Living in John Key’s “rock star economy”

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This piece, from a regular Facebook user and commentator on public and political issues, caught my attention;

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Dear Mr. Key.

The following report is indicative of the reality of living in your Rockstar economy. This crap is the daily norm in the lives of Mum & Dad victims all over the country. Some of them are fortunate to just get robbed as against getting stabbed to death. Do these sort of issues ever affect you in Remuera or Omaha or Hawaii ? Why not have a quiet word to the comedy duo Collins and Tolley and see if one or both are remotely interested in fulfilling their sworn oaths of office ?

Have a self centered weekend.

Edmond.

 

Jenny Petera works hard to make a go of Birdie’s Cafe in Kaitaia’s main street. So…

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It reminded me of something John Key said, in one of his many election speeches ranting about the many supposed “failures” of the Labour government. Specifically, on 29 January 2008, in a speech entitled A Fresh Start for New Zealand;

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

 

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This time a year ago, I talked about the underclass that has been allowed to develop in New Zealand. Labour said the problem didn't exist.  They said there was no underclass in New Zealand. But who now could deny it?  2007 showed us its bitter fruits. The dramatic drive-by shooting of two-year-old Jhia Te Tua, caught in a battle between two gangs in Wanganui. The incidence of typhoid, a Third World disease, reaching a 20-year high. The horrific torture and eventual death of three-year-old Nia Glassie. The staggering discovery of a lost tribe of 6,000 children who are not enrolled at any school. The list goes on and on.  The fact is, that under Labour, there has been no let-up in the drift to social and economic separatism. We don't need more of their hand-wringing, their strategies, and their interdepartmental working groups. What's needed is the courage to make the tough calls to fix these problems. Today, I'm going to announce a new set of policies which will leave you in no doubt that National has that courage.
“This time a year ago, I talked about the underclass that has been allowed to develop in New Zealand. Labour said the problem didn’t exist. They said there was no underclass in New Zealand.
But who now could deny it? 2007 showed us its bitter fruits. The dramatic drive-by shooting of two-year-old Jhia Te Tua, caught in a battle between two gangs in Wanganui. The incidence of typhoid, a Third World disease, reaching a 20-year high. The horrific torture and eventual death of three-year-old Nia Glassie. The staggering discovery of a lost tribe of 6,000 children who are not enrolled at any school.
The list goes on and on. The fact is, that under Labour, there has been no let-up in the drift to social and economic separatism.
We don’t need more of their hand-wringing, their strategies, and their interdepartmental working groups. What’s needed is the courage to make the tough calls to fix these problems.
Today, I’m going to announce a new set of policies which will leave you in no doubt that National has that courage     […]      Violent youth crime is at an all-time high. Robbery is up. Grievous assaults are up. Aggravated robbery is up. Young criminals are graduating from petty crime to more serious crime; unexploded time-bombs on a fast-track to Paremoremo. The victims are people like you and me. Innocent Kiwis randomly beaten by teens on the North Shore. A Wellington Uni student beaten to a pulp on his walk home. A dairy worker stabbed to death in South Auckland last week. A 14-year-old arrested at the weekend for a fatal stabbing in Tokoroa. The list goes on and on. Rather than being the hope for our future, these young people represent our future fears. The habit of the Clark Government is always to shy away from these problems. They prefer to poke their noses into the lives of good parents while ignoring the ticking time bombs right in front of them. That’s not my approach. Today, I’m going to outline some new policy that forms part of National’s plan for giving young people the future they deserve. This Youth Plan will have two major aspects to it. One part is about education. The other part is about rolling up our sleeves to prevent New Zealand’s youth crime problem from becoming tomorrow’s crisis. This plan is about giving all young people the opportunity and responsibility to better themselves, no matter what their circumstances, abilities, or track record. That’s the Kiwi Way.”
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Beware of Tories banging on about “being tough on crime”;

 

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National Party staying strong on crime

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Electioneering on being “tough on crime” is easy. Any loud mouth Tory fool, desperate for our votes, can do it.

Actually addressing the root causes of crime – unemployment, poverty, increasing inequality, social dislocation, youth alienation, easy availability of cheap liquor, viewing humans as “consumers” rather than citizens; and the neo-liberal cult of selfishness/individualism all contribute to social stresses on the individual.

Let me point to two different commentators on the concept of society;

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“And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour…”
“And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour…” – Margaret Thatcher, Former UK Prime Minister

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"Create a society that values material things above all else. Strip it of industry. Raise taxes for the poor and reduce them for the rich and for corporations. Prop up failed financial institutions with public money. Ask for more tax, while vastly reducing public services. Put adverts everywhere, regardless of peoples ability to afford the things they advertise. Allow the cost of food and housing to eclipse people's ability to pay for them. Light blue touch paper." -  Andrew Maxwell, Irish Comedian
“Create a society that values material things above all else. Strip it of industry. Raise taxes for the poor and reduce them for the rich and for corporations. Prop up failed financial institutions with public money. Ask for more tax, while vastly reducing public services. Put adverts everywhere, regardless of peoples ability to afford the things they advertise. Allow the cost of food and housing to eclipse people’s ability to pay for them. Light blue touch paper.” – Andrew Maxwell, Irish Comedian

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So which view is closer to the truth?

It may be worth pondering that if Margaret Thatcher was correct, that there is no such thing as society“, then the notion  of “anti-social” behaviour is difficult to sustain. How can one be “anti” something that does not exist?

The free marketeers; the neo-liberals; those who promote the Individual rights over Community needs, seem surprised that after decades of implementing their philosophy that only the Individual exists – that there exist individuals who care very little (if anything) for their communities and other people.

For those individuals, as Margaret Thatcher once maintained, there is no such thing as society, or community.  There is only Me. And what I want.

Now… light blue touch paper. Let’s see what happens.

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References

Facebook:  Edmond Slackbladder

Northern Advocate: Second raid leaves cafe owner fuming

John Key: A Fresh Start for New Zealand

Previous related blogposts

Random Thoughts on Random Things #6


 

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Kirk

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

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= fs =

62 COMMENTS

  1. Poverty in itself is unlikely to be a significant cause of crime.

    To quote the Christchurch longitudinal study:

    Risk factors tend to fall into five categories – individual characteristics, family factors, school/work factors, associations with peers, and biological factors. The more risk factors a child or young person exhibits, the more likely they are to commit offences. The presence of just one risk factor is unlikely to lead to offending.

    If you wish to look for real causes, try: lack of parental supervision, a violent parent or a solo mum.

      • Yet you fail to present any facts to base your ideology on. I on the other hand am quoting well respected research. 😉

        Case in point for the latest violent atrocity. According to the Herald:

        “The parents of both boys charged over the death of a dairy owner are in jail or facing active criminal charges.”

        and

        “However, the Herald on Sunday has learned the 13-year-old murder accused’s mother appeared in court this month on dishonesty offences and breaching bail”

        Clearly they’re just feral scum which no amount of Socialist hand-wringing will fix.

        • Thank you, Andrew, for you oh-so “constructive” contribution to this debate.

          Would you like some aloe vera for that rather nasty sunburn on the back of your neck?

          • So much wrong with this argument, Andrew. First, you take an apparently objective quote (“The presence of just one risk factor is unlikely to lead to offending”) then you follow it up with selective reporting of circumstantial factors from the Herald (concentrating on one factor only, that both children had parents with charges pending or laid) and close with a purely subjective opinion (Clearly they’re just feral scum which no amount of Socialist hand-wringing will fix.”)

            Pick a side and stick with it. Either: (A) use the longitudinal study quote and acknowledge that there are more factors to be included in the rationale (not just the breakdown of the family unit); (B) follow the circumstantial evidence to build an editorial (in which, if we follow this logic, we may build the case that the children of many “respectable” businessmen guilty of fraud would also be just as likely to commit similar violent); or (C) just resort to name calling and misappropriated use of the word Socialism (in which case you could get a job at the beloved Herald, or as Bob Jones’ caddy.)

        • …. argumentum ad bacchum “well respected research…..
          Case in point for the latest violent atrocity. According to the Herald:
          “The parents of both boys charged over the death of a dairy owner are in jail or facing active criminal charges.”

          really? Really? REALLY – The Herald. That’s like the Jews quoting Mein Kampf as a reputable source for reasons why the Jews have “notthing to fear, nothing to hide” from the Germans.

        • So much wrong with this argument, Andrew. First, you take an apparently objective quote (“The presence of just one risk factor is unlikely to lead to offending”) then you follow it up with selective reporting of circumstantial factors from the Herald (concentrating on one factor only, that both children had parents with charges pending or laid) and close with a purely subjective opinion (Clearly they’re just feral scum which no amount of Socialist hand-wringing will fix.”)

          Pick a side and stick with it. Either: (A) use the longitudinal study quote and acknowledge that there are more factors to be included in the rationale (not just the breakdown of the family unit); (B) follow the circumstantial evidence to build an editorial (in which, if we follow this logic, we may build the case that the children of many “respectable” businessmen guilty of fraud would also be just as likely to commit similar violent crimes); or (C) just resort to name calling and misappropriated use of the word Socialism (in which case you could get a job at the beloved Herald, or as Bob Jones’ caddy.)

    • # Andrew – Try inequality. It’s a precursor to poverty and something which is running rife in NZ at present. Look at recent tragic events in West Auckland as an example of this fact.

      And where is the Waitakere MP – that’s one Paula Bennett – nowhere to be seen or heard on the issues of inequality affecting that area, where the average income is in the vicinity of $26,000, way below an acceptable standard of living!

      So typical of a National MP, close the eyes, play the ignorance card and it will all go away! Unfortunately, the reality is, it won’t! Well not while National is government that is! Which is one very good reason, why Key & Co must be voted out in September.

        • Your link AT BEST shows a steady as she goes in the 2010-2012 time-frame. Can you give us a link of a similar table that spans a 10+ year window?

        • Yeah, try telling the rest of the story.

          From the Herald link you provided: “Crime statistics for last year were released yesterday, revealing a 7.5 per cent drop in recorded offences on 2011. The figures are the lowest since electronic records began.”

          From a report by the NZFVC: “Family violence, not included in official statistics since the 2011 calendar year, has been indicated by the ‘Dwelling Assaults’ category.”

          Statistics show a reduced crime rate since 2011 because police no longer include domestic violence in their statistics. In 2015, those statistics will again begin to appear in the police reports after the adoption of a new system. If National find themselves in opposition come September, you can already predict the howls of outrage about the rise in crime, whilst this temporary suspension of the figures for what is an extremely prevalent sector of crime in NZ gets quietly ignored by those doing the howling.

          The notion that crime in NZ has decreased under a National led government is horses**t. What has decreased is the honesty with which it is reported, and the vigilance with which the public hold the powers that be to account.

          http://www.nzfvc.org.nz/?q=node/1487

          • Family violence is not not being reported. It is just not being reported as a SEPARATE category.

        • @Gosman:

          You already know the crime stats have been manipulated by the respective ministers Gosman. You have been told this before!

          The government decided to remove the sexual crimes from the general crime stats, obviously so they could spread the ‘spin’ that you are buffoonering about.
          Actually I prefer the words ‘lie about’ to ‘spin’, because that’s what it actually is.
          These stats are not the same as the former stats, as the sexual violent crimes have been removed, and they have seriously increased.

          You are speaking with a deceitful tongue, and showing your trueblue colours, and that will get you nowhere.

          Get your supply of tissues ready for September, because on that very special day this September, the face of NZ culture will begin its change for the betterment of the people – the real, and honest people who now have their eyes wideopen to the corruption of this evil Nat government!

          Opinion.

    • # Gosman – No more National/ACT spin please. Try looking at the statistics which are evidence to the contrary of your statement!

        • # Gosman – Mine come from reading, listening and watching news items about burglaries, home invasions, assaults, murder etc, day in, day out.

          NZ Herald is not going to say crime is increasing!

          • Ummmm. . NZ Herald might or might not tell the truth. The NZ Stats department which collates and publishes the data has a legal obligation to do so as accurately as possible.

        • There are two ways of lying. One, not telling the truth and the other, making up statistics.
          Josefina Vazquez Motaacts
          I can prove anything by statistics except the truth.
          George Canning
          Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.
          Mark Twain
          Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination.
          Vin Scully
          All too often when liberals cite statistics, they forget the statisticians’ warning that correlation is not causation.
          Thomas Sowell
          Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.
          Evan Esar
          Like dreams, statistics are a form of wish fulfillment.
          Jean Baudrillard
          There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
          Benjamin Disraeli

        • No, Gosman.

          You have provided a link which only partially supported your claim. Crime rate statistics have shown a fall since 1997 – not just “over the past 5 or so years”.

          http://www.treasury.govt.nz/government/longterm/fiscalposition/2009/15.htm/ltfs-09-022.gif

          (Recorded offences per 100 of population.)

          The same report states that violent crime is increasing.

          Part of that may well be due to the fact that, at 2012, we had the fifth highest rate of imprisonment.

          http://www.treasury.govt.nz/government/longterm/fiscalposition/2009/15.htm

          And before you cheer loud at that – consider that those imprisoned will eventually be released back into society. The problem has been deferred, not resolved.

          But as usual, Gosman, you are ignoring the Big Picture here and focused on details that suit yourself.

          Try re-reading what I wrote and then come back to us.

    • More manipulation – ask any policemen who is prepared to put his neck on the line that many crimes are not being reported. “Lies, lies and damned statistics”

      • Police have evidence of bona fide corruption and political bias and the Opposition isn’t offering amnesty and protection?!? I knew the opposition was bad just not how bad.

        • Yep they have. Like the way they wouldn’t charge Banks with electoral fraud – ie corruption.

      • I refer you to the Mark Twain quote I used above, Andy Pandy, he reminds us of the difference between facts and statistics.

      • Andrew says:
        June 15, 2014 at 8:34 pm

        See how they hate facts?

        Who are you talking to?

        Anyways. We don’t “hate facts”. We just dislike misinformation and naked prejudice. In that area, Andrew, you excel.

        • Kind of ironic considering you haven’t provided any data suggesting crime has got worse under This government. All you have is politically biased opinion that it must be or a belief that it has something to do with the incarceration rate why it isn’t higher. You could at least provide some evidence that the number of prisoners and their length of time in jail is increasing.

  2. There is most of all a poverty of good parenting. Growing up in the 1940s and 1950s lots of us lived in homes with 1 fireplace for warmth, no heating in bedrooms, no fancy food and parents who struggled to feed us. But what we did have was the love of our parents and mums with great home management skills. If it was cold houses and little money that caused all the things talked about in child poverty today then how come we turned out so well? Could it have been that our parents went without so we could have and that our mums were at home and could cook and sew?

    • While I agree with the thrust of your statement one of the best methods for passing on inter-generational skills ( gardening, cooking , sewing, budgeting) were adult community education classes. Which National removed at the start of their term in office to save a paltry 15 million dollars or so.
      The Salvation Army have had to cut back on staff and similar basic living skills programs because they don’t have the funding.
      I grew up on a farm in the 1960’s and my cooking skills and budgeting skills are better than my mother’s because i sought tutoring through community education.
      No matter how much love there is in a family the pervasive insidious reach of the finance industry creeps into young people’s lives through student loans, HP, personal loans etc. They are deliberately targeted and trapped. My offspring are only developing some financial literacy now in their 20’s.

      • Many of the same generation Dorothy refers to didn’t have access to education either. Both my parents left school well before their 16th birthday, yet both made their way in the world through hard work and sacrifice. Those are values largely missing in the ‘needy generation’. When I got married in the 1980’s we had access to generous HP provisions, yet decided to never have more than one item on HP at a time. It’s called self control.

        • Anonymous ACT Supporter Intrinsicvalue – your parents lived in a completely different world of available jobs; free tertiary education; free medicines; comparatively low unemployment; affordable housing (and much higher home ownership rates), etc.

          Your neo-liberalism put an end to that.

          If there is a “needy” generation, I put it to you that is a direct consequence of the Me First attitude – courtesy of the neo-liberal “revolution”.

          It’s called reality.

          • Now its interesting that when one looks at the Sensible Sentencing Trust statistics post 1984, that there is a huge spike in crime…precipitated by neo liberal monetarist policy. This did not occur in a vacuum – obviously there was an external force at work to produce this spike.

            I agree with Dorothy in many ways, the post war generation grew up in an era of Keynesian economics, a rural community that was not obliterated by neo liberalism , -and – whether you like it or not, – a generally accepted system of values that have been progressively overturned by social engineering.

            We also had a guaranteed market for farm produce in Britain, when they joined the EEC , and when the Arab oil shocks occurred , this affected us in many ways.

            Progressively throughout the 1970’s and into the 1980’s Keynesianism came under assault by Mont Pelerin Society backed neo liberalism..in NZ , its members represented by Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson- didn’t matter which major party you voted for..you were still voting for the same ideology

            For a look into how destructive this ideology was for NZ , go online and look up Ian Frasers ‘Fortress New Zealand’ .Then contrast that with what and WHO we have today still in NZ politics..the leopard hasn’t changed its spots.

            The ludicrous joke of the rock star economy is only an idol to those politicians who are star struck by the massive wealth they have accrued at the expense of former egalitarian New Zealanders. And like teenagers..who hang posters on their walls of their latest idols, so these do the same with their latest pin up idols.

            There is no question that social inequality helps to produce crime, it is a factor…or would you care to take the issue up with the Salvation Army history of William Booth working in the East end of London? …you will loose.

            The advent of the 2008 financial crisis produced a raft of white collar crime…so its not isolated to those of the unemployed or now working poor.

            Once this country either tires or grows up from its idolizing of jaded neo liberal rock star advocates and embraces a more social democratic economic system such as in Germany or Scandinavia….then you will see a more stable ,wealthy , community that will help to be a bulwark against crimes of poverty – ( notwithstanding the fact crime will always occur regardless ,but relieving some factors will go a long way towards lessening it ) – either from white collar or from the unemployed/working poor.

    • Your generation also had more to look forward to – Free university education, high employment and affordable housing being the most important. Now, not only is the idea of raising a family on a single income a pipe dream for most, even the idea of surviving alone on a single income is a struggle. Given the amount of crime committed by affluent people from stable backgrounds, I can’t support the idea that a mother’s love will make everything sunshine and rainbows. You may be one of the fortunate who had that, and good for you if so. Not everyone else did though, and we need to remember that when we pontificate on the motives of this argument. People need hope, and the current generation of NZ youth is being seriously shortchanged in that department. It’s no surprise that crime is a serious problem, and until there are a lot less hurdles towards getting a proper education, a job, and a home, many young kiwis are going to lose hope, and consequently, control. These hurdles are not going to be removed with a hug from Mum. They are going to be removed through a government with a responsible social outlook, and sensible long-term policy – Neither of which the current National led government seems to have very much of.

    • @Dorothy:

      Yes Dorothy, those were the days when the family came first, and mothers weren’t forced to go out to work to feed their children, and pay the power bills.
      The days when the mans one income could afford to feed the family.

      Those days are sadly long gone. Those precious family first days of societal and community thinking and beliefs. Be marvelous to have them back.

  3. Frank if people care less today about their ‘communities’, which is debatable, then it has more to do with post-modernism than neo-liberalism, which is a fictional construct as far as NZ politics is concerned.

  4. The Torys and Nats are tough on crime and following the rules ….. until it applies to them.

    I feel that Judith Collins would be one of the most corrupt police ministers that we’d had and now she’s our most corrupt justice minister.

    I’m not referring to her back handed dealings on behalf of her husbands employer/company ……. nor am I referring to her staff ‘sanitizing’ her stinky history on Wikipedia :

    http://brookingblog.com/2013/07/06/judith-collins-staff-editing-wikipedia-articles-on-justice-issues-in-nz/

    As a measure of her rottenness I think her conduct with and towards the alcohol industry first as police minister and then as justice minister mark her out as an especially cynical and sleazy politician.

    Alcohol is the single biggest driver of serious ( violent ) crime statistics in this country ………… ever hear her mention it while she was building her tough on crime car crushing police minister persona???

    And then as Justice minister she meets repeatedly with the booze makers and pushers and consequently accedes to their demands of no regulation on things like high strength RTD lolly water that they push at our young.

    She and the Nats have left the drink driving blood alcohol limit at a high limit for adults which causes extra death and injury for each year they let it stand.

    At what point do we call all the money and influence exerted by the booze industry corruption??? ……….. and drug corruption at that because its what they are selling and making money from.

    If we reigned in the alcohol abuse that the present situation subsidizes ( booze cost’s hundreds of millions more in expenses than are recovered in excise tax ), and if we legalized/regulated the softer drug cannabis at the same time ………… then we could close all our new private prisons because they would be empty.

    But even though booze goes with crime it also goes with the Nats so they will never act in our interests when it comes to bringing this drug to heel.

    • Sounds like Jimmy Russell was John Carter and John Banks reincarnated. Banks has a lot of time on his hands now.

  5. Tough on Crime is and was one of those National Party oxymoron’s. Accurately it should have read Tough on Crime Statistic believability!

    It started well, 300 extra police to South Auckland ,most of whom have long since departed, But then it equalled, firstly, a cut to the Police budget of 10% under National, then a 19% “saving” and ever since a frozen budget. Witness this years so called surplus budget where Tolley tells the police that any pay rises will have to come from the existing budget.

    Something had to give so if you were the police and had an ever shrinking pool of money to operate from what would you do? Would you encourage your officers not to look for crime but wait for the public to report it? And if you had to deal with it why not warn the person and thereby avoid another crime statistic, even if it were worthy of a court appearance. Why not kick the criminal for touch altogether and not even put anything on paper?

    You would cut reported crime by a third at least in doing so.

    The public may be reluctant to report crime of course as an added bonus to shrinking the crime stats (so says Radio NZ after the latest murder in West Auckland) because they believe the person will not be dealt with anyway putting them as the informant even more at risk. So much for putting any faith in statistics this government produce then.

    If police staff listen to the media and believe that we have a “Rock Star Economy”, that wages are strong (to quote John Key in another oxymoron), that the economy is booming, they should ask , well if this is so why are we locked out of this boom time? The reason is simple, to use an overused Leighton Smith phrase, our economy is not booming, rather micro parts are like the Auckland housing bubble (non productive and in fact anti productive) and the slow Christchurch rebuild (insurance and EQR funded) and milk powder exports (localised rural), but that’s about the end of the high lights.

    Its all a crock!

    • Oxymoron and National go hand in hand. They have NO National interest at the cornerstone of their party, just croneyism and screw everyone except their big business mates.

      Forget the oxy. KKKeep the morons and that’s what will happen unless the left mobilise voters to get out and tell these neoliberal fascists that we’ve had enough of their failed economic experiment.

  6. @ Andrew and @ Gasman ? You should get together and make a baby .
    There must be a freak show out there looking for a new freak . You guys are freaky , you know that right ? The depressingly moronic , archaic and frankly dangerous views you espouse are deeply sad to read . And unforgivably ? You’re both without wit . You’re like concrete blocks with a boring opinion and it would be very alarming to know that there are those whom might take you guys seriously .

  7. @ Intrinsicvalue . Sorry . I nearly left you out . It’s interesting that some people , like you for example , who have no idea what they’re talking about but still talk . You must listen to yourself and think you’re brilliant . Well , you’re not . Again , sorry .

  8. Time for Winston to wake up from his slumber and smell the roses. National is attacking and changing the narrative so that superannuitants will be paying for poverty.

    Are you going to take that lying down Winnie? If you don’t stand up for your voting block, they will go to Colin, or Jamie, or back to Labour.

Comments are closed.