Tuesday, November 22, 2011

1200 children born today might well be dead if they had been born in the 1960s

I am watching the Bryan Bruce documentary on child poverty and am completely exasperated. So much is left unsaid. He blames Rogernomics for everything that is wrong with children's health. His slant is thoroughly political despite contrary pleading that child welfare is an ethical and moral problem.

New Zealand apparently used to be a socialist Utopia. That is stated baldly. Bryan Bruce, who looks of a similar age to me, grew up in a country where children got a free bottle of milk everyday and so we lived in paradise.

Putting aside non-fatal preventable disease, as I pointed out earlier, in 1960 the infant mortality rate was 23 per 1,000 infants. Today the figure is 4.8.

So let's frame those statistics in Bryan's terms when he says, "150 babies died in New Zealand last year who might well be alive if they had been born in Sweden, Japan or even the Czech Republic."

1200 children born today might well be dead if they had been born in the 1960s. Born into that socialist era when New Zealanders, as he put it, owned everything including electricity and the rail, and our agricultural products had guaranteed access to the British market.

Thank God we have moved on.

Sweden. He shows two Dads with their toddlers at a kindy-like centre. In Sweden parents get 480 days parental leave which they can share. Then they go back to work. Sole parent or not.

Here we have allowed sole parents to make a lifestyle out of benefits with no requirement to go back to work - if they have ever been in work. Mr Bruce didn't illuminate the circumstances of all the children on benefits be detailed. Never did he mention that most are on the DPB.

He took us into homes in East Porirua where the children and parent had moved into the one room that wasn't mouldy rendering them "over-crowded". Why didn't they clean the mould from the other rooms away? I have to do it upstairs in our house. The bathroom curtain has been bleached; then later dyed; and eventually replaced with a cheap Warehouse wooden blind. The bedroom windows and window sills need the blackened grime removed regularly. The walls feature some mould from time to time but I keep on top of it. This all happens because we can't afford to heat the whole house in winter. But we own it and want to protect it. In state houses it looks like the tenants expect someone else to do the upkeep, including cleaning.

I am angry and appalled. Not because the state is failing these people and their children. But because the PARENTS themselves are failing their children. Yes, some of their homes are irredeemable hovels needing attention but I also know that periodically the authorities come in and repair and renovate yet the results are not appreciated or cared for. Thus, over time, they degenerate once more.

Their children resemble their homes. In preventable neglected condition.


Anonymous said...

I'm completely disguisted by this show.

I can't believe my tax dollars are wasted on bludgers living in hovels who simply don't care about their kids - or else they'd choose to live elsewhere!

The solution is simple: stop the benefits

No benefits means no kids living in "poverty"
--- but actually living of my taxes.

mojo said...

Mmmm ... we have had this discussion previously. Rogernomics (or simply an IMF driven ideology) and his 'trickle down' theory had to be effective quickly in order to avert a growing benefit dependent underclass - and it didnt work at all. It marked a loss of economic sovereignty, of the removal of export incentives and consequent demise of many a business - it transformed the Hawkes Bay, and many another place, in to a third world economy - businesses that supported the questionably employable were demised, and those questionably employable were least able to cope with the ensuing unemployment and lack of routine.
Hence a cross generational benefit class, an intensifying sense of entitlement, a growing self-serving dishonesty and maximising benefits attitude ... and with this a developing fertile bed for child neglect, child abuse and many another excess and deficit.
The only winners were roger's cronies who walked off with the spoils.
I attribute the douglas lange combine with having executed the biggest fraud/deceit/disservice to NZ ever with the greatest negative impact on the general populace.
What is more frightening at the moment are the international unfoldings occurring with elected leaders being supplanted by unconscienced (singularly agenda -ed) unelected money manipulators ... something that I hope we have not 'pre-empted' here by electing one of the same. I fear another deceit in the wind.
The issues we have now are system generated ... to attribute them to a lack of moral fibre and such is simply an attempt to abrogate responsibility for having a significant hand in their cause.
Comparing infant mortality rates in 1960 with violent deaths in 2010 is a tad tenuous. Why not being able to get a simple operation in 1980 in the public system, with not being able to in 2011 because one is not debilitated enough?
The shift from a full employment economy and move to a deregulated market marked the move away from socially focussed governments - government is no longer for the people.

Anonymous said...

Mojo - what stops an adult cleaning their damn house and making sure it stays clean?

The only excuses for living in a feral hovel is you are too damn lazy, you are physically incapable (bed ridden), or you are so retarded you fail to understand the principles of basic hygeine (that have been well understood for over 100 years).

In most instances the solution is simple - public shaming.

Ford Anglia

onelaw4all said...

Here is Brian Bruce on Kiwi FM talking about his "documentary"

See if you can work out what he was about to say and just pulls out of (around the 10.40 mark)
Quite a giveaway as to where his worldview lies.


Mark.V. said...

Interesting that the programme was broadcast in the final days of the election campaign.

Oswald Bastable said...

Your last sentence say it all!

James said...

Lindsay....make into a piece for the Herald asap....very good and so needed to counter the lefty dross.

James said...

My Grandparents in England rented a house during the 1920's.They were average to lower class working people but still painted , wallpapered and took care of the place as if it were their own.The welfare pampered (by comparison) types here in NZ today who can't give a damn about trying to improve their surrounding and chose to live like animals are moaning,pathetic scum and deserve to live in a ditch.

Anonymous said...

In the middle of the day, the bedrooms sleeping multiple people had the curtains shut (not using the sun for latent heat) and the windows closed (no ventilation) so of course there will be mould growing.

Mark Hubbard said...

Commenters like mojo really dishearten me with their false assumptions. You know nothing about Rogernomics, Mojo. I actually agree with Lindsay Perigo's analysis of Douglas, in that he was no freedom fighter, but I do thank him for the freeing up of the markets that he did manage compared to what existed previously. Lange's cup of tea was such a shame.

Mojo states:

The only winners were roger's cronies who walked off with the spoils.

Such nonsense. If mojo read about the period he would know that when Labour took power from the ultra-Statist Muldoon, NZ, as a country, was actually broke - no thanks to Think Big, wage freezes, centralised economic planning such as NZ had never seen. On election night, Lange and Rogers realised they couldn't even pay the country's interest bill the next week. It could well be argued they had no choice in anything they did.

Further, just to pick one instance, the deregulation of the agricultural industries that Rogers conducted set NZ up as the world's most efficient and productive farmer, a fact which we still reap the rewards from - all of us - today, because agriculture is the only healthy sector of our economy. Just a pity that Labour squandered the best decade of commodity prices to grow the welfare state through a 57% increase in government spend up to 2008, which has doomed the children in this documentary to the poverty they're in today.

Go and read history, mojo, without the blinkers on.

Anonymous said...

Of course, the documentary does not mention the downside of government’s over involvement and control of the lives of children as demonstrated by the case of Domenic Johansson. Domenic was 7 when taken by the Swedish equivalent of CYFS after years of battling the social services over not sending Domenic to pre-school and not giving him the government’s “recommended” — though technically optional — vaccines. He is now 9 and has not been returned to his family. Home-schooling was technically legal in Sweden at the time, but a new law is expected to ban it late this year. New Zealand has one of the best home educating environments in the world. We should not sacrifice this freedom for the Swedish model.
For more information read: http://friendsofdomenic.blogspot.com

mojo said...

Mark ... the history you relate is retrospective rationalisation obviously gleaned from someone's memoirs who was party to one of the biggest cons, as I said, in NZ history. If it is from Perigo, then it is from someone who was indeed an active party to the press-driven, false flag operation that required a conjured emotional intensity and consequent blindness to effect the will of the then idealogues - and it is this change that has seen the notion purveyed that the 'free market' will solve all. Instead it has simply offered a singular 'return to shareholder' focus that has been able to self-righteously ignore any collateral damage. Contrivance and manipulation only marginally different from what is currently happening in the EU.
All sad really - it indicates rule by self-serving, self defined 'elitists,' non representative government and a loss of freedoms through the imposition of their 'grander' knowledge ... and there are many examples of this.
The unfortunate attitude the Douglas era brought to NZ politics, and which remains, was the dismissive view that 'where there are livestock, there are deadstock.'
It is also rather sad to see that this ideology is still blindly being pursued ... and with Lindsay Perigo as source material ... gosh.

mojo said...

Hehe Mark ... I just googled you ... so you and Mr Perigo are almost bed mates ... nice.

Anonymous said...

Ther are no so blind as those who will not see.

Eh Mojo?


Mark Hubbard said...

Mojo, try differentiating crony capitalism, the Statist system we have now, and laissez faire, which is not even necessarily pro-business, it just means without regulation and limited government. My ability to live a life, free of you, and you of me. Why are you so scared of that?

And now you tell me what would have happened, in the context of the time, if that Labour government had not made the reforms they did. No rhetoric needed, just a practical analysis of how you would've pulled the country through the bankruptcy it was in (and no point using the Soviet Union method, the only thing that manner of planning people's lives for them proved good at was killing people).

Anonymous said...

As a former resident of Waitangirua, as a child who grew up in a household that was headed by a sole parent who relied (for a while) on benefits I found the whole documentury an insult.

The message was clearly that the gummint must do everything. As I grew up, my family relied on community charity (through our church) and self reliance. Our family ate a lot of home grown vegetables. I hate swede and broad beans - how many kids on the documentary have eaten them?

I learnt that work brings more rewards than welfare, that the only long term way out of poverty is to not look to others for wealth.

I went to a college that drew it students from Poriura, Tawa, Titahi Bay, Whitby and Pukerua Bay. Since leaving many different things have happened for my classmates. But one key thing is the upbringing didn't reflect the outcome. Poor kids who took every oppurtunity and worked hard are now middle class or better.

Conversely, a couple of kids went from middle class to relying on welfare. One is now in prison for life. Others are now in 40 and achieved very little in life.

Anonymous said...

how you would've pulled the country through the bankruptcy it was in

Well tell us how you'd pull us through the bankruptcy we're in now

NZ's economic position is worse than Spain, on a par with Greece and Ireland. That's worse than '84 and '91.

We need immediate, decisive, and yes unpopular policies to get through now like we did then.

And those policies preclude paying welfare, housing, health, and education to bludgers.

Shazza said...

Though I agree the documentary showed a lot of bias, it doesn't mean it wasn't relevant. It was oversimplified, but it was an hour long, you can't say everything in one hour.

I also agree that the parents are letting the kids down through neglect.

However, your blog disappointed me. Why do we focus on the parents? Why not focus on the appalling fact that 1 in 5 NZ kids live in poverty.

These parents will get old (or sick) and die. The kids are our future. Educate them. To do this successfully they need to be warm, fed and healthy.

Cut the DBP by 50% and provide breakfast, lunch and healthcare in schools. Improve state housing and rental housing standards.

The educated middle/upper class need to stop sitting on our hands whining that 'it's the parents fault' and find and advocate solutions.

Anonymous said...

I've read a few comments now on this documentary, and am endlessly frustrated by those that use it as an opportunity to complain about the parents/benefits etc.
Surely the point is not what we think of the parents, but how we can ensure that children are fed, clothed, properly housed, and educated to their potential, regardless of their parents' priorities?