The Dim-Post

September 28, 2015

Clickbait government

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 4:33 pm

This government would never actually carry out the daunting legal and policy work required to implement mandatory contraception for beneficiaries, but they sure do like floating the idea whenever there’s a dip in the polls, to outraged cries from liberal pundits and roars of approval from the talkback radio moronocracy. This is the third or fourth time the Nats have said we ‘have to have this conversation’ about beneficiaries and eugenics. But according to the Stuff article:

Dysfunctional families who have multiple children taken into state care are the least likely to receive contraceptive advice, says the chief executive of the country’s social workers association.

Threatening to force women to be sterilised is far better for the Minister’s media monitoring statistics than the actual pedestrian work of delivering the option of contraception to women who might desperately need it. As always with these buffoons, generating headlines is the core role of government.


  1. They do do clickbait rather well, too well in fact.

    There is always the possibility women in these relationships don’t use contraception because there partners do not let them. Has Tolley ever consider that when she starts harping on about people having sex? In a controlling relationship, contraception can been seen as ‘proof’ of infidelity, often leading to psychological and physical abuse. Abusive, controlling people have killed their partners on the mere suspicion of cheating and contraception is enough to set them off. I’d also hazard a guess a lot of women in these relationships are effectively subject to constant partner sexual abuse and rape. I like someone to put that to Tolley next time she suggests these women must like sex (see Katie Bradford tweet) and that’s why the keep having babies.

    Comment by sleepdepriveddiva — September 28, 2015 @ 5:09 pm

  2. They might be signalling some reform introductions that will be punitive against welfare recipients, but not as much as this. Allowing the government to appear middle course on the issue, neither twit pundit nor talkback moron.

    Comment by unaha-closp — September 28, 2015 @ 5:12 pm

  3. When they tried this back in mid-2012 it was a blatant distraction from Tolley’s spectacular stuffing up of education and the fall of John Banks.

    Comment by Joe W — September 28, 2015 @ 5:52 pm

  4. Actually it wasn’t Tolley, it was Hekia Parata. I’d apologise, only they’ve been shuffled around so much one could be forgiven for thinking they’ve held the same portfolio more than once.

    Comment by Joe W — September 28, 2015 @ 5:56 pm

  5. Reblogged this on Politically Corrected NZ.

    Comment by sleepdepriveddiva — September 28, 2015 @ 5:58 pm

  6. I think it’s a good idea. If you read what the Minister actually said, she suggested better provision of voluntary contraceptives to women who have had their children removed and in state care.

    And with long acting reversible contraceptives available, this isn’t some Indira Gandhi plot.

    However Tolley’s failure is in saying something that diverted attention from the report she put out yesterday. That was supposed to remain in the headlines but has instead drifted into the nether. That means they get less leverage for their later radical reforms, which will probably involve a fair whack of ‘results-based’ for-profit delivery.

    Comment by Moses — September 28, 2015 @ 8:26 pm

  7. They got the headlines on the evening news – a top story on both.

    But in any event, the comfortable prejudices of Mainstream NZ are reinforced by much more than the news, it’s all those “reality” programmes (assorted Cops, Renters, and the like) which are cheap telly, and on most nights of the week. They show us the eternal struggle between the forces of authority/decency and the feckless brown people who can’t even talk proper. No more babies for you!

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — September 28, 2015 @ 8:44 pm

  8. There’s a strong whiff of Two Minutes Hate or Perpetual War about the whole thing. The whole point of contraception is to remove the stigma associated with it, otherwise those calling for ‘eugenics’ are basically cut from the same cloth as theo-cons who think contraception is the devil’s work.

    And what would be the mirror image of ‘sterilising beneficiaries’? I’m guessing ‘executive salaries run amok’ or ‘tax evaders in the Cayman Islands’.

    Comment by Kumara Republic — September 28, 2015 @ 8:48 pm

  9. They should make that long acting reversible contraceptive that you can stick in your arm free for women with a community services card.

    Comment by Korakys — September 28, 2015 @ 8:51 pm

  10. And would the issue of ‘eugenics’ be brought up as often if there wasn’t an unwritten racial factor? The godfather of Crosby/Textor-esque ratfucking, Lee Atwater, gave a pretty telling interview about the infamous Southern Strategy in the early 1980s:

    You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”

    Comment by Kumara Republic — September 28, 2015 @ 9:06 pm

  11. It has overtones of the eugenics programmes practised in the US before WW2. Then after the war, American folks got to see what eugenics could REALLY be like (sorry to go Godwin); it scared the shit out of them, and they stopped that stuff.

    I’d class it as an AVWIT (all very well in theory). It’ll founder on the shoals of practicability; as Danyl says, the current government would never carry out the legal and policy work needed to make it happen, even were it possible to implement. A mixture of laziness and pusillanimity, I suspect.

    It’s instructive to note, though, that as always, it’s the poor bloody sheilas who get the blame; anyone’d think that there was a bit of parthenogenesis going on among the desperately poor women at whom this is aimed.

    Comment by Merrial — September 29, 2015 @ 12:33 am

  12. However Tolley’s failure is…

    I agree that in essence it’s a good idea but it would be aimed at those the hardest to reach ie the most marginalised and least susceptible to any positive state intervention.

    Given the review of CYFS is about getting the already difficult basics right adding more complication doesn’t sound like a good idea.

    I’d say that – all going well – a large amount of resources would be needed for probably not a lot of gain in terms of how many children wind up in CYFS care.

    But the idea of more education on contraception that isn’t coercive is worth looking at.

    Comment by NeilM — September 29, 2015 @ 1:34 am

  13. It’s probably true about the clickbait, but there are some MSD policy advisors who have a bit of an obsession with the fertility of the underclass, so I think the repeated emergence of this stuff isn’t just political fluff.. Some people would be quite keen to see Serco being paid a social bond dividend on the basis of numbers of contraceptive implants given to benefit recipients.

    Comment by Peed Thaort — September 29, 2015 @ 9:50 am

  14. So how did an ongoing systemic problem relating to poor outcomes for children in CYPS care become a problem of beneficiaries? The way that Minister Tolley is talking one would think that there are vast numbers of women having multiple children on the DPB at the tax payer’s expense. Lets have a look at the actual figures. 2015 statistics from the Ministry of Social Development state that less that 1.5 percent of New Zealanders are on the DBP, and this number has reduced by one third since 2006. Ministry of Social Development figures for 2006 state that 1500 women had a second child while on the DPB. Given the reduction in beneficiary numbers since 2006 the 2015 figure is likely to be much less than 1500 women who have a second child while on the DPB. It would be reasonable to estimate that the number of women who are having multiple children on the DPB is probably closer to 100 individuals – not the thousands that the Minister would like us to believe. Suggesting legislation to introduce forced contraception for such a small number is entirely disproportionate, and bordering on the hysterical. Talk about nanny State solutions – the erosion of individual freedom through legislating away women’s rights to control their own bodies is a much more serious issue than the decision not to use contraceptives by a few dysfunctional individuals (the male partner included). What women who have multiple children need is constructive support to turn around their lives not punitive measures from an entirely over-reactive and misguided Minister. As for coercing women on benefits to use long-acting contraceptives, this was tried in the 1990s with women on the DPB being financially penalised if they did not ‘agree’ to having the a long-acting contraceptive Depro Provera inserted. This drug is now associated with increased breast cancer risk. Aside from this the State has no right to interfere with the relationship between and doctor and the patient through mandating medical treatment of an sort.

    Comment by Whakarokomai — September 29, 2015 @ 12:02 pm

  15. Access to good contraceptive advice and services is only half the equation. The government also needs to front up and modernise the antiquated laws that still criminalise abortion and make it difficult to access for many women. These days early medical abortions are available as a simple, safe procedure, yet women still have to jump through a ridiculous number of hoops to get access. Successive governments have been gutless on this issue and this one is no exception. Abortion numbers are dropping as more women make use of long-acting reversible contraceptives, which is a good thing, but easy access to safe, legal abortion is still an essential backstop.

    Comment by philstewart — September 29, 2015 @ 4:29 pm

  16. These days early medical abortions are available as a simple, safe procedure, yet women still have to jump through a ridiculous number of hoops to get access.

    Do they really, though? A genuine question.

    Comment by Gregor W — September 29, 2015 @ 5:23 pm

  17. “…yet women still have to jump through a ridiculous number of hoops to get access.”

    Have a look here:

    Comment by Flashing Light — September 29, 2015 @ 5:45 pm

  18. Thanks @Flashing Light – that proves my point very well.

    Comment by philstewart — September 29, 2015 @ 8:53 pm

  19. This will be the first and hopefully the last time I actually post a right wing view here – the few times I have posted that any one has noticed, that hasn’t been the slant. But in this case I can’t help thinking about the counterfactual – every child born who wasn’t loved and wanted, which the state can never find a replacement family for (or Serco etc), and the % of them that move from a child we feel pity for and whose life we do not and cannot “fix”, to an adult we incarcerate at great cost, who has additionally created some victim who is also experiencing a great cost. Every such child who isn’t born, is a massive gain. Emotionally, in the reduction in victims (including the child itself), but yes, financially, in all the costs society foregoes that can go to more constructive things. Now the problems of compulsion around sterilisation, or penalties, ok, history doesn’t suggest societies can come up with solutions without society going very wrong in the process. But what about positive incentives? I don’t have the resources to think up the policy solution, and no policy is perfect, but maybe if you pass some awful criteria, e.g. had more than 1 kids taken off you, have been incarcerated for abusing them, then we will pay you the NPV of a year or two’s worth of benefit the next child you don’t have if you get sterilised instead? Or something of that sort anyway. I’m uncomfortable that allowing some demonstrably awful (or “marginalised”)
    people to have more children to neglect or abuse is a higher right than such children not to be born unloved, uncherished, unyearned for, and unprotected, into poverty and abuse. Surely there is some imperfect way not to have no such children be born, but at least a few less?

    Comment by Joe-90 — September 29, 2015 @ 9:13 pm

  20. Jeez, Danyl, busted by Pete George.

    Comment by Tinakori — September 30, 2015 @ 12:05 am

  21. Joe-90: Whether by accident or design, Tolley’s remarks risk aggravating the stigma surrounding contraception. For contraception to be effective, people should be able to access it without having the ‘dregs of humanity’ or ‘baby murderer’ label getting slapped on them. I’ve mentioned upthread that those favouring state control of the gene pool don’t sound that different from religious fundies who oppose contraception in any form.

    On a side note: who here has read or seen Freakonomics, in particular the chapter on abortion & crime?

    Comment by Kumara Republic — September 30, 2015 @ 1:12 am

  22. From a libertarian perspective – namely Jim Peron, who was briefly in the local news for being accused of promoting pederasty, and had his biz visa revoked:

    Simon contends that the same factors that motivate birth control programs around the world also motivate the policies of the birth control movement in the United States. For example, birth control clinics are disproportionately placed in black residential areas:

    We can also learn about mixed motives from domestic experience with birth-control programs. The date of opening state-supported birth control clinics was closely related to the concentrations of poor black people in various states. As of 1965, 79 percent of the state-supported clinics in the United States were in the ten states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, which have only 19 percent of the country’s population. Analysis that allows for per capita income shows that the proportion of blacks in a local population is closely related to the density of family planning clinics.

    Can one be surprised that many white people in the United States want there to be fewer black people in the world? In sad truth, it is no more surprising than Hindus in India and Christians in Lebanon fearing a high Moslem birthrate, blacks in Uganda tossing out Indians, and so on throughout the world. But in this age when prejudice is not publicly acceptable, racist acts are justified on the basis of supposed economic, political, sociological, and environmental considerations.41

    Thomas Littlewood hit the nail on the head when he said that in population politics, humanitarian and bigot can find room under the same tent.

    Comment by Kumara Republic — September 30, 2015 @ 2:36 am

  23. In Freakonomics, as I recollect, the availability of abortion to women with little money resulted in a reduced number of children being born into the socio-economic group that would later grow up and commit crime. This was proposed as a choice. One might argue that living in near-destitution represents a powerful compulsion not to have a child. I’d argue that providing the means to allow a woman who chooses to have a child to raise that child to be healthy and well-cared for is a primary duty of the state. If some women decide to abuse that, it is just a consequence of human nature. As for whether poverty leads to incarceration, yes, that happens, But many are in jail for lots of offences which have nothing to do with growing up in ‘poverty’. Along the kind of logic, some display, we should test mothers to see if they are carrying a ‘crime-gene’ and make it a criteria for qualifying for a benefit. Alternatively the state could hire some guy to inspect women for moles, and if they have any, set fire to them.
    Or something.

    Comment by Lee Clark — October 4, 2015 @ 7:48 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: