Hats off to Jane Bowron for saying what needed to be said:
Shame on Bill English for his stoner/loser youth claim
Prime Minister Bill English’s reputation as a safe pair of blands taking the reins after the mysterious disappearance of John Key took a dive last week when he ruthlessly and cynically turned on Kiwi youth.
At a post Cabinet press conference, English said he had two or three conversations a week with business owners from across the country alleging they couldn’t find staff because young Kiwis are failing drug tests.
It’s all very well having the ear of businessmen, but when does the prime minister listen to a young unemployed person? And it is very a la Trump to go on anecdotal evidence that hasn’t been fact checked.
…Kicking young people when they are down and out, and by “out” I mean often unhoused, is a nasty, bullying tactic, particularly when it’s common knowledge that young New Zealanders are the group least likely to exercise their franchise come election time.
A country’s best resource is its young people and English’s marginalisation and blaming of the young unemployed and disenfranchised is shameful when cheap migrant labour has lowered wages, taken away Kiwi jobs, and caused a housing crisis.
The electorate is highly sensitive to immigration and its effect on housing shortages and sees National ploughing on with its immigration policy with no solution in sight as inept, out of touch, and bloody-minded.
Throwing young Kiwi citizens under the bus to blur the issue and deflect blame away from the Government is a high-risk manoeuvre that will not be viewed favourably by the parents and relatives of struggling young New Zealanders. …
Plenty more in the full piece on Stuff.