Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Deja Vu

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  • Matthew Poole,

    ww, that's certainly how it read to me. His position is consistent with an abolition of the welfare state, relying on familial charity to support those who are unable to support themselves.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3909 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Cecelia - a very good question indeed...
    Who knows what goes on in the minds of judges of writing awards ( including those formedia columnists)? I've judged a lot of awards: when you're part of a panel of judges, the results can be unsatisfactory to some of the judges...I have no idea as to how the qantas Media award judging panels are set up-
    and I really loathe Paul Holme's 'work'-

    Tautoko Matthew Poole- mark taslov doesnt seem to know a lot about how whanau/family nets work in real life. Or be able to factor in steven crawford's words: sometimes the best and most practical solution is fir the State to provide a *very* modest income so young people can live away from their parents, especially if they're dead just now, or incapable (not attempting to be funny: in 1 of the 2 instances I know of personally , an 18yr old was expected to keep living at home with a continuously-drunken parent- out on bail- who had just killed the 18yrold's parent...)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Back to Holmes. Does he write well sometimes? If not, how did he win the Qantas Award for best columnist when there are brilliant writers out there who are so very much better than he is. He seems to have one main subject - himself.

    I recall the gasp in the awards audience when he won it the first time. I think he can write well, but a good deal of the time he is, as you say, focusing on his favourite subject.

    This might (okay, will) horrify people, but I've learned a lot from him about TV presenting. When he got on TV, he demystified a lot of what doing TV was about. When most other hosts were stuffed shirts, he'd talk to his floor manager or producer offscreen; he'd do things you weren't supposed to do. For all that he might annoy us, he is talented and original.

    I see him occasionally, usually when he's flogging his olive oil, and I personally like him. But ...

    As someone said before, he has this image of himself as a little kiwi battler - like Paula ...

    I think he identifies with people who he perceives as being, like himself, in the spotlight and under fire, and perhaps a little narcissistic.

    But he habitually flatters his own judgement. I interviewed him once for a Listener feature and he told me how he'd spoken to then-Cambridge High School principal Alison Annan in the green room before she appeared on his show, and caught a glimpse of her good soul. Or something.

    But by any rational assessment of the facts, she was out of control and self-obsessed, she'd fiddled the school's NCEA results, and she'd really hurt some of the families she'd taken against (including that of one autistic boy). His Paula Bennett column is the same thing.

    I had to stop watching his recent methamphetamine documentary (I'll get back to it).

    The scene where he sat weeping angrily over harm minimisation advice in some CADS literature was not only dishonest (He quoted the part that said: "Speed can be the ultimate party drug. You’ll fly through the night with the greatest of ease," and not the next sentence, which said "While you’re having a great time, your body will be drained of vital ingredients, which could turn out to be the least of your problems," and the harm minimisation part was from a completely different document.), it was anecdotal, it was emotional, and it was mostly about Paul.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Mark, as desirable as it might be for extended family to pick up where parents fail/struggle, it's not always possible. I don't know about your circumstances, but I'd have trouble taking in my teenage nephew should I need too; my house would be too small and my kids are very young.

    I was involved in student politics when student allowances were cut back and loans introduced and I remember the debate about the availability independent circumstances benefit (or whatever they were called). By reducing its availability, I'm pretty sure the trauma of a dysfunctional family would have been compounded by exclusion from university...

    Implicit in your comments is a view about extended families that sort of appeals to me; that we ought to be helping out our kith and kin. Perhaps we've gotten use to the kind of wealth that is attainable when you have one kid and two incomes. Still, they'll likely always be a number of young people who need to escape home and denying them support could well lead to far worse.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Ohh ... Julian Robbins just explained the significance of Bill English withdrawing as a beneficiary of the family trust which owns his house -- after the election last year.

    Had he remained a beneficiary of the trust, he would not have been eligible for much or all of the money he's getting.

    Wow. Even if there's an innocent explanation, that's not a good look.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Mark, in which utopia do you reside where young people have convenient relatives who can take them in?

    Pretty much most countries excluding the new world.

    Hell, maybe the nearest family members are no better than the parents from whom they are so eager to escape.

    seems you have a problem.

    To give you a succinct, and I suspect fairly widely-held within this forum, response to your position: fuck that shit!

    Bill English is the man you need to speak to.

    So what you're saying Mark is that...

    If I had kids (which I don't) and if those non-existent kids had to stop living with me for whatever reason, you'd ship them back to the UK - cos that's where my nearest rellies live...

    I don't think anyone's saying that, that would be something you'd need to take up with the immigration dept.

    ww, that's certainly how it read to me. His position is consistent with an abolition of the welfare state, relying on familial charity to support those who are unable to support themselves.

    Not at all. I'm a fan of the welfare state. I have no issue with the state intervening in cases where minors face hardship. I just find their intervention amounts to little more than some cash to cover food and board and little if anything is done to eradicate the underlying issues. I'd like to hear some significant arguments against Mr English's wish to scrap this benefit beyond the mandatory site 'fuck that shit', because frankly 'fuck that shit' wouldn't have that much resonance in a serious debate around the issue. I think it's no secret that the family unit has broken down in New Zealand, and the current solution while adequate is far from making inroads into curbing the larger issue.

    One factor seems to be that in New Zealand a 16 year old in the 21st century is being considered mature enough to take care of themselves. I'm not seeing it. I'm seeing kids, given a check and told to sort their lives out. It's all very well for people to get high and mighty about being able to "afford to feed another mouth", but essentially if Aunty can't afford to feed inconvenient neice, then how is Government feeding inconvenient niece going to make food any more affordable for aunty. it's not. It's just a bandage of tide me overs till New Zealand hits the wall.

    I have no issue with that benefit as it stands. But Bill wants to scrap it, and so we want to argue in its favour by offering little more than 'we'll pay the kids so and so amount and our hands be clean'.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1691 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Tautoko Matthew Poole

    I've been searching for the spelling of that word on and off for a while. I learned it, to the extent that you understand a concept from a language you don't speak, when studying and I often think it's precisely the word/concept I most want to use when commenting here...

    I'm thinking it means "agree, support, affirm, appreciate", that about right?

    Thanks Islander.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Had he remained a beneficiary of the trust, he would not have been eligible for much or all of the money he's getting.

    I understand it's gone from $400 p.w. to $900-$1000 p.w. since the change of circumstances, that'd be while we're to tighten our belts...

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Indeed it does Paul Williams-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Reeves,

    @ Russell

    All this "trust" business (isn't "trust" an odd term for something which often seems to come down to tax avoidance?) is confusing (as intended?), but, can Bill English at some time in the future become a beneficiary of the trust once more?

    And at that point does something happen to get back the money he's currently taking due to the shenanigans being uncovered?

    And if not, why hot?

    Near Donny Park, Hamilton… • Since Apr 2007 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    ww, that's certainly how it read to me. His position is consistent with an abolition of the welfare state, relying on familial charity to support those who are unable to support themselves.

    Plus he seems to have made the assumption that the relie would be happy to take on this responsibility. Having said that, you're being generous to grant him a consistent position from his statements. Earlier, when asked "You cannot possibly think that it's better for a teen to stay in an abusive home than live by themselves" he responded "Of course not never implied it". I suspect he's lost track of what he started out saying on this matter.

    ...'fuck that shit' wouldn't have that much resonance in a serious debate around the issue.

    Why focus on an offhand comment and ignore the substantive points Matthew made in the previous paragraph?

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Reeves,

    ...or indeed "why not?"

    Near Donny Park, Hamilton… • Since Apr 2007 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Even if there's an innocent explanation

    I look forward to hearing it.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    that's not a good look.

    Sometimes you are too polite Mr Brown.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6269 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Implicit in your comments is a view about extended families that sort of appeals to me; that we ought to be helping out our kith and kin. Perhaps we've gotten use to the kind of wealth that is attainable when you have one kid and two incomes. Still, they'll likely always be a number of young people who need to escape home and denying them support could well lead to far worse.

    Thanks Paul, that's pretty much what I'm gunning for, In some cases that benefit is an absolute necessity, in other cases alternatives could be reached. It'd be nice to see if either Mr English or the opposition have some significant thoughts on the issue in terms of alleviating these kinds of problems in the long term.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1691 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Plus he seems to have made the assumption that the relie would be happy to take on this responsibility.

    Of course not no. Sorry. Expecting a family member to be happy or even ok to take care of another family member? In New Zealand? What was I thinking?

    "Of course not never implied it". I suspect he's lost track of what he started out saying on this matter.

    Sorry I'm marking. it's contagious.

    Why focus on an offhand comment and ignore the substantive points Matthew made in the previous paragraph?

    He wasn't addressing the cause of the problem, which is the weakness with the benefit itself.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1691 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Essentially Steve, BEnglish wants to scrap it, Others were saying it's fine- we shouldn't scrap it 'what would we do without it' etc, and I'm personally saying its flawed and needs some work.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1691 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    "Of course not no. Sorry. Expecting a family member to be happy or even ok to take care of another family member? In New Zealand? What was I thinking?"

    O nothing. Or you werent thinking. Those comments are on a par with your earlier one apropos (precis) "it's accepted that the NZ family unit has broken down."

    No, it hasnt, mate. For every dysfunctional family you read/hear about via the media, there are 50 taking care of their own. Your patronising
    scorn is rooted in ignorance - which does not obviate "he seems to have made the assumption that the rel(l)ie would be happy to take on this responsibility." You did make that assumption (as I read your words.) And there are many reasons why some members of a whanau may not be able to help: distance, as webweaver pointed out. Age. Poverty. Illhealth. Or just being a very small whanau...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    …or indeed "why not?"

    Sorry, not sure what you mean, Steve.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    Of course not no. Sorry. Expecting a family member to be happy or even ok to take care of another family member? In New Zealand? What was I thinking?

    Because of course it’s easy to just take on the care of another person’s teenager, who may live in another city and have a network of friends there. Seriously, go back and read Matthew's points again and respond if you can.

    Anyway, we don’t live in an authoritarian state where someone can be obliged to take on care of a person just because they‘re related. It’s great if extended family can help out in these situations, but for various reasons it doesn’t always work that way - hence the need for the benefit.

    He wasn't addressing the cause of the problem, which is the weakness with the benefit itself.

    He was refuting a point you made earlier, and what he said is directly related to the issue of the need for the benefit.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    ah the wrath... it's up above Islander. I'm not patronizing you or anyone, I just think you're good at finding excuses not to put family first.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1691 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I'm thinking it means "agree, support, affirm, appreciate", that about right?

    Thanks Islander.

    Me too. I've known the word for a long time and always thought it was pretty handy, but this reminds me I should take advantage of its utility.

    That would have been a good angle for last week's Media7 panel on te reo, as a next step beyond Maori as The Language of Saying Hello. What other words have a meaning that cuts to the quick of what we, people who live here, are trying to express? What a useful thing!

    Although Maori is a magnificent language for saying hello. Mikaere and his dad wrote me my whaikorero for this year's Foo Camp, and I loved speaking the greeting part. Not least in that I think the idea of saying hello to people's local mountains is choice.

    So yeah, I reckon "I tautoko that" is a very PAS thing to say.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    mark taslov, I take that comment *extremely* personally on behalf of me, my own, and all my friends, and a *very* large number of people I am acquainted with- our families are paramount (but not your nasty little god)

    what Matthew Poole said-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    That would be, Mark, because some families are, to put it kindly, shit. And their children should never live with them. There are many wards of the state who are unable to live with their own families - and that means extended, not just immediate, because they are not healthy places for those kids to be. I teach in an area where, quite frankly, we would be buggered if it weren't for grandparents, for example. We have a few children who have been removed from their parents because of neglect/abuse/mental health issues. Those children will definitely, if they need to, be living with their families as teenagers because their parents will not be in the picture. There are however children who I teach who will probably end up living on that young persons' benefit because their entire family is toxic. Loving rellies aren't that easy to find. Ask CYFS.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    mark taslov:

    The mere existence of a benefit does not automatically mean that it's being thrown around willy-nilly at individuals in the absence of other avenues of support. Likewise, just because you heard of someone that's flagrantly abusing it, doesn't mean that every beneficiary is.

    Obviously there are plenty more resources - financial & practical (as there is are every suboptimal circumstance) - that could be done to support those individuals financially, domestically, emotionally, whatever. However, I'm sure that most posters are expressing the opinion that eliminating a benefit entirely - essentially removing state-based support without offering any kind of substitute - is a pretty crap way of addressing the issue. Your point re: BEnglish not offering anything other than "fuck that shit" is bang on.

    So... as per usual, you're starting with an inflammatory and ill-constructed point, and are back-engineering it into a very sensible point on the fly, to placate your opposition. It'd be great if you could start with the reasonable points & build on them instead.

    Under the western motorwa… • Since Nov 2006 • 523 posts Report Reply

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