Written By: - Date published: 7:04 am, July 29th, 2017 - 181 comments
Categories: class war, greens, leadership, Metiria Turei - Tags: #IamMetiria, benefit fraud, benefits, inequality, metiria turei, poverty
Much of the political commentary this week has been about Metiria Turei’s confession that she lied to WINZ years ago. There are basically two kinds of reaction.
The first is the “shock horror ripping off the taxpayer” well practiced “outrage”. This we hear from loud voices, the Farrars and Hoskings and Seymours and Gowers of the world, and their ilk. Such reactions are of course 90% political. They’re just playing the same game as always, using any means possible to bash the left. The only reason the Nats haven’t piled in to this more directly is that they are vulnerable over Paula Bennett.
The second kind of reaction is the “good on her I’d do the same to protect my kids”. This we hear from ordinary people. The many hundreds (thousands?) who have posted to #IAmMetiria to share their support and their own stories. People who feel like this:
So Metiria Turei didn’t tell WINZ that she had flatmates. As a taxpayer, I don’t feel at all ripped off by this. In fact it’s the first time ever I’ve felt inspired to vote.
Before this, I was approaching voting in the general election like I do my tax return. It’s painful, dull and soul-crushingly uninspiring. But I’ll do it because I need to and because my Mum will give me shit until I do. …
But when Turei came forward and said, 1) she misled WINZ, 2) that she was scared about admitting it but felt she had a duty to do so, and 3) that the system was broken and she was the proof, it was the first time I’d properly respected a politician.
It smacks of integrity. I know that is counterintuitive because she technically lied. But I still think this move is overwhelmingly honest. Her whole campaign is that the benefits aren’t enough to live on. You know she believes this because she clearly has been there and experienced it. She’s also prepared to fight for this moral principle by staking her political career on it.
So I don’t care if people think this is a vote grab. Every politician right now is trying to grab my vote. Metiria Turei is the only one with enough balls to deserve it.
This is exactly the reaction that the usual cast of right-wing commentators are terrified of. Exactly what they are trying to shut down. I think that the louder they shout, the more ordinary people are going to side with the under-dog.
I donated $5000 to the Green Party because of it. The Greens have always had our back when the other parties were selling ALL of us out.
— A Steve in Auckland (@Andluver) July 27, 2017