Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Cui bono?

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  • Kumara Republic, in reply to mark taslov,

    I'll tell you about my complicating factors. Bombed out of info-science major at university in the final year, thanks to finding the learning curve of advanced coding too steep. Subsequently went to polytech for an electrical pre-trade and instead got bumped up to electronics which went nowhere fast. The result is a big fat zero return on investment every time I've taken out a student loan, and my lifetime EFTS is probably running out. I know enough basic coding to come to the realisation that it doesn't strictly suit everyone, despite calls to teach it at primary school level.

    More recently I've been diagnosed with an 'unspecified neuro-developmental disorder' as per the DSM-5, or PDD-NOS under the old DSM-4. In layperson speak, they both have overlap with the autistic spectrum, and I think in visual terms rather than words or numbers. My current job is highly amenable to my condition, but advances in technology are threatening to put the machines I work with in a museum.

    I've pretty much concluded that there needs to be more investment in vocational training, especially for those at risk of technological unemployment, and those who aren't particularly suited to a traditional tertiary education approach. And I've said it before, but proposals for a digital apprenticeship system would have been an ice-breaker for the likes of myself, if it wasn't for the degree snobbery of the Tertiary Education Minister (who himself dropped out of uni).

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to mark taslov,

    "I applaud Emma’s sentiment, however I feel that the issues underpinning the treatment of beneficiaries are consistent with those measured out by society as a whole."

    Actually, beneficiaries are at the very end of the stick, where the stick resembles that of a baseball bat, where it is a bit thicker than the rest of the bat, going down to the handle.

    But you are right, society as a whole is somewhat “sick”, and it has become “sicker” since 2008, what “coincidence” it falls together with an election changing government.

    Desensitization is perhaps the word, when dished out rough treatment, people “toughen up” and lose sensitivity, that includes cultural, ethical and respectful manners. War is a perfect example, people do sadly get used to violence and in the end walk past dead bodies as that is the new “normal”, look at where this is happening, for instance in Syria.

    The same applies to social realities in a society not in war, but where changes are made that lead to a rougher society, less humane and more competitive and ruthless. We have exactly that, competition favours the fittest, and the fit try to keep up, as not being able to leads to more pain than putting up with harsh, competitive work and business, so they fulfill Darwin’s theory, adapt or die is the motto, there is no alternative.

    Joining the ones at the bottom, those on benefits, that is for many like dying, losing all social respect and security. So they avoid it like the plague, and put up with so much, they start frowning on those who do not or cannot “toughen up”.

    Tax cuts for the better off, less so for those on average or low pay, yes GST “compensates” and “balances” the equation, and those at the bottom are hit much harder, that is what we got. The wealth gap has developed over two or more decades, and is wide, those that have are doing fine, their homes just go up more in value than wage or salaries earned per week here in Auckland. That gives them more advantages, the owners, and they can cope and do well.

    The ones without are facing ever harsher times, so that same as laboratory rats, when the stress goes to the max, they start eating each other, attacking each other, hence the beneficiary bashing by workers, even those on low pay.

    And the competition goes throughout life, the divisions with it, so we have the better off afford nice oak wood or perhaps even “nobler” wood made coffins, others get the WINZ style burial, as cheap as possible, barely covering what is the basically socially acceptable funeral service.

    In the end we all end up the same, as “ashes to ashes”, as “earth to earth”, we become decomposed, rich and poor, but it seems, as humans, vanity, competition, frowning, hatred and division are attributes that are kept alive, as it serves the purpose of those at the top, and the top levels of a hierarchy.

    And as most of us are so trapped in our day to day lives, we do all play the same game to varying degrees, all guilty to some levels, it is saddening, shocking really, is that human nature, is that human values and being?

    So no wonder Labour avoid even talking about beneficiaries, disabled and the less fortunate, except about those working poor, as they qualify as "workers", participants in the game, fulfilling the criteria as belonging to the club of "fighters", perhaps also deserving of some. In summary it is a disgrace where we have ended up, a total disgrace.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Marc C,

    Well said.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Marc C,

    it is a disgrace where we have ended up, a total disgrace.

    And the story of Sam Kuha exemplifies this perfectly.

    Y'all remember Sam...59 with a significant disability who was declined a food grant from WINZ until he had seen a budget advisor...subsequent advice was that he had insufficient income from WINZ to meet his needs...he knew this already...

    Anyway...he went on a hunger strike, and wheeled down to the WINZ office and smashed a couple of windows in frustration....

    Received outstanding support from the CCS advocate interviewed in the above article.

    When Sam subsequently appeared in court for breaking the WINZ windows, he pleaded guilty and was convicted and discharged. He agreed to pay the $480 repair bill at $10 per week from his benefit...which by the time of his sentencing he could afford because...

    Kuha's benefit had increased by 41 per cent because he was now receiving his full entitlement.



    At the time, Godzone's favourite cetacean wrote,

    ...and the lazy prick couldn’t be arsed to do a proper one.

    This guy has such a sense of entitlement it sickens me. He has a car that he doesn’t drive because it’s not warranted or registered – why doesn’t he sell the bloody thing then?

    He owns his own home and the reason he has no money for food is that it goes on his mortgage and insurances! What gives him the right to suck off the taxpayer’s tit and get his house paid for, just because he was unlucky enough to be run over by a car 20 years ago?

    What time is that Revolution starting???

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Kuha’s benefit had increased by 41 per cent because he was now receiving his full entitlement.

    wish there was more detail so that others could better understand what they might be entitled to
    It is also a case where you do wonder at the fairness. Should he really have to pay for damage that was covered by insurance and which was in fact the only way he had to get WINZ to look again at his problem.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Godzone’s favourite cetacean wrote,

    This really needs a warning Rosemary, I now feel ill :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    I now feel ill

    Yeah, well...sorry about that...

    When I read that (the Youknowhat blog), I had an epiphany of sorts.

    His words...plus the words written by his followers...struck home.

    You go out into the world with an obvious disability, or with someone with an obvious disability and you are forced to get used to the stares and the comments.

    You are forced to accept that about 70% (yes, we keep a running score) of folk simply can't bring themselves to initiate a conversation with someone in a wheelchair.

    Most folk don't mean ill...they are just not comfortable, and struggle to engage...

    But I read that...and the comments...and I realised that there are at least some folk out there, in Godzone, who really really believe that shit.

    And...we don't know who they are...they could be that guy who walked across the road to avoid speaking with Himself...it could be anyone...we just don't know.

    But, what we do know, is that Our Leader is a friend of Youknowhat....

    https://fmacskasy.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/key-and-slater.jpg


    Accounts for much of the government's recent rabid antithesis towards those less perfect people.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    OOOPS!!!

    Should have put a double warning on that link....

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    But, what we do know, is that Our Leader is a friend of Youknowhat....

    Though not in his capacity as, uh, Prim Monster, so nothing to see there, yeah nah?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    God...feral, or what?

    After that, we could all do with a cheery up tune...

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Marc C,

    Thanks for your reply Marc, that is awesome.. Anyone who lacks advocacy is in big trouble, some are very lucky to enjoy the support networks they have. That these support networks are so needed is testament to our having produced generations of school leavers lacking the confidence and/or the ability to articulate themselves far beyond “Speights.”

    The vacuum left by so many moderate voices can only distort our national discourse, A thread begins with some excellent suggestions for improving our benefits system and ends up with a commentator calling “feral” in response to the unfortunate comments made by a prominent mental illness sufferer in our community – his word, hiffed to the forefront of our modern popular lexicon, the way he sees people, a totally inappropriate choice on his part planted in the armoury of an enemy he craves..

    Due to the nature of mental illness, anything Cameron Slater says is subject to the influence of his illness. Yes he puts that tone out there, but at the end of the day it’s a symptom of a greater problem, he is high conflict, clearly he is dealing with a great deal of pain. In this context we are equipped to either ignore or absorb that without retaliation, just as we would the outbursts of a Tourette sufferer, a choice most with sufficient empathy are free to make.

    Is Paul Henry about to have another meltdown?

    As spectacular as that portrayal sounds – I certainly hope not, but if he is then perhaps a quiet word in the ear rather than a nasty national news headline might better benefit everyone concerned.












    .

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to mark taslov,

    Due to the nature of mental illness, anything Cameron Slater says is subject to the influence of his illness. Yes he puts that tone out there, but at the end of the day it’s a symptom of a greater problem, he is high conflict, clearly he is dealing with a great deal of pain.

    Let me see if I have read this right.

    Cameron Slater has a mental illness that causes him to attack, with a great deal of savagery, those who are also clearly suffering pain and disablement.

    Perhaps, while he receives the treatment he needs ( and I would hazard there be a number of other folk who would willingly give up their demands on the publicly funded health system to ensure treatment in his case is prompt) some kind of gag/muzzle could be employed?

    Damage control...because he does has some influence...at the highest of levels.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to mark taslov,

    Yes he puts that tone out there,

    Surely, if he wanted to deal with his issues ,first and foremost would be to stop what he's doing. And I know he would have been advised as to his ways not being conducive to any healing. He does literally make me feel queasy and his constant abuse of others does invite myself to advertise to others warnings of his intolerant words (imo) The fact he wants to be out there his way will garner the responses he gets. Shame then that perhaps he doesn't want to heal or finds what he does sufficient because society has interpretations for it and that's no always fair or good. It is the way the cookie crumble.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart,

    in the absence of any formal damage control surely our best option here is to ignore the bugger. We are only helping him do more damage by offering his words to a wider audience.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Angela Hart,

    ignore the bugger

    Good point.

    However...

    https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/january-16-nz-blogs-sitemeter-ranking/

    and what with the other rabid right site having similar popularity...

    we may be in the deepest of smelly stuff.

    Public opinionwise...

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    I suppose it's possible those rankings are realistic, in which case you're right. But at a quick glance it looks as if this site uses visit numbers and page views to make the ranking. So you can, for instance, have a single person (or perhaps a computer programme) make lots of visits and skew your rankings very easily.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Cameron Slater has a mental illness that causes him to attack, with a great deal of savagery, those who are also clearly suffering pain and disablement.

    Exactly Rosemary, and that is why amplifying, emulating and disseminating that affected voice and advancing those page views is not in society’s best interests.He is the pin up boy for a failed mental health system:

    He shoots from the hip with no thought of the consequences for himself for others or indeed his family. The very fact that he says hurtful things that show a total lack of empathy is the evidence that he is seriously ill.

    “He watches me cry my eyes out again and again and it moves him not one iota. You want me to be upset that he has hurt others? I am too busy dealing with his lack of empathy towards me."

    because he does has some influence…at the highest of levels.

    Clearer than that is that the highest levels have had absolute influence on the life and livelihood of this compromised individual. His family have yet to meaningfully intervene.

    Surely, if he wanted to deal with his issues, first and foremost would be to stop what he’s doing.

    I suspect that it’s indicative of the level of compulsion he’s grappling with right now Sofie, The potential remains for him to become a force for good in this world and in the mean time if we see this type of behaviour for what it is – symptomatic of illness – this presents a softer landing for many.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson, in reply to Angela Hart,

    Kim.com published some stats of WO which showed some peculiarities implying that a proportion of the traffic is fake. Also DimPost used referral traffic to guess that WO traffic is much lower than recorded.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 615 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart,

    Thanks Brent, I remember those but didn't look for the links. Point is you can't trust any information sourced from the slater.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to mark taslov,

    Clearer than that is that the highest levels have had absolute influence on the life and livelihood of this compromised individual. His family have yet to meaningfully intervene.

    Pity the family member quoted in the article you linked to has few qualms about using the potential power of this manifestation of mental illness to have a bit of go at someone else....

    We feel free to disagree with each other on WO. We do not have a rigid WO view. We do however have the largest Blog readership in New Zealand so our individual views have the potential to influence a huge amount of people.

    Juana Atkins Sunday, 28 June 2015

    I am struggling with the narrative that 'mental illness' lies behind the actions of a certain person....makes me feel that perhaps others struggling with mental illness might see it as using 'mental illness' as an excuse to be simply an arsehole.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Who knows what lies behind the actions of this person? There isn't much anyone but him can do about any issues he has. But we can manage our own responses.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I have just been to a lecture where a male member of the audience said we should tax fat people as they cause the 'obesity problem' (rather than sugary drinks or any other action). The audience, mainly of slim academics and policy people, giggled a bit and no one called him out on his dangerous eugenic attitudes. (One answer could have been that with that logic old people should be taxed more because of their increased costs to the public health system.) I was surprised how angry and shocked I was hearing such attitudes so casually expressed. I mention this because this is the effect of those such as WO blog on the public discourse and the general demeaning of whole groups of humans which seems to be encouraged by the privileged and powerful at the moment.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3203 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart,

    It's sad that someone attending a lecture isn't smart enough to appreciate the actual causation of increasingly heavy human populations.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Cameron Slater has a mental illness that causes him to attack

    No. He chooses to be an arsehole. His mental illness issues are shared by many others who manage not to be persistently nasty towards others.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I was surprised how angry and shocked I was hearing such attitudes so casually expressed.

    Yep.

    Logic tells us to discount such crap for the unfounded inflammatory rubbish that it so clearly is.

    But when one's reaction comes from somewhere else...is visceral...when logic yet again kicks in it's obvious that the visceral reaction was the type that the author(and I use that term advisedly) intended.

    The author of course is making the correct assumption that a significant percentage of his audience is not overburdened with powers of logical thinking.

    And as evidence of that assertion...look how "Dirty Politics" failed to alter voter perception of Our Leader and his bunch of Merry Members at the last election.

    the general demeaning of whole groups of humans which seems to be encouraged by the privileged and powerful at the moment.

    Yep.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

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