Sunday, September 06, 2009

An "endearing" Minister

Colin James wrote a column in The Press last week about Key's continuing popularity. Since then a Roy Morgan poll has the National-led government up further to 60 percent. One of the comments Colin James makes is this;

So Paula Bennett can make gaffes, some serious, and Key can rely on the public seeing them as endearing.

Beyond gaffes, other aspects of Paula Bennett's life also endear her to the public. Maori solo mum made good - great role model stuff. Her new westie-chick car. Her forgiving Christian attitude to the young man her daughter is involved with. Her ballsy intervention in a shopping mall fracas.

But here's the question. Will New Zealand be well-served by an endearing Minister of Social Development? Is she going to be the Mother Theresa of beneficiaries when the time is well-overdue for some tough love?

Young women on benefits have a strange attitude to life in my experience. They are waiting for it to start. Like, one day, they are going to be a lawyer or something. And when you ask when they are going to start doing the work that will be required (which is usually going back to NCEA level and passing some exams) their eyes glaze over. One day.

It is quite likely one day will never come but the dole will keep on coming. They can just keep on living in limbo, making themselves feel good about it because they have ambitions, like, y'know.

Sure they aren't all in this mold. But the ones that aren't are self-motivated. The Minister doesn't need to lose any sleep over them. She does need to be thinking hard, very hard, about what will shake up the others. And it isn't a hey girlfriend approach.

3 comments:

Oswald Bastable said...

"Young women on benefits have a strange attitude to life in my experience. They are waiting for it to start. Like, one day, they are going to be a lawyer or something. And when you ask when they are going to start doing the work that will be required (which is usually going back to NCEA level and passing some exams) their eyes glaze over. One day."

Yep, heard that one before- just stick the Tui logo onto the end of it!

"I'm going to get a really good job that pays heaps..."

Opinionated Mummy said...

What was it that my neighbour's daughter said? Something like "I don't really want to go back to school or work so I'll just have a baby. Like, y'know. You're lucky having three - you don't have to work anymore cos the gummint will give you money now." She didn't get it when I replied that even if I did qualify for government money, I wouldn't take it.

Thankfully she doesn't seem to be pregnant yet to, but then I see the family... Monkey see....do.

So far I haven't been swept up by Bennett-mania, but I will be willing to rethink that if she succeeds in changing those who are unwilling or unable to break out of the cycle.

Well said, Lindsay.

Anonymous said...

Once again: the only solution to this is to terminate all benefit payments. It is quick, it is simple, it saves vast amounts of money (enough to zero all corporate taxes), and it means we can wipe out huge amounts of government bureaucracy as well.

There is no other effective solution to this problem.