The Jackal

24 Jul 2017

Sean Plunket - Asshole of the Week

After this weekend you’ve really got to wonder if The Opportunities Party is trying to be the new Association of Consumers and Taxpayers party?

Not content with mansplaining Lizzie Marvelly about her latest Herald column for most of Saturday, Sean Plunket and his subordinates then moved their attention to Metiria Turei for most of Sunday, obviously jealous of the publicity the Green party received over their most excellent social welfare policy announcement.

To their detriment, TOP's director of communications, Sean Plunket, and other right-wing affiliates have been feverishly throwing every attack line they've ever developed at the Green party co-leader.

Unfortunately this has meant that the policy's attributes and Turei’s most honourable admission of a crime of necessity to highlight the plight of beneficiaries has been somewhat lost in mainstream media translation. Oh well, there's no such thing as bad publicity I guess.

Generally speaking the media didn’t really want to engage in a productive discussion about what needs to change in order to fix our broken social welfare system. Instead they adamantly tried to solely focus on an overpayment from 25 years ago. The beneficiary bashing and hypocrisy has been quit extraordinary!

Here’s churnalist Plunket implying on Twitter that Metiria Turei shouldn't have had a child.

Let’s explain how things work for the ignorant Sean Plunket then shall we. A woman has a child because it’s her body and her choice. If woman were only allowed to have children when all their circumstances were acceptable to people like the chauvinistic pigs in ACT and TOP the world would be a very lonely and mediocre place indeed.

It’s a slippery slope when bigots with a few dimes start attacking the family members of politicians they don’t like and promoting a type of eugenics based on wealth. That’s why Sean bloody Plunket wins this week’s Asshole Award. Why Bomber Bradbury is advocating for these sexist pricks is beyond me?

National - Kiwi jobseekers are drug addicts

There is no question that the National party likes a high level of immigration into New Zealand because it keeps wages artificially low. The side effect is that increasing competition through unemployment and underemployment means many Kiwi jobseekers miss out on finding gainful employment.

The government undertakes such measures to ensure businesses remain highly profitable and their all hallowed economic growth model is retained. In this respect, The National party and their business associates clearly value money over the good people of New Zealand.

In light of these facts, the current government is once again scapegoating beneficiaries in order to try and justify their socially destructive policies.

Yesterday, Newshub reported:

Regional revolt prompts Government rethink on immigration

Newshub can reveal the Government is on the brink of a major backdown and it's on one of the election's big issues - immigration.

Immigration was due to be tightened on August 14 but there's been a backlash from employers and the regions.

Sources have told Newshub the Government is set to back down and keep the gates open.

Examples of the revolt include Southland, which wants 10,000 more people.

Gower has obviously mistaken revolt for status quo.

"Good Kiwis are hard to find. Guys don't want to let their good Kiwis go," farmer Hayden Nicholson told Newshub.

"I wouldn't. I wouldn't let any good Kiwi go."

Jono Breach also knows how hard it is to get a "good Kiwi". He just got an application from one, so checked his Facebook page.

"His first picture was with wads of cash and bags of drugs, and I'm like, 'Well!'," he told Newshub.

That's why farmers down in Southland have turned to immigrant labour, mainly Filipinos, like "Choco", who loves the work, and even says he likes the Southland frost.

Southland farmers claiming that they're employing immigrant labour because the Kiwi's applying for job vacancies are apparently all drug addicts and not because immigrants will work for less is obviously bullshit!

The working poor and unemployed are basically viewed by National as an expendable commodity... and often used as a political tool to justify various social experiments based on out-dated neoliberal philosophy. The unemployed are the silent victims of big business interests and free market capitalism gone awry.

Here's the evidence showing why the government shouldn't be basing its immigration policy on the heresy of a few idiot Southland farmers.

In February, Radio NZ reported:

Tens of thousands drug-tested, hundreds fail

Government figures show beneficiaries have failed only 466 pre-employment drug tests in the past three years.

So even the government is telling the government it's wrong!

The Ministry of Social Development said the 466 included those who failed and those who refused to take the test.

Some failed more than once.

The ministry did not have the total figure for how many tests were done over the three years, but said there were 32,000 pre-employment drug tests in 2015.

Today, Mr English denied he was scapegoating a few drug users to take attention off record immigration and those workers taking jobs here.

That’s less than 1.4% of jobseekers failing drug tests over a three-year period, which just goes to show that Patrick Gower’s National party propaganda piece is just absolute crap!

Next National will be claiming that anybody who wants immigration to be set at a reasonable level is somehow racist! How boringly predictable. What they won't tell you is that having a proper immigration policy will be good for immigrant workers as well as Kiwis. None of these people really want to be exploited with low wages.

When the National party has become this bereft of ideas during an election campaign, you know it's time for a change of government.

21 Jul 2017

The contrast between Labour and National is clear

With both leaders being equally wooden, the 2017 election looks set to be contested on policy and not just personality, which is a good thing.

There’s no question that New Zealand could do better... with the right levers in place our once great country could start to recover both socially and economically from the last global recession and the neoliberal dogma that has infected politics for far too long.

Obviously National will claim that we already have recovered, but all they’ve really done is created a false economy based on high immigration and inflation that has badly impacted middle and low income New Zealanders, who have been devalued in the current unsustainable system.

The real question will be if enough voter’s have seen and care about the social disintegration that has occurred under the current government? To highlight the damage, I’ve been asking the National party a few questions on Twitter about their once promised brighter future:

Of course none of the National MPs who frequent Twitter bothered to respond. They would prefer to pretend everything is fine based on some arbitrary numbers about the economy.

With National burying their heads in the sand by proposing more trickle down economics with tax cuts for the already wealthy, it’s good to see some coverage about Labour’s alternative budget in the media that shows they resolutely stand with the poor, the marginalised and the downtrodden in New Zealand.

Today, Stuff reported:

Editorial: Clear fiscal choices are on offer 
Tax cut or social spend? Which is affordable? And if both are, which choice is better for New Zealand in the long run?

As political journalist Vernon Small says, Labour's recently released draft budget is relatively careful and even middle of the road. Only a "Right-wing warrior" could call it reckless. That warrior turned out to be Act leader David Seymour who quickly dubbed the Labour plan economically irresponsible. He was joined by National's Steven Joyce who attacked it as tax and spend.

But others have shown it is entirely manageable. Labour plan to spend an extra $17 billion over four years without going into deficit. Nearly half will come from cancelling the proposed tax cuts that National has dangled before voters. That gives Labour an extra $8.3b to play with, according to an analysis by Newsroom financial commentator Bernard Hickey.

One thing the media is currently getting wrong with the budget debate is that Labour is still proposing tax cuts for people on middle and low incomes… they just aren’t proposing to give the lions share to people who don’t need it.

20 Jul 2017

It’s time to take out the trash

The National party might pretend that they care about the environment, but they don’t. Instead it’s treated like an unlimited resource or throwaway item.

Instead of just being used to falsely advertise people into travelling here to drink polluted water, New Zealand's environment must be protected from ignorant politicians and polluting industries. We must ensure that there is a world worth inheriting left for the generations to come.

One way to do that is to reduce and recycle as much rubbish as we can, instead of just shipping it off to China.

Yesterday, Newshub reported:

Kiwis need new way to clean up as China closes dumps

China no longer wants to be the world's rubbish dump, announcing it will ban the import of 24 kinds of waste, including some plastics, metals and materials, by the end of the year.

The recycling industry in New Zealand says it should spark a rethink on what we throw out.

"This is not something that's going to happen overnight, it's not the wholesale closure of one market, but certainly it does start to make us think we are very reliant on one market and say, 'How do we stop producing this waste in the first place?'," Waste Management Institute's Paul Evans told Newshub.

We obviously have issues of scale in New Zealand meaning government intervention is required to ensure we reduce and recycle our waste.

"In New Zealand, there is a challenge around scale in the products we create and also these products require significant investment," Mr Evans said.

Waste management company Environ NZ is planning a plastics recycling plant for Canterbury and it says the Chinese decision could help its business case.

But the Greens say there's a better way.

"What we could be doing is reducing the amount of waste that we make, and that means taking a really hard line about unnecessary packaging," Green MP Denise Roche told Newshub.

Unfortunately National won’t sort the worsening rubbish problem in New Zealand. They prefer to just leave such things in the too hard basket or put everything in a landfill or burn it. The environment will always play second fiddle to vested business interests under a government led by Bill English.

But Kiwis aren't getting that message. Instead, it's just the opposite.

We send about 3.7 million tonnes of waste to landfills a year - 16 percent more than three years ago - and less than 6 percent of that was recycled.

Each New Zealander produces 3.2 tonnes of rubbish a year and less than 30 percent is recycled.

With China saying we don't want your trash, Kiwis will have to find a way to clean up their own mess.

The National party have proven themselves unreliable at organising even basic waste management programs. Just look at Nick Smith’s procrastination over the used tyres problem for instance. The environment will pay the price if there's no change in government come September 24.

National culpable for youth suicide

The youth suicide rate in New Zealand is atrocious! Every year it stands as an embarrassing failure of our system to look after and value young people properly. But why have things got so bad? Well one reason is a government that doesn’t really care. National is more concerned with token gestures to try and save face rather than actually putting money where it matters.

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

More kids in crisis being turned away by public system

Now a deep-thinking 13-year-old, Max has a message for Prime Minister Bill English.

"My mum tried really hard to get me help. She rang many places, places that advertise that they are available 24/7, places that advertise that they are there for you if you need them.

"Nobody was. Nobody believed my mum that I was 10 and had been serious about killing myself," he wrote in a letter to the New Zealand Herald.

People looking for help and not finding it is an all too regular occurrence under National.

"I worry that the taxes we are paying aren't going to the places they should and we will continue to see a rise in child suicide because of this. I hope we can get Bill English to listen to us," Max wrote, signing off with a smiley face. 
Almost 2000 young people like Max were rejected or quickly referred on from specialist mental health services in New Zealand last year. That number, contained in documents released under the Official Information Act (OIA), grows every year.

It’s little wonder that New Zealand remains a world leader on youth suicide. If the government is failing to properly fund mental health and other frontline services and this is worsening people’s circumstances they’re in fact culpable for people committing suicide.

Under Section 179 of the Crimes Act it's illegal to assist someone else to commit suicide, which is arguably what the National led government is doing. They’re assisting hundreds of vulnerable people to commit suicide through a lack of proper funding for prevention services.