While the daily doses of soap opera that pass for political and/or social commentary in New Zealand rumble on, something very fucking unacceptable is also rumbling. The bellies of children in New Zealand.
Remember the reports of a 6 year old from the Bay of Plenty who took to eating cockroaches because he was so hungry? And remember how John Key and others dismissed the entire episode as stemming from neglect rather than poverty? And remember how study (pdf) after study (pdf) has shown that successive governments…yup, that’s right successive governments, both Labour led and National led ones…have presided over a rising tide of child poverty and its consequences?
Ah… but no.
In all probability you don’t remember…not really, not clearly… and you’re only thinking about this because you’re reading about it right now instead of washing your brain in the ‘oh so important and titillating’ suds of political commentary of the type that merely confirms what we already know; that there are some forms of toxic shit that even a cockroach would do well to avoid.
Now, I know. I shouldn’t be so angry. Child poverty is “not an easy issue to manage”, according to Deputy Children’s Commissioner Jo Cribb. (It’s a management problem you see. And fcking children and poverty just won’t succumb to the managerial tool kit, dammit!) But in spite of that, “some of the best minds in New Zealand” are being “brought together” and tasked with “finding a pragmatic solution that we can then recommend to the government.” So it’s all okay. By August there will be a report. A fucking report. Job done.
And if any action does flow from the report and it winds up being as effective as poking a derailed locomotive with a blunt screw driver, then that’s okay. Because remember! Child poverty is “not an easy issue to manage”.
I feel for them. I really do. These poor souls and their political masters being confronted by such a managerial nightmare!
And I also feel for…no, I actually wholeheartedly relate to this comment made in response to the Hungry kids scavenge pig slops story on ‘stuff’.
Dear New Zealand,
I’m really starting to hate you right now. I hate everyone that can see a starving kid and not want to help them. I hate you when you see someone that is poor and struggling and you insinuate that they must be a drunken, drug addicted gambler. I hate it that you glory in the suffering of others. I hate it that you are barely even human beings anymore. I hate it that the New Zealand that I knew and loved is gone, perhaps forever. I hate it that other countries are looking like a better option.