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Radical Labour on welfare rorts?

  • May 29th, 2008

There is a circuit-breaker Labour could use for this election, but will not.

If they acknowledged that welfare had warped from its founders’ dreams to become the destroyer of personal pride, of our national work ethic, of family strength, and even of race relations, and promised to provide only sustenance in kind (not cash) to able-bodied working age people without dependants, the effect would be like Dr Brash’s Orewa speech.

I wondered for a moment whether that was Dr Cullen’s cunning plan when I heard that he’d talked recently about benefits in kind (food stamps?) but I’ve seen no more signs of his kite.  The woeful government response to Dr van Herck confirms that in Labour, thinking on welfare policy has remained taboo since the ‘deserving’ became anathema under the 1972 government.

Such a dramatic u-turn by Labour would free hundreds of thousands of timid New Zealanders to say what they’d been thinking, as confirmed by courageous Dr Tom van Herck. It would re-capture for Labour many votes from the industrious immigrant communities who hate seeing their childrens’ values undermined by money with no strings. It would end the current situation where National does not need to announce policy, for it would only distract voters from Labour’s moral squalor. It would drag over that squalor the tattered blanket of the decency that drove the stern men who conceived the welfare state as help for the deserving poor, not the lazy and the anti-social.

I assume it would outflank National (though our policy is yet to be announced).

So National’s Judith Collins (who should justly be proud of her role in leading to the current Vietnam apologies) is not likely to be left to shout “told you so” as welfare policy is made a centre point of this election.


  • Billy
  • May 29th, 2008
  • 1:23 pm

Originally, welfare was a safety net to ensure people didn’t starve or have live on the streets. Now, the left unashamedly say its function is to reduce the gap between rich and poor. So providing the safety net is not enough: if the less well off are too far behind the best off, welfare should bridge the gap. This is a quite different thing.


Billy, Welfare today is a legitimate (legal) alternative lifestyle to working for a living. As long as one can point to a ‘condition’, an addiction, a kid or other ‘caring’ responsibility, they’ve got a ticket.

Some beneficiaries are using welfare as a very last resort. But it’d be a minority. Probably a smallish one.


Stephen, In the long run I believe it WILL be Labour that reforms welfare in a meaningful sense. They have always been the social reformers. Shame they missed their big opportunity this innings. Nothing personal but my expectations of anything radical from National are low. Hope I’m mistaken.


In my opinion Stephen, you must bag and extort
and get violent if necessary, with
please introduce a simple tax regime.
for gods sake the most sophisticated Accountant can not tell me what a Company or Trust is anymore, or a family, or an entity,
she [ Helengrand] is going to cold Greenland Sweden Hell for destruction of our beloved Country.

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