Friday, November 13, 2015

Chris Trotter's feminist phonyism

Pompous prat Chris Trotter is parading his feminist solidarity by scolding Michelle Boag for not exhorting National women MPs to join the parliament walk-out earlier this week.

It's a feeble, non-factual play from the willfully ignorant Marxist.

Rather than pouring scorn on the women from the Opposition, Boag should have been upbraiding her sisters in the National Party for not having the courage to join the Opposition women’s protest. Then again, perhaps the National women were happy to go along with their party leader’s cynical exploitation of such emotionally-charged words as “rapist”, “murderer” and “child-molester” to distract the nation from their government’s failure to adequately defend the rights of New Zealanders detained in Australia’s concentration camps.
Perhaps, if New Zealand was blessed with a Women’s Minister who was happy to describe herself as a feminist, a mass walk-out of all women MPs might have been the result. Perhaps, if the last two Ministers for Social Development, both of them women, had been willing to educate their male colleagues about the endless, wearing, anxiety of being a woman without resources or influence, with two or three children to house, feed, educate and keep healthy on a Sole Parent Support benefit of $295.37 per week, there would have been no need.
This idiot arrogantly calls for "male" National MPs to be "educated", yet can't even educate himself.

The income he cites as causing "endless, wearing, anxiety" is under half of the actual average income a sole parent receives.

Not a sentence he writes is worth serious consideration when the substance behind them is so wanting.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Desperate to be victims

Several female opposition MPs declared that they are victims of sexual abuse, presumably to stake their credentials for a parliament walk-out today.

The day I declare myself a victim is the day I lose control of my life.

These are not "courageous" women. They are politicians doing what politicians do best - theatre.

How beneficiaries have experienced the welfare reforms

Left-wing beneficiary advocates have constantly criticised the use of sanctions (cuts to benefit payments)  to enforce work and social obligations. The CPAG has written entire papers about them. (Even Carmel Sepuloni jumps on the band wagon periodically despite Labour being the government that instigated the regime.)

Here's a typical example:

 Lisa Woolley, the president of the Council of Christian Social Services, said the numbers were shocking.
She said the first thing to go when budgets were cut was food, but some may also be struggling with rent, which could lead to overcrowding.
"The impact on the health for children on overcrowding is huge and also when you think of the children being moved from house to house, it's their education that gets impacted," she said.

MSD has now conducted some  qualitative research into how beneficiaries have perceived and experienced the welfare reforms. From the findings comes this:

Clients who had been sanctioned said the experience had encouraged them to swiftly visit their case manager, and had not impacted on their wellbeing
The few clients interviewed who said that they had been sanctioned reported that they had quickly fulfilled Work and Income requirements to restore their benefits.
While they did not feel that the sanctions had impacted their work search or their wellbeing, receiving notice of the sanction had encouraged a swift visit to their case manager.[My emphasis]

Granted the sample is very small. "Only five of the 140 clients spoken to in the evaluation remembered having their benefit suspended or reduced." But their actual experience is counter to the what anti-reformists want us to believe.

Generally, the overall responses are a mixed bag. There are misconceptions about changes (formed by listening to the media apparently), and adherence to old benefit names. However, a broad understanding that there's a much stronger emphasis on finding work has developed.

If your views of WINZ were formed solely on the negativity pushed by the left, the positivism and even appreciation among interviewees would surprise. The over-riding impression I am left with though is the case manager relationship is all important to beneficiaries experience of  and attitude to the reforms. The beneficiaries take on the reforms should not be discounted or downplayed. There is wisdom in the old adage, you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. I am a great believer in persuasion over force.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Little shows how well-qualified for the job he is

Politicians in particular are creatures who use statistics to suit their own purposes. They have no compunction in spinning the worst scenarios when in opposition and Andrew Little is right up there.

According to the NZ Herald:

[Little] said 305,000 children were living in poverty.
He selected the highest number he could find. Technically speaking, in 2014 there were 305,000 children living in homes that were below 60 percent of the median equivalised household income after housing costs as measured by 'moving line'.

But you can bet that if Labour ever regains power they will very quickly start looking for the smallest numbers they can find. For instance 90,000 children are living in  households experiencing severe material hardship as measured by European Union standards.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Selfies illustrate how wealthy we all are

The latest expose of unequal wealth accumulation by Max Rashbrooke has the NZ Herald featuring photo shots of John Key's son Max and some other girl I've never heard of.

Wealth inequality is driving us back to the days of Victorian England, argues a new book which exposes the rise of the rich kid club.

The journalist continues:

Decadent lifestyles shown by social ­media's young elite have echoes of portraiture from the 18th century, says Rashbrooke.

As oil painters once sought to show off a subject's prestige, now selfies - where youth snap their Bollinger receipts - have the same ­effect of implying status and are in stark contrast to the austerity being forced on most of the West's economies.
Before photography only the very rich could commission oil renditions of family.Today the ability to take selfies extends  across society and wonderfully illustrates how much wealthier we all are. What those selfies portray is another matter....

But the facility to record all and sundry for posterity is nevertheless available to each and every New Zealander.

We've come a long way from Victorian England and we aren't heading back there.

Only sensible policy swapped for sugar showdown

The NZ Herald reports,

The Labour Party has officially dumped its policies to .... raise the retirement age.

Little says it sent the wrong message to people physically unable to work past 65.

Without a doubt those people are in a minority. Policy should be made for the majority and outliers dealt with differently. Someone physically and indefinitely unable to work currently goes on a Supported Living payment. Joining National in this stubborn adherence to Super entitlement at 65 has removed one of  Labour's major points of difference.


 The Labour Party will make food manufacturers reduce the sugar content of processed food and use prominent labels listing how many teaspoons of sugar and salt was in a product.
Labour's health minister Annette King set out the anti-obesity policy at the party's annual conference in Palmerston North today.
She said the Government's recent obesity package was a "feeble attempt" at addressing the problem.

Labour cannot beat John Key (and the National govt, which runs a distance behind the leader in popularity) by doing what he does better. And it seems unable to sufficiently differentiate itself with alternative ideas.

This situation highlights why politics gets in the way of good governance. In trying to win a popularity contest, the difficult calls are not made. Then, when the harder- to- swallow policy is dropped, there's no impetus to measure  public support for it. It's not on the agenda so can be swept under the carpet yet again.