The Dim-Post

July 30, 2009

We attack under cover of daylight

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 7:38 am

Bennett pivots. While there’s a lot of hatred out there towards beneficiaries it comes from a fairly small but vocal minority who are fiercely loyal to the National Party; much larger (in number) are the female swing voters who know that they could wind up on the DPB themselves if their marriage fails or their partner dies. Bennett’s comments yesterday and today are aimed at reassuring them.

I think it’s safe to say National has won this battle. I’m always impressed at the Labour Party’s ability to get into a fight they can’t lose and then lose it.

I guess we have to wait for the outcome of the privacy complaint to see where this story goes next; it seems likely that Bennett will be found to have broken the law, and it also seems likely that Labour will find some way to use the finding to embarrass themselves and cover Bennett in glory.

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26 Comments »

  1. cue lots of gnashing of teeth from that fairly small group as their hero of yesterday now throws even more more at all those unworthy people trying to do nursing.

    I’ll be interested to see how dpf deals with this – it does indicate Bennett made an initial error, the legalistic defence of her was unconvincing.

    Talking of fallen heros, I see the Standard is already muttering darkly about the woman who has now been talking to Bennett. Just goes to show how people get to be fodder for ideology.

    Comment by neil — July 30, 2009 @ 8:05 am

  2. Yes The Standard have always been good to take the moral high ground on everything and then deny all responsibility when they’re now questioning the actions of a beneficiary simply because she doesn’t share the exact opinions they do.

    Comment by gingercrush — July 30, 2009 @ 9:15 am

  3. Women tend to be quite a competetive lot with each other and while unscientific when you look at the feedback on Espiners Stuff blog there were a huge amount of women who complained of earning less than these two, holding down a job, running the house and raising children too.
    From around the water cooler I think Labour have managed to burn off quite few women voters with this latest stunt.
    The other question is why fund this lady who has severe health issues to train as an early chidhood teacher. She quit cleaning for health issues I doubt flying around after hyper 3 year olds will be much easier.

    Comment by David — July 30, 2009 @ 9:16 am

  4. Benson Pope used the Happy Hocker as an example of how WFF was working in the House in 2007. Strange don’t you think? What are the chances?

    I also think you are very, very wrong about it being a fairly small group. The more info that comes out about this woman (Natasha) the more it seems she was rorting the system.

    I’m hoping this at least opens the debate into levels of welfare in this country.

    Comment by singularian — July 30, 2009 @ 9:17 am

  5. “…I think it’s safe to say National has won this battle…”

    I am not so sure. I think that what has happened is what usually happens when you explain an issue to two different people – even if you use exactly the same language, all you do is reinforce what they were pre-disposed to believe anyway.

    But amongst those with an open mind, and amongst even right-leaning intelligensia, Paula Bennett stands almost universally condemned. She has now been labelled by elites as a Kiwi Sarah Palin. And that will haunt her and this government for the rest of this term.

    Comment by Tom Semmens — July 30, 2009 @ 9:44 am

  6. yup. looking like damage control is all over this one.

    Comment by Che Tibby — July 30, 2009 @ 9:47 am

  7. Singularian: consent versus no consent. Very simple, not difficult to grasp. But something you’d obviously want to obscure, if you’re spinning for the team.

    I think Danyl got it right in the first para, and David’s reference to the Stuff blog is a good example of getting it wrong. Doctors call this “Colin Espiner syndrome”: mistaking the angries for real public opinion, which is far more nuanced (and therefore hard to turn into quick n’ easy news stories).

    Public opinion is heard in the polling booth. John Key deliberately moved away from these kinds of talkback issues. He didn’t go smacking in Orewa. He got National’s highest vote in two decades.

    Comment by sammy — July 30, 2009 @ 10:00 am

  8. And Mr Garrett’s little outburst would have helped Labour today if they had stuck to the “refusing to listen to ideas/nastily attacking anyone who dares counter us” line. There would have been a nice narrative starting at the mild slap-down of Sian Elias, to the vindictive benefit leaks of a Minister to the threatening comments of a Govt partner, stopping along the way at “installing a former Party Leader of extreme ideology to head the Productivity Review”.

    But. No.

    Comment by Gareth W — July 30, 2009 @ 10:04 am

  9. I also think you are very, very wrong about it being a fairly small group.

    Yeah, everyone always thinks they’re part of some massive silent majority. This is the same old redneck vote that swung to Brash when he attacked Maori. It’s about 10% of the vote which isn’t insignificant but it’s still pretty tiny.

    Comment by danylmc — July 30, 2009 @ 10:58 am

  10. “But amongst those with an open mind, and amongst even right-leaning intelligensia, Paula Bennett stands almost universally condemned. She has now been labelled by elites as a Kiwi Sarah Palin. And that will haunt her and this government for the rest of this term.”

    And there you have why Labour is failing. Over a decade they’ve become effette “born to rule” snobs with no connection to the people they profess to represent. They connect only to the whiners who turn out to have clay feet like Choudary, the Korean woman, the asset millionaires and the dodgy beneficiary.

    They now judge their competition on the way they speak, dress, physical appearance and the quality of their education and leave the distinct impression that they are high paid bludgers on the body politic and totally unsuited and disconnected from the productive sectors.. including the workers in those sectors.

    The unscientific public opinion polls mirror this split in the groups.. 40% saw Bennett as having abused her position in attacking “victims”.. and 60% saw an outrageous rort of the taxes they pay. Neither group is right, but the failure of the Left to understand the realities of the NZ situation and that the public is largely “parking” irrelevancies is simply appalling.

    JC

    Comment by JC — July 30, 2009 @ 11:12 am

  11. “Neither group is right”
    Or both groups are right, but fail to see that those are not ends of a spectrum at all. Totally separate issues

    Comment by Gareth W — July 30, 2009 @ 11:14 am

  12. Unscientific it may be but the female comments are far more vitriolic. Maybe there might be more traction if Goff hadnt championed Burgess the week before.
    Do you not think there is a large swell of resentment about people taking diabolical liberties with taxpayers money.
    Labour might like to reflect on their polling and conclude they might need to change their approach and get out of the gutter, their opponents seem to be the press, right wing blogs and that majority of NZers who dont like that sort of carry on.

    Comment by David — July 30, 2009 @ 12:33 pm

  13. When both the Herald and the Dom Post have come out with editorial congratulating Bennett on her bold move Labour doesn’t have a shitshow. It’s a fascist state.

    Comment by Bud — July 30, 2009 @ 1:13 pm

  14. Yeah, everyone always thinks they’re part of some massive silent majority. This is the same old redneck vote that swung to Brash when he attacked Maori. It’s about 10% of the vote which isn’t insignificant but it’s still pretty tiny.

    Hey, lets all watch Danyl make an ignorant,racist twat of himself. Oops ….to late.

    lulz for africa

    Comment by singularian — July 30, 2009 @ 1:13 pm

  15. I don’t think you could be racist against rednecks, singularian – due to them being, you know, NOT a racial group.

    Comment by Ataahua — July 30, 2009 @ 1:22 pm

  16. you could actually read that sentence as “Hey, lets all watch Danyl make [a redneck] of himself”

    Comment by Che Tibby — July 30, 2009 @ 1:37 pm

  17. Maybe there might be more traction if Goff hadnt championed Burgess the week before.

    I think their big mistake was that Labour sat on the issue for a whole day; if you go back and look at the radio and tv appearances on Monday night, Sue Bradford was the person opposing Bennett, not anyone from Labour.

    I have a lot of respect for Bradford, but she is the most hated MP in New Zealand, so that instantly gaveBennett huge traction, and since Bradford sees herself as a spokesperson for beneficiaries she set the terms of the debate. Labour never even understood that this was about privacy and abuse of power, not benefit payments or amounts.

    Comment by danylmc — July 30, 2009 @ 2:31 pm

  18. When both the Herald and the Dom Post have come out with editorial congratulating Bennett on her bold move

    I guess they are not going to be too worried about *ever* “protecting their sources” in the future.

    Comment by Don — July 30, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

  19. You may be right about Bradford being NZ’s most hated, but I’m inclined to suspect that this is again confined to the mouse that roars, your “fairly small but vocal minority”. Hardly enough to give Bennett “huge traction”. Times are tough, people are frightened and insecure, but we’re not yet a nation of miserable bastards.

    Comment by joew — July 30, 2009 @ 2:45 pm

  20. “but we’re not yet a nation of miserable bastards”

    i beg to disagree. beneficiary-bashing has a pedigree dating all the way back to the 80s.

    i distinctly remember a union-official calling my mother a whore and bludger.

    Comment by Che Tibby — July 30, 2009 @ 3:08 pm

  21. And I remember – from the early 80s – a union wonk telling a group of stroppy women to get back to their kitchens.
    Maybe it’s the circles I move in, but I still maintain that beneficiary bashing is a minority sport for a garrulous group with too much time on their hands. The web enables them to projectile vomit without crawling out from the security of the rocks they lurk under.

    Comment by joew — July 30, 2009 @ 3:41 pm

  22. I remember the hate towards my family in the early 1990s. It may or may not be a small minority, but they’ve had powerful backers since the 1970s.

    It is always, without exception, a chance to hate on the immoral (those who are not working, those without husband).

    Comment by George — July 30, 2009 @ 3:42 pm

  23. The web enables them to projectile vomit without crawling out from the security of the rocks they lurk under.

    They had talkback for a few decades (it’s easy to forget just how powerful it was), and they’ve taken over the newspapers and television. They’re everywhere.

    Comment by George — July 30, 2009 @ 3:44 pm

  24. Perhaps one reason the frothers have been out in force is that many of their favourite jerking knees have been amputated.

    John Key has neutralised (for now, at least) iwi/kiwi by embracing the Maori party, he’s not supporting the smackers, the Brash/Maxim ‘family values’ agenda (God not gays) is out of favour … there isn’t much left to have a good old incoherent rant about. Graham Henry, maybe.

    We were in danger of looking like a civilised society there. Paula’s put that right.

    Comment by sammy — July 30, 2009 @ 5:53 pm

  25. I’m so glad you guys are above the frothing, vomiting, hating and bashing.

    We’re lucky to have you in our country.

    Comment by singularian — July 30, 2009 @ 6:35 pm

  26. “i distinctly remember a union-official calling my mother a whore and bludger.”

    I was brought up by a solo mum too. it was hard for her and looking back there was quite a bit of social opprobrium which I didn’t see at the time.

    Don’t know if Labour did poorly or not with this. But they’re spending all their time thinking up poorly conceived bills such the “Prevent All Bad Things Amendment Bill” and when the Nats go – well its a bit more complicated than that – Labour goes into paroxisims of “National Eats Babies” which no one pays any attention to.

    Set up a bit of meanginless legislation and then parade about with enormous moral certitude – gets called wedge politics if done by the Right.

    Comment by neil — July 30, 2009 @ 7:50 pm


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