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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:

  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:

    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?

    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.

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