Why are beneficiaries attacking WINZ offices?
The wave of copycat threats that have erupted around the country in the wake of the terrible shootings in Ashburton is no coincidence. It is the reaction of tens of thousands of desperate NZers who have been treated harshly by WINZ, treated harshly because of the economic mismanagement of this Government which has led to National slashing millions from welfare necessitating a hard line from WINZ that has pushed some of the most vulnerable beyond breaking point.
In 2011, as the tax take fell, Bill English signalled the cuts backs would be in welfare…
“In the New Year the Government will consider further decisions around how to increase efficiency in the public sector and how it manages some of its large and growing expenses,” English said in a media release on Monday morning.
“This will be assisted by report of the Welfare Working Group,
…the Welfare Working group was the ideologically stacked razor gang National set up to destroy social welfare in 2010.
Other than an Islamaphobic fiction writer who connects intelligence to wealth and advocates corporations run social welfare, who was on this razor gang?
Surprise, surprise – former president of ACT, Catherine Isaac. A day after the Welfare Working Group first met on April 30th 2010, Isaac’s husband and Executive Director of the Business Roundtable, Roger Kerr, published an opinion piece in the Dominion Post claiming unemployment is a political choice, as in the poor choose to be poor.
Roger raged against the welfare machine by claiming if only we dumped the minimum youth wage and weaken unions, then employers like him would hire and Ayn Rand would come back from the grave with Adam Smith and they will lay the foundations of a pure free market city state (with a weirdly overt militaristic Police force). Kerr was writing hard right send-the-kids-down-the-mine-to-work-social-policy the day after his wife’s first meeting for the Welfare Working Group.
The tone was set.
Also on the welfare razor gang, Adrian Roberts and Enid Ratahi Pryor who were current corporate welfare contractors to the Government. What possible advice were they going to give beyond ‘more corporate contracts in social welfare please’? Which is exactly what has happened. The silent privatisation of social welfare is in stealth mode because no one cares about what happens to beneficiaries. Sure, if it’s a hydro dam or something we can see and touch we get petitions demanding an end to privatisation, but when it’s the underclass there isn’t even an acknowledgement that it’s happening.
The 250 000 – 285 000 (we’re not sure because Paula refuses to count them) children in poverty are simply collateral damage in that privatisation.
Take the ideologically stacked Welfare Razor gangs views, combine them with English’s comments on making the $2billion deficit up from his failed pre-rock star turbo-charged economy from welfare alongside Key’s own comment that no one would starve if he slashed all the benefits and they show a clearly plotted 4 year assault against the most vulnerable.
My point is that Ashburton didn’t just happen. The rage so many who are vulnerable that is now being felt through a wave of threats reveals a world that the mainstream media never focus on. An underclass of unpeople who face WINZ staff who are there to say no. That doesn’t in anyway shape or form justify the violence and threats and shootings, but it helps understand why this is now happening.
Desperate people are beyond their breaking points after 4 years of these assaults on their ability to live.
The heavy handed response by Police to those who have made threats to date is a recognition that if the invisible rage the vulnerable are drowning in unleashes, then WINZ will be facing an ever increasing civil war.
How many broken men humiliated by economics and circumstances beyond their control are shivering in their cars with mumbling fantasises of vengeance at a faceless bureaucracy that exists now to only say no?
That number of men should keep Paula Bennett up late into the night. I imagine her washing her hands endlessly and them never feeling clean.