God bless the Salvation Army, but…


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It’s good that the Salvation Army want to be involved with charity for the poor, their kindness and generosity makes a huge difference to many peoples lives.

That said however, I can’t see why the hell the weakest and most vulnerable state house tenants need to suddenly be reliant on a group who believe in a magical flying invisible wizard for their housing needs rather than you know, the secular Government of NZ.

That bloody corrupt money trader of a Prime Minister of ours sure knows how to out source all the work he’s supposed to do doesn’t he? We are paying him to cut down his work load.

It’s the Government’s responsibility to those members of our community, not a religious cult group who dress up in bloody soldiers uniforms because they are in the Army of God. Isn’t that a  bit fucking extreme?

“You have to go see that guy over there for your housing situation.”

“Who, the guy in the purple soldiers uniform’?

“Yes. Him”.

“Umm, why is he wearing a purple soldiers uniform”.

“Because he’s in the army of God.”

“I see. And I have to talk to the Army of God chap regarding my housing needs do I”?

Outsourcing the obligations of the State to religious charity groups is the sort of things religious extremists do, the kind of religious extremists the PM tells us we are supposedly needing to smite in Iraq because we are part of a 5 Eyes ‘club’ whose ethics would make your average Mexican Drug Cartel blush.

What’s next? The Catholic Church running our sex education classes? Family First planned pregnancy anti-abortion clinics? Fundamentalist Christian Science classes?

Get the religious communities out of social welfare provision and put the State back in charge.

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God might defend NZ but his followers shouldn’t dictate social policy.


      • Yes, 30 years is a long time, but I’m cursed(?) with a long memory. I remember signing something to keep hunting and caging gay people.
        I’d signed a petition in support of hate and violence, a youthful/evil(?) mistake.
        Do the Salvation Army admit their mistakes?
        – Baza.

      • True Dan, but my point is still valid: a government department is far more likely than a faith-based organisation to adopt a neutral stance on “moral” issues. Housing should be allocated according to need rather than requiring the applicants to measure up to some arbitrary standard imposed by a minority religious group.

  1. When the Problem Gambling Foundation spoke up against Sky City’s pokies for convention centre deal, they got their funding cut. So the price of this social housing offload is that the Sallies or other housing providers shut up, make no public complaints, say nothing which will embarrass this govt. National’s ideology demands that advocacy for the needy disappears and is replaced by private business models providing a ‘service’, and externalising everything else

    • @ Norm –

      Same happened a little while ago to the Human Rights Commission, when they spoke out on poverty afflicting NZers. Key threatened to cut its funding.

      Then there is the Nicky Hager issue, for daring expose Key’s dirty politics. For his efforts, his personal property was violated by police, on the orders of the state!

      So as far as I can remember (and I’d be interested in hearing about more similar instances of state bullying), that’s the HRC, the Problem Gambling Foundation and Nicky Hager so far having been intimidated by Key and his bullies!

      For Key, the Sallies will be easy pickings.

      Now I wait for Eleanor Catton to face having her home turned over by state sanctioned law enforcement officers. This one will be an interesting one to watch out for!

  2. He’s abdicated responsibility for everything, when does he finally give us all our country back and abdicate from the PM’s role that he is playing at?

  3. I call them The Slave-Nation Army .

    William S Burroughs .

    ” Never do business with a religious son-of-a-bitch . But if you do ? Get it in writing . You can never trust someone with God on their side to tell them how to fuck you on the deal . “

    • Dan, if you want to contribute to the debate, you are welcome to do so. Posting childish, single-word, insults will be consigned to the bin, along with anything else, if you continue in this vein. – ScarletMod

  4. Why are the Salvation Army suddenly the go to guys for National, what is the real reason? With gambling I assume one of the main reasons was that they would be subservient and next to useless and to be blunt you don’t hear from them at all. So as far as Key and SkyCity etc are concerned it’s worked brilliantly.

    But social housing, what makes them social housing providers on a small, medium or large-scale? Clearly Key and National couldn’t care less about that either. However they are going make a very good diversion whilst public money, in the form of accommodation supplements, is quietly channelled into privately own rentals to up their returns.

    • Well to slap the Sallies on the side of the head. Their record with producing productive outcomes with drugs and alcohol, and indeed gambling – is at best, piss poor.

      Everyone one thinks this is a great organisation – Mmmmm funny many of the males I know who were raped in foster care were – oh that’s right, in Sallies foster homes. Any addressing of that issue…

      I think the salvation army as a major social service provider is a cruel joke. This is a organisation, who treats it’s workers poorly, and is just to judgemental to help people, help themselves. They have a history of institutionalist rape, both here and Australia. Worse, they have done little to nothing to deal with that rape culture within their organisation.

      We have a government hell bent on handing them more power over the lives of the powerless – ours is a sick and twisted government – amoral and godless. God help us all – because John Key and co. just sold us out to a lesser demon.

    • To be fair, the Sallies do speak out quite strongly on social issues. But I think they are the ‘go to’ dumping social responsibility because they are nationwide and are safe from a PR point of view.

      The issue is wider> I think it’s similar to the charter schools argument – just because the non-profit sector CAN provide schools and housing, doesn’t mean it should. In the end they’re enabling the governments plans and facilitating the decline of those services.

  5. Oh FFS. Campbell Roberts wrote the anti report from within the Salvation Army re the Homosexual Law Reform Bill. Also, read The Salvation Army reports on the Accomodation Supplement written for the S Army by Alan Johnson. And others…..
    So. Just Goog the Reports published by The Soc Pol Unit of the Salvation Army before you appear as ill informed as you do these days. I had huge hopes for the Daily Blog – now you seem to be in selfie land. Selwyn Manning, where are you?

  6. So… Key has out-sourced his ministerial responsibilities as Minister in Charge of the SIS and GCSB…

    His government tried outsourcing paying teachers to an Aussie company (but that crashed and burned in a spectacular stuff-up)…

    He’s now planning to outsource state housing to charities…

    And when things go wrong, Key’s earnest response is it was never his responsibility and instead shifts the blame onto his Prime Minister’s Department, or that he wasn’t acting as the PM at the time.

    So much for taking responsibility, which I thought was a central tenet for his party’s beliefs.

    One has to wonder what we’re paying his and his cronies for? To appear on Breakfast TV for tame “interviews”? Photo-ops with kittens, puppies, and kiddies?

    At least kittens, puppies, and kiddies have a useful function.

  7. The Salvation Army definitely do a lot of good in the community in many ways and I don’t question their integrity. However, do they have the expertise to take over a large proportion of the country’s state housing portfolio and run it well? Perhaps they do, perhaps they can do it better than the National government (couldn’t do much worse could they?). It seems to me that the Sallies are good at doing community services on a smaller localized scale but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are equipped to do it nationally. Nothing can escape the fact that state housing for the economically disadvantaged should be a government responsibility and the Sallies, despite their good intentions, should not be doing it. The National government are simply wiping their hands of another job that they can’t be bothered to do, although they were elected to do it.

    • Mike , we have not agreed on much, but you are quite right, this is the test, and I (we I think) wish them all the best.Regards – Dan

  8. The following is not intended directly or implication to suggest that the Salvation Army is other than a caring and admirable organisation.

    I was with family and noticed some of the younger ones were reading Charles Dickens. Later my wife and I were discussing our memories of Dickens and his merits as both an author and by way of his writings his impact in awakening society to the social injustices of the age.
    Later while thinking about the current government policy to unload state housing onto “community housing providers'” I was struck by the implications and similarities of this policy with the Dickensian world.
    This is the end game of the neoliberal goal of government withdrawal from social support, a world of work houses, a world of stunted children a world of inequality, a world of hopelessness.
    Nationals Brave New World is nothing less than a Dickensian nightmare.

    • @ ThinkAboutIT –

      Good post. And you aren’t far off the mark either in your summation.

      Dickens’ works were a commentary on inequality and the appalling social conditions prevailing in the UK at the time. Many writers prior to Dickens and after also wrote of the same. Charlotte Bronte`with Jane Eyre before him and John Steinbeck after, with his Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men.

      All could be social commentaries on the future of NZ’s vulnerable, dispossessed and poor!

      Some time ago. I did some research on my East End London ancestry and discovered during the early to mid 1800s, a few family members were listed as *inhabitants of a charitable work house.* That was the polite and official way of describing a poor house, where society’s wretched were reliant on charities for their survival! From what I know, these work/poor houses, were a living hell for those living in them, being expected to work for their board and lodgings for a measly pittance, while at night having to sleep on louse ridden sacking acting as bedding!

      With Key’s latest devious and deceptive move to offload social housing into the hands of charities and having some knowledge of my past, this whole issue has quite an uncomfortable and very nasty ring to it for me!

  9. The Salvation Army, in the overall scheme of things, are probably the best equipped and most realist organisation to deal with this.

  10. THe National Government is not just “wiping their hands of another job that they can’t be bothered to do”. There is money to be made here. The Salvation Army is not just doing the administration. The State Housing assets (80,000 dwellings worth $18billion) are to be sold off over a period of time unless we raise a storm. The Sallies are just one of a number of private organisations that can have a crack at running these houses. To make a profit (which they obviously must do) these organisations must be able to buy the houses at a price low enough to make a profit out of the poorest people in NZ. That means a fire-sale. The government will play no part in this except that it will have to continue to pay rent subsidies as it already does. The Tenancy agreement will presumably be identical to any other private rental agreement.
    I suspect that in a short time the existing tenants will be booted out, the premises will be tarted up and will be on-sold on the open market (unless the government has some way of preventing this). Mr Key’s mates will grow very rich. Wake up, NZ.

  11. I have to say that the salvation army has done quite a lot of good in the community but to take up social housing is probably not in the best interest of the those needing somewhere to live.

    Salvation Army already has rental housing and also they have a work and income person working from their premises to assess anyone on welfare and if those unfortunate enough to have used up all their advances or entitlements will also miss out, they are moved on to the next charity. If you donate to them and later on might need assistance they will tell you I am sorry but we can’t help you.

    it is the responsibility of the state to look after its people not an organization. if the government wants to shred its responsibility then they should cut its taxes so we could save for our own welfare. Pay us good wages so we don’t become a burden to the state.

  12. John Key is just a puppet in the National government. He is the man hired by the National Party to do its dirty work and that is changing the way the state should be looking after its most vulnerable citizens. National party does not like poor, weak people in their society. Attacking the Prime Minister is not going to make any difference but if address the real people that are making the Policy rules for National then you can get somewhere.

    We have a government that says we are the government but these are not our people whether they have some where to stay, sleep or call it home is not our problem but wait we will still collect their taxes, stop any welfare assistance.

  13. The Salvation army is a business. They do NOTHING for free, if you go to the bridge for Rehab, you have to hand over your entire benefit. (If you lose your flat/house throuhg non payment of rent, etc. too bad.)

    Yes, there are food banks. This is all given to the Salvation Army, they don’t pay a cent.

    When Key donated the funds to the SA from the problem gambling foundation, they began to advertise for gambling counsellors with a ‘like minded’ attitude. In other words, if you’re not a god botherer, don’t apply.

    They are the only religion well funded by the govenment…their ‘officers’ have great homes, cars, etc. The charity is all given by the public, but the SA bask in the kudos.

    I’d love to see them audited, people would be astounded if they knew how much they are worth….but everyone is so scared of saying anything negative about them.

    I can just imagine a gay couple with a kid or two trying to apply for a Salvation Army state house,…….’go to the back of the queque, sinner.”

    And, of course, if these state houses are not profitable, they will be sold off, there is nothiing to stop that. So I suppose the developers will get them in the long run. What a fiasco.

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