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What do you value?

Written By: - Date published: 10:16 pm, January 30th, 2014 - 53 comments
Categories: Deep stuff - Tags: ,

Tim Watkins has written a piece on Labour’s Best Start policy.

Down in the comments were the most incredible remarks I have read in support of the policies.

They cut through all of criticism of the policy in way which I had not seen before and well, basically, they blew my little mind. The comments were written by Ian Hassall, New Zealand’s first Children’s Commisioner. Here is the exchange between Tim and Ian…


Ian:Tim, one of the arguments for universalism you missed was that it places a value directly on children and the people who care for them, whatever their financial circumstances. Since Labour’s policy announcement the arguments for and against that I have seen have been mainly economic, incentive, political and moral. The signal that children are valued and can be central to a new politics whose values differ from those of the last thirty years is central to what I understood David Cunliffe to be saying.


Tim: Ian, I’d be interested in your take on this, especially as you mention morality. Is it economically and morally sound to simply give money to almost all parents who have a baby?

You mention incentives, but there are no incentives involved in this, no quid pro quo the recipients have to offer in return for the rest of us offering them financial support. So presumably the argument is simply that $60 a week – or to be less cynical, some form of state support – should be the right of every citizen? Because otherwise you’d target it, wouldn’t you? Really, why not target this?

And what values from 30 years ago are you refering to? The value of the same for all?


Ian: No, I think the argument goes that children are of value to society and that the time, love and material investment made by parents and others in the early years has a payoff for society as Heckman has shown. A cash subsidy acknowledges this. The values system that denies these things is encapsulated in the saying, ‘There is no such thing as society’. This values system which has held sway in public policy for thirty years and contributed to the atomisation of a generation is not capable of sustaining our civilisation and needs to be replaced as the dominant driver by an alternative set of values.An alternative set of values which includes compassion, selflessness and a longer term perspective is typically what is evoked by caring for children, and can be encouraged by a public policy in which children’s needs and

interests are central. A society that looks after its children is an agreeable society and one that has a future.

This is not to deny that rampant greed and selfishness is one, possibly essential, driver of our society, which you will have been reminded of if you saw the movie, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, or if you read the ‘Alex’ cartoons in the Herald but it should be put back in its box and not contaminate public discourse and public policy.


From this perspective, the criticisms of Labour from John Key are irrelevant and petty and the true motivations of Nationals policies can be seen for what they are: election year concessions from a party that no longer believes in society.

The Labour party is slowly becoming old school again. Not 1984 old school…proper old school. It started With the membership’s victory last year and now the policies are starting to come out. They may be fumbling the ball a bit, they may not have the slickness of Key but what they are doing…is the right thing.




53 comments on “What do you value?”

  1. Lionel 1

    What a super post would love it if Mr Hassalls comments were more universally broadcast

  2. geoff 2

    The 2nd last paragraph is my words, not part of the quote as presently shown. Could someone with superpowers please fix? Thanks.


  3. Anne 3

    Splendid stuff and it really encapsulates what most have been trying to say here at the Standard.

    I give Tim Watkins credit for a reasoned and intelligent summation of the Best Start programme. He may have reservations about aspects of the policy, but compared to certain other journalists – who shall remain unnamed – it is refreshingly fair.

    Surely someone like Ian Hassall is a far more appropriate person to be seeking an opinion from, than the RWNJs that are usually wheeled out by the media for comment.

  4. xtasy 4

    I value a HUMAN and humane, fair, just and democratic society!

    I feel we do no longer have this under this government, for various reasons!

    For instance we have welfare “reforms” that are to me an abomination, as they indicate the first signs of a society, that will favour eugenics:


    We have a ‘Principal Health Advisor’ working for MSD and WINZ, who thinks that benefit dependence is like “drug dependence”, and he also believes that most suffering mental illness and musculo skeletal conditions suffer merely from “illness belief”. He, and his master “educator”, Professor Mansel Aylward, from the UK (formerly DWP, working with ATOS, and being paid by corrupt UNUM insurance to develop suitably biased “research” on disabled and sick), have come to the conclusion that work is the best “therapy”, is generally “good for your health”, and that sick and disabled should be challenged and pushed into work, to contribute.

    The logical conclusion is, if they cannot, they are not “worthy”. It sounds a bit like the “work will set you free” cry by the NAZIs.

    We have further signs of this ideology taking a foot hold in the medical profession in NZ:

    “Overcoming and Challenging Adversity – the Prequel (Social Welfare in NZ 2013)” – a presentation by Dr Bratt, similar to others, and it is found here:


    On page 10 of 20 it says:

    “Long Acting Reversible Contraception
    • Commonly known as LARCs
    • All female beneficiaries and female
    dependents of beneficiaries over the age of
    16yrs are eligible to have the costs associated
    with the consultation, assessment , insertion
    and if required the removal of LARC covered
    by a Special Needs Grant from Work & Income
    • This only applies to Subsidised LARCs
    • And this means it does not normally cover
    Mirena IUCD insertion.”

    It suggests that women on benefits get such LARCs, to stop “breeding”, as their “breeding” is unwelcome and does not contribute to societal wellbeing!

    Hey, that is just part of it, he also likens benefit dependence to “drug dependence”, in many other presentations.

    Now this happens here right in NZ, why is nobody standing up against it? Some are, but most are silent, ignore it, or even support this. How “NAZI” are some Kiwis, I ask?

    It is time to take a bloody stand, and this is important, the question here is: “What do you value?”

    There is more to it, but think, take some time, do some reading, please:


    This is a long distance away from what David Cunliffe was proposing with Best Start, and of course, the critics like to shoot it to pieces, to justify what I just mentioned above. Shame on Key, National, ACT AND the mainstream media, selectively criticising Labour and Greens, but never looking at lies and manipulations or failings by Key and the government we have!

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 4.1

      Thank god someone has finally seen the truth! Yes, it’s all about eugenics!

    • poem 4.2

      +1 Xtasy !!!

    • My God, these eugenicist Nazis are making beneficiaries… er… eligible for free contraception. Oh, the humanity!

      • xtasy 4.3.1

        Yes, what was that saying or song again? “They started with the unionists, but hey, I was not a unionist. Then they started with …” .. and so it goes on.

        This is about unacceptable expectations placed on beneficiaries only, not the wider population. It may be presented as “voluntary”, but in reality there is more to it than the wording suggests!

        And much of what the Nazis did, was initially also brought in with a “moderate” approach, like the work camps to supposedly “reform” the “antisocial elements”, and teach them “work habits” – which later were turned into mass murder camps.

        This measure by WINZ may be “promoted” for females of child bearing age on benefits, as a “voluntary” measure, but the consequence of having another baby while being on a benefit is already, that the mother will be forced to work after the baby turns only 1 year of age. If a “client” does not cooperate and look for work the sanctions of cutting or stopping the benefit will be applied. So how can this be “voluntary” then?

        Anything unreasonable, unjust, inhumane, even while the perpetrators claim it to be only “voluntary”, while it is combined with harsh, punitive sanctions, must be STOPPED right in ITS BEGINNINGS.

        If the German people had in sufficient numbers adhered to that civic task, Hitler may never have been able to do half the evil he was later able to do!

      • xtasy 4.3.2

        Psycho Milt!

        What about your claim that this is “free”?

        Do you not know that most Special Needs Grants are repayable?

        Too many in the public still believe that beneficiaries get free fridges, washing machines and so forth, same as other necessities, but that is a lie. They have to repay advances that WINZ give them, from their usual and standard benefits, which are actually meant to cover other basic necessities, not including such purchases.

        People are expected to repay these things by saving it out of their food money, so to say.

        Only food grants and a few other grants are not recoverable, and I have myself had to pay for dental and other treatment by cutting down on other spending for food and basic necessities, repaying Special Needs Grants that WINZ paid to the dentist.

        And getting a food grant is not that easy, you must prove that you had other essential costs to cover, before you get one, and it is capped at an amount per annum. After that it is only food banks that help out, and even they expect a letter from WiNZ saying that no SNG is available. Even food banks scrutinise people coming to them!

        Get real and HONEST, thanks!

        • Psycho Milt

          They’re just giving them a fucking loan for long-term contraception, not offering it for free? OK, I agree that really isn’t very good. They should be making it way more attractive than that.

  5. Zorr 5

    I love those comments – they are fabulous

    Every day there are opinion pieces written espousing the virtues of decades gone by when the writers themselves were children, stating that the way they were raised turned them in to the people they are today and that the results speak for themselves because they’ve turned in to very fine upstanding citizens. These same people then go on to criticize the current generation for not showing enough respect to their elders and becoming materialistic and disconnected in the modern consumer culture. I personally feel that this is all because the new generations raised in the neo-liberal era are being told by society that they are worth nothing unless they are capable of consumption and that unless they consume, then society has nothing for them. You reap what you sow.

    I hope to raise my children as whole individuals who are capable of integrating with society in the ways they find most beneficial to themselves and others and not for personal gain. To encourage them to think outside of consuming and to ask not what is best for them but what is best for us. Saying to all new parents “here, have this small token of cash per week to assist with the difficult task of raising the new generation that is the future of our country” is the least we can do and we should do more. Saying it’s too hard is for the likes of John Key who, when presented with such a problem, can only muse about changing the flag. Or reading My Pet Goat.

  6. xtasy 6

    Re Nazism and history, watch this:


    A must watch history documentary!!!

    “What do you value?”

    What do Bennett and Key???

  7. Camryn 7

    I think Ian might be forcing too strong of a dichotomy here. It is possible to believe that well raised children are a benefit to wider society and to not believe that universal cash payments are the best way to achieve that or demonstrate that children are valued. In fact, I’d say that everyone believes that well raised children are a long-term benefit to wider society!

    Ian appears to be counterpointing to Margaret Thatcher’s “no society” statement which, unsurprisingly, was also a very “black and white” statement where shades of grey clearly exist.

    Long story short… it might feel nice to believe that your particular course of action is most strongly associated with compassion and respect for all people, and that others are uncaring and cruel, but it’s closer to the truth that all people are compassionate and respectful and that different political views arise from that common base. Those who think they have a monopoly on compassion risk blinding themselves and/or just come across as simplistic, smug and self-congratulatory.

    • Ad 7.1

      Agreed. Unhelpful to imply John Key equates to Margaret Thatcher.

      Labour, or anyone, will not win this poorly presented argument unless they can do retail politics into the media better than they have over the last week.
      Apart from red meat to the base, it’s a poor start to campaign year.

      • felix 7.1.1

        When has John Key ever said anything about society that wasn’t a disparaging remark?

        • Ad

          Oh please. Reams of social policy. Don’t have to agree with it.
          This ain’t the moment for replaying We Are The World.
          Key has thrown excellent chaff out the Hercules window.

          Labour needed a counter-punch by yesterday, on tv, to get them back on track after the speech.

      • well I never 7.1.2

        I am starting to believe that no matter how they present their policies, values etc. the National machine has thrown so much money at undermining ANY other voices, their power, corrupt as it is, will simply leave any opposition pissing into the wind. Would like to be proved wrong.

        • Ad

          What defeatist crap.

          The team needs to perform better; rehearsing the week more, not just the speech, would help.

    • miravox 7.2

      “it’s closer to the truth that all people are compassionate and respectful and that different political views arise from that common base.”

      I guess seeing as Whaleoil has been down for awhile you’ve not had much chance to see that this might not necessarily be the case.

    • Hamish 7.3


    • Hi Camryn,

      I think you’ve misunderstood what Ian appears to be saying. He is not saying that people who believe that ‘There is no such thing as society’ completely lack compassion, etc..

      What he is saying is that when it comes to determining policy in relation to children the dominant ‘driver’ is ‘individual responsibility’ (i.e., roughly consistent with Thatcher’s attempt to sideline compassion as a fundamental ‘driver’ of policy through discursive phrasing such as ‘There is no such thing as society’). That is, the dominant ‘driver’ of such policy is not ‘compassion’.

      I think that personal responsibility (i.e., doing your best to look after yourself given your circumstances) is a fine virtue. But, when it comes to social policy – especially around families, children and poverty – I simply don’t believe that that should be the dominant ‘driver’.

      I don’t believe it’s appropriate because (a) it assumes that the main cause of economic difficulties is personal (i.e., it gives a psychological explanation for a social issue), which completely falls into the fallacy of psychologism (e.g., saying that rising and falling levels of unemployment are caused by rising and falling levels of indolence in individuals Edit: individuals at the population level, i.e., more or fewer individuals being indolent); and, (b) it has the (unintended?) consequence of creating social division and conflict between those who see themselves as personally competent (as judged largely by economic survival) and those who come to be seen as personally incompetent.

      As Hassall argues, that kind of ‘driver’ can’t sustain a civilised society – that is, a society that fundamentally treats its citizens with civility. Instead we end up with an angry, bitter, hard society in which people are divided into the ‘feral’, on the one hand, and the ‘hardworking Kiwi’, on the other. That atmosphere I find utterly toxic to live in and see as highly regressive.

      For clarity, in my view the argument has nothing to do with particular individuals (on the left or the right) being ‘compassionate’ or otherwise. It’s all about whether or not the fundamental ‘driver’ (‘underlying principle’) of the policy (i.e., your “course of action”) is one of compassion rather than invoking personal responsibility as punishment (i.e., ‘you had the child so you look after it – don’t come looking to me for help. That’ll teach you.’).

      You might call what I’ve termed ‘punishment’ something like ‘tough love’ that still aims to achieve the end of “well raised children” and, ultimately, is based on ‘compassion’. But, in the policy and its implementation’ (e.g., National’s recent welfare reforms) where is the ‘love’, the ‘respect’, the ‘dignity’, the compassion?

      If it’s there it is buried so deep that recipients are unlikely to notice it. And that is asking for trouble.

  8. JK 8

    My maths is not so good, so maybe someone on this thread could help me out.

    We used to have a weekly Family Benefit for children. From memory, in the 1970s, I think it was $6 per week per child. I had two kids – so that was $12 per week per child. I’ve tried to find a comparison online, but the nearest I’ve managed is the Reserve Bank’s inflation calculation for an item of clothing costing $12 in 1970. In 2013, this would have cost $103+

    Here’s the comparison and link.

    Clothing that cost $12.00 in quarter 1 of 1970
    would have cost $103.85 in quarter 1 of 2013

    This looks much more generous than Labour’s Best Start but maybe someone else could do a better comparison.

    • millsy 8.1

      I used wages (it seems to me that FB would count as wages), and I got $132.05.

    • bad12 8.2

      JK, the real question i would like to ask, and this question is relevant to all those commenting here at the Standard who brought up families in the era of the Family Benefit,

      Two kids was a small family back then so you didn’t consider having more kids because of the Family Benefit incentive???,

      My interest in the answer to this is obviously as a counter to the ‘wing-nuts’ whine of such programs promoting ‘breeding for money’….

      • greywarbler 8.2.1

        If wing-nuts use this sort of emotive term (breeding for money) then immediately discussion on policy relating to fertility should stop until reasonable, informed, experienced and humane people are involved. Which would preclude medical mercenaries with academic and/or business backgrounds. Nothing good can come from people who have that mindset. It is misogynist-laden and anyone using the term as a description of the situation indicates their unsuitability to pass reasoned opinion.

        Good social policy cannot be introduced or critiqued by someone with that approach and attitude.

      • Naturesong 8.2.2

        I am the second child of four born between 1967 and 1975.
        The idea that someone would produce a child to gain an extra $6.00 pw was as laughable then as it is today for $60.00 pw.
        Even so, for a middle class family in a well to do suburb, the family benefit was extremely helpful during times when things were tight – start of the school year, christmas, mortgage rate interest hikes, unexpected expenses etc.

        Also remember that back in the days of the family benefit, there were low levels of unemployment (noting of course that one male earner per family was the norm). Kicking the shit out of the unemployed was not an ever constant meme.

        DPB for single mothers had it’s own stigma that probably owed more to a victorian mindset than it does these days. Though I do wonder if that theme of the immorality of a single mother is not a subtext to the constant attacks on women who receive it these days.

        • greywarbler

          I have looked at actions of Jenny Shipley and her crew of pirates, and come to the conclusion that there is a deep morality prejudice and class disparagement and disdain in NACTs approach to single and solo mothers and fathers, that still now underlies the cry of cost, inefficiency, slackers, etc.

          The fact that they can produce some figures that show this is a consideration in a small percentage sample is an excuse to blanket the lot. They might not bother with facts or figures though. We know from Margaret Bazley’s attack on legal aid that they can just quote some anecdote or reference to some source.

          A word in the ear or even in the air around the ear, of a sensitive National tuned and receiving instrument, is sufficient evidence to give gravitas to extensive law change and ploughing and turning of the policy soil by the good old farmers sons and daughters.

  9. JK 9

    To Bad 12 – two kids were all we could afford at that time (despite receiving Family Benefit – and I had/have friends in a similar position in those days) so I’d say quite definitely that Govt grants to parents to help raise children is NOT an incentive to have more kids.

    Btw, the Family Benefit went directly to the mothers ….. to ensure the money was spent on the kids !

    Should also mention – we didn’t have easy access to childcare either in those days. So very difficult for a mother to go out to work unless she had other supportive family to look after the kids

    • bad12 9.1

      Thanks JK, it would be interesting to hear from other’s commenting here that brought up their kids in the era of the Family Benefit,

      Don’t i know it, with regards to the difficulties of mums going out to work back then, with 4 of us mine had to and it’s a wonder that the stress from the resulting ‘mayhem’ didn’t give Her a coronary…

      • Tracey 9.1.1

        Milk was 4 cents for a pint in 1971.

        I got 5c a week for putting the milk out and bringing it back in. No danger money for taking on the boogieman my bros told me was waiting for me if I stopped at any time

  10. Tracey 10

    Interesting that main media outlets didnt seek comment from the commissioner for children about a policy about children.

    With national now claiming its programme is respo sible for increased bc in chchch is a sign that this is going to be a long year.

  11. greywarbler 11

    This thread is about the Labour policy of helping with costs to families with young children unless they are in the wealthy group.

    It is unpleasant to see the hostility to these families and their children by the self-centred, competitive and money-oriented, exclusive class. Anne points out that Tim Watkins does make an attempt to consider it in a reasoned way. Which is true, but he still seems more hostile to the policy than otherwise.

    Watkins says that Peter Dunne calls Labour’s social welfare a bribe
    This is n example of how people’s understandings are based on their prime approach and we know that Dunne’s political position operates on bribes, so he sees them in everything. His attitude to his useful role in politics is less compromise in return for policy valued to him and more just staying in a role of Man of the People getting good pay.

    Then Tim Watkins enters into the cheapshot comments – the money will be spent on the bloody bach added to someone else’s ‘cigs and lotto’.

    Comment from another man,
    ‘Every second feckless woman in Redfern produced a sprog for the cash. NOT a good way to start a life!’
    Another man, who isn’t ashamed to show his face above this incisive piece of analysis:
    “I’m not sure if they should be classified as feckless or just cynical and manipulative”
    There are other interpretations.

    And then some needed analysis by Ian Hassall, previous Child Commissioner quoted by Geoff above, to which Tim Watkins replies and seems to be hostile to modern social policy with support for the wellbeing of young children and their families. He was Deputy Editor to NZListener wasn’t he? How that once quality magazine deteriorated!

    • JK 11.1

      Yes GreyWarbler I, too, thought Tim Watkins is hostile to the Best Start policy …. hence my attempt to find a comparison in earlier years when everyone got the Family Benefit and there were no snide
      attempts about calling women who had babies feckless, cynical, manipulative.

      Babies were once valued – people could see them as their future. Its really odd these days of falling birthrates that so many do not appreciate them, and are not willing to share in the cost of their upbringing. Maybe these people have just got to the stage where they do not really care about the future – of either their own families (if they have one) or of the rest of humankind.

      • greywarbler 11.1.1

        I think it is 30 years of neo lib. Twenty to thirty years is a generation. That is enough time to forget, or overlook the important wisdom, culture and experience from previous years And also the forecasts of outcomes for proposed changes that should have been noted and acted to improve or alleviate straight away. Instead we were told by the neo libs that first there would be pain, but then gain, and we were so thick we thought they were wise, and cared about the country, and we could rely on their wise words and all would come right. Instead we have – this.

        I seem to remember people warning about the effects of individualism being pushed. The competitive, me first, proud individualist stereotype being led to believe that they were funding themselves in all their endeavours, and then entitled to all the returns. And of course other people could do the same.

        (But every step of the individualist was being supported, paid for, subsidised by someone else. But this is not apparent, or overlooked.
        Paying for attending university – the state still pays about 70% of the cost for instance.) Schools are all subsidised by the state.

        Any individual who manages to get on without assistance from the state, which should be with the good wishes of the vast majority of the citizens, is likely to be receiving isolationist and anti-social indoctrination, as in cults, controlling religious groups, military and aggression training establishments.

        • JK

          greywarbler – yes, I agree with what you’re saying totally but I cannot conceive of any individual managing to get anywhere without assistance from the state because from the very first day they’re born – if born in NZ – they get state assistance. Free maternity care, free hospital care, immunisation – so all those neo-libs decrying a helping hand to parents with new bubs and toddlers are crying hypocritic tears. Shame on them ! As you say they have forgotten what came before . And they haven’t learned their history ….. Shame again on them.

  12. srylands 12

    From the Labour Party website, Labour Best Start Payment Fact Sheet –

    Will the Best Start Payment help to address child poverty?

    Yes. There are about 50,000 children under the age of three living in poverty in New Zealand households. The parents of these children will all receive the full $60 per week Best Start Payment.

    When will families become eligible for the Best Start Payment?

    Funding for the Best Start Payment will be introduced via Budget 2015 and it will come into effect for children born on or after 1 April 2016.


    “… it will come into effect for children born on or after 1 April 2016”

    How does the first statement – “The parents of THESE children – the ones currently in “poverty”” reconcile to the last statement – it will only apply to children born after 2016?

    Looks like the current 50,000 poor kids will need to rely on mum and dad giving them a new sibling in April 2016 (just the opposite of what we should be trying to achieve – the last thing we need is more kids to poor parents.)

    Aside from the lie, the policy will provide most benefits to two groups – (1) Welfare families (who mostly vote Labour anyway) or families on incomes of more than $100,000, who are unlikely to be swayed to vote labour.

    The ones in the middle will be royally fucked off.

    Then there is the 25 Hours free ECE which (like its predecessor) will be very poorly targeted, and, again benefit families on high incomes. The Pasifika families in South Auckland need more ECE centres, and they need high, targeted subsidies (or better 50 hours of quality, free ECE per week). That won’t be possible if you are giving money away to rich people!

    It has been some time since I have seen a political party have a week as bad as Labour has had this week.

    • mickysavage 12.1

      Really weak srylands. There has to be a start date and the complexity of the system means that there will be a delay in implementation.

      Of course if Labour and the Greens win you can submit on the bill and say the scheme should start early because of the urgent need to address poverty and I will agree with you then.

      On your analysis no change should ever be made because someone might miss out.

      Strange, really strange.

    • Hayden 12.2

      Then there is the 25 Hours free ECE which (like its predecessor) will be very poorly targeted, and, again benefit families on high incomes. The Pasifika families in South Auckland need more ECE centres, and they need high, targeted subsidies (or better 50 hours of quality, free ECE per week). That won’t be possible if you are giving money away to rich people!

      You could always* refer to David Cunliffe’s speech:

      Alongside this, we need to expand access to early childhood centres, because free hours aren’t enough if you don’t have a centre in your neighbourhood, or if all the rolls are full.

      In partnership with communities, Labour will fund the development of early childhood centres in lower income communities to ensure there are places for every kid.

      But quantity is no good without quality. This Government has cut funding for qualified teachers in our early childhood centres.

      We think our kids deserve better. That’s why we are restoring those funding cuts, starting with a downpayment in our first year.

      Source: http://thestandard.org.nz/a-nation-of-opportunity-cunliffes-speech/

      * if you weren’t working from a script

    • bad12 12.3

      SSLands, if the last thing we need is more children being born to poor people that is easily fixed by taxing brainless wankers like you and redistributing the proceeds into the hands of those poor people, an act of Capitalist Redistribution,

      Your brainless whine has been well answered previously and ‘Best Start’ as it should gives to those with the least the most along with Labour announcing more ECE centers will be core to the policy with an emphasis on the provision of these as a priority in South Auckland,

      Just to follow up on another of your whining pieces of bullshit surrounding a comment made in ‘Open Mike’ yesterday where i pointed out quite specifically the bullshit inherent in your ”voters run from Socialism” mistake, besides the voters NOT running from the Working for Families scheme, the opposite occurred in fact and Slippery the Prime Minister who decried Working for Families as Communism like the rat and Liar He is once in Government kept the policy in place,

      The Australian ‘Baby Bonus’ and if anyone was going to ‘breed for money’ the $5000 lump sum payment for having a baby would have had them doing just that is simply more of your bullshit as it has been shown that the Australian birth rate didn’t rise by any abnormal rate,

      What happened when the Labour Government cancelled it’s own ‘Baby Bonus’ scheme, who would have thunk it, voted out of office at the following election, hardly the tale of the voter running ‘from’ Capitalist Redistribution that you whine on about, more like the people demanding more of it…

      • srylands 12.3.1

        “What happened when the Labour Government cancelled it’s own ‘Baby Bonus’ scheme, who would have thunk it, voted out of office at the following election, hardly the tale of the voter running ‘from’ Capitalist Redistribution that you whine on about, more like the people demanding more of it…”

        You think Australians voted for Tony Abbott because they wanted “Capitalist Redistribution”? Good grief.

        Your posts become increasingly ridiculous. You come across as an unemployed 1950s style socialist.

        You can whine all you want about the Government. They are looking increasingly likely to be reelected. Who would have thunk that a few months ago, eh?

      • srylands 12.3.2

        “the Australian birth rate didn’t rise by any abnormal rate”

        Good grief of course it didn’t. Why on earth would a payment of $5,000 influence the birth rate in a country as rich as Australia? Is that your measure of policy failure? What drugs (apart from tobacco) are you on in your State house all day?

        • srylands

          BTW the $5,000 payment in Australia was a response to the GFC. It was used to buy TVs, boats and stamp duty on houses.

          The Labour Policy will benefit very poor people and rich people. It will fuck off the middle = vote loser. Watch the next polls for the 2% drop in the combined Green-Left vote. Were you looking for that?

          If you want to help poor people give decent ECE care to people in South Auckland and take it off people in Kandallah. Why isn’t Labour doingt that if it cares about “poor” people.

          Instead it is pissing away a fortune on a near universal $60 for kids not even born yet!!

          That leaves you bad12 to defend it when you know it is crap and then to wheel out your 1950s socialist class warfare crap.

          Keep going by all means. Bring it on and you can have another three years of national.

          You are like the English cricket team dressing room – you say “yeah we can do it” but there is no heart.

          Go have another smoke out the back and smile at the neighbours. Maybe read your electricity meter for entertainment.

          • Colonial Viper

            Oh look a foreign based foreigner all wise on matters NZ. Go away.

          • hamish

            Fuck you’re a useless gimp sslands the baby bonus began in austrailia in 2002!
            I think wee wankers like you hate the labour policy cos it reminds you that no one would ever want to breed with you. And thank christ for that!

  13. greywarbler 13

    I think it is 30 years of neo lib. Twenty to thirty years is a generation. That is enough time to forget, or overlook the important wisdom, culture and experience from previous years, and forecasts of outcomes for proposed changes. I seem to remember people warning about the effects of individualism being pushed. The competitive, me first, proud individualist stereotype being led to believe that they were funding themselves in all their endeavours, and then entitled to all the returns. And of course other people could do the same.

    (But every step of the individualist was being supported, paid for, subsidised by someone else. But this is not apparent, or overlooked.
    Paying for attending university – the state still pays about 70% of the cost for instance.) Schools are all subsidised by the state.

    Any individual who manages to get on without assistance from the state, which should be with the good wishes of the vast majority of the citizens, is likely to be receiving isolationist and anti-social indoctrination, as in cults, controlling religious groups, military and aggression training establishments.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Correct. A critical part of the success of neoliberalism is the starving out of cultural memory and the creation of social amnesia, replacing societal and historical depth with superficial commercial and corporate values of consumption and hedonism.

      The destruction and impoverishment of the arts and humanities as well as public broadcasting is all part and parcel of this.

  14. captain hook 14

    Tim Watkins is typical of the NEW New Zealand in the process of creation by crosby textor who have a policy of denying anything in the media that is any good and which has been proposed by anyone in opposition to their client.
    Democracy in New Zealand is under attack from payed flunkeys and nobody can do anything about it because of the grip they have on the media.

  15. greywarbler 15

    Sorry folks. I put a comment at 11.24 which went into moderation, I then lost it, F5 and Home did
    not bring it to light. But I had copied it so have just put it up again 11.45, with a few add ons, and I looked for it and found my 11.24am one. Betcha the new one will come up again soon, near JKs, to whom I was trying to reply before. So sorry I’m at a loss to know what I did, except my computer is going slow, and may be getting out of sync somehow.

    [lprent: Saw that. Released it. I’ll have a look as I do this sweep.

    One thing to try these days with sluggish machines is to close and start browsers. I’ve noticed that webkit in particular tends to soak up a lot of RAM and CPU when it has frequent javascript running on a page. Seen it on both chrome and safari. ]

  16. alloytoo 16

    A good way to ensure that babies grow up to be constructive members of society is to encourage the current generation of productive hard workers to have children and instill those values in them.

    Labour’s policy should exclude beneficiaries and be part of extended parental leave policies.

    (That would of course exclude most of labour’s support base 🙂

    • JK 16.1

      Just pathetic – alloytoo. To be expected from a Nat ….

    • Polish Pride 16.2

      Or instead we coulde redesign the society and system that we live in to have the goal of making people happy and putting in place the things that are required for that to happen…

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