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Of witch hunts and solo mums

Written By: - Date published: 11:42 am, August 8th, 2009 - 62 comments
Categories: welfare - Tags: ,

Frank Macskasy

The recent witch-hunt against solo-mums would have done the old Salem village-elders proud. The fires, though, could have been stoked just a bit harder and higher. But as a first attempt at demonising a minority in our community, it wasn’t a bad effort for Minister of Social Services, Paula Bennett.

When Bennett ordered her staff to look up the details of Jennifer Johnston and Natasha Fuller, to release to the media, she had at her fingertips the full power of the State as well as the personal details of Ms Johnston and Ms Fuller. It is the sort of power enjoyed by authoritarian regimes the world over, from Burma to Iran to Zimbabwe.

Of course, Bennett and her advisors knew precisely what they were doing. She was fully aware that her fellow New Zealanders generally have an almost schizophrenic attitude toward the underdog.

On the one hand, we sympathise and support the underdog. We try to understand their plight; not everyone was born in to a decent family; and not everyone has the good fortune never to lose their job or spouse through circumstances beyond their control.

But, on the other hand, we abhor the stereotypical welfare “bludger”. The caricatures made famous in movies like “Once Were Warriors”, highlighted in sensational media stories, or spread by word-of-mouth. We all know someone who has a friend who knows someone who’s cousin has a mate…

But New Zealand is no third World country and if push-came-to-shove, the majority of rational (note that word again: rational) New Zealanders would be unable to stomach the sight of women and children living rough in alleyways, cardboard cartons under bridges, or in parks.

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62 comments on “Of witch hunts and solo mums ”

  1. Tigger 1

    Fantastic piece. The third to last para says it all for me. I suspect that Key will suffer the same ‘outing’. And soon.

  2. Tom Semmens 2

    The malice of Paula Bennett’s actions against two relatively minor critics seems to me to illuminate an important component of of the ministers character, and by extension of this National government’s culture in general. These women got under Bennett’s skin so easily because Bennett is ashamed of her DPB past.

    From the “state house boy made good” John Key all the way down to Christine Rankin, the culture of this government is now clear: It is a government made up of and for the Rogernomics nouveau riche. Like all such people of newly found airs and graces, the likes of Key and Bennett are driven by an acute inferiority complex, and a heightened sense of class conciousness, which they have combined with a near divine sense of their (to their minds) individual success and self-earnt status.

    Such a toxic and combustible combination only needs the match of being reminded of where they came from to ignite in vengeful anger.

    From the TIA to Adult Education to comments on Keisha Castle-Hughs, then, here is the first government that has unselfconciously absorbed the values of neo-liberal barbarism.

    • Rex Widerstrom 2.1

      Bennett is ashamed of her DPB past

      I’m glad someone else went first in proffering that theory, because I’m always wary of long-distance psychoanalysis. But in this particular case – and in Rankin’s – it seems obvious (though I’d argue not so in Key’s, but let’s not get too far off topic).

      It seems to me these women internalised the bigotry that was directed at them while beneficiaries. Rather than hardening their resolve – as it would have done in a person with more character – it simply made them determined to try to win the approval of their detractors by ill-treating those who follow them.

      Their mindset is akin to the prison trustee of old who, brutalised for years, is an enthusiastic flogger of his fellow inmates and then even stays beyond his release date, so desperate is he to lick the hand that beats him.

      Of course the corollary to seeing yourself as solely responsible for your “failure” (and thus need for assistance) is, you’ve pointed out, to ascribe your rise above these circumstances purely to your own hard work, intelligence and moral superiority, failing to acknowledge that circumstance, and the actions of others, inevitably played a role in both your fall and rise.

      The irony is that the praise in which Bennett basks is exactly like that enjoyed by the trustee in my allegory. The people cheering her on will always hold her in contempt, because she was once like those whose backs she is now striping. And no matter how hard she wields the flogger, their disdain will never entirely abate.

      • Bill 2.1.1

        Worst master? Ex-slave.

      • BLiP 2.1.2

        Brilliant! Never thought of it like that but, yes, you’re right. There is definitely a streak of the obsequiously insidious about her. It flashed before us in her stunned-mullet faux surprise at the public lashing she wrought upon those two women. I would have thought previously that an ex-beneficiary might have made an ideal minister, but not so in this case. She is, in fact, the worst sort of person to hold the portfolio.

  3. Zorr 3

    Very well written and of the type of construction one rarely sees these days. After reading it I can only really add one extra little thing in agreement. The benefits and allowances (Unemployment, Sickness, Student, etc.) are all there for all of us if we ever find ourselves in such a situation that we need their assistance to pull ourselves up from/through our troubles.

    But once again, truly inspired writing. Congratulations.

  4. lprent 4

    Great post…

    We need to look at the privacy laws. Breaking them should be a criminal offense. I think that there should be a prison sentence attached to it.

    It should also contain a duty of care clause with ministers of the crown explicitly featured.

    Basically Paula Bennett should be tossed into prison for a substantial period because of her abuse of power.

    • Ruth 4.1

      Come on – we have enough people in prison as it is.

      The welfare issue can be debated – what amazed me was the fact that people who call themselves libertarians not only said this breach of privacy was ok, but that beneficiaries had NO rights at all, including the right to vote. A libertarian also said that there should be a database – complete with photos – of all beneficiaries that we all can access.

      That’s not libertarianism, and they should be ashamed.

      • lprent 4.1.1

        We sure do have too many people pointlessly in prisons. And I agree with your other comments albeit probably from a different basis.

        However this appears to be a crime without a penalty. Paula has already confessed that if she is found by the privacy commissioner to have breached the act, that she, Paula, would apologize.

        I’m afraid that isn’t sufficient. It requires a penalty that is more than a slap over the wrist with a damp dishrag. That simply encourages Ministers to do the same again.

        If Paula Bennett was a doctor or a liar then their professional bodies would be likely to remove their practicing certificates for such a breach of confidentiality.

        As politicians and especially ministers may have access to a far wider range of information, using it for purposes that were not what it was given for should have harsher penalties. It isn’t as if I trust John Key to do anything more than say he is ‘comfortable’ in crushing political opponents using the information of the state.

  5. brownsbayboy 5

    they should have told the full truth in the first place. how much money do people need from the state in order to live. try getting a real job you lazy socialist parasites.

  6. Tom Semmens 6

    So if everyone on a benefit is a lazy socialist parasite, are we to conclude everyone from Brown’s Bay is a racist, chicken run Jaapie?

  7. Herbert 7

    “how much money do people need from the state in order to live.” Perhaps the boy from Dipton could give us an answer to this attempt at a question.

  8. Zepher 8

    Awesome post filled with logic and reason. Well done.

  9. Mac1 9

    The book “The Meaning of Liff” used the names of Great Britain’s villages to express ideas which had no word in the English language. For example, an ‘aberystwyth’ was that wistful feeling you get when you see a former girlfriend and ‘haversage’ the leavings in the bottom of the hand basin after shaving.

    I wonder what a “dipton” could be?

    My take is a person who dips into the tin to take money rather than one who donates when the fundraiser calls.

    And to stay on thread, a “Bennett’s Corner” could be the place where mysogynist, beneficiary-bashing, witch hunters meet (to replace the Sewer).

  10. the pinkpostman 10

    Paula Bennett is the worst type of working class traitor .
    A working class women who used the benefit under a Labour Government to better herself .Congatulations!This is just what people of the Left have fought for over many years .However what does this traitor do ,when she moves up ? She not only forgets her past but becomes venomous towards her own people.
    All my life I have observed these creepy slimballs.She is in the same class as the anti -unionist who blags the unions but is first in line to gather the benifits his fellow worker in the union has gained. She’s in the same class as the Scab who works when his
    fellow workers are on strike . “Working class Tories “,unfortunatly there are a number around ,they are the curse decent working people have to bear.

  11. Ianmac 11

    Yes. Great post joining all the dots together or were they blots?
    Interesting as Zorr says that while the angry ones write about THEY but tomorrow it might be ME.
    ” They are bluddy bludger!” Oh hang on.
    ” I am a deserving soul and deserve.”

  12. QoT 12

    Great post. One teensy-weensy issue, though: not all solo parents are such because the other parent is a deadbeat wankstain. But the persistent lack of attention going on the number of parents who ARE deadbeats is still interesting.

    • RedLogix 12.1

      not all solo parents are such because the other parent is a deadbeat wankstain.

      Agreed. This was the only jarring note in an otherwise excellent post. Couples split up for all manner of different reasons, and it’s quite wrong to assume that all non-custodial parents are necessarily either at fault, or delinquent in their responsibilities.

      In fact lots of couples (probably a majority) manage their seperation and divorce quite reasonably, and continue shared parenting of their children.

      But not all families are so fortunate. It’s still true that many ex-partners find themselves so embroiled in conflict that they simply give up trying to obtain reasonable access to their children. In the end it’s easier and less stressful for all concerned to simply fade away until the kids are old enough to make their own choices.

      At that point of alienation from your children, where your ex-partner may well be making a life of his or her own, with a new partner in their lives, perhaps a new one in your own… the whole question of continuing to shell out cash to support children you never or rarely see becomes a difficult one to answer.

      The old ‘dead-beat dad’ stereotype is not a helpful one.

    • Akldnut 12.2

      Yeah great post – but a little too much emphasis on the male being an absolute dork.

      There are a number of ways their situation could have come about, IMHO the majority would be a clash of personalities and just not being able to live with each other anymore.
      Remembering that our custodial system almost always leans toward mother first, father second.

      • Pascal's bookie 12.2.1

        Can’t remember where i saw it, but a family court judge pointed out that the reason for appearance of this:

        our custodial system almost always leans toward mother first, father second.

        …is that mothers overwhelmingly seek custody. Fathers, not so much.

        • QoT

          Come on, PB. Let’s never let the facts get in the way of a good feminist lesbian witchcraft conspiracy theory.

  13. mike 13

    Not much of witch hunt when the witches are selling their stories to the media and skiting on chat sites about how much they have rorted the system by is though is it… more a cull than a hunt I’d say

  14. BLiP 14

    The slums of Mumbai, Manila, Soweto, and many other places around the world should serve as stark reminder that our streets are (nearly) free of homeless only because we, as a society, have taken the collective decision that we do not want our poorest and most disadvantaged to live like animals.


  15. Sting 15

    The solo mum next door has drop out twin boys called greenflee and roger nome. They play all day on the computer ,’cause mum grabs a cool grand a week on the benefit.Her name is Smellon Clap and her run down house is named Idiot Inn.

    [lprent: I presume there is a point to this comment? Read the policy. If you want to attack people then I expect to at least see a point to the comment – otherwise you get classed as a troll.
    (with vast self-control I refrained from renaming your handle (‘Sting’) on all of your comments on this site to ‘Thoughtless Troll’.) ]

  16. Coaster 16

    Hi Dad.

    (capcha + catch. lol)

  17. Swampy 17

    Macskasy is a well known letter writer to newspapers, what he writes here is a load of rubbish and very very unbalanced.

    The simple fact of the DPB scenario is that this feelgood benefit was introduced in New Zealand only in the mid 1970s. Consider that many women work and have their children in childcare, they are not claiming the DPB just because they have children. The DPB is a soft option for women who don’t want to work or are unemployable, in any other circumstance we would be paying the unemployment benefit.

    • lprent 17.1

      Don’t be a dork. You know absolutely nothing of which you speak.

      My sister was on the DPB when her marriage broke up with two children under the age of 5. This was in the middle of another recession. There were bugger all part-time jobs for mothers. She’d also been out of the workforce just long enough that employers put her last on the list. So she went on the DPB, used the TIA (like Paula) to get a current useful qualification (you know – the type that Paula has just removed), and was off the DPB a few years later. Her profession wound up as running factories with hundreds of employees.

      A friend went on the DPB when she accidentally got pregnant through contraception failure in her 30’s and decided to keep and raise the kid. Went off work as a nurse and on the DPB. Also used the TIA to train as a lawyer because shift work with a young kid is almost impossible, whereas courses are short. Moved off the DPB at the end of her course and moved into law.

      I’ve run across many woman who have had these short stints on the DPB, usually retrained during it, and then moved off onto a different career path when the kids were old enough. No-one in their right mind wants to spend time interacting with WINZ, even when we don’t have a vindictive petty minded government like the current one or Shipley’s one in full swing.

      The simple fact of the DPB in NZ is that when you have very young kids that it is bloody impossible to hold down a job when your feeding schedule is in hours. Part-time work, if it is available, doesn’t allow enough money to do day-care or nannies or whatever. The money spent on the DPB is relatively peanuts and has a very high upside for the country in terms of kids getting a good start, and mothers not getting burnt by their circumstances changing. That is what I prefer paying taxes for rather than some of the other damn subsidies for useless things.

      Tell you want – lets get rid of the private school subsidies – now those are useless (like you)

      • Craig Glen Eden 17.1.1

        Well said Iprent, the vast majority have a genuine need, while there will always be a few that abuse the system that trait is not limited to people on the DPB. Is it not exactly what English has done, abused a system that is meant to even out a disadvantage. Funny how the right are not decrying English’s actions.

    • Bill 17.2

      Before the DPB came in, women did not get UB. They got zip. Why? ‘Cause the man was the head of the house and the breadwinner ( no need for a dependent to obtain money from another source); an attitude bolstered by some patriarchal Christian hangover thing about the sanctity of marriage and a woman’s place within it.

      anyway, nothing ‘soft’ about the DPB ‘option’. Maybe the DPB indirectly reflects the declining income of the working classes, Swampy, insofar as one income used to provide for a household ( ie the husband and master would provide) whereas now all adults need to be employed to earn enough to sustain a household.

      • Sting 17.2.1

        “Before the DPB came in” we had traditional Family Values, now we are the child abuse gold medalists.Fly away Helen, fly away Chris.Fly away Peter.
        Poor kiwi kids!

        • Bill


          Before the DPB there was child abuse and abused partners with the victims trapped inside the structure of the ‘traditional family’ while the husband/father exercised ‘traditional values’ with impunity.

          • Sting


            The lefty control freaks have destroyed the kiwi family.Take another chill pill Bill.

            • QoT

              The lefty control freaks have destroyed the kiwi family.

              Not entirely sure it’s Bill who’s being un-chill in this comment thread, Sting.

          • Andrei

            Before the DPB came in, women did not get UB. They got zip. Why? ‘Cause the man was the head of the house and the breadwinner ( no need for a dependent to obtain money from another source); an attitude bolstered by some patriarchal Christian hangover thing about the sanctity of marriage and a woman’s place within it.

            Goodness me have you ever been indoctrinated – Marriage sir is a concept where two people are joined together in order to cooperate in perpetuatingf the species – it is patriarchal if you like and it is also matriarchal because you see a mother and a father are required to conceive a child

            And you foolish fellow; children who are raised by a MOTHER and a FATHER actually tend to do a lot better in life than those who do not have one of each in their life on a daily basis.

            Now I understand that you Labour types are a little confused as to gender as evidenced by a thread the other day about an ex-cabinet minister with a penchant for flying all over the world with his special “friend” on the taxpayers dime.

            On this thread this particular thread this Gentleman’s special “friend” was referred to as his husband and this caused some consternation. Of course in this context the special “friend” could also be referred to as the ex-cabinet ministers wife. Both of course are equally absurd as is the concept of a man actually marrying another man or a woman another woman for that matter.

            But you lefties with your underlying hatred of traditional marriage and the purpose for which it was given to us are only too happy to celebrate such unions whilst making snide comments about patriarchy and traditional. unions.

            You are utterly oblivious to how stupid you actually are.

            • Pascal's bookie

              Awesome. You sure do sound all clever.

              You should stick around and tell us about evilution, and how it didn’t never get proved nohow that the earth ain’t the centre of gods universe, no sir it didn’t.

            • BLiP

              You are utterly oblivious to how stupid you actually are.

              Transference, obviously.

            • Pascal's bookie

              @ BLiP:

              Clearly so,

              Marriage sir is a concept where two people are joined together in order to cooperate in perpetuatingf the species

              and he spelt fucking wrong.

            • Craig Glen Eden

              Andre sadly you have shown your ignorance about the Labour Party and its members. Labour party members are not God haters for a start nor do they hate or set about destroying the family unit or the sanctity of marriage.

              Probably the single greatest driving principle of the Party is a strong belief in social justice. A belief that every human is equal on this earth regardless of wealth, religious belief, sexual orientation. The party is not anti the nuclear family but recognizes that for many reasons families take differing constructs.
              The party does what it can for the poor because we understand that poverty is a trap that limits human potential. When a child is born on this earth its families financial status or moral code is not of its making.
              If you ever went to a Labour Party conference you would see how the Parties membership is a true reflection of all sectors of NZ society. The people are varying from the very rich to the very poor, highly educated to the not so educated, bosses and employees, Christians to non believers.
              While the party and its members are not perfect because they are human they do their best to care for others, they don’t despise the poor or the rich.
              Lastly their once was some famous bloke that use to go around doing all sorts of things( healing the sick, feeding the poor, defending prostitutes, turning water to wine at parties) for some strange reason it all use to really irritate the religious leaders of the day, eventually they convinced some leader that this bloke was a threat to their religious teachings and that he should die for his wrong doing.

              I just wonder Andre if that bloke was around to day and he nocked at your door would you welcome him in or turn him away.

              Just a few thoughts from a Christian Labour Party Member
              Andre seems as its Sunday !

            • Andrei

              Craig Glen Eden;

              thank you for you reasoned response.

              I don’t think though that Labour party members have a monopoly on having a strong desire for social justice.

              If I may I’ll point you at something I posted a week or so ago,
              A tale of two little girls, which may give you some sense of where I sit on the matter the marginalized.

              Consider if you will Psalm 145 (146 in Western bibles)

              1 Praise the LORD!

              Praise the LORD, O my soul!
              2 While I live I will praise the LORD;
              I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

              3 Do not put your trust in princes,
              Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
              4 His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;
              In that very day his plans perish.

              5 Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
              Whose hope is in the LORD his God,
              6 Who made heaven and earth,
              The sea, and all that is in them;
              Who keeps truth forever,
              7 Who executes justice for the oppressed,
              Who gives food to the hungry.
              The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners.

              8 The LORD opens the eyes of the blind;
              The LORD raises those who are bowed down;
              The LORD loves the righteous.
              9 The LORD watches over the strangers;
              He relieves the fatherless and widow;
              But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.

              10 The LORD shall reign forever—
              Your God, O Zion, to all generations.

              Praise the LORD!

              I have no faith in any political party to deliver social justice and I know they wont. Virtually any political policy will deliver advantage to some and disadvantage to others, its the nature of the beast. There are exceptions of course but not usually.

              Not so long ago I was dining with my brother and his in laws who live in another town. And they told a sad story of a woman in they knew at the in difficult circimstances who lost the plot and resorted to violence. And they said something like “why couldn’t the Government do something before it came to this”

              And I thought but didn’t say “Why didn’t you?”

    • Philonz 17.3

      Do you have any idea how much childcare costs? I’m sure many women on the DPB would love to work but would struggle to cover the cost of childcare with their earnings.

  18. GNZ 18

    “The benefits and allowances (Unemployment, Sickness, Student, etc.) are all there for all of us if we ever find ourselves in such a situation that we need their assistance”

    As far as I can tell the system works on the assumption that most people won’t know exactly what they are “entitled to”.
    People have not recieved business grants or have not maximised their income by getting any of the many benefits they could be recieving if only they had rearanged their finances or filled out a form, or begged WINZ in the right way feel a bit annoyed. A little annoyance at themselves for not being as cheaky but also annoyed at those that are.

    It doesn’t help to just put that aside as beneficiary bashing and it highlights a real issue with the system.

  19. graham 19

    look this subject is so yesterday. if this is all the mighty standed can come up with(yawn) national has nothing to fear roll on 2017

  20. Deciduous 20

    anti-spam word : tanks

    As in, Labour tanks in opinion polls again.

    Seriously though, if I summarise:

    1) Kiwis love an underdog but have a chip on their shoulder/s (bonding with misplaced patriotic emotions)
    2) Kiwis hate bludgers (and tall poppies, ah, mediocraty)
    3) Kiwis have a social conscience (unlike those dirty foreigners)
    4) This is classic NACT misogyny ensuring women remain endentured to the state (insert some twisted take on Marxist philosophy)
    5) National are creating a police state (ID’s cards and bar code tattoos next)
    6) Paula Bennet is a class traitor (obviously)

    So the moral of the story is vote Labour.


    • BLiP 20.1

      Comment summary:

      anti-spam word: twot.

      seriously though,

      (1) Decidious either didn’t read or failed to understand or was seeking to disrupt the post.

      So the moral of the story is: Section 59 should be rewritten to specifically include Decidious only. And regularly.

  21. Frank Macskasy 21

    Thankyou folks, for the comments…

    I take on board the remarks that not all absent partners (generally husband/boyfriends) are deadbeats or loathsome charachters.

    When I re-write this article to submit elsewhere, I’ll re-write that part.

    It is interesting that the media attention has now shifted to the rorting of the accomodation and travel allowances by certain MPs and Ministers. Now what’s that old saying about people in glass houses biffing stones…?

  22. Darel 22

    The Destitute Persons Act 1910 and the Domestic Proceedings Act 1968 created a statutory means by which a woman could seek a maintenance order against the father of her children. The court could, at its discretion, set the rate that it thought appropriate for the father to pay the mother in respect of the child. This maintenance continued until the child reached the age of sixteen; maintenance would continue to be payable in respect of a child over the age of sixteen if the child was engaged in full-time education.

    These statutes provided a means by which women could seek maintenance from the putative father but where there were difficulties women had to resort to the court in order to enforce the maintenance agreement or order. There were further difficulties; an unmarried mother had to obtain an acknowledgement of paternity from the father or a declaration of paternity from the court in order to be entitled to seek maintenance. The Domestic Purposes Benefit (DPB), introduced in statutory form in 1973, mitigated these difficulties. The Act provided State financial support for single mothers, irrespective of whether the father was contributing to maintenance payments.

    The introduction of the DPB was blamed for “creating a shortage of babies for adoption’. However, the extent to which the DPB contributed to the shortage of babies available for adoption is unclear. The number of births outside of marriage fell between 1971 and 1976. The numbers of ex nuptial children being adopted had started to fall in 1962, before the introduction of State financial support. Else notes that a number of other factors were at work, such as a “softening’ of attitudes towards illegitimate children and their mothers, the removal of the stigma of illegitimacy by the Status of Children Act 1969, the increasing availability of contraception and delays in the placement of babies.

     Source: Adoption and Its Alternatives (September 2000) Law Commission

  23. Craig Glen Eden 23

    Andre I never said the Labour Party has a monopoly on social justice, but it is a driving principle and Labour members do put their principles into practice in the form of Party Policy such as working for families. Sadly I see and hear many Christians mouthing off about topics which they are very badly informed about and much of the information comes from sources such as Radio Rhema and Church Ministers.
    The biggest attack on the family unit Andre was the Employment contract act. National Party policy, Why, it lowered wages and forced the second parent into the work force just to make ends meet.
    The act extended hours of work therefore decreasing rest and family time. Sundays became just another work day. The unions fought against the Act but the Church didn’t! So Andre next time you rant about Lefties and Labour Party members destroying the nuclear family and marriages, spear me the right wing Church crap.
    Sorry other Standard posters for the rant, but I am sick of these right wingers hiding behind their so called Christian faith, it makes me sick!

  24. Andrei 24

    Andre I never said the Labour Party has a monopoly on social justice, but it is a driving principle and Labour members do put their principles into practice in the form of Party Policy such as working for families

    Well Labour held the reins of power for the past nine years – did they deliver social justice in that time?

    I still see the marginal in the streets, kids still go to bed hungry, major injustices still take place on a daily basis.

    Still at least one new prison was built and commissioned to warehouse the antisocial who are still with us because of course there are more locked up than there were when Labour first took charge – prisons are a growth industry.

    Its Nationals turn at the helm now and they will do no better, they will pander to their base the way Labour panders to its and then it will be Labour’s turn again and perhaps you’ll feel less grumpy about things then.

  25. Wow! great read, in fact amongst the best I’ve read on the topic in the past 2 weeks.

    Some interesting theories in the replies too, particularly in relation to Ms Bennetts attitude to the “clients” under her Ministry umbrella.

    Funny just tonight I was reading an article from November 2008 where Ms Bennett stated “You’re not going to have me bagging the solo mums.”

    Isn’t that what she’s just done? Not only herself, but encouraged half the country to do it too.

    • Frank Macskasy 25.1

      Indeed, ‘just another student’.

      Bennet’s ill-considered response basically gave free rein and permission to bigots up and down the country to let rip with a tirade of hate.

      The most unfortunate aspect though were people like Paul Holmes, who supported Bennett’s actions. Paul should have known better as he himself was the recipient of vindictive comments when criticisms were levelled at his high salary.

      It’s interesting to note that the benefits being paid to Ms Fuller and Ms Johnston are quite legal, and quite within WINZ policies. Bennet has not changed any aspect of their benefits (as far as I am aware).

      The same cannot be said for the Ministerial/MPs rorting of Allowances which have been splashed across our media recently.

      Key has indicated a “full review” of allowances.

      This kind of indicates – to me at least – who the true “bludgers” really are. And it ain’t the solo-mums (and dads!) who – generally – are true legends at raising the Next Generation on their own backs…

      • Pascal's bookie 25.1.1

        “Paul should have known better as he himself was the recipient of vindictive comments when criticisms were levelled at his high salary.”

        But Frank, Paul was saying just the other day that he has never taken a red cent from the taxpayer. That teeny tinesty salary he got from an SOE for, lo, those many years was not in any way shape or form paid with money that belonged to the state.

        And, what is more, the size of that miserly stipend was determined by a rigorous scientific analysis that proved, proved I say, that whatever he took from TVNZ in the way of cash, wardrobe, airfares, VISA bills, booze bills, lunches, dinners, hotels, motels and cars, was more than made up for by the advertising that he alone could pull in.

        Just ask Prime.

        • Frank Macskasy

          Yes, well, *ahem*…

          It’s interesting that recently Rosemary McLeod (a cheerleader for conservatives and bene-bashers) herself has recieved hate emails, regarding her comments on the solo-mums.

          Also, Judith Ablett-Kerr had her car vandalised and recieved hate-mail for defending a rather unpleasant gentleman in a Trial just recently.

          It seems that there is something about having a National Government in power that brings out the wost in some people.

          Or just brings out the bigots, full-stop.

          Ironically, the Nats are copping it themselves with revelations about their rorts of the Allowances system…

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