Speaker by Various Artists

Read Post

Speaker: My People

246 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 10 Newer→ Last

  • Russell Brown,

    Thanks, Jackie. You keep on rocking on, now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17941 posts Report Reply

  • Nikki Whyte,

    Thanks Jackie. It's really refreshing to hear stories of the actual people behind this "beneficiary" label. It frustrates me no end how when I'd call people on their bullshit when they were talking about DPB recipients by pointing out that I was one of them and they'd say "Oh no, it's not you we are talking about, it's those other DPB mums." Uh yeah, and who are they exactly?

    And it's having people like you around young kids that means that those families feel included in a community and therefore feel more positive about their ability to parent and thus are better parents (or at least in my own experience).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2010 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I remember in the 1990s the uproar when Jim Bolger (I think) claimed that there was no link between unemployment and crime, which he was rightly flamed for.

    But I think there are generalisations that can be made that are accurate, but generalisations about all people on a benefit and their families are too general to be much use.

    Also a higher level of care might need to be made about generalisations from statistics in one area "XXXX people are more violent" than in another "XXXX people are more likely to be diabetic".

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    Hear hear Jackie!

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Thank you so much for a lovely post, Jackie! The next time I have one of those beneficiary-slagging conversations inflicted upon me, I'll be directing the inflictor to read this piece. It's great to hear from one of the people who are doing the most important job (from both a moral and economic perspective) in our society.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    Great read, Jackie, and in line with my own experiences.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 838 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Gold. Jackie, I'd love to hear more from you about your work in this vein as and when you have time. I'll be bookmarking this to send to certain persons when the subject comes up...

    Kyle: possibly one problem is this. Suppose the risk of problem X happening is tiny, maybe 1 in 10,000. Suppose a certain group "G" has double that risk, so 2 in 10,000. That's still a very tiny risk, but I guarantee that after a news story has circulated and the usual suspects have commented, everyone will be left with the impression that problem X is rampant and common in group G and nothing to worry about anywhere else.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2906 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    "Oh no, it's not you we are talking about, it's those other DPB mums." Uh yeah, and who are they exactly?

    Yeah, I used to get this when I was on an Invalids' Benefit. Which, not co-incidentally, was when my children were at kindergarten. My partner wasn't working because I couldn't look after the children.

    Thanks, Jackie, this is a lovely, loving piece.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4285 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Suppose the risk of problem X happening is tiny, maybe 1 in 10,000. Suppose a certain group "G" has double that risk, so 2 in 10,000. That's still a very tiny risk, but I guarantee that after a news story has circulated and the usual suspects have commented, everyone will be left with the impression that problem X is rampant and common in group G and nothing to worry about anywhere else.

    Happens an awful lot with health screening programmes. People are told their chances will improve by a relative amount like 50% but not that they still have say a 249 out of 250 chance of dying of something else altogether or never having the problem at all.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15716 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I will call them out.

    Good job, Jackie.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Thank you, Jackie.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Mahal,

    *applauds*

    My dad passed away when I was very young. Mum was on a (partial) benefit and worked part-time while I was at school. And you know what? She was a damned hard working woman, and an excellent parent. I got a lot of harassment at school, mostly from my classmates who'd been taught that children like me were lazy and ignorant.

    The idiots that spew rubbish about beneficiaries have no idea how the other half live.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    Happens an awful lot with health screening programmes. People are told their chances will improve by a relative amount like 50% but not that they still have say a 249 out of 250 chance of dying of something else altogether or never having the problem at all.

    The diference there is, though, that health screening is about changing individual behaviour (so needs to emphasise the importance of proactive action) while discussions of crime demographics is intended to justify changes in public policy.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 838 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Screening is a population health activity, and individual behaviour often doesn't come into it at all - unless you count going back for more tests or treatment. Anyway, my point was about how the chances are communicated.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15716 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Kyle: possibly one problem is this. Suppose the risk of problem X happening is tiny, maybe 1 in 10,000. Suppose a certain group "G" has double that risk, so 2 in 10,000.

    I'm not sure it's so useful in the abstract, but let's put your doubling figures in the real world.

    To take what Bolger was talking about if the likelihood of a person who is unemployed committing a property theft type crime is twice as much as an otherwise similar person who is fully employed, wouldn't that indicate to us another reason that we want to keep unemployment low? Given that there is a reasonable amount of property crime in NZ. And do some other things with unemployed people that make them less likely to commit crimes?

    I'm not opposed to what Jackie is saying - at the micro level all generalisations are wrong, and indeed at the macro level a bunch of them are as well. That doesn't make all statistical data gathered and put into groups useless.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    Great ending to a fine article.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 505 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    And, of course, Kyle I am in the position of not just teaching the families of beneficiaries, but PI beneficiaries. Who live in South Auckland. Triple whammy anyone?
    But funnily enough, I feel very very safe as I sit in the sun watching, and listening to, very happy, well loved, articulate, powerful little people running around. Because it's all about relationships. And as is so often the case with generalisations, and statistics, if you get to know the people who are being maligned, you find that things aren't so bad after all.

    And can I just say Russell that I was a bit shocked by your request, but thank you so much for letting me do this. There's some stuff I have been wanting to say for years about the communities I teach in, and the people I have the privilege of getting to know.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3112 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And can I just say Russell that I was a bit shocked by your request, but thank you so much for letting me do this

    I know when a person has something to say.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17941 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I will call them out.

    Thanks Jackie, you've bought facts and experience to debunk myth and prejudice. I spent most of the first 18 years of my life in Mangere, living and going to school. I get heartily sick of the shit that's heaped on my home town.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2185 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Oh, Petra. You don't need to justify yourself to anyone. You are a good mother. Are you there? Yes. Do you love your child? Yes. That someone's clothes are handed down, or that they don't have a job are not, as far as I am aware, any indicators of the quality of your mothering. I get so angry when I hear of women (or men) who feel lesser because they are staying at home with their children, especially if they do not have a choice. Because there are people out there who base the validity of their existence on how much they earn, and how many hours they work. For your child, none of that matters. If you love them, and you are there, that is enough. For me, as an educator, that is more than enough. For our society? We should be grateful that you are raising a child who knows what home baked bread tastes like. We should kiss your feet for looking after a woman that no-one else will care for. The State in my opinion should build an altar to people like you who care for other people. Because, at the end of the day, you matter more than you will ever know.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3112 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    To take what Bolger was talking about if the likelihood of a person who is unemployed committing a property theft type crime is twice as much as an otherwise similar person who is fully employed, wouldn't that indicate to us another reason that we want to keep unemployment low? Given that there is a reasonable amount of property crime in NZ. And do some other things with unemployed people that make them less likely to commit crimes?

    There's nothing inherently wrong with that approach in the abstract, but the devil is always in the details, and you can bet those details will be lost the moment a newspaper decides to write a story about any study like this. Not to mention the fact that causation is frequently extrapolated out of thin air when stats like these are published.

    It's also interesting to me that these studies always emphasise the demographics of the perpetrators but totally overlook the demographics of the victims. There's a pretty obvious subtext at work there.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 838 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Jackie - wonderful article!

    One of my sisters - a highly trained nurse- became a beneficiary when her husband left her for someone else. She had 3 kids, one just 4. She had left where her husband lived, and moved to another area - so the neighbours and the playcentre & school knew her as a 'welfare mum.'
    She found dealing with people at Social Welfare really difficult -"They treat you as you are there to cheat them personally." But the local community was fine - because a lot of other mums were in a similar position, and lot of other people were OAPs. And they all knew that everyone was doing their best by their kids, after Life had dealt them a fairly shitty hand...

    Petra - kindness and support to a whanau member can be very hard, but you truly do know who you are - a good woman and a bloody good mother, who never has to regret not doing their best for an auntie-

    and in this forum, we know about a wicked sense of humour and much life-wisdom as well - things will change for the better (it did for my sister.)

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

  • Petra,

    Thank you.

    I'm going to go for a walk in the forest now. Thank god the forest is there, so close to my door. It's wonderful place to hide and sob in.

    Thank you.

    Rotorua • Since Mar 2007 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • MikeE,

    I think Cresswell's point was far more to do with the fact that he was a recidivist criminal than the colour of his skin or socio economic group.

    as opposed to Russells description:

    "A 45 year-old man -- quiet and god-fearing, apparently -- was unable to accept the end of a relationship. He travelled to the building where his partner worked and, by tragic chance, found his own sister. He assaulted her. Austin Hemmings came to her aid (whether by physically intervening or simply attempting to summon help, it's not clear), was stabbed and died within minutes.
    The man arrested by police was not on bail or parole and apparently has no history of drug abuse or mental illness."

    which was clearly incorrect... I'd hardly describe someone who has previously killed someone he was stalking, and stabbed 3 others, as quite and god fearing, and the suggestion he wasn't out on bail or parole while correct was misleading considering his history.

    Kingsland • Since Nov 2006 • 138 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    Thankyou Jackie, great article, as others have said...

    But, I just want to play devil's advocate for a second, to run a suggestion by you...

    Seeing as attendance at kindy is not compulsory, could it be that you are already seeing a self-selected group of good parents? (ie. parent that care about their children's development and go out of their way to ensure it)

    Perhaps the "bad parents" (from any area, but particularly ones where money is especially tight) are less inclined send their kids to pre-school?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 782 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 10 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.