Brian Edwards Media

The Post-Election Happiness Index – Find out where you belong.

 

I got to thinking who would be happy and who unhappy after yesterday’s election result. So I started to make a list. It’s not a complete list by any means, and you’re invited to nominate additional groups.

People happy after yesterday’s election result:

  • the rich
  • people earning over $150,000 per annum
  • speculators
  • profiteers
  • employers
  • farmers
  • polluters
  • mining companies
  • oil companies
  • foreign investors
  • people who want to sell state assets

 People unhappy after yesterday’s election result:

  • the poor
  • beneficiaries
  • the unemployed
  • food banks
  • wage and salary earners
  • public servants
  • families
  • household shoppers
  • teachers
  • nurses
  • state house tenants
  • kids branded ‘non-achievers’ under National Standards
  • conservationists
  • people who own state assets (that’s you)

People not entitled to have a view:

  • the one-in-three Kiwis who couldn’t be bothered getting off their arses to vote

 Please add to the lists!

 

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111 Comments:

  1. 1

    Diane Gilliam-Weeks

    Unhappy: advocates for any of the (unhappy groups) above.

  2. Unhappy: people who care about all those on the unhappy list.

  3. Happy – Winston Peters

  4. I wonder what the overlap is between your second list (unhappy), especially the first three on it, and the third list (non-voters).

    BE: Sadly, I think that’s a very good question.

  5. No one likes a poor loser Brian
    Obviously the voters in the first list out number those in the second
    It is called democracy

    BE: ‘poor loser’ – an utterly facile comment which takes no account of ethics. I regard the political philosophy of the current National Government as fundamentally immoral. According to you, I should just say ‘Ah well, that’s what people voted for, so it must be OK.’ ‘Democracy’ in this case was characterised by stupidity, selfishness and the superficial values of the catwalk.

  6. Unhappy: People with a mental illness.

    I predict that suicide will increase in beneficiaries and that include beneficiaries who have been kicked off the dole and would not be classed as unemployed by National because they are not receiving a benefit.

  7. HAPPY
    John Banks
    Sociopaths
    Narcissists
    those lacking empathy
    the greedy
    Money traders and Banks
    NZ First faithfuls
    Well-off professional couples
    People with significant disposable income.
    Mortgage-free home owners

    UNHAPPY
    the generous of heart (those who always help others)
    the eldery (who aren’t rich)
    the young (who aren’t the children of the rich)
    one income households (who aren’t rich)
    People earning the minimum wage or thereabouts
    Single people earning under $100K and trying to pay off their first mortgage,
    Hell all 1st homeowners with a mortgage
    those hoping for a pay rise that keeps up with inflation
    anyone who buys petrol
    anyone who lives on the new route for the state highway in Kapiti
    anyone who is not GST registered.
    those with a conscience
    library, care of the elderly, arts, culture, heritage, healthcare, kindy and social-welfare workers
    Anyone who ones a Wellington business which depends on bloated bureaucrats having a job and disposable income.

  8. How many fallacies can you fit in one post ? I think the first and most important one is the implication that all members of each (hugely overlapping) group are going to feel the same way about this. Wage and salary earners are going to feel unhappy ? So that would be the bulk of the adult population who have just returned a popular government, with an increased percentage of the vote. The poor are going to feel unhappy ? Well I guess they tend to be part of Labour’s natural constituency so I will grant you that probably the majority of the poor will be unhappy.

    But there is no doubt that there are many poor people who voted National and will therefore be happy. And I’d wager that those poor people who are positive and aspirational, who don’t intend to be poor forever, who recognise they can improve their own circumstances with effort and determination will be over-represented amongst those that are happy.

    BE: Aha – the ‘why don’t those losers pull their socks up’ solution.

  9. People who STILL hate Helen Clark are happy. People who want to buy the assets are happy. People who identify with a rich ex currency speculator because he is a puppy kisser and ‘just like the bloke next door’ are happy… deluded…but happy. Young professionals who don’t plan on having children, and don’t care about other people’s, are happy. People who go to the best schools are happy (they can look forward to extra funding as a ‘reward for excellence’… ) People who think that a solo parent must earn money as well as raise their children are happy (and don’t care that there are no jobs) People who hate unions ( but line up for every benefit the union delivers) are happy.

  10. over simplified, generalised – and a bit screwed- and i don’t mean skewed- but maybe. guess you’re genuinely sad but that’s politics for you. cheer up – the sun is out today.

    “The sun is out today.” It is indeed. Thank you for that, John Key. And can I, like the woman who said she was a Labour voter, but you had touched her and now she was going to vote National, touch the hem of your garment one day too and experience delirious happiness?

  11. Happy (with the election result): The people of Christchurch, who, by means of the massive swing to National, showed that it is not a reasonable criticism to label this government “uncaring”.

    No group has been more sorely afflicted in the past 14 months, yet they endorsed in spades this government’s record for aiding those in genuine distress.

    Brian, I’ll accept your explanation to Raymond Francis that you are not a sore loser. I’ll willingly take on board you are making a judgement in good conscience, that accords with the plausibility structure by which you determine your personal ethics. But in light of the above tangible example of the voters of Christchurch, I’ll humbly suggest you are mistaken.

    On a brighter note: well done on the media advice you gave to Phil Goff. I was immensely proud as a Kiwi that we are ALL served, irrespective our our politics, by such a fine leader of the opposition. His speech, and subsequent firm fending off of the vultures who were questioning him regarding his future was a testament both to his character, and your coaching skills.

    Personally, I think Labour will be mad to dump him, and I hope, for all our sakes that he stays on after Tuesday. Yes, the Labour Party, as per the comments of its past two presidents badly needs rejuvenation. But Phil Goff is a magnificent asset.

    BE: I clearly agree with your assessment of Phil. As to the happiness of earthquake victims with the PM, Gerry Brownlee, the EQC et al, we have clearly been watching different news bulletins.

  12. Depends entirely on your definition of “happy”, of course. Is a trapped cat “happy” with a meal composed of it’s owner? Is Mary English “happy” with National’s policy for DPB mothers that will make abortion more attractive? Or do they just gorge, defecate, sleep and die: oblivious, fleeting, unfeeling and pointless.

  13. The disabled. People like me who have rheumatoid arthritis.We will be re-classified as ‘jobseekers’,and even ‘tho I can work part-time I can’t support myself. I dread the future.

  14. “As to the happiness of earthquake victims with the PM, Gerry Brownlee, the EQC et al, we have clearly been watching different news bulletins”.

    Er, no, Brian. I’ve seen ‘em. But as per my previous post, and sorry to make the point like a sledge hammer between the eyes (but you are rather straying from the point), in the one forum that really counted, i.e., the voting booth, the majority of the people of Christchurch gave a ringing endorsement for this government’s record of caring.

  15. I actually doubt whether the list would have been much different even had Phil Goff been PM today. The rich would still be rich and easily able to take their money out of reach of the government. With the exception of those who wanted to sell state assets, life would have continued pretty well as before for those on the happy list.

    Those living in third world poverty suffering from third world diseases in Northland and other parts of the country would still be unhappy because a nine year Labour Government did little to change conditions in these areas and none of what was on offer from the Labour Party this time around was going to make much difference.

    And I am sorry to state the obvious but just because one is poor, it does not mean one is unhappy any more than wealth makes one happy. On a scale of 1 to 10 of the importance to my life the election result scores about 2, and not because I am rich or because I did not vote. I have lived through too many general elections in both the UK and NZ to expect that the result is going to make a blind bit of difference to my life and millions like me. Life goes on in spite of governments and politicans; not because of them.

    The lives of those less fortunate generally improve by a mix of their own efforts and those who quietly offer practical help rather than spout about their compassion while drawing large salaries, generous expenses, a nice little travel rort until exposed and a pension scheme beyond the wildest dreams of most New Zealanders.

    Unless the Labour Party and its supporters quickly stop agonising about the result and starts the fight for 2014 (which realistically should have started three years ago because there was never a chance that it would win this election)and shows that it really can make a diference to those at the bottom end, then it can expect a lot more unhappiness.

    BE: Well yes, but the election was only yesterday, so this criticism seems a bit premature.

  16. Is it just so drummed into people’s minds that only a right wing govt can manage scary financial times? I do not get the love for this Govt at all. How can people see John Key as ‘the man next door’, he’s a multi something-a-naire! And I’m sick of the ‘poor kid made it good’ bullocks. I grew up with a solo mum on the DPB and am doing pretty well thanks, but there is a huge spectrum. I lived in a part of the country where my school had people from all clases, as did my neighbourhood, my mother was sober and loving and could cook nutritious food, I found it easy to learn (not to be underestimated, this is not the case for everyone and makes a difference) and well I had a bit of luck along the way I guess. I earn over 100k and would pay higher taxes again happily if it meant better services for all and lower GST and I am happy to take responsibility for my finances so I can retire at 65 if I want to. Where has the sense of community gone and caring about the welfare of others. We still seem to be all about the ‘deserving poor’. Okay, I’m all over the place, but guess you can put me in the unhappyl list!

  17. Why don’t those losers pull up their socks solution Where did I say that? The essence of my criticism is that your list model is too simplistic to be useful. Your model doesn’t accurately describe who is happy and who isn’t.

    You’ve simply created a warm, fuzzy, “good” list and labeled that anti-government, and a cold, nasty, “bad” list and labeled that pro-government. Sorry, I’m giving you a “not achieved”.

    BE: Well actually I think my list is pretty factually accurate. If you asked the groups I’ve named whether they were happy or unhappy with the outcome of the election, I’m reasonably certain the results would confirm pretty well to the lists. But thank you for reminding me of National Standards. I shall add “students told they were non-achievers according to National Standards”.

  18. “Well actually I think my list is pretty factually accurate”.

    Umm, Brian, don’t want to interfere too much in your spirited discussion with Bill Forster, but he did make the point: (which you seem to have ignored) –

    “Wage and salary earners are going to feel unhappy ? So that would be the bulk of the adult population who have just returned a popular government, with an increased percentage of the vote”.

    So I’ll suggest you may be off the mark when you assess your list, as “pretty fairly accurate”.

    I’d also suggest you’re operating on a hair trigger reading a doctrine of the deserving and undeserving poor into his post. He’s just commenting on who voted and why. Not on how they came to be in the predicament they are in, or how they can be best assisted out of it.

  19. I asked my sister, a National voting teacher, wage and salary earner, public servant, family member and State Asset owner and she concurs with my analysis and the grade I awarded you :-)

    Well, QED – if your sister says so too, I must be wrong.

  20. Ben, that’s a superb post.

  21. “Happy. People with significant disposable income.”

    I have some disposable income – in fact I’m going to spend some of it soon flitting off to the UK to visit my grandchildren.” But I’M unhappy. I fear for the world in which my Kiwi grandchildren are growing up in. On the news on Thursday I saw the Minister of Health (another member of this heavily endorsed, successful government and wearing his pink ribbon thingy on the lapel of his striped suit – which tells us that he is on the side of the angels and therefore worthy of our vote) telling us that the reason he does nothing about child poverty is because it would be to re-introduce the “nanny” state. God save us.

    Kimbo “Happy. The people of Christchurch”

    I don’t know where you live Kimbo but as a resident it very much seems to me that the people of this city whose homes and properties were badly affected by the earthquakes are anything but happy with big Ger and don’t appear to have voted for his party. Still, they live out east, and in the poorer parts of the Waimakariri – those that are left. The others are part of last year’s 35,000 now in Australia, it seems to me. So … I’ll head back to Brian’s Happy list to explain the voting here.

  22. Well, QED – if your sister says so too, I must be wrong Given that she personifies the flaws in your argument, yes I suppose inevitably one is drawn to that conclusion.

    BE: Well that would be true if I’d put ‘every’ in front of each of the happy and unhappy groups. And a sample of two – you and your sister – doesn’t really mean you must be right. Have one more potshot, Bill, and maybe we’ll leave the field to others, to whom of course you’ve welcome to respond.

  23. I like the division supplied by * into the happy and unhappy – happy (narcissists etc), unhappy (the generous types). That’s the divison that dramatically reveals itself in King Lear.

  24. Happy: People who are self-starters, motivated, prepared to be accountable and responsible for their own destiny.

    BE: Yeah, unlike all those slackers looking for jobs that aren’t there! And those thousands applying for one job at Countdown. What a pack of losers! Why don’t they get off their arses and become foreign exchange traders!

  25. Even though I live in Christchurch I’ll never understand the people who live here. We had an election for Mayor last year. From zero to … well, in my humble opinion, still zero. But Bob is still Mayor on the back of making soothing noises on the telly.

  26. “As a resident it very much seems to me that the people of this city whose homes and properties were badly affected by the earthquakes are anything but happy with big Ger and don’t appear to have voted for his party….The others are part of last year’s 35,000 now in Australia, it seems to me”.

    Don’t want to minimise your personal plight, or your perspective. However, I seem to remember those running the class-warfare analysis of the Chch situation suggested the tories (refer to Brian’s “happy” list) had the resources to join the diapora out of town, whereas those without (refer Brian’s unhappy” list) were stuck.

    I’m sure they aren’t all happy with Gerry, Key and the Nats. But the majority, both in terms of party and electoral candidate vote, didnt say that yesterday. Compare 20008 with 2011. National improved its numbers. .

    Like Brian pointed out to Bill Forster, perhaps your sample size is too small. Those who turn up on election day, when it counts, are the real test of whether they approve of the government’s record of caring.

  27. Chill, Brian; chill. Rejoice, and celebrate that it’s “Democracy in Action”. Your ‘Unhappy’ list is emotive, simplistic, resentful and churlish. Yes, and you are a “poor loser”.

    Today’s Labour Party MPs are yesterday’s relics. A cobbling of faded-and-jaded trade unionists, teachers, academics; and a movie-watcher whose questionable taste in art house movies, runs to a deep saturant blue. Be honest, most of them should’ve been sent out to pasture, years ago.

    Labour really needs to not only reinvigorate but also to re-invent itself, by way of a wholesale Stalin-esque purging of its parliamentary wing. It is just no longer relevant to the electorate. Nor, is it in touch. Its style of politicking and its policies are a throwback to an era which has been widely discredited and dismissed. And with much scorn. There is so much detritus and deadwood within its ranks, that any regeneration would call for a Jerry can and a match to expunge it all.

    Years of creeping, unchecked decay has metastasised into infection. When one of their so called “Best and Brightest”, turns out to be an anaemically-complected feckless and freckled boy with the political survival instincts of a gnat, you do wonder, if the infection has assumed the form of a contagion, spreading right through the rank and file.

    Brian, get out and run barefoot along the beach and feel the sand between your toes, hear the sound of the breaking waves, sing out loud, etc.

  28. Sorry, a rare burst of excessive enthusiasm popped out three posts in a row without me even really noticing I’d done it. I’ve made my point and I will quietly withdraw for now. It’s your blog and you will quite rightly have the last word. Oh, I’m allowed one last potshot? No I’ll leave it to Ben. Normally I think he is a bit of a grumpy old bugger, but today I think he seems to be better connected to reality than anyone else here.

  29. Unhappy any child needing special care or education
    unhappy all those wee penguins that will drown in a slick oil post ‘the drillling’
    Unhappy NZ clean green image
    Unhappy all our future generations as we sell them out.

  30. don’t take it personally it’s not as if you had much to work with with the labour caucus, Goffy was bloody good in the campaign though.
    Do you not think there is a fundamental problem with labour and your post reflects the same is that you treat the voters as total idiots who don’t know what they are doing and people only vote for national because they are beguiled by Key or spend their spare time counting their money and deriding the poor. It’s all a bit insulting.

    BE: There’s absolutely no doubt that voters were ‘beguiled by Key’ and the rejection of a Capital Gains Tax and the eventual raising of the retirement age stuck me as burying one’s head in the sand, which is not very intelligent. But we can agree that Phil was ‘bloody good in the campaign’.

  31. The left and right bloc is still pretty well evenly divided down the middle. Labour though, has been fractured and weakened. National retained its support and can govern, albeit with a little help from a couple of friends.

    What do National voters stand for, does anyone here really know? Perhaps that may provide a clue to last nights result. Could it just be that those who stand for nothing fall for anything.

  32. 32

    The people of Christchurch are not particularly happy about the election, Kimbo, least of all in the heavily damaged areas. Sorry to burst your bubble. National has done nothing but heavy-handedly impose obstructions, secrecy and leave us to our own devices. Probably the only reason the Nats did so well is that so many Labour voters lost their jobs and homes and were forced to move elsewhere. You are more than welcome to Gerry Brownlee if you like him so much. Do you live in Christchurch?

  33. Do you speak for the people of Christchurch, Andrew Paul Wood?

    The majority? No. They do.

    And they spoke yesterday in the way they voted. Speculate all you want on why they voted in a way that disproves your view that the government has imposed, “obstructions”, “secrecy” and “(left) us to our won devices”
    I’m just reporting what they said.

    JC: Edited, as was APW. Gentlemen, please play the ball, not the man.

  34. The people who are unhappy are the most vulnerable in our society, the poor, the disabled, the sick and the injured. This will be a great government for the sleek well fed independent man of means.

    If for whatever reason you need state help like a benefit, or ACC, or subsidized child care then you won’t be happy.

  35. Happy:

    Those who voted for National.

    Unhappy:

    Those who voted for National, in three years’ time.

  36. This country is goiog down the toilet under national. They have have lied about major stuff yet the fools who voted national are blind. National have nasty things instore for this country yet you idiots who voted national are freaking blind and stupid. Wake up National don’t give a crap about this country

    BE: Minor edit for unacceptable term.

  37. 37

    Sorry for that BE – passions run high on the subject in Christchurch. I am not altogether alone in getting tetchy about statements made by people who haven’t a clue what it’s like down here. You may see bits of it on TV or the net, but you will not “get” how serious it is, and how damned hard it is to live here unless you actually experience it.

    Anyway – the most unhappy will be the economically vulnerable, because if you are economically vulnerable you are vulnerable on all fronts. If you have money, you can float along or go somewhere else. If you don’t have money, you will be on the sharp end of National’s petty, small minded and punitive policies – which if you are poor, resemble Caligula’s punishing people for commemorating the Battle of Actium, and punishing them if they did not.

  38. Unhappy: one former student who had some hope of pay off her student loan before she retired but now has great doubts about her ability to that now – I am sure there will be punitive interest rates on those loans again before the end of this national government term. Maybe I should have ignored the love I have for this country and chased the money overseas after all…perhaps I will after all.

  39. Happy – Radio talkback hosts

  40. People happy after yesterday’s election result:

    John Banks, and all other carpetbaggers pretending to be something they’re not.

  41. BE: “I regard the political philosophy of the current National Government as fundamentally immoral.”

    Pointless: those of us on the Right could (and will) say exactly the same thing of the Left (particularly the Obama administration, and the Helen Clark government).

    The truth is, as always: No grouping of human beings has a lien on vice – or virtue.

    BE: “The truth is, as always: No grouping of human beings has a lien on vice – or virtue.”

    The Nazis? the Pol Pot regime? The South African Government during apartheid? And no, I am not suggesting any comparison between the Right in New Zealand and any of those regimes. Just dealing with your statement.

  42. I agree with you Wake Up, but I think the issue for Brain and others with his perspective in this debate is that, no matter what the personal morality or intentions of those on the “Happy” list, by means of how they voted on Saturday they have endorsed and strengthened a system that inevitably means there will be “unhappy” people.

    Boil it down, and no matter what you say, or how you say it within this context, you are perceived as a Gordon Gecko, chanting the mantra, “Greed is good….greed is right”.

    BE: Well I suppose your first para is more or less right, Kimbo. But it’s the source of the unhappiness that worries me: being poor, being unemployed, going to school without breakfast, living below the poverty line, being told you’re without value because you’re on a benefit… Well, you get the idea. Or maybe you don’t.

  43. PS – on your “unhappy” list:
    •wage and salary earners
    •public servants
    •families
    •household shoppers

    You’re guessing; there is no more foundation for those categories being on the “unhappy” list than the “happy” one. Given Labour’s comprehensive trouncing in the last two elections, logic suggests that large numbers of “•wage and salary earners •public servants •families and •household shoppers” must have voted elsewhere.

    And why shouldn’t “•wage and salary earners •public servants •families and •household shoppers” (I’m three of those four) vote Right/conservative if they see fit (as I did)? One of the Left’s mistakes is that it thinks it should collectively “own” its support base.

  44. Well if it is down to ethics Brian, riddle me this
    Labour said they would/could work with Winston Peters
    National said they would not

    Miss Clark said “Wait till National needs his vote to rule and see what they do”

    That is ethics and why I held my nose when I voted

  45. I don’t agree with WAKE UP on fundamental immorality. I am a right of centre National voter and I am not going to accuse anyone of being fundamentally immoral unless they are extreme and, well, fundamentally immoral. The Key administration ? No. The Clark administration ? No. The Obama administration ? No. You are joking surely.

    Actually I would contend that the left-right split in the US is skewed relative to NZ. Text diagram;

    ———-D—-R—
    —-L–N———–

    Key; L=Labour, N=National, D=Democrats, R=Republicans. In my model the Democrats are actually to the right of National. Evidence? Just one exhibit; In the US employment at-will is par for the course. National’s policy of 90 days only at-will employment would be considered mild in the extreme and Labour’s policy wouldn’t be countenanced.

    BE: Perhaps you and other National/Act Party supporters could note that it was the ‘political philosophy’ of your parties that I said I considered immoral. And also, of course, some of their deeds. I don’t doubt that most love their children and animals.

  46. @BE Okay, good point, I did forget your qualifying “political philosophy”. I would characterise the political philosophy of each of the Key, Clark and Obama administrations as measured and far from extreme so the essence of my post is unaltered.

    BE: Fair enough. But I would describe Key’s approach to those at the bottom of the heap as ‘indifferent’ rather than ‘measured’, and in the case of Paula Bennett’punitive’.

  47. BE quoting WAKE UP: “The truth is, as always: No grouping of human beings has a lien on vice – or virtue.”

    BE: The Nazis? the Pol Pot regime? The South African Government during apartheid? And no, I am not suggesting any comparison between the Right in New Zealand and any of those regimes. Just dealing with your statement.”

    My use of the word “lien” illustrates the folly of claiming virtue – all the groups you cite would have vigorously touted their “virtue’. Nothing skews perception more than addiction to an ideology.
    Nothing skews perception more than addiction to an ideology.

    BE: “Nothing skews perception more than addiction to an ideology.” You said it!

  48. PS – all that said, I don’t doubt that fundamental evil exists: I’ve encountered it.

  49. Happy: Labour Supporters – because we haven’t yet reached the bottom of the global economic vortex, and National are going to have to own that for another three years! To all the RED-blooded people of NZ I say, leave them to it, and instead concentrate on supporting the Occupy Movement!!

  50. Apparently a million people didn’t vote. That is a sad indictment on the state of interest in how this country is governed. Who are these people and what streets do they live on? It serves no purpose to just dismiss these one million voters, it is important to uncover the reasons for the disengagement.

    Back in 2008 I was in the USA and staying with some old friends. As Americans they were looking forward to the up coming Obama vs Bush election at that time. They felt disenfranchised as citizens in their own country and they had endured nearly eight years of Bush. They are obviously democrats. I suspect Labour supporters now share a similar frustration.

    The brand Key presidential style of politics has striking similarities with the American approach. Could it be that New Zealand is waving goodbye to the archetype English prime ministerial leader in favour of a popular presidential style candidate.

    Lets face it, the right despised Helen Clark for nine long years. Now they have John Key. Some would say thats fair enough. The fact that John Key makes me cringe, as did Bush with my American friends, I could put up with if I was assured that any new directions of national interest, such as asset sales, were openly debated and supported by a majority of all in parliament.

    Should we then be tweaking MMP to produce a parliament where all parties, by mandatory participation, have a say in shaping legislation that ultimately affects the situation of every potential voter.

    If that were happening now I for one would be far less unhappy than I am with the election result.

    BE: Very good, Kat. And an interesting suggestion.

  51. “But it’s the source of the unhappiness that worries me: being poor, being unemployed, going to school without breakfast, living below the poverty line, being told you’re without value because you’re on a benefit… Well, you get the idea. Or maybe you don’t”.

    Yeah, I do. I may not have voted Labour this year, but I am an ex-party member, who was raised in a Labour household. I had parents and grand parents who received assistance from the welfare state when they desperately needed it in times of distress, and I grew up for part of my life in a state home. I don’t consider those things a source of shame, but a reason for pride that my country cares enough for its people to institute and retain that system. Also, I still think I still share the same social goals as you, and Seddon, Savage, and Kirk – and Rob Muldoon.

    I just don’t agree anymore with the means by which to best address the problem of poverty. Or at least I’d like to think I’m more open to alternatives other than the ‘class-warfare’ perspective I alluded to earlier. Which is why I’ve been surprised, once I put aside my working-class snobbery that most people I would have previously considered “tories” are ordinary Kiwis, with exactly the same goals and aspirations for their country. But they disagree on the means.

    And no, just because someone is on a benefit, doesn’t mean they should feel “without value”.

    BE: Pretty reasonable comment, Kimbo. Our backgrounds are similar, though I didn’t have grandparents or a father and was brought up by landladies in numerous digs while my mum went out to work. Later we moved up in the world to a council flat. [Stop this at once, Brian! Next you’ll be saying, ‘Luxury!’ and telling us how you lived in a shoe-box at the bottom of a lake and ate stones for dinner.]

  52. BE: Yeah, unlike all those slackers looking for jobs that aren’t there! And those thousands applying for one job at Countdown. What a pack of losers! Why don’t they get off their arses and become foreign exchange traders!

    Steady on, Brian, your blood pressure will soar out of all proportion.

    For the record, I never see losers – I see winners and potential winners. As for the slackers (in the true sense, NOT those industriously looking for jobs or some other ways to create income) well that’s their choice, but I don’t want to subsidise anyone who won’t get off their backside. And why limit it to Countdown? There’s a big wide world of opportunity out there.

    Having lived in countries overseas and in some very tough social and economic environments – by comparison, people in NZ have every opportunity to make a good life for themselves. It’s a mindset.

    BTW, Ben I agree with Bill – superb post.

    BE: Took my blood pressure this morning. It was 113 over 75. If it were any lower I’d be in the ‘athlete’ category. Which is remarkable, given that I have to deal with condescending comments like that. As for the ‘slackers’, there seem to be an awful lot of them and why on earth are they lining up at Countdown and other retail outlets, when they really don’t want to work? Then again, as you say, “why limit it to Countdown? There’s a big wide world of opportunity out there.” I think you should put it to music, bollieholllie on a Happy Cliche collection, along with ‘Always Look on the Bright Side’ and ‘When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you’.

  53. HAPPY
    Me, the political voyeur…the next few years are going to be great to watch.

    SAD
    Me, a person who doesn’t believe that the banks, the sharemarket and foreign interests should run my/our country.

  54. Dear oh dear Brian… a bit of a tantrum from you don’t you think.

    This election outcome is the result of a fair democratic process after all.

    I presume you still believe in democracy Brian, or perhaps only when it suits you? ….i.e when Labour and/or the left wins.

    Earlier in this discussion you describe the outcome of this election as such:

    “Democacy in this case was characteised by stupidity and selfishness…”.

    By these standards would it have equally ok, had the Labour Party won, for the result to be described similarly? Or is only the Right that are ‘stupid’ and ‘selfish’in your world?

    Your emotional simplistic response hardly resonates with the contest of ideas that I presume your blog aspires to.

    By the way labour lost not because of ‘stupid’ ‘selfish’ NZ voters but because they were anachonistic and irrelevent.

    BE: Dear oh dear Brian… a bit of a tantrum from you don’t you think…. Your emotional simplistic response hardly resonates with the contest of ideas that I presume your blog aspires to… labour lost not because of ‘stupid’ ‘selfish’ NZ voters but because they were anachonistic and irrelevent.’

    If you say so, Grant.

  55. …actually Brian, whilst I always suspected your impoverished background (‘Juno and the Paycock’ without the obligatory Ulster Catholic alcoholism motif?!) I must confess I had erroneously and foolishly put you in a privileged ‘Chardonnay Socialist’ box in your current approach to life.

    Noticed you mentioned in passing recently (and without blowing your trumpet) that you spend some time with the young folks of South Auckland teaching literacy and other skills. Please accept my apologies. Just goes to show initial biases are often very mistaken.

    Speaking of which, I caught a commentator on the radio yesterday saying, “the left have always had more numbers in NZ, it’s just that the right knows how to better use the system so their people vote”. I thought, “who the bloody hell is this whining malcontent leftie trying to downgrade Key’s election win. How the hell did they allow Kat to comment on the radio?!” Then when she signed off they said it was your offsider from Nat Rad, Michelle Boag!

    BE: For the full story, Kimbo, and if you’ve got nothing better to do, you might like to grab my childhood memoir “Daddy Was a German Spy” from the library. Got great reviews and has quite a lot of sex.

  56. It is the national party who cut jobs and keep cutting jobs that have put a strain on the job market I don’t want to be unemployed but what can I do I have applied for so many jobs and every one of them rejected I have actually lost count. I am a skilled and qualified worker yet I am overlooked as employers are exploiting the wage subsidy and hiring far younger staff a form of discrimination yet what can I do. My cv speaks for itself and many have told me that. I took advice from someone to create an impressive cv but it makes no difference as the government have screwed the unemployed by cutting more jobs and there will be more. You would think that those who work for a government department would have voted labour at least their jobs would be safe but no seems national voters are blinded by his teeth and in a hypnotic state. Wake up new zealand before you end up on the street

    BE: Nonsense Debbie. Haven’t you read bolliehollie’s comment. There’s a big wide world of opportunity out there. You can’t be looking properly.

  57. It does strike me as funny that the banksters had to get rid of Berlusconi and install one of their own in a virtual coup, but in NZ the public have twice elected one of their own. Saves a bit of trouble.

  58. “…you might like to grab my childhood memoir “Daddy Was a German Spy” from the library. Got great reviews and has quite a lot of sex”.

    Yes, but how do you earn any copyright if I go bludging off the socialist library system ?! ;)

    BE: Now, now, Kimbo!

  59. Kimbo, Michelle Boag makes a valid point, with regards to using the system, and that is the lefts inherent problem. But I do believe we may now have an impetus to fine tune the system so that it empowers all people to take an active part in shaping our parliament and seeing it work for everybody. Otherwise those opposition seats are really just Clayton’s seats.

    As an adjunct to Michelle Boags comments, the opposition to any real power sharing appears to have come, over time, from those right leaning factions that have tried to hijack the political process, whether it be gerrymandering or opposing proportional representation, in order to attain unbridled power. Something Key, even today, wishes he had.

    Thankfully the MMP referendum result may persuade the right to think differently long term, especially since they have now been successful in the last two elections and with an eye on 2014.

  60. Some people don’t deserve to vote. I overheard this last week…. “I would vote for Labour because I like what they want to do, but they’re going to lose so I have to vote National”.

    Almost as bad as labour voters in Epsom voting for National so they didn’t get ACT! Or the Americans in the early 00’s who wouldn’t vote Nader because he wouldn’t get enough votes.

    Hmmm…. it’s not sports betting people! Why not vote for who best represents your own views?

  61. I grew up in a household led by immigrant non-English speaking parents including a war-damaged father (a POW for 42 months) who held three jobs until he collapsed on Queen Street. I vote to the right.

    Why do I vote to the right? Because somehow I turned into a heartless scumbag who can’t identify with where he came from? No, I support the welfare state with every bone of my body.

    But I can’t accept the great leftish myth that everybody in difficult circumstances is deserving and no questions should be asked. The fact is we have developed and maintained a system that crushes independence, initiative and hard work.

    Give me the welfare state alright. But balance it with some common sense. Do that and we’ll all be winners.

  62. Bolliehollie you don’t know what your talking about. Here is a challenge for you if you think you can do a better job of getting me a job I dare you to do so. You are clueless in your statement. I have people recommending me for jobs and looking as well as all the looking and appliying I do I have signed up with just about every employment agency I have even placed ads so yes I am doing everything I can. It is the national party who are at fault their continuous job cuts are what is putting a strain on the job market.

  63. @Kat: Should we then be tweaking MMP to produce a parliament where all parties, by mandatory participation, have a say in shaping legislation that ultimately affects the situation of every potential voter.

    Along similar lines to this thread, I reckon attention should be given to the role of the Remunerations Authority, who award MPs annual pay rises (irrespective of the parties represented).

    Given the context of discussion about a global financial crisis, ratings downgrades, expectations that grass-roots NZers should ‘tighten their belts’, asset sales, the retirement age, and that this is surely taxpayers money being used (is it not?), several considerations on the RA role come about.

    – Is it set in stone that MP’s have to receive a pay rise? (whether it’s annual is uncertain).
    – The existing minimum salary for an MP must be several times the median wage (and thus provides financial security for the recipient).
    – If an MP consistently turned down the pay rise in the intervening years between elections, would they have to do as much campaigning (ie., this decision might gain general acceptability with significant numbers of constituents?).
    – How much money could be saved if MP’s wages were kept at the same level and be used for those areas that MP’s perennially campaign on?

    The predominent spark for this content is the apparent inconsistency between MPs
    receiving pay rises, and expectations that large numbers of Kiwis have to survive on a fraction of this amount. I’m sure these people would be happier to know the explanation than to expect the status quo is justified without explanation.

  64. another metaphor free weather report – cloudy and drizzly here today. i hope that doesn’t land me back in trouble or target of some weird parable.

  65. Brian & Judy

    Why don’t you put up a page asking people why they didn’t go out to vote? That would be really interesting and quite enlightening, as I suspect that for many it had little to do with arses, lazy or otherwise.

    Weren’t there almost a million people who refrained?

    BE: An excellent idea. We’ll do it.

  66. Largely agree with you BE. One point I would partly contradict, though; “People not entitled to have a view: the one-in-three Kiwis who couldn’t be bothered getting off their arses to vote”.

    Fair enough if they straight-up just couldn’t be bothered.

    But it’s a different story for those who genuinely have no confidence in any party or candidate. In my view, non-participation is a perfectly valid option and those who exercise their right not to support anyone are just as entitled as anyone else to complain about a parliament they have no confidence in. George Carlin puts the argument very well:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efKguI0NFek

    Apart from that small point, you’re on the money.

  67. @ Merv – “Democracy in Action” – hands up all the intelligent voters in Epsom who voted for Act because National asked you to. How is that democracy in action, that’s robotic.

    New Zealanders really do have a short memory. Neo-conservative theory imposed on another generation of gullible kiwis.

    Happy though, private schools with increased funding so that Principals can claim educational success based on small class sizes. Happy those few wealthy mum and dad New Zealanders who will be able to invest in state assets.

  68. @ Kat

    …or people can take their own initiative to get themselves enrolled, become informed of the issues, and get themselves along to the polling booth on election day.

    I must have missed John key’s death squads, the 1950s Southern USA literacy tests to disqualify potenrtial voters, and the ballot-box stuffing that supposedly undermined democracy on Saturday.

    The only opponents to people voting was themselves. Still, roll on 2014…

  69. As to the happiness of earthquake victims with the PM, Gerry Brownlee, the EQC et al, we have clearly been watching different news bulletins.

    Judging from the tenor of various other comments from you, anyone who voted for National in Christchurch is stupid, selfish, venal and immoral.

    I’d also like to know what happened to the real Brian Edwards – you know, the one who used to view the media with a healthy degree of scepticism? In the “it bleeds, it leads” media culture we live in, I’m hardly surprised that “someone reasonably satisfied with the Government response to the Christchurch quakes” doesn’t have much news value; and those who aren’t are perfectly legitimate to report on.

    But, damn Brian, I don’t expect a tribal Labour man like you to express much enthusiasm for the election result. But you could try not to be so noxiously condescending to hundreds of thousands of people – a good number of them in Christchurch – who had the gall to vote in a manner you don’t approve of.

    Can we have the real Brian Edwards back?

    BE: Nowhere have I said or implied that the people of Christchurch were “stupid, selfish, venal or immoral”. I merely disagreed with the view that the earthquake victims were all happy with the government. The “unreal” Brian Edwards is a dishonest figment of your imagination. You’re testing my patience here.

  70. Be careful, Kat, because you don’t necessarily know what you’ll get when you motivate the great uneducated/misinformed working-class mass. Reminds me of the TV character Alf Garnett, who used to boast, “When I was young I used to have to walk 20 miles to vote Tory…”

  71. 71

    @ Craig Ranapia
    I would be delighted if you could tell me exactly what this government HAS done for post-quake Christchurch. Pretty please? With cream and sugar? Aside from playing soldiers and knocking things down willy nilly, that is. And deliberately holding back essential information from home owners. And not underwriting developers as insurers flee screaming into the darkness. Oh that’s right, the invisible hand of the market will fix EVERYTHING, won’t it? That would be a nice surprise.

  72. @ Grant:

    Forgive me if it’s a case of mistaken identity, but I almost feel I know you. You sound so like one of Leighton Smith’s favourite callers on NewstalkZB. The one who always intones the far-right mantra down his nose in a pseudo-posh voice, to the sound of applause from Leighton. The voice is robotic, inhuman, emotionless (‘emotion’ is to be despised remember). For some reason that particular Leighton clone always makes me reach for a bucket.

    Back to business –
    What I think BE may have meant by ‘stupidity’ were those people who vote for the personality/appearance/celebrity veneer of a leader rather than the substance of the person (if we can find any), and we know this happened quite often at the last two elections.

    I don’t know about BE, but into the ‘stupid’ category I’d also place all those who are politically naive and can’t be bothered educating themselves on the subject and voted National on a whim because ‘they seem to be ahead in the polls’.

    Also ‘stupid’ in my view are those who voted National because ‘my family always has’.

    ‘Stupid’ too for voting for a party that through its policies is going to further widen the gap between rich and poor. Perhaps not so stupid…. I’ve noted how the well-heeled and well-to-do (in my experience predominantly Nat/Act voters) get off on having a massive underclass beneath them which they can make scapegoats of. Oh yes, we must always have scapegoats in our society upon which to project all our own discontent, prejudices, hatreds and other grossly negative feelings. Life wouldn’t be half the fun would it Grant without our scapegoats…. an economic underclass we can regularly put the boot into, or perhaps a racial or religious minority will do equally well?

    As for ‘selfishness’, I have met and listened to many right-wing voters who are fuelled by a philosophy of ‘so long as I’m ok jack, to hell with you’. These are the people who like to cast all beneficiaries into a pit labelled ‘bludgers’, and chuck stones at them. These are the voters, without empathy, who aren’t interested in hearing about others’ personal situations, be they mentally or physically ill, or like Debbie here who is qualified and is continually job-seeking and struggling each day to keep her pecker up despite all the rejections. That takes huge guts because it’s a very depressing, frustrating, and desperate situation to be in. (My hat is off to you Debbie!)

    ‘Selfish’ in that one often has the impression that National party supporters won’t be happy till they see what they like to call the undeserving poor living in cardboard boxes and polythene tents on the pavements of our cities and towns.

    ‘Selfish’ because they’d rather see this than have one dollar of their salaries go toward helping the disadvantaged, the sick, and the downtrodden amongst their fellow-citizens.

    ‘Selfish’ because they’d rather scapegoat and stamp on them than reach down and give them a hand or a dollar to help them rise up.

    I suggest Grant that you get off your high-horse and join the real world populated by real people who suffer real adversities and struggle 24/7 to overcome them. Then you may, just may, develop a jot of humanity yourself. A humanity and compassion that BE has in spades.

  73. “I merely disagreed with the view that the earthquake victims were all happy with the government”.

    Er…no, Brian. I’ll take you to task on that comment, just as you took Bill Forster to task for illegitimately slipping in the word “every”, then using it to find exceptions to disabuse your “unhappy” list.

    I didn’t say “all” the earthquake victims of Chch are happy with the government. What I said/clearly implied in line with the general and anecdotal nature of your discussion list was that the MAJORITY were satisfied IF you base it on the only opinion poll that counts, the election, IF you compared that poll with National’s party and candidate vote in the 2008 version.

    APW – Usually I’d steer clear of your rhetorical question, “exactly what this government HAS done for post-quake Christchurch” Nevertheless, without wanting to provoke your ire, and acknowledging I am treading where angels fear to tread, I think I have an obligation to respond as I first raised the issue. You correctly discern I am not living in Christchurch.

    With respect to your current situation, Andrew Paul Wood, I can’t and don’t presume to answer specifically. However, if you want specifics, perhaps seeking those out in Chch with a differing political perspective from your own firm and passionately version will yield the answers.

    You may not be satisfied with those answers – which is fair enough. Nevertheless, I’d suggest that is where answers are to be found, based on how the people of Christchurch quantitatively voted on Saturday compared to 2008.

    Which was the only point I was making…

  74. @Andrew Paul Wood:

    Judging from your tone, I don’t think you’ve got the slightest interest in a serious answer so I won’t waste my time – or yours. I’ve wasted enough time banging my head on the bolted doors of closed minds.

    Since we still have a secret ballot in this country, I can’t know exactly what motivated the 65,589 people who party voted National (or the 60,083 who voted for National candidates) in Christchurch. But I guess, like Brian, they’re all to be blithely patronised as stupid, selfish, hateful idiots. Right?

    BE: You’ve now repeated the same slander that I referred to the Christchurch people who voted National as “stupid, selfish, hateful idiots”. I did no such thing. I warned that you were trying my patience. Peddle your lies somewhere else.

  75. Brian you’re encouraging those who are peddling this nonsense that all National voters are uncaring, selfish, stupid, manipulated, venal bigots who won’t be happy until they are paying no tax and every person in less fortunate circumstances to them is living in a cardboard box.

    And at the same time your slapping people trying to make the quite reasonable point that given that half the voters actually voted National that doesn’t seem reasonable. Or sane actually.

  76. Mills

    Well you’re way off the mark in trying to typecast me. Let me just comment on 1 ‘insight’ you have – I never listen NewstalkZB. My preferred radio station is National Radio.

    Re the debate around ‘stupid’ and ‘selfish’ I’m not particularly interested in definitions of these terms as such in this political context. I’m more interested in the fact that these terms have been used in this blog, initially by BE, to lash out at those who didn’t vote for the Left in this election. My point is really that had the Left won the election and had the Right used these terms to describe those that had voted for the Left, then the Left would have been hugely critical of the Right for describing their voters in this way. And rightly so. Its arrogant nonsense to describe voters who don’t agree with you as stupid and selfish.

    Just to comment though on one example that you give of apparant National party voter ‘stupidity’ – that is where comment that National party voters are ‘stupid’ if they vote the same way as their parents.

    Mill’s, I have to say that if you think this specific example of voter behaviour only applies to National party voters then you’re demonstrating a degree of stupidity and naivety yourself. Such behaviour is unuversal across the political spectrum. And its not stupid.

  77. HAPPY
    Half of ACT (John Banks)
    UNHAPPY
    T’other half of ACT (Don Brash)

    From a labour/green supporter who gave Winston the Party Vote, as the only opposition figure guaranteed to be able to needle Mr Key effectively

  78. BE: “Nothing skews perception more than addiction to an ideology.” You said it!”

    Cheap shot, Brian, you don’t even know me – and if you look back, you’ll find most of my comments are pretty even-handed, like this one: ideologues always accuse their opposition of being ideological.

    also: —–
    WAKE UP: “PS – all that said, I don’t doubt that fundamental evil exists: I’ve encountered it.”

    I posted that as an addendum to my immediately prior post BEFORE you added your comment above – which you must have known. Close to not playing fair, Brian!

  79. Grant, Nov 29th at 11:34

    …is right;, and I now add to my earlier post that “nobody has a lien on vice – or virtue” that nobody has a lien on stupidity either :)

  80. Unhappy: people who think they have an innate right to an increasing amount of the proceeds of others who have found increasing success.

    Labour lost this election by playing absolutely the poorest strategy imaginable: one of promoting envy and disdain for those who are successful or don’t share their views. If they’d spent more time being positive in their aims for NZ’s future and less time on issues which mostly only became important because they put so much effort into highlighting them then maybe more than 2.7 out of 10 people would have voted for them.

  81. HAPPY — Speculators, no capital gains tax & probably lots of state houses to buy up & rent on for good profits.
    UNHAPPY — State house tenants, same old cold damp house until it’s sold to a speculator then cold damp house at a higher rent!

  82. HAPPY:

    – National Party PR Guru (sorry, “journalist”), Tracy Watkins

    – People physically attracted to Gerry Brownlee

  83. Unhappy:

    Universities, who have been squeezed ’til the pips squeak – and are still supposed to turn out graduates of a high standard for a ‘knowledge economy’. Perhaps the new Minister of Education can teach a compulsory paper on ‘How to Get Blood out of a Stone’.

    Those of us who can’t bear the thought of listening to Banks saying ‘Greetings’ for the next 3 years.

  84. I am definitely not happy that National won. I’m concerned for my daughter, who is autistic and slowly working her way through university, as the fees may rise so much that she can’t afford to pay and will be deemed by the egregious Paula Bennett or someone similar to be “work ready” and be forced to be a telemarketer or something. I have social phobia and can only take my hat off to someone like Debbie who keeps looking for jobs. I am a qualified librarian and had a reasonable job in the nineties only to be made redundant because managers were preferred to librarians. John Key reminds me of the “consultant” who got rid of my job despite the fact that I had a lot of support from members of staff. The consultant was being paid about nine times as much as I was and claimed she was sorry about my job, while she and her assistant blithely told me that nobody was doing cataloguing any more so I’d have to learn to adapt.
    They were two of the most loathsome people I’d ever met, real smiling assassins, and Key appears to me to be just like them, which is why I can’t stand him.

  85. Unhappy:
    Brian Edwards

    Or, are you included under people who own state assets? You think that governments should own power stations? You think that the current SOEs have done us any favours in terms of power prices?

    The path to selling off generation was kicked off with deregulating the New Zealand electricity market in 1987. No government since has done anything to reverse this, to take us off this path.

    If I was deeply in debt then I would sell the family silver. But a power station is not even the family silver. It is something where competition should be encouraged and having the government own most of it does not help this.

    Single piece of infrastructure like rail? Obvious, don’t sell it. Power stations? Get off the grass, why not?

  86. I think those that didn’t vote have equal right to have a say, they have chosen whether consciously or unconsciously not to participate in a system that never looks after them.

    Most of those that didn’t vote were youth who don’t see what the government or elections has to do with them, why do they feel this way? Because we are not invited to participate,(except once every three year, what a joke) I know I felt completely dis-empowered by offering my one little vote and hope for my countries future, which was quickly swallowed up and ignored by the mass of citizens who have been dis-informed by the media, who shout too loudly for anyone else to be heard.

    If the youth are not going to participate in the system it has failed and representational ‘democracy’ is failing worldwide. I want to participate in the future of my country and my life the only way I will be able to do that is through direct or participatory democracy and I will settle for nothing less.

  87. Brian – my apologies, did not mean to offend.

    Debbie – I have just been made redundant (third time since 2003 and second time in two years).

  88. Darling Brian…. Shame on You
    Look at what have you unleashed upon the Blotosphere with your careless late night chardonnay ponderings… a mere 80 odd posts ago? How careless of you to have such liberal musings and then unleash them unfetted upon an innocent unsuspecting world. Look now at what you have Mary Shelley like created with your post, and at the moment when you naively pushed “send” lit the blue touch paper for the pyrotechnic display of venal that followed.

    Brian darling your charming quaint pink blotty column, now displays the worst of human foibles in its posts, from the self-righteous and the pompous, to the hate filled visceral evil, that hallmarks the sociopaths among us who never did receive enough titty from their mummies. Perhaps the worst though is from those who obviously did receive an education and with it perhaps the capacity to think creatively and change the world that they inhabit in a positive way…but alas are now far to grand or busy to be bothered, for there are lawns to be mowed at the bach…or the bottom needs painting on the boat and I have my reputation at the club.

    It’s all so tiresome really and if I am to be frank, some of your chums need to get a handle on life…and the REAL meaning thereof. As they said at the death of the Hindenberg “Oh the humanity…the humanity”…and that is what I now say to all of you….see the humanity that binds us all as Antipodeans …not the differences. Truth is none of us are so very different really…we’re all scared…even Mr Key…We’re all trying to survive in the existential soup that life condemns us to swim in…” The same fears and demons are faced by us all…”is that mole a cancer…will my lover leave me …will my husband/wife find out…will my child make me proud…will they get better?” …let’s face it we all need a hug most days.

    As I se it, the angry posturing, and posting displayed so far is merely a way for some to convince themselves…ourselves we are not alone… that we are “special…significant…better than him over there even”. But alas darlings lets face it we not really…even Mr Jobs with all his success, his wealth died alone…for that is how we shall all die…rich and poor…and we waste time in such negativity.

    I know I am dribbling on…it’s an age thing…but all I am saying is why don’t we try to celebrate that which we share as human beings…those things that make us laugh…see the beauty in this country of its people…the talents of all New Zealanders and lift the opportunity whereby the many might share in our good fortune. Think of that Rugby thingy just gone.

    Be generous to your fellow country folk and blotters…for you will live far longer with love in your hearts…than hate.

    Peach xxx

  89. I don’t understand it – I am actually monetarily better off under National – I make money from property I will never have to pay tax on – they have lowered my income tax – and soon they will be offering me a cheaper ACC provider. Why then do I so strongly align with the “unhappy” campers?

  90. Grant November (29th, 2011 at 11:34) @ Mills

    And yet, despite Mills’ description of right wingers appearing to be a cliched stereotype – it is based more firmly in reality than fantasy.

    A cursory look at the blogosphere; other internet Fora; talkback radio; etc; is enough to convince me that many/most neo-liberals have long since sold their souls to the highest bidder (thank you, Trade Me – your Souls-To-Sell Category seems well utilised).

    Of course, most middle class Baby Boomers can’t stomach the hard-line, outright, distasteful Ayn Randian policies of ACT. No, they prefer the softer, velvet gloved hand of National.

    Selling of our state assets?! No way!!

    Ok, what about a partial sale. To Mum & Dad investors who always have a spare $10,000 under the mattress for rainy days when SOEs come onto the market?

    Oh, that’s ok then.

    Ghettoising schools?

    No way! How heartless!

    Ok, what about League Tables then? So parents have “choice” where to send there children?

    “Choice”? Oh, how grand! I’d jolly well luv that!

    Excellent. And by coincidence, that’s what it’ll cost you for little Johnny and Jenny at our highly ranked school on our League Tables; a grand. Each. Per week. Yes, cheque will do nicely – please keep Johnny/Jenny in the hallway until your cheque clears. And don’t forget to add 25 cents cheque fee.

    Keep the accountants happy, eh?

  91. pete (November 28th, 2011 at 17:46)

    “Some people don’t deserve to vote. I overheard this last week…. “I would vote for Labour because I like what they want to do, but they’re going to lose so I have to vote National”. ”

    Ok, that’s it. I go with Judy’s (?) proposal that we teach civics to our kids in schools.

  92. I’m listless, have no motivation to find work, envious and resentful of those who have made a better fist of life than myself, angry that my numerous social welfare entitlements don’t keep up with the cost of living, scared that a 6th conviction for ‘offences involving dishonesty’ may see me imprisoned.

    So peed off that Labour didn’t win.

    BE: A grotesque caricature. Have a look at Ali’s thoughtful comment above.

  93. “Happy: People who are self-starters, motivated, prepared to be accountable and responsible for their own destiny.”

    That’s odd, because you have described me, quite accurately, except I am NOT happy about the election result. I’m a small business owner, a “self-starter”. I’m motivated and excited to be in control of my own destiny. But for the most part, I am lucky. I am educated, I have a supportive family, food in my belly, a government that wants me to succeed, a police force that will go into bat for me if someone tries to steal my earnings. I could go on.

    To claim that I have done this all by myself because I am somehow morally above others who haven’t is a complete fallacy. I did it all because of a lucky string of circumstances that have made me who I am. Would I have gone to University if my parents, baby boomers, hadn’t had the oppotunity of free Tertiary Education and therefore passed on the value of learning? Perhaps not. Would I have felt so motivated to start my own business without the support of my father, who runs a similar business and was able to employ me until I was able to branch out on my own? Who knows.

    No one is self made. We are all supported by those around us. That is the only way to encourage and lift people up. Let’s stop the bullying, judgemental mindset that is keeping the downtrodden, well… downtrodden. Let’s be open and generous. You have NO more right as someone who earns their own wage, than someone who lives off the state, for whatever reason, to claim the moral high ground. You got to where you got through the help of others.

  94. Chelsea Nov 29th at 20:16 said: ” I think those that didn’t vote have equal right to have a say, they have chosen… not to participate in a system that never looks after them. Most of those that didn’t vote were youth who don’t see what the government or elections has to do with them, why do they feel this way? Because we are not invited to participate,(except once every three year, what a joke) I know I felt completely dis-empowered by offering my one little vote and hope for my countries future…”

    Chelsea, I have three words for you: Get A Life.
    And four more: we “owe” you NOTHING.

    Get out there, participate, vote, be proactive on your own behalf. This country offers planty of choices (including at the election), and you obviously don’t know how lucky you are to be living here (just look at most of the rest of the world). Why do you think so many migrants want to come here?

  95. Ali: “You have NO more right as someone who earns their own wage, than someone who lives off the state, for whatever reason, to claim the moral high ground. ”

    Oh yes you do, if it can be demonstrated that your hard-earned taxes are supporting the “someone” and that someone could, with the appropriate effort, also be working, earning and taxpaying.

  96. @ Ali and Wake Up (and BE)

    I get the feeling people are talking past each other on this one. The issue, I’d suggest, is is it right to seek to apply categories of “deserving” and “undeserving poor”?

    I’d say common sense says, “yes”, although you are right, Brian, Darcy Blockadot’s contribution was hyperbole.

    The issue for me is that when it suits Labour/the left, i.e., when they are in power, they have no problems applying the principle. Maybe it is at a different starting point to National. Nevertheless, Labour excluded welfare beneficiaries from receiving WFF when they first set it up. They did so to limit the effect on the public purse with full knowledge that if you offer a bottomless pit, then human nature will take advantage of it. Instead, it is right, within the assistance-transition to employment mix to offer an incentive to people.

    While I applaud their concern for the disadvantaged, I strongly oppose the attempts of the Poverty Action Group to extend WFF to those not working. Yes, those in genuine unavoidable need should be supported, but there must be some incentive to move out. It’s not ALL about the class system oppressing people and denying them opportunity. There is SOME measure of self-responsibility. Where you determine that line is the issue.

    Yes, sometimes the distinction between “deserving” and “undeserving” is difficult, if not impossible to determine. But there is a limit to how much support the state can provide, so determining criteria is a fact of life. Blithe caricatures of welfare bludgers, or tory capitalist exploiters does little to really address the issue. Or at least that’s what I reckon…

  97. Frank

    We all use stereotypes from time to time. Sociology teaches us that. If I was so inclined I could draft up stereotypes of Labour Party supporting socialists, but I don’t see much value in doing so.

    To rely on stereotypes too much creates a potential problem of being too rigid, biased and possibly bigoted. Those so disposed to rely on stereotypes are therefore diminished in their ability to add to the quality of the debate on ideas.

    By using stereotypes as you do of National party voters and supporters, you attribute to them beliefs and points of views that they may not have.

    One example from the list of positions that you maintain National voters take compared to Labour voters concerns asset sales. I think you’ll find that many people voted National even though they don’t agree with asset sales.

    These voters don’t fit your neat stereotypical framework. You need to shift to a deeper, more complex degree of analysis to make sense of it all. People in reality are much more complex, confusing and downright contradictory than your stereotypical model would have us believe.

    My advice Frank if you are truely a liberal socilalist, is to not take the Stalinist road of hard core stereotyping, but to be open to all points of view.

  98. Kimbo, my coment was absolutely specific, not open to misinterpretation, and informed by something I once observed while living way up North: I watched a guy build an entire house on his own while in receipt of a “sickness” benefit. The rest of us had to work, pay taxes AND build/finance our house/s.

  99. “Why then do I so strongly align with the ‘unhappy’ campers?”

    Maybe you have a conscience and can think of others and not just yourself. Not everyone can do that.

    I am bemused by those who’ve spoken of National dominating votes in Christchurch. How on earth did the likes of Ruth Dyson and Lianne Dalziell win their electorate seats with large majorities? Clearly a lot of people are not in love with National. If you’ve ever seen Campbell Live giving people in Christchurch a voice, you would realise that there are plenty of people there very unhappy with the government’s performance.

  100. I agree with Ali.

    John Key and Paula Bennett received considerable state assistance when they were younger. It seems curious and shows a lack of empathy that while such assistance benefited them, they now seek to make life more difficult for beneficiaries.

  101. @ Wake up

    Yeah, and I’m not trying to reinterpret what you said at all. I’ll play devil’s advocate and suggest you maybe didn’t know all the circumstances that may have put the example you gave in the “deserving poor” category.

    But I agree with your response to Ali 100%. We make moral and financial decisions all the time in life. If, as Ali (rightly) argues we are all dependent in some way on one another, then, by means of the democratic process, we do get to collectively decide HOW MUCH we support others, and WHERE we draw the line between social assistance and necessary self-effort and initiative.

  102. @ Wake Up – well you know what to do don’t you – become an nark and dob that person in if you’re worried. You can’t punish the rest of society because a few people are smart enought to wrought the system, which, I might add, happnes at ALL levels of society. Sounds like you need to get a hobby. I’m a amazed at how resourceful this bloke must be if he can build an entire house by himself on the benefit! That’s fantastic!

  103. Nice one, Ali. Is this your vision of Utopia in a Labour-run Godzone? Your beneficiary’s so resourceful he’s managed to get you and me to buy him a house.

    So. Why isn’t he being a builder and paying tax?

  104. Probably because a highly-trained health professional has assessed him as being unable to, and the DWI insist that he proves this repeatedly and regularly, Zinco. Like all sickness and invalids beneficiaries.

    But hey, what do those idiots know compared to thousands of judgemental experts (including Key and Bennett) on every single ailment afflicting every other person in NZ?

  105. @ross: two classic cases of nouveau riche ladder-kicking at best. From what I’ve read, Key’s state house background was a temporary setback that was overplayed to his advantage – he wasn’t actually born a state house tenant, just a made one.

    As for the sizeable non-voting youth bloc, there’s not much to excite them right now. No Rob Muldoon or Tricky Dick or Spiro Agnews to hate on, no Vietnam War, no drafting, etc. And non-voting seems more likely a by-product of a law-of-the-jungle society, rather than a deliberate strategy to apathetise/cynicise them.

  106. Ali said: “I’m a amazed at how resourceful this bloke must be if he can build an entire house by himself on the benefit! That’s fantastic!’

    ———————
    Ali, if you’re serious, you’re a perfect example of the sickness eating away at the heart of our society. Resourceful (your word) and perfectly fit = get a job, you bludger.

  107. After I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a remark is added I get 4 emails with the identical comment. Is there any way you’ll be able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

    BE: I wasn’t even aware of that option. Part of a Word Press update, I imagine. I’ll try to find out what you should do. Or other readers may have the answer for you. Meanwhile, have you tried un-ticking the box?

  108. I agree with Tony. (way back there somewhere.)

  109. Brian, at the risk of hubris:

    Much earlier in this thread, I opined that “no group of human beings has a lien on virtue – or vice.”

    To which you replied:

    BE: “The Nazis? the Pol Pot regime? The South African Government during apartheid?”

    To which I responded: “My use of the word “lien” illustrates the folly of claiming virtue – all the groups you cite would have vigorously touted their “virtue’. Nothing skews perception more than addiction to an ideology.”

    To which you responded: “Nothing skews perception more than addiction to an ideology. You said it!”

    (and we had a little more follow-up after that)
    ————–
    But to cut to the chase: today’s NZ Herald headlines: “Pol Pot’s deputy tells court: We weren’t so bad”, and goes on to report how he (Nuon Chea) had “devoted his life to serving his country”.

    Am I the only one not surprised?

    And I rest my case: ideology skews perception, when vice is claimed as virtue – which is why it is unwise to claim a lien on either :)

  110. Having counted the final Party votes: more kiwis voted for Labour, Green, MANA, Conservative, Maori, ALCP, Alliance, Democrats, et al than for; NZ National, (proxy National) United Future, and (proxy National) ACT. Market research before the Election told me that 30% of potential voter “felt that NO party resonated with their concerns and aspirations.” Does this adequately explain the 1 million non-votes ? I would prefer adding options to tick NONE OF THE ABOVE and NO CONFIDENCE as valid Electoral responses to be factored into the percentage returns.

  111. I’m a salary earner of modest means and an ex-Labour voter who is very happy with the result.
    The list is simplistic and stupid.