On a scale from one to 10 how vile is Paula Bennett?


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Remember last year when Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said the government needed to get tough on beneficiaries because many were on drugs and unemployable?

National Party members applauded vigorously as Bennett described how from July 2013 beneficiaries would be subject to drug testing and if they failed they risked losing part or all of their benefit.

Bennett’s subtext was all too clear. Beneficiaries were not to be trusted – they were greedy, grasping druggies and she was going to get tough and crack down on their wayward pleasures.

It was the National government’s polite way of reinforcing the “feral” claims of the excitable, malicious Michael Laws who must surely double his blood pressure pills before writing his filthy diatribes on beneficiaries. Like Laws, National knows the public need scapegoats for social problems and who better to bash than beneficiaries.

So after six months how has Bennett’s drug-testing of beneficiaries worked out? Badly. Her druggie claims have been shown to be pure bullshit. The New Zealand Herald yesterday reported that “of the 8,001 beneficiaries sent for jobs requiring drug testing, only 22 tested positive to drug use or refused to take tests.”

That’s 0.27%.

I’m willing to wager that drug testing National Party members and MPs for “P” use, marijuana or alcohol addiction would produce a much higher percentage.

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Bennett should be delivering an apology to beneficiaries for her nasty “druggie” smear but instead reinforces ignorant prejudice by claiming a victory because her drug-testing regime has driven beneficiaries away from drugs. Even the Herald acknowledges she has not a shred of evidence to make such a vindictive, spiteful claim.

Finding vulnerable scapegoats unable to fight back has always been a vote winner for National and in this role Bennett has been described as a great asset to the party. This was confirmed late last year when she claimed and was given the right to stand for National in the new North Harbour electorate ahead of a much-touted deal with the Conservative Party’s Colin Craig.

With her working-class, solo mother background Bennett is a convert to the ruling elite and like most converts she is more rabid against the poor than those born into a life of natural entitlement.

In striving to prove her credentials to her National colleagues she is harsher on the community she left than others would dare to be.

Bennett, John Banks and John Key are our most obvious politician converts to corporate capitalism from benefit-dependent homes and each has demonised those from whose ranks they were born.

Other National MPs such as Sam Lotu-Iiga and Alfred Ngaro are in a similar position and never miss the chance to blame the poor for their circumstances in much stronger terms than those like Bill English or Tony Ryall who were born into the ruling class.

Back to Bennett. On the vile scale I’d put her at nine. Am I being too harsh?


  1. I’ll raise it to 9.5.
    By the way, have the police ever admitted planting spies within Hart and CARE in 1981?

    • The police did have spies in HART but never confirmed. One woman spy in Wellington turned up as a beat constable in Auckland a few months later.

      • Former NZ Police district commander and former head of the Police’s intelligence unit, Gerry Cunneen, confirmed in my documentary Behind The Shroud that the Police and the SIS did in fact infiltrate the anti-apartheid movement groups in the lead up and during the 1981 Springbok Tour.

        Cunneen said the Police didn’t know who were SIS spies, but found out after the Tour concluded.

        He said after the Tour, the Police realised the SIS spies had outed the Police infiltrators, raising suspicions to legit members of the movement. This, Cunneen said, was the method used by the SIS to take the heat of suspicion off its own infiltrators.

        • Selwyn, it’s a shame the police spies couldn’t repay the favour to their SIS counterparts. Irony of ironies – police and SIS spies outing each other…?!

          I betcha the Right would be spewing blood and tacks had a left-wing government ordered the police and SIS to infiltrate the National Party and their various cronies in Employer groups!

      • I happen to follow an anti-tour march in Hamilton when I noticed two men in a four wheel drive parked at the then Woolworths Supermarket car park pretending to fix their vehicle. When the march went past them towards the city centre, their vehicle was suddenly fixed and they drove some distance behind the march. They were obviously cops in plain clothes following the march. Why is a mystery.

        • Why these people do things as part of their ‘important’ job to keep our country ‘safe’ is always a mystery. They need drama in their lives perhaps so they may feel virtuous about the pay they receive? Unfortunately the poor tax payer is footing the bill of this drama still being played out now, a drama which can never be watched by all or critiqued.

    • Top sportpeople are oft giving of 110% on the field. Many of them have empathy for their fellows and try to act as positive role models for the young.

      Poorla gets my 10.5

      What sort of role model is she.
      She is above being a bitch, yes much further up the scale, and up herself.

      Small minded, mean, vindictive, petty, spiteful puppet of Corporate largess treating NZders as fools manipulated to contribute to the transnational investors coffers.

  2. Paula Bennett is the biggest hypocrite walking this earth and should be struck from Parliment!!! She shouldn’t be representing people in need as she is too full of her self (self serving) and arrogant!!!

  3. Alternatively, 7979 people that went for ‘jobs requiring drug testing’ were smart enough not to be doing drugs, is this not exactly the result wanted? 22 people failed or refused, these either refused knowing that they would fail or stupid and did drugs anyway, and if they are that stupid then you shouldn’t have a job where drugs can affect your or others safety etc, so the system is working.

    • Dream on Bob, the 7979 people who didn’t give a positive result when tested weren’t doing drugs because they dont do drugs not because of some testing regime. And Id hazard a guess that some of those that refused the test did so on principle knowing that the whole scheme was nothing more than another politically motivated beneficiary beat up by PB to feed the rabid appetites of NZ’s uglies. But a word of warning Bob, in that position you are giving her and the Nats a wide open target when they decide to use whatever your particular characteristics are to turn the uglies on you. And no Im not talking about a swift kick up the jacksy, Im talking about that wallet in your back pocket you fool!

    • Or maybe, Bob, those “7979 people that went for ‘jobs requiring drug testing’ were smart enough not to be doing drugs” simply don’t do drugs in the first place?

      Or does that notion offend your sense of prejudice?

    • The system is working because it ensures the votes of intellectual and moral cripples like Bob. It also puts money into the pockets of perfed out coppers. The rest is an irrelevance as far as Paula is concerned.

      9 is possibly a bit lenient. I’m trying to think how bad a 10 would be. Michael Laws springs to mind, but is she any better than him?

      • Actually I would give Laws a 10 to Bennett’s 9. His hate speech against autistic kids, and his cruel and vicious E-mails to mothers of Down’s Syndrome children, clinches that honour for him.

    • Drugs in the body last much longer than Paula Bennet’s new raaraa right wing policy and it would be well nigh impossible to dodge a positive result if you were a druggie. It’s a nonsense to claim that 8000 druggies suddenly stopped taking dope the week before they were tested. One would have to be on drugs to believe that.

  4. No Bob the system is not working!. Drug testing has been around for more than 25 years. The odious crypto fascist arseholes who do this testing for a living are so stupid they haven’t figured out how to detect the masking agents that have been making a pretty penny for those who have a clue.

  5. Bennett showed her true colours when the boundary changes came out she could,nt drop the Westies quick enough to bale to North
    Harbour,she knows she was a goner in Waitakere I don,t think heartless fat bitch is a shoe in North Harbour either despite that she will get in on the list

  6. John’s analysis is spot on but why is it that the likes of Bill English and Tony Ryall do not appear to be as vindictive as Bennett? Did they have a religious upbringing that left them with some empathy for those who struggle through life?
    In general the National Party has seriously undermined the practical ability for unions and other progressive organizations to work together and take stop work and other action over social issues.
    I wonder whether the above has led to an ideological/philosophical vacuum being created in NZ and elseware that enables narcissistic sociopaths to flourish in parties which primarily cater to vested interests.

    • I suspect the main reason the likes of Ryall and English are not as vile as PB has more to do with the likelihood they would be mocked for the privileged background they spawned from than any religious upbringing. On planet NatPolitics I think what you say is entirely dependent on how much your credibility can be attacked afterwards. All carefully calculated and weighed up by the puppet-masters. In fact, Id go so far as to suggest they decide which group to attack and then go in search of those puppets with the “right” credentials to lead it. PB is just so taken with her own legend she cant see it. This is called Natz electioneering strategy or some such similarly inane rubbish. My saddest realisation is how easily they are able to divide and conquer.

  7. Anyone know what moisturiser she uses? I gotta get me some of that! I think Chris Finlayson might be interested to know as well.

  8. Seems to me that Bennett’s drug testing programme has been a complete waste of taxpayers money. She is a hypocrite, her and Key would not have been in the position they are now if it were not for the welfare system we have in New Zealand, they forget this and bow down to right-wing ideology, just like the benefit cuts in 1991 – nothing to do with “getting beneficiaries back to work or helping them”, but merely to espouse their right-wing agenda

    • That’s a stretch. The welfare system has changed substantially since JK was growing up in a single parent household, and that is the nub of the problem. The system has stretched to include middle class welfare in the form of WFF, and has gone well beyond assisting the genuinely underprivileged or those temporarily down on their luck. Welfare has morphed into a privilege, with far too many career beneficiaries. Bennett understands this only too well and is genuinely doing something about it, something most NZ’ers agree with.

  9. Mr Minto, you are far to generous in your rating of Paula “work will set you free” Bennett. She’s a 10 for sure, possibly with a plus added as well!

    Seems Bennett is quite comfortable flourishing as National’s welfare whip cracker, beating down members of the same struggling socio economic group of which she once belonged! Suggests to me a deeply flawed and disturbed character. Obvious reason why she fits so well into National’s “old boys” club, along with Collins, Tolley and Parata!

    • Did she ever ‘struggle’? Or did she show her neo-con credentials by gaming the system as it was for all she could grab?

      • @ Andrea – Yep. I think you are right on the nail there. And she’s still gaming the system for all it’s worth!

    • All 4 of my favourite women! It is just scary how little understanding and empathy they have for others less fortunate than themselves.

  10. Paula gets a 9 from me too John (she’s probably got a few tricks up her sleeve to lift that score though) .The right wingers who started off poor seem to be some of the least empathetic and most selfish types out there. Many of them will have worked hard (as do many poor people), but they seem to have forgotten that they also got to where they are today with state support and a hefty dose of good luck and good health. They don’t recognise or acknowlege that support and luck. They are the harshest critics of the poor. A regular commenter at Homepaddock gives a great example of this near the end of the ‘She got there on merit’ post.

  11. 10/10 life has a funny way of delivering justice. Her time will come, and no one will care to help her out. you make your bed and you sure as hell lie in it.

  12. I give her an 11 for vile. Like many of the comments, I agree that she and Key are proof that the system of helping and educating the poor works – rather than blaming and bashing them. The Nats just pick soft targets. Frankly if they really wanted to save money there is a raft of “corporate welfare” that could be gone after- but no way they would piss off thier “mates” in power. The Nats are a good reason to support unions – our society should not need them any more, but unfortunatly the way this governments acts we certainly do!! Some equality would be nice….

  13. Its strange how our current government outcast and use beneficiaries yet I remember reading that the rich were the biggest criminals who use different loop hole to get out of paying thier taxes? It is us lower to middle income people who pay for all these social services. White collar crime costs nz and its citizens more money than beneficiaries yet nothing on the news about that and still nothing is done about it.

    • @ Frank Macskasy – Very good letter. However, I do think you are grabbing at straws to think Auntie NZ Herald will publish it! Might get people thinking and as we know, that could prove dangerous to the present government.

      Seriously though, if welfare beneficiaries are being substance tested, then the trough snuffler recipients of tax payer funds eg: MPs should be tested as well. State funded income is just that, despite status. Let’s be consistent here!

  14. ” Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you. ”
    Friedrich Nietzsche

    When I look at paula bennett I see the folly in us all for being so trusting . This is what we get when we take our eye off the ball so to speak .
    A monster in a frock gleefully haunting us and tormenting us while pretending that the pain she’s causing us is in some way being beneficial and that the result of such torture will make us straighten up and in some insane way make us fly right . That same torturous , vile methodology is applied to victims of the same distorted hatefulness by her mates anne tolly and fucking evil judith collins .

    ” Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies – or else? The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    This frightening freak of nature is dragging us behind her into a Hell and if you have a job , have always had a job , have never needed social welfare to give you a hand up out of some awful situation and you think you might be immune to the damage she’s doing then think again . Who do you rub shoulders with within your communities and societies ? People like you , that’s who . Fellow humans . This creep is creating the monsters of tomorrow . For fun and profit and for that I’d give her ten out of ten .

  15. The implementation of National Party policies requires people without conscience, what do you expect? You can’t rate that stuff.

  16. On a “Vile” scale she deserves 11 out of 10 and eventually a Knighthood.
    (She must be neck to neck with that other odious creature Collins though.)
    These people are devoid /deficient of the qualities necessary for upholding & ensuring a Fair & Decent society, Hippocrites .

    – this should be a warning in itself!!!!- HOW ARE THEY EVEN THERE?? (and even a “PM” like JK?)

  17. how much has the drug testing cost- what would the “hit rate be if all MPs were tested??

    Seems this is a several fold project
    – discredit the unemployed,
    – besmirch drugs – well thank gawd for antibiotics, steroids4 asthma and eczema, and then theres alcohol and anti depressants,
    – money for the drug testers- have they run out of athletes to test
    and Paula could should be campaigning for widespread free opriates for the masses to maintain their subjection – at least they may “feel” better about it!

  18. I think as a ‘drug’ using beneficiary I’m partly responsible for this testing regime.
    Every 3 months I have to go to WINZ and fill out a form telling them what I’m doing to improve my situation, financial and healthwise.
    I write down that I’m studying Cannabis cultivation. They only ever express positive interest or ignore it. I always record my conversations with them because they tend to make lots of mistakes or they just BS me.
    I’m legally allowed to use a cannabis tincture(sativex) from Britain, for my multiple sclerosis spasticity, but it’s 3x the price of local products and I can’t afford $1000/month, even though it’s one of the cheapest MS medicines available in NZ.
    Of course, they’d never help me get any sort of job, I was written off long ago even though I’ve always requested some kind of work ability test.

  19. 9/10
    I would definitely call her vile and foul, nasty, unpleasant, bad, disagreeable, horrid, horrible, dreadful, abominable, atrocious, offensive, obnoxious, odious, unsavoury, repulsive, off-putting, repellent, revolting, repugnant, disgusting, distasteful, loathsome, hateful, nauseating, sickening;
    base, low, mean, wretched, disgraceful, appalling, shocking, ugly, vulgar, sorry, shabby, shameful, dishonourable, execrable, heinous, abhorrent, deplorable, monstrous, wicked, evil, dark, dirty, vicious, iniquitous, sinful, corrupt, sordid, depraved, perverted, debased, reprobate, degenerate, debauched, dissolute, contemptible, despicable, reprehensible, diabolical, diabolic, devilish, fiendish, hellish, damnable;
    informal – yucky, sick-making, gut-churning, icky, gross, God-awful, low-down, rotten, sick.

    But it’s unlikely I’d ever meet her because I’d smell her foul stench from a mile away.

    • Baza – nononono!

      She’s simply the figurehead on the boat. A (hopefully) Temporary Public Servant. Gone in a flutter of fake leopard spots as soon as she fails.

      Your lovely adjectives are best spread over the supine yes-persons at her ministry.

      They can mitigate and moderate the Dear Minister’s ideological expressions. I don’t think they have, though, based on the way there was a clear change of attitude from when Labour was in and when National took over. There’s something seriously awry in that ministry and its outposts. Bring back our apolitical public service!

  20. I am “humane”: 9.999999999999 is my rating for Paula. There may be a tiny wee bit, a minute bit of “good” left in her, which can perhaps be found using a very good microscope to examine the cell tissues.

    If you’re a Christian, you will have to be able to forgive, even ones like Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin, Osama Bin Laden and the likes. So surely, a true Christian can forgive Paula. The question is can, and would she forgive others, for example beneficiaries not living up to meet her statistical white wash attempts?

  21. “Other National MPs such as Sam Lotu-Iiga and Alfred Ngaro are in a similar position and never miss the chance to blame the poor for their circumstances in much stronger terms than those like Bill English or Tony Ryall who were born into the ruling class.”

    When I read this, I had to think of stories about the biographies of humans that grew up in poverty and “worked their way up” to become very successful and wealthy. There have always been such stories of those rising from poverty to riches. And I have again and again heard and read, that those that fall into that category, are often the most merciless, mean and ruthless employers, as they expect their workers to also put up with endless crap, to endure anything, and to perform like workaholics and perfectionists. If they don’t they earn the wrath of the boss, who often pays them pittance.

    Those that were born in privileged circumstances often have a less harsh view of the lower classes and workers, as they were not forced to work themselves up the socio-economic ladder and endure so much hardship. That in itself may still leave them to be arrogant and dominant, but less draconian and mean, as those that worked themselves out of poverty. In some cases they may even be more compassionate.

    So much human behaviour is learned and shaped through personal experiences, and over a persons life span, it shows. Bennett is one of the worst types, and her lack of intellect and reason makes it even worse. She does apparently not even comprehend that she is so out of touch, arrogant, mean and hypocritical. Surely in her case, there must be rays of sunshine coming from the bodily cavity, upon the flesh around most of us sit.

    If she sits on a solar panel, it must power a household.

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