Posts by Tom Semmens

  • Hard News: On benefit fraud, in reply to Sacha,

    Eastern suburbs have that vibe when I venture there. Two nations.

    It is the culture shift that occurs when you have massive inequality. Perfectly nice middle class Chileans know nothing and care even less for the people who live in the slums of Santiago, beyond seeing them as an irritant that entails much higher security measures.

    The rich white Castelano population of Venezuela didn't give a shit about the poor there either.

    We have to accept tat this culture shift has occurred here as well. It is why the poor are now invisible, why the media treats low income/poor NZ as a foreign country and why Mike Hoskings can live with 250,000 children growing up in poverty.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2089 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: On benefit fraud, in reply to Sacha,

    I have heard allegations she was receiving undeclared income from a rental property.

    Now, I don’t know if this is true or not. But let’s assume it is. The thing is this is how the NZ economy operates in the real world. Cash job discount here, a little bit of undeclared income there, let’s not mention the boarders over here or the barter off the books. And the reason it operates that way is because for thirty years governments of both stripes have successfully driven wages and benefits down. To stay afloat through tough times millions of NZer’s have turned to the black economy and become sharp practitioners and/or minor fraudsters against the state. The middle class single income and a bit of overtime Dad with Mum at home world of the early 1980s has been replaced by middle class dual incomes and a converted garage granny flat paying cash rent, just to maintain a middle class standard of living – and even then, we’ve relied on the exploitation of slave wage labour offshore to drive down the prices of the things the middle class like to have. The dole and the DPB etc etc are now weaponised tools of humiliation and oppression designed to strip people of their dignity and keep them in grinding poverty. That undeclared boarder paying $150 a week most likely is what keeps all your kid’s school fees paid.

    The problem with the likes of that hyper-arsehole Farrar and the rest of the pompous pricks who sit high and mighty in judgment is they are fat and sleek from the winnings of being on the bosses side of neoliberalism. They’ve allowed themselves to be persuaded that the bullshit from the bankers and crackpot economists like Eric Crampton at places like the New Zealand institute about our economy is the truth.

    More than anything, the trials of Turei and Bennett – about the only two MPs who experienced welfare post Richardson – is an unwelcome intrusion of reality into the rarified income strata of the ruling elites. Of the two of them, one took the lesson and vowed to try and make sure no one else was ever in her position. The other one turned into a class traitor who kicks the down and outs as a way to assuage her sense of humiliation. I guess that is about the right ratio for that sort of thing as well.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2089 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: On benefit fraud, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    while now WINZ feels like weaponised war on the poor.

    Chris Trotter describes it as an "Empire of cruelty" and, having had some interaction with them in the last year I can see why. I did OK - for reasons to do with race and privilege - but even then, after being employed for a six months I got a letter from section of WINZ or another demanding repayment of $200. I knew they were in the wrong. I had carefully ensured my benefit ended exactly when it should of and I had the bank payments to prove it. I couldn't be bothered going through the rigmarole of fighting them, so I just coughed up. The sooner tey are out of my life the better, I reasoned.

    But the atmosphere of the average WINZ office lingers. They are not places of social security, where sympathetic staff help the worst dregs, the down and out, the defeated, the sick, halt and lame, the temporarily embarassed and the middle class redundancy victims. They were places of colonial administration of a class of people all branded indolent and hopeless . Like all colonial officers they were protected by security guards, the state as an occupation administration of it's own people. And like all colonial governments, the cruelty was casual, normalised, and in the best interests of the natives.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2089 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: On benefit fraud,

    I never had a cash bar job at the cossie club when I was on the dole for a while in the early 1990s either.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2089 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Genter's Bill: Starting at…,

    I would be opposed to any “reform” that simply de facto legalised pot without a wider review of al policies pertaining to our already drug soaked society.

    Simply legalising pot (and therefore pot abuse) to a society that already heavily abuses alcohol will do nothing for the out of control youth suicide rate.

    All we will be doing is creating even more completely out of it candidates for A&E on the weekend, and removing whatever few social constraints remain around drug abuse amongst the most vulnerable parts of our society.

    IMHO, If I were an MP I would vote to keep pot illegal, until we are ready confront the wider question of alcohol and drug abuse in our society.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2089 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Britain: the crisis isn't…, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Yeah, I think the OP could win some kind of award for outstanding un-prescience.

    To be fair, none of the liberal bourgeoisie echo chamber picked up any hint of the outcome.

    To me, the outstanding thing about the Labour campaign was firstly how accurately they summed up their chances within the existing neo liberal straight jacket and secondly how they parlayed that no chance into a high risk strategy to smash out of the neo liberal straight jacket. They knew they had no chance, so they went for the doctor with their manifesto and attacked conventional wisdom. Bold and visionary and hopeful to the point of madness, but it worked.

    The contrast with the Labour party here is painful. You would have to go a long way to find an organisation with a more pathetic collection of talentless and listless bourgeoisie losers. Where Corbynistas smashed the straight jacket, Little Labour welcomes it's embrace. Where U.K. Labour is bold, NZ Labour is timid. Where U.K. Labour is visionary, NZ's seeks nothing but managerialism. About the only thing they have in common is hope, although in NZ's case it is hope they'll make until next year.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2089 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Barclay and arrogance,

    The oddest bit about this whole scandal is how unnecessary it is. All English/Barclay had to do was blame it on the uncertain decision making of the still raw youth of the none the less talented tyro, tossled his hair, apologised profusely to all and sundry, and moved on and (much as one wonders if the equally youthful Chloe Swarbrick would secretly record her staff) the story would be dead.

    Instead, you’ve got less a tyro than a shifty wannabe tyrant and a stupid scandal born of arrogance.

    One other angle about this interests me. This story was the work of newsroom.co.nz, which meant that TVNZ, TV3 and all the rest of the MSM ran extensively with it as not coming from a major rival. If it had been the work of, say, TV3 would TVNZ have covered it to the same extent? I doubt it. And it would have died quickly.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2089 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Barclay and arrogance, in reply to BenWilson,

    They could have stood a convicted murderer there and got in with a handy majority.

    Oh come now, surely it would depend on who they murdered.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2089 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Barclay and arrogance, in reply to Sacha,

    factional horse trading

    seems to underlie this Barclay debacle

    Exactly! How that jumped up toff got the nod in the first place is the real mystery.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2089 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Barclay and arrogance, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    A tone deaf government who are walking blindfolded and still no traction from the opposition :)

    Labour’s caucus is full of political deadbeats and no hopers who are just happy to be in the best paid job they are ever likely to have. They owe their jobs to factional horse trading rather than any discernible skill at the cut and thrust of politics.

    Their lack of political cunning and mongrel political ambition shows through time and time again both in omission and commission.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2089 posts Report Reply

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