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Dickensian

Written By: - Date published: 7:23 am, June 25th, 2015 - 73 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, housing, welfare - Tags: , , ,

It all sounds so simple doesn’t it:

State housing tenants told to seek help

The Prime Minister is urging people in unhealthy state homes to approach government agencies for help.

Mr Key conceded it was a problem around the country, particularly as the weather had turned cold and damp. … “I accept that some people are cold and some people have, you know, less resources and on the back of that they should definitely reach out for more help,” he said.

The reality check came quickly:

PM’s state house advice ‘a bit glib’

Otara residents have scoffed at the Prime Minister’s advice to people living in cold, damp state houses to “reach out for more help”.

Jo Iosefo had lived in Otara for 43 years … He said once people had asked for help, they were being bounced between Government departments. “People are sick and tired of ringing, and they refer them from Housing New Zealand to social welfare, to Housing New Zealand, so people are giving up,” he said. “So people rather just stay in there and take the cold, because they are sick of running around you know, sick of running around with nothing happening.”

Salvation Army senior policy anaylst Alan Johnson said although there was some additional help available, the Prime Minister’s advice made it seem like there were many options when it was not the case. “It’s a little bit glib to sort of claim or create the impression that this assistance is available when in many cases it practically isn’t,” he said.

Gordon Campbell doesn’t hold back:

The government’s “let them ask for more” response to the dilapidated, cold and unhealthy conditions faced by many families in state housing can only be put down to two things – utter cluelessness, or total cynicism.

… When poor housing is killing children, it is politically necessary to make sympathetic noises that help is readily available – even when you know it isn’t, and even when you’ve actually spent years tightening the screws on the social spending that’s required to fix, insulate and heat cold and leaky homes. (All in order that you can brag about your route to a Budget surplus.)

We all know how bogus the outpourings of compassionate conservatism really are. Yet before becoming too righteous, we can also recognise that middle and upper income earners are still pocketing money from the tax cut package of 2010 that has made this kind of hardship almost inevitable. …

Thank you Gordon. Let’s finish with the view from Neetflux:

neetflux-oliver-more-help

73 comments on “Dickensian”

  1. vto 1

    Fuck this government and its supporters.

    mean
    nasty
    mean
    cold-hearted
    mean
    inhuman
    mean

    this is the National Party and its supporters. Nobody else. Just them. Personal to them is this situation. Directly attributable to National Party members personally.

    Our community wont even look after its own.

    barbaric and uncivilised.

    Even Neanderthals had more humanity than National Party members and voters.

    • Policy Parrot 1.1

      And this is from a 2008 National voter.
      Middle New Zealand’s increasingly sees politics as irrelevant, with simutaneously having excessively optimistic and pessimistic views on politics – politics is something apart from them, something dirty, something sleazy, not to be associated with:

      “useless, all they do is argue” – different voters have differing ideas on how the country should be run – therefore their representatives will reflect this.
      “why can’t they just get along to take the country forward” –
      see above
      “rather have no vote and not have to pay tax”
      – until the government unilaterally decides to abolish this tax franchise but does not restore the vote.
      “voting just encourages them”
      – not voting is like a negative vote, indirectly supporting those ideas and politicians you like the least.

      The challenge here is for Labour, to make (their) politics relevant to these people. Whether they be among the missing million, or among the soft selfie Key cohort – they are within reach.

      • Sable 1.1.1

        Oh to hell with Labour. They ARE a big part of the problem. Time to look at the smaller parties who have not yet been corrupted and still stand for something meaningful.

        • Save NZ 1.1.1.1

          @Sable

          I thought that too and so did so many others who did not vote for Labour but that is how the Nats scraped through.

          Unless people say why the don’t vote Labour anymore and Labour changes we might get the Nats back again.

          I agree, go to the minor parties but then you have Labour actually more interested in undermining them to preserve their votes rather than changing their ways and being separate from the Nats.

          Very frustrating.

          That’s why 1m didn’t vote.

          They don’t like the policies of any party.

          Labour too right, Greens too left. Nats framing the discourse and pretending to be in the centre.

          At this point, like Northland, the only way for them to win against Nats is for Labour, Greens and NZ First to have some sort of an alliance and strategy and stop the votes being split in the electorate voting.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.2

        The challenge here is for Labour, to make (their) politics relevant to these people. Whether they be among the missing million, or among the soft selfie Key cohort – they are within reach.

        Appealing to Labour to do what it can’t do and what it doesn’t want to do, is hopeless.

      • Sabine 1.1.3

        And this is from a Labour/Green/other Party Voter.

        Stop blaming Labour. They have not been in power since 2008. This is yours, all yours, Paula Bennett ? Yours, John Key the Hairpuller in Chief….all yours, Bill English Mr. 19 % all yours, Nick Smith – all yours, Anne Tolley – yours, Judith effn Collins, yours too, Simon Dumbarse Bridges, yours. The fat one, yours. The other ones. All fucking yours.

        You had ample choice in the last election to not vote for National or Labour. There are the Greens, NZ First, heck you could have voted for legalize Marijuana Aotearo….any of the other parties would have been better than this corrupt lot.

        So, sorry mate, you lie with dogs you get up with Fleas. This shit, you and all the other enablers. You own it.

        • Policy Parrot 1.1.3.1

          Clarification: when I said “And this is from a 2008 National voter” – I was actually referring to the commenter above – not myself. Should have pointed that out more clearly.

          CV – Like it or lump it, Oppositions have to make themselves relevant. Labour can do this, and should. And they don’t need the Trotterite dictatorship to save the party from itself either.

          Just have a political strategy, and then all other issues be subordinate to that strategy – either by spokespeople batting off uncomfortable questions outside the remit with – “we don’t have a policy on this at this time”; “our record in government in dealing with these issues clearly demonstrates that our party cares about this issue, however we are not making it a priority at this time”; “it is important for our caucus/party to consider our approach to this issue before I can give our reaction/position”.

          This is pretty simple stuff – of course it all goes pear shaped if those with delusions of special circumstances sabotage this strategy.

          • Colonial Rawshark 1.1.3.1.1

            PP –

            I agree with you, at a certain level. For a political party as long established as Labour, your suggestions should be akin to being able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Both in theory and practice, what you say should be relatively simple to implement.

            Yet it is not happening.

            Oppositions have to make themselves relevant. Labour can do this, and should.

            This is what I mean. 2 terms and 1 year after losing in 2008, $5M plus of MPs salaries per annum for the last 7 years, we are still talking ‘Labour can and should make themselves relevant.’ But it isn’t happening, is it.

            Which means that the combination of external and internal forces stopping Labour from making itself “relevant” are very considerable.

            It also suggests that the trends, internal and external, which have made Labour irrelevant, continue in motion.

            • Save NZ 1.1.3.1.1.1

              Labour has Act members in it’s own party. Groomed by lobbyists who want Nats to stay in power, they are cannibalising themselves from the inside.

              Like Obamn and TPP. It isn’t even about parties any more it is about individuals who are groomed within ALL the main parties to believe the neo liberal mantra.

              How do you fight that?

              • Save NZ

                And to answer my own question, in Iceland and Spain they are forming new parties which are starting to take the votes away from the mainstream.

                Hense a huge fear of the Internet party in NZ.

                The other way is for the main parties to start expelling MP’s from the party if they don’t believe in core principals of the party.

                Anyone got any solutions?

        • linda 1.1.3.2

          The buck stops with the key government and his voters

    • Sable 1.2

      I think sadly New Zealand is conservative by its nature. Not that the nasty Nats are conserving much…..

      • vto 1.2.1

        I don’t think being conservative has anything to do with it. Being conservative and compassionate are not mutually exclusive at all.

        It is simply about being mean.

        National Party supporters are mean and they should be shunned and despised. It is as simple as that. This aint tiddly winks – this is people’s lives.

        • Sable 1.2.1.1

          Just look at Canada. It has a very conservative outlook and a government to match. I think the right leaning (conservative) and nasty are typically bedfellows…..

          • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1.1

            Yes they are. But very many National supporters are extremely decent folk, solid Kiwis through and through. And they can’t be bothered with Labour’s bullshit.

            • sabine 1.2.1.1.1.1

              yeah, but they can be bothered with Nationals bullshit. And considering that we have people sleeping in cars and the likes in minus temperatures, these current National supports are not decent folks, they are greedy, self centred and do not even give a flying fuck that this could be happening to their offspring.

              They might be well off enough to get themselfs a nice retirement, but their kids? their grandchildren? Oh you mean they will be dead when history judges>?

              No, the current lost of National Voter is not decent. They are greedy and as dumb as a rock.

              • Liberal Realist

                “No, the current lost of National Voter is not decent. They are greedy and as dumb as a rock.”

                I beg to disagree. I’m sure there are many of us lefties out there that have National voting family members, myself included. Some maybe greedy and/or dumb but I’m sure there are those that fit this description on all parts of the spectrum (many more to the right for sure).

                My take on it is that generally the average National voter believes what they hear and read in MSM. They also truly believe that the government wouldn’t lie to them, never!

                Decent or not, they’re naive.

                https://tinyurl.com/ovws9mc

              • Colonial Rawshark

                And considering that we have people sleeping in cars and the likes in minus temperatures, these current National supports are not decent folks, they are greedy, self centred and do not even give a flying fuck that this could be happening to their offspring.

                That’s an indictment on the last 30 years of NZ government, and on Labour and National supporters alike.

                • Save NZ

                  Yep, but the decent Nat voter, doesn’t see that family in cars cos the canned Campbell Live. Cos Corporate Welfare magnet Weldon needs more ‘fun’.

      • Sabine 1.2.2

        New Zealand is not conservative, NZ is after a quick buck, selfish to the core and short sighted.

  2. Sable 2

    The passage of this TPPA monstrosity is only going to make things worse. The whole process will be sold off to some foreign corporation and the government will become little more than corporate law drafting scribes that serve the needs of their foreign masters.

  3. Gosman 3

    How did the Tax changes in 2010 make this kind of hardship almost inevitable? That is nonsensical.

    • adam 3.1

      That’s because your ideology blinds you Gosman. Can I recommend reading more widely – it could help.

      • Gosman 3.1.1

        It was quite a staight forward question. The tax changes in 2010 had no impact on spending as they were designed to be fiscally neutral. Where is the direct linkage between the tax cuts and problems in social housing?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1

          They weren’t fiscally neutral, as I’m quite sure you already know.

          The direct linkage is the National Party.

          • Gosman 3.1.1.1.1

            Ummm… if you read my comment below you will also see that I pointed out that the short fall in the fiscal revenue was covered by borrowing and not spending cuts. So once again how did the Tax changes in 2010 impact Social housing directly?

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1.1

              So they were designed to be fiscally neutral but failed to be.

              Was that due to bad design by National, or was that due to bad execution by National?

              Or really, was the line “fiscally neutral” just a bit of PR fluff that you now keep repeating?

              • Gosman

                They were designed by the Treasury so you have your answer who is to blame.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Treasury isn’t in charge of the country. Or are they?

                • Lanthanide

                  So if National went down to the corner dairy and asked the shop-keep what the GST rate should be, and how much the unemployment benefit should be, and then National implemented the what the shop-keep said verbatim, who do you think we should blame?

                  The shop-keep for giving bad advice, or National for using it?

                  Of course what actually happened here, is that National asked Treasury to justify it’s tax-cut election bribe that they’d already made (north of $50 a week, remember). There would have been quite a few iterations back and forth between the government and treasury as they ironed out the policy and tested different options and modelled how they would play out, until they eventually settled on one that looked generous enough to the voters, while also having a plausible facade of being fiscally neutral when you made lots of questionable predictions and assumptions about how the future would unfold. They eventually came up with a facade of fiscal neutrality that unthinking fools such as yourself ineffectually use as a tissue-thin shield in a vain attempt to deflect all criticism of their wanton policy.

                  So in the very single shop-keeper case, who do you blame, National, or the shop-keeper? Then in the case that much more closely reflects reality, who do you blame, National, or Treasury?

              • Kiwiri

                Alternatively, it was due to bad execution by [nyeh nyeh nyeh, blame someone else other than National].

            • dukeofurl 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Real people who HAVE worked for Housing Corps maintenance program have said there has been a diversion of resources away from fix ups.

              Its a mantra from the shape shifter in chief that spending cuts havent affected …you know spending.

              • Gosman

                Quite possibly correct. However this has no direct relationship to the Tax changes of 2010.

        • adam 3.1.1.2

          You even responded in your narrow ideological terms – like I said – go to a library – big building – has lots of books.

        • Keith 3.1.1.3

          Fiscally neutral, isn’t that is what John Key told us, the bullshit that it was.

          If you got no tax cut because you didn’t earn enough but then paid the extra GST, that was supposed to claw back the tax cut, how the hell is that fiscally neutral? It isn’t, it’s just another John Key lie!

          And also at that time was bigger demands on SOE dividends which translated into higher retail charges for all as well as the much higher ACC levies which were figuring in government surplus forecasts. So apart from borrowing to cover the tax cuts Peter was robbing Paul blind!

          These tax cuts for anyone but the well off were a fraud.

        • McFlock 3.1.1.4

          See Gosman.
          See Gosman spin.
          Spin, Gosman , spin.

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      You’re right, and that’s because you left out the other part of the statement:

      “(All in order that you can brag about your route to a Budget surplus.)”

      Tax cuts in 2010 mean the government is forced to cut social spending in order to achieve their route to budget surplus. Really it’s quite simple, and it’s a shame this simple reasoning was beyond your comprehension.

      • tc 3.2.1

        ‘..they were designed to be fiscally neutral….’ ha ha ha ha ha the tr&ll with a classic spin line straight out of the DP handbook.

        ‘Design’ being the operative word much like an architect who sketches something unbuildable. Blinglish did no analysis and admitted it to Beatson the cut was pure ideology void of any anlaysis on crown revenue impact.

        Keep spinning Gossie.

      • Gosman 3.2.2

        The Government didn’t cut social spending as a result of the Tax cuts. They were designed to be fiscally neutral. Even when the rise in GST initially didn’t raise as much as was projected the Government simply borrowed more.

        • Lanthanide 3.2.2.1

          So because something was planned to work in a certain way, even if it works completely differently in reality, you just ignore reality because the ‘plan’ is all that matters?

          “Even when the rise in GST initially didn’t raise as much as was projected the Government simply borrowed more.”

          Yes, and you’ll see that they have a self-imposed cap of borrowing up to 30% of GDP – they don’t want to go over that number. So by borrowing to make up for the fact that their tax cuts were not fiscally neutral (which you just admitted, by the way – the fact that they borrowed by definition means the “tax switch” wasn’t fiscally neutral), they used up some of their borrowing head-room to pay for the tax cuts. They could instead have used that borrowing head-room to pay for social services.

          Thanks for playing, try again next time.

          • Gosman 3.2.2.1.1

            Only if the plan was to increase spending on social services, which the National Government never planned to do in it’s first term. They equally could have used the money to pay the Police more. The Tax changes did not directly influence social spending.

            • Lanthanide 3.2.2.1.1.1

              National didn’t campaign on raising benefits in the 2014 election campaign either, and yet they did it in the 2015 budget.

              So saying they “never planned it in their first term” is meaningless.

              The borrowing they FORCED on themselves because of the tax cuts, PREVENTED them from spending that money on other policies.

              If they hadn’t been forced to borrow (because of their tax cuts, which were not fiscally neutral, a statement which you have not objected to), but simply had not chosen to spend more money on social services, the complaint here would be “National has chosen not to spend money on social services”. The outcome and the reasoning behind it is hardly different from “National cannot spend money on social services because of their tax cuts”.

              Also, over the last several budgets, while National has been increasing the nominal spending on Health and Education, the real spending, per capita after inflation, has gone down. I don’t have the facts to hand, but I would suggest that real spending per capita after inflation has also gone down for other social spending, such as housing. So once again, the lack of government funding, caused by tax cuts, in conjunction with their desire to return to surplus (which was mentioned in the article and in my reply above) has forced the government to under-fund social services. There’s your direct link.

              • Kay

                “National didn’t campaign on raising benefits in the 2014 election campaign either, and yet they did it in the 2015 budget.”

                Lanthanide- The reality of that “increase” has been well and truly documented and debated. You either are too embarrassed to admit the truth or have been completely sucked in by the spin.
                Nats will NEVER, EVER campaign to increase working age benefits. It’s a big vote loser, don’t you know?

                As an aside- at the time of the last tax cuts/GST increase, Bill went out of his way, in fact couldn’t shut up about how benefits would be raised to compensate for the increase in GST. I got all of $5 a week on Invalids benefit; I hate to think what the lower paying benefits got. Yes Bill, that totally compensated for the GST increase on power, food, transport, medical costs, and pretty much everything. We’re ever so grateful. The most sickening thing was he kept up this narrative for a good year afterward. Denial, delusional, or just plain nasty?

                • Lanthanide

                  Lol, I haven’t been sucked in by the spin at all.

                  I’m not defending National, far from it. I guess you’re just new to The Standard and aren’t familiar with me, my politics, or debating style.

            • dukeofurl 3.2.2.1.1.2

              Tax cuts were supposed to be fiscally neutral ?- First Lie

              Government borrowed more to maintain spending – Second lie, they would have doubled down on spending cuts. have you ever listened to Bill English

              Falsehoods come thick and fast from this government recently , but thats the same as it ever was.

              • Gosman

                Are you claiming the Trasury lied to the Government and by extension the people of NZ? If so then it is a serious problem. I would expect the opposition to call for a radical overhaul of Treasury in 3, 2, 1 ……..

                • Lanthanide

                  It’s called lies, damn lies, and statistics, Gosman.

                  Furthermore, financial forecasts for all countries have generally been no better than chance for at least the last decade. Therefore making predictions that are very close to the wire and trumpeting about how clever they are, is a deliberate con-job.

                • dukeofurl

                  Treasury has been a ship of fools for long time. No one , except you seems to be aghast !

                  looking back at the 2010 Budget , written by Bill English, even he qualifies the GST rise as being ‘broadly revenue neutral’- eventually.

                  Its hard to know what Treasury’s fiscal modeling results were back then as they have rewritten the software since and back dated it – How convenient. ( they know how to bury the bodies in the public service)

                  The link from the 2010 budget pages only takes us to the 2015 fiscal modelling pages

                  http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2010

                  and

                  http://www.treasury.govt.nz/government/fiscalstrategy/model

        • Macro 3.2.2.2

          The Government didn’t cut social spending as a result of the Tax cuts

          Well at least you agree then that they have cut social spending – in a big way and we can see the direct result.
          So I guess they just cut social spending because in their heart of hearts they lack any empathy or concern for those less fortunate than themselves. – ie mean and nasty.

        • Stuart Munro 3.2.2.3

          There is some truth in this.

          The government didn’t cut social spending as a result of Tax cuts.

          They cut social spending because they are dumber than dirt and more vicious than a pack of syphilitic weasels.

          They set out to wreck our country, and if we want any part of it to survive we are going to have to stop them dead.

    • How did the Tax changes in 2010 make this kind of hardship almost inevitable? That is nonsensical.

      Lowering the top income tax bracket and raising GST shifts that proportion of the tax burden from the highest earners to the lowest. The lowest already being in hardship in many cases, increasing their tax burden inevitably increases hardship. It’s not difficult to figure out.

      • RedLogix 3.3.1

        In other words – the line Gosman is pushing amounts to; maybe the 2010 tax package could be argued at tax neutral … for the short-term govt balance sheet..

        But at the same time it clearly shifted money from the poorest to the richest in our society. And that surely was not ‘tax neutral’.

        Of course given the explosion in govt debt in the five years since – the idea that the cuts were ‘tax neutral’ in terms of future tax liabilities is another kind of bs as well.

        • dv 3.3.1.1

          AND don’t forget the nearly 5 Billion in interest per year for the debt.

          • Psycho Milt 3.3.1.1.1

            Yes, “fiscally neutral” is a matter of the government’s books. It doesn’t mean neutral at the individual level, and we’re talking about a lot of individuals with bugger-all income and all of that income (except for rent) spent on stuff that attracts GST. The tax cuts weren’t “fiscally neutral” for them at all.

      • adam 3.3.2

        “Lowering the top income tax bracket and raising GST shifts that proportion of the tax burden from the highest earners to the lowest. The lowest already being in hardship in many cases, increasing their tax burden inevitably increases hardship. It’s not difficult to figure out.”

        It is, if you ideologically rigid like poor old Gosman

  4. adam 4

    “The Gospel takes away our right forever, to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor.”
    ― Dorothy Day

  5. Mike the Savage One 5

    You can be a Dickensian “Dick” and get away with all this, when you are the Prime Minister, just the same as you can get away being a “dick” like that other one, Nick is his name, Minister for Housing and unfound land in Auckland.

    The major problem is, the people affected simply do not take action, that is take serious protest action, and rather just choose to “adapt” and somehow “manage”. They rather move in with family and friends, into cramped housing conditions, put up with whatever job they can find, to earn a bit, and otherwise keep their heads down, so to not cause “problems”.

    Some will try to bend the rules and survive, and sadly some of them get caught out, and then are useful “fodder” for the government, who can claim they caught so many more “benefit cheats”, yet again.

    That is what I see all around me, when I see the poor, the beneficiaries, the sick and disabled, most do not organise, do not protest, do not complain, apart from perhaps on the odd blog, where anonymity is ensured.

    As long as only Sue Bradford and her two to four dozen loyal, active supporters from AAAP and other organisations “dare” protest loudly and effectively, like weeks ago outside Sky City Convention Centre in Federal Street in Auckland, and others take NO ACTION, nothing will change, even Labour and Greens will not make all this a priority, and knowing all this, John Key can be cynical and make such insulting comments.

    It is a damned sad state of affairs, that this country is in, I never thought it would get this bad, also with them daring to bring in such hideous measures like turning mentally ill on benefits into a commodity to sell off to providers using “social impact bonds”.

    Why are people not damned well waking up, joining forces, organising and taking action, instead of capitulating?! There is in my eyes no excuse for not doing so. They can do it in Greece, Spain, Italy, France and many other places, as I note.

    • Kay 5.1

      Mike, I totally agree.
      But while it would be wonderful if those of us on the receiving end of these nasty policies could get out and publicly protest, a big part of it does come down to what you say about keeping our heads down and not causing “problems.”

      It’s a very small country- any public protest will be caught on film and people will be recognised. Many of us don’t want the world to know that we’re on a benefit because sadly, it can affect things like our accommodation present and future, if we’re privately renting. And the stigma in general. But more so is the knowledge it could get back to WINZ that we’ve been daring to publicly protest. In the current climate if we’re able to physically get out of the house and march/wheel down the street then we’re quite capable of working, aren’t we? And those of us with hidden disabilities could be perceived as looking perfectly normal so what are they doing sponging my hard working tax $$?

      Sadly it is easier just to roll over and take the punishment, and struggle along as best as possible, and not try to fight them. It shouldn’t be like that but trying to organise is just not going to happen. I admire Sue and her group, I’d love to join them but I can’t risk the consequences. Paula did a great job of letting us know the lengths she’d go to to punish beneficiaries that publicly criticised her. sadly it worked.

      • Mike the Savage One 5.1.1

        I do actually hold many of the better off, supposedly “socially minded” and “caring” people responsible for all this shambles, including the many middle class professionals, who rather turn away, and do not want their lifestyles and leafy suburbs “disturbed” by the “trouble makers”, who may dare to challenge the status quo.

        There are many who have the knowledge and power, to take actions, to support the affected, but damned few do, who have the ability.

        We are indeed heading into Dickensian times, in some places we are already right there!

        But there are ways to take action, that may leave people anonymous, like putting some protest signs outside WINZ and Housing NZ offices in the dark of night, or whatever, at least it would send a message.

        And besides of your concerns, people still have human rights, so while this is “a small country” where actions may have undesirable serious consequences, if nobody takes a stand, NOTHING will ever change.

        • Olwyn 5.1.1.1

          I was interested today in the IMF’s rejection of the Greek government’s plan. It looked as if it wasn’t enough to simply meet their stated demands, but to meet them in a way that led to the result they were after – the selling of assets and the reduction of the role of the state in the welfare of its citizens. John Key’s government is after the same result. As far as international finance is concerned he is a ‘safe pair of hands’. Because of this he is able to borrow to his heart’s content, which has allowed many of the middle class to get through the GFC relatively unscathed, with the non-middle class serving as the necessary collateral damage. Necessary, because their abandonment shows he is committed to meeting the conditions for continued borrowing.

          This makes the more decent members of the middle class uneasy – they do not want to face ruin themselves, but they do not want their salvation to be contingent upon the ruin of others either. So from time to time he reassures them that all is well with the people he cannot afford to care about. People might start to wake up when they realise that their deprivation is both deliberate and, if nothing changes, long term.

    • G C Cameron 5.2

      You make some good points ‘Mike the Savage One’. It’s important to avoid a spirit of rebellion though. Protests have been known to work, they are also known to invoke agitators resulting in riots, luting and damaged buildings. As recently seen in America – communities destroying their own communities!

      What’s more important than protest is the message. When social problems are ‘swept under the rug’ – that’s where they stay (getting worse) and nothing gets sorted. So it’s important to shine the light on these social issues. I believe one way of doing this is simply telling the truth about them – just like your above post.

      We have seen SOME truth being told with regard to social issues; online and wait for it… …even in the main stream, sound-bite media. The National Government are being forced to respond to these issues as light is shone on them – though clearly not at pace. That’s not to suggest any other political party would do better.

      Protests work well when demanding one or two things. Shinning the light of truth on things creates lasting positive & meaningful change.

      • dukeofurl 5.2.1

        Communities destroying their own communities ?

        Really?

        The results from US and London, show they didnt destroy churches, schools, libraries or even houses. ( maybe with rare exceptions) .

        Its almost entirely shops, fast food, strip malls and the like. The shop keepers would mostly come from out of the community and not be a part of it. ( but may be other minorities themselves)

      • Mike the Savage One 5.2.2

        “Protests have been known to work, they are also known to invoke agitators resulting in riots, luting and damaged buildings. As recently seen in America – communities destroying their own communities!”

        While I have over the years attended some protests in Auckland, I have never seen one where such things like agitators inciting a “riot” happened. There was in 1984 or so what they called the “Queen Street Riot”, but that was not so much a “protest”, it was people going berserk, with booze in their blood and brains, others simply using an opportunity of police and security at a rock concert losing control, to rampage, and loot shops.

        The people that tend to organise protests in New Zealand, no matter what political affiliations they have, are generally very responsible and careful people, even though at that protest outside Sky City Convention a few weeks back, tempers flared up. Those are very rare exceptions, and I can only encourage people to join protests, as that is one way to express dissatisfaction, even anger and disapproval about what this government does to so many of us.

        People should not believe the mis-informers, like the government followers, that protests by say “the left” are “violent” and “aggressive” and whatever.

        Do NOT believe the propaganda, and take a stand, thanks, all that care.

        • Colonial Rawshark 5.2.2.1

          But beware that protest movements are commonly infiltrated by government agent provocateurs who egg people on to commit vandalism and violence – or do so themselves in order to smear the legitimate grievances being demonstrated for.

  6. Bill 6

    Victim blaming. Seems it works every time.

    “She was asking for it.”

    “Why don’t they just ask for it?”

    Notice that both situations are presented to allow for a plea of innocence? Yea olde ‘We just didn’t know/realise’ get out clause?

  7. Michael 7

    Sad, but true. However, Labour paved the way for the latest round of beneficiary bashing when it enacted the “Future Focus” amendments to the Social Security Act 1964: it set the current direction in motion, while all the Nats have done is crank up the pace a notch or two more. Labour also: deliberately kept core benefit rates below subsistence level; kept absurdly high abatement rates on “income” earned while receiving a benfit; scrapped the vital third-tier special benefit after condoning repeated failures by WINZ to comply with its own laws relating to the administration of this benefit; failed to properly implement the recommendations of the Joychild report, thus condoning the disregard of domestic violence by prosecutors of the victims of that violence (naturally, not the perpetrators); hired dodgy doctors as the WINZ medical police; imposed onerous compliance obligations on (mainly elderly) applicants for Disability Allowance (thus clawing back NZ Super increases); cut millions of $$$ in Child Disability Allowances; reappointed the head of a Social Security Appeal Authority who upholds 95% of all MSD decisions; excluded access to law (to say nothing of justice) for people with ongoing disabilities; treated fundamental international human rights obligations as mere window-dressing. The list goes on. Is it any wonder that many of the people who loyally voted Labour no longer vote at all?

    • Mike the Savage One 7.1

      Labour were NOT responsible for “Future Focus”, to be fair, that was Bennett’s and National’s work!

      But yes, Labour started the path down that way the UK led, to work test sick and disabled, and it is BS this talk, that it is about “supporting” them, to “break free” from “benefit dependence”, it is a smartly calculated and designed agenda to disentitle people from benefit support, to save costs, and all else is more or less window dressing, not the real pro-active support to get well enough to work.

      Where has the government spent EXTRA on health and other services, to assist sick, injured and disabled to “recover” or have their health and disability needs met, so they can in safety, in reliance on actual support, go and look for work, and do work that may last? I have NOT found this support. The only extra “support” the government has put money in, is “extra intensive case-management”, meaning working out “plans” for the clientele, to try and get off the benefit, and work, and there is implied pressure, even for mentally ill, simply by expressing expectations, although they say that it is just “voluntary”.

      This report shows what Labour was responsible for, and they started going down the UK approach, in a first “gentle”, persuasive way, but worse was meant to come, they planned to work test sick and disabled, even on the former “invalid’s benefit”:

      „Ministry of Social Development: Changes to the case management of sickness and invalids’ beneficiaries”

      Click to access social-development.pdf

      National picked up that thread, and took it further, same as with the “reforms” that happened under Labour until 1990, when they took over power after then. And the Nats have a habit to add to it, and do it the very nasty way!

      P.S.: I agree with pretty much of the rest you write.

  8. rob 8

    maybe Guy Fawke was on to something?
    not that i would, but i reckon NZ is changing massively and may not remain passive little watchers for much longer.
    forgetting about the people and all about the dollars isn’t wise! IMHO.

  9. the pigman 9

    Forgot how good Neetflux was. Thought he/she had packed up for good around election time. Glad it’s back: http://neetflux.tumblr.com/

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