Jeepers. 8 years ago today I wrote my first blog post. Thinking back, the 2005 election had just been fought and lost. ACT dropped to 2 MPs and despite National going close, three more years of Labour and the Greens was on the cards.
Seems a strange time to start a blog but I didn't feel defeated. Just frustrated. Labour seemed lost for welfare reform ideas but hellbent on greater wealth redistribution to the middle voters. After Maharey there was a succession of lacklustre Social Development ministers. Sue Bradford got a lot of air wave time. I was still nagging away about the paucity of robust statistical data and the futility of continuing to throw money at the problems caused by ...throwing money at problems.
Under National there has been more transparency. A good deal more data is reported, although MSD's performance in responding to OIAs is abysmal. I must write a separate post about that.
Generally, the public now knows more about what is driving child poverty and are able to voice their opposition to welfare misuse without getting shouted down as beneficiary bashers. The good thing about the left making this issue, alongside inequality, their platform for 2014, is plenty of opportunities arise to disagree with their analysis and solutions.
And continue to disagree, counter and dispute I will.
RIP Craig Norgate
28 minutes ago