The view from the back of the National class….

Written By: - Date published: 7:14 pm, September 6th, 2007 - 4 comments
Categories: national - Tags:

David Bennet (the one on the left)Last night’s debate on the Youth Minimum Wage Bill was (as noted earlier) a triumph for progressive politics and for young people. It was not such a triumph for David Bennett, who apparently is National’s MP for Hamilton East. His speech (mp3 – 2MB) during the debate takes incoherence to hitherto unknown heights. Most of the highlights are in the first couple of minutes so take a listen. To summarise:

– The bill is the work of communist dinosaurs (Tyrannosaurus Marx?)
– We live in a hierarchical society and this needs to be protected.
– There is a difference between people who ‘sit at the front and the back’ (Rosa Parks, anyone?)
– We have the highest rates of youth unemployment and Maori unemployment (since when? both are significantly lower than under National in the 90s)
– National is not proposing a maximum wage bill (phew, I say)
– Young people do not want to be paid well

In Mr Bennett’s delirious defence of hierarchy he notes that there is hierachy in Parliament and this is a good thing. Presumably then he will be comfortable with getting less money than Lockwood Smith. I mean it’s only fair, Lockwood has been there since 1987.

David also rants that there is hierarchy in who gets to ask questions in Parliament. Am I sensing some frustration here? Judging by this contribution Mr Bennett will be “sitting at the back” for a long time to come.

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4 comments on “The view from the back of the National class….”

  1. LFC 1

    Bennett is a nut – I was recently at a sitting of a select committee he’s on and he spent the whole time eyeballing the left(ish) submitters like some kind of schoolkid trying to be tough and then asked mad questions. He’s certainly a liability for the Nats (let’s hope he gets in again).

  2. Sam Dixon 2

    I’ve never heard a speech be so consistantly and loudly laughed at…you can hear Labour in hysterics… what an idiot.

    And just no vision and no idea about basic facts. He says aussie’s annual growth rate is 4% and our’s 1%, in fact that 1% figure is the growth in the last quarter, that is, 4% annualised.

    Also, he calls Winston’s lot the ‘New Zealand Post Party’ at the end there… what more can you say?

  3. I like this one the best:

    We have the highest rates of youth unemployment and Maori unemployment

    So assuming he thinks his argument is logical, that is that retaining youth rates helps youth into employment; And in the spirit of “one law for all”, and “by need” etc –

    Is he advocating a separate minimum wage for Maori too?

  4. felicity smith 4

    Bennett’s incoherence is entirely consistent with the plight of all right wing nuts when the try to make some sense of a social justice issue. The primary problem for Bennett is that the minimum wage bill is essentially about social justice. According to new right ideologists such as Bennett, in a free market society there is no need for regulation of the market to ensure social justice concerns. For right wing theorists, social justice is an unnecessary concept to guide policies. This is because Adam Smith’s’ invisible hand of the market is capable of performing this function. (Although I wonder if Bennett is aware of the historical genesis / philosophical origins of his own political theories when he calls socialists ‘dinosaurs’) That aside , however, New Right theory is simply unequipped to argue meaningfully about a concept that is sees as best left to some ‘invisible force’. Unfortunately for Bennett (and his ilk) market forces and the hierarchical stratification he finds so terribly appealing (must be a sadistic streak -either that or he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and has no idea) are inherently inegalitarian. What this means is unequal distribution of wealth and social power based on class exploitation and class and sexual oppression. But you have to give the guy some kudos for trying to justify his position. It’s hard to make the illogical sound rational. In hierarchical societies to BE is to HAVE and in the words of Freire , this is always at the expense of those who have nothing. So our national politicians can sit smugly in their state funded positions of power , eating food the public paid for and flying on public funded flights to argue that hierarchy is a ‘good thing’ Of course it is – for them. David Bennett may not be the fool he appears. I bet he has never had to go hungry. He is, after all, only reflecting the new right image of human essence as motivated solely by self-interest’ and humans as beings who are responsible for their own economic and social fortune. (John Stuart Mill) It is no surprise that this ‘bourgeois subject’ arose from the male property owning classes of the seventeenth and eighteenth century. John Stuart Mill’s idea of the individual as a choosing, possessive and rational agent has been translated in Bennett as a selective (only those policies that allow the employer to have ‘free choice’ and rights & read right to exploit those in powerless positions) , possessive (he ahs his own financial security under wraps) and rational (it is rational for me to want to continue my current privileged life style even though I don’t speak for the people who pay me. ) God bless his cotton socks.

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