Stunned. I’m simply stunned. After speaking out against Paula Bennett’s cuts to the Incentives Training Allowance two solo mothers have had their entire financial details publicly released by her.
This is a disgraceful act of bullying which must surely breach the privacy act but it fits with the pattern we’re seeing from National of digging dirt and attacking anyone that speaks out against them.
We saw it with the ongoing persecution of the Worth complainants across National’s client blogs and we got a taste of it back at the start when none other than deputy leader Bill English decided to try to smear the Standard. And the rumour is that National dug around Bruce Burgess’s background after he appeared in the Herald and fed the information they got back to the paper (let me be clear, I’m not excusing Goff’s people for making such a stupid choice of poster boy for their dole scheme).
The message is clear. Speak out against the Nat’s and they’ll do whatever it takes to drag you through the mud. Meanwhile they’re doing everything they can to deny the opposition any (supposedly public) information that might be used against them.
I haven’t seen this sort of suppression of dissent since Muldoon was in power.