Brian Edwards Media

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                            AND TRAITOR TO HER PAST

43 Comments:

  1. Maybe to her personal past, Dr Edwards, but not to her political party’s past. Makes me wonder what it is within the collective psyche of National party leadership that makes them think that motherly figures will be the best people to hold the benefit slashing portfolio.

  2. How tired is this policy direction.What will it achieve?National are running true to form .Paula Bennett should know better. Absolutely appropriate post Brian.

  3. Amazing how the worse ones are the ones who “pull themselves up by the bootstaps”, etc.

    Too bad you dont do TV interviews anymore, Brian….

  4. Short and sweet. There isn’t really much else to say is there?

  5. You sound like an ageing party hack at the annual convention for the Supreme Soviet.

    We do not have to be permanently wedded to our past. We grow up, we think for ourselves and we change. You chose to renounce your religion and renounce the ‘struggle’ in Northern Ireland. That hardly makes you a traitor, although some of your contemporaries may view you in that light.

    You will recall Tony Wedgwood Benn born into a life of privilege, renounced his peerage, Viscount Stansgate, and embraced a Socialist ideology. Do you call him a traitor to his past?

    Most of the changes in this world come about because of people who are brave enough not to be shackled to their past and who have been called traitors. The great social reformers of the 19th century were considered to be ‘traitors’ to their class and their past. I am not saying PB is a great social reformer; far from it. I am just trying to highlight absurdity of your statement.

    Disagree with PB by all means, but please use the thinking part of the brain, not the attic part cluttered with cliches and slogans.

    • You sound like an ageing party hack at the annual convention for the Supreme Soviet.

      You seem to have completely missed the point. I have never suggested that people should not try to better themselves. That is not the issue here at all. Ms Bennett is entitled to climb the social ladder and, if she has done so in a moral fashion, deserves to be praised. The real issue here is that in the process of attaining high office, she has forgotten her past and is now complicit in punishing the most vulnerable group in society to which she once belonged. I see that as a betrayal. This is a woman on a salary of $243,700 plus perks, swanning around in limousines and living the high life, while at the same time proposing to halve the benefit of those who fail to get employment within a set time. She was unable to answer John Campbell’s question last night as to how that woman should feed her children. “It was,” she said, “the woman’s responsibility.” This is about as close as you can get to “Let them eat cake.” I’ll get the thinking part of my brain in gear, if you make an effort to rediscover your compassion. In the meantime, I do not resile from the word ‘traitor”.

  6. You trying to make Helen “class traitor” Clark homesick?

  7. I was criticising you use of slogans, not your argument.

    Having said that I have plenty of compassion for those who need help but my sense of compassion is wearing distinctly thin for those who believe that welfare is a lifestyle choice. The majority of beneficiaries would love to get off welfare and work. They should be helped. However even PB’s harshest critics concede that there is an element out there who rip off the system. I assume you do not approve of those earning $100,000 who organise their affairs to avoid tax and to receive WFF? Why therefore support those who refuse to look for work and believe they have a permanent entitlement to taxpayer largesse.

    PB was helped by the system. It helped her to get on her feet and support herself. She is in fact asking other to try to do what she did.

    It is also interesting that the Maori Party have given the proposals qualified support. Maori leaders have long recognised that the welfare trap does their ppeople no favours in the long run. Presumably those in the Maori Party by your definition are traitors.

    • PB was helped by the system. It helped her to get on her feet and support herself. She is in fact asking other to try to do what she did.

      I suggest you have a closer look at what exactly the benefit system did for Paula Bennett. It made it possible for her to get an education which transformed her life. At no point was she threatened with having her benefit halved if she did not gain employment after a fixed period. That is the threat which she now holds over the heads of today’s beneficiaries. Can you really not see anything wrong with this?

  8. Mmm… as an extension to the — ever-erudite — Ben’s reasoning: it does sound a bit rich, labelling PB a “traitor”, when you, yourself, reside in the leafy enclave which is Herne Bay.

    I could understand it, if you’d slammed the apostate from deep within the bowels of the badlands which is South Auckland, your spiritual home.

    If PB is doing a fine impersonation of Marie Antoinette, then you’re doing OK with your pitchfork-and-scythe outrage.

    • Mmm… as an extension to the — ever-erudite — Ben’s reasoning: it does sound a bit rich, labelling PB a “traitor”, when you, yourself, reside in the leafy enclave which is Herne Bay.

      My argument is not about people trying to improve their circumstances or ‘better themselves’. It’s about forgetting your past and punishing the very grouo to which you belonged. Thanks to half a century of work and the financial support of my wife and business partner, I do now live in a relativley modest house in Herne Bay. I was raised by a solo mother and lived most of my early life in lodgings and council flats. I will never forget my past and never betray the working class values that I learnt in those years. And I do not need to be lectured by you, Merv.

  9. The problem is that PB is not helping beneficiaries get ahead the way that she was helped by the system. She was given help to study while on a benefit; one of her first acts as Social Development Minister was to stop that help for other beneficiaries.

  10. Curiously enough, Brian, I too was raised by a solo mother – she was widowed when I was 18 months. We lived in a succession of rented accommodation. She worked all her life and received nothing from the state. The welfare system has changed out of all recognition since those days. Then it was truly a safety net and you had to abase yourself in order to get help. Thank God those days have gone. However we have swung too far in the other direction and I do not regard it as a betrayal of my working class roots that I resent the wholesale largesse that is being distributed at the moment as though it were matter of right. I believe totally in compassion for those in need and for those who will try and help themselves. For those who believe welfare is a lifestyle choice – “good on yer, Paula; I am with you 100%”

    • Curiously enough, Brian, I too was raised by a solo mother – she was widowed when I was 18 months. We lived in a succession of rented accommodation. She worked all her life and received nothing from the state. The welfare system has changed out of all recognition since those days.

      “Wholesale largesse” Ben? Do you actually know any beneficiaries?

  11. I just want to know where all these jobs are going to come from. ‘Let them eat cake’ indeed.

  12. “At no point was she threatened with having her benefit halved if she did not gain employment after a fixed period.”

    She is threatening no such thing. She is threatening to halve the benefit if the recipient makes no effort to find work or turns down valid jobs. She has made it abundantly clear that if there is no work there is no threat to the benefit. Why shouldn’t the beneficiary make the effort to get work? What is so wrong with that? I have close friend who was on benefit for some years. She did everything in her power to find work (with a very supportive case manager at WINZ, eventually succeeded and has got off the benefit. That is the type of person I want to help.

    • She is threatening no such thing.

      All very reasonable, Ben. But still no answer to the question: how is that person going to feed her children? Bennett’s reply, and yours, is that that’s her own fault. But it isn’t the fault of her children. So the options might be: extra assistance for the children, which would rather defeat the purpose, or perhaps taking the children into care, which would also defeat the purpose. Or perhaps a few nights out stealing. But before you even get to this point in the argument, you have to believe that there are all these beneficiaries who would rather let their children starve than get a job, if indeed a suitable job was available. The subtext of all this is what it’s always been: beneficiaries are bludgers, let’s give them “a kick in the pants”.

  13. “Wholesale largesse” Ben? Do you actually know any beneficiaries?

    Yes, I do and we are going round in circles. I have made it abundantly clear that I am totally supportive of those who need help and will help themselves. You on the other hand appear to believe that money should be doled out to anyone who asks regardless of circumstances. Perhaps if we could get the indigent out of the system their might be more money to support those in real need.

  14. Anyone around here tried living on a benefit lately? You have to have pretty low expectations to “choose” a benefit “lifestyle”. And for the benefit to be better than work, your work options really have to suck.

  15. The welfare system “in those days” was possibly aided by an employment service called the Government .Railways ,and Post Office etc provided employment to all and sundrie and helped share the “governments pie” with all.Unemployment was a great way of paying someone less “pie”.Now we have reached a stage where only the few may eat “pie”.For someone to become wealthy someone else must become poor.Paula Bennett has 243,700 reasons not to be concerned with this.John key has 52 million reasons not to be concerned with this.Are these the right people to look after this group in society.Are they really interested in welfare and social develpement?I think not.I dont think “kick up the arse”is an appropriate description of what needs to be done.Roll on the next election.

  16. Punishing Solo Parents for not getting jobs that aren’t there.

    I wish I could have said I was surprised at that policy.

    Bennett has a short memory.

  17. This post has developed into a nice stouch. Personally I am not too concerned about the proposed benefit cuts, just as long as they keep their hands of the pension!!

  18. I’m not sure about the “class traitor” label, but PB certainly gives the impression that, having used the welfare system to get herself up to a level where she earns around a quarter of a million a year, she is pulling up the ladder and saying “Now that I’m safe you can all go to hell.” As my father used to say about such behaviour “I’ve had my toast so I’ll piss on the fire.”

    • I’m not sure about the “class traitor” label, but PB certainly gives the impression that, having used the welfare system to get herself up to a level where she earns around a quarter of a million a year, she is pulling up the ladder and saying “Now that I’m safe you can all go to hell.”

      Yes. However, I didn’t say she was a traitor to her class; I said she was a traitor to her past.

  19. “However, I didn’t say she was a traitor to her class”

    Sorry, I must have been confused by Craig’s stunning contribution. Just ignore the first eight words of my comment above.

  20. “And I do not need to be lectured by you, Merv”.

    Whoa! Hold up there, my friend. I ain’t “lecturing” — nor hectoring — no one; there was nothing instructive with my reply. A wry observation, perhaps.

    It just seems that your upbringing has given you a very jaundiced outlook on our morbidly obese social welfare system. It needs to be radically reformed, so that it serves as a genuine safety net, to protect those with a bona fide need; not to function as a repository, for all the deadbeat freeloaders (and I include the geriatric “Baz” in this lot). The whole rotten edifice needs to be deconstructed and rebuilt. It can’t be seen (by solo mums, large Islander families etc) as a Pay-as-You-Breed handout system, with its built-in graduated pay scales to reward the Slothful, the Indolent, the Irresponsible, the Ignorant etc.

    Besides, it’s unlikely that this is Paula Bennett’s initiative, anyway. She’s only the messenger, the articulator for the National Party’s election policy agenda. She is doing the bidding for the Key-Joyce-English troika.

    But, you just wish that all these dudes would act with the same crusading “reformist” fervour, when it comes to their own self-awarded handouts.

    • Whoa! Hold up there, my friend. I ain’t “lecturing” — nor hectoring — no one; there was nothing instructive with my reply. A wry observation, perhaps.

      OK. And you’re probably right when you say: “Besides, it’s unlikely that this is Paula Bennett’s initiative, anyway. She’s only the messenger, the articulator for the National Party’s election policy agenda. She is doing the bidding for the Key-Joyce-English troika.” But isn’t being “only the messenger” and “doing the bidding” just another way of saying “sold out”?

  21. I don’t know what all the fuss is about.

    Obviously, the solo mums and sickness beneficiaries will find employment down the new mines on conservation land.

    Win:win.

  22. @ Daleaway: Heh, good point. Perhaps we can take the kids of solo mums out of school and set them to work 16 hours a day underground, too. That’ll stop them growing up into malingerers, thieves, thugs and vagabonds (or in many cases stop them growing up at all), give them a “proper” work ethic and cut down on the number of teachers we need to employ, thus saving money on the socialist-indoctrination education system as well. Brilliant. I do hope Steven Joyce doesn’t read this or we’ll getting a new policy statement from the Government soon…

  23. So what do we do about the children? I wonder in some of these cases how much the children see of the benefit anyway. It is interesting when reports of those convicted of drunk driving are published how many have their occupation listed as unemployed or sickness benficiary. Not much concern for the kids there!

    If there are children involved and the parent(s) refuse to work you ensure that ALL the benefit is directed to the welfare of the children. You pay the rent direct. You pay the power bill and you make sure the kids are clothed, fed and get to school. If the parents try and be obstructive then the children are removed. I seriously question whether someone who makes a deliberate long term choice to live on benefits is a suitable parent. Do what needs to be done to protect the kids and make life bloody uncomfortable for the parents. And to make it absolutely clear I am still only talking about the hard core group who are not prepared to work and see a benefit as there entitlement. If we do not do something we will end up wiith these kids being another generation on the dole.

    Daleaway, I love your suggestion.

  24. But isn’t being “only the messenger” and “doing the bidding” just another way of saying “sold out”?

    Honestly, Brian, I really don’t where you’re coming from. The system — as it stands — is rotten; right down into the bone marrow. It just reeks of “Come one, come all”. Thanks to “Aunty” and her previous Labour Government, it’s being bled white. And the majority of the working-taxpayers know it. And they are very resentful. The damn thing needs a major overhaul. And fast!

    Paula Bennett is required to implement change. How can you say that she has “sold out”, when she’s charged with overseeing the reform processes? What, exactly, do you prove by your ad hominem attack in labelling her a “Traitor”?

    Your logic dictates, that, if this were to be inverted, you would you be “weeping tears of joy”, should the Minister relax the eligibility criteria and increase the level of payouts.

    There are way too many no-hoppers gorging on this bloated and decaying behemoth, now. It doesn’t need disinfectant to get rid of these parasites, it needs a tankful of petrol and a match.

    Would it help, if you were to know, that — Paula, gently cries herself to sleep, each night? Would you be more predisposed towards her, then?

    • rotten; right down into the bone marrow; just reeks of “Come one, come all”; being bled white; too many no-hoppers gorging on this bloated and decaying behemoth; It doesn’t need disinfectant to get rid of these parasites, it needs a tankful of petrol and a match.

      Thanks for your warning about my intemperate language, Merv. I’ll try to do better.

  25. I fail to see why a requirement to actively seek employment when you are on an unemployment benefit is an issue at all. I would have thought being asked to sign on every fortnight would be appropriate.
    There are lots of Mothers at my workplace (single and partnered) who juggle things admirably and I have no doubt it is a hectic lifestyle. I would have thought there is an obligation for the recipients of taxes on the DPB to try to become self sufficient.

  26. Millions spent National Testing. Not millions helping the few needing help.
    A blanket approach chasing beneficiaries instead of identifying the small number of those ripping off the system.
    Do they know the number of Rippers?
    Do they know how many on a Benefit stay there willingly?
    Do they know how many stay for a year or two or three?
    Rather see targeting where there is a need.
    Paula White-teeth: Think again.

  27. Its not only the “deadbeat freeloaders” that will be hurt in this .It will be all those who make their living from “deadbeat freeloaders”.The cost of administering this will possibly outway the few if any gains made.

  28. The post and subsequent exculpations say nothing intelligent about Ms Bennett, but illuminate the thinking of Mr Edwards rather well.

  29. You should have included a photo of John Key as well. How come he’s escaping his fair share of the well deserved scorn?

  30. Of course, Bennett knew all along her changes were discriminatory and a breach of the BORA. Bennett’s response – “”I think that is a discrimination that most New Zealanders will see as being fair and reasonable.” – was so astonishing I read it twice just to make sure she actually said it. What does that mean? Does it mean that it is now OK for boarding houses to put up a sign saying “No Blacks No Dogs No Irish” as long as “most” New Zealanders see that as fair and reasonable? Does her statement mean that if enough people objected she would reluctantly twink out the “No Dogs” part of the sign?

    Who would have thought rights were not inalienable, but in fact an outcome of polling and focus groups.

    Paula Bennett is a vindictive woman, a willing executioner of her own people.

  31. Reminds me of Condi Rice – benefited massively from affirmative action, then did everything she could to pull up the drawbridge.

  32. A traitor to her past? What past? When I look at Paula Bennett I see good teeth, good grooming, obvious ‘borderline sociopathic’ social skills and a spiralling articulate spin … these are not the signs of an underpriviledged background and the lower socio-economic gin trap, these are the signs of a woman who was cared for and cossetted during her formative years.
    The woman is a fraud, despite her flag waving allegiance to the poor, she’s never REALLY been at the bottom, she’s just had a minor flirtation with ‘want and need’. Where is her ethical dilemma? There obviously isn’t one, though she’d have no trouble spinning that for her party. Just a few days before Xmas she announced that she’d be persecuting beneficiaries in the New Year. Does anyone see the perversion in that?
    Pauline is right, where are all these damned jobs going to come from in the pit of a recession caused by corporate fraudsters? Does anyone ever ask, when pondering ‘performance bonuses’ and absurd salaries: “How much is too much?” Does anyone ever consider it is more justifiable lopping some serious excess off the obscenely wealthy?
    What happened to Shipley’s “Knowledge Economy”? I know it got a lot of hopefuls into debt (with interest accruing) and no serious hope of employment. Obviously education isn’t in vogue with this version of National government, nor are humane realistic goals for the seriously socially handicapped. This appears to be all about catching the attention of National voters, a stategy for perking them up mid-term. These are very sick twisted materialists who fly in the face of current research, who care not a jot for true social reform. Nothing ever changes with National: law and order, dole bludgers, tax … same old junk coming out of fresh mouths.
    Who was it who said something like: “I never said that Conservatives were idiots, I said that idiots vote Conservative ” ?

  33. I so love how the ones with no decent argument have to somehow bring up Helen Clark!!! Come on guys…..get a clue……i suppose is cause key will never ever achieve half of what Helen achieved for NZ.

    The tory mentality is one should do all they can to improve themselves…..Paula did that on our dime, and now shes a highly paid MP…..excellent! But then she scraps training allowances that she herself used, clamps down on benefits she herself used to feed her child and somehow believes they arent entitled to the same things she used to help better her life!!! Pathetic and so so sooooooo very tory!

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