And one more thing they've ditched in education: Artists in Schools
My sister, who's a high school art teacher, is working hard on a campaign to save this.
I'm trying to recall if the beneficiary-bashing was as prevalent or as vehement in the early 1990s. I think not. To be sure, it was a very different Internet then, but Leighton Smith was there every morning at 8.30 am...
I don't think that individual acts of consumer choice are going to change the fundamentals of our system.
Audrey Young puts it perfectly:
What is clear is that despite the supposedly newer, softer, gentler face of National on welfare, nothing can mask the seething resentment that remains skin-deep among the public against beneficiaries.
It was less obvious in the period of near full-employment that accompanied sustained economic growth of recent years.
But it remains almost as palpably ugly as it was in the 90s when Bennett was on a benefit - and the sense of insecurity engendered by the today's economic recession appears to have fuelled it.
She also writes that it appears from her answers to Annette King that Bennett has a computer in her office from which her welfare officials can access beneficiary files, thus enabling her to get the information without going through the chief executive.
Delighted to see those routes, planning to ride every one of them. And yet, and yet. This has been lavish praise for so meagre an accomplishment in the context of the overall economic transformation and leadership we're looking for.
I thought people just got the wrong end of the stick.
He said, in his speech, that he was going to enact a reform which - people then pointed out - had already been enacted. (Regarding admissibility of evidence about sexual history of complainants).
That's my understanding. Is that what we're talking about?
Where I'm going tomorrow:
ICEHOUSE open day: How we'll turn 500 more NZ companies into successful exporters.
spit in your face and some hearing damage.
Entirely forgivable. Welcome, in fact.
That Smith managed to get it so spectacularly wrong is either gross dishonesty, or an abject failure in reading.
It's getting pretty dire when the bullet-point cabinet can't even get the bullet points right. (I feel rueful about getting snowed by that '11 slices' line. Fool me once: shame on you etc.)
I'm already quite late. The next forty two will just fly by.
What I've been working on is getting as much booze, smoking and crap food in before somebody tells me I shouldn't.
On my 90th birthday I will cease to resist cigars, cheese, and Class A drugs. I hope very much to see you at the party.