Private Welfare to Work – how well does that work?

Written By: - Date published: 8:15 am, March 24th, 2012 - 42 comments
Categories: corruption, Privatisation, uk politics, welfare - Tags:

This week the Government introduced their welfare changes to Parliament, and they’ll have their first reading next week.

They include of course the requirement for mothers of 1-year-olds on the DPB to look for work – as if they haven’t got enough work at home.  While it’s nothing new for National not to value the raising of future taxpayers because the work is unpaid, this is a whole new level of attack on women and children.

But there are other changes in the bill too, including the provision for private providers of “welfare to work”.  This is where the private sector gets paid for each person they get off welfare.

Sounds good, until you hear that means that as a beneficiary your police, welfare and other private government records are all shared with private companies.

And how’s it working out overseas?  The UK has been trying this for a couple of years now…

The main provider A4e is now facing serious corruption allegations.

A report has found ‘systemic fraud’.  Apparently it’s a lot easier to fill out a form saying someone has got a job than to actually get them one – especially in the midst of this economic climate.

Specific incidents include:

  • In Edinburgh one client walked out of a job after two hours complaining of sore feet and never appeared on the potential employer’s books, but A4e still claimed for a job outcome
  • In Bootle the auditor could find no trace of an unemployed man who was supposed to have found work at Royal Mail and no trace of the man who was supposed to have employed him
  • In Bridlington a cafe owner told the auditor that he had never even met a man A4e had claimed for and he wanted to know why A4e kept asking him to sign blank forms
  • In Woolwich A4e appear to have claimed for putting a benefits cheat back into the job they were already illegally working in. The auditor said of the incident: “This is a potentially fraudulent claim, and there is also potential benefit fraud.”

The report concluded that “potential fraudulent or irregular activity is not confined to one particular geographical area… and shows a potential systematic failure to mitigate the risk towards this behaviour at both an office and regional level”.

The head of the company, Emma Harrison1, has already stepped down as earlier reports of fraud surfaced, and there have been other controversies previously as the company’s assessing people for work had got ill people unfairly kicked off benefits.

Does this sound like something we want to replicate here?

1 Another friend of “call me Dave” Cameron’s, like Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson – just lucky he doesn’t get judged by the company he keeps…

42 comments on “Private Welfare to Work – how well does that work?”

  1. “They include of course the requirement for mothers of 1-year-olds on the DPB to look for work – as if they haven’t got enough work at home.”

    Only those who added a child to an exisiting benefit; and only part-time, which may be, according to cabinet papers, as few as 12 hours a week. Are you opposed to trying to discourage people from having children on welfare?

    “While it’s nothing new for National not to value the raising of future taxpayers because the work is unpaid, this is a whole new level of attack on women and children.”

    Those children raised long-term on welfare, which are frequently those added to a benefit, are the least likely to become taxpayers.

    And MSD already contracts over 150 service providers to find work for beneficiaries.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Are you opposed to trying to discourage people from having children on welfare?

      I suspect being on welfare is discouragement enough without having to add punishment to the children.

      Those children raised long-term on welfare, which are frequently those added to a benefit, are the least likely to become taxpayers.

      Everyone is looking at this the wrong way. Money is not a resource, working doesn’t produce it and taxing doesn’t produce income. What working does is distribute resources that belong to the community as such taxing doesn’t need to exist merely that everyone have a say in how those resources are distributed.

      And MSD already contracts over 150 service providers to find work for beneficiaries.

      And how’s that actually working?

    • Uturn 1.2

      “Are you opposed to trying to discourage people from having children on welfare?”

      Yes. I prefer the option of creating real jobs in worker friendly environments, paying at least liveable wages. I don’t reduce people to financial units, have transcended enough life experience to tolerate other’s choices and have no serious control/oppression issues to express. You’ve been banging on about those pesky welfare mothers for years, Lindsay. Your choice of course, but you sound like a you have a serious neurosis this far out. Get help.

    • millsy 1.3

      Piss off Lindsay, we all know you wont be happy until single mothers and their babies are living in their streets and in their cars.

      Why dont you just admit it.

    • NickS 1.4

      Ah Lindsay Mitchell, aka a pseudo-expert without a single peer-reviewed paper or book to her name, let alone any sign of academic qualifications that give her the backgrounding in social sciences to be able to navigate teh literature.

      Who also likes to make evidence free claims.

      So either put up or piss off permanently Lindsay, as from this day onwards I’ll be moving into archive troll mode, and everytime you post will bring up all the comments you’ve failed to provide factual backing for.

      Why? For the lulz of course.

      • felix 1.4.1

        Is Lindsay still pretending to be a think tank? Or has even she stopped believing that one?

        • NickS 1.4.1.1

          lolwat?

          Did she actually do that? Not that it’s unheard off, all you need to do is look at Family First, which is pretty much a one-douche-show. Though she doesn’t seem to be doing it now, judging solely off her blog, rather she thinks she’s an “expert”. Kinda like Monckton.

    • Why do you think people on welfare in specific should be targetted to not have children? Do you buy into this myth that welfare is some intrinsic failure? Hope you work in a field with stable employment, for the sake of your self-esteem…

      I think we should encourage EVERYONE to have less children, although in ways that don’t restrict families’ abilities to care for those children once they do arrive.

    • prism 1.6

      12 hours a week could be spread over a week, involving expensive travel for 2 or 3 hours work.
      Having work skills is an important thing but if someone has a quota to meet it is likely that they will push the client into whatever is available no matter how difficult for the mother and child.

      It is not appropriate when people concerned about the impact of demanding employment terms on a single parent family to be answered with statistics about employment. How cold, you must hate such young women.

    • Alexandra 1.7

      Mothers who have a second child whose older child is fourteen will be forced to be available for FULL TIME WORK when their baby is ONE YEAR OLD.

      No we should not be discouraging mothers to have more than one child by punishing the child and treating the child as a second class citizen. In fact we need more children in our society as we do not have enough workers to support the increasingly elderly population. Mothers are bringing up the future workers who create the value from which profits and taxes are taken. If these children would not find work when they grew up; that would be the fault of the failing capitalist economy, the rip offs of the bankers and corpoations; not the fault of the mothers or their children . It would also be the fault of decades of financial and social deprivation- ie poverty and ill health caused by inadequate incomes, poor housing and health care; and the kind of prejudice and discrimination favoured by people like Lindsay.

      • Lindsay 1.7.1

        Alexandra, Thanks for a civil comment. Cabinet papers show that only 1 percent of the mothers who had a subsequent child while on a benefit had an existing youngest child aged 14+.

        http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/newsroom/media-releases/2012/annex-to-paper-c-welfare-reform-parents-on-benefit-who-have-subsequent-children.pdf

        Also your argument that we need more children in our society “…as we do not have enough workers to support the increasingly elderly population,” is the same argument for trying to raise the workforce particiaption of working age females. Often mothers.

        • McFlock 1.7.1.1

          Seriously?
             
          One the baby’s first birthday, the govt will force into work only 1% of mothers, so it’s okay?

          • QoT 1.7.1.1.1

            Here’s how it goes, McFlock.

            If you’re a liberal, you see that only a very small minority of people have subsequent children while on a benefit, so you think “It’s not a major problem and there are other things we can do that don’t reek of hating beneficiaries.”

            If you’re Lindsay Mitchell, you see that only a very small minority of people have subsequent children while on a benefit, so you think “Those people must be EXTRA IRRESPONSIBLE AND UNWORTHY OF MAH TAXPAYA DOLLAHS, to the salt mines with them!!!”

            • McFlock 1.7.1.1.1.1

              [cliched ladylike scream from self]
              won’t anyone think of the taxpayer dollars!
              [swoons in a faint]

            • Lindsay 1.7.1.1.1.2

              At November 2011 29 percent of those on the DPB had added subsequent children.

              Children added are those who feature amongst the most disadvantaged of all children. What happens to those kids concerns me more than what they cost the taxpayer to support.

              • Colonial Viper

                Give us the real statistic you attempt to quote and the source please.

                Bear in mind that this Govt’s inept management of the economy means that its harder to find work and get off the DPB now.

                Edit – I see. The full statistic is women on the DPB who had added an additional child since 1993. 20 years is a pretty fucking broad swathe of time needed to get your figure!!!!

                • Lindsay

                  Source above at 1.7.1

                • Lindsay

                  The statistic pertains to people on the DPB at a point in time, the end of November 2011. It doesn’t pertain to everyboby that has been on the DPB over that period. To assist you to understand the difference here is another quote from government research:

                  “On average, sole parents receiving main benefits had more disadvantaged backgrounds than might have been expected:

                  • just over half had spent at least 80% of the history period observed (the previous 10 years in most cases) supported by main benefits
                  • a third appeared to have become parents in their teenage years.

                  This reflects the over-representation of sole parents with long stays on benefit among those in receipt at any point in time, and the longer than average stays on benefit for those who become parents as teenagers.

                  Had the research considered all people granted benefit as a sole parent, or all people who received benefit as a sole parent over a window of time rather than at a point in time, the overall profile of the group would have appeared less disadvantaged.”

              • rosy

                “What happens to those kids concerns me more than what they cost the taxpayer to support”
                So Lindsay, I guess you’re way into supporting women’s refuges, reducing access to alcohol and supporting young men into good employment and training so they don’t see shacking up with a solo mum as an answer to their financial problems?

                • Lindsay

                  Rosy, Sorry if this duplicates. My original comment disappeared due to hitting the wrong key. Cat interference.

                  I don’t at the moment but spent 5 years working with beneficiary parents as a volunteer. It’s interesting that you identify young men “shacking up with a solo mum” as an answer to their financial problems. Yes. I have seen that. Unfortunately this doesn’t necessarily make them the best ‘step-dads’.

                  • Lindsay

                    Harry, Two.

                  • rosy

                    A no then. I suggest there are many more options that would successfully protect children than sending women out to work when their babies are one – especially if that work was casual-based, low-paid jobs requiring a variety of ‘babysitters’ to meet the requirements of the MSD and job.

                    And yes, it’s very interesting that young men shacking up with solo mums is and issue – the law of unintended consequences IMO. Poor education, minimal training or apprenticeship options, the dole at less than a living amount. Creating a generation of losers in the game of life by beating them with a stick with no accompanying carrot and hey presto, another beaten kid. Go figure.

  2. marsman 2

    Welfare for profit, prisons for profit, schools for profit, Public Service for profit, all neoliberal NAct scams. The losers are the tax-payers.

  3. Janice 3

    If they do it here Michelle Boag will probably be put in charge.

  4. KeepOurAssetsDon'tSell. 4

    This is another “Turn of the screw” by the crazy neoliberal madmen in control of the show at the moment. In the UK Camoron is intending to privatize the roads for gawd sakes!! Imagine driving down a road after a fee being paid to the owner who may be the oil rich kingdom of Oman for instance!
    A privatised system of putting harassment and bullying on the hapless unemployed . The UK is doing austerity which is dramatically increasing unemployment and there aren’t the jobs at the same time as persecuting bennies!

    Benefit Busters A4E

    “Why aren’t you all queuing up outside McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC if you all want a job so badly?”
    These are the words of Hayley Taylor, a trainer for “private welfare company” A4e, to a group of lone parents at a compulsory back-to-work course in Doncaster.

    This uncritical documentary is a glimpse into the government’s “radical idea” to bring in the private sector to be “tough on the workshy”.

    “If you want something, you have to work for it,” Taylor tells the women in her class, speaking slowly and carefully. “It cannot be your right for it to be given to you.”

    Her constant hectoring leaves many in tears as they are systematically made to feel guilty for taking “handouts”.
    Like the 19c again.

    Some of the women leave the course in disgust at such emotional bullying.
    Link: http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php%3Fid%3D18776&sa=U&ei=Uv5sT_-nOOeDmQXX8KiGCQ&ved=0CAQQFjAA&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNE8artKaW7D3srheQfPjiS9MozmGQ

    O bye the way this wretched capo Hayley gets special privileges just like concentration camps: read:
    In fact the low wages mean that some are even worse off than they were on benefits.
    As the show ends, Taylor is invited to tea at the 20-bedroom, £5 million mansion owned by A4e chair Emma Harrison.
    Taylor is asked if she thinks it is right that Harrison is making £100 a week out of each unemployed person on the course.

    “At the end of the day,” she replies, “a successful businessperson finds a market and exploits it.”
    The unemployed are now a market to be exploited!

    She gets 100 pounds a week every week per unemployed person she harasses! This sort of stuff must be contra to the UN declaration of human rights.

    Hayley Taylor’s job is to persuade single mothers on benefits to go back to work.

    The company she works for, A4E, which is helping to tackle the Government’s target of getting 70 per cent of lone parents into paid work by 2010, is the largest welfare reform company in the world.
    A4E is run by multimillionaire entrepreneur Emma Harrison, who believes her business is ‘improving people’s lives by getting them into work.’
    Until recently, the 700,000 lone parents receiving benefit didn’t have to look for work until their youngest child was 16. Soon, they must either work, or be looking for work, once their youngest child is seven.
    At Doncaster A4E, Hayley runs a course called Elevate that aims to give lone parents the skills and confidence to enter the workplace and convince them they’ll be better off doing so. Cameras follow her group of ten single mothers during their intensive six-week course to prepare them for work

    Link to part 1 of the TV series Benefit Busters.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Spearmint Rhino is always hiring. They’ve got no issue with single mums as long as you are fit. Soon if you turn down a “job” there you can expect your benefit to be cut.

  5. KeepOurAssetsDon'tSell. 5

    Comments by prisoners of the motherland on A4E:

    a4e send out slaves every week to work for businesses with no hope of a job at the end of it, it is just slave labour…… i say boycott the businesses that take slaves from a4e

    The regime for those on JSA was outlined in the Conservative’s 2008 Work for welfare green paper, produced under Chris Grayling, now employment minister. It proposed that anyone initially refusing a suitable job would lose one month’s out-of-work benefits; a second refusal would result in a three-month penalty; and a third refusal would lead to exclusion from benefits for three years.

    In 2008, A4e overall had some 13,000 New Deal clients at its 100 or so centres throughout the country. This represented approximately 50% of the company’s activities, but 40% of it was subcontracted to smaller providers. In 2008-9, A4e received £84,433,506 for New Deal provision; that is, more than £6,000 per client. 

    Our corrupt government has taken away the rights of ordinary people to earn a living wage, which is one of the reasons why many people can be just as well off on the dole. No fat cat wants to pay a living wage. Wages have been driven down for the last 30 years while the cost of living soars. Hence the latest plan, work for benefit, which they also want to cut making many families homeless. We will end up like Syria trying to oust a corrupt regime from Westminster.

    Someone should try using this,sub sec 2.We come under this law so my opinion is they are breaking it. European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) Article 4 Servitude prohibts Forced Labour (4.2). European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) HUMAN RIGHTS- Article 4- SLAVERY

    (1)No one should be held in slavery or servitude.

    (2)No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.

    I had the misfortune to have dealings with these arseholes through a company I was working for doing Learndirect courses. The poor sods through A4E were so pleased to attend their one day a week course where they got treated in a civilised manner it was heart breaking. I swear even the ones attending as part of their parole had more life in them.

    Shonkey boasts he is on good terms with Camoron. So look out kiwis we’ll be living in the same morass as Pom land soon!

    A4E are in involved in Workfare that is working for nothing or else your benefit is stopped and you starve on the street like the U$$$$$

    • Vicky32 5.1

      a4e send out slaves every week to work for businesses with no hope of a job at the end of it, it is just slave labour…… i say boycott the businesses that take slaves from a4e

      I have a friend in England who is a retired economist and she sends me details about this – “workfare” and how it’s (not) working…Apparently the word “workfare” was first used by Newt Gingrich, and recommended by him.

  6. KeepOurAssetsDon'tSell. 6

    Re Post 4 above”

    If you’re an unemployed youth scrabbling by on a hardship allowance (Because you have been sanctioned) Taylor and Harrison below might remind you of –

    ( O bye the way this wretched capo Hayley gets special privileges just like concentration camps: read:
    As the show ends, Taylor is invited to tea at the 20-bedroom, £5 million mansion owned by A4e chair Emma Harrison.
    Taylor is asked if she thinks it is right that Harrison is making £100 a week out of each unemployed person on the course.
    “At the end of the day,” she replies, “a successful businessperson finds a market and exploits it.”)

    -SS (Untersturmführer) Amon Goeth and Oskar Schindler partying up at the house. Next morning its time to sanction the next non performing bennie down to the level nearly of starvation.

  7. QoT 7

    A4e appear to have claimed for putting a benefits cheat back into the job they were already illegally working in.

    This is a capitalist definition of “genius”, I’m pretty sure. No wonder they want to implement it.

  8. Ordinary_Bloke 8

    In Australia labour market programs were privatised under the Howard government in 2000.

    Yet Abbello & Eardley (2000) found that clients afterwards did not see much difference between public and private providers.

    The nature of the problem had not changed, but funding was now going to private – often religious – providers. There was a bit of a frisson when the Islamic Council in Sydney applied to be an employment agent, but I think they got their funding. Otherwise, the main Christian denominations were well represented by City Mission (Presbyterians) and Centacare (Catholic), which plays a significant role in places like Tennant Creek and the Kimberley. Aboriginal councils have an employment function, but the extent varies.

    One significant player is Ingeus, set up by the spouse of ex-FM/PM Kevin Rudd, with operations in UK, France, Sth. Korea, Saudi Arabia, Aotearoa, Poland, and Germany. Selling it when he entered Cabinet, she is now re-entering the market.

    A recent arrival in NZ is A4E.

    John Key is currently visiting the UK and will doubtless return with new inspiration(s).

    Abello, D., Eardley, T., (2000). Is the Job Network benefiting disadvantaged job seekers ?
    Social Policy Research Centre Newsletter,‭ ‬No.‭ ‬77,‭ ‬October.

    http://www.cssa.org.au/taxonomy/term/10/all

    http://www.ingeus.com/

    • Ordinary_Bloke 8.1

      Abello, D., Eardley, T., (2000). Is the Job Network benefiting disadvantaged job seekers ?
      Social Policy Research Centre Newsletter, UNSW, No. 77, October.

  9. Quasimodo 9

    And then there is …

    Graduating from high school soon? Looking for a job in a high-growth field? Like working outdoors and traveling to exotic locales? How does $103,269 a year strike you?

    At myfuture.com, high-schoolers are encouraged “to explore all possibilities and gain insight into” possible futures through “unbiased, detailed information,” including data from the Departments of Commerce, Education, and Labor. “In addition to college admissions details, average salaries, and employment trends,” reads an explanation in that website’s fine print, “myfuture.com provides advice on everything from taking the SAT to interviewing for a first job to preparing for boot camp.” Did you catch that last part? Boot camp. Which brings us back to that $103,269 a year job.

    Myfuture.com just happens to be run by the Department of Defense and that high-demand job is as a “Special Forces officer.” In 2006, the website notes, there were only 1,493 slots in that field; by 2010, 2,320. That it’s an American job-growth area shouldn’t surprise any of us. After all, in the last year, Special Forces officers starred in a box-office topping motion picture, gunned down pirates, carried out assassinations, and expanded their global war from 75 to 120 countries. No wonder it’s been boom times for special ops officers.

    Myfuture.com is, however, far from the only Defense Department website making a play for a young audience. There’s BoostUp.org, with its “high school dropout prevention campaign,” sponsored by the Army. (Which makes sense because, as TomDispatch reported in 2005, the military has studied what makes college students drop out and how the armed services can capitalize on that urge.) At the other end of the educational spectrum, the Army sponsors eCYBERMISSION, “a free, web-based Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics competition for students in grades six through nine where teams can compete for state, regional and national awards while working to solve problems in their community.” And then there’s TodaysMilitary.com.“Young people need support as they consider their life path,” reads its pitch. “This site aims to help them and their families understand service options and benefits so they can make informed choices.”

    “Military service is not for everyone,” TodaysMilitary.com confides. “It requires self-discipline, intense physical work, and time away from family and friends while protecting America and its citizens at home and abroad. For some, these commitments impose too great a burden.” But here’s a surprise for those presumably too lazy, weak, or emotionally needy to do anything but go to college ( what snobs!): they’ll find a complete line-up of government agencies and national security types waiting to teach them (or beat them) on the quad, as Michael Gould-Wartofsky explains in his latest report on the state of state repression on American college campuses.

    It turns out myfuture.com may really be onto something. These days, given that you may have to brave batons, CS gas, and Tasers just to get to English 101 — and since officers in the Special Operations Forces need a degree anyway ( what snobs!) — some military training might come in handy before you head for college. Nick Turse

    http://www.tomdispatch.com

  10. KeepOurAssetsDon'tSell. 11

    A4E stands for Action 4 Employment It really represents Neoliberal Capitalism’s Cannabilistic nature triumphing. If there were the jobs the ordinary job centres would have no problem fitting people into work. A4E is a way to turn the unemployed into a saleable commodity to be exploited for profit, they’re just another market. They already have a presence here in NZ as does that other criminal organisation which cannibilises its victims Goldman Sachs. Shonkey is their poster boy.

    Link http://article.wn.com/view/2012/02/24/A4e_chairman_Emma_Harrison_steps_down/#

    Emma Harrison is a new rich money baron over the unemployed A4E pom serfs wasting time at her confinement centres she now lives in a mansion to prove it!

    link: http://article.wn.com/view/2012/02/24/A4e_chairman_Emma_Harrison_steps_down/#

    • KeepOurAssetsDon'tSell. 11.1

      Criminal organisation?
      You judge:

      Work scheme boss has to quit two posts in one week
      Emma Harrison, the government’s “back to work tsar” and boss of private firm A4e, was forced to resign twice last week.
      First she quit as Tory “family champion” and then as chair of the company as the scandal kept growing.
      It started when it was revealed that Harrison, as A4e’s largest shareholder, paid herself a dividend of £8.6 million—all money from government contracts.
      Then former A4e staff were arrested over a series of allegations of fraud. And it was revealed the firm has had to pay back money five times after investigations.

      The company has millions of pounds of government contracts to push unemployed people into work.
      It was even accused of forcing people to work unpaid in its own offices.
      It is also alleged that Harrison had been renting out her own stately home and other properties to the state-funded firm—for a total of £1.7 million.

      Link: http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=27664

      Now A4E is a company the hapless Public have to pay massive dividends to the main shareholder in addition to straight fees for regular work outrageous!

  11. Ordinary_Bloke 13

    A few links on workfare, ingeus, deloitte, a4e, liberty, revolt, and the rights of man.

    http://a4eprotest.blogspot.co.nz/2011/04/ingeus-deloittle-work-rpgramme-protest.html

    http://www.workprogramme.org.uk/workfare/ingeus-deloitte-tag-page-1.html

    http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=179

    http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?page_id=517

    http://www.intensiveactivity.com/Ipswich/ingeus-deloitte

    http://www.workprogrammecomplaints.co.uk/Provider/ingeus-deloitte

    http://ingeusdeloitte.com/

    http://www.workprogramme.org.uk/201104151231/workfare-providers-announced.html

    http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=4032

    http://edinburghagainstpoverty.org.uk/node/34

    http://aworldtowin.net/blog/welfare-to-work-industry-gravy-train.html

    http://truth-reason-liberty.blogspot.co.nz/2011/08/disabled-protesters-occupy-big-four.html

    https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/is-a4es-workfare-scam-falling-apart/

    http://www.theofficeproviders.com/latest-news/deloitte-plans-olympic-office-lease/

    http://forum.davidicke.com/showthread.php?t=194559

    http://edinburghanarchists.noflag.org.uk/2011/08/deloitte-protest/

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jun/21/work-programme-wasted-opportunity-charities-baroness-stedman-scott?CMP=twt_gu

    http://theoccupiedtimes.co.uk/?p=2139

    http://workprogramme.wordpress.com/2011/05/01/work-programme-may-2011-latest-posts/

    http://suacs.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/anti-workfare-demonstration-march-3rd-2012/

    http://theunhivedmind.com/wordpress/?p=23812

    http://www.consent.me.uk/primecontact/

    http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/tag/fraud/

    “The Revolt against Workfare spreads”
    http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2012/02/scheme-greggs-grayling

    http://intensiveactivity.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/a4e-are-they-the-only-ones-to-face-charges-of-abuse/

    http://intensiveactivity.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/new-jarrow-march-for-jobs/

    “Deloitte LLP Shareholders, New Breed Slave Traders”
    https://www.lifeinthemix.info/

    http://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2011-11-21/and-for-those-without-a-job-the-work-programme

    http://www.myfavouritevouchercodes.co.uk/a4e-compelled-jobseekers-work-its-offices

    http://www.indymediascotland.org/node/25750

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201212/cmhansrd/cm120202/text/120202w0003.htm

    https://www.lifeinthemix.info/

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    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    2 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    5 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    6 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    7 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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