverty, Youth Employment and Housing Affordability.

Quite rightly the Sallies’ Major Campbell Roberts says:

“If our children came home with a ‘D’ from school, most of us would have a vigorous plan of action to turn it around. That same vigour is needed from our political and Government agency leaders.”

Roberts said we needed to stop saying, “She’ll be Right” and start saying, “It’s not alright” when it came to these issues.

And quite rightly Jacinda Ardern profiles the Government’s efforts:

“seems content to sit back while things steadily get worse for our kids”.

“Giving [the Government] a below average ‘D’ for progress on child poverty, the report makes specific reference to the Ministerial Committee on Poverty’s lack of action, yet the Government continues to claim the committee is making a difference.”

“That’s just rubbish. Both the White Paper on Vulnerable Children and Paula Bennett’s welfare reforms have been heavily criticised for either ignoring poverty or for making it worse.”

I’d give their efforts one word: Wrong.  We need a better response to this crisis of Child Poverty.

Wrong:

Bill English trying to spin the high exchange rate as good for workers, as it keeps the price of flat screen TVs down.  He points out the rising dollar meant there was some protection for workers’ living standards for the fact that under National our wages have barely risen.

Quite Rightly David Parker dismisses his rhetoric as:

“nonsense”.

“What they [manufacturers] want is an exchange rate which enables them to compete internationally so they can afford to pay wages,” he said.

“The idea that an artificially high exchange rate is good for New Zealand workers because it holds down the price of flat screen TVs is a nonsense if they can’t earn a decent wage.”

I’m sure most workers would prefer a lower exchange rate, higher wages and secure jobs because their companies can compete internationally.

Wrong:

Murray McCully refusing to meet West Papuan Benny Wenda, and the Government prompting the new Speaker to bar him talking to Parliament.

Just because we have $1 Billion in trade with Indonesia doesn’t mean we should suppress the stories of 50 years of oppression of those living in West Papua.

50 comments on “Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.”

  1. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 1

    Good points Ben. Now how to stop the NACTiban from ruining our country.

  2. vto 2

    why bother going to wellington if you’re not going to charge head first at these? there is no other reason to go

    • Rosie 2.1

      “Why bother going to Wellington if you’re not going to charge head first at these? There is no other reason to go.”

      I’m assuming you mean parliament when you say Wellington, and not Wellington as a city and region.
      I know the word Wellington has always been used as a reference to parliament and governance in general but its annoying. It tars the residents with the same venom that is reserved for central govt. Example On 3 news the other night: “Dargaville farmers are fed up with the lack of concern from Wellington” (or words to that effect) WTF. Wellington as a city is not an entity that can be referred to as being capable of providing concern, that would be central govt they are talking about. Why should the city take on the persona of parliament?

    • Polish Pride 2.2

      To collect your pay packet…

  3. xtasy 3

    Three points I make, Ben:

    1. Re the report by the Salvation Army and what Jacinda had to say in her speech on the Prime Minister’s Statement, it is right that this government does not seem to give too much of a damn about the poverty and suffering of children.

    But Jacinda’s speech was also short of any information on what Labour would offer to solve these poverty and poor employment issues that this government has dumped on society. She is going on about “welfare must first be about work”. Can you tell this to young kids suffering lack of food, clothing, freezing in uninsulated homes in winter, suffering from dampness and the likes?

    2. Bill English does of course come from his ideological corner to justify the inaction on currency AND other issues that make the NZ economy stall and not go anywhere near a constructive direction. His talk about wages and salaries being dropped if the dollar was lower, and us having to appreciate “cheap” imports of TVs and gadgets (which are not really that “cheap” at all on international comparison), and it all being in good hands, is ridiculously blinkered.

    3. Murray McCulley is a guy who is so out of touch with international developments, if he ever heard of the Arab Spring or Velvet Revolution, the fall of the Berlin Wall and Iron Curtain, he may have been learning something. He continues with his little, selective micro management of his foreign affairs and trade staff, nobody wants to work for him now.

    To come and insult a West Papua representative, clearly for reasons of keeping on good trading and other terms with Indonesia, is just typical of this government. I remember the frowning on Russel Norman’s flag protest about Tibet, when a high level Chinese delegation came here. It may have looked silly, but hey, the NZ government showed how silly and corrupt it is, when it comes to human rights and fair trade.

    So we are back with the known issues.

    This government does not deliver, does not show integrity and decency, has a bizarre interpretation of human rights and democracy, aligns itself rather with dictatorships for opportune trade deals, and it betrays anything that NZ once stood for.

    Yet I am still waiting to see the clear signals from Labour as leading opposition party, to present us a convincing alternative, and that includes also social fairness and so in social welfare. I sadly see nothing buty ambiguity, non-committing language, a let down even, in regards to those too sick and disabled to work.

    I really yearn for something better, dear Ben, so let us hope that the Labour caucus members will finally wake up and come to the party, re-discovering what the party they once joined, really is meant to stand for!

    • Ben Clark 3.1

      Labour’s first priority for Welfare has always been jobs (unlike this sorry government). The more able workers we can get into jobs, the more they can afford and the more the country can afford.

      That doesn’t mean forcing people into inappropriate jobs, and it doesn’t mean forcing the ill to work. It can mean finding the appropriate jobs for the disabled to give them the greater independence that they desire.

      And it doesn’t mean that we don’t look after those out of work, or blame them for the lack of jobs / their inability to work.

      It can be hard to express concrete policies before they are formulated. Although we may have liked the idea of extending working for families to the unemployed, from when I was a candidate last election it really didn’t sell well on the doorstep or the hustings. The terms jarred, and people weren’t convinced (it certainly lost us votes). So we need to find a way that looks after the poor – particularly those with children – as well or better, but that the voting public sees as fair.

      I favour targeted universal benefits such as child benefits. Everyone gets something so no-one misses out (targeted benefits often miss the poor who need them as they don’t know to apply and also don’t get buy-in from the rich who don’t get them and feel left out of society); but those who need more, get more. Maybe we can build something around that.

      • bad12 3.1.1

        So, who does the calculation over the amount of votes that would have been/were lost over the issue of extending Working for Families to beneficiary dependent children,

        I am not even going to advance the discussion here about which children in our society needed Working for Families the most,(i assume there is only one logical answer),

        Who tho does the calculation about the number of votes Labour ‘lost’ through denying Working for Families to benefit dependent children,

        I can assure you that Labour at the point of Helen Clark telling us all that not including benefit dependent children in Working for Families was ”to encourage them to get a job” lost Labour my vote and i have nothing to gain financially from having those children included,

        The fact that you discuss the inclusion of benefit dependent children in the Working for Families scheme as one of votes lost says that i made the right decision to leave a party that would put a few votes ahead of the well-being of a large number of Kiwi children…

      • xtasy 3.1.2

        “That doesn’t mean forcing people into inappropriate jobs, and it doesn’t mean forcing the ill to work. It can mean finding the appropriate jobs for the disabled to give them the greater independence that they desire.” And –

        “It can be hard to express concrete policies before they are formulated.”

        Thanks for your reply Ben.

        I am still confused, and from your reply I get the impression that you basically want welfare reforms similar to the ones the Nats have served us up by way of the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill, but with the difference of not formulating these too harshly and not with the types and levels of draconian sanctions in place.

        Indeed I get the impression that Labour’s leadership and caucus members, possibly even wider circles in the membership, share the views of the controversial former Chief Medical Officer of the Department for Work and Pensions in the UK, Professor and now “Sir” Mansel Aylward, who believes in a rather firm interpretation of the so-called “bio psycho social model” for assessing sick and disabled for work capacity. His reasoning is, that the applied work tests, based on his implemented policies, do “assist” sick and disabled into “suitable” work. Yet in the UK that “firm” approach did from early 2011 to Sept. 2011 cost the lives of over 1100 people there.

        http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2012/05/31/a-tale-of-two-models-disabled-people-vs-unum-atos-government-and-disability-charities-by-debbie-jolly-dpac/

        http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2012/10/31/government-use-might-of-american-insurance-giant-to-destroy-uk-safety-net-by-mo-stewart-update/

        As the presently still employed Principal Health Advisor for MSD and WINZ, Dr David Bratt was also hired and employed under a then “new” welfare focus under the last Labour led government, and as he appears to have enjoyed to full trust of the then government, while going on about the same approach ad Professor Aylward, and in presentations to GPs even compares benefit dependent people to drug dependent people, I am somewhat concerned and horrified about what Labour may stand for in this whole welfare matter.

        http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/GP%20CME/Friday/C1%201515%20Bratt-Hawker.pdf

        http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/2012/Fri_DaVinci_1400_Bratt_Medical%20Certificates%20are%20Clinical%20Instruments%20too%20-%20June%202012.pdf
        (see pages 3, 16 and 33 re comparison to “drug dependence”)

        Those 2 are just some of Dr Bratts rather one sided, selective info using and bizarre presentations to GPs and other organisations. He does not come across as being particularly “sympathetic” and wanting to “assist” people into suitable work, I am afraid.

        So having put such a man in such a job, and many Labour MPs coming here, or having their weekly e-newsletter presented on TS, and then not answering to questions I raised about all this, that does not build any trust in Labour’s welfare policies at all, I am afraid.

        Feel free to express your views on these bits of information found under the above links.

        I understand that the largely ignorant, media brainwashed, envious and harsh public would not have warmed for extending WWF to beneficiaries, but why not address the public with true figures and not let the one-sided, misinforming media get away with what they are doing? Or is it perhaps “convenient” for the Labour leadership to have the public think as they do, at least in some areas of policy?

        • xtasy 3.1.2.1

          Correction: In my last chapter in my comment I did in error use the abbreviation WWF for ‘Working for Families’. It was meant to be WFF of course.

        • xtasy 3.1.2.2

          Paula Bennett and Cabinet did already in 2010 announce extremely firm, yes harsh, new rules and requirements for sick and disabled beneficiaries, which can be read in the following document:

          http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/newsroom/media-releases/news/2010/paper-c-tightening-access-and-active-assessment.pdf

          The document in question is titled:
          PAPER C – FUTURE FOCUS: TIGHTENING ACCESS AND ACTIVE ASSESSMENT

          “A relentless focus on work” was the mantra, and still seems to be, and now MSD and WINZ look at what people “can do” rather than “what they cannot do”.

          It is one in a serious of policy documents that were prepared, produced and that led to new, stringent welfare policies, which led to many former invalid’s beneficiaries, or new applicants for that benefit, being put through tight assessments, often by WINZ commissioned and MSD selected “designated doctors” that were trained since 2008 by Dr David Bratt and Dr David Rankin, both known for their personal strong, one-sided views in regards to “work capacity” and the “benefits of work”.

          Many were thrown off the IB and put onto the Sickness Benefit. And also have many sickness beneficiaries been re-assessed “rigorously”, and then work tested, to compete with the already too many fit and healthy for the few jobs that exist out there.

          It raises extremely serious questions how the “training” of those doctors by MSD staff does meet the legal requirements for “independence” of “designated doctors” under natural justice.

          So I am still waiting for Ben Clark’s position on the above and this.

          As I can remember, there was some verbal opposition from Labour to the way ‘Future Focus’ was being implemented by the National led government, but it was rather sporadic and of brief occurence, when coming from various Labour MPs.

          Now, I really would like an update on where Labour stands on welfare policies, in view of all these developments.

  4. swan 4

    Re 2. I dont get it. A lower exchange rate only helps insofar as it lowers real wages for NZers. But then people are at the same time calling for higher wages which would nullify this. Whats it to be then – lower wages and more employment or higher wages and less employment?

    • felixviper 4.1

      “A lower exchange rate only helps insofar as it lowers real wages for NZers”

      Second time you’ve trooled that line in less than a day. Guess no-one bit, eh?

      It’s almost as if everyone has had these exact discussions many times before, seen through all your cultish dogma, and and aren’t the slightest bit impressed with your blinkered bullshit.

      • BLiP 4.1.1

        .

        When do the private schools go back?

      • swan 4.1.2

        “It’s almost as if everyone has had these exact discussions many times before, seen through all your cultish dogma, and and aren’t the slightest bit impressed with your blinkered bullshit.”

        Or, no one has got a simple answer to this problem. One of the two.

        • Bunji 4.1.2.1

          1. There are costs other than wages that will also reduce with the dollar, improving our competitiveness.
          2. A lot of the things we buy are not from overseas, so wages don’t need to rise as much as the dollar lowers for workers to be in a better position – as well as exporters.

        • Polish Pride 4.1.2.2

          Felix – unfortunately in my humble opinion Swan is probably right insofar as many times valid questions (to the person asking at least) are posted with genuine intentions behind them and wanting answers but because they don’t fit nicely (or even worse, potentially dispell comletely….?) with solution being discussed, they are just ignored and no one responds.
          Again in my humble opinion (and this one has a wealth of experience behind it) If you are really serious about solving a problem, you need to consider all the potential variables and outcomes otherwise not only will you not solve the problem you intended to, you might just create several new ones. Then again you might just get lucky and solve the one you wanted to. But when your playing with something that affects people on mass you should consider all the potential and logical outcomes. Then and only then will you be in a position to have a robust and workable solution.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.2.2.1

            nah the high dollar has been squeezing high paid jobs out of this country for years and years, replacing them with shitty low paid service ones.

            The changes we need to make are 10 years overdue, they have been thought through for years and years, the USA and China have been depressing their own currencies for at least that long, how much longer do you want to delay joining the club of rational economic actors?

            • Polish Pride 4.1.2.2.1.1

              I agree with you but once you have done it then what? We live in a global economy filled with consolidation, automation, and offshoring of resources and these are constant pressures on ’employment’. So lets say we do what is being discussed and lets say the unemployment rate drops to 5%. With these constant pressures in a Capitalist system where businesses always need to constantly look for competitive advantages it is not going to stay that way for long. I’m sure I don’t need to tell anyone on here that wages are generally the largest expense of any business. Its all well and good to say that businesses need to focus on more than just the bottom line (and they do) but in the current system the bottom line will ALWAYS be in focus.

              • Colonial Viper

                I agree with you but once you have done it then what?

                One step at a time.

                With these constant pressures in a Capitalist system where businesses always need to constantly look for competitive advantages it is not going to stay that way for long.

                You draw a firm line around labour and pay standards and tell business to look for their competitive advantages elsewhere other than deflating Kiwi living standards.

                • Polish Pride

                  See now although what your proposing (drawing a firm line around labour and pay standards) works in theory (and potentially practice) … it will still be subject to pressure from businesses being able to do it cheaper overseas or via automation.
                  It would work well if you want to focus on small to medium size businesses and I suspect that you do. These small to medium size businesses are not likely to have the capital required to upsticks and move overseas where labour and subsequently the overall cost of manufacture is cheaper. Automation however is another matter and will still be putting workers out of jobs. It is important not to think of this in isolated incidences though because once a role can be made redundant through automation, all roles of that type have the potential to be made redundant. The problem is that the people in those roles under the current system then need to find another job in a world/country where roles are continuously being automated. There are solutions – people working less/job sharing, embracing automation and having the goal of society and the system to make people redundant and probably others too. But these are discussions about the type of country we want to live in in the future. Maybe not for us. Maybe this is a discussion about the world we want to leave our children or grandchildren. The problem is politicians have no driver to even bother having this discussion with New Zealand and so we just drift endlessly from left to right, from one crisis/problem to the next.

                  • McFlock

                    That is a point, but then the flipside is that we end up rehashing the “minimum wage vs unemployment” debate incessantly, just because of some year-8-level application of a slide rule that assumes the supply and demand curve is a completely isolated system. That’s not the theoretical king-hit tories seem to think it is, not least of which because it’s not been replicated in the real world.

                    Basically, “questions” like Swan’s involve more than enough knowledge to use the jargon and identify the juxtaposition, but not enough to realise it’s drivel – which requires either dogmatic blinkering or an amazing ability to miss the obvious. It’s just a hip-pocket line for folk who think they have an awesome counter-argument, like athiests who go up to street preachers and ask “can God make something too heavy for him to lift?”.

                    I’m sure there’s a “stupid tory arguments” website that can be used as a shorthand link as a response, rather than just calling them the idiot, privileged swine they are, but I’ve never been bothered to look for it.

                    • swan

                      Seriously, McFlock why dont you want to look at the reality? In NZ we currently have youth unemployment off the scale relative to general unemployment. It is very well correlated with the abolition of youth rates. Do you want to run the risk of exposing ever more people to unemployment in the pursuit of a minimum wage.

                      I would love to live in a country where everyone got a decent life. My opinion is the best way to achieve that is via education, and the second best way is via a universal basic income.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      BULLSHIT swan

                      Go your way and you’ll have NZers working for $10/hr. But that’s still FOUR TIMES higher than Indian and Chinese workers.

                      So we’ll still have skyrocketing unemployment and poor export performance because most NZ businesses refuse to pour money into capital equipment and technology.

                      Note the NZ dairy industry. Millions of dollars of new plant and equipment going in every year, millions of dollars in research, well paid, unionised staff in every fucking factory.

                      Maybe you could learn a thing or two about what already works in NZ instead of trying to pawn off your fellow citizens at discount rates?

                    • McFlock

                      In NZ we currently have youth unemployment off the scale relative to general unemployment. It is very well correlated with the abolition of youth rates. Do you want to run the risk of exposing ever more people to unemployment in the pursuit of a minimum wage.

                      Sigh.

                      Abolition or introduction?

                      Eric Crampton was here a while back spouting the same bollocks. Google it. I think there was a treasury report or somesuch that basically assumed that youth unemployment would remain in a constant level, or increase at the same ratio, past the introduction of youth rates. Which assumed that the GFC would affect everyone equally – skilled unemployed and unskilled with no work record.

                      What’s the youth minimum wage compared to adult MW now, and what’s the youth unemployment rate compared to adult? Take your time…

                    • swan

                      Colonial Viper, you do realise that on the whole we have far higher productivity than China and India right? And this IS reflected in wages?

                      A universal basic income would allow us not to need to even have this conversation. We could set a UBI at something everyone agreed was acceptable (and it could vary depending on family size), and then there is no need for a minimum wage to be set above prevailing market conditions. Job done. No risk of ending up with people living on Chinese wages.

                    • swan

                      McFlock,

                      I have seen that work. It uses a data series going back through previous major recessions. And there is a major break in the trends right after the abolition of youth rates.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Colonial Viper, you do realise that on the whole we have far higher productivity than China and India right? And this IS reflected in wages?

                      Misleading statement. You’re averaging in half a billion rural peasants who live on one or two dollars a day to get your China position.

                    • swan

                      Point being? Market rates for unskilled labour will be based on the marginal product of the labour.

                      But we can agree that a UBI would be the best solution??

                    • McFlock

                      I seem to recall the bulk of the analysis was post-2000.

                      But the point was that, crunching the numbers for “attributed job loss”, it assumed that youth unemployment would have been constant (either absolutely or as a relative measure, can’t remember offhand – distinction irrelevant, anyway, as they’re both absurd) as we entered the GFC.

                      Bunk. Like most dogmatic, pseudo-scientific economic “analysis”. Supply-Demand slide rules cannot be applied to a complex system.

        • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 4.1.2.3

          Your name provides a picture ‘swan’. Gliding across a pool in isolated splendour with your head in the air looking away from the plebs. That’s why you will never get answers to your questions and reach understanding. Because you don’t want to see or mix with either the ducks or the seagulls. We’ll keep squabbling over the crumbs and you can survey us disdainfully from afar.

          • Polish Pride 4.1.2.3.1

            “Your name provides a picture ‘swan’. Gliding across a pool in isolated splendour with your head in the air looking away from the plebs. That’s why you will never get answers to your questions and reach understanding. Because you don’t want to see or mix with either the ducks or the seagulls. We’ll keep squabbling over the crumbs and you can survey us disdainfully from afar.”

            And this is why you lose so many opportunities to explain why a policy or course of action from the left would work and give us a far better place to live than the status quo. At the same time there will be a number of people not commenting but reading this blog that will see comments like yours and form an ‘opinion’ as a result.
            I very rarely attack anyone and you are probably unlucky in the fact that I have seen this type of post far too many times and you are the one that I decided to reply too. Your comment does absolutely nothing but feed your ego and may serve to move people like Swan decide that there is no point in posting here.

            If you just want this site to be a bunch of back slapping lefties that have no understanding of how those more to the centre or the right (you know those pesky people that also have a vote. A vote that at many elections will help to your preferred party in the opposition seats) think and and why, and you don’t actually want the opportunity to change their mind or better yet vote based on policy not just because they like the ‘look’ of leader on the right more in this current system of populist personality politics…. Then just continue with dumbarse comments like that one directed at other posters.

            If I am not mistaken National are in power right now making a real mess of this country and it is you and those of the left squabbling over the crumbs looking disdainfully from afar. Maybe, just maybe you should think about whether you want it to remain that way… and if not what you could do to change it instead.

            But by all means keep it up. You just get me closer to my dream of the whole ineffective system collapsing in on itself and people waking up to the fact that we don’t need politicians we just need a well considered constitution and a direct democracy.

            • McFlock 4.1.2.3.1.1

              The probability that any time spent in genuine discussion with Swan will be at all productive is approaching zero. I’m all for robust debate, even painfully drawn out arguments with little chance of resolution, but you can’t argue logic against dogmatic faith.

              • Polish Pride

                I post on here from time to time (semi regularly? work permitting) and I have no clue who you guys and girls consider to have dogmatic faith and therefore feel there is no point in engaging.
                There are a large number of people who read the site and the comments but probably never post, They may have an interest in politics, or a just a particular issue they are interested in. They may have some other reason for being here altogether.
                The point is if I post here and I don’t know who fall into the ‘ not worth engaging category’ then chances are they won’t either. Like me all they will see is a guy asking what appears to be a perfectly valid question and getting ignored or worse made fun of or worse still attacked personally.
                What impression are you leaving them with those who support the politics of the left.
                We live in New Zealand and when I grew up the two topics you don’t talk about if you want to remain friends with people is politics and religion. This blog and others like it give people that opportunity – do not underestimate the potential power to both turn voters on or off based on what they read here.

                Maybe I am being too precious, maybe I’m not. but if you attack someone you risk looking like the idiot to outsiders not them. If instead you continuously engage them with well reasoned (evidence based arguments) and they just stick with dogmatic faith in the face of what you present. Then it is they who will appear as the idiot…

                • felixviper

                  Maybe if you spent more time engaging with commenters here you’d figure out who was worth talking to for yourself. Hint: it’s not going to be the same for everyone.

                  Alternately you could just stand on the sideline pissing and moaning about how others choose to engage according to their needs and means.

                  Or you could start a site of your own and encourage whatever style of commenting you like.

                  • NoseViper (The Nose knows)

                    Polish Pride

                    Maybe I am being too precious, maybe I’m not. but if you attack someone you risk looking like the idiot to outsiders not them. If instead you continuously engage them with well reasoned (evidence based arguments) and they just stick with dogmatic faith in the face of what you present. Then it is they who will appear as the idiot…

                    My observation of many people with opinions about politics is described by an old saying “Those convinced against their will, Are of the same opinion still.”
                    So endless discussions with people whose intellectual equipment is too refined to try to stretch it wrap it around a problem so as to understand it better from all angles, is just a waste of good people’s time.

                    There is much to discuss and not enough time for wasting on those who enjoy filling in their spare hours being acrimonious, critical and judgmental without wanting to find some positive and human-oriented workable solution. Batting at each other’s heads, saying ‘my facts are better than yours’ so someone can emerge triumphant from the ‘discussion’ is merely a type of useless competition. Better and more likely to have a healthy outcome, to put in the time playing petanque.

  5. Rosie 5

    Sometimes all one can do to bear these times is to grit ones teeth, but sometimes that just doesn’t work and some venting of frustration must occur. The issues you cite, the Sallies annual report, Bill English being an arse, Benny Wenda’s appalling treatment and and Richard Tossers fucktard outburst in the hate mongering investigate magazine all culminated to bring me to tears the other day. It was admittedly during a weak point in my general life experience at the moment but these events really tipped me over. These events are symptomatic of our leadeships’ ideology so are not isolated. All combined however it makes me so deeply ashamed of what we have become. Transitioning back into decent society in terms of political leadership won’t be easy.

    • vto 5.1

      I am sorry to hear that Rosie. And I absolutely understand what you are saying and see and notice it myself. Various of my posts lately (usually ignored as typical ranting and blah de blah) rest on that same base discomfort and the fractures and faultlines running through our society. These fractures expose themselves in various forms, as you say.

      I also agree that leadership is one of the main ways of improving and healing these faultlines. However, leadership in this arena is simply non-existent. I made a suggestion to Hone (hee hee, not that he may read it or even anyone else, but thats another story) over on OpenMike that, effectively, he take a leadership role in one of those fractured zones and move to try and heal.

      Kia kaha

      • Rosie 5.1.1

        Thank you vto for your words. You either hadn’t had an opportunity to read my response to you at #2 or perhaps you are being gracious.

        Yes, I have yes read your posts of late and wouldn’t dismiss them as rants. To my mind reaction to changing societal behaviour is just as valid as discussing theories and policies. Indeed in our current political climate, policy is one thing that is driving social change for the worse. A phenomenom that I am observing but in no way can I validate or quantify is that folks (friends, family, neighbourhood, business and organisational intereactions etc) seem to have given up on giving a fuck. Is this the effect of a complicit media? Their own downwardly mobile life experience? Their disconnection from democracy and an ignorance of our political reality? To quote Key, dunno. Don’t know if I’m imagining it or not, or projecting my own dissatisfaction.

        Have you written to Hone Harawira himself? I really look forward to Mana having a visible and active role in repairing our fractured society in the next parliament. I really hope they pick up some extra seats in 2014.

        sentiments back at ya.

    • Polish Pride 5.2

      Rosie thoughts are power. If you keep thinking this is wrong that is bad then these are the situations that will continuously be presented to you in life.
      The world is changing for the better it can just be hard to see it if your not looking in the right places.
      If you try to focus on the positives (and at times they might seem limited in number) and the world that you want to live in, you will start to see the positive changes more and more. You won’t even need to look for the right places. They will present themselves to you.

      “The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right. Which one are you?”
      Henry Ford

      There is more power hidden in this statement than most people realise.

      • Rosie 5.2.1

        Hi Polish Pride thanks for your thoughts. While it may appear from my statement above that I am mired in a swamp of despair, there are other events I view that are remarkable for their success, and these things bring peace to my mind. I’ll give an example in minute.

        We can’t deny the reality of life in NZ, life in the world today. I’m pretty sure that civilisation has being saying since time began “What is the world coming to?!”. We’ve fought wars for freedom against repression and oppression for millenia. Awhile ago I watched a doco about the peasants revolt of 1314 in England. It seemed exactly the same themes of power, domination and oppression where at play that are now. I couldn’t see a difference. However, past battles were local,(even though the magnitude was great for some given the population) now we are global and we have the ability to destroy at a global level, eg, climate change as an effect of unchecked and unwise production. It is serious, and it can be depressing, and can’t be denied. We just can’t think our way out of it.

        Yes, I do understand the concept you are talking about. The power of thought. I view it more from a cognitve behavioural aspect than anything psuedo spiritual. My education (albeit a cut short and uncompleted one due to funds) has been in psychology and I spent a semester studying cognitive behavioural psych. I get that your self talk can bring to you to an unwanted and negative place however this has to balanced with a clear and non dissonant grasp on the reality of the world, the community you live in.
        I think what grates about the “thought is power” statement is that it is often said along side such throw away, empty and unhelpful lines lines such as “you are the master of your own destiny”, “it must be meant to be”, “you create your own karma”.
        Tell this to someone who has student debt, received a degree, had a great job, maybe in a govt dept, doing good work, saving for a house etc and then suddenly finds themselves redundant, goes through all their savings, can’t find another job or at best has to take a demeaning one and finds they are back where they started when they left home and went flatting. Tell it to the worker who has worked in the same factory all his/her life in the same small town and now the factory has closed down. There is no where else to go to work and they have ten years to go before retirement. I don’t think reminding them that thought is power will be particularly helpful if they then go on to develop depression and or anxiety.

        And finally PP. Yes good things do happen. We all have our own examples. Mine is that once a week I go in to do volunteer work for a not for profit organisation. Like most not for profits, their work and their successes fly under the radar. Often the recipients of their work are the only ones to know. Once a week I have the happy experience of working with truley amazing people that make amazing things happen for households in need.

        So, while we can do the best for ourselves and think in a solution focused and positive way, it doesn’t always work. There are forces beyond our control and they are the ones I had a wee outburst about. It may look a bit uncool but its totally valid. Perhaps if we had more collective expression of frustration we might be able to achive something positive.

    • muzza 5.3

      Hi Rosie, sorry to hear about your low point, and is completely understandable, that the barrage of depressed events happening, curtesey of the, *right honourables* (phooey), tipped you over.

      These people are not leaders, they are the currupted souls who have been bent over, sometimes willingly, sometimes not, either way, our parliament would be about 99.9% currupted!

      Like you, I am ashamed of what has become of NZ, because those running the place, are the direct reflection of the experiment which is NZ inc, and those who see themselves in the current govt.

      We have what *we* deserve running this place, which is appauling to those who value humanity, the environment, and appreciate the simple things in life which can put a smile on someone else’s face, as well as our own, so never let someone else take that from you, because that is what its about, taking from you (us).

      Be strong Rosie, and who knows, perhaps one day, instead of people blowing off events with such terms as. *conspircacy theory* etc, they might be faced with having to accept, that things in this country are so bad, for reasons that are so distateful/dishonest/abhorrant, that they are forced out of the collective slumber to take back, what is rightfully ours!

      The key component is, not to let it take away your energy, and ensure that you are finding joy, for others, and yourself, the power of this is exponential.

      Be well Rosie

  6. Murray Olsen 6

    What Polish Pride has written here makes a lot of sense to me.
    Many more people read this blog than ever comment or ask questions on it. A newish reader seeing someone put down does not know any of the history and can quickly form the opinion that the Standardistas are part of some exclusive club.
    There are obvious trolls such as King Kong, who deserve nothing but contempt. On the other hand, there are people who ask questions which may or may not be trolling. Lining up to be dismissive of them can turn people off very quickly.

    • felixviper 6.1

      “There are obvious trolls such as King Kong, who deserve nothing but contempt.”

      Obvious to you, maybe. But what about to someone reading the site for the first time?

      Or to someone who has no idea what trooling is?

      Or someone with no critical abilities?

      If someone employs a slightly more sophisticated form of questioning than KK, and uses a more polite turn of phrase, and changes their alias now and then so it doesn’t look like they’re ignoring all the answers they’ve already received, do I have to treat them as if they’re acting in good faith?

      Why do you get to be contemptuous of someone who you recognise as taking the piss but I don’t?

    • RedLogix 6.2

      I’m inclined to agree with Murray. It takes time to get comfortable with the ecosystem of a blog, to pick up on the undertones, the dominant values, language and unwritten rules of the place.

      Even simple things that are obvious to the residents, like whose a moderator, an author, and whose been around for five years or five minutes, are simply not obvious to a new arrival. Hell they most likely have yet to be pointed to the About or Policy pages.

      Yes there is a pretty strong ‘in group’ here. I’d advocate that we act with more self-awareness and generosity towards new commenters … regardless of where you think they are coming from.

      If it turns out they really are dickheads or trolls then eventually moderation will catch up with them.

      • Rogue Trooper 6.2.1

        :) (and you are humourous plenty of times amidst that comprehensive data-base of knowledge)

  7. Murray Olsen 7

    PS Do everyone’s comments await moderation, or am I guilty of something?

    [RL: Guilty of hoping some poor mod will release him from purgatory at 3am…]

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