Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Where and when will it end?

Here is a mother on a Sole Parent Support benefit. She has four children and debt to MSD of nearly $10,000. She repays $46 out of the basic benefit of $386 each week and says, 

"It’s a big difference 'cause we need that money. It’s not enough, even the benefits not enough. If they cannot do anything then we’re going to need a new Government that cares." 

Put aside that on top of the basic weekly rate of $386.78 she'll receive:

Souh Auckland accommodation Supplement = $305 max

Family tax credits for four children = $386.79

That's $1,078.57

And putting aside that there are many other top-ups including for non-repayable grants rent, food, etc...

Where is the father or fathers of her four children?

Why has she no sense of personal agency?

Where did she learn the mindset of entitlement?

What are her four children learning from her?

And why do idiot journalists frame her situation (and thousands of others) as being put into debt by the government because they don't earn enough on their benefit? (You'll have to watch the newsclip for that additional contortion of the facts).

Sunday, April 11, 2021

ACT MP Karen Chhour off to a good start

 From Newshub:

ACT is accusing Labour MP Willie Jackson of "perpetuating a victimhood mentality" for saying we have "institutional racism" in "every area of New Zealand society"...

...ACT's Social Development and Children spokesperson Karen Chhour calls these "inflammatory comments" which will "only perpetuate a victimhood mentality".

"Constantly blaming racism for the problems faced by Māori is wrong. We can't move forward as a nation if that is our only response," she says in a statement.

"Rather than using such divisive language, our Government should be uniting New Zealanders behind good ideas that lift everyone up.

"Jackson's comments also promote a narrative that all Māori are the same and that we don't have our own individual aspirations." 

Chhour criticised Jackson, saying Labour had shown it doesn't believe in 'by Māori, for Māori' solutions in the past.

"[Jackson's] waatea (organisation) sponsored a charter school, but his own party completely opposed the concept and shut it down," Chhour says.

"Labour likes to believe it is the saviour of Māori, but it clearly has no idea how to fix our country's deeply-ingrained problems."

Karen is totally sincere in her comments. I have been meaning to put up her Maiden Speech and now is a good time to do it. Too often children are politicised. They are used to promote leftist ideology: greater state redistribution of wealth. Chhour's speech left me in no doubt that she actually does want to improve children's lives, especially Maori children.

Thursday, April 08, 2021

The worst form of racism

The worst form of racism perpetrated against Maori is that "they all think the same way."

They don't. Never have and never will.

I was just watching this Billy Te Kahika episode from Christchurch today.

Yet another freedom of speech issue. Another case of  'social media'  quashing real life gatherings.

We all have to rally behind the freedom to speak and be heard. 

If we allow ourselves to be divided racially by political manipulation (current modus operandi), we get weaker - not stronger.

Monday, April 05, 2021

Sexist, ageist AND racist

 Is it interesting that of those people convicted of breaching covid 19 restrictions 

- most were men

- around half were under 30

- around half were Maori.

Pretty much the same story as other crime.

Proves yet again the justice system is institutionally sexist, ageist AND racist!

(And before anyone thinks I am condoning people being convicted of breaching covid 19 restrictions, I fully expect that they were concurrent charges to some other law-breaking offences).

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Damien Grant nails it

Great column from Damien Grant this morning. It nails the frustration that those of us older than most current  MPs feel.

"One of the economic lessons we are determined not to learn is that government cannot regulate prosperity. Each generation must learn, from scratch, this lesson. Helpfully, we already know the script.

A successful economy is, over time, corroded by a growing layer of restrictions. Each set of regulations imposes an unintended and unanticipated cost or outcome. This necessitates further rules and government oversight. Eventually the entire system becomes so overwhelmed that it either grinds to a halt or there is a sudden and dramatic economic liberalisation."


Friday, April 02, 2021

Sense out of Britain which seems to be re-gaining its wits faster than some other countries

 According to today's Economist

A commission in Britain that was created after last year’s Black Lives Matter protests to investigate racial disparities concluded that race is less important than social class and family structure in explaining inequality. On schooling, the report found that most children from ethnic-minority groups did as well or better than their white peers. It added that the catch-all term BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) was not very useful. The report contradicted the claims of critical race theorists, some of whom claim that white privilege is the prime cause of most disparities.

It's lengthy and I have only scanned through it but the conclusion, which I've reproduced here in full gives some idea of the clarity of thought and open-mindedness demonstrated by the commissioners. You can download the report from:

"We have tried in this report to present a new race agenda for the country, relevant to people from all backgrounds.

Rather than just highlighting minority disparities and demanding the government takes action, we have tried to understand why they exist in the first place.

That has meant some challenging conversations about today’s complex reality of ethnic advantage and disadvantage, a reality no longer captured by the old idea of BAME versus White Britain.

We have focused not just on persistent race-based discrimination but on the role of cultural traditions, including family, within different minority groups, the overlap between ethnic and socio-economic disadvantage, and the agency we have as individuals and groups.

And we believe that perhaps more than previous reports on these issues a degree of optimism is justified. Our agenda is rooted in the significant progress we have made as well as the challenges that remain.

We were established as a response to the upsurge of concern about race issues instigated by the BLM movement. And we owe the mainly young people behind that movement a debt of gratitude for focusing our attention once again on these issues.

But most of us come from an older generation whose views were formed by growing up in the 1970s and 1980s. And our experience has taught us that you do not pass on the baton of progress by cleaving to a fatalistic account that insists nothing has changed.

And nor do you move forward by importing bleak new theories about race that insist on accentuating our differences. It is closer contact, mutual understanding across ethnic groups and a shared commitment to equal opportunities that has contributed to the progress we have made.

Too many people in the progressive and anti-racism movements seem reluctant to acknowledge their own past achievements, and they offer solutions based on the binary divides of the past which often misses the point of today’s world.

We have paid close attention to the data and tried to avoid sweeping statements or over-ambitious targets and recommendations. Instead, our recommendations have tried to account for the messy reality of life and have been aimed, where possible, at everyone who is disadvantaged, not just those from specific ethnic groups.

Many of our recommendations, on Class B drugs or extending school hours for example, are aimed especially at the COVID-blighted generation of young people. Others focus on better use of data and the development of digital tools to promote fairness at work or for keeping young people out of trouble.

We have also acknowledged where we do not know enough and called for further research on what works in promoting fairness at work, and the role of the family and the reasons behind the success of those minority groups that have been surging forward into the middle class and the elite.

We focused our recommendations on the 4 broad categories of change that the Commission wishes to affect – build trust, promote fairness, create agency, and achieve inclusivity – and never assumed that minorities are inert victims of circumstance. As mentioned in the foreword the fact that most of us are successful minority professionals has no doubt shaped this thinking. And our experience of ethnic minority Britain from the inside makes it obvious to us that different groups are distinguished in part by their different cultural patterns and expectations, after all that is what multiculturalism was supposed to be about. It is hardly shocking to suggest that some of those traditions can help individuals succeed more than others.

Beneath the headlines that often show egregious acts of discrimination, the Windrush scandal most recently, incremental progress is being made as our report has shown beyond doubt. Through focusing on what matters now, rather than refighting the battles of the past, we want to build on that progress.

Finally, a thanks to all those individuals and organisations from across the country who gave us their time to to share their perspectives and evidence, and explain how their inspiring projects are helping to build a fairer Britain.

The year 2022 promises to be a special one: a new energy as we are fully released from COVID captivity, The Queen’s 70th Jubilee and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. And we hope it will be infused with the spirit of British optimism, fairness and national purpose that was captured by that 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, and has animated this report."

Thursday, April 01, 2021

April 1 marks another egregious error by this government

Indexing benefits to wages last year set a precedent. They've been indexed to inflation since 2001 but indexing to wages had always been resisted.

For many people the margin between income from a benefit and income from work is a cost they are prepared to pay. Fix that margin and they will always be prepared to pay it. Increase the margin and work becomes attractive.

Covid highlighted NZ's heavy reliance on imported workers in areas where benefit dependence is also high. With benefits linked to wages, that's the way it will stay.

The previous Labour government (a godsend compared to this lot) understood the importance of keeping a margin:

 "...it is desirable to create a margin between being dependent on a benefit and being in employment....

The Labour Party isn’t the party that says living on a benefit is a preferred lifestyle. Its position has always been that the benefit system is a safety net for those who are unavoidably unable to participate in employment. From its history, the Labour Party has always been about people in employment."

Michael Cullen, 2008

Not Jacinda's Labour Party.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Herbie in stages

 Having a bit of a tidy up when I came across these photos which show the development of one of my favourite subjects and paintings, Herbie: