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Back to the future: John Key’s Dickensian values

Written By: - Date published: 9:13 am, May 27th, 2013 - 160 comments
Categories: accountability, benefits, child welfare, class war, democracy under attack, greens, hone harawira, jobs, john key, labour, mana-party, poverty, same old national, slippery, spin, welfare - Tags:

John Key has been shamed by Hone Harawira’s “feed the kids” private members Bill, and is attempting to regain the upper hand . He is responding with a sly, use of PPPs and charities to absolve the government of responsibility, while falsely presenting a caring face.

It will do nothing to turn away from his and Paula Bennett’s approach of running a clear and destructive division between the deserving and undeserving poor.  As reported (again uncritically) by Adam Bennett in the right wing NZ Herald this morning, in justifying is lesser approach to feeding the kids, Key claims,

“Some people will say we shouldn’t do it because parents should look after their children and feed them, and if they don’t they’re not carrying out their responsibilities.”

However, “if the child is not fed … we know they don’t learn.

“In the end they are a victim, they may well be a 6- or 7-year-old victim that can’t stand up for themselves so we have some responsibility to do something about that.”

The fastest way to tackle poverty remained through work and education and he told party members that controversial welfare reforms, led by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, “may well prove to be one of the great legacies of this Government”.

Staking out the ground for next year’s election, Mr Key said it would be “quite a different election to what you normally see”.

“Normally elections are fought between the centre-left and the centre-right. That is not what’s going to take place next year. David Shearer has cut his cloth and it is wrapped around Russel Norman.

“But that now becomes an election between the centre-right and the far-left.”

The actual difference is between John Key’s return to destructive and divisive Victorian-era charity that ultimately benefits the wealthy and marginalises the poor.  The difference is between the Key-Bennett war on the poor, and Green and Mana’s social justice platforms of a fair go for all.  Green and Mana, along with Labour progressives, support policies that will create something closer to a level playing field for those currently socially and economically disadvantaged.

The Key-Bennett agenda, is following that of David Cameron’s government in the UK: one often labelled ‘Dickensian”.  In contrast, Dickens’ novels highlighted the nasty result of the kind of charity-focused agenda that Key and Cameron favour.  The Key-Cameron agenda is a rehash of the nastiest Victorian values, albeit given a new, shiny, glossy, and very superficial make-over.

As Hilton Dawson wrote in the Huffington Post in 2011, in his critique of UK PM David Cameron’s austerity approach to cutting public services,

We accuse the prime minister of spearheading a return to Dickensian values, where judgements of morality take precedence over basic human decency. He stands as a modern day Mr Bumble, deciding how much thin gruel to dole out to whoever he deems to be most worthy. The fact that he himself has emptied the cook pot seems to pass him by, “never mind, it’s the pauper’s fault for needing gruel in the first place!”

Dickens came from a poor background and his father was sent to a debtors’ prison.  Dickens appeal for social justice, was not fueled by any find of Marxist agenda, but from a realisation of the destructiveness of Victorian British society, based in institutions that benefited the better-off classes.

John Key and his anti-public sector cronies want to return us to that soul-destroying Dickensian world.  If he really wanted to “tackle poverty” and end the appalling spread of child hunger in NZ, John Key would have got on board with Hone Harawira’s “feed the kids” Bill.  And he wouldn’t be supporting Paula Bennett’s nasty war on the poor.

Harawira’s Bill is part of a wider approach, with the state taking more direct responsibility for tackling a range of problems that are harming those on low incomes, as outlined in Mana in Parliament 14-16 May 2013.  This looks to a new kind of socially just future; one that turns us away from John Key’s return to the nasty past.

 

 

 


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160 comments on “Back to the future: John Key’s Dickensian values”

  1. prism 1

    Karol
    Your first para is so right. Well said.

    • Tigger 1.1

      +1 I want to especially highlight this. “He is responding with a sly, use of PPPs and charities to absolve the government of responsibility, while falsely presenting a caring face.” Perfectly summed up.

  2. Winston Smith 2

    I would agree with the govt providing food for kids as long as the amount it costs to feed the kids is taken away from people that get benefits for looking after kids

    For example if its worked out it costs $5 per kid per breakfast then for someone getting a benefit (including WFF) would get $25 per week less for every kid they have

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1

      Yeah! Make sure there’s less food in the cupboards at home, eh!

      No wonder people say Tories are scum.

      • Winston Smith 2.1.1

        Um no it won’t, the parents will get the same amount of money less what they spend on breakfasts.

        Since the parents get money to raise the kids and if they don’t need to provide breakfasts for the kids because the govt is providing the breakfasts then they don’t need the money for breakfasts

        The familys don’t miss out and the kids get breakfast so its all good

        • felix 2.1.1.1

          That assumes that benefits already provide enough to feed kids nutritious food, and we all know this hasn’t been the case since 1991.

        • karol 2.1.1.2

          You assume that the parents have the money to feed their kids, but don’t. I guess you are one of the people that think everyone in NZ gets a “living wage” or a benefit that is sufficient for a family to live on.

          “Thin gruel” indeed. And should a child dare ask for more?

          • Populuxe1 2.1.1.2.1

            “You assume that the parents have the money to feed their kids, but don’t. I guess you are one of the people that think everyone in NZ gets a “living wage” or a benefit that is sufficient for a family to live on.”

            A 1kg box of weetbix is $5.99. A 2 litre bottle of milk is about $3.79
            That’s Countdown, though I expect Pack n Save is cheaper – but for a family with, say, 2 kids, that’s a week of breakfasts
            for $10.00.

            A loaf of toast bread is around $2.49 and a 250g jar of Marmite is $3.99

            Apples and bananas at the moment are $2.99 a kg

            Of course the government shouldn’t whelch on their responsibilities, but I think you also need to admit that if that parents can’t manage prices that low on a benefit then they are fucking up big time somewhere else. I’ve done my time on a benefit and I know it can be done. It’s definitely not fun, but it’s possible.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Fuck off Pop, people struggle to raise a family with two parents on the minimum wage and here you are moralising about how people on the benefit on a small fraction of that income should be fine to provide for their family.

              Mate of mine was 4 weeks late with his power bill as he was struggling to pay doctors fees and just keep the household fed, fucking Genesis disconnected him and then made him pay a $90 reconnection fee as well as all outstanding power bills in one lump sum. He’s had to borrow money to do that so that’s fucked his family for another three months.

              You really have no idea mate, so fuck off with your Weetbix prices and your calculator back to your cosy smoothly budgeted, no unexpected adverse incidents, no money sucking family crises world.

              • Colonial Viper

                And another mate of mine, his teenage daughter turns out to have been accepting Telecom “Shout” collect mobile calls from her not-even “boyfriend” from across the country. So he opens his Telecom bill the other day and it’s a $1600 bill.

                Now that’s fucked that family for a good few months too, and that’s not a family on a benefit, just a single full time near minimum wage. Luckily Telecom have agreed that he can pay that off at $50/week, but that basically means that his family is closing in on the poverty line in terms of disposable income, for pretty much the next 8 months.

                • Populuxe1

                  Send the teenage daughter off to work at McDonalds until she’s paid it off. That’s what my parents would have done.

                  • Populuxe1

                    And personally I would regard a cell phone for a teenager as something of a luxury rather than a need. Also, why the hell isn’t she on prepay?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah when you’re a fucking parent mate, you can moralise with your “this is how you do it” parenting sermons. In fact, knowing you, you probably will, good luck to your kids won;t they be lucky.

                      And Mr Self Righteous Parental Dipshit, she was accepting collect calls on the home landline (hence Telecom’s “Shout” system) from the boy’s cell phone. Don’t you know anything about how technology works?

                      As for your groundbreaking idea of making the teenage girl get a job to pay off the Telecom debt, yeah their trying to get her work, but last I heard youth unemployment was almost 30%, maybe if you were advocating for policies of full employment for everyone who needed a job they wouldn’t need the benefit and you wouldn’t prove to be such a self righteous know it all shit?

                    • Did you know Populuxe that the level of benefit is calculated to give a beneficiary 80% of the calorie intake they need each day? This was to incentivise them to go and get those non existent jobs we keep hearing about.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Gawd, you’re begining to sound like those Tighty Righty types that accuse Labour pollies of not knowing anything about what families need because they’re all barren. Helen Clark didn’t have children either – I presume this disqualified her from making legislation regarding children? DO you have kids, CV? Do ya??????

                      So basically you’re saying the teen age daughter is a selfish, willful little madam oblivious to the family’s dire financial situation? Hmmm – I wonder who fucked up there?

                      And whoever said anything about full youth employment. I don’t care if she’s babysitting for twenty bucks a session – she whould be the one paying her parents back, even if it’s only symbolically.

              • That’s correct cv – pops wouldn’t have a clue how hard it is to survive – SURVIVE – at the moment when on low income. Blame the parents again what a useless wanker you are pops – just another arsehole right-whinger.

                “I’ve done my time on a benefit” lol times have changed noddy and you’d know that if you stopped wanking on and started listening to the truthful stories about what it is like now.

                • Populuxe1

                  I’m on living expenses borrowed from my student loan, which plus my accomodation suppliment comes to areound $220 a week. Go fuck yourself you nasty little piece of shit.
                  Have time changed that much since 2010 when I was last ona benefit you ugly-minded soulless turd.

                  • So you ‘know’ yet still blame the parents – you’re a fuckwit.

                    • Populuxe1

                      I blame SOME parents, yes. Do you deny that some parents are just fucking useless and probably shouldn’t be parents at all? I don’t suggest for a moment that the children should be allowed to suffer, but some so-called “parents” were as shit under Labour as they are now. I also note that by no means are ALL parents on benefits failing to feed their children.

                    • Blaming some parents for their misfortune in either not having very good parenting skills to feed their family, or just being at the bottom of the heap and trying to survive on less than adequate money is still WRONG imo and shows that you just don’t really get it.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Or it just shows you are a fatalist who doesn’t believe in free will or self responsibility. You go to a library, CAB or Presbyterian Support Services and find out what you can do to improve the situation or solve some of the problems. Budgeting is obviously a skill that can be learned.

                    • oh is that what you do lol

                      Try reading this to find out a bit more about why your cult of personal/self responsibility is a distorted lens used to promulgate the distorted societal values so loved by some.

                      Draco posted it up in Open Mike yesterday and it really is a good read

                      http://www.psmag.com/magazines/pacific-standard-cover-story/joe-henrich-weird-ultimatum-game-shaking-up-psychology-economics-53135/

                    • Populuxe1

                      You are really going to have to stop trying to give the impression that I am against welfare or the rights of children. What I am against is excusing shitty parenting.

                    • I know that which is why I put the link up for you to read numbnuts

                    • Populuxe1

                      Aside from the fact that the parents of whom I speak are unlikely to be Machiguenga, I’m not objecting to them recieving welfare, I’m objecting to poverty being used to excuse poor parenting.

                    • Yeah just a big game to you – try reading it instead of being smarmy you might learn something. You’ll probably have to tip some bullshit out of your overflowing cup though to get the new stuff in.

                • Populuxe1

                  I did read it. It relates to one set of cultural norms among certain communities, not some universal system of ethics like you’re painting it to be. Some cultures treat women as chattals, practice genital mutilation, and stone rape victims to death for not having screamed loud enough. This has nothing to do with cultural values in New Zealand either.

                  • You didn’t read it all though did you because if you did and came up with that conclusion of what it’s about then I feel sad for your cognitive abilities – come on no fibbing.

                    btw – it does relate to ‘universal’ ethics – that’s the whole point they are making.

              • Populuxe1

                Oh fuck off – I’ve been there. You phone the power company, explain the situation, and determine a payment plan of installments. And if your mate couldn’t afford the doctor fees, he has the option of A&E and most large urban centres have charity medical centres. You adapt to your circumstances.

                You ridiculous tosser – how many times have you brought up your comfortable parasitical existence off your wife’s money. How dare you moralise to me?
                Maybe if so many people didn’t have such a fucking sense of entitlement about what they consider neccessities, they wouldn’t get into so much trouble. You sacrifice for your children if you have any pride.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I dare moralise to you because of your self righteous tosspot behaviour telling others how to live.

                  Why don’t you go list this weeks Pak n Save specials for good measure and give us a budget recipe for spaghetti bolognaise just to show the poor folk how it’s done.

                  Maybe if so many people didn’t have such a fucking sense of entitlement about what they consider neccessities

                  Yeah talk to the top 5% about that why don’t you. Apparently private schooling, a grammar zone property and 2 overseas holidays a year are “must haves” god forbid we have a decent tax and social welfare system.

                  You sacrifice for your children if you have any pride.

                  Fucking self righteous dick, maybe you should run a series of sermons based on this topic.

                  • farmboy

                    selfish bastards taken overseas holidays with the money they have earned, how dare they

                  • Populuxe1

                    Maybe some people should spend less time worrying about what other people are doing and should focus more on their own budgets. Fuck you are a tosser. Not everyone struggling to make ends meet is completely fucking useless. I know solo mothers with two kids who whine less than you.
                    Calling me a self-righteous dick? Hahaha Yo Pot, this is Kettle. Whazzup my Nizzle?

                • tracey

                  “so many people didn’t have such a fucking sense of entitlement” “so many”. How many do you mean? More than 10,000? More than 100,000? Do you include the folks who use tax havens, trusts and other “legal” tools to evade their responsibilities? Or do you just mean the mythical welfare “bludger” who exists only in very small numbers?

                  Why do you need the student loan/allowance? Didn’t you save before enrolling? Study only part-time and hold down 1 or 2 jobs to ensure you don’t tarry at the welfare teat?

                  • Populuxe1

                    tracey, if the rich pricks lose everything over night, has has happened in the various stock market crashes, property bubbles etc, then they will have to live within their means and budget like anybody else.

                    The fact that there are rich people out there abusing the system does not ipso facto mean it’s ok, nor does it mean other people should too.

                    • tracey

                      Nice dodge. But you didnt answer my question about what you actually mean by “so many”. But you are not outraged ipso facto at them just the poor folks.

                    • Populuxe1

                      I remember Black Monday, 1987. Don’t you? A lot of people though they were very well off indeed, until they weren’t…

                    • felix

                      “tracey, if the rich pricks lose everything over night, has has happened in the various stock market crashes, property bubbles etc, then they will have to live within their means and budget like anybody else.”

                      ORLY? Funny, I seem to remember a couple of years ago the rich pricks lost everyone’s money and there was no living within their means on the cards for them at all. Instead the governments bailed them out with more of everybody’s money and they used it to pay themselves enormous bonuses.

                • Murray Olsen

                  You could have a great time swapping poverty stories with Paula Bennett, Pap. She was on one too, and the two of you now have so much in common.

            • ghostrider888 2.1.1.2.1.2

              so, if, for whatever reason, parents are f*cking up Pop, why in a land of comparative plenty (for some) should we further deny children, unless some type of neo-darwinistic agenda is at play.
              Charity sees the need, not the cause (which are likely to be structural).

              • Populuxe1

                Well if you love state interventions so much, take the children off the useless parents and raise them in state-run creches

                • ghostrider888

                  ahhh, enter Lebensborn. Interestingly, I do have some sympathy with that proposal; family is loyalty, not blood.(to echo Milly Elder, among others)…but then, the history of state-run institutional care in this god-foresaken country…methodical it is not.

                • tracey

                  Can we take them off the useless parents who aren’t on welfare too? For example Michael Laws is a terrible parent. He ought never have access or influence over those children unsupervised. Have you read his column? his children would have found out he slept with a prostitute for some time, and believes in all kind of awful judgmental things? Or the parent who goes away for a month and leaves the teenagers int he mansion alone with the housekeeper, or the parent who gives so much pocket money their child can buy drugs at will.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2.1.3

              but I think you also need to admit that if that parents can’t manage prices that low on a benefit then they are fucking up big time somewhere else.

              Or I could point out that the benefit is too low.

              • Populuxe1

                Or food prices too high. The benefit could be more, perhaps $150 more or so, but a reality check on human nature:

                Higher benefits require higher taxes to pay for them, which ultimately impacts on those least able to afford them.
                The benefit was never intended to be a viable long term income – it’s supposed to be a safety net. Ergo, the government’s priority should be job creation, not raising benefits.
                There will always have to be a minimum incentive to work

                • tracey

                  BUT the reserve bank has targets which preclude full employment. You see when welfare was introduced there was often 100% employment. Not so these days, and that is state policy. This government seems to believe if you make it harder to get welfare then jobs will miraculously emerge? Or if you pay below minimum wage more jobs will eventuate. Any they may, but there will be a huge financial cost for those earning below the living wage by some margin. manufacturing is dying but banking and finance is alive and well. Which employs more?

                  Imagine if we clamped down on the tax dodgers. the real ones? What if we clamped down on the money paid to lawyers/accountants to asist the tax dodgers. What if we closed the looppholes that let people do any ordinary piece of work, ctake the profit, close down their company and leave the tax payer and ratepayer to pay out when their work fails? This government has opposed most of that.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Again, I am not saying anything against welfare, I am saying that poverty shouldn’t be used as an excuse for shitty parenting

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      It should be if poverty is the cause of that shitty parenting. This is the bit you just don’t seem to get. A lot of the children going hungry are doing so simply because the parents can’t afford better.

                    • tracey

                      Is being on welfare the “excuse” or is not having enough money to provide three square meals a day the excuse for making a judgment about which meals to feed the children? I am aware of parents who themselves go without for over a day (any food at all) to ensure their children get three meals. Are they the types of parents we need to encourage by applauding their good parenting and sacrifice but not addressing the shortfall?

                    • Populuxe1

                      I have no doubt that there are situations such as you describe. I also have no doub that in some cases it is shitty parenting. You can’t fight the bell curve.

                    • tracey

                      actually there are “so many” of the situations I describe. The ones you and winston latch onto make the news, mine don’t. Doesn’t make yours the majority.

                    • Populuxe1

                      I never said it did. That’s entirely the voices in your head projecting.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Higher benefits require higher taxes to pay for them, which ultimately impacts on those least able to afford them.

                  Yeah, there’s a reason why we have progressive taxes and why I’ve advocated for a Universal Income.

                  There will always have to be a minimum incentive to work

                  Why is it that to incentivise rich people you give them more money but to incentivise the poor you take money from them?

                  Paraphrased as I can never find the actual quote. I believe it was by a Galbraith.

                  When we stop punishing the poor for being poor and rewarding the rich for being rich then we’ll see people incentivised to work for the community.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Strangely enough, I have never yet met a rich person who needed to be incentivised to make money – not all of them are very nice people, but they are damned good at turning a profit. I haven’t said anything about “rewarding the rich” – that’s just your confirmation bias projecting onto me. The rich shouldn’t have tax breaks because they don’t need them. If anything they should be paying more of the taxes that fancy accountants can get around.

                    But if you’re used to not having much and someone is giving you free money, there isn’t much incentive to find work even when it is available. We don’t live in a post-scarcity society and we may never will.

            • Tim 2.1.1.2.1.4

              “I’ve done my time on a benefit and I know it can be done. It’s definitely not fun, but it’s possible.”
              When was that Populuxicle?
              I’m fairly sure it would not have been with kuds, unless there had been turkey basters and a second life involved – and OF COURSE – where you were thoroughly and utterly in control.

              Of course I suppose kuds could survive (SURVIVE, as opposed to live and prosper, and be allowed to express their full potential) on bread, milk, bananas and Vegemite – or even Marmite if that tickled their dear wee fannies .

              Of course, as always – I defer to your superior intellect, experience and knowledge on the way things work, your expertise as a parent (or guardian of littlehood 24/7/365), and of course your spiritual, ideological and religious being that will ensure the rest of us mere mortals in the first life are guided by your example.

              • Populuxe1

                Oooh, count the homophobic assumptions! It possiblu occurs to you that a single person living alone recieves significantly less on a benefit than someone with dependants, nor is a second income an option, and yet we still have to pay similar levels of rent, power and phone.

                • tracey

                  Do you pay similar levels? Kids, especially little ones have to be bathed, their nappies regularly cleaned and washed (cos they can’t afford to buy throw away or be accused of wasting money) – the hot water used by a house with children is way more than you use as a single person unless you are being particularly wasteful? I am pretty sure you just rent one bedroom? Children could kip in with the parents but you might agree that’s not very good parenting on many levels. Or do you also seek a return to the dickensian times when entire families lived in one room?

                  • Populuxe1

                    Gosh, how did people cope before disposables to clutter up the landfill with, eh? Do you actually draw a fresh bath for each child? That strikes me as environmetally undesirable. No one ever died from sharing a bath, which seems to have been how it was done in my parents’ and grandparents’ day. And I’m a grown-up, so no – I don’t just rent a single room.

                    • McFlock

                      What about when you were on the dole? Single room then? Mine was.

                      Dude, I’ve not reproduced and still know you’re talking nonsense – kids are about the most expensive thing a couple can acquire. And unlike a house, you can get one by accident or through someone else’s stupidity. And then there’s clothes that get grown out of in months, school fees (do they even bother pretending they’re “voluntary” these days?) and a myriad of other fucking costs. Not to mention you’re feeding an extra mouth.

                      This is the basic problem that people get into when they start arguing about appropriate dole levels for people other than themselves – back of the envelope calculations based on half-remembered prices and “handy tips” from Aunt Daisy. All resulting in bullshit.

                      But we do know that kids are going hungry. We know that their parents are going hungry. We know that things are getting worse for a lot of people, even if the Prime Minister can still afford a moet.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Actually no, I had a place and did everything in my power to keep it. I never said kids weren’t expensive, but however trite it might be to say, previous generations have had to endure far worse and still managed it.

                    • McFlock

                      “previous generations have had to endure far worse and still managed it.”.. with a corresponding level of infant, child and youth mortality.

                      Completed it for you.
                      And great, you were on the dole when you owned your own home? Thousands aren’t so lucky.

                    • ghostrider888

                      Pop, you seem to be personalizing a lot of these issues.

                  • ghostrider888

                    tracey, entire families are living in one room, hundreds at least, and possibly thousands of families.

            • Huginn 2.1.1.2.1.5

              so that’s 1000 grams of weetbix, divided by 4 (2 adults and 2 kids), divided by 7 days
              that’s a smidgeon over 35 grams of weetbix each.

              Just to give you an idea what that is, each weetbix biscuit weighs 30 grams, and has 118 calories.

              You’re dreaming if you think that one weetbix biscuit is going to sustain an 8 year old for breakfast

              and by the way, Countdown is offering Weetbix at $5.99 at a discount to the usual price of was $7.59, but I expect you knew that already, didn’t you

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.3

          Stop trying to dress your revolting callous hate-speech in logic: you’re too shite at it to be effective.

          If the household budget didn’t provide breakfast, then making it smaller means the kids will go without dinner too.

          But you don’t give a toss about saving money, you just like hurting punishing people. Have the guts to say so.

        • Suitably Clueless 2.1.1.4

          I thought breakfasts were cheap and easy, some bloody tory, I think it was Danny DeVito or David Farrar, can never work out the difference between the two, was saying the other day it was a few cents of milk and weetbix a day, I suspect if we had tories in charge it would cost $5 per meal and someone could make a profit aye? Wouldn’t that be grand.

          • Tigger 2.1.1.4.1

            So Winston, how would you work that out?

            I’d rather we fed all kids who want to be fed. Free food programmes for breakfast and lunch in all schools that want them. Kids choose whether they want to eat or not. But then I’m ‘far Left’…

            • Winston Smith 2.1.1.4.1.1

              Sure and I’m agreeing with that, feed all the kids but adjust the welfare payments accordingly

              • marsman

                But keep paying Bill English $30,000 a year to live in his own house?

                You righties need to gain some perspective.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Your disgusting sadistic punishments will result in even less food in the house, ergo kids not fed, you poster child for civil war.

                • Winston Smith

                  Punishment? Having people pay for breakfasts is sadistic?

                  If thats the case maybe you should look at where the real problem is…and thats the parents (well parents is probably not the right term for someone that doesn’t feed their kids)

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    Human is probably not the right term for someone who proposes to remove resources from families that already can’t make ends meet.

                    Right wing trash would be a better description.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    No, the real problem is that people don’t have enough income due to the rich making off with most of the wealth.

                    • That is true Draco – they suck everything they can out for themselves and then sit around moaning like winston smith above. Time to take back the wealth off these scum who would deny the basics to families, time to take back all of their second homes and generous bonuses for fucking the planet and society. I’d start today but I’ve got to scratch around for firewood before we all freeze to death.

                  • Roy

                    No, the real problem is the inadequacy of lower-end wages and the unemployment benefit.

                  • tracey

                    or lets their kids do drugs, or uses their influence to get their kids off charges (responsibility for consequences), why restrict your piety to the parents on welfare winston? Plenty of rich parents aren’t worth shite.

                    • Murray Olsen

                      Poor kids commit offences, Tracey. Their parents should be punished and shamed.

                      Rich kids make understandable mistakes. This is usually because their parents are working too hard creating wealth and really need more tax breaks.

                      For the disgustingly vile here: the issue is not parenting. It’s kids with empty stomachs and the attitudes like yours that are used to let it happen. If I’m ever painting my roof and I slip, I hope I fall on one of you.

          • Winston Smith 2.1.1.4.2

            I merely used $5 as an example, it could be more or it could be less in which case adjust the numbers accordingly

            So if a breakfast costs $1 per kid then take $5 a week of per kid…

    • NZ Femme 2.2

      And with that, you’ll simply ensure that the child now has no lunch, and likely an even less nutritious evening meal. Ughh.

      • Winston Smith 2.2.1

        How? I’m saying take the cost of breakfast off the payments not lunch or dinner

        You lefties need to gain some perspective

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.2.1.1

          You need to gain some mathematics.

          • Roy 2.2.1.1.1

            Try to gain some empathy while you are at it. You could try keeping a family for a month on the unemployment benefit or the minimum wage, for starters.

        • framu 2.2.1.2

          OK winnie – its been pointed out already but here goes again

          question 1 – are all kids that are going to school hungry, in that situation because their parents could afford to feed them, but chose not to?

          question 2 – are all kids that are going to school hungry, the children of beneficiaries?

        • NZ Femme 2.2.1.3

          No Winston, what’s needed is for a portion of the “right” to gain some compassion. And some economic foresight. Hungry kids who are falling behind academically, in health stats, and in hope, will cost this country a fortune in the future.

        • tracey 2.2.1.4

          if they cant afford breakfast and you reduce the benefit but give the child breakfast, wouldn’t it be logical to suggest now there isn’t money for lunch or dinner? Or are you basing your views ont he fallacy that all beneficiaries are just being plain mean tot heir kids and preferring themselves by making the kids miss a meal? If you are, then climb off your ivory tower and go spend time with agencies working with low income folks every day. Dont rely on the news or some dumb politician’s sound bite. Go talk to the sallies and say you want to spend a day with them understanding if the plight is real. Give up a day winston, for your own sake. You often write about the real world but seem unwilling to become educated about it.

          • Winston Smith 2.2.1.4.1

            Like you lefties think you have a mortgage on “caring” I call bullshit on that, what you are is lazy, instead of helping people you think throwing money at them is the answer, it isn’t

            • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.4.1.1

              The only people getting money thrown at them is farmers and bankers

              • Winston Smith

                I don’t agree with that either

                • Colonial Viper

                  Who the fuck would know that? No one. And it’s probably because you spend all your time railing against poor people who have no power, voice or advantages in our society, while leaving the wealthy in honoured peace.

            • tracey 2.2.1.4.1.2

              Um, so you won’t take the opportunity to view the other world rather than the world as it is for you?

              No one said people on the right of the political spectrum (whatever the heck left and right mean) don’t care. The suggestion here is YOU don’t care. Nice slogan though “you think throwing money at them is the answer, it isn’t”. It’s great to say it, it means you don’t have to spend ANY money and better still, don’t have to come up with a non monetary solution. You do understand that making it harder for someone to get welfare doesn’t ensure 100% employment, don’t you?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Translation: I will agree with the government feeding the kids as long as it makes them worse off.

    • infused 2.4

      The easiest way is food stamps imo. If you give people foodstamps and pay their rent, how can they blow the money on pokies and booze? They can’t.

      • Colonial Viper 2.4.1

        Yeah bringing USA ideas to NZ, after all they do it so well over there with their 48M people on foodstamps in the “richest” country in the world

      • tracey 2.4.2

        by selling their food stamps to teh equivalent of a loan shark who gives then 60c on the dollar

        • infused 2.4.2.1

          Make it illegal. Done.

          • McFlock 2.4.2.1.1

            just like how we ended the drug problem.

            • infused 2.4.2.1.1.1

              Nothing can ever be stopped, but you can always make it as hard as possible so the risk does not equal the reward.

              • tracey

                Are you for real? HOW will you enforce your new law that you can’t trade your food stamps? How many new police will you recruit? How will you explain to your law and order friends who are claiming that law and order is a problem in NZ that half the police force are monitoring the trading of food stamps? Infused, I do hope you spend most of your time on this site with your tongue in your cheek.

                • McFlock

                  That, and “risk/reward” calculations tend to be skewed by the immediacy of need.

                  • tracey

                    It also assumes that criminals stop and weigh up risk reward before committing crimes. there is little or no evidence of that. hence the death penalty does not deter all murders. Thus a life imprisonment does not deter a rapist.

                    Your thinking on this one is too simplistic infused. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems. except Michael laws.

                  • framu

                    also does squat for getting people off a benefit, food stamps et-all will only further entrench benefit dependency – something those who propose them always seem to forget

                • Colonial Viper

                  As I said earlier today, Righties have no problem with added bureaucracy and state powers, just so long they are targetted at the poor.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    And they can put their mates into those positions where they’ll be paid mega dollars because they’re so totally worth it.

                  • infused

                    yeah, because that’s what I’m suggesting… also, working for families? Or have you forgotten that.

                    • McFlock

                      “yeah, because that’s what I’m suggesting”

                      You want to give food stamps to the rich, now? No? Then yes, it is.

                • infused

                  Your thinking about this the wrong way.

                  One simple way, when scanning foodstamps, you have to scan your community services card, or something similar. That wipes out everything you just said.

                  Don’t over complicate it.

                  • tracey

                    um, couldn’t I just lend my community card tot he shyster?

                    • infused

                      Introduce photos on the cards… Ask for license identification randomly…

                    • tracey

                      You realise how much you are increasing the cost of your scheme? Are you aware that each year about $16m is lost through welfare fraud, and alot is committed by staff not recipients? is this idea of yours the best use of money in this area?

                      I understand tax “avoidance” costs far more than this. What about those bludgers infused? Outraged enough at them and their lack of responsibility and accountability?

                      What you call a tangent is actually an examination of consequences. Too many folks have an “idea” they heard and the 30 second sound bite accompanied usually by a well tarnished myth and think that’s it, it’s that simple. They are usually wrong.

                      Could you give me the cost benefit analysis of your idea for food stamps? How many are you thinking would get food stamps? How much will the scheme cost to implement (including technology at stores receiving them) and to enforce your little disincentives to abuse, what is your criteria for who gets them and who doesn’t and how you no longer qualify once on.

                      I await with interest

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The funniest thing in the USA…Citibank won the contract to administer foodstamps for the US government. So you have a money sucking parasitic banking institution making big profits off managing rationing cards for the poor.

                      Brilliant system, only in the USA.

                    • McFlock

                      Introduce photos on the cards… Ask for license identification randomly…

                      Lol. So now your simple foodstamp system involves photo id on a compulsory poor card, with corresponding photo id also supplied (what about people who have no driver’s license for health or cost reasons?). With a corresponding audit mechanism for all three systems (stamps themselves, ensuring CSC has right person on photo, and the accompanying photo id).

                      All administered by the Tory Nanny State (or their lowest bidder, Talent2).

                      Fuck sake – if you put half the effort into devising ways of cracking down on the $1.7Bil in actual tax evasion, then your cunning plans might have a hope of breaking even.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “Poor Card”

                      That’s very good…

        • Populuxe1 2.4.2.2

          Hang on, are you admitting that there are people who would do that sort of thing?

      • Roy 2.4.3

        I knew somebody would trot out the ‘pokies and booze’ accusation eventually. You forgot the other standard slurs, Confused: ‘Sky TV’, ‘drugs’ and ‘ciggies’.

    • Murray Olsen 2.5

      What about the parents that you and your lot pay the minimum wage or less to? Would you be allowed to take the money out of their pay packets? Suggest it at your next branch meeting. NAct would be much happier if they could look at the issue as giving you creeps even more corporate welfare.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    John Key and his anti-public sector cronies want to return us to that soul-destroying Dickensian world.

    That’s just the first step – the next one will be to full feudalism and probably even absolute rule.

  4. ghostrider888 4

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way, in short the period was so far like the present period, that some of it’s noisiest authorities insisted on it being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

    and so the wheel turns; where have we read that before.

  5. tracey 5

    “The fastest way to tackle poverty remained through work and education and he told party members that controversial welfare reforms, led by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, “may well prove to be one of the great legacies of this Government”.”

    I’m sorry is there a correlation between denying people welfare and more jobs being available? I confess to not being aware of the data on that score?

  6. tracey 6

    How many state owned assets has Germany sold int he last 30-40 years, does anyone know?

  7. Tom 7

    What is new ? The only surprise is that he has managed to sustain it so long, especially after MRP.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artful_Dodger

    It is a bit sad to see the ‘National Party’ sunk so low. What happened to the old concepts of noblesse oblige ?

    Rothschild’s handling of Thatcher in Finchley has a lot to answer for.

    Key does not look entirely comfortable. He would probably rather be watching it all from
    his Parnell mansion. The original Parnell would probably turn in his grave ..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Stewart_Parnell

    • tracey 7.1

      has Parnell been proposed for re-zoning int he unitary plan or have the really rich managed to stymie it? The rich want a congestion free auckland but, like prisons, not next tot hem.

  8. tracey 8

    I know of a litigation funder ( a very new concept in NZ, previously not permitted at law), who was himself involved in a company which didn’t do so well and left many people in dire straits. The company dealt in property. Many of the properties it dealt in (sold and re-sold creaming “brokerage” right left and centre) are leaky homes. BUT the company went under so they never had to pay a cent. That fell to the ratepayers. Anyhoo, this chap who was influential in that company is now a litigation funder. He comes along to leaky home owners whom the system is rogering and says “can’t afford to run your legal case? I will pay for the legal fees and when you win I take 35% – after the legal fees I paid for are refunded.”

    So, because the legal system is so fucked and so geared toward those with money and companies, this guy will actually make big money off the back of owner’s misery (including the bullying tactics and delay of Council).

    BUT he’s an entrepreneur… the subjects of this thread are just bludging lazy folks who dont know how to behave properly. he will get knighted at some stage.

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