Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A thundering clash of perspectives

119 Responses

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  • izogi, in reply to Robert McLachlan,

    I think we're being unfair.

    Surely it's not Bill English's fault that the Parliamentary Service isn't a vindictive, punitive organisation that sees its mission as extracting a total and cruel financial efficiency from its beneficiaries at all costs, then aggressively attacking those who don't comply to the maximum extent afforded by the law.

    Naturally if it's anyone's fault, it's the Speaker's fault.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1104 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to Moz,

    There's not a win position for her, pretty much from last week.

    It's a pity for her party that Metiria didn't come to that conclusion last week because it would have saved them two MPs and a colossal amount of negative momentum in the media.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 293 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Moz,

    She was going to end up being forced to either accept whatever rumours media chose to publish and hope that the source eventually made themselves so untrustworthy the stories stopped

    It was quite striking that Morning Report made a point of saying that David Seymour had tried to shop them some bullshit rumours this week and they weren't having a bar of it. It was an unusually hot burn.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls,

    David Seymour is a prat who only survives because of regular government handouts.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 293 posts Report Reply

  • dcnbwz,

    I'm one of the people that Finlay MacDonald described as mewling in his Radio NZ piece. Metiria would have been a fantastic advocate inside parliament, and it upsets me greatly to see someone of great integrity, who really does have the people of New Zealand at heart, get treated this way.

    Yes I know, it's a game, there's rules etc etc, but right now I'm pretty saddened by the state of New Zealand, particularly the way Metiria was scrutinised and abused in the mainstream media, and by certain political parties (David Seymour in particular). I know Mathew Hooton takes great pleasure in victories like these for the right but that's the thing - it's a game to people like him. It's not to the New Zealanders who ARE in poverty, who can't afford to feed and house themselves and their families, who are under an incredibly punitive welfare system, with little hope of escaping it.

    I am upset that the failing health system, the failing mental health system, the failing corrupt police, the juked unemployment stats, the health of the rivers and conservation areas, and more and more are not under the same scrutiny. The increasing amounts of homelessness. The increasing inequality. The failures on housing.

    Why is this not front and centre this election? We are in serious trouble, and this government needs to be held to account in ways it hasn't had to.

    Instead the bullies seem to have won, aided and abetted by a corporate driven right wing media.

    Thank you for the post Russell, and the opportunity to post.

    uk • Since Sep 2009 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to dcnbwz,

    it's a game to people like him

    It's OK to game the system if you're part of the system :-(

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 293 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori,

    "Unlike Todd Barclay, Metiria Turei never treated those around her badly. Unlike Barclay, she didn’t brazenly lie to journalists."

    You might consider checking this out with people who work in Parliament who are not Greens.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori,

    "Unlike Barclay, she didn’t brazenly lie to journalists."

    So misrepresenting the truth is not lying?

    Perhaps it is more accurately behaviour identified by of the head of the UK civil service in the Spycatcher case - She was economical with the truth

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to dcnbwz,

    The increasing amounts of homelessness. The increasing inequality. The failures on housing. Why is this not front and centre this election? We are in serious trouble, and this government needs to be held to account in ways it hasn't had to. Instead the bullies seem to have won, aided and abetted by a corporate driven right wing media.

    But there's now a clear majority in favour of changing the government according to the poll. Provided there's no more own-goals on the left side, a govt dictated to by Winston remains likeliest outcome.

    In respect of the lack of forcefulness of the opposition, I believe it's because they read MMP as a competition rather than an opportunity for collaboration. Thus the zero-sum antics on the left. Democracy is a lowest-common-denominator design, thus the people get the representatives they identify with: those with an average level of intelligence. The system deselects anyone with a track record of competence in solving complex problems. Thus social problems - and those that are widespread are the most complex - tend to persist.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Wow, what did Metiria do to John Armstrong? Steal his walking stick and only give it back after she covered it with Green party stickers?

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    The system deselects anyone with a track record of competence in solving complex problems. Thus social problems – and those that are widespread are the most complex – tend to persist.

    I'm not sure, there's also an element of solutions being difficult.

    A few weeks ago I was at a presentation by Housing First about how they attempt to provide housing for the homeless. It was quite enlightening as one would think that the solution is simple - provide somewhere for them to live. But not so.

    Since Nov 2016 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Wow, what did Metiria do to John Armstrong?

    I noted this piece:

    and her convenient memory lapses regarding how much she diddled the taxpayer

    Is this Armstrong bloke known for lambasting the Nats for their regular 'memory lapses as well?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7480 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    What a horrible, unreflective column. Just awful.

    There are many people who hate beneficiaries. They also hate politicians. Put the two together and you get a very toxic and very explosive combination of nastiness.

    Many on the left have praised her for possessing the courage to tread in such dangerous territory.

    Many on the right would argue that doing so displayed a foolhardiness born of self-righteousness.

    An almost audible groan would rumble along the National Party’s benches at Parliament every time she rose to ask a question.

    They knew it was a cue for another sanctimonious lecture on National’s failures.

    And he has the nerve to assail her for being “mean-spirited”.

    It's just a truly ghastly example of the perils of spending too long in the Gallery.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Moz,

    In theory...

    Are you saying it's life Jim but not as we know it?

    Few - I suppose - would have found the tenancy tribunal or any other Government department as dogged and efficiently hostile as WINZ/MSD in its holding to account.

    Pointing out capitalism's folly is timely, then concluding as you have - on the struggles of the homeowner class - reductio ad absurdum - displacing the poverty and inequality central to the campaign, likewise is timely for some.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2122 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to mark taslov,

    Few - I suppose - would have found the tenancy tribunal or any other Government department as dogged and efficiently hostile as WINZ/MSD in its holding to account.

    My point was more that the bureaucrazy doesn't just trip up the poor, it trips up the PM and everyone in between too. I don't think any of us could cope with an "are you a law-abiding citizen" audit.

    The basic principle of British law is that everyone is guilty, the question is who should be prosecuted.

    One consequence is that anyone who falls foul of the legal system can be legally persecuted via investigation. It's technically not punishment, but after the third or fourth time the Police turn up to your workplace and take you away to "assist with inquiries" your employer is likely to lose interest in you. Ditto turning up to court, complying with tax audits and so on. All legal, no prosecution required. In the worst instance you get David Bain and Aurthur Allen Thomas.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1032 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Marama Davidson on Twitter today deserves a signal boost:

    Final reading of Treaty Settlements in House 2day. Relevant since our whole country is apparently outraged about historic lying & stealing.

    I give zero fucks about the details of Metiria Turei’s personal life, then or now. She stood up for those of us who are disenfranchised and despised. She did it because it was the right thing to do, not because it would be popular. She represented those of us too scared to speak for ourselves.

    We know benefits aren’t enough to live on. They’re designed not to be. This is wrong, much more wrong than the actions of any individual could possibly be.

    We also need an inquiry into the historic abuse of children in state care. While Metiria is excoriated for her devotion to her child, no one seems to give a rat’s arse about the thousands of children brutalised by the state.

    Not to mention the ongoing suffering of dispossessed Maori that Marama Davidson is talking about.

    Metiria and the Greens have cracked this conversation wide open. It’s not over.

    I’ve never belonged to a political party before, but I’ve just joined the Greens. It costs $20, or $5 for those of us on low incomes. Metiria’s just one person: together, we have the power to make NZ a better place.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3884 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Moz,

    still sounds to me like ’all 'trips' are equal but some trips are more equal than others’.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2122 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Thorpe,

    Very good work, Russell.
    Why did an extremely loveable onetime-solo-mum bring herself and her party to this point when the always unsympathetic treasury wonk get away with much worse?
    He paid it back. He followed legal advice. He did not strike a defiant public position.
    I am so depressed by so many old friends and warriors-in-arms who are snarling about white male privilege, etc, etc
    it is lawyer's advice 101
    Pay up,
    say you were mistaken
    do not seek martyrdom.

    Hokianga • Since May 2007 • 51 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    Jan Logie told Seymour to his face last night, on Backbenches, that he disgusts her (around 7m30s).

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1104 posts Report Reply

  • Ianmac, in reply to izogi,

    I always thought Seymour was sort of interesting to listen to. When I saw him on Backbenches, and Read of his vindictive trash talk, I too found him disgusting. If he represents the true nature of Act then damn them.

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to izogi,

    That question asked on Backbenchers about Robin Hood, reminded me how the Tops party would like to see superannuation beneficiaries means tested, then money that rich old people don’t need, transferred to children who do need it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3865 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to steven crawford,

    That question asked on Backbenchers about Robin Hood, reminded me how the Tops party would like to see superannuation beneficiaries means tested, then money that rich old people don’t need, transferred to children who do need it.

    "He steals from the poor, and gives to the rich, stupid bitch."

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4524 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    An almost audible groan would rumble along the National Party’s benches at Parliament every time she rose to ask a question.

    They knew it was a cue for another sanctimonious lecture on National’s failures.

    Opposition MP in Criticising Government Shock! The nerve of the woman.

    If nothing else, the past few days have shown us what a real Derangement Syndrome looks like.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1213 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    I have every sympathy for her, but still felt a sneaking suspicion the 'moral choice' was laid on a little thick (forced to lie 'to feed my baby' vs 'to pay the rent').

    Yes, her use of the 'feed my baby' line made me cringe/uneasy - it focused the issue on DPB recipients; young mothers who have children while not being in a stable relationship.

    I feared it would unfortunately serve to reinforce that ancient (but surviving) concept of the 'undeserving poor' from Victorian times;

    http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com/part-2-deserving-or-undeserving-poor/

    Problem is, society it seems to me today has less empathy, less understanding, less tolerance and more animosity than our Victorian counterparts - and a general view now that all poor are undeserving.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 760 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Well it certainly shows through in the way that we so often talk about child poverty instead of just poverty, even if just to try to make an argument which seems less negotiable.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1104 posts Report Reply

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