McCarten: Waging war on working class

Written By: - Date published: 9:09 am, May 22nd, 2012 - 11 comments
Categories: activism, class war, housing, national - Tags: , ,

Every now and then, as an amateur blogger, I read an article that is so powerful that it makes me wonder why I bother writing at all. Matt McCarten’s latest column is one such example. Extracts below. But go read the whole thing. Thank you Matt. — r0b


Derisory Budget wages war on working class

…At present we have an $11 billion deficit. The Government claims it’s going into the next election with a balanced budget. So I am surprised this week’s pre-Budget policy releases save very little.

They can be called “wedge issues” that seem deliberately targeted at those on modest means. For example, does anyone believe spending a derisory $1 million on contraception for beneficiaries and their daughters is anything more than sending a message that women on the DPB need to stop breeding? I wonder if they thought to offer castration to the sons of beneficiaries? …Another policy, adding another couple of bucks on prescriptions, is just a way of grinding down the poor.

John Key’s Government is even upbeat about sacking an average of one teacher from every school. The survivors get the extra kids in their classes. The savings are going to charter schools before they are sold to prospective buyers. How cynical to cut a school’s funding, lowering performance and thus encouraging frustrated parents to send their kid to a privatised charter school that got the money. …

Here’s the point I’m making: none of these announcements target our wealthier citizens. What’s more, these policies save less than $200 million.

This week has been about targeting the poor to detract from the Government’s economic incompetence and the dodgy behaviour of National’s coalition partner. We have a smiling salesman intent on transforming our once egalitarian society into a corporate state where the rich get the privileges at the expense of the poor.

Don’t believe me? On Monday night I was working late in my office. A couple of members of my union turned up at nearly midnight after an altercation with the police in Glen Innes. … Seventy-six state homes are being demolished or trucked out of the community to enable the sale of land to property developers to build McMansions for the wealthy. … As recently as last year Pita Sharples turned up at a public meeting and assured the residents it wouldn’t happen. Those promises have now been broken. No minister has returned. … Who do turn up are the cops, to bust up the local protests and make sure the houses are removed. Our own form of cleansing. It’s not ethnic, but rather class. …

There is something nasty going on. Maybe the offer of free contraception could be extended to anyone the Government decides is too poor – or lives on land they’d like to give to someone richer.

11 comments on “McCarten: Waging war on working class”

  1. Totally agree, Bush instigated a War against Terror to justify ideological nonsense and huge profits for corporate mates, Key is leading a War against the Poor for the same reasons. Their methodologies are very similar, create a crisis that doesn’t exist and then demonise a fabricated enemy:
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/nationals-war-against-poor.html

  2. Wairua 2

    Kia Kaha Matt !

  3. captain hook 3

    of course they are waging war on the working class.
    thats all the tory bastards are good for.
    what else can they do with their money except take it out on those who cant fight back.
    and for extra measure when the assets are sold then the buyers will raise prices to pay for them.
    thats life under national.

  4. Johnm 5

    I agree with these comments from the Herald article:

    “KIWIANTZ
    John Keys Govt is only doing what The National Party has always done in their entire history. Their right wing ideology & mission statement is to enrich the Wealthy by means of a corrupt wealth transference by Tax cuts to the rich; slash & burn policies, cutting core services to the bone & by hammering the middle class & poor to pay for this with the added bonus of flogging off SOE’s to fund this theft!

    Once the rout has finished & they have run the Country into the ground like they always do, the shell shocked people finally wake up to this & vote out this right wing rabble. But by then its too late as the incompetent National Party management of the NZ economy has already bankrupted the Country.

    They are the NZ version of the corrupt Republican Party in America. Get used to it NZ, you get the Govt you deserve because you voted for National?

    SARAH
    The facts are absolute. The government’s belt-tightening measures are all either deliberately aimed at, or will be harshest on, people on low and moderate incomes.

    The wealthiest New Zealanders have gotten a massive tax cut, and three bucks more on prescriptions will not worry them a jot. They can pay for their kids to go to private schools with lower class sizes, and to do longer uni courses and post-grad study, and then they will give them the deposit to buy a house.

    NZ is very clearly divided along two lines – haves and have-nots. You know, the sort of thing NZ was founded to get away from.”

    Basically National detest the organising principle of the Common Good and believe in the everyone for themselves principle the U$$$$ is founded on. But look at the social and economic disaster The Banana Republic of the States is in: Millions thrown out of their homes, 50,000,000 0n food stamps, A fraudulent chiseling corrupt financial system in bed with the White House itself, a police state and FASCISM (Defined as the marriage of Government and Corporate power+ a MSM full of Presstitutes who know what side their bread is buttered on) What the people want they actually never get except they’re filthy rich!

  5. Johnm 6

    The World is in a struggle against the NeoLiberal banker tyranny to bring back democracy which is : Government of the people by the people for the people (assisted by the unbiased illumination of a independent media) and not :Government of the business and banker elite by the business and banker elite and for the business and banker elite.(Assisted by a MSM who are paid up lackeys of the same).

    Alexis Tsipras Warns: Greek Crisis Also Europe’s, World’s Austerity: “Neoliberal shock experiment”

    Link: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/05/21-7

    “I am not here to blackmail, I am here to mobilize,” he said. “Greece gave humanity democracy and today the Greek people will bring democracy back to Europe…The war we are fighting in Europe is not between people or nations, it is between the forces of work and the invisible forces of finance and banks.”

  6. Us oldies know all this ,well, those that have a few brains do . I have fought the bastards all my life . In Aotearoa and in the UK where they had working men bowing and scraping for employment on a pittance wage . What makes me more angry is that the scabs and working people who vote for them election after election. Also working people who refuse to join their union or back the ones who give their time to improve working conditions. Then theres the religious Right who seem to detest working people and blame them for being poor. However the signs are that working people are finaly waking up to reality . I hope .

  7.  Yeah, this class war against the poor isn’t something that is unique to New Zealand, it is an international – predominantly corporate US led – assault on humanity generally. The Labour parties in Australia, Britain and New Zealand, like their US Democrat party contemporaries, are just as happy to join in with the assault when they each ascend to power (the paramilitary style assault on Tuhoe happened under a Labour regime, as did the sale of Telecom and the covert support for the US’s illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan).

     I feel embarrassed for those Labour party MPs desperately pretending to care for working class aspirations while attempting to parrot Barak Obama’s thoroughly discredited ‘Hopey Changey’ sound bite.

     It would be nice to see the Labour party making a stand for socially progressive objectives, but I’m not holding my breath. Until they do, and like Matt McCarten,  I’ll stick with  Mana , Movement of the People .

  8. M 9

    Years ago I saw this spray painted on a wall:

    Fuck the capitalist pigs who stifle our youth – revolt now or slave.

    Seems to be more urgent now than ever.

    Love you Matt.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Single Child Tax hidden in Budget
    Buried in National’s so-called family Budget is a Single Child Tax that will hit medium to low income families, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. ...
    2 hours ago
  • Commerce Commission investigates Ron Hoy Fong
    The decision by the Commerce Commission to investigate Ron Hoy Fong and his questionable advice to property investors to use fake names and target ‘dummies’ is good news, Labour’s spokesperson on Consumer Affairs Michael Wood says.  “I am pleased that ...
    2 days ago
  • National running out of excuses on Pike
    The latest Pike River revelations further erode National's position of blocking a manned re-entry of the Pike River Mine drift, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 days ago
  • Nats’ Budget locks in housing crisis
    National’s ninth Budget forecasts house prices will rise at three times the rate of wages, locking in the housing crisis for years to come, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “After nine years, all National can offer is a ...
    3 days ago
  • Small change that is sorely needed
    The big headline of the Government’s Budget yesterday was its Family Incomes Package – a range of measures including changes to income tax thresholds and the Family Tax Credit. Overall the Budget is a huge disappointment and a missed opportunity ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • Kids bear the brunt of Budget
    Future generations are the ones bearing the brunt of National’s failure to provide education services the funding they need to make ends meet, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “For nine years in a row the Government has told our ...
    3 days ago
  • The real costs of National’s election bribe
    The cost of National’s poorly-targeted election year budget bribe is that there’s nothing to fix the housing crisis, health funding is cut, and funding for schools is cut, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “As the dust begins to settle ...
    3 days ago
  • Health running on empty
    Get ready for more cuts to health at a local level, affecting all New Zealanders, after a Budget that failed to deliver even enough for health services to stand still, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “District Health Boards this ...
    3 days ago
  • Nats’ budget a double-crewed ambulance parked at the bottom of the cliff
    National’s election year Budget shows that there’s no coincidence Finance Minister Steven Joyce doubles as National’s campaign manager, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The 2017 Budget reveals a lack of vision, and is simply an election year budget with ...
    4 days ago
  • After nine years, it’s the One Dollar Bill Budget
    National’s Budget 2017 is an irresponsible election bribe which after nine years exposes a government that’s run out of energy and ideas to tackle the big issues facing New Zealand,” says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “This is simply cynical electioneering ...
    4 days ago
  • Alfred Ngaro might be sorry – but to whom?
    The fact that the number of people classified as homeless on the Social Housing Register has doubled over the past year alone should be the real reason for Alfred Ngaro’s recent apologies, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “As ...
    5 days ago
  • Government’s data-for-funding backdown embarrassing
    The Government’s U-turn on their shambolic attempt to collect private client data from social services is an embarrassment for a senior Minister, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “After months of criticism and mismanagement, the Government has finally cut ...
    5 days ago
  • Overloaded hospitals reach crisis point
      The country’s hospitals have reached breaking point with some hospitals discharging patients to free up bed space and patients with serious injuries having to wait hours to be seen by a doctor, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    5 days ago
  • National fails on critical school building needs
    Students are paying the price of the Government’s failure to invest fast enough in school buildings to keep pace with Auckland’s increasing population, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Parents should lay the blame for their children having to put up ...
    5 days ago
  • Tipping culture is not welcome in NZ
    Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett’s comments about tipping have been in the news and have sparked off a series of furious discussions about tipping in Aotearoa. From our point of view, tipping every time you’re provided a service is a ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Mental Health a huge cost for Police
      The cost of dealing with mental health incidents for our police was a staggering $36.7 million which shows just why we need Labour’s fresh approach on Mental Health, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “Police now ...
    6 days ago
  • Grant Robertson: Speech to Otago-Southland Employers Association
    Thanks to the Otago Southland Employers Association and Virginia for hosting me this evening.  It is always a pleasure to come back to the city and region that shaped who I am as a person. I believe that growing up ...
    7 days ago
  • Renting a home in the Wild West
    It can be tough renting a place to live, and it could be about to get tougher. Radio NZ is reporting that the American Rentberry app wants to start operating in New Zealand. Rentberry allows landlords to play perspective tenants ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    7 days ago
  • Free West Papua leader in Aotearoa
    Last week I hosted Free West Papua leader Benny Wenda at Parliament and travelled with him to a number of important events. Benny is spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and lives in exile in England. 14 ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Nats unprepared for record immigration
    National’s under-investment in housing, public services, and infrastructure means New Zealand is literally running out of beds for the record number of new migrants, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour opposes Ports of Auckland sale
    Labour would strongly oppose the sell-off of the Ports of Auckland to fix a short term cash crisis caused by the Government blocking the city’s requests for new ways to fund infrastructure, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Workers pay the price of Silver Fern’s Fairton closure
    The threatened closure of Silver Fern Farms’ Fairton Plant in Ashburton raises serious questions about the Government’s support of the sale of half of the company to a foreign company, when it appears this outcome may have been inevitable, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s answer to the housing crisis: One new affordable house per 100 new Aucklanders
    National’s fudge of a housing plan will make Auckland even more of a speculators’ paradise, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government can’t be trusted with private data
    The independent review of the Ministry of Social Development’s data breach in April has shown, once again, that the Ministry cannot be trusted with private client information, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The investigation by former Deloitte chairman ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another crisis, another half-baked National plan
    The National Party may have finally woken up to the teacher supply crisis facing our schools but their latest half-baked, rushed announcement falls well short of the mark in terms of what’s required, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
    Alfred Ngaro’s recent comments have exposed the Government’s ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ approach, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Breaking news – National admits there’s a housing crisis
    National finally admits there’s a housing crisis, but today’s belated announcement is simply not a credible response to the problem it’s been in denial about for so long, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National can’t now credibly claim ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats lay the ground for housing bust
    Goldman Sachs’ warning that New Zealand has the developed world’s most over-priced housing market, with a 40 per cent chance of a bust within two years, shows the consequences of National’s nine years of housing neglect, says Labour Housing spokesperson ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?
    Property investors’ lobby groups have been up in arms this week about Labour and Green parties’ plans to close tax loopholes and fix the housing market. That’s probably a good thing. Like an investor in any other sector, they expect ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Alfred Ngaro reflects National’s culture of silencing debate
    Image from Getty Images Community groups must be free to advocate for the people they serve. It’s these people who see first-hand if ideas dreamt up in Wellington actually work on the ground. It’s essential that they can speak freely ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill English must reassure community organisations
    The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Alfred Ngaro ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extremism and its discontents
    Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s suicide approach disappoints
    Mike King’s sudden departure from the Government’s suicide prevention panel, amid claims the Government’s approach is ‘deeply flawed’, is further evidence National is failing on mental health, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. “Mental health is reaching crisis point in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National backs speculators, fails first home buyers
    National is showing its true colours and backing speculators who are driving first home buyers out of the market, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “By defending a $150m a year hand-out to property speculators, Bill English is turning his back ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed
    More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to end tax breaks for speculators; invest in warm, healthy homes
    Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s time for fresh thinking to tackle the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health of young people a priority for Labour
    Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. “Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratifying the TPPA makes no sense
    The recent high-fiving between the government and agricultural exporters over ratification of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is empty gesture politics in an election year. Ratification by New Zealand means nothing. New Zealand law changes are not implemented unless the ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • NIWA report proves National’s trickery re swimmable rivers
    National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. “The table 11 on page 25 of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MPS shows new approach needed on housing
    The Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Statement provides further evidence that only a change in government will start to fix the housing crisis, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is more evident than ever that only a Labour-led government ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Fresh approach on mental health
    Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little. “Mental health is in crisis. It ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Sallies back Labour’s plan for affordable homes
    The country’s most respected social agency has endorsed Labour’s KiwiBuild plan to build homes that families can afford to buy, and delivered a withering assessment of the National Government’s housing record, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Education is for everyone, not just the elite
    Proposals by the National Party to ration access to higher education will once again make it a privilege only available to the elite, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Speaking at the Education Select Committee, Maurice Williamson let the National ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Cancer support changes far too little, certainly late
    Anne Tolley’s belated backtrack to finally allow Jobseeker clients suffering from cancer to submit only one medical certificate to prove their illness fails to adequately provide temporary support for people too sick to work, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Kids must come first in enrolment debate
    The best interests of children should be the major driver of any change to policies around initial school enrolments, not cost cutting or administrative simplicity, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.   “The introduction of school cohort entry is ...
    3 weeks ago