“The poor have a better life than King Henry VIII did” – Matthew Hooton

Written By: - Date published: 7:08 am, May 18th, 2015 - 261 comments
Categories: journalism, Media, Politics, thinktank - Tags:

the modern poor are written off as trash

The video featured at The Standard on Saturday which showed Fox News abusing poor people was shocking. Will we see the same thing happening here? Well, the local MSM does love putting the boot into beneficiaries on behalf of National Ltd™, and there’s certainly dedicated reportage concerning “welfare cheats”. Plus there is the abuse of opposition MPs, trouble-some academics, scientists presenting inconvenient truths, and whistle-blowers.

Just two years ago, leading lights in the neo-liberal cult were denying the existence of poverty in New Zealand. In the semi-public havens of the rich, it was the messengers who were being abused for rattling the neo-liberal cognitive dissonance with pesky facts and sympathetic portrayals of actual poor people.

In 2013, Matthew Hooton and the New Zealand Iniative’s (aka Business Roundtable) Executive Director, Oliver Hartwich, insisted poverty in New Zealand is all a “lot of nonsense”. Hooton’s denial and his comment about the poorest living a better life than Henry VIII was made during an interview with Hartwich.  The denial was made in response to a question suggesting that it isn’t politics that is the problem as much as it is the greed and self-interest of the rich. Hooton’s response to the question was to first of all wonder where on Earth that question came from before saying . . .

. . . Brian Bruce’s absurd so-called documentary [Inside Child Poverty] that is a much worse scandal than Team New Zealand – [spluttering] – the so called gap between rich and poor in this society is far less than in a socialist society in terms of the actual experience of life that people can have. The standard of living of the poorest New Zealander is superior to that of Henry the Eighth in feudal England. You know, I think this is a whole lot of nonsense to tell you the truth. This is one of the most successful societies in the history of the world. The poorest New Zealanders have iphones that they can connect to the whole intellectual achievement human kind. You know, and the gap between rich and poor is not accelerating. The gap between the rich and poor is relatively stable and also social mobility is greater than in any time in the history of the world. I think its all nonsense, to answer your question . . .

Hartwich completely agreed and also pulled out the “social mobility” distraction neo-liberals love to use but which relies on the protect-the-rich maxim that massive income gaps are an unavoidable force of nature.

You can watch Hooton’s comment and Hartwich’s agreement starting at 49:20 in the video below. Although excruciating to watch, the whole video does expose parts of the thinking which can lead people to lock themselves in the ultimately barren neo-liberal mental prison of belief. Topics and themes include “smashing” baby-boomers who are “the worst generation ever”, why the term “neo-liberal” is a misnomer, and why socialists are responsible for both the global financial crisis AND the local housing crisis. Although mentioning that having Maori seats in Parliament is “an oddity”, Hartwich is wise enough to avoid making any other further comments about Maori generally because he has not been a local long enough. There’s also a few lols for those with a graveyard sense of humour. Hartwich suggests, for example, that one way to ease the housing crisis is to have a local tax. Perhaps he hadn’t heard of rates despite having been in the country for 18 months. Hooton, of course, is full of it. He tries to brush over his breaching of the Broadcasting Code by making a joke of it and continuing his abuse of David Cunliffe. Creepy John and National Ltd™ also receive a verbal thumping. His disparagement of the local MSM, complete with an imitation of a journalist, is bizarre considering his admission that he never does any research before turning up on TV or radio. Hooton’s claim to be a specialist in reading polls is worth giggle because he had previously told Hartwich and the audience that New Zealand is heading for that neo-liberal nightmare – a Greens/Labour government. Oh, if only . . .

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d74mqfXqVGo]

261 comments on ““The poor have a better life than King Henry VIII did” – Matthew Hooton ”

  1. What are the parts of the answer you disagree with, and why?

    • Flashing Light 1.1

      The standard of living of the poorest New Zealander is superior to that of Henry the Eighth in feudal England.

      Would you rather be born Henry the Eighth or a poor Maori child into a family living in a house without electricity in the Hokianga?

      • Grant 1.1.1

        Fair do’s mate. Answering that question requires a level of empathy and intellectual honesty completely missing from Hooton’s make-up.

      • Matthew Hooton 1.1.2

        Undoubtedly the latter. Who would have the happier life? Who would have access to better education? Health? Who would have better health status? Life expectancy? Access to information?

        • Weepus beard

          What an odd person you are.

          • Matthew Hooton

            Which would you choose?

            • Aaron

              Mathew, that was very quick, does an alarm go off every time your name is mentioned on the internet or something?

            • Weepus beard

              It’s a daft, drunk-in-the-pub question. Not worth answering.

              You are odd for asking it in seriousness.

        • b waghorn

          Comparing apples with horse shit I see

        • sabine

          Henry became severely obese and his health suffered, contributing to his death in 1547. He is frequently characterised in his later life as a lustful, egotistical, harsh, and insecure king.[4] He was succeeded by his son Edward VI.

          -courtesy of wikipedia

          so one could say the king died of diabetes, heart disease, bowl disease etc. You know the malady of gluttony, lust and sloth.

          And if you could choose between a life of 70 years of poverty and hard work at minimum wage you of course would choose that, rather then be a king, who can kill his wifes without any hassle, has people bowing to him when retrieveing your toilet bowl and who can eat and drink as much as you would like to.

          yeah, right Tui.

          Public bloviators of mediocre talent.

          • Gosman

            “…diabetes, heart disease, bowl disease etc.”

            all diseases that seem to have increased in prevalence amongst the lower income sections of society recently.

            This is suggestive that many in the poorer sections of society are eating like Henry the Eigth.

            • mpledger

              What did Henry VIII Really Eat?
              The menu was dominated by meat and bread, and since vegetables were considered “peasant food” they weren’t used very much.
              Also, ale and wine was used in the place of water because the water was so bad.

              Poor NZers will be much less meat but eating cheap meat high in fat, highly processed food with added salt and sugar and some fruit/vegetables. And quite a lot less alcohol then H8 and higher income NZers.

              • dukeofurl

                Just read about an Elizabethan feast ( just after henry VIIII) put on for Elizebeth I

                There was 300 courses for dinner

            • Draco T Bastard

              Actually, it’s indicative that our infrastructure is making things worse. Then there’s the poor diet brought about by simply not being able to afford better than overly processed food with all the goodness taken out.

              And I’m pretty sure that there’s many other reasons as well. But this complexity doesn’t suit either you’re ideology or your simple mind.

          • Tracey

            “lustful, egotistical, harsh, and insecure king” Hooton??????

        • Crashcart

          It’s a disingenuous comparison. Who would I rather be? The modern day rich kid who has a far superior education and every advnatage going forward in life. Who gives a flying fuck if a poor person has better health care than a medievil king.
          Next you will be claiming the poor have nothing to complain about because there use to be slaves. Society is supposed to move forward. If we compare ourselves to what was happening 600 years ago we have set our sights pretty bloody low.

          • Matthew Hooton

            I don’t say the poor have nothing to complain about. My point is that far left activists are being inherently dishonest when they make docos entirely based on relative rather than absolute poverty, and then claim poverty is getting worse. It is a misuse of the word poverty, when what is really claimed is inequality.

            • Crashcart

              Yet you are being honest by saying that the way to make a comparison is to a long dead fudal king?

              As you said below we as a society should be trying to move forward. The best way to test how we are progressing is to see how the worst off in our contry are doing. Do you have a valid reason as to why this should not be done as a comparison to those at the other end of the social spectrum?

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Hooton believes that only his rich mates should have the benefits of modern civilisation. He believes that the rest of us should consider ourselves lucky in comparison to medieval serfs.

                The case he states reveals his mindset – that the rich deserve every luxury and comfort of the 21st century – and the poor should compare themselves to peasant serfs.

                Cool eh.

                • Gosman

                  What benefits are you meaning? Is it the massive revolution in the access and dissemination of information that has taken place in the past 20 years? Are you trying to state that the average person on the street does not now have access to devices that enable them to partake in this revolution?

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Hey Gossie, the title of the post “the poor have a better life than king henry” might give you a clue.

                • Capn Insano

                  Let them eat KFC?
                  I don’t agree with the comparison either and does little to diffuse the notion that the neolib rich would love to see a return to feudalism.

              • “The best way to test how we are progressing is to see how the worst off in our contry are doing.”

                Why is this the “best test”? I agree it is a very important test – and undoubtedly the worst off in society have an ever increasing standard of living in an absolute sense. No other economic system has ever raised the standard of living of the poorest people as much or as fast as the one successfully implemented in countries like NZ over the last 100 or so years.

                “Do you have a valid reason as to why this should not be done as a comparison to those at the other end of the social spectrum?”

                Yes, because it is a statistical construct. If that were the measure, “poverty” could be massively reduced by harming the standards of living of the wealthiest 51% of NZers without improving the standard of living of the poorest 49%. And “poverty” is deemed to have increased in NZ when the median income rises. That is clearly nonsense.

                • RedLogix

                  The core problem here Matthew is that you answer above is correct in only one sense. I’ve no doubt that in any physical sense the poor Maori kid in the Hokianga can access a safer, longer and better way of life than H8.

                  This has been true now since about the mid-1800’s for almost all humans.

                  But in the other sense you know your answer is mendacious bullshit. Because humans are above all social creatures, and that we primarily measure our lives in those terms. And in that sense everyone here knows that Maori kid is at the bottom of a social heap that will take every opportunity to shit on his life – in a way H8 would never had to tolerate.

                  No other economic system has ever raised the standard of living of the poorest people as much or as fast as the one successfully implemented in countries like NZ over the last 100 or so years.

                  Technology precedes economics.

                  • Economic systems generate (or don’t) new and better technologies.

                    • aerobubble

                      Imbalances will always exist, even be necessary, will however we need poverty in the mix of imbalances to drive growth.
                      The whip so to speak.

                      Now I like many believe that whipping the poor is bad for growth.
                      Instability, lost opportunity, and inefficiencies, plus costs to society.

                      The promise was that we’d all work together to create wealth and nobody should fall so far behind that they could not benefit.
                      Children who goto school hungry, without shoes, lack access to health or housing, is a failure of the market and due to government incentives for wealthy pricks like Hooten – who pay back double by being the voice of distractio , misdirection, etc.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  It’s the last thirty years you don’t want to talk about, eh trash. Lying for a crust, associating with scum, don’t you notice the stink?

                  • The last 30 years have seen the most massive reduction in poverty in the history of the world, as a result of the spread of capitalism and the decline of socialism. In New Zealand, the poorest people have far higher living standards than they did in 1985. This is indisputable.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Inequality has risen, the percentage of children living in poverty has almost doubled.

                      If living standards are so much higher, why is The Lancet calling you a liar?

                      Do you suppose they’ve noticed that you tell lies for money as well?

                    • aerobubble

                      the world is more equitable, more socialized.

                      The wealth boom from cheap high density middle east oil has been funnelled to the few, instead of investment.

                      The third world is still far behind, as boat people numbers grow, and big corp get subsidies. Take sugar, its a killer yet the US govt subsidies to sugar are huge.

                      Its fair to ask, it could be worse, but a lie to not wonder how much better the world could have been without Thatcherism.

                      Hooten is a neo liberal, its all about the negatives of others and positives of people like him.

                    • You live in a bubble, and you’ve forgotten you’re addressing an audience that doesn’t live there with you. One only needs to have been poor or known poor then and now, to know this is an outright lie. To you it’s just distant numbers you’re crunching and spinning to support your religious beliefs.

                    • Mark Craig

                      Hooton ,you are that full of it your eyes are brown.Do yourself an education and spend a couple of days at Waima (Dog Tax War)school and come back here and say there is no poverty in NZ .You spluttering ,mendacious ,obfuscating twat

                    • miravox

                      Absolutely WJ. As one who made use of the DPB for 2nd chance education about then, I’m quite certain I wouldn’t live as well (albeit frugally) and have an opportunity to up-skill if I were in a similar situation now.

            • Aaron

              It’s really simple to figure this crap out. Go to the poor part of town and see how many people are suffering.

              There’s no need for any of these debates or to engage with Mathew, it’s very easy to see that people are suffering in NZ and that we are turning into a very selfish society. It’s also easy to see that Mathew is one of the people who has been leading us down this path

              Anyone who wants to engage in semantic debates about what poverty means can’t be anything other than an apologist for inequality.

              • Tracey

                Agree, he is playing semantics to deflect from addressing the lives of those who deserve better if his chosen ideology were actually successful…

            • Grant

              Hooton. “I don’t say the poor have nothing to complain about.”

              So you admit they are “poor” then?
              So the argument is just about how poor they are?

              If so, you must be trying to compare the poor of NZ in 2015 to some unilaterally determined benchmark of actual, as opposed to relative poverty which you would have us believe should be a fixed point of comparison for poverty at all times and all places throughout human history. This in order to prove that “our” poor are not really poor at all.

              So can you tell us what this benchmark of actual poverty is and who determined what it is, by what criteria and terms of reference?

            • Tracey

              as opposed to far right activists such as yourself who make a living out of being dishonest and spread it like manure on our airwaves

            • Tracey

              So, you are actually a champion of those in poverty and just want to be very clear about which people you are referring to so you can ensure resources get to them as soon as possible.

            • Rodel

              ‘Poverty?… “when what is really claimed is inequality.” PR nonsense words -straight out of Luntz 101.

        • Molly

          You confuse possessions with privilege.

          You also confuse consumer choice with values aligned options.

          You associate happiness with consumption rather than participation.

          You imply that access to information is universal, and that decision making at personal level always changes whole living environments.

          You wouldn’t understand the holistic approach to education, and are talking about academic studies only.

          Life expectancy and life quality are two different situations.

          All in all, you seem to be very limited in your worldview which perhaps results in what appears to be stubborn confusion.

        • DoublePlusGood

          I propose a reality show where Matthew Hooton has to spend six months living as closely as possible to Henry VIII then six months living as closely as possible to a New Zealander in poverty. It’s the only way really to be sure.

        • aerobubble

          Hootens’ socialism and pro-government by the people of the people exposed.
          Will Hooten now openly turn his back on less government makes kings of us all.
          Science shows http://www.slate.com/articles/video/video/2015/05/animal_empathy_testing_rats_with_water_and_chocolate_video.html

          Hooten hardwired to protect fellow man
          Headline news Hooten gone soft, we,re better off togethercites Hooten comparing us to King Henry.

      • tinfoilhat 1.1.3

        Why on earth would one bother answering an irrelevant straw man of a question ?

        • Matthew Hooton

          Because the person who asked it, bizarrely, would prefer to be an absolute monarch in Tudor Britain than live in NZ today.

        • Grant

          To be fair the question was only posed because Hooton opened the door by making a ridiculous comparison between a person at the peak of late mediaeval society five hundred years ago with a hypothetical person from the ranks of the most deprived in our contemporary society.

          • Matthew Hooton

            Why is it ridiculous? It shows enormous progress over that period. Surely progressives would welcome that? The question is whether or not the comparison would also hold with, say, Queen Victoria? Probably not. But what about the King before her?

            • Charles

              William? Had William remained King for longer than a few years (impossible), had WIlliam’s “attitudes” and agreements not been betrayed by the in-coming Victorian court and consequently by Colonial governments, NZ people today would arguably be in a better position than now.
              But let’s not be silly. Politics doesn’t just stop dead and time doesn’t run backwards.

              • Gosman


                William who and why would NZ be in arguably a better position?

                • Charles

                  What was happening in NZ during 1834 -1835? I’ll give you a hint, if it was still in effect, we wouldn’t be having a “change the flag” debate in 2015. Glen Innes/St.Helliers/Okahu Bay/Bastion Point in Auckland would look very different, and no one would’ve died during the occupation protests. Probably Whanau Ora wouldn’t exist (that’ll make some people really happy on both sides) or at least it wouldn’t be attached to Pakeha government. Boy oh boy, yes lets, let’s think about what was lost over a period of ten years in the early 1800s and then ask why did we throw it all away and for what and instead of blaming kids in Hokianga for being poor, look at ourselves for being treacherous greedy bastards and ask how we intend to change.
                  But that’s not what you’re asking, is it gosman?

                  • Gosman

                    William who? And what attitudes and agreements did he have that were so good?

                    • McFlock

                      shit gos, if you don’t have any idea who hooten was referring to, you’re sure as shit under-equipped for a discussion on the significant issues facing Britain domestic and abroad during his reign.

                      Now go and sit in the corner, there’s a good boy. You’re not alone, I’ll join you, given that I had forgotten entirely about Will4.

                • Tracey

                  “say, Queen Victoria? Probably not. But what about the King before her?”

            • Grant

              Because you want to avoid discussions about actual relative deprivation in the here and now by making a dishonest false and impossible comparison between two individuals separated by half a millennium of history. However it is possible to note in passing that Henry Vlll was born into a position of extreme privilege and was extremely well educated housed and fed by the standards of his day. (Which is the only standard you can apply without getting into the fantasy land of false comparison). He had absolute power over everyone and everything within his realm. He answered to no-one, including in the end removing himself from the supremacy of the papacy which was one of the very few controls over the actions of ruling heads of state at the time.

            • Macro

              The ability to access the internet at exorbitant rates and occasionally travel in a car to the shops to gather a few groceries does not equate to luxury Matthew. Henry VIII did not need to possess a refridgerator. He could eat all he wanted and throw the rest to the pigs or the poor. If you are forced to buy today’s special (if you have a little money in your pocket) and dumpster dive product beyond the use by date, then the storage of food for another day is a necessity.
              Your problem – as with all your mates and Gossy here – is with the perception of privilege and entitlement, and a complete lack of empathy. You think that the supposed ‘benefits’ of the modern age completely out weigh the conditions of paucity imposed on 25% of the population to support your lifestyle.

            • McFlock

              at least henry VIII had a home and a full belly.

              • aerobubble

                Henry is a neo-liberal hero, what one man alone can do when holding back society, all that power, a committee of one, its what the one percent society would look like, when they own the other half of the wealth.
                Nothing Hooten argues for keeping s the wealthiest from claiming more of the wealth pie.

    • Anno1701 1.2

      your creepy dude…..

    • hoom 1.3

      You should spend several months trying to live on the kind of income that NZs poor have to try to survive on.

      As someone who actually has had to do that: you are a fucking jerk Hooton.

  2. Gosman 2

    The same argument can be made in relation to China. Poverty as defined by inequality between the median and the bottom incomeeraners has increased massively in China since they started reforming their economy in the late 1970’s. However absolute poverty has plummeted and standards of living for the vast majority of the population are at a level that the average Chinese person could but dream of in 1980. According to some here though the Capitalist inspired policy changes have only led to a race to the bottom. Hundreds of millions of Chinese would beg to differ.

    • Macro 2.1

      And several billions of Chinese would agree.
      Gossy overstating the case again to support his distorted world view.

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        Ummm… considering there are only 1.4 Billion Chinese living in China how would several billion agree that there is a race to the bottom?

        • Macro

          I was using your poor argument (overstating the case) to show you the invalidity of your argument. I know perfectly well the population of China is 1.4 Billion.
          Caught ya 🙂

          • Gosman

            How am I overstating the case? Hundreds of millions of Chinese are no longer qualified as living in Absolute poverty. That is a fact. It is not overstating anything to highlight it.

            • Macro

              yeah right.

              • Gosman

                Bravo for such a well thought out and devastating riposte. /sarc

                • Macro

                  I tossed up whether I should respond to your last – Frankly Gos you’re not worth the time and effort. You live in a little ideological bubble completely isolated from reality. I never have seen you admit error or fault despite thousands of cogent and well reasoned replies showing your false assumptions. You have one mindset and that is it. End of story.
                  Statements, such as you are prone to make, with no links to reliable evidence prove nothing.
                  Do not expect a reply to your next – I have much more important things to do with my time.

    • Crashcart 2.2

      Been to China recently?

      I know it is only anecdotal but when I was there recently the way their poor live is nothing that I would use as a ringing endorsment of their move to capatlisim and growing income gap. You could walk from the bund in Shanghai, seeing Lambo’s and farrari’s into the small store 100m down the road where very poor people scrimp to get by.

      • Gosman 2.2.1

        That is correct. 30 years ago though more people lived in appalling conditions and there was no Lambo’s and farrari’s (sic) on the roads or showrooms.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

          It’s all fine so long as everyone’s poor.

          • Gosman

            That I believe is the left’s mantra. It would explain why whenever they get to implement their policy pronoucements they begger the upper and middle classes. They do create a new class of people who enjoy a higher degree of wealth though – The Apparatchiks. Of course these people deserve to have increased wealth as they are sacrificing themselves for the common good.

          • Crashcart

            I am sure those who were hungry and trying to get by are really happy that a few people can afford a high end sports car.

            I think this is the actual disconnect between those of us on the left and those of you on the right.

            We on the left understand that at any stage we could have a major upheaval in our lives and end up at the bottom. We therefore believe that bringing the bottom up to a level where it is a working happy part of society is a good thing. We therefore focus our efforts on the bottom.

            People on the right believe that the best way to judge a society is by looking at those at the top because they are asperational. That is not an all together bad thing. However if you miss your asperations and live a middle class life it is not too bad. If you get knoced to the bottom you get to know how little you mean to the people higher up very quickly.

            • Gosman

              It isn’t just a few people. In terms of owning a car, which was largely the preserve of the Party elite 30 years ago, many millions of people now have the opportunity to own one that they didn’t have.


              • Crashcart

                So you don’t disagree with the description of how left and right view the world? Good to have a way forward.

                From your link

                “In 2005, China’s number of private cars in China—about 10 million—was still only half the number of those in the U.S. at the start of the Great Depression.”

                “Today, China’s car ownership rate of about six cars per 100 people (6%) is tiny compared to rates in the U.K. (80%) and the U.S. (90%).”

                China is on the improve. I don’t know if it is what you would call a great example of society. It still has horrible human rights. It is a strange example of what happens when you take a communist society and try and rapidly shift it into a capatalist one without the attached democratic controls.

                • Gosman

                  I think you miss the point. Shifting to Capitalism from Communism hasn’t led ti a race to the bottom as many here are want to repeat on a regular basis. It has led to people moving out of absolute poverty to a position where they can afford the fruits of a consumerist society.

                  • Crashcart

                    I think you missed my point. They haven’t shifted from communisim to capatalisim. The are a communist party running a capatalist economy. Making predictions about where that would end up is speculative at the best. Whether you are saying it would be a race to the bottom or creation of a market utopia.

                    • Gosman

                      I don’t need to make predictions. You just need to see the results over the past 30 years. The numbers of people living in Absolute poverty in China has plummeted.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      LOL Gossie, you should check out what’s happened to the poverty rate in the USA’s former industrial and manufacturing zones. Then think about who creamed off the difference in $$$

                    • Gosman

                      Let’s accept your rather simplistic argument is correct. What you are stating is a few million American’s in poverty is worse than hundreds of millions of Chinese who no longer are. Is that correct – Do you think one American in poverty is worse than say a hundred Chinese?

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Have you actually been in China Gosman, or are you typing rubbish as usual?

            • Matthew Hooton

              The poorest Chinese person is far far better off than under Mao. Inequality (when measured as the gap between Mao and the poorest Chinese person) has also massively declined.

              • Gosman

                Not in Relative poverty Matthew. This is why the debate around poverty is so confusing. The poverty figures that get so much publicity from people from the left is only to do with the income inequality between the median and the bottom income earners. You could add several dozen Kim Dot Com’s to society and you would not impact the Relative poverty level much at all. Perversely you could eliminate it entirely if you gave everyone earning the median wage and below the same income even if it was much less than the median income is now.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  That’s because inequality is the driving force behind so many social ills, as you know, and as the World Bank, OECD, The Lancet et al have also documented.

                  In more equal societies, everyone profits, giving the lie to your smears upon the Left.

                  However, let’s imagine your pathetic lies are true for a moment, and the Left really does want to impoverish everyone. Our track record (higher per-capita gdp, lower unemployment, budget surpluses, etc) has us going in the opposite direction, so we must be doing something wrong.

                • Aaron

                  Gosman and Hooten are arguing with each other! Quick everyone, leave the room and let them waste each other’s time.

                  • McFlock

                    Oh god, if puckish enters into that fray then it would lead to a cat5 shitnado…

              • hoom

                You seriously think that the gap between the current richest Billionaire in China & the peasant still living in the same way as under Mao isn’t bigger?

              • Tracey

                cos some of them have cars now???

          • Matthew Hooton

            That is the general left-wing belief.

            Their favourite slogan “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” has in fact been implemented successfully in the gulag. Everyone had to give labour according to their ability. Everyone had their “needs” met – just none of their “wants”.

            • Crashcart

              Funny, I have never heard my favorite slogan.

              Its like the right with the “pull yourself up by the boot straps” until they are the ones that need a hand out. What Rio Tinto need some more money government help. Media works need an intrest free loan…Government handout. Farmers had a bad winter…. government hand out.

              • Gosman

                Good to see we agree on this. I hope we can work together to stamp out corporate welfare in all it’s insidious forms.

                • Tracey

                  Apparently you work on it by voting ACT to prop up National who perpetuate corporate welfare.

            • marty mars

              the gulag – matt you’re dipping below the line mate – that is poor

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            That explains surpluses, higher per capita gdp, and lower unemployment.
            Choke on it.

  3. Sirenia 3

    Astonishing such complete lack of empathy. What do they say about not judging another person until you have tried walking in their shoes (or bare feet)? Would be sad except those holding such extremely unempathetic views represent the very powerful elite in New Zealand.

    • Gosman 3.1

      You should be aware that the definition of poverty in which the recent debates are being argued over in NZ is relative not absolute.

      Relative poverty is mainly a factor of inequality between the middle and bottom of the income scale.

      The trouble is the actual debate is trying to use the image of absolute poverty to make the case that relative poverty is bad. This is intellectual dishonest in my view.

      That is not to argue that there is no issue with relative poverty or that nothing should be done about it. It is calling for a more reasoned discussion on the topic rather than emotive responses such as Sirenia above.

      • mpledger 3.1.1

        You may think that the debate is all about relative poverty but the debate is about both – there is harm in absolute poverty (from blanket man who lived on the street, to the kids going to school without breakfast or a raincoat) and relative poverty (the poverty of not being able to submit a flag in the flag debate because of having no access to a computer or the competence to know how to use software to do so).

        • Gosman

          If you are going to argue against absolute poverty then use absolute poverty figures then. Do not use Relative poverty figures to make the case to do something about Absolute poverty issues.

  4. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4

    I’d rather be Castro:


    • Gosman 4.1

      But he sacrificed so much for the Revolution so he must deserve such a luxurious secret life /sarc

    • Crashcart 4.2

      I’ld rather be hitler… oh wait is comparing a political spectrum to the bad examples not the best way to engage in an honest debate?

      • Castro is Hitler? Wow. Someone better tell President Obama.

        • Crashcart

          No castro is not Hitler but he’s not bloody Andrew Little either. I am guessing you missed the whole part where I said bad examples don’t make for honest debate.

          Cuba is a bad example of a communist state. I don’t think I have ever said any different. In fact I think the whole idea of a communist state is bad.

          People on the left are not all communists. When you can understand that concept maybe you can engage in honest discussion.

          • Gosman

            The trouble is most leftists don’t know what they are. That is why you usually end up with a situation like Cuba or Venezuela when they get in to power. You might mean Social Democrats. However many leftists regard Social Democrats as sell outs to Capitalism. All they do is put a human face on an inhumane system according to their logic. The ultimate end goal of many leftists is some ill defined new social and economic paradigm which takes me back to my original point.

            • Crashcart

              I know you want to phrase what people on the left want in a way that sounds unflattering because that suits your agenda. You can’t however say with any authority what people on the left want because you are not one. I use to be on the right. Was raised that way. My left leaning tendances develped as a result of seeing what happened to people I know when they fell behind.

              Again we can look through history to find cases where ideologies on the right have not worked out and use those as a reason to completely dismiss everything current conservative governments want to achieve. It is not honest.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Which right wing (or ‘conservative’ if you prefer) policies do you think are backed by a solid body of evidence?

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

            Cuba is a bad example of a communist state.

            Got a good example?

            • One Anonymous Bloke


              That was the point about bad examples sailing over your head. Again.

      • Gosman 4.2.2

        So you would agree that Cuba is a bad example of a Communist state?

        • Matthew Hooton

          I would have thought that Cuba is a good example of a communist state – much more successful, relatively speaking, than most others.

          • Gosman

            Yes I get confused myself.

            Some leftists argue that Cuba is a good example of a Communist state because everyone can access world class health care (with the exception of drugs and medical equipment). But other leftists argue it isn’t really Communist because the government brutally represses people who disagree with them.

            Most leftists tend to brush over the fact that the economy is a mess or try to blame this on the US and the (admittedly wrongheaded) trade embargo.

          • te reo putake

            I agree with Matthew.

            And Gossie, the embargo is what has constrained the Cuban economy, not the politics of the place. Despite the viciousness of the American led attempt to cripple the country, Cuba has focussed what resources it does have on its people. Not on a minority, but on the majority. There’s a lot to be learned from that approach.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

              So, te reo putake, you’re not with Crashcart? You’d be happy to use Cuba as an example of communism working well?

              • Yep, I think it’s an example of how communism might work. It would probably have been a better example without the interference of the imperialists next door.

                • dukeofurl

                  The US and EU get all worked up it Gasprom uses gas supply as a political weapon, but overlook the US trade embargo on Cuba- which is entirely a political weapon.

                  • Gosman

                    The US hasn’t traded with Cuba in any meaningful way for over 50 years. If Cuba hasn’t been able to redirect trading arrangments to other nations within that time I would state that suggests the system in Cuba is broken not that the US is causing the problem.

                    • D’uh! Companies and countries trading with Cuba risk sanctions against their economic interests in America, including potential prosecutions under the Trading With the Enemy Act.

                      So the embargo not only removes the single biggest, wealthiest market in the region, it puts pressure on other, more distant, markets not to trade with as well.

                      How dya reckon NZ would go if we couldn’t trade with Australia and Canberra were not only actively plotting against us, but forcing other Pacific and Asian nations to refuse to trade with us as well?

                    • Gosman

                      I will post an article in Open Mike from The Economist about Cuba on it’s economic problems and their causes.

                    • Or you could just answer the question for yourself, using nothing but your own brainpower, experience and reasoning … oh, bugger, it, lets go with the Economist then.

          • Tamati

            So successful that thousands of Americans risks their lives to cross the Florida straights on homemade rafts?

    • joe90 4.3

      Obama’s gay lover wrote in his book about how they engaged in man sex and used cocaine in the back of a rented limo too.

  5. Steve Alfreds 5

    “Would you rather be born Henry the Eighth or a poor Maori child into a family living in a house without electricity in the Hokianga?” I suppose for Hooton it’s all about choice.

  6. Gosman 6

    This is the problem when it comes to this debate. Many on the left would prefer it if there default position was simply taken as given and no debate was entered in to. This means they can then argue that their massive redistributative policies involving wealth can be implemented without too much dissent. After all they are trying to help the poor so anyone who disagrees must be a heartless b@stard. Luckily the world doesn’t work in such a simple minded manner hence why they have difficulty getting their ideas accepted by the wider voting population.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      There you go again, inventing a Gosman-defined “Left” to bash around. Have you got something substantive to offer regarding income inequality? Or do you like the shit dribbling down your chin too much?

  7. felix 7

    A feudal king owns land. All of it.

    The modern poor own none.

    A feudal king has the right to take from that land anything he desires. Anything at all, including human beings.

    The modern poor have no such right.

    A feudal king sits atop a hierarchy and commands an army. He has ultimate power over destiny.

    The modern poor have none.

    Some might think Matthew’s absurd comments indicate that knows nothing about feudalism. I think it’s more likely he knows nothing about modern poverty.

    • Gosman 7.1

      Owning land or in fact owning capital is pointless unless you do something productive with it. This is what many on the left fail to comprehend. It was behind the mantra by Zanu-PF in the early 2000’s in Zimbabwe where they argued” The land is the economy, and the economy is the land”. The idea being that if they redistributed farm land to the landless the economy would flourish. The opposite in fact occured.

      • felix 7.1.1

        I see you read my first sentence.

        Keep going. Let me know when you get to the fourth. Moron.

      • Crashcart 7.1.2

        Are you saying that Fudal English kings did nothing productive with the land they owned? Cause that would be absolutely untrue. Being that you lot framed the exmple of Poor today vs King Henry it would be stupid to then try and say that this isn’t the example you wanted to use.

        • felix

          He’s saying there’s no reason to believe that owning EVERYTHING gives you an advantage over someone who owns NOTHING.

          He’s a moron.

        • Gosman

          I’m stating that the land of the feudal kings were far, far less productive than when the feudal arrangements were broken and land could be used more fully in a capitalist economy.

        • miravox

          He’s stating he’d rather divert than address felix’s points.

          I’d go for being H8 for the choices all that land owning would give me.

          e.g. if Henry VIII felt a bit hungry he could just go shoot a deer – anywhere in his realm – and keep his liberty.

          We know what would happen to a poor Maori living in Hokianga today if s/he just went and a shot a cow.

          Not to mention the telling people to give him money compared to begging at Work and Income.

      • dukeofurl 7.1.3

        Why was similar done here if it was useless.

        large grazing estates were broken up and and on sold to farmers

        Landcorps original role was providing farms for returned soldiers, with special deals.

        Nowdays Landcorps role is as a sharemilker for chinese billionaires.

      • Tracey 7.1.4

        but up there ^^^^^ you said owning a car is a sign of advancement and success.

    • Karen 7.2

      +1 Felix … and what’s more he doesn’t want to know.

  8. Gosman 8

    I go back to a previous point.

    The Left don’t want this debate. They just want people to blindly accept their view that Relative Poverty is bad in it’s own right and therefore all policy should be directed towards elminating it.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      What debate, Gosman? Do you have a single valuable contribution to make regarding income inequality?

      We’re all bored senseless watching you bang on ad nauseam about how you disagree with the World Bank, OECD, and medical profession, and so far you’ve presented absolutely zero evidence.

      Whining and screaming on the sidelines makes you a sore loser. Is it any wonder people want you to put up or shut up?

      • Gosman 8.1.1

        Except my argument holds sway amongst many of the worlds major political parties.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          A self-incriminating statement if ever there was one.

          • Gosman

            You stated I was whining and screaming from the sideline. I am pointing out that it is in fact your arguments that are whining and screaming from the sideline in many nations around the world not mine.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Yes, that’s right, you falsely equated debate on the issue with the policies of a range of political parties whose raison d’etre is denial.

              As I said, you’ve nothing to offer on the subject, which is why the World Bank and OECD have masses of influence, and you’re busy concocting diversions.

              • Gosman

                The World Bank and OECD’s influence on this topic is reflected in what policy prescriptions being currently implemented?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  None. It’s reflected in your dear leader paying lip service to the problem and hoping he’ll be safe in Hawaii before anyone decides to deal to him.

                  • Gosman

                    I do love your little fantasy world you have created for yourself about what the future holds. Even if you were correct and there was some sort of reckoning due to social disorder caused by inequality it is highly unlikely (based on previous examples in history) that the right gets defeated. What tends to happen is the left gets crushed or turfed out eventually. This is sad for you lot but it is the way of the world it seems.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Diversion fail.

                      Thanks for conceding that Key’s crocodile tears demonstrate that there’s a problem.

        • Molly

          “Except my argument holds sway amongst many of the worlds undemocratically funded, elected and/or influenced major political parties.”

          Yes. More’s the pity.

        • Tracey

          It’s not really your argument then is it, more you parrotting others views that you agree with and that they practice that you parrot and so on…

    • Molly 8.2

      Those on the left side of politics (given “The Left” is a fictitious entity created by those who have little to offer the discussion) encourage this debate.

      All those engaged with you above are trying to expand your worldview despite your continuation failure to do so. Absolute poverty AND relative poverty are both issues that need addressing. Studies (which you continually ignore) show that the increase in inequality leads to breakdowns of society. And though you may choose to believe it is envy, I feel it has more to do with the disconnection of all the members of that society when those who are thriving start to view those who are not with complete disregard (seem familiar?) – eventually this disregard is returned from those who are continually under stress.

      Relative Poverty is bad in it’s own right and therefore considered policy should be directed towards eliminating it. Almost right there, FIFY.

      • Gosman 8.2.1

        Increase or decreases in inequality do not necessarily lead to bad or good outcomes depending of whether it is going up or down. Venezuela has had a massive descrease in inequality over the past decade or so. However social and economic indicators are generally negative.

        • Molly

          oh… Venezuela. Wondered when that chestnut would show it’s nuttiness.

          You may have to read a few books and studies Gosman, I know there have been a few suggested for you over the years.

          • Gosman

            Venezuela is a living laboratory of the failure of hard left wing policies. I make no apologies about returning to it as an example of this time and again.

            • Molly

              Gosman, when you are discussing your relationship with your partner, do you use the example of contentious celebrity partnerships as the complete answer to everything?

              In a discussion about the relationship between people in NZ in this current day, and into the future, your one and only default argument should not be another country, with other stresses and cultures.

              How well do you know your own place? Your own country? Your own people?

              Do you even know yourself well enough to consider the impact your views have on those around you when they are so rigidly held?

              • Gosman

                If my partner decided to put forward the idea that we should live in an open relationship I think it would be entirely appropriate to point out examples (including Celebrities) where such arrangements have led to problems.

                • Molly

                  Missing the point again….

                  But taking your misdirection at face value for a moment to show clarity:

                  A personal discussion about open marriages is not helped by comparison to external partnerships, such as Parton and Dean, unless you identify completely with their personalities, expectations and values.

                  All your suggestion would be good for is giving yourself time to get your head around the proposal.

                  The hard work is figuring out what it is you actually expect, and whether it can be provided by a relationship with the other person.

                  • Gosman

                    Funnily enough my partner is a clinical Psychologist and from what I gather most diagnosis and treatment regimes are based on previous examples and do not rely solely on determing what is unique for the individual concerned.

                    • Molly

                      Funnily enough your relationship with your partner is personal not professional, and requires mutual understanding and decision making, not diagnosis and treatment.

                    • Tracey


                      Or perhaps not… 😉

    • The Murphey 8.3

      Of course ‘relative poverty is bad’

      Still managing to lower that bar eh Gosman

  9. SHG 9

    “Would you rather be born Henry the Eighth or a poor Maori child into a family living in a house without electricity in the Hokianga”

    I’ll take Hokianga thanks Selwyn.

    Seriously, that’s a nobrainer.

  10. Halfcrown 10

    Hooton. If you are going to compare the poor being better off now than in the time of Henry VIII, why not compare the whole society today with the times of Henry VIII where traitors like some politicians I could name would have been taken to the Tower and after a few sessions of Racking, Thumb Screwing would then have been dragged through the streets to be hung drawn and quartered. Also if you disagreed with your mate, our dearly beloved leader you could have your head removed (Thomas Moore) So to compare today’s poor with Henry the VIII times is stupid and not relevant, and one would have hoped that society had progress over the last 500 years to where we take care of our most vulnerable.. Once again you have expounded pure Neo Lib shit which you are good at, to justify the greed that is going on, and I am not surprised you expressing this theorem, as in the dealings I have had with Neo’s, I have always found their thinking to be 500 years in the past.

    • Gosman 10.1

      Why do I have the strong suspicion that you would probably support doing the same as they did in Tudor times to your political opponents?

      • Stuart Munro 10.1.1

        He doesn’t but I do – steal our assets will they? – let us see what these traitors are made of.

        • Gosman

          You have an interesting definition of steal.

          • Stuart Munro

            Mine is conventional – it’s the asset thieves who are trying to shift the boundaries here.

            • Gosman

              How about taxes? Do you think taxation is theft also? I mean it certainly qualifies on a number of levels in that money which is yours is forceably taken from you under threat of force.

              • Stuart Munro

                Taxation is something we choose to pay to be part of the state. Persons wanting lower tax rates are free to migrate.

                Among the far right the desire to welsh on this responsibility is evidently very developed. Henry VIII didn’t tolerate tax evaders and neither should we.

      • Tracey 10.1.2

        you mean like taking them out (killing them)? Cos Hooton was into that in Hager’s case… supplied the name of the street where he lived.

  11. Halfcrown 11

    Gosman. You can be suspicious as much as you like mate, as I could not give a shit what you think.

  12. My god, Hooton is more warped than i had ever ‘appreciated’, and that says something.

    Hey Matthew, why just pick Henry the VIII? Let’s go back further and contrast today’s poverty with Caveman days. Then we can say the poor are so rich, they should thank themselves lucky even to live til 30.

    Pathetic. I don’t believe you can seriously think like this. Is this a wind up? This is Fox News material. Comparing massive inequality by comparing to society centuries ago is beyond laughable, it’s warped.

    • Gosman 12.1

      Massive inequality? I’d suggest this is just you placing an overly emotive value judgement on an inequality level which is about average in the developed world.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1

        Or perhaps, just possibly, it’s a completely reasonable response to the fact that we’ve fallen so far in the last thirty years.

        Yeah yeah, we know, you don’t give a fuck so long as it doesn’t happen to you.

      • greywarbler 12.1.2

        Says Judge Gosman from his elevated Bench – you poor people are much the same as those in other parts of the world. Not worse, so what are you complaining about. I’ve thought this all out while I’ve been sitting in my comfortable situation and as I see it, I’m all right and you’re all wrong. The poor (you, and indeed all the rabble left) and always with us (the wise, and good who have worked, fairly received their reward and squandered it).

        I think I have summed up the thinking of the irritated RW bloggers who get constantly irritated and can’t understand why others keep agitating for better conditions for themselves and the hoi polloi.

      • freedom 12.1.3

        “an inequality level which is about average in the developed world.”

        Gosman, let’s say a hundred people are injured in a completely preventable & inexcusably deliberate act. Does knowing there is an average amount of pain being experienced reduce any individual’s suffering?

        • Gosman

          If you wish to advocate for perfect income (and maybe even wealth) equality then go for it. I think it is completely nuts and unworkable (not to mention unelectable) but don’t let my views stop you. Trying to argue income and wealth inequality is as the same as a injuries sustained in an accident is truly bizarre though.

          • freedom

            what a shock you scuttled quickly passed by the bit describing “a completely preventable & inexcusably deliberate act.”

            By the way, please show where I advocated for perfect income/wealth distribution/equality?

      • appleboy 12.1.4

        Typical righty reply – i say you can’t compare the ‘poor’ of today against societies from centuries ago and say they are well off – and you try and argue over whether there is inequality and that our inequality not as bad as other countries.

        Yeah sorry to quarter of a million struggling in NZ – you could be worse and live in Africa, so stop whining says Gosman. So warped its beggars belief. But then i do believe you mean it as I’ve met your type.

  13. Stuart Munro 13

    The real difference is relative power. If NZ’s poor had the powers of Henry VIII, Paula Bennett, her crazy fascist advisors from ATOS, and most of WINZ would be hung drawn and quartered. They deserve it more than most of Henry’s victims too.

    • Gosman 13.1

      Once more the ugly side of the hard left rears it’s head.

      I do like this attitude though as it enables people on the right to paint the broader left as slightly unhinged extremists even though your views are very much in the minority.

      • felix 13.1.1

        Says the commie arguing that ownership means nothing.

        • Gosman

          No, I stated ownership does not necessarily mean someone is wealthy.

          • felix

            Nope. You said someone who owns EVERYTHING isn’t necessarily wealthier than someone who owns NOTHING.

            You’re a moron.

            • Gosman

              Correct. Someone may well own everything but they have an inability to use them. Someone may own nothing but has talents that mean they are in demand and can get what they want from nothing.

              • felix

                Now you’re arguing that a feudal king WHO’S WORD IS LAW who owns everything and commands an army is no better off than someone who owns nothing.

                You’re a moron.

                • Gosman

                  I’m not arguing that at all. I was only discussing how ownership of assets does not necessarily mean you are able to translate them in to better living standards and indeed someone with no assets may be able to do so more effectively.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Gosman means it’s easier to sell shares than buildings, and if you own neither, and you don’t have much income, his example doesn’t include you so fuck off and die.

            • Stuart Munro

              You give him too much credit – morons have no choice – Gosman is wilfully deceiving himself – on the premise one imagines that his dubious pearls of wisdom will persuade people who’ve encountered hard evidence of the failures of neoliberalism.

              Not a moron, but a fool of unusually generous proportions.

      • Stuart Munro 13.1.2

        On the whole, WINZ under Bennett shows the same respect for beneficiaries as pre-Krystallnacht Nazis did for Jews. She is responsible for the suicide rate spike – driving New Zealanders to their deaths. Public execution is the only just outcome.

      • Stuart Munro 13.1.3

        Nothing ugly about a system of justice Gosman. These people are creating massive suffering – dishonestly – because they money they supposedly save by hounding the wretched victims of the neo-liberal cult is more than consumed by the process.

        But I guess any honest system would be an abomination to you – what’s the point of privilege if it doesn’t include the privilege of abusing the less fortunate after all.

  14. What are the parts of the answer you disagree with, and why?

    You’re asking what’s the basis for our disagreement with your bizarre view that the poorest NZers have a better standard of living than a guy who lived in multiple mansions, whose every whim was indulged by a massive retinue of servants, and whose favourite activity was going out hunting on one of his fine horses for personally-reserved game animals in one of his personally-owned forests? Seriously?

    • Matthew Hooton 14.1

      Do you value those things?

      • Psycho Milt 14.1.1

        What I value or not doesn’t come into it – what counts is what things are relevant to assessing someone’s standard of living. If you’ve some kind of rational argument for mansions, servants, etc not being relevant to standard of living, let’s hear it.

        • Gosman

          People used to have Servants to save them time and effort. Now we have machines to do the same thing. Something like a Washing machine and Vacuum Cleaner replace the need to have a Servant or time to do the same thing. As many poorer indiciduals now have these labour saving appliances it is like they have their own servants.

          • Psycho Milt

            That’s why no rich people these days would dream of having servants, right? The machines do it all.

            Hooton’s claim is that the poor today have a higher standard of living than Henry VIII. I guess you could get away with saying the poor these days have what would be considered a high standard of living for Tudor times – they don’t have to burn wood for cooking, or wash clothes by hand for example. However, Henry VIII was a guy whose laundry, shopping, tailoring, cooking etc was done for him from start to finish – no person in NZ, poor or not, has a machine that does those things.

    • SHG 14.2

      I’ll forego all those things and go with the option that gives me an upbringing with clean drinking water, scientific education, libraries, and free healthcare with antibiotics and immunisation.

      • Gosman 14.2.1

        But just imagine if you could make your own laws SHG. You could make it illegal to be struck down by Smallpox.

      • Psycho Milt 14.2.2

        Always amuses me that libertarian types start citing the things that socialists delivered for the poor (public water supply, education system, health system etc) and that libertarians are vehemently opposed to, if it’ll help maintain the fiction that there’s no such thing as poor people any more.

        • SHG

          Dunno what you’re talking about. I’m just saying that if given the choice of being reincarnated as Henry Tudor or as the poorest kid in Hokianga, I’ll go with Hokianga because such a child will grow up with access to things that Henry never even DREAMED of.

          • Psycho Milt

            Don’t think I would, given the risk factors for foetal alcohol syndrome and child abuse at the poorest level of NZ society. However, the dispute isn’t over who you’d rather be, it’s over relative standards of living. When the poorest kid in Hokianga is living in a mansion and being waited on hand and foot by a shitload of servants, I’ll grant Hooton his point. Until then, he’s talking out his arse.

            • SHG

              Well if that’s the level of comparison then I’d DEFINITELY take Option Hokianga. Even with the wealth and privilege of a Tudor monarch, Henry only had what – 3 children out of 10 reach adulthood? Fuck those for odds, I’ll take a risk of foetal alcohol syndrome or child abuse over “seventy percent chance of death”.

  15. Colonial Rawshark 15

    You can see how the 0.1% are now consciously driving the world back into a kind of neo-feudal rule – and asking everyone else to be grateful for it.

    Hence the burgeoning security and surveillance state, and David Cameron saying that simply being law abiding no longer means that the state will leave you alone.

    • Gosman 15.1

      Have you got any evidence that the new security laws are being used in an economic manner?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.1

        Have you any evidence that they can actually be seen as laws, if obeying them isn’t enough to satisfy the government?

        PS: the economic effect of a surveillance society is an interesting topic of discussion. Quick, deny it!

        • Gosman

          Surveilance societies don’t tend to be very productive. You just need to compare West and East Germany to see that.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Join the dots then, numbskull. The extra surveillance proposed by you lot will have a negative economic effect, just like every single policy suggestion you’ve ever made.

            • Gosman

              How so? What evidence do you have to suggest that the law changes will have an impact economically?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                You’re the one claiming surveillance societies aren’t very productive. How tragic that you relied on nothing but conceit to make the claim.

                Good thing one of us isn’t a lazy self-referencing wingnut.

                • Gosman

                  Those deal with the US. I would agree they have an economic impact. However that does not mean that every tightening of surveilance law has a negative economic consequence.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Trust me Gosman, the proposal that obeying the letter of the law can get you arrested will have a chilling effect on a lot more than economic activity, although I appreciate it’s the only thing you know how to value.

                  • Tracey

                    so what was the comparisson between east and west germany for?

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    However that does not mean that every tightening of surveilance law has a negative economic consequence.

                    Of course; if you are part of the military industrial surveillance complex, it’s likely to have very positive economic consequences.

          • Tracey

            the USA?

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Surveilance societies don’t tend to be very productive. You just need to compare West and East Germany to see that.

            Where the fuck have you been the last 8 years of the Great Recession throughout the western economies?

        • greywarshark

          That’s a good one. Perhaps if a citizen gets pulled up for doing something unlawful he or she can just say that they were wearing their bewildered hat and didn’t know how the law was being interpreted that day. Now if they had been wearing their other hat that went with the lawyer’s wig it would have been different.

      • Tracey 15.1.2

        er, so why are we spying on our friends? remind me?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2

      Odd argument for a right winger to make – that people must obey the spirit as well as the letter of the law. How will they avoid tax now?

  16. Brutus Iscariot 16

    The modern poor score equal or higher than Henry on all those measures.

    Heating (20th century home vs cold, draughty medieval castle)
    Lighting (tried doing anything solely by candelight?)
    Home comfort (the average bed and lounge suite today would equal or exceed what was available to Henry). Hot water on tap.
    Food storage
    Dietary options
    Healthcare (an infected cut is not likely to kill you these days)
    Hygiene (daily shower vs weekly bath)
    Access to knowledge (computers/public libraries vs collection of manuscripts at medieval libraries)

    That’s if you’re talking about actual day-to-day lifestyle and comfort levels. If you value things like the ability to kill people on demand then of course you’d rather be Henry.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1

      If you focus on purely material concerns, it shows that a focus on material concerns distorts your entire worldview to the extent that you end up covered in filth like Hooton.

    • McFlock 16.2

      national forests to fuel the castle’s heating
      Servants replacing hundreds of candles daily
      Feather mattress and servants to bring hot water
      An excuse to hunt regularly
      still extensive, limited mostly by choice
      true, but frankly mostly because we catch the poorer kids in secondary and tertiary treatment rather than the primary care that richer kids get.
      largely true.
      not so much for the king.

      • SHG 16.2.1

        In agony for most of his adult life with a persistent leg infection because oh yeah, no antibiotics.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Occupant of the highest station his society had to offer.

          Please keep going with this line of argument, Mademoiselle Antoinette.

          • Brutus Iscariot

            Do you understand circular arguments.?

            To take your point to the extreme – would you rather be a poor man today or the most powerful caveman in his region living 10,000 years ago?

            Hooton said a modern day average poor person in New Zealand is materially better off than a medieval king, illustrating that rising levels of technology and prosperity in society have indeed “lifted all boats”.

            No-one needs to state that Henry had more power and influence, that’s obvious.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Sad isn’t it: Hooton so pathetically desperate to deny the effects of poverty.

              So pathetic that he now invites more relevant comparisons, such as those underpinning the World Bank and OECD’s position.

              No-one cares about Henry VIII when the evidence points to “morbidity with a social gradient”* increasing right now.

              *a charming phrase that doesn’t quite obscure just how callous and valueless the National Party is.

              • Tracey

                Oh but hes not denying poverty, he is framing it correctly for us so he can lobby to have resources quickly allocated to those who are really in need.

                I imagine he has redirected millions toward those genuinely poor through his efforts since he raised this a couple of years ago.

            • Tracey

              illustrating that today’s poor are better of than…. fill th egap despite the promise/claim that Capitalism is the Bomb…

              the disparity between a peasant and KH8 and a beneficiary and JKPM is what?

              different, the same?

              Hooton’s argument, like all his arguments is born of his PR game playing. Designed to deflect and to excuse. He produces NOTHING for society. He is richly rewarded.

              like a king

        • McFlock

          lol like chronic pain doesn’t exist any more…

        • joe90

          because oh yeah, no antibiotics.

          Because oh yeah, antibiotics, during a short hospital stay for minor knee surgery I contracted a persistent staphylococcus aureus infection.

          The number of S. aureus-related hospitalisations was highest in the under-five and over 75 age groups, among Māori and Pacific peoples, and in patients living in areas of high socioeconomic deprivation.

          More than half (56 per cent) of all those patients who contracted their infections after exposure to health care interventions (i.e. hospital-onset) had invasive infections, compared to only 26 per cent of people with community-associated infections


          • Brutus Iscariot

            Poor hygiene habits.

            • joe90

              Have you ever had a staphylococcus aureus infection?.

            • McFlock

              Or overcrowding and poor primary healthcare access.

              But leaping at “dirty” rather than “deprived” speaks volumes.

          • Macro

            Wow! I know someone else who exactly the same experience. Got a phoenix palm needle in his knee and had to have it dug out. Subsequent infection nearly killed him.

    • Tracey 16.3

      “20th century home vs cold, draughty medieval castle”

      poor person’s 20th century home… blankets instead of heater (due to cost), draughts (some have insulation thanks to Green policy)

      • DoublePlusGood 16.3.1

        I think Hooton needs to do a tour of the country and have a look at the housing quality available. I think he will find it of a far lower standard than Whitehall would have been.

  17. Charles 17

    We can only look forward to “The Hooten 2000” with awe… a time machine designed to transport the poor of today back to “the conditions and opportunities of yesteryear”.

    oh wait we already have that. It’s called the National Party.

  18. emergency mike 18

    Well that video doesn’t look like smug rich white folk sitting around swilling red wine saying ‘let them eat iPhones’ at all.

  19. s y d 19

    Why are you even talking about and responding to these wankstains. Find better things to do.

  20. greywarshark 20

    Henry the 8th was then and this is now! What a strawman argument. I have a book on London in the 19th century. Was pretty awful. So we don’t even have to go back to Henery.

    Then what about the early years of NZ and the recessions and depressions and the dog eat dog that took place there as the colonists and Maori tried to make a living, often destroying capital, resources and environment while they did so, usually pakeha action but not always. Goldminers froze to death one awful winter while remaining on their claims trying desperately to find gold.

    It’s puerile trying to excuse low conditions now by saying we are better than in past centuries. We are on our way to the arrogant, hypocrtical assertions of moral Victorians. who took a macabre pleasure of thinking about degradation and singing sentimental songs about children trying to drag their sot of a father home before the mother died. Or Hogarth and his depiction of a drunken mother gripping a baby under a sign advertising Gin. Drunk for a penny. Dead drunk for twopence.

    WTF let’s hold onto a vision of busy happy people getting day time jobs paying living wages with freedom and time for meeting in the evening to enjoy family, leisure, home jobs and getting together to plan for climate change forward=looking systems.

    • b waghorn 20.1

      That’s what pisses me off with the rich pricks in power they seem to be fine with the state of nz , and just because our poor here are better off than the poor in other country’s there pathetic lackeys like to go round and tell us not to want better.
      Well fuck you hooton and you to john key.
      And how fucking delusional do you have to be to compare the poor of today with a shit bag of a king from the dark past.

      • greywarshark 20.1.1

        The trouble is that the neo lib governments play with reality all the time. One minute they say that the neo lib idea of rewarding the leaders and paying low wages to the rest increases the desire for upward social mobility. The idea is that the poor will work harder and commit themselves to improving their position, ‘not sit around and wait for the government to hand goodies to them on a platter or idle at work and cheat the boss’. That’s the thinking behind the blank masks of the leaders on the business and political ladder.

        Then they pull the ladder up from the people trying to get on doing all they can, and change the system so that the market is flooded with cheaper imported goods that wipe out our manufacturing jobs. Then they open the hotels and alcohol outlets all hours so we are encouraged to drink our sorrows away. They take controls on business opening hours away so that people have to work all the weekend or to near midnight. The limited extra sales are worthwhile to the retailers and other businesses because the controls on work hour payments have gone and you don’t get extra for antisocial hours. That’s when you should be seeing your family and sleeping at normal times. Then they don’t enforce protections so that you have security of rosters and regular hours enough to provide a secure living wage.

        Then they turn round and sneer at people if they make mistakes, go off the rails, do stupid things, fail to budget, and just fail to manage better than the wealthy.
        An impossible task. There was a Greek myth about a king called Sisyphus who was avaricious and deceitful and as a punishment was fated to push a heavy stone up a hill and when near the top, it would roll down again. The ancient world knew all about the sort of things we face. We haven’t learned a bloody thing except to make bigger messes using machinery they didn’t have.

        Got going on a rant. It happens sometimes. I get sad and angry all at once about the muck the government has put us in, and the way they continue.
        By the way if anyone is reading this, below is a TS link that will take you to a link I put up yesterday showing a Brit politician talking in their House about the dire financial situation they have.

        http://thestandard.org.nz/capital-gains-tax-to-be-introduced/#comment-1015971 (when the comment comes up it’s the link at the bottom.) The benches are nearly empty. That’s how interested the pollies are in serving the people and the country to the best of their ability. They’ve stopped caring or trying.

  21. Reddelusin 21


    [lprent: Don’t use the owned/pwned/won argument on this site. I treat it as an attempt to start flamewars and I act as if the perpetrator is trying to increase my workload. I’d strongly suggest that if you want to continue to comment on this site, that you treat it as an agree to disagree zone. Otherwise you may find your ability to comment drastically curtailed. This is your warning. Read the policy. ]

  22. Missi6 22

    … Congratulations Mr Hooton – you’ve achieved National Ignoramus/Arsehat status, and you’re an offensive tool as well. Keep it up =P

  23. Bill 23

    Poverty is by far the greatest product of capitalism. Consider this…

    “I accept catholic beyond the across and across of India and I accept not apparent one getting who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such abundance I accept apparent in this country, such top moral values, humans of such caliber, that I do not anticipate we would anytime beat this country, unless we breach the actual courage of this nation, which is her airy and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I adduce that we alter her old and age-old apprenticeship system, her culture, for if the Indians anticipate that all that is adopted and English is acceptable and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their built-in self-culture and they will become what we ambition them, a absolutely bedeviled nation.”

    (Macauley – 1835)

    paraphrased and mis-reported as a speech to Westminster that runs…

    “I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in the country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.”

    What you fancy? Being Indian before or after British colonisation?

    • Macro 23.1

      I’ve been reading about the Tamil Nadu region of Southern India of late – in particular the area on the coast that suffered so severely from the tsunami. There are several aid projects in that area to assist the women who were widowed and lost children. The area is under huge environmental degradation and threat and the people of the region are being pushed aside by the Tourism industry and power industries. (as usual in rampant Capitalism. I came across this conclusion in an academic paper.

      “In spite of tremendous increased in the GDP income of the
      government of India, from the fisheries sector during the last two
      decades. The standard of living of the fisher folk all over India still
      remains unchanged.

      Yes Capitalism and rising GDP are so helpful to the poor. I wonder why the poor can’t see it.

  24. les 24

    how can anyone take this um,um,err,hootenany seriously…praising Roger ‘wayne’ Kerr ..give me strength!A man whose ideology has been discredited and disowned to the degree that the business roundtable now have to rebrand themselves.Do not give this lightweight oxygen…2 entiltled prats sipping red wine ..at least the guy on the right was ..articulate!

    • felix 24.1

      Well if you look closely there’s only two or three people in this thread who are taking him seriously.

      It’s just that one of them posts hundreds of comments in a single day so as to create the illusion of a debate.

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  • LINDSAY MITCHELL:  Oranga Tamariki faces major upheaval under coalition agreement
     Lindsay Mitchell writes – A hugely significant gain for ACT is somewhat camouflaged by legislative jargon. Under the heading ‘Oranga Tamariki’ ACT’s coalition agreement contains the following item:   Remove Section 7AA from the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 According to Oranga Tamariki:     “Section ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON:  Peters as Minister
    A previous column looked at Winston Peters biographically. This one takes a closer look at his record as a minister, especially his policy record. Brian Easton writes – 1990-1991: Minister of Māori Affairs. Few remember Ka Awatea as a major document on the future of Māori policy; there is ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Cathrine Dyer's guide to watching COP 28 from the bottom of a warming planet
    Is COP28 largely smoke and mirrors and a plan so cunning, you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel? Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: COP28 kicks off on November 30 and up for negotiation are issues like the role of fossil fuels in the energy transition, contributions to ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Top 10 news links at 10 am for Monday, Nov 27
    PM Elect Christopher Luxon was challenged this morning on whether he would sack Adrian Orr and Andrew Coster.TL;DR: Here’s my pick of top 10 news links elsewhere at 10 am on Monday November 27, including:Signs councils are putting planning and capital spending on hold, given a lack of clear guidance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the new government’s policies of yesteryear
    This column expands on a Werewolf column published by Scoop on Friday Routinely, Winston Peters is described as the kingmaker who gets to decide when the centre right or the centre-left has a turn at running this country. He also plays a less heralded but equally important role as the ...
    5 days ago
  • The New Government’s Agreements
    Last Friday, almost six weeks after election day, National finally came to an agreement with ACT and NZ First to form a government. They also released the agreements between each party and looking through them, here are the things I thought were the most interesting (and often concerning) from the. ...
    5 days ago
  • How many smokers will die to fund the tax cuts?
    Maori and Pasifika smoking rates are already over twice the ‘all adult’ rate. Now the revenue that generates will be used to fund National’s tax cuts. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The devil is always in the detail and it emerged over the weekend from the guts of the policy agreements National ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • How the culture will change in the Beehive
    Perhaps the biggest change that will come to the Beehive as the new government settles in will be a fundamental culture change. The era of endless consultation will be over. This looks like a government that knows what it wants to do, and that means it knows what outcomes ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • No More Winnie Blues.
    So what do you think of the coalition’s decision to cancel Smokefree measures intended to stop young people, including an over representation of Māori, from taking up smoking? Enabling them to use the tax revenue to give other people a tax cut?David Cormack summed it up well:It seems not only ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47
    A chronological listing of news and opinion articles posted on the Skeptical Science  Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Nov 19, 2023 thru Sat, Nov 25, 2023.  Story of the Week World stands on frontline of disaster at Cop28, says UN climate chief  Exclusive: Simon Stiell says leaders must ‘stop ...
    7 days ago
  • Some of it is mad, some of it is bad and some of it is clearly the work of people who are dangerous ...
    On announcement morning my mate texted:Typical of this cut-price, fake-deal government to announce itself on Black Friday.What a deal. We lose Kim Hill, we gain an empty, jargonising prime minister, a belligerent conspiracist, and a heartless Ayn Rand fanboy. One door closes, another gets slammed repeatedly in your face.It seems pretty ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • “Revolution” is the threat as the Māori Party smarts at coalition government’s Treaty directi...
    Buzz from the Beehive Having found no fresh announcements on the government’s official website, Point of Order turned today to Scoop’s Latest Parliament Headlines  for its buzz. This provided us with evidence that the Māori Party has been soured by the the coalition agreement announced yesterday by the new PM. “Soured” ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • The Good, the Bad, and the even Worse.
    Yesterday the trio that will lead our country unveiled their vision for New Zealand.Seymour looking surprisingly statesmanlike, refusing to rise to barbs about his previous comments on Winston Peters. Almost as if they had just been slapstick for the crowd.Winston was mostly focussed on settling scores with the media, making ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • When it Comes to Palestine – Free Speech is Under Threat
    Hi,Thanks for getting amongst Mister Organ on digital — thanks to you, we hit the #1 doc spot on iTunes this week. This response goes a long way to helping us break even.I feel good about that. Other things — not so much.New Zealand finally has a new government, and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Thank you Captain Luxon. Was that a landing, or were we shot down?
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Also in More Than A FeildingFriday The unboxing And so this is Friday and what have we gone and done to ourselves?In the same way that a Christmas present can look lovely under the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Cans of Worms.
    “And there’ll be no shortage of ‘events’ to test Luxon’s political skills. David Seymour wants a referendum on the Treaty. Winston wants a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Labour’s handling of the Covid crisis. Talk about cans of worms!”LAURIE AND LES were very fond of their local. It was nothing ...
    1 week ago
  • Disinformation campaigns are undermining democracy. Here’s how we can fight back
    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Misinformation is debated everywhere and has justifiably sparked concerns. It can polarise the public, reduce health-protective behaviours such as mask wearing and vaccination, and erode trust in science. Much of misinformation is spread not ...
    1 week ago
  • Peters as Minister
    A previous column looked at Winston Peters biographically. This one takes a closer look at his record as a minister, especially his policy record.1990-1991: Minister of Māori Affairs. Few remember Ka Awatea as a major document on the future of Māori policy; there is not even an entry in Wikipedia. ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • The New Government: 2023 Edition
    So New Zealand has a brand-spanking new right-wing government. Not just any new government either. A formal majority coalition, of the sort last seen in 1996-1998 (our governmental arrangements for the past quarter of a century have been varying flavours of minority coalition or single-party minority, with great emphasis ...
    1 week ago

  • New Zealand welcomes European Parliament vote on the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement
    A significant milestone in ratifying the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was reached last night, with 524 of the 705 member European Parliament voting in favour to approve the agreement. “I’m delighted to hear of the successful vote to approve the NZ-EU FTA in the European Parliament overnight. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further humanitarian support for Gaza, the West Bank and Israel
    The Government is contributing a further $5 million to support the response to urgent humanitarian needs in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, bringing New Zealand’s total contribution to the humanitarian response so far to $10 million. “New Zealand is deeply saddened by the loss of civilian life and the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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