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Two peas from a pod

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, August 1st, 2010 - 34 comments
Categories: human rights, suppression orders - Tags: ,

The activities of the dishonorable Minister for Social Development and Employment Paula Bennett has been increasingly reminding me of the blogger Whaleoil.

Consider the number of common points of obnoxious behaviour. The similarities are quite striking. The main difference is that one is a blogger opinionating on current affairs and the other is a minister of the crown with the responsibility for large numbers of dependent people.

Both release information about people to make purported political points.

  • Paula Bennett has been releasing information about welfare beneficiaries. This has resulted in her being hauled in front of the Privacy Commissioner in a case that appears to be dragging on. Her breaches of basic privacy policies have now been referred to the Director of Human Rights.
  • Whaleoil has been releasing the names, positions and other details about people who have been granted name suppression by the courts. I’ve lost count of how many charges he has had laid against him for violating orders by a judge. These will take some more time to go through the court system.

Neither appear to have any respect for the legal bounds that govern our society. Or more likely they consider their own needs are more important than those that enshrined in laws and rules that are meant to limit their behaviour.

Both seem to release information into the public domain because they appear to have egos that require frequent narcissistic burst of attention from the news media and commentators. The information that they release has very little political policy content, but appears to be more orientated for the prurient titillation. There are better ways to deal with the issues that they raise and those are followed by other more responsible members of the community.

Both appear to be pretty incompetent at looking at the data they are presenting. Certainly they appear to ignore any information that explains why the decisions were made in the cases they are highlighting.

  • Whaleoil seems to carefully ignore the reasons for granting name suppression in the judges decisions, preferring instead to spin his own version of the reasoning.
  • Paula always seems to not bother detailing the breakdown of the benefits received and the reasons that they have been granted, preferring gross figures that seem to ignore the in-hand amounts.

Neither appear to care about the innocent parties and victims who will be affected by their disclosures. Paula Bennett ignores the children who she is identifying along with their parents. She ignores that the benefits she is describing are largely targeted at the immediate benefit of the children, and in the longer term for reducing the damage to society by trying to reduce the damage of circumstance on those children. Whaleoil releases information that allows the identification of spouses and children who are the victims of some of the cases.

Both appear to be pretty incompetent. Both seem to jump from a few points of data to a full-blown conclusions without little intervening logic. Paula Bennett seems to be incapable of getting top of her portfolios and seems to spend more time pursuing sideshows than doing her job.

However, there the comparison ends. Whaleoil has known reasons for his behaviour. Paula seems to be doing hers purely for her own venial political reasons.

Paula simply doesn’t seem to have been doing much that is of very much use in her portfolios . She makes basic seasonal mistakes in proclaiming victory over unemployment. Meanwhile the number of beneficiaries keeps rising and she keeps putting in policies that make it harder for people to into employment.

To distract attention from her apparent general incompetence she has provided the National party faithful, media and blogs with these prurient violations of the privacy of the people in her charge. In each instance, it is apparent that the beneficiaries are in fact receiving their correct entitlements. Otherwise the organizations she is overseeing have ample avenues to correct the errors they are making. Since this doesn’t appear to be happening, then you have to look for other reasons for her obnoxious behaviour.

It appears to me that her violations of her dependents largely done to provide the illusion that she is competent. To date I see no more substance that she is than I see in Whaleoils tirades having on any political policy making.

Paula Bennett is clearly intent on establishing her reputation as being the Whaleoil of the cabinet. But it worries me that the same bad behaviour that is largely unacceptable in blogosphere appears to be condoned in cabinet. John Key needs to assert his control over the cabinet rather than dithering around and letting this type of juvenile sideshow from happening. If he cannot or will not, then it says quite a lot about his lack of ability.

Recently Paula Bennett, like so many of the National cabinet, appears to be avoiding the media. I guess that is because her lack of ability has been shining through far too much.Whale has managed to get himself offside with the National and has stated that he is no longer a member. Hopefully Paula Bennett will get shuffled to somewhere where she can cause less damage, and one of the few competent ministers in National gets put in the critical portfolios that she currently abuses.

This post was originally scheduled for May 30th. The post was targeting Paula Bennett rather than Whaleoil. However in real life, Cameron had his house taken by the bank that day. I pulled the post because he didn’t need the additional aggravation at that point in time.

34 comments on “Two peas from a pod”

  1. kriswgtn 1

    Both are complete fucking cocks

  2. Craig Glen Eden 2

    Whale oil and Bennett are the one person, Bennett the identity that we see in the debating chamber on TV is ACTUALLY Whale Oil in drag acting very bad. Thats why we don’t see them together in public aye.

    Anti spam word “splits ” see the internet even knows, what more proof does anyone need.

  3. just saying 3

    I have to disagree with you here LPrent.

    Bennetts “disclosures” are designed to incite hatred towards beneficiaries. The tactic is successful. Many are already virtually frothing at the mouth at mention of the word “beneficiary”. Bennett particularly delights in turning the working class against their own, and the fact she’s able to whip up support for slashing welfare, a move that will harm the entire working class, not just beneficiaries.

    That she is successful in manipulating public opinion is evident in this paragaraph from your post, which mirrors a statement made by Goff in relation to slashing welfare, when he talked about children paying for the sins of their parents:

    “Neither appear to care about the innocent parties and victims who will be affected by their disclosures. Paula Bennett ignores the children who she is identifying along with their parents. She ignores that the benefits she is describing are largely targeted at the immediate benefit of the children, and in the longer term for reducing the damage to society by trying to reduce the damage of circumstance on those children.”

    What is it about beneficiaries themselves that makes them anything other than “innocent victims” of Bennets hate campaign?

  4. Anne 4

    “John Key needs to assert his control over the cabinet rather than dithering around and letting this type of juvenile sideshow from happening. If he cannot or will not, then it says quite a lot about his lack of ability”.

    He makes no attempt to control Paula Bennett, or indeed the other cabinet miscreants, because he approves of their behaviour. He would behave in the same way if he thought he could get away with it.

    Excellent post LPrent and no less valid now than 2 months ago.

  5. kriswgtn 5

    Well Bennet cuts benefits to people.
    Makes it very difficult to get one
    Those people end up on the street.
    Commit crime to survive.
    Get busted.Get sent to jail
    Collins vision of the Corrections Dept is fulfilled

    Keys vision of a brighter future is fulfilled as in the jails being full,the peasants kept down where they belong,unable to fight him and his sleazy fucks The business Community backing him will all be happy

    However there is a chance to stop this happening

    The Left have to get their shit together,reconnect with their core voters who didnt vote in 2008.Woo the splt voters back with real policies and you NACT wingnuts you gotta admit NACT actually dont have any apart from making it easier for the so called ELITE rape and pillage this country

    Stand strong stand proud

  6. Tom 7

    I think Australia does not count 12 hour a week McJobs as full time employment.

  7. I really, really, really want to post what I factually know about Paula’s latest antics but

    1. That would bring me down to her level

    2. It would cause immense media scrutiny, something that would not be a good idea right now

    3. It would identify innocent parties

    Dang and damn – but all will eventually be revealed, of that I am sure.

    Love the post Lprent – keep up the pressure. Bully Bennett cannot be let off the hook. She needs to be made accountable for her actions, words and policies.

    BTW – I hope Labour put a strong contender in her electorate … PB needs to be brought to heel before she causes any more damage to the MSD. The only good thing in her favour right now is that she is pi**ing off overseas for a while.

    • marsman 8.1

      Off on a ‘Scholarship’ (?) on full pay, to learn yet more neoliberal nasty tricks.

  8. Roger 9

    I’m astounded at the angry, nonsensical, dribble that has been poured onto this post. What are you people talking about? The original comparison is ridiculous and like all the following posts, just an excuse to unleash an ugly vitriolic attack on Paula Bennett. It’s interesting how lefties, for all their socialist, PC hogwash, are actually angry, nasty and completely lacking in any political perspective. Like Labour – no ideas, just insults. Real smart guys, that’ll win you the election.

    • lprent 9.1

      What is interesting is that you criticize the post without giving a single instance where it is incorrect. That is rather the characteristic of an idiot right winger with no ability to argue coherently

      • joe bloggs 9.1.1

        Of course we have to “criticise the post without giving a single instance of where it’s incorrect”. The post is nonsensical in its entirety

        Just look at your weasel words:
        “… appear …” used 9 times
        “… seem …” used 10 times
        both appear to be … both seem to be… both appear to…

        What’samattah? Don’t have the courage of your convictions to state facts?

        Trouble is there no facts to state – just your own prejudiced perspective and a load of trash talk.

        It’s this nasty vindictiveness that has come to characterise the Labour party over the past few years. Look no further than Goff labelling Chris Carter as “unwell”, Mallard who says Carter is irrational and implied he needs to see a psychiatrist, and of course there are the constant taunts at Nick Smith about his mental health, the needling of Chris Finlayson about his sexuality, “rich pricks”, “haters and wreckers”, …

        When are you going to wake up and realise that the old tactics of flinging muck and innuendo about with gay abandon are the same tactics that resulted in Labour being given the big right boot in 2008?

        • lprent

          I thought that the “flinging muck and innuendo about with gay abandon” was the exact tactic I was criticizing Paula Bennett and WhaleOil for. Or are you suggesting that isn’t what they did when they selectively released private or protected information in violation of the law?

          Unlike either of them, I am careful about not violating the law. So I’m pretty clear when writing about the difference between what I know is correct and what does not have a clear basis in fact, but is my opinion. The words you are highlighting show exactly where those distinctions I am drawing are.

          If I understand your accusation, you want me to act irresponsibly and spray accusations unfounded in fact around. However I’m not willing to stoop to the level of irresponsible arseholes like Whaleoil and Paula Bennett. It might be your thing (and theirs) to be irresponsible in distinguishing between fact and opinion, but it isn’t mine.

          Moreover, while I am a member of the Labour party, I am not the Labour party. You appear to have the two concepts quite confused. But that is hardly surprising, it is clear that you are intellectually incapable of understanding the clear use of the language when differentiating distinctions between fact and opinion.

          In my opinion, you are a blustering loudmouth who is also a irresponsible idiot. Is that a clear enough statement for you?

          Fortunately most of the right obviously do draw the distinctions – which is why I only seem to get the RWNJ’s responding here so idiotically.

          • joe bloggs

            whassamatter Mr. Defensive – did I hit a raw nerve?

            In my opinion, you are a blustering loudmouth who is also a irresponsible idiot. Is that a clear enough statement for you? Now see what I mean? There’s the muck and innuendo once again…

            • lprent

              And I notice that you didn’t address anything in my comment.

              Avoidance behaviour? Or were you simply incapable of understanding it?

    • illuminatedtiger 9.2

      “socialist, PC hogwash”

      Are you people capable of ever saying anything original?

    • Draco T Bastard 9.3

      As I said a couple of days ago:

      Telling the truth isn’t an attack – merely the truth.

  9. Graham 10

    1. “Telling the truth isn’t an attack – merely the truth.”
    A fair amount of lprent’s so-called “truth” is subjective, not objective.

    2. “Telling the truth isn’t an attack”
    Well, actually, it is when it’s deliberately portrayed with nastiness.

    3. From lprent: “What is interesting is that you criticize the post without giving a single instance where it is incorrect. That is rather the characteristic of an idiot right winger with no ability to argue coherently.”
    You mean like a lot of the subjective “truths” put forward in the original post?

    • lprent 10.1

      I don’t like either of these law breakers – more commonly known as suspected criminals. So I have given my opinion on their behaviour. But I notice that you haven’t pointed out any thing in what I said that was incorrect. You’re just objecting to my tone?

      These (probable) criminals have violated the law. Have you no sympathy for their victims and the other parties that their (probable) criminal acts have affected? Or is it just that you think that you support breaching the law?

      Graham. You really need to think things through more. Do you support their law breaking? If so then why?

      • Graham 10.1.1

        1. Yes, I object to your tone, and the tone of many posters on The Standard. It utterly astounds me that posters on The Standard accuse David Farrar of being nasty and bitter, yet are apparently unable to recognise these traits which are apparent in far larger quantities on this board.

        2. I didn’t say I support their law breaking, or that they are breaking the law, or that they’re not breaking the law. I said (a) that I object to your tone, and (b) that a lot of the “truths” you claim are subjective. That doesn’t necessarily preclude them from being correct, but without the backing it’s hard for anyone to say. That’s the difference between objective and subjective. You really need to read things through.

        And think things through, for that matter. Your post, and most posts here for that matter, would stand far more chance of being taken seriously by people other than left-wing nutjobs, if they were presented slightly more reasonably, without the near-hysteria that often accompanies them.

        • lprent

          I presented 6 facts. 4 in the bullet points and the positions of each person. Each of these is easy to back up

          Every thing else was my opinion. Perhaps you’d like to say which fact you think was subjective? Then I can elucidate.

          However I note that you seem to wish to avoid going into detail on your accusations. You are following exactly the lack of detail trait that I was pointing out about these two. Perhaps you just share a sense of common identity?

  10. tc 11

    Where the hell is King ! Bennett is her opposite (in some ways they could be twins though) and had made significant dents in her arrogance and general lack of ability/knowledge of what the F her dep’t was doing….but that seems ages ago now.

    Carters implosion should serve as a wake up to other long serving MP’s who held big portfolios under clark to earn their front bench status by keeping a relentless focus on the incompetance in the gov’t benches.

    Time for Wilkinson/Tolley/Brownlee/Collins/Smith/Blinglish to be constantly badgered and leave Phil to offset sideshow by presenting a stark contrast of style and ability……maybe we can see some focus on last weeks wage gap again which was one of the many crock’s of shite they conned the electorate over in 08.

    • loota 11.1

      Gosh darn it, like you I’ve not seen much firepower being laid down on the Government from Goff or King lately.

      A shame since Key and his merry merry (wo)men have virtually been painting bullseyes on their foreheads of late.

      So yeah, tc, what the ? is going on.

  11. Rharn 12

    I wonder if Cameron is on any kind of benifit and will Bennett release the details if he is.

    Still top marks for not kicking the man when he is down. It’s one of the defining differences between them and us.

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