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Gower on Turei’s sacrifice

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, August 5th, 2017 - 47 comments
Categories: benefits, Metiria Turei, welfare - Tags: , ,

Consider the sharp contrast between the lies and dirty politics that the Nats have brazened out in the last 9 years and the way that Metiria Turei fronted up and took responsibility for decades old youthful mistakes. Gower is right that it has headed off the Nats’ attack lines and they will be fuming:

Patrick Gower: Metiria Turei has done the right thing – National won’t like it

Metiria Turei has done the honourable thing and ruled herself out of a ministerial role.

Turei has given her heart and soul to the Green movement. She was hurting the Left. With Ardern in charge it has the best chance in years to win – and Turei was a distraction to that.

Turei is a legend on the Left – she does not want National to win.

National would have been hoping she stayed there hurting the Left. But in a sign of the real desperation to win, Turei has not let that happen. National won’t like that. And they really won’t like the way the Left are being so ruthless. …

I don’t agree with all of that, but certainly Turei’s sacrifice will (rightly or wrongly) have strengthened the left in the eyes of many voters this election. Her commitment to a fairer welfare system is legend indeed.

47 comments on “Gower on Turei’s sacrifice ”

  1. I don’t agree with Gower that Turei’s done the “honourable” thing in resigning, but there’s no denying her sacrifice is great politics and strips National of a weapon against Labour in the fight for swing voters.

    For an example of why that is, look at this piece from Tracy Watkins. We on the left are still grateful to Turei for stepping up and making poverty and our broken social welfare system major topics of this election campaign, and we’ll keep backing her 100%, but at the same time Labour’s more conservative supporters have been thrown a “down with this sort of thing” bone and Ardern gets to look like a hard-arse.

    So, Labour gets to keep its conservative voters and the Dirty Politics crew just lost a lot of valuable ammunition for smear tactics. It hurts to imagine a Labour/Green government without Metiria Turei in the cabinet, but there’s no arguing with the tactical effectiveness of what she did yesterday.

    • + 1 yep I also don’t see it as honorable but it is effective politics. My gosh the gnats have been quiet haven’t they – expect more shit from them and soon.

    • Anne 1.2

      It looks like Labour and the Greens got together yesterday morning and they agreed Metiria had to announce she would not be seeking a place in a Lab/Green cabinet. Had she not done so, the Nat Dirty Political team would have pulled out every stop and with the help of the MSM… likely destroyed their chance to change the government. Based on 2014 that was a likely scenario. Turei had to make the ultimate sacrifice.

      I guess this is what Jacinda meant when she talked of “an incredibly sad situation” at her media conference yesterday.

      However once Metiria has completed her penance for what she did in the 1990s – the same as what hundreds (maybe thousands) of others did during that decade including me – then she will be able to come back stronger than ever.

      And just a reminder to all the hyper hypocrites out there… for much of that decade beneficiaries were denied the opportunity to take up a bit of part time work to help them make ends meet. Since then beneficiaries have been allowed to earn up to $100 (I think it is) over and above the benefit. In the 1990s they were expected to survive on $130-$140 per week. Is it any wonder they had to beg, steal, borrow and ‘bend the rules’.

      • Craig H 1.2.1

        Then, as now, the threshold was $80 per week for unemployment beneficiaries – that threshold hasn’t changed since 1986.

        • Anne

          Well, in that case I have to assume Ruth Richardson removed it because it was not available to me until the late 1990s. I recall the Clark government increased the amount but by that time I was no longer on a benefit.

        • WILD KATIPO

          Then , as now, the threshold of taking $32,000.00 for a housing allowance you are not entitled to as a senior Minister in the incumbent govt hasn’t changed as long as laws have existed.

          • Craig H

            You know how it is – one rule for the rich and another for the poor and has been since forever. Finagle a million and get a knighthood, steal a loaf of bread and get hanged.

      • the same as what hundreds (maybe thousands) of others did during that decade including me

        Hundreds of thousands probably. There’s a reason why I’ve been saying that the law forces people on welfare to break it. By not supporting people adequately, as purposefully done by National, it forces people to get creative to support themselves.

      • Carolyn_nth 1.2.3

        My understanding is not that Labour and the Greens got together yesterday, but that Grant Robertson went to the GP to tell them Turei would not be welcome in a Labour-led cabinet.

        • dukeofurl

          I think once any over payment has been sorted out then her return to a Cabinet post is highly likely.
          Social Welfare is probably ruled out for good, but her talents can be utilised in other areas. Housing, immigration… who knows ?

      • Amohia Jacob 1.2.4

        Good onya Anne. You’re a do’er and your faith in people is quite something 🙂

  2. Crunchy 2

    Do you really think it was her “commitment to a fairer welfare system” that prompted her to commit welfare fraud 20 years ago?
    AFAIK motive at the time of a crime is what counts in the eyes of the law, not what excuses you can make up when you get caught.

    [no-one has said her commitment prompted her decisions about her benefit 20 years ago. Stop trolling. Only warning – weka]

    [lol, I see Red got there first – weka]

    • Ed 2.1

      Have you ever broken the law?

      ‘Then they reminded Jesus that adultery was punishable by stoning under Mosaic law and challenged him to judge the woman so that they might then accuse him of disobeying the law.

      Jesus thought for a moment and then replied, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.”

      Look at this. Is this fair?

      • marty mars 2.1.1

        Stoning was like shooting in that it killed people in those days. He’s probably saying put your guns down before you hurt someone fools.

    • 24 years ago, Crunchy. She wasn’t a politician then. Her present commitment to a fairer welfare system has doubtless developed over time to what it is now; can you see that your question is a nonsense?

      • Ed 2.2.1

        Wonder if Crunchy can hand on heart say he is without sin 24 years ago?

        • marty mars

          Sin is a construct – there is no such thing as sin.

        • Crunchy

          No, I can’t. I don’t attempt to excuse it now however. Straw man argument however. 24 years ago I probably fiddled a tax return. I was broke and struggled to feed myself. I had family support. Should I now encourage all & sundry to do the same?

          • Psycho Milt

            No, you shouldn’t. But perhaps you should mention the incident as an example of why we should fix poverty and the tax system?

          • RedLogix

            No. I think you may well have lived a lot more life over the past 24 years Crunchy, you may well see things with different eyes and look back on some of the things you did in the past with a complex mix of emotions.

            I’ve always been very connected to the idea of redemption. It moves me greatly when I see someone stumble, or fall even, and then strive to stand straight again. Even when they don’t succeed, the battle they fight is compelling.

            That you may or may not have ‘cheated on a tax return’ many years ago does not matter much to me. It is whether you have understood why you made that choice and how much compassion you have learnt since then, for both yourself and others, which will be what I might admire.

          • WILD KATIPO

            Bill English took $32,000.00 in a housing allowance he was not entitled to in 2009 as a senior Minister , an older man and a seasoned politician on a large salary . He wasn’t broke , didn’t struggle to feed himself and didn’t need family support.

            Should all and sundry be encouraged to do the same ?

      • Crunchy 2.2.2

        I suspect more of the story around her living arrangements and entitlement to welfare will come out. It will raise legitimate questions around deadbeat dads, and is already potentially damaging to those who may have legitimate cause to not name fathers, or do not have financial support from family etc. IMO she was demonstrably dishonest then, and continues to be so now. This says much about those who wilfully ignore it. Still, I guess the naked lust for political power is a strong and base emotion. Maybe we need more funding for mental health services to treat the disease.

        [RL: On the other hand you seem to have learnt nothing from your own youthful mistakes. Indeed the bitterness in your heart has calloused your soul and prompts you to shameful actions like this one. I am in a judgmental mood this morning. Permanently banned.]

        • Psycho Milt

          I suspect more of the story around her living arrangements and entitlement to welfare will come out.

          Oh, I’m sure both media companies and the Nats’ dirty politics crew are furiously digging for dirt as we comment here. Thing is, lots of us know we have our own activities from our yoof that would be pretty embarrassing if spread all over the TV news now, and seeing it happening to someone else inspires sympathy rather than outrage.

          IMO she was demonstrably dishonest then, and continues to be so now.

          IMO, you were demonstrably dishonest in your youth, and continue to be so now. You’ll have done things you shouldn’t have, and yet you haven’t declared and described them fully to us, nor have you named other people involved and the extent of their involvement. (NB: if it should turn out that you are in fact Jesus returned to us from Heaven and therefore have never done anything you shouldn’t have, I will of course apologise.)

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Legitimate cause to not name anyone you don’t damn well want to number one:

          The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

          For example Articles 12, 19 and 20.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I suspect more of the story around her living arrangements and entitlement to welfare will come out. It will raise legitimate questions

          Yes, like how the welfare system makes people criminals because it doesn’t support them enough.

          The father thing is a distraction from the problem which is why the RWNJs keep bringing it up. They want to point fingers trying to hide the fact that it was them (via National) that caused the problem in the first place.

          Still, I guess the naked lust for political power is a strong and base emotion.

          The only ones I’ve ever seen with a lust for power are National as shown by the number of outright lies that they tell to hold onto it.

          Maybe we need more funding for mental health services to treat the disease.

          The psychopathy, as shown by National in cutting benefits to 20% below subsistence, isn’t curable but it can be removed from power by voting in other people.

        • Jpo73

          If you ban everyone who disagrees with you then this place becomes a silly echo chamber. Crunchy hasn’t been rude and debating these issues sharpens the argument in support of the Green’s position.

          [RL: See below: https://thestandard.org.nz/gower-on-tureis-sacrifice/#comment-1363122. Having said this of the small group of regular moderators here I am the one most likely to stand up for people who ‘disagree’.]

    • red-blooded 2.3

      Nobody said that Turei was motivated to break the law by her commitment to a fairer welfare system, Phsycho – she’s explained her motivation in depth and used it as an example to illustrate her point that our welfare system is broken. It’s her motivation for revealing her past that was being commented on. Don’t be obtuse.

      • Ed 2.3.1

        Have you seen the Toby Morris cartoon ?
        Have you ever broken the law or not paid your taxes?
        Done or paid for a cash job?

  3. weka 3

    Hey lefties, there’s been some really good push back against the RW trolls in this on TS, some amazing commentary in places. Let’s also not forget that we don’t have to let them control the debate. Crunchy looked like an astroturfer to me, certainly they were trolling the site. Sometimes it’s better to just ridicule those people or call them what they are.

    It’s not a problem that people take those troll arguments at face value and point out how fucked up they are, I just think we need to be mindful of how much RWers are getting to define the conversation at the moment and that we also need to look at what we want to talk about and what paths we want the conversation to go down.

  4. weka 4

    So, Gower. I don’t trust anything that comes out of his mouth. Whether he’s fawning over JA or making a superficial good point about something the Greens have done, this is a MSM journo with a huge amount of influence who routinely abuses his position of power to manipulate NZ politics and public opinion. At best he’s a man child who delights in the power he has over his toys whilst not giving a shit about the real world consequences. At worst he’s a RW tool with ties into the Dirty Politics crew. Probably something in between.

    The left can use the break he just threw out there, but he’s going to be causing chaos for the election over the next few months (think about the post-election period too), because that’s his purpose.

    • So, Gower. I don’t trust anything that comes out of his mouth. Whether he’s fawning over JA or making a superficial good point about something the Greens have done, this is a MSM journo with a huge amount of influence who routinely abuses his position of power to manipulate NZ politics and public opinion.


      I wonder what would happen if we randomly selected MSM news readers from the populace the same way we got them for jury duty. Give them a months training and a week presenting. We may actually get accurate and honest news reporting then.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2

      Gower is a tool. I’ve yet to see a tool that only works in one direction.

      • weka 4.2.1

        You think the left could use him? Should use him?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          I think we should recognise that like any tool, he has limited uses, and work out ways to present him with tasks he cannot perform.

          cf: JA and her response to his loaded question at her first press conference as leader.

          Edit: “work out ways” – aka ‘opposition research’: he usually presents some sort of logical fallacy to attack.

          • In Vino

            OAB – I nominate the pop rivet gun. It only pulls rivets.

          • Carolyn_nth

            I am in a cynical mood. Wondering if Gower was primed to ask that question, and Ardern ready for it with an answer?

            Ditto her “Just do it” allegedly off the cuff comment, later picked up as the slogan.

            I, like Lynn a few days back, think the leadership change was possibly a soft coup that was a while in the making.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              There’s cynicism and there’s projection. In your scenario, Jacinda’s ascendancy is a plot to stave off electoral victory for the Left?

              • Carolyn_nth

                Just the continuing story of many in the caucus thinking they know best what will win. But centrism, third wayism, is part of their belief system

                • In Vino

                  Is the suggestion that Jacinda pulls off a brilliant win, but turns out to be a Tony Blair? Maybe we are getting ahead of ourselves?

  5. North 5

    Query entertainingly posed there In Vino.

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